The Jobs Picture


      The clarion cries of "recovery" cut painfully through the crisp pre-Christmas air while the now-perpetually unemployed huddle in their tents around the Sacramento delta, and the state AGs slug it out with the foreclosure goons, and not a few mortgage payment drop-outs enjoy luxury living in McMansions with no monthly carrying costs, and the minions of Goldman Sachs (with fellow squids) groom their beaks waiting for the massive chum slick of bonus checks to be dropped by helicopters in this the third holiday season since Wall Street committed suicide by an overdose of Ponzi. 
     It's pathetic to hear the wan cry of "recovery" issued by the high priests and tribunes of this land. Do the president and his train of wizards really suppose that all the necessary pieces are in place to re-start the economic dynamics of, say, 2003? A million busboys and lawn service lackeys lining up for half-million dollar liar loans at the Countrywide office? BCA, Citi, and all the other big banks pawning off bundles upon bundles of these worthless obligations to insurance companies, pension funds, foolish endowment fund managers and any other reckless entity desperate for yield? A hyperbolic consumer economy pyramid resting on a base of empty promises to repay?
     Sorry. There's no way the USA can ever "recover" to that lush breeding ground of swindling, fraud, and childish irresponsibility. The hardships of today do not represent a dip in some regular cycle of financial push-me-pull-you. This is a systemic, structural change in the socio-economic ecology of human life. Those who have been shuffling from one office to another with their dog-eared resumes, and clothing pressed under the mattress while sleeping, are bound to be disappointed. The very idea of a "job" may be obsolete, in the sense of bureaucratically organized endeavors complete with a "human resources" department that can just plug in human components like diodes in an engineered system.
      Among the surprises I've suggested over the years is the idea that people used to spending long hours in cubicles staring at video screens may, at some point ahead, begin to spend their days in the fresh air, cultivating food crops. I'm sure this sounds outlandish. But we begin to see the new dynamic of this world resolving in the nexus between a crisis of capital, climate change, and peak oil. 
     Food is getting scarce. Worldwide grain reserves stand at unprecedented lows. Droughts in Russia and Australia mean that basic foods will be in short supply on the margins - that is, the impoverished countries we used to call "third world" that depend on grain imports. The American supermarket aisles still groan with every conceivable staple and delicacy, but note the prices of things. A buck and a half for four little onions. $1.18 for one apple. $4 for a jar of jam. Compare these numbers with the wages that have not gone up effectively since around 1970.
      As I write this morning, oil is 11 cents short of $90 a barrel. That's well into the price range that destroys economic activity in the USA. Why is the price of oil creeping up relentlessly in a structurally impaired economy? My guess is the beginning of hoarding on the grand scale, as nations slowly wake to the reality of the world production peak, and scramble to max out their tank-farm capacity. By the way, the price of oil could easily crash again - and, I believe the period just ahead will be marked by extreme volatility in oil prices - but if it goes back down to $20 a barrel we'll probably be in a situation where nobody has any money to buy it even at bargain basement prices.That was exactly the situation 70-odd years ago during the Great Depression: plenty of everything; but no money.
     The crisis of capital still has many acts to play out. The current installment taking place in Europe is a game of musical chairs played by nations who cannot pay their debts or the regular bills. The Euro was on its way sliding into oblivion a week or so ago when the European Central Bank and the IMF came up with a few billion to cover bond interest for deadbeat countries through the Christmas season - at the same time that Ben Bernanke's Fed offered up a $75-billion-a-month bid for US Treasury bonds (and god-knows-really what other sort of dodgy paper, based on the Fed's track record of hosing up every distressed instrument on the landscape, including the notes on cheap chain hotels). The Euro bounced back, at least in relation to the US dollar. The same darn skit will have to be replayed in the first quarter of 2011 and my guess is that German voters will pull the IV-line of financial support out of its terminally ailing neighbors. The net effect will be stupendous economic confusion and a lot of bad feeling. This is the year that Europe ceases to be a theme park and reverts to a continent of dangerous squabbles and beefs.
     America has appeared to be a bystander to that spectacle - apart from all the European banks and insurance operations that Ben Bernanke dropped TARP money on, it was revealed last week - but the US financial situation is every bit as sketchy as Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and we have no idea how we're going to cover our obligations after Christmas.
     This idea of "recovery" promulgated by authority figures who ought to know better is the cruelest swindle of them all, and perhaps the final one. If you want something like gainful employment in the years ahead, don't rely on the corporations, the government, or anyone with a work station equipped cubicle. Start reading up on gardening and harness repair. Learn how to fix a pair of shoes. Volunteer for EMT duty if you're already out of a paycheck, and learn how to comfort people in medical distress. Jobs of the future will be hands-on and direct. I have no idea what medium of exchange you'll get paid with, but a chicken is a good start.
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My new novella, A Christmas Orphan, is available for purchase through Northshire Bookstore.  

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851 Comments

hello simon, hello james crow

grrrrrrrrrrrrr

"In the same way, the last will be first, and the first will be last, because many are called, but few are chosen."

Matthew 20:16

Was there nothing more pathetic as a reminder of the spin-mongering impotence of our nation's "leadership", than the dribbling performance last night of Bernank the Skank?

Odious.

hey, quick question. Does anyone remember a few months ago, maybe May or June-ish, somebody here made reference to a supposedly fairly private conversation, in which Ted Kennedy said to some younger Kennedys: "when you are my age, all of this" (waves his hand out the window at the grandeur of NYC, the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis, or wherever), "will be over." This has been driving me nuts.

Chicken no longer being a metaphor, Jim. In Dublin City last year urban chickens were de rigeur.
I am now putting in my own coop.
The new gold.
XO
WWW

I suppose all the down and out losers who have given up can fall back on living out the rest of their lives getting paid with a chicken for fixing someone's harness but that doesn't cut it for me. I didn't work 30 years putting in 70 work weeks to let it all go that easily. I'm doing great, thank you, and it's all because I did not play the debt game when everyone else was riding the wave. I paid my dues; now it's time to enjoy my success. And maybe hire some people who will work for a chicken. In the end we all pretty much get what we deserve.

And in Fantasyland... 60 minutes on the same night, interviews Bernanke who says things will be golden again in the "future"

and Facebook Boy Genius... and they claim his company which makes nothing out of nothing... is "valued" at $30 Billion.

And Google tried to buy a 2 year old web coupon company for $6 Billion...

It's all good in Fantasyland

Aimlow Joe was here.
http://www.aimlow.com

Watch Bernanke carefully in yesterday's 60 minutes interview. His upper lip is trembling and his voice is cracking. He is scared "s**tless", because HE KNOWS! In the immortal words of "W" Bush, "This sucker could go down."

JHK

You are so right about this illusion we call a recovery. When our leadership speaks of the economy they fail to discuss globalism and how money is leaving this country for foreign investments. Don't tax the rich because they will create jobs. A meme that has no basis in fact at this juncture of our global economy.
We just made a trade deal with S. Korea which will reduce tariffs in the next 5 years. That's supposed to stimulate our manufacturing base---HOW?
Now we will continue with the tax breaks for the wealthy with extensions of unemployment insurance. Question is when will our debts be addressed?
I'm afraid this may be a hard winter indeed.

The US COULD recover and bring down the price of oil if we followed Mr Kunstler's prescriptions from
some years back that we stop the Wars which waste huge amounts of oil (3.5 billion gallons of jet fuel) and put people back to work running revamped public transit systems.
Instead the elite is posting $7500 tax checks for
electric cars which consume as much electricity
than a house at a minimum cost of $33,000 pr car!
By simply running our existing public transit and simple measures like shuttles, buses, expanded parking access we could probably easily cut oil consumption by 20% in a year which would represent
5% of total world oil usage.
I do not understand why Jim Kunstler seems to have forgotten that...
This would provide immediate fulltime jobs for conductors, engineers, shuttle drivers, bus drivers immediately.
At the same time we could set to work restoring full service to the 233,000 miles of existing rail
mostly unused all over the USA.
For example, here in the Northest, the Lackawanna Cutoff which connects from New York across Northern New Jersey to Scranton, PA paralleling I-80 was initially built in a year!
The tracks are still there and actually used periodically for excursion tourist trains.
Reviving this line has been studied for literally years.
Just do it!
Run the trains, get car traffic off the horribly congested I-80 and, beyond Scranton, restore the previous service to Buffalo, NY and even Chicago.
Instead New Jersey's Teabag governor is wasting
$7 Billion on widening the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway...
Lester Brown's Plan B has documented what we need to do for both peak oil and climate change.
As he writes in his final chapter, we KNOW what to do, we have known it since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973.
The question now is to martial the political will
against King Kong (Coal Oil Natural Gas) and just
DO IT!
Our economic and planetary survival depends upon it!


Awesome read this morning, Mr. Kunstler. You're on top of your game here lately.

JHK nailed it right on the head today -- there is no going back to where we once were and we are going to have to adjust as time goes on. We are clearly entering a new Dark Age -- whatever emerges on the other side, we are going to go through a very long period of upheaval, misery and adjustment. We need to keep this is mind as we live our daily lives.

Check out http://leibowitzsociety.blogspot.com for an effort to try to preserve the best parts of the knowledge our civilization has accumulated as we enter this Dark Age.

I live on the Isle of Anglesey, a small island of the coast of Wales in the UK and we watch Ireland cloasely - it's less than 50 miles across the Irsish Sea to Dublin - and what goes on there affects us here economically.

There will be a General Election in Ireland before St Patrick's Day 2011. As it stands at the moment the two biggest parties - Fianna Fail & Fine Gael - will be all but wiped out. The likely winners will be a coalition of Labour & Sinn Fein, both campaigning on a promise to default and do an 'Iceland' and what will be the most extreme left wing government ever to be elected into Office in Western Europe.

Germany has been merrily printng Deutschmarks since May (as a 'contingency plan') and it came to light in the European Press that but a few weeks ago Merkel had laid down the law to the rest of the eurozone that it radically change to the way Germany wants it run and the banking systenm changes from the Anglo-American model to the German model or Germany walks from the euro but prop it up should a big country (Spain or Italy) wobble they will not.

May you live in interesting times as the Chinese say.

Jim, you are way off track on these "gardening" and corner-store, neighborhood employment scenarios.

"What" - got us here, to this point of over consumption, over population, and over confidence is a complex set of inter-dependencies based on two concepts.

1. Economy of scale.
2. The expertise of specialization.

Jim, get with the program. There is no way that single-handed attempts to restore working, sustainable communities can come from manual labor and individual expertise.

This is our fate. And unless someone will produce evidence of any communities that exist without outside energy/manufacturing inputs - give up the "horse-and-buggies" answer to our nation's problems.

Yes, we have a real emergency. But the Clusterfuck is that we can't agree on the scale nor types of expertise we need to employ to slide more gently toward sustainability.

Please Jim, I beseech you, start preaching that solutions to the energy shortfall must account for the expert-efficiencies and scales necessary to actually keep a few extra people alive.

Before any co-operative small farms will ever be able to "make it" - you are going to need regional or local power sources and industrial capacity.

Fuck this gardening talk - that's pie-in-the-sky-bullshit, and you probably know it.

When will our "leaders" catch up with the rest of us who are already cashing reality checks? An opinion poll in August 2010 found that 65% of Americans believed the country was now “in a state of decline.” That number has surely not gone down in the last few months. The U-6 number is at 17.0 unemployment for November and a critical indicator - the amount of money business is planning to spend on advertising jobs - is going down.

You are all wrong! Bernanke said so last night on 60 minutes! Four to five years before we see normal unemployment numbers between 5-6%.

Now, why would Bernanke give an interview to 60 minutes and say something so stupid? Cheerleading perhaps?

Our money system aka Price system evolved in a scarcity ie. agrarian environment.An agrarian society is inherently one of scarcity ,in which growth tries to fill the void. Demand eats up the supply.The flow lines of good and services and money reach a balance. Along comes science and technology and we entered the era of achievable abundance and the system started to get out of balance as the flow lines seized up. Kilowatt hours replaced the man hour and the markets got saturated.The Price system wants to reset back to a scarcity environment from which it evolved so the solutions have been to have wars ie blow up the products of production build shoddy goods aka built in obsolescence baloon the debt levels till they pop.The reset is working as we are now reaching an environment where we are running out of the energy and materials that make a high energy technological aka industrial society possible.We will return to the world made by hand a scarcity environment and the Price system can function in its intended environment of scarcity.
The politicians and economists don't have the tools or knowledge to run the society we are quickly leaving behind but maybe they can lead us back to the past without too much chaos. Happy landing.

Ah, Meat Eater, it sounds like even cannibalism is coming back! Of course, metaphorically, it probably never left...

Yes, I remember it. It has stuck with me ever since.

Readers of these comments will want to
see "America - The Grim Truth' over at
Club Orlov, http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/.

It's about why you shouldn't even want
to live here. The question remains, for
me at least, where else is better?

Good post... Yeah, a lot of food is getting expensive - like those $1.59 bags of potato chips that contain more air than chips.

Well aren't you the smug little smarm this morning.

The "recovery" has happened - only at the top levels. In other countries people would be taking to the streets protesting about this - however, here in this country, we discuss idiotic things only and even in private discussions cannot bring ourselves to talk about our financial situations as individuals or the direction this country is taking towards a group of "haves" and "have nots."

As to the "chicken-based" harness economy.... I don't really see gardening working for people. Look at already been poor countries and they don't seem to be doing a knock up job of it to feed themselves. Without Lowes garden center, no American could so much as grow a bag of Cheese Its.
www.schwerpunkter.wordpress.com

Tex81, I may be wrong, but from the bad paper in the system and Bernanke's idea to buy back US debt with printed money, I don't think the Fed knows what to do...aside from printing more money.

The scariest part of JHK's column:

"My guess is the beginning of hoarding on the grand scale, as nations slowly wake to the reality of the world production peak, and scramble to max out their tank-farm capacity."

This is China's game for now, with more than oil. Meanwhile, still-employed US suburbanites who cannot even mend a seam in clothing from Stein Mart or fix a broken window dream of the Good Times coming back so s/he can move up from a Tahoe to a Suburban.

Americans won't wake up to anything until states begin to default on their debts. Then the sorts of problems we see in the Euro-zone will be right at our doors. And yes, it will take more than gardening to get us out of that nastiness.

Just a rare post from me in nola...all comlimentary to JHK and his faithful minions of weekly commenters as well... Can't tell you how much both big slide and witch of hebron entertained and thrilled me...especially the latter...although the number of JHK followers seems sinfully small considering his track record...being able to read the Monday blog every week myself gives me such comfort that I am able to sustain enough personal hope to battle on in the lonely struggle to Regain the mission outlined by JFK in his Innaugual speech of January 1961....which I still read weekly... When the gluttony and plundering of the world finally runs it's course.. Perhaps then we can resume the mssion... That speech by JFK should be memorized by schoolchildren and adults everywhere as someday in the distant future it will be recognized as the greatest in history... His murder in Dallas was clearly the turning point in the lives of all of us and yet no patriot has yet emerged to punish the well known conspirators... Unless and until that happens the trumpet will not sound and the rocky trip towards the abyss will contnue... I will live mostly in the world made by hand fantasyland and hope JHK can sustain that world with more books to keep the hope alive... Thanks JHK for all you have done and all yu will do to light a candle as we descend further into darkness.. GG 63 in NOLA

Couldn't agree more with budzwiser's comments. Anyone with any direct knowledge of rural, "sustainable", agriculture-based communities knows what a harsh, difficult life this usually is for the people involved--especially in a climate like upstate New York where Jim lives. We should do whatever we can to avoid this being America's future.

We've been living on a 15 acre farm these past 10 years and my only regret is that I didn't do it 20 years earlier. We've 15 chickens in the freezer, 600 pounds of potatoes, jam, pickles,garlic in the root cellar. After unloading a truck load of fresh cut firewood for next winter I pointed at it and told my wife,"that is true wealth". While planting 5300 bulbs of garlic this past fall some friends drove by on their 25k Harley motorcycle and beeped, I thought to myself if they had a farm they wouldn't need and expensive toy to find something to do with their "leisure" time. Regardless of whether this life choice is necessary for the future or not it is very fulfilling.

Hey Jim,

Have you noticed, I'm sure you have at all the attention Peak Oil is getting on the Web lately, more than usual. Zero Hedge had a post about the Fourth Turning, and Peak Oil was part of that. Max Keiser has been doing post too, you where in one of his videos. Of course Chris Martenson and Nicole Foss too.

Also, via the Wikileaks site, which is now mirrored across the globe, I was reading about the Saudi's and how they are looking into alt NRG to run their (sand) kingdom. I think that says a lot.

Those people who think Peak Oil is a hoax, will be the first to go, since they did not plan. The same holds true for those who are buying these recovery B.S.

Finally, Crash JP Morgan Buy Silver -- http://maxkeiser.com/

Sounds great. Something I have been thinking about and presently planning.

Here ya go Dao:

"As I said James Kunstler has a way for words. However, it was one of the comments to this week’s article that really grabbed my attention. The comment referred to a story that was told by Christopher Lawford, as reported in the Wall Street Journal on October 27, 2008, of musings made by his uncle, Teddy Kennedy, at a family gathering shortly before Kennedy’s death. The story is as follows:

“Ted Kennedy and a few family members had gathered one night and were having a drink in Mr. Lawford’s mother’s apartment in Manhattan. Teddy was expansive. If he hadn’t gone into politics he would have been an opera singer, he told them, and visited small Italian villages and had pasta every day for lunch. “Singing at la Scala in front of three thousand people throwing flowers at you. Then going out for dinner and having more pasta.” Everyone was laughing. Then, writes Mr. Lawford, Teddy “took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. ‘I’m glad I’m not going to be around when you guys are my age.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.’ ”

Mr. Lawford continued, “The statement hung there, suspended in the realm of ‘maybe we shouldn’t go there.’ Nobody wanted to touch it. After a few moments of heavy silence, my uncle moved on.”

Lawford thought his uncle might be referring to their family–that it might “fall apart.” But reading, one gets the strong impression Teddy Kennedy was not talking about his family but about . . . the whole ball of wax, the impossible nature of everything, the realities so daunting it seems the very system is off the tracks.

And–forgive me–I thought: If even Teddy knows . . .”"

What we deserve, seldom, if ever, has anything to do with what we get in this world.

I agree with Budizwizer.

As someone who's been reading JHK for 5 years, I must say I suspect that he knows all this "gardening" talk is BS.

The ONLY way that kind of back-to-1810 plan would work is if lots of people died first. Millions, billions, who knows.

Modern man is a weak, utterly fragile and lost herd creature. We rejected eugenics and embraced its polar opposite, long before I was born. The exceptions aren't numerous enough to upset that fact.

Besides, how the F would we even do it? How could "sustainable gardening" scale up to supply hundreds-of-millions-of-people's food? How would we preserve food, without plastic, refrigeration, etc? Like I said, I think JHK "knows better", as he likes to say, but his message would probably be completely ignored (instead of generally ignored) if he told the truth about the ugliness headed our collective way.

I'm 26 years old, and I can tell you with 100% certainty my generation will not willingly "power down" and down scale our consumer lifestyles. Not after a lifetime of seeing our parents spend, spend, spend on the latest consumer bullshit.

*I* would gladly work towards that end, but I am not typical of young people. Hell, we're 2.5 years into the collapse, and most people are still blissfully unaware of it.

Helen, I'm just tired of reading all the posts by people who do nothing but bitch, whine and stew about things when they are their own worst enemies. 90% of the people in trouble put themselves in harm's way. They thought their home was a ATM or they didn't buckle down when they should have or they chose to have too many kids or they spent money unwisely, etc. And now they are in the deep doo-doo. It's not that I don't see their situation as a tragedy. But I don't believe any of us owe the people who blew it a damn thing. I do think we owe the aged, the infirm and the mentally ill a helping hand. That doesn't include women who breed with men who won't marry them, corporate welfare queens and able-bodied people who simply refuse to take a job they think is "beneath them".

Meateater (see comment 5) is such a low life. He somehow thinks that he is isolated from the problems of society just because he worked 70 hours a week and didn't use debt. If his reasoning wasn't so pathetic one would have to laugh or vomit. Just try and live without a functioning society. And if you really like a small government and have to depend on yourself for everything then try Somalia. No taxes to pay there and no fancy bureaucrats, central bankers or wall street types. I wonder how well that carnivore Meateater would do? Or would he just be an "appy" for the locals.

Government wants to quash the whole grow-your-own food idea via Senate Bill S510. We will be cultivating our tomato plants in our closets like pot plants...

Bernanke is a man that has one idea - deflation. He's been banging that drum for a decade. And he has one tool - the printing press (or its electronic equivalent). He's been turning that crank relentlessly. It's as if that's all he knows. The Fed whether under Greenspan or Bernanke has been doing one thing - printing money and printing money and printing money - for 15 years.

Deflation is a figment of Ben's fevered imagination. There is none. There won't be (in my humble opinion). There is no contraction of the money supply. There was a credit contraction but there had to be because for years lending was the province of madmen.

The decrease in consumer prices for goods made in China has been more than offset by increases in prices for goods and services made and provided in the US. You have had consistent INFLATION. And huge asset price bubbles and busts and wild speculation and fraud and theft on a cosmic scale.

I saw the interview and I noticed the lip. Maybe you're right... he "knows". Or maybe Ben's scared shitless because he knows he's in way over his head or maybe he just doesn't have the stones for the job. Maybe what Ben really wants is to be an obscure, pipe smoking college professor in leafy New England where he can do his lectures, publish his papers, rake his lawn and walk his dog.

Jimbo: Right on as usual. The trick is how not to be just another victim.
At The Nothing Store we have a strategy that works for us.
Any maybe for you as well.

I don't think Kunstler is advocating "single-handed attempts" to restore anything. My impression is that he advocates more community based production for sustainability. Kunstler is not alone in pointing out lack of thermodynamically and economically viable alternatives to petroleum. Perhaps some technology will save us, but I'm learning to garden and encouraging others to do the same, just in case. I read somewhere that the Soviets were able to produce a lot of food in local garden plots in the period after the collapse of the commune farm system. Boy, that's actually quite comforting.

I agree "you are going to need regional or local power sources and industrial capacity". Where I live in Southern Ontario, we are reactivating our local dam. It will help, but really the biggest help should come from conservation. It is frustrating to observe the outlandish Christmas light displays going up and burning coal from dusk onwards. As the US Secretary of Engergy, Steven Chu, remarked (I'm paraphrasing) engergy conservation is not low hanging fruit, it's the fruit already on the ground. Too many people just don't get it.

Local power production and encouraging community gardening are not mutually exclusive. Gardening is not "bullshit".

Interesting what you say re Germany. If true, then the day of the Euro is numbered.
The day of the dollar is already over.
So, whats next, what takes its place? Probably not little pieces of paper with someones picture on it. No, probably cold, hard metal, such as gold. I know Asoka, its only a pretty metal, but place a chunk in front of just about anybody but you (and even you I think), and you will see the gold lust emerge, its as old as mankind. So while the US has been giving everyone little pieces of paper, the smart ones out there (the Saudis) have been bringing them back here and exchanging them for the pretty, shiny metal that used to be in Ft. Knox. I bet there isn't a single gold bar left in there.
You can also bet that the smart Elites here don't trust in little pieces of paper either, and probably have nice caches of gold, silver and jewels stashed away for the future.
For those of us at the bottom of the totem pole, well, if you have no material things to barter, and no physical skill set to offer, well, your nice, fat neighbor might start looking pretty tasty....
Or, you can get the hell out of the US, you might have a decent chance of getting thru whats coming.
Something has gotta give, things there just can't keep on the way they are going now in the USA.
Watch out, the dung is hitting the wind turbines pretty soon...
Its going to be one heckava mess...
Dee

JHK, good column this week.

Actually you did use the word "gardening"

Start reading up on gardening and harness repair. Learn how to fix a pair of shoes.

... and I agree with what cogdis and you both say about gardening.

Hi Jim, glad to see that you read these comments on occasion. Have you ever thought about publishing them, adding your own commentary on the commentary? It would be quite interesting. You have years of stuff to work with too, leaving out the mad rantings of such as Vlad, treebeard or SEB. But even they might be an interesting glimpse into the US psyche.

Ciao, Dee J.

Oh, you will.

Paid in chickens? Sue Lowden is a prophet! :-D

It is both fascinating and horrifying to watching the ridiculous dance being played out in Washington. Benny B's offhanded remark on 60 Minutes about it being 4-5 years before he expects to see "regular" levels of unemployment, was one of the first honest answers I have heard in a long while.

Jim your closing comment struck me when you talked about getting paid in chickens. It is true that when the SHTF, food will become a very valuable commodity. I suggest we all think about having some tasty long-term food stored away for emergencies. Check out my page http://zevpaiss.myefoods.com for a cleaver way to put some food away while helping your friends do the same.

Ckeck out Senator Sanders speech on the Senate floor. I am surprised that the powers that be have not assassinated him.

This Economy's Winners and Losers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIfEw1V8_Ls&feature=player_embedded

The nation and world are crumbling around average people, while the richest flim-flam artists get rewarded by the Fed and the government. Keep the top 5-10% engorged with socialized capital funding, while the rest walk around with their heads hanging low acting like it is their fault and they don't deserve to take it back from the conartists who destroyed it in the first place.

The rest don't deserve to be helped, yet the richest among us have demanded government support to keep up with their luxury car, and country club monthly payments, as well as Harvard tuition payments for their bratty brats.

We get what we deserve if we don't get angry and demand to take it back from the cons and thieves and royalists who stole it in the first place.

Yes, we have commodity manipulation because housing prices can no longer be manipulated by the Fed's Bada Bing Bernanke and Goony Geithner.

The Sheeple, who listen to their Pied Pipers: Beck, who will get a cool million plus in tax relief, and Rush, who gets some too, are just too stupid to realize the evangelical flim-flam they have been fed is killing them. These jerks are their death panel. They continue to believe it is their fault and therefore, don't believe they deserve their fair share back, as well.

Sharpen up that garden shovel and hoe and get ready for a spring planting.

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

If you look around at corn-fed, SUV-driving, dumb-as-rocks Americans, you may despair.

But I remember the 70s, when Americans turned off lights, put on sweaters, and drove 55mph.

It's all in the propaganda we're fed.

Damn right we need to learn to grow food without oil. They did it in Cuba. We can do it here.


To disregard the ability to feed ourselves as the number one job of any society, hell, any living creature, just shows the disconnect that this mechanized, militarized, plastic-food-wrapped eating, truly bizarre society has devolved to.

Nothing delivers the concentrated, easily shipped energy of oil.

Too bad we're running out.

Now we have to deal with it.

It will involve many people getting involved in low-tech food production.

don't know if anyone caught this account of the irish meltdown:

Facing Starvation - The Sad Plight of Ireland's Abandoned Horses
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,730796,00.html

"This has been driving me nuts."

Peggy Noonan wrote about it:

"Do people fear the wheels are coming off the trolley? Is this fear widespread? A few weeks ago I was reading Christopher Lawford's lovely, candid and affectionate remembrance of growing up in a particular time and place with a particular family, the Kennedys, circa roughly 1950-2000. It's called "Symptoms of Withdrawal." At the end he quotes his Uncle Teddy. Christopher, Ted Kennedy and a few family members had gathered one night and were having a drink in Mr. Lawford's mother's apartment in Manhattan. Teddy was expansive. If he hadn't gone into politics he would have been an opera singer, he told them, and visited small Italian villages and had pasta every day for lunch. "Singing at la Scala in front of three thousand people throwing flowers at you. Then going out for dinner and having more pasta." Everyone was laughing. Then, writes Mr. Lawford, Teddy "took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. 'I'm glad I'm not going to be around when you guys are my age.' I asked him why, and he said, 'Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.' "

Mr. Lawford continued, "The statement hung there, suspended in the realm of 'maybe we shouldn't go there.' Nobody wanted to touch it. After a few moments of heavy silence, my uncle moved on."

Lawford thought his uncle might be referring to their family--that it might "fall apart." But reading, one gets the strong impression Teddy Kennedy was not talking about his family but about . . . the whole ball of wax, the impossible nature of everything, the realities so daunting it seems the very system is off the tracks.

And--forgive me--I thought: If even Teddy knows . . ."

http://messianicdruid.blogspot.com/2005/10/separate-peace-indeed.html

Exactly.

Meateater is proudly standing on the upper deck of the Titanic, self-sufficient and debt free.

Look around at our complex society. Do you really think that you are not plugged-in? Not dependent on the work of strangers?

The person who works at your water supply, making sure that when you turn on your tap, water comes out, mostly clean and disease-free, is more important to your life than the person who manages your 401K.

We need to work to make sure that the water people stay employed. The best way to do that is to let the fund managers and military contractors go.

I've seen heart-breaking news accounts of abandoned dogs, locked into cages at the animal shelters, waiting for their humans to come get them out.

I've heard that people are abandoning horses here in the US, also.

One of my co-workers told me that Kentucky has a lot of them.

Don't worry - they will die right on schedule. Did you miss that part of Kunstler's novel "A World Made by Hand"? The point is not to be one of them. Save yourself, your family, and your friends. Only then if you have anything left, can you be of service to your community.

Quite a naïve post there, Meateater. A society of “haves” enveloped by a society of “have-nots”, both in severity and ever-increasing numbers, will more and more resemble the worst of what Mexico currently represents. In other words, the worker you just paid with a chicken might just become your future worst nightmare.

The kidnappings that one reads about in Mexico are not simply drug related; many of the ransom demands are a direct result of economic stratification. Particularly vulnerable are the former neighbors and countrymen who went north to earn a little grub and returned with ostentatious displays of wealth in front of the downtrodden.

Why is the aforementioned reality so hard to figure out for some? I know, I know…you’re “armed and dangerous”.

Good luck with that buddy. You might as well be holstering a boomerang.

Oh yes - the same Teddy who opened the door to massive third world immigration. Even now we get 100,000 new LEGAL immigrants per month. How on Earth could we recover at that rate - even if recovery were possible? Between them and the tens of millions of illegals - well ever see those old clips of men in bowler hats waiting patiently in line during the Great Depression? It's not going to be nice and orderly like that this time. And Ted is one of the main guys to thank for the coming chaos. And He knew it was all going to come down but he still let them in anyway. Like Pat Buchanon said about Churchill: he was a great man but at the price of his country's greatness. Just so, all Ted cared about was his political position as the leader of the Democrats and their politics of the mob. The bigger the mob, the more power.

how do you say "soylent green" in spanish ?

Hey Bearcat:

Couldn't agree more with budzwiser's comments. Anyone with any direct knowledge of rural, "sustainable", agriculture-based communities knows what a harsh, difficult life this usually is for the people involved--especially in a climate like upstate New York where Jim lives. We should do whatever we can to avoid this being America's future.

As one friend of mine who studies these things put
it many years ago;

The future is small villages and towns, connected within a days walk to some smaller cities, all supported by their direct land base.
This model worked for many thousands of years, it works now. It can work with billions of people, it can work with many millions, or it can work with a few thousand, or fewer,

But it is the future.

The future,
ready or not, here it comes.

Chickens this, chickens that. Do a little research people, RABBITS is the way to go!

CynicalOne, MesianicDruid, and anybody else who posts those paragraphs, THANK YOU. That has been driving me up a wall, for ages...

My father retired to a less-developed area of outer Cape Cod, and I have sat with him on a beach, in Hyannis, called Kalmus. It is a beautiful spot to watch the many boats, going in and out of the old harbor. How sad to think of Ted Kennedy, who played as a child on that very beach, and who was so integral a part of Camelot, saying such hopeless things, looking forward. We cannot know the exact shape of the curve that the economy will trace, as it arcs ever downward, but of its broad outlines there surely can be no question.

DeeJones wrote:
"... You have years of stuff to work with too, leaving out the mad rantings of such as Vlad, treebeard or SEB."

Do not pick on me.

Don't be too tough on your fellow Americans. Non Americans aren't that bright either.

Ah Cuba. Viva la revolucion! My parents went there on holidays a while ago. My mother came back with a nasty stomach bug that plagued her for about four months.

Fidel has a lot of admirers this side of the border, myself not included. But to be fair there were some successes. Like what? Answer: sports, health care and education. And where did it fail? Answer: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Did you hear the story about Cuban mothers that gave their kids a banana or boiled egg to eat for lunch at school? The story (this is going back a few years) was that the bananas, boiled aggs etc were confiscated by school officials. The reason? Not all kids were provided these extras by their mothers. The mothers' answer to this? The schools promised to feed the kids at lunch and the schools were not feeding the kids. All they were getting for lunch was a plate of beans. Not enough. So it's up to the mothers to feed their offspring. As for this business about equality, the kids of communist party officials get chaperoned around by car and eat stuff an ordinary kid can't dream of so enough of that equality bollocks.

Do I know this story is true? No. Does it have the ring of truth? It's possible.

Is this story relevant to your point? Only in a general way. I wouldn't use Cuba as an example for anything except as a totally and utterly failed experiment which even Fidel admits doesn't work. Cuba is a craphole run by goons. People there are in a bad way.

But if you want to dismantle the network of liars and thieves collectively known as "Wall Street" I'm with you there. The sooner the better.

So True and Thank You for saying it. I wanted to in a different way, but held back.

We get what we deserve if we don't get angry and demand to take it back from the cons and thieves and royalists who stole it in the first place.

Well put. But people aren't standing up for themselves, it's very frustrating and Tragic.

Buck Stud, you're missing the point. There will ALWAYS be have and have-nots. I worked hard to be a "have". And I have prepared for the inevitable deterioration of this society down to where it hopefully won't go: chaos. (Country place with plenty of water, gardens, several years of propane in storage, tools, etc. along with the things I learned during my years in the U.S. Marine Corps.) Working hard and preparing for hard times used to be called the America way. I think it's BS when people swoon over the idea of feeding nearly 300 Million Americans with gardening, or green farming, or local businesses, etc. That is a fantasy. We ALL need to have a broad based economy that actually produces things by people with real jobs. Unfortunately the politicians in this country were bought and paid for a long time ago and now the result we see is a destroyed economy with millions of people suffering horribly. However, it just wasn't that damn hard to see what was coming and make preparations for what is happening now and what will be happening in the years to come. I made the right choices and that doesn't make me special. It just makes me smarter and obviously in better shape than the people who didn't pay the price over the years they now know they should have paid. And, no, I'm not talking about people who are old, sick or helpless due to no fault of their own. But I don't include people in those categories who simply whizzed off years of earning power and now find themselves up shit creek. I hope you and your family are fine. I want everybody to be fine...I just know that isn't true with so very many people. Gotta go. Have a nice day. And remember: this country can still turn itself around if enough people would do the right thing.

The problem, simply put, is that our manufacturing base has been decimated, and none of our politicians has a clue about getting them back, or even show any interest in doing so. Massive cuts in our world-wide highest corporate taxes would be a logical first step, but will never be done due to the incessant babbling of the leftist loons in congress. For over 20 years our manufacturing has been transferring, or been transferred, overseas, first to Mexico, then Asia, and finally China. All the MBA's and their like produce not one dollar of real wealth, only more parasites for the transfer of existing wealth. With the barring of any drilling in the gulf for 7 years, comrade Hussein has perhaps struck the mortal blow to his hated oppressor, America. This while he loans, or gives, $2,000,000,000 to Petrobras of Brazil, which his marxist mentor, George Soros, has a large stake in, for drilling in deeper water further out in the Atlantic. No, Americans will not collectively start victory gardens and raise chickens to survive. More are into stealing and plundering as taught them by our government. It will require extreme measures to survive the coming temptest, and calling the police after the crime will not suffice.

I could never read the Canticle for some reason - even though I wanted to like it. I had more luck with Christopher's "Sword of the Spirit" trilogy.

I heard that Fran Leibowitz and Susan Sontag were lovers. Such sterile bondings can't have much place in the New Dark Age. Fertility will again be prized due to the high mortality rate. Women like these will probably be seen as witches if they do not desist. Most will and will do their duty however so grudgingly - no doubt making their husbands lives a living hell in the process. There is something to be said after all for the lovely groves of Lesbos. Sappho was a right on lady! How do you think the people of Lesbos feel about all this? Ever think of that?

I would give anything to get out of cubicle hell and work in the fresh air on a farm. I actually enjoy physical labor much more than sitting on my ass all day getting eyestrain. It's just hard to make a living doing it without money or the right connections. If anyone has any suggestions, I think we'd all appreciate it. I think the popularity of The World made by Hand stems from the fact that a lot of us are unsatisfied with this cubicle slavery, and long for a world where we're not alienated from work, where we control our fates and know we'll be as useful to society tomorrow as today.

It is a commonly accepted fact that people today actually spend much less income on food than people did in the past eras. Historically, the economists tell us that the percent of our incomes spent on foodstuffs has been consistently falling throughout the twentieth century. Economists tell us that this is due to much more efficient agriculture. This is code for kicking all the farmers and land workers out of their jobs and replacing them with fossil fuels. This was good news to economists, since the money that we weren't spending on foodstuffs we could spend on other stuff, which was mainly cars, houses, electronic doodads from the Pacific Rim, and cheap plastic crud imported from China. Economists proclaimed we were all getting richer by this development, and out economy was expanding. What was also expanding was our waistlines.

This is extremely deceptive, however, as what they bought before World War 2 was food, whereas what we buy is "food". People used to buy free-range chicken and eggs, grass-fed beef, fresh, seasonal vegetables, artisan cheese, fruits, milk, whole wheat bakery-produced bread etc. Before the Interstate highway system went in , most of these were relatively local. Today we buy waxy fruits and vegetables grown especially not to decay, thus devoid of flavor and nutrients, genetically modified crops, mass-produced loaves of processed white bread, antibiotic laden corn-fed CFO meat, pasteurized BGH processed milk, chicken and eggs from overcrowded dungeons, cheez, and of course massive amounts of corn-syrup drenched "processed" foods. To an economist there is no distinction however, eggs are eggs, beef is beef, and a head of lettuce is a head of lettuce. My guess is if you actually made an apples-to-apples comparison between the quality of food then, and food of comparable quality today which can be purchased at local co-ops and high-end groceries like Whole Foods you find the cost of food (not "food") to be as high as it has ever been, if not much higher. I'm amazed when people complain that healthy food costs too much while they have plenty to spend on cable television and World of Warcraft subscriptions.

The "cheapness" of food thanks to oil has masked and legitimized the thirty-plus years of falling actual wages. Food is cheap, so why pay extra? After all, no one in America is starving - the poor are even overweight! What a great country! Sadly, even the cheap food is getting unaffordable due to unemployment and falling incomes. People are turning to food banks to make ends meet in unprecedented numbers, but what food banks sell are mainly donated "nonperishable" items, meaning processed to the point of unrecognizability. This "food" is guaranteed to lead to all sorts of health problems and morbidity, leading to an increasingly unhealthy population. With healthcare already unaffordable, however, the new poor have no other option but a lifetime of ill-health, drug dependence, and hospital debt, that is, if they're not dying on the streets. The next time you hear about the cost of food, ponder that.

Budizwiser, you say that small farms can't make it without regional or local power supply and industrial capacity. Then why is it that small farms made if for hundreds of years in many countries without these things?

Sorry, Bearcat, but I'm afraid a harsh, difficult life is just what we are going to get. And probably what we deserve.

Sustainable gardening/farming doesn't have to supply hundreds of millions of peoples' food - it only has to supply your family's food. It's just that hundreds of millions of people would need to do it, instead of sitting on their asses and expecting other people to do it for them.

Speaking of jobs, there will be a mind-boggling number of jobs available for every able-bodied man, woman and child - yes, even children, in the not too distant future. Steady employment from dawn to dusk, every day of the week. Just not the kind of work most Americans are used to these days. And certainly not with the pay scales and benefits they are used to. This goes for the world at large, too, except, of course for the few elites who will continue to live in some degree of luxury. It’s the same old story.

Many people are throwing their arms up and blaming the government or whatever entity is handy for the state of the economy and the higher unemployment numbers we are seeing. Many are saying the "world is ending" or "will end soon" for whatever reasons, political, social or religious unless things are “straightened out” and an economic “recovery” occurs.

The world is not ending. Not anytime soon. The world is changing, however, as it always has and always will.

The economy is not "recovering" but instead is changing. It is re-adjusting itself from a unique, one-time blip of unprecedented abundance back to the "normal" baseline of constrained resources where it has dwelt from the beginning of civilization and likely will dwell for the indefinite future.

As we well know, this short blip of a couple of hundred years or so was fueled by cheap energy, namely coal and oil, that were mined from the earth until most all the easy-to-get-to stuff was removed, for good. The same goes for many ores, minerals and other commodities, even fresh water. The oil, coal, gas, minerals and much of the fresh water were "fossil" items that are not replenished on a time scale of human life spans or thousands of human life spans. When it is gone, it is for all aims and purposes gone for good. Even though much may remain, it will not be cost effective or easy to get at. At some point it takes more energy to extract the resource than the energy content of the resource. Then the party is over.

So in the not-too-distant future we will be back where our ancestors were, living, working and dying in the "energy budget" of the sun. It's back to mills powered by water or wind and a lot more horse power (literally) and manpower going into food production and everything else. But life will go on.

Nuclear technology coupled with "solar power" in all its direct and indirect forms (photovoltaic, wind turbines, hydro, etc) may keep the lights on for a while and promote some semblance of present technology, at least for communication, data processing and lighting. Nuclear accidents may spoil some areas though when they occur, making them uninhabitable for a long period of time. Also with oil, gas and coal in short supply it may prove hard to even keep nuke plants running or anything else running for that matter that resembles what we have gotten used to.

Roads will greatly contract in quality, quantity and size as asphalt becomes costly and increasingly scarce. Air travel will practically go away. Eventually our old friend the railway will take up a lot of the slack.

Food won't be enough for sure in the constrained world of the near future so a lot of folks will have to starve. That is most unfortunate and that is an understatement, for sure. Still, the world before the cheap energy binge could only support around 500 million people and likely that number will be what can be supported after the cheap energy binge and readjustment is completed. So nine out of ten people will have to bite the dust. That won’t be a pretty site. Naturally, as history has shown, the distribution of survivors will not be equitable.

What will happen to the governments of the world will be of most interest (or of most concern). It is doubtful these changes in the near future will go down good with a lot of people, especially those who find themselves on the losing end of the population squeeze mentioned above. Naturally, those powers that can will likely go after what oil and other resources remain, by whatever degree of force they deem necessary. The governments of the world will arrive at a "final solution" one way or another. That outcome may not be very nice. I hope some semblance of democracy and freedom survives for those who do survive.

So the world is changing and has been changing since the dawn of civilization and even before that. Somehow going down (economically) is not as much fun as going up but down we must go; it seems, in order to meet the "resource budget" of the future. It's a closed system mate and we must life inside of it. Thermodynamics is a strict master.

Jim, it looks like you have been on the right track for a long time. Maybe someday "they" will wake up and start planning for our “back to normal” future - our future without cheap fossil fuels. Yep, rails would be a great place to start. Looking back to the nineteenth century, they chose streetcars and railways for good reason. Ditto for local manufacturing and food production. They fit the energy budget of the time.

There will a be mind boggling number of jobs for everyone in the near future. Grab a pickaxe or shovel and line up!

So here we go, like it or not, back to the future! Bon Voyage...

C A B R A 1 0 8 0

The “feedback loop” from having overpopulated beyond sustainability is now uncoiling. Sorry folks, no amount of hand-wringing or planning can stave off a great die-off.

Here in America – being less crowded (at least on a national scale) – our prospects are better than most places on earth, but even at that there’s little certainty for anyone no matter how careful the planning. The cresting wave will bear increasing unplanned contingencies. Hence, expect behaviors reflecting hysteria.

The script is already written, not just in mathematic terms of ratios (population to resource) but also in terms of human behavior. Seems our big neo-cortex brain species has been endowed with great capacity for denial in face of circumstances and forces that confound our capacity to understand or cope. Our conceptual capability -- gave us the concept of time -- necessarily created a codependency: able to apprehend countless future threats demanded ability to craft placating interventions lest we simply succumb in immobilizing depression. This is why we have people of certain religious beliefs wearing in 21st century cities garb dating centuries back and completely impractical for modern circumstances.

Alas, the last remaining supporting prop is about to collapse under us. No different from human societies throughout history America is incapable of surrendering its most reassuring myths, choosing instead to go on believing that it is protected by its gods – capitalism and American exceptionalism. Not only can we save ourselves, we can save the world. Oh my!

Great post.

Have been doing a bit of what is suggested here and it has been keeping me busy.

We have been collecting canning jars for years, and this past summer put in two new gardens and began using them. Still learning what grows well here, so only used half the jars (about 24 dz) this year. Learned that ten year old lids don't work too well.

Built a permanent pen for the geese because electronet does not work in the snow.

Put two dozen chickens in the freezer and canned a few also, to practice for long power outages. Will try some canning on the woodstove soon, and if that works will consider an outdoor stove to allow summer canning. Still will have enough chickens left for a dozen + eggs a day, but haven't found anybody willing to work for chicken (or eggs) yet!

Got twenty cords of tree length drying on the north side of the field (~6 acre)we cleared this summer. Havent decided yet whether to rent an excavator to bury the stumps and till it, or buy fence and goats to eat the tree sprouts till the stumps rot. Either way planning the next field now. Got to go out soon and start next years woodpile.

Others may be hoarding fuel, i am stocking up! While horses and oxen may be the sustainable future, it'll be awhile till i have enough land cleared to support them. Meanwhile got to feed the tractor to clear the snow, log, till and make "roads", among other things.

If we don't have a financial collapse first, then we get peak oil. Either way, fuel becomes unaffordable or rationed for most. I don't think the Chinese will stop hoarding oil even if they stop building empty cities to keep their workers busy. Might want to buy a spare tank! Propane lasts forever and does not need preservative. Deisel lasts quite well with Pri-D. Gasoline is a problem, so avoid where possible.

"I'm 26 years old, and I can tell you with 100% certainty my generation will not willingly "power down" and down scale our consumer lifestyles. Not after a lifetime of seeing our parents spend, spend, spend on the latest consumer bullshit." -WTF

Perhaps most of your generation is not interested in energy descent; but energy descent is [most assuredly] interested in them.

*I* would gladly work towards that end, but I am not typical of young people. Hell, we're 2.5 years into the collapse, and most people are still blissfully unaware of it.

As an aside to that point, I'm finding that having even a small group of like-minded and aware people helps to fend off the feeling that I'm quite alone and quite insane. It's making me feel pretty good, as a matter of fact. Who knew?! ;o)

See this site 12-6-10 1025 AM

To expand on the oft-repeated Kunstler call to Parallel Bar Therapy...

American Short Line Railroad Association (ASLRRA) is a good place for Peak Oil info dissemination to focus because these independent local service rail lines are more customer oriented than the merged Super-Railroads. When the ASLRRA is up to speed on Peaking Oil, the rail savvy people are in place to assist local efforts to rehab the hundreds of critical dormant rail corridors across the USA.

The details of Gen. James A Van Fleet's "Rail Transport And The Winning Of Wars" booklet, circa 1956, warns of homeland attack and folly of dependency on foreign oil imports. Dated in some respects, but Van Fleet's rail doctrine should still be obtained and read carefully as part of the USA rail comeback library. Reformed US Army/Guard RR Operating & Maintenance Battalions, in all the US 50 States -are requisite.

For ALL the 3000+ US County Planning Bureaus, copy of "US Rail Map Atlas" for respective locale is needed to refresh recollection of dormant rail corridor footprint. See spv.co.uk to obtain these regional RR map volumes. Thomas Bros. US City & County Maps circa 1950's and '60s have detailed raqil footprint in metropolitan areas.

"Official GUIDE of the US Railroads" was monthly publication until the VietNam Era. See copies circa 1920-1950 for best compilation of RR names, schedules, maps, etc. Military bases shown in the GUIDE enroute will prove useful when closed bases can be victuals and disaster recovery depots, with rail connection rebuilt. Most bases had rail connections, and warehousing on these now-civilian sites often is situated to suit rail re-connect. Scrape the weeds off in situ rail...

Political lethargy- timid ignorant liberals and aggressive ignorant conservatives must "snap to", and work in their own party caucuses to get the rail programs in front of their constituencies. In truth, going to the party contributors, private individuals and corporate donors must be informed to carry this Railay potato to the table! US Chamber of Commerce is hidebound, probably will require massive urging from Chamber member businesses across the country to get the corporate officers to recognize and verbalize Peak Oil.

Meanwhile, in the Oil Patch... Expect action with Iran to set off Muslim backlash, an oil embargo. US best have the rail program well into discussion and early high priority branchline projects in hands of military rail units ASAP for upgrade to de-minimus freight ops condition. Mormon rail owners like the Union Pacific Executives already know what's a comin; that's why Mormons are in the rail and trucking business... When more organizations are in on the plot, we can get this country moving again!

Keep 'Em Rolling

Great post. It's a fundamental point in the ancient Chinese Political Philosophy: the people will emulate the attitudes and actions of the Great. So if the Elite are swindlers, con-men and fake patriots - what do the people have to look up to? They are left with nothing both physically and morally. So in response, they look out for number one just like the "heroes" of capitalism do. And of course there are the good people who believe the lies of patriotism - that America is the greatest country in the world. Rather than educating them about what is coming, the Elite play them for all they can to keep the supply of cannon fodder and financial marks coming. It's all unspeakably sad; a tragedy of epic proportions.

...soylent verde.

¡es gente!

It's just that hundreds of millions of people would need to do it, instead of sitting on their asses and expecting other people to do it for them.
=======

Yeah Helen, try telling that to my daughter who lives in an apartment in the heart of Manhattan and doesn't even have a sunny kitchen window sill to grow an herb on. Get real will ya!

Sounds like your daughter needs to get real...

"Regardless of whether this life choice is necessary for the future or not it is very fulfilling."

It's necessary. And I totally agree about the fulfillment you find as you retake control of the system, one piece at a time. Especially when you learn how to produce a significant portion of your calories by yourself, without fossil fuel inputs. The naysayers here aren't thinking in novel terms. And since this is a novel problem for us, it probably won't be solved with solutions of the past.

In a nutshell, of the 3 "necessities" of life - food, clothing, and shelter - only one is truly necessary. Food. By definition, as energy supplies wane, food will account for a larger and larger part of the budget. And as it does, more and more people will see the economic advantage of growing some of their own, and most likely the advantage of varying their diet toward foods that are easier to produce on fewer inputs. Perennials basically. And that shouldn't be a shock since it's well known among good environmental accountants that perennial crops are far lower energy than annual ones. In some cases, like long-rotation spruce (90 years) compared to annual hemp or flax for fiber production, the multiplier is astonishing. Something like 90 times more energy efficient. We just don't think in perennial terms anymore because we have access to so much energy.

The food, fiber, and fuel industries have matured as far as they can within the growth paradigm. I agree with that. Now it's time for something completely new.

I expect that by my death - let's say I'm pulling for 60 years from now, 2070 - we will have gone from spending 9% of our national income on food to something closer to 90%. And the number of people working directly in food, fiber, and fuel production will increase to at least 80% of the population.

Doesn't matter who screams otherwise how loud. These trends are already emerging fairly rapidly. As I'm sure you're aware, Noel Bodie.

Congrats on being so self-reliant!

Jim, The global food supplies are stable as of now. Of course there is always a fear that they could run short in the future but with more and more areas growing grain industrially the mantra that we are nearly out of food is growingly a tiresome hype. Now, if you focused upon the economics of food inflation in Asian nations and the infrastructure demands required for food storage and distribution, you'd have more credibility.

See my recent post on "big picture agriculture" on food supply from the twice-annual United Nations report: Global Food Security: Highlights of the November 2010 FAO "Food Outlook"

I can dig it, man!

"And Ted is one of the main guys to thank for the coming chaos."

Yep. I wonder if he grasped that at all - that he was on the list of those who had brought this down on us?

Naaah.

Interesting what ol' Ted had to say. The quote that sticks with me is:

"My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel,
I drive a Mercedes,
My son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover,
but his son will ride a camel."

Rashid bin Saeedal Maktoum, 1912-1990.
Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai.

Here's a commodity that is gaining in value and may offer various kinds of employment opportunities:

http://www.theatlantic.com/food/print/2010/12/why-farmers-are-flocking-to-manure/67292/

Miss Blue! A shout-out to you! I was going to respond to your post at the end of last week, but thought it would get lost in the shuffle of week to week.

Honey, you are not dumb. Sheesh! You remind me of my friends Tom and Elvin. They're all ways going on about how smart I am and how dumb they are. Horse apples! I just read a lot, have a large vocabulary and a talent for remembering useless bits of information. Oh, and I type like the wind. Now known as "keyboarding." However, I can spell worth shit. Mamma tried but no dice. Wish I had a nickel for every time I have to resort to Google for the correct spelling of a word. I'd be one of those tycoons.

But I digress... As I constantly point out to Tom and Elvin, they know how to do really valuable things. They are the ones I call for advice or help with cars, plumbing, electricity, carpentry, etc. Useful things. And, I'm sure you do to. You might not know it, but I'm sure you have important useful talents.

And, a good way to expand your talents is to go to the library. Hopefully, you have one close. Don't be shy. Your tax dollars, either directly or through your rent pay for that library. You own a hunk of it. So, you just walk through those doors with your head held high and think to yourself "Part of this is mine. And, I'm here to claim it."

Most libraries are laid out the same way. Look for non-fiction. 635 or so. All that stuff Trip is always talking about. Plants, gardening, indoors, outdoors and even books that tell you how to run a christmas tree plantation. 637 or so is all the books on animals, pets and farm. Around 640 are things on homesteading, like Carla Emery's book.

The 700's are usually called the "art" section. But that's where you'll find the books on crafts. Everything from weaving to knitting. Who knows why, but sewing stuff is back in the 600. So is soap making and candle making.

If you can't find something, ask a librarian. If she's uppity, just remind yourself that she works for you and just look around for a nice one.

When I'm approaching a new subject I'm curious about, sometimes I start with kids books. They use the same numbering system. They may be mixed in with the adult non-fiction, or they may be separated out. Different from library to library.

If you don't want a library card, your still free to pick a book off the shelf and just plop yourself down and read.

The more you read, the more you contribute to this blog (and you do contribute) the smoother the delivery gets. And, read anything! Even Harlequin Romances are put together with fairly well constructed sentences, one after another. And, if you pick up a book you don't like, throw it back and pick another. Sometimes, people think they have to finish a book they started. Nope. The only time the Library Police might show up is if you don't get back something on time. :D . Just joking. As far as I know, there are no "library police." At least, not in the many libraries I worked in. Maybe some security. Rent-a-cops. And they are there just to make it a clean, well-lite, safe place.

Enough. I'll step off the soap box.

Yep permaculture, and willingness to make sacrifices.
Up here in frozen Oregon, many teenagers do not take driver's ed classes anymore- they don't see themselves as ever being a part of active automotive culture, and instead spend their hours and camping out under the local covered bridge away from grandma and playing World of Warcraft off of the library's WIFI. They actually prefer to walk, maybe it whiles away more time and gives a bsic satisfaction. Meanwhile, for those 10 yrs older, the CSA movement has folks signing up to be serfs if only to gain the experience of working the land. These young adults meet up on these farms and make plans for the future. Agrarian plans. Plans that the IRS probably is planning to have a problem with. Me, I'm looking towards an agrarian existance too, though it does not favor the elderly. If your idea of old age is to be "kinged" and move about the checkerboard consuming what's left, then this back to the earth movement is not going to appeal to you unless you put in 70 hours a week loving and training your kids to exist with less who will then will have the means and willingness to take care. Going it alone you better be ready to plant yourself at any time and be happy with it, chalk it up to an investment in tne next generation. The first steps at an amortized payment for reparations.

In my city sacramento/west sacramento
public transit cost $5 or $6 a day a price
most low income people can not readily afford.
The buses are mostly empty except rush hour.
The drivers/etc are overpaid. The buses themselves
are the most expensive conceivable, high tech
with wheelchair lifts/natural gas systems etc.
In 3rd world countries jitneys operate freely in
many countries. In Cuba open air flatbed trucks
go up/down the main boulevards and people hop on
for pennies a ride.I often think about how much
better the poor would be if flatbed trucks went
up/down the streets in Sacramento/people could
jump on/off for a quarter or fifty cents a ride.
Call me a dreamer I'm not the only one.

Right on as usual, Jim. Your recent posts have really captured the current situation and mood "out there" and the jobs picture is something I know about first-hand, as do a lot of others. It is now 23 months since I was laid off the first time (but who's counting)... I've worked a grand total of 5 months in that time. A few of my friends in I.T., also in their 50s, haven't worked at all for 2 years. It really is that bleak. After a while it just takes its toll and wears you down and really a lot of people don't understand unless they're going through it too. Hope? Dwindling. Angry? You bet. Desperate? Getting there.

In the meantime and as a result of all this, I've gone back to music 'cause that's about the only thing left that keeps me going, playing and recording as much as I can right now. For the curious, you can hear the fruits of this most recent period of at: http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/nightsonvenus. No lyrics, it's all instrumental so there's nothing political in there. Will switch over to acoustic piano, guitar and harmonica when the grid goes down... just like in WMBH. This is my new "career" now... along with acquiring gardening/farming skills. Soylent verde indeed!

So planning for a transition actually can be fun, and you can still get the satisfaction shopping for powertools, paint and steel each week if you want to. Throw in a few beers and pizzas, and you got a pretty gentle slope to navigate. The final product being a half step down the energy neediness pyramid.
Check this out: We have been building human powered appliances, such as a washing machine, (wood fired) clothes dryer and LED and human powered lighting. Here's a video of our latest creation:
http://www.youtube.com/user/doktorandom?feature=mhum#p/u/0/LX8Xs6iSTOQ

take care

Neil

Tripp,
I didn't get to respond to your bad doggie scenario; so just a quick note:

Sorry you had to do it... glad you did it!
Here's hoping there's an end to that shit for the remainder of your big-city residence.

Correct link:
http://www.reverbnation.com/nightsonvenus

Good luck to everyone!

Thank you to those who bothered to read my previous scribbling. The topics I am trying to get at is that there is no need for discussions about the coming Clusterfuck(S) to be so far removed from our current realities.

I've tried so many times to point discussions on this web space toward areas of the socio-political-cultural experience that can be substantiated or refuted, so as to result in ideas that have a half a chance of becoming possible.

Last week, I tried to poll the contributors for an accounting of what "we" know for sure and what "we" may think is bull shit about the future Clusterfucks. And my remarks about the silliness of jumping over all the other chaos and arriving at individuals gardening as a result of resource depletion easily begs considerable additional investigation.

What I mean is: What would happen to the status of US food production/availability if US agricultural consumption of petroleum drops to the same levels as consumed in 1995?

How many of you believe that US agricultural petroleum consumption will continue to increase? How closely will agricultural consumption or petroleum mimick total US petroleum consumption?

Shouldn't we first look to these existing systems and their scale and efficiencies before discarding them in wholesale? For instance, shouldn't we steer development of natural-gas powered combines and tractors before we accept gas powered personal passenger vehicles?

Or should we use natural gas to manufacture rakes and shovels for Jim's gardeners?

All I'm getting at is there are plenty of concrete topics to discuss without getting merry mayhem on everything.

PS - I didn't start out as Budizwiser, I came back as that after being kicked out under another monicker..... However, I am as full of shit as anyone else, but I at least I stay on topic.

DEE..Dearest [assuming yr F, im Male]
read 'THEY MUST BE STOPPED' or go to youtube and search 'jihadists in europe'..
its not that 'euros' are finished, its that EUROPE is finished!

capisce?

Lawn service lackeys can do surprisingly well. As growing food becomes more in vogue their experience may give them a leg up in the new economy.

Cyn [luv yr 'handle']:
'...Teddy knows . . '
no he was an architect of our demise...he / they did this to us intentionally [JHK I apologize for conspiracy theory but i gotta call a spade a spade].

"And remember: this country can still turn itself around if enough people would do the right thing."

1. Put a STOP to outsourcing of jobs and cheap imports from China NOW. Even if it means rioting in the streets and piling up all China made stuff in the streets and setting it ablaze to get the message across.

2. Eliminate tax loopholes for multinational corporations doing business in the USA If you do business here, you pay taxes.

3. Favor locally owned businesses over big chains and multinational corporations. We were better off before Wal-mart and all their Chinese junk that ends up broken and in landfills within weeks or months of purchase. Same goes for most businesses these days - need to get back to making things for Americans by Americans (what a concept).

4. Totally scrap the IRS and it's convoluted tax code and replace it with a flat tax. No loopholes, no deductions, no credits, just a fixed percentage of income, all income.

5. More investment in sustainable agriculture and railroads, less investment in highways and air travel (these are on the way out).

C A B R A 1 0 8 0

'what takes its place'..uh..starvation and chaos
[or living way out in the country, far from the southern border]

Thanks, O3! I hope so too.

And on a lighter and more exciting note, my mother read a book recently that scared the you know what out of her, and she's ready to focus on powering down and relocalizing. I've been working on her for almost 2 years now, so small victories here and there are happy times for me!

I told her to hold on, I'm on my way south, quick as I can get there.

Gosh, i had read of the ladies lined up, waiting to buy 1000$ designer handbags!
they really imitated US's worst monetary policies
= suburbanize,inflate,borrow, spend baby spend!

Teddy, yuk........
one bill he sponsored would have made any chaldean in the world a 'refugee' who could move to the USA.
yes we get a million legals, half million anchors, a million illegals.
YIKES..yet when he croaked the [liberal] press made it seem the lady killer was 'a hero, a great american'[yeah right].

Noel, we are about 10 years behind you, but we are planning the same future.

I doubt that the slide will be as steep as JHK depicts and some posters here seem to wish. But getting back to rural life now makes sense. I'd add that you need to build community now, too, in case we do hit a very rough patch.

Knowing my neighbors, local hunters, tradesmen, and merchants while giving back to these folks mark you as less of an outsider. Without that sort of network, no loner, even with a great farm, will be more than a ripe target for the hungry and desperate, if it comes to that.

If it never gets that bad in our lifetimes, we'll at least be content, self-reliant, and off the consumption-treadmill that says you *need* a 25K Harley to be happy.

are you kidding? i hope so, yr smart..HE KNEW!

CASH BOY...
what ive read of cuban is its the MOST racist society going [hate is all they have left!].
a cuban who escaped with the marielito boat said to me 'only the nubians are left'!!
[them and the hookers catering the tourists].
Yet Oliver Stone and Yoko ono went there and practically kissed fidels feet.
and in their 'post ussr welfare state' collapse
most folks lost 20 or 30 pounds.

'The global food supplies are stable as of now'
certainly the population isnt 'stable'..
and food is being turned into fuel.
the PRICE of grains have skyrocketed.

'due to unemployment and falling incomes'
did they extend unemployment for the 99 ers?

I thought of a more concise way to say this.

High energy annual crop agriculture got us in this mess by steadily increasing the amount of humans we could grow on oil. Horticulture can produce just as many, and most say more, calories per acre as fossil fuel agriculture can. But here's the rub, it can do it on a lot less energy. Think about a food crop that only requires as much attention as a holly border does every year. Not much, compared to the machinations of modern petroleum agriculture.

Problem is, you can't just switch to horticulture over night. An apple tree may start fruiting in 4 years, but it will be another 6 before it is really producing enough calories to outcompete an annual crop taking up the same space. So thinking in decades, instead of seasons, is a mindshift we will probably make one-by-one as energy descent grabs us.

And yes, there is an implied population crash in the equation. Sorry. The ecologist in me just doesn't see any way out at this point. Let's just try to stretch the die-off out to generations instead of individuals. Again, perennialize your thoughts.

I would give anything to get out of cubicle hell and work in the fresh air on a farm.

The problem is that currently there is no where to go -- long-term, at least -- unless you have the resources or credit to go out and buy some acreage. This seems to work for some of those who blog here. There is another way but it requires a complete re-thinking of existing economic and social structures. In my opinion, it provides much more freedom and leads to greater resiliency. The answer lies in finding the proper scale for producing goods and services and doing it in a way that is vertically integrated.

'gringo'

Eventually the American people will realize that you can't protect your ass by sticking your head up it.

Another nice week's missive, JHK. You are still on the economics, we see. That's as good a place as any to peer into the spirit of modern America.

I'll freely admit that I come to this blog every week for two reasons. One is the insights and entertainment provided by our host. The other reason is the same two things provided by some (most?) of my fellow thread-riders.

Some of you guys need to keep more firmly in mind that JHK needs to be, first and foremost, an entertainer. I'm guessing he has bills to pay like most of the rest of us. If he ceases to entertain - no matter how accurate he is otherwise - the money stops flowing and he's gotta go pick turnips or something - I mean, he seems to already be recommending that to us now!

And some of you - visibly - need to read one of his books before you go off criticizing him for not being accurate like the Oracle of Delphi, or whatever.

I mean Jon Stewart comes up with a lot of "truthiness," too - but most viewers keep showing up for the entertainment.

And Beck, Limbaugh, etc come up with things, too. And all their viewers know they are entertainers, right? Check that, we could WISH their viewers realized they were entertainers.

Don't know what led me off in the direction of defending JHK this pm. I'm pretty sure he can look out for himself.

But I fell off this cliff and just kept falling.

I'm done for now.

to Cash,ah Cuba,
I would like to see how the US would fare with years of embargo and the limited resources Cuba had to survive with.Ever been to the capitalist paradise of India?

One thing we can say for sure is that this will work itself out one way or another. I doubt people who are willing to grow their own food will acquiesce to starving to death when there is open land nearby. Whether they own it or not.

Soil will have to become accessible to the "lumpenprole" somehow. Have fun with that one.

Bud, I feel your pain.
Trying to drive this blog in any particular direction is much, much worse than herding cats.

It's like herding cats, rabbits, tigers, and a gazelle - all at the same time - naked - using just an ostrich feather.

But to try to help you out and stick with JHK's economic theme for a little while longer.

How about we try to look at things just - simply - in terms of fuel cost. Some sort of rapid collapse is a statistical outlier for this analysis, BTW.

IMO, oil is going up because international markets are devaluing the US$. So what happens when gas goes to $5.00/gallon AND STAYS THERE.
Is that something of what you have in mind??

Then, for one thing, all the folks who follow JHK and advocate rail could do an honest economic analysis of freight and passenger rail.

Those trains still need diesel. I've shown research in other weeks that a freight train is only 2X as efficient as an over the road truck.
If diesel is $3.00/gallon now and is destined to go to $12.00/gallon or more (and then RUN OUT!) - we're still going to be in a World of hurt - even with those pretty trains sitting there out of fuel.

Long term, Tripp has a high likelihood of being correct. Especially about the population crash.
We could factor that into some calculations, too - cold hearted though this sounds.

Do you suppose any of our political/military/aristocratic elites are already performing these calculations. I see ZERO evidence of long range planning.

Can they be that stupid.
Don't answer that; it's rhetorical.

BTW, this wasn't my original choice of a screenname, either - just the first one I managed to get through to my email account.

And Wage, Hancock, Myrtle, Pucker, and several others - I left some thoughts for you toward the end of last night's ramblings.

I'm still learning a lot of things from this thread.
Hope all the rest of you CF'ers are! ;-)

Wow, its cool to hear back from you, Jim. Big fan.

Of course, whoever is left will be growing things to eat. Problems come in with scale, topsoil depletion, water scarcity/pollution, erratic weather patterns of late, etc.

On a completely unrelated note, what do you guys think of Matt Savinar's gradual slide into utter insanity as of late?

I mean, lots of us thought Deepwater Horizon was "it", but his "astrology" stuff (check out today's Latoc update), the double-take inducing grammar mistakes on his updates, the lashing out at his "doom groupies", etc...

Sigh, where to start, first kudos from the hammock to JHK for another tongue lashing of the corrupt elites. Second, a great group of listeners/responders in spite of some bickering and recriminations, hard to not lash out when we are all feeling so impotent at the directions of things.
Third, thank the lucky stars of Matt Savinar that I moved to Costa Rica, settled into a backward rural area and started planting and sharing with my neighbors 15 years ago. I took a lot of steps down the ladder and the future looks tough but way more survivable with each passing day.

ElCentroVerde.org

Ever been to the capitalist paradise of India?
YES!

ive no desire to go to Cuba.

money wise what did it cost to move/ buy [or rent] etc.

todays humor.
i was stuck in front of a TV. 'the price is right' was on. where i was the mexicans and homeless were making a racket. then the show goes to ads..for meds...'if yr on medicare and have diabetes'.
the juxtaposition of this 'lumpen' type show and the ads....it was so weird.

Lady killer is right! When he left that poor, young, innocent woman, Mary Jo Kopechne to die in that car, I knew he was an unmitigated bastard. Was living in Washington D.C. at the time. Years later, when my husband and I lived in Boston, I met his ex wife, Joan Kennedy, through a mutual friend. She was (is?) a recovering alcoholic, and she told me a lot about how mean, vicious, and cruel he could be. Didn't surprise me in the least when years later that drunken imbecile managed to get himself into the papers, behaving like a drunken frat boy at the family's compound in Palm Beach....yeah, thanks a lot for leaving us this freaking mess to clean up with, Ted!

Here are my fears:

There won't be office jobs or agriculture jobs. Even lifelong farmers are still being kicked off the land:

http://www.jsonline.com/business/41294352.html

I'm afraid what Isee happening is that there won't be any economic opportunity at all. Small scale farming for profit will probaly not be economically viable, even with declining supplies. See
">http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3481

This mirrors the Great Depression, where factory jobs disappeared but agriculture jobs did not appear to replace them. Farmers took a hit, too. Even today in countries with high unemployment, there are no jobs in agriculture. Every day all over the world people are being kicked off the land and being forced into slums and shantytowns as agriculture is "modernized".

No, the best way to think of the job situation will be a continuous game of musical chairs, with the jobs as the chairs. For those not able to get to the remaining chairs, they are out of the game forever. And as with muscial chairs, the chairs will never be replaced as long as even one chair is left. Of course, instead of just scrambling for the chairs as in the game, for jobs people will sink themselves into debt, work brutal hours, move, and generally do everything to avaoid being one of the losers. That is now it will play out. The leaders of society will, by definition, have jobs and so can disregard the entire situation, saying nothing can be done and fawning it off as "the new normal". No, I'm starting to suspect that rather than farming, people will be emulating this guy, whether they want to or not:
">http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/28/moneyless-man-dollar_n_697279.html#s131983

Daofirry2 said: "CynicalOne, MesianicDruid, and anybody else who posts those paragraphs, THANK YOU."

I tried to track down the quote in the book Christopher Lawford, but couldn't find it. I did find a blog called "The Business of Life" which refers to an anecdote in a opinion piece by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal which mentions the recollection of Christopher Lawford (not a terribly reliable source) who says in a memoir that Teddy Kennedy said something.

This is hearsay. Kennedy supposedly said: "I'm glad I'm not going to be around when you guys are my age.' I asked him why, and he said, 'Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart."

Even if he actually said it, it's wide open to interpretation. Was Kennedy forseeing peak oil? Endless war? Financial collapse? Human mortality?

We don't know. Why should a blogger, citing an anecdote, from an opinion piece, referring to a memoir of an alcoholic, be a reliable source?

A couple of economic stories for the thread:

I know there are outlet malls all over the US, so I don't know how unique this tale is.

There is a huge one about 15 miles south of my house. That puts it about an hour above Atlanta, proper. Maybe that distance is a factor in that it forces prices lower and attracts more *nuts?*

The thing opened at midnight, Black Friday. My youngest son (23) needed a suitcase and a winter coat for business travel - so he took my wife and they went.

They got back home from their shopping trip at 4:30 a.m., as I was getting up to go deer hunting.
They had never done anything like this shopping trip before - they say they'll never do it again.

This huge mall was packed at 2:00 a.m. to the point of stupidity.
It's got a huge free parking lot - yet people across the road were filling their yards with overflow parking @ $5.00 per car.

Many of the shoppers were Asian.
Many were from out of town.
Many of them FLEW INTO Atlanta, rented a car, drove the 80 miles to the airport - and back - just for the *bargains.*
Many obviously planned to resell their purchases.

It is said that the Polo store at this one mall will do $500,000.00 in business from this one day.

I had no idea that such things went on!

What a crazy Country we have on our hands.

Yo, lumpenprole Asoka, here!

Tripp, I checked out the book MINI-FARMING: SELF-SUFFICIENCY ON 1/4 ACRE by Brett Markham.

Short review: If you want to buy someone a coffee-table book for Christmas, this would be a good choice.

For someone dumb like me (a product of public education and my own laziness) it is a good book because it has more pictures than words: beautiful full-color pictures.

In 21 chapters it covers everything in a VERY basic way. Tripp, you wouldn't gain anything from it.

But, as an overview of the concepts involved in intensive agriculture, it is good. Concepts which are colorfully illustrated and provide some practical instructions. Concepts covered include raised beds, soil composition and maintenance, compost, plant nutrients, time and yield, watering and irrigation, crop proportions and sizing, pest and disease control, seed starting, selecting and saving seed, season extension, fruit trees and vines, and preserving harvests.

It also includes topics of little interest to me right now, like raising chickens for eggs. I don't eat eggs, and don't want to sell them.

But, if you are raising chickens for meat and have to pluck 10 to 15 chickens at a time, there is a chapter on the Markham Farm Chicken Plucker.

It's a lot of basic concepts to cover in only 217 pages. Throw in a lot of color photos and you get an idea of how little text there is.

This has been a mini-book review by comrade lumpenprole Asoka.

:)

ProCon said: "Maybe that distance is a factor in that it forces prices lower and attracts more *nuts?*"

Thanks for sharing those stories!

Here I am seeing full parking lots, customers pushing full shopping carts, shelves all full of merchandise, Christmas lights everywhere, groups of people walking the streets at night singing Christmas carols!

These are ominous signs indicating that the American populace has no idea of the severity of the crisis we are in (for Christ's sake! literally! they are singing Christmas carols!) oblivious that the stinky stuff could hit the fan any day now and this whole economic system could come crashing down instantly, like a fallen house of cards, around the ears of those 80% who still have jobs.

They seem so happy ... so carefree ... so content... singing and laughing in Obama's America, 2011.

Our local factory outlet malls (right on I-5, halfway between Seattle and Portland) just went into receivership. Something about a possible default on a renovation loan they took out a couple of years ago...

Don't gloat, Dude.

Problems are at the margins, statistically.
But pain is pain. And a parent who's having trouble keeping the heat on and food on the table is in pain.

I shared the story because it is so completely outlandish - based on any frame of reference I've ever tried to understand.

And so different from anything useful for the future.

If something/anything would just change noticeably in my perceivable reality for the worse/better/different then I could perhaps lend my own comments of doom to the general consensus here. Lack of - or "peak" oil is but a mundane concept. The planet itself is 6 billion over the limit of sustainability, at the least. That is also the only reason "peak oil" even matters. Mr. Kunstler can grasp at all the straws of symptom he would like but there are plainly far and above too many people on this planet. Wouldn't matter the economic system and/or religious systems in place which are in fact the constructs that have placed an irresponsible value on human life which have led us to the place we are at now as a virus upon this planet. But it will no more be over in the blink of an eye than it began and whether you opt out of the discussion or accept or decline responsibility for what is here, how it is deteriorating will occur with you or without you. But don't expect to see anything different when you wake up tomorrow morning than what you fall asleep to tonight. Let's see it. Bring it on. Will change ever hit you or I in the face? Doubtful. Are things poised to collapse? Of course, but things have been poised to collapse for decades...if you aren't enjoying today, then you're lost anyway. Fascist state, failed society, former world power, lost cause.

Lewis, don't be too worried. Centralia is used to making it through hard times. The downtown area survived the Great Depression, the decline of the timber and mining industries and the construction of Interstate 5.

Didn't Toys"R"Us Express and Coach Factory store recently open in the Centralia outlets? I'm surprised to hear they are in receivership. New stores must not have done their marketplace homework.

"Every day all over the world people are being kicked off the land and being forced into slums and shantytowns as agriculture is "modernized"."

But that was the growth trend. Fewer people using more oil to grow more food for more people per grower. And it's reversing all over the world. There isn't an option really. Rising energy prices aren't going to support the amalgamation trend any further. People will go back into food production or they will starve. Doesn't matter if there's a market for their products or not. They might have to eat the inventory for a while, but I just refuse to believe that people will shrug until they starve to death, or have to knife someone for potatoes.

Of course you are welcome to this "we're all going to die because we can't figure out what nature is demanding of us" scenario if you want it. But all over the world more young people are starting to farm small plots, producing a dazzling array of forgotten but healthier, tastier, more resilient vegetable varieties. I think we forget that everything we grow today is bred for 3 things: uniformity, transportability, and shelf life. Not fighting disease or coping with drought. But those varieties are out there, and they're being grown more every day. The viral industrial model is repeating mistakes of the past under the assumption that it can control nature better this time (see Irish potato famine), and diversified small holdings are the antidote.

No one needs to offer a job in agriculture, forestry, or horticulture. They can be created just fine by any interested party with the gray matter to make it happen.

Earlier there was a lamentation about how the hyper-complex system we use now is the most efficient we can create, but they forget that it breaks down fundamentally without cheap liquid fuel. Or just with rising fuel prices, really, doesn't require a disaster. Then what will all this "efficiency" be worth?

I tend to see this as a world of opportunity for anyone interested in making it through the population keyhole. Count me in! It's tough to gain market share in a world that's getting tighter with its money every day, but ultimately there isn't going to be another choice. We just need to position ourselves to benefit from that knowledge. And quite often that requires a long, slow, incremental, organic approach to reorganizing commerce along shorter food chains, with much less embodied energy.

And that ain't easy for modern Americans. My wife and I are a couple years into it already and just starting to grab a wee bit of market share with gourmet mushrooms and value-added products we produce mostly from our garden. But if nothing else, we're working from home and cutting a lot of energy out of our daily routine.

I don't wish to tap-dance around the world of decline. I want to radically shut down my energy use, so I become a lot less vulnerable, and then rise again in a new kind of economy. To hang on to this one seems like an exercise in futility and frustration to me.

A seamless shift from the old growth world to the new contractionary one will be a rare luxury indeed. Mentally we ought to come to grips with that and prepare ourselves for some pretty lean years ahead. But there's no reason to come here and lament our plight if we aren't going to leave with some advantage of practical and timely knowledge.

Just my thoughts.

ProCon said:
"I shared the story because it is so completely outlandish..."

And I shared mine because it is completely commonplace in every box store in my area, illustrating that the doomster mentality that dominates here is a statistical outlier. I am hearing the Christmas carolers. They are real.

Don't confuse reporting reality with gloating, dude.

Centralia is to far out from the big cities to make going to a Toys"R"Us Express or Coach Factory store for a 'bargain' worthwhile. Not with oil being

11 cents short of $90 a barrel
. Market research does not anticipate things like rising oil prices. That kind of fortune telling costs extra. But then it's always a sunny day for Asoka. If Asoka says Centralia made it through the great depression unscathed I'll believe him.

Lewis,
What do you think explains the lack of business in your area?

We've got wide swaths of Georgia countryside that support only pine trees and cows, for sure. And a lot of the little towns that I knew in my youth are sadly, drying up.

But generally, close to an Interstate - between two major cities - is in pretty good shape in this area economically, right now.

Small downtowns do have it rougher - in today's Wal*Mart world - unless they can attract tourists with some history or something.

=============
Speaking of Wally World - it seems like just a couple of years ago they were advertising, "We Buy American Whenever We Can - So You Can, Too."

Short sighted bastards.
They seemed to get more cut-throat when Sam Walton died, but maybe that's coincidence.

"Lewis,
What do you think explains the lack of business in your area?"


Lack of money from lack of work explains things well enough.

Just so yous guys know, apparently the US military has now occupied Afghanistan longer than the Rooskies did. Wonder who achieved a better profit margin? John Michael Greer says that Afghanistan is where empires go to die...

Tripp,
Nice post at 6:38, and you've been on a roll in general, lately.

Speaking of permaculture, and then you're mentioning box holly, made me think.

God, I HATE Bradford Pear trees, and everything they represent about suburbia.
They grow fast, never produce anything but a mess, and then they fall over or die.

If half the Bradford pears in American could be replaced with something useful - we'd already be in much better shape, just from that one thing.

There are lots of subdivisions around that specifically prohibit fruit trees. Some REQUIRE specific ornamentals, like the Bradford pear.

Short sighted bastards!

For someone dumb like me (a product of public education and my own laziness) it is a good book
=======

I note that Asoka's latest shtick is the disingenuous - I'm so dumb - self-deprecating remark. The one above is at least the third in as many days and it's followed by a reference to himself as "comrade lumpenprole." Maybe someone can explain what this is all about psycologically speaking.

Whatever ... he'll be his imaginary-adobe-hut-building-self by spring.

Good points. I would add one more thing. Clean up the mess with the illegals. I'm all for legal immigration but they need to run these people out and then let them back in on a case-by-case basis so they can legally be a part of this country after going through a background check. I would welcome people from all over the world if they come here and play by the rules. And, even as a Marine vet, I have real problems with the U.S. spending so much money on national defense when we can't afford it.

Speaking of permaculture, and then you're mentioning box holly, made me think

Should be - Speaking of permaculture, and then YOUR mentioning box holly, made me think

OR, in present subjunctive tense - whateverthehell that is - I just made it up -

YOU ARE speaking of permaculture, and then you are mentioning box holly, (you - implied) made me think

LOL, guys and girls - it's a grammar/spelling joke!

Come what may life will go on. Things are looking bleak, but they always look bleak from certain vantage points. America is at the crossroads, and we thought that we elected a savior, but he is one of "them", and will not lead us out of the mire.
Back in 1977 Wendell Berry wrote a book "The Unsettling of America" where he layed it all out about how the gvt. was undermining the farmers and the food chain of the USA. Things have not gotten better. If the farmers fail, the nation dies.

The golden goose was cooked a long time ago.

"Nice post at 6:38, and you've been on a roll in general, lately."

Thanks, PoC! Although MY blog suffers when I get "on a roll" over here! Oh well, the audience and discussion panel is a lot bigger here, worthy of such important topics - JHK's been on fire lately, and I've been at home by myself, plastering walls in a chilly house for the past few days, so I've probably commented more than my share! I'll go do some landscaping work for actual green money tomorrow, and pick up my family. So you guys will have to hold down the fort without me;)

Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we're solving the world's problems?

xport said:

we thought that we elected a savior, but he is one of "them"

I never considered Obama a "savior"

What I considered him to be is what he is: an intelligent American who can speak English and is bipartisan in his approach.

You refer to Obama as "one of them" but he just negotiated a bipartisan deal with the Republicans that favors 98% of us

Obama doesn't want working families to become collateral damage in the RED/BLUE political warfare. Obama prefers to let the rates for the wealthy expire.

But Obama is willing to negotiate with the Republicans to get a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits for all of us because he is NOT "one of them"

His spirit of compromise is the sign of a true statesman who is not a dogmatic rigid or heartless politician

Tripp asked: "Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we're solving the world's problems?"

Tripp, we may not be solving the world's problems, but, thanks to your inspiration on permaculture, I will have a small raised bed garden plot next to my adobe home. I thank you for a lot of good information, good thinking, and subversive ideas.

--comrade Asoka in the permacultural revolution

"If half the Bradford pears in American could be replaced with something useful - we'd already be in much better shape, just from that one thing.

There are lots of subdivisions around that specifically prohibit fruit trees. Some REQUIRE specific ornamentals, like the Bradford pear."

This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say that we don't need more energy to intensively garden our human landscapes, we just need to change how we spend the energy we are already spending. Gradually, one pear, one blueberry at a time, we relocalize food production. 50,000 sq. mi. of tended lawn space would go a helluva long way toward self-reliance if it were converted to horticulture.

"Problem is, you can't just switch to horticulture over night. An apple tree may start fruiting in 4 years, but it will be another 6 before it is really producing enough calories to outcompete an annual crop taking up the same space. So thinking in decades, instead of seasons, is a mindshift we will probably make one-by-one as energy descent grabs us.

And yes, there is an implied population crash in the equation. Sorry. The ecologist in me just doesn't see any way out at this point. Let's just try to stretch the die-off out to generations instead of individuals. Again, perennialize your thoughts." -Tripp

Important thoughts on time-frame realities there, Tripp. Thanks for putting that out there. The more useful epiphanies; the better. ;o)

(I had been thinking about "scatter-shot" methods and approaches as being important as well. Sorta like natural gene selection, dig? Sorry about the unfortunate metaphor, but its' very evocative for me.)

RE: Comments about the outlet shopping malls. Here in my area, a brand spanking new one just opened (yes, Black Friday, Pro). Of course I went no where near it- don't have the cash, even if I wanted to do the dash - same situation Pro described, so I'll not bend your ear (sorry, make that strain your eyes!) on this subject. Very pathetic, though. As Pro said, these simpletons are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, buying the latest Gucci bags, Ralph Lauren, etc. made in China stuff. I told my current squeeze that I'll not be expecting anything "Made in China". My motto: "BUY LOCAL. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMER!" In addition to helping your local economy, you'll shed some pounds by eating more vegan (Be not delicate at thy table - Ben Franklin?)! I WALK to the farmer's market (about 1/3 of a mile).

In light of what somebody else here said, develope the relationships within your community and you'll be less likely to be seen as an outsider. Makes perfect sense.
Another thing Pro said was that people are HURTING. Yes, they are hurting. It doesn't help them, our discussion, or anything else for that matter to be smug about it!...Sorry, I'm addressing that to a specific party here. OFFICIAL END OF RANT!

I would welcome discussions about pre-mayhem concrete topics. I suspect we are drawn to end game discussion because in large part many feel we are powerless to affect the change that should logically happen during the long emergency. For example, it's logical to ask why we aren't having discussions about natural gas powered farm equipment. But the discussion is somewhat moot in consideration of all the crazy agricultural subsidies out there like corn ethanol. I have the power to change my diet and learn some skills, but I don't have any pull in US Congress.

This link is encouraging
http://fleetowner.com/green/sterling_natural_gas_tractor_0513/

"And Beck, Limbaugh, etc come up with things, too. And all their viewers know they are entertainers, right? Check that, we could WISH their viewers realized they were entertainers." -PoC

Yep, it's what we might wish, but I think most of the "folks" in their audience believe them to be stone-cold prophets and infallible spewers of the absolute truth. (Perhaps "spewers" is not too "positive", eh? ;o)

BTW, I noticed Bernanke squirm and look nervous last night, too. He looked like a trapped squirrel, twitching like a little rat...oh wait, I forgot! He is!

According to some financial stats I've seen, once we are forced to confront P.O., natural gas will hit the ROOF! Not looking forward to it. My little slice of paradise here is heated by it. SWELL!

You ask:
"Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we're solving the world's problems?"

You know, I've actually given some thought to that.
And the short answer is, "NO."

These threads are somehow just perfect for where I'm finding myself in life right now.

You may be a little more altruistic, Tripp, and I've certainly learned some stuff from you. And I hope that my stories, observations, and suggestions have helped you or another poster or two in some way.

But if I weren't getting something personally satisfying out of posting here I wouldn't be doing it.

And learning things - seriously - like your gaining some understanding from some of Vlad's posts that Modern American multiculturalism - is facilitated by cheap energy - and that energy descent will likely make ubiquitous multiculturalism, shall we say - difficult to maintain.

Because I agree with that idea, overall. And without some personal 'rasslin' with Vlad, and watching you and others do the same 'rasslin' with him and/or TreeBeard - I don't know when, how, or if I ever would have acquired that knowledge.

So keep on Tripping out!
Everybody else keep CF'ing.

I'll keep progressing - or conserving - depending on what the situation seems to require. ;-)

Maybe we can say we're slowly solving the world's problems, one mind at the time!?

"I had been thinking about "scatter-shot" methods and approaches as being important as well."

The "initial floristic model" of ecosystem succession, which is in effect what we're talking about in a regreening scenario, has been gaining traction in ecological systems thinking for a while now. It's basically a "throw it all at the wall and see what sticks" kind of approach. Natural systems apparently engage this strategy fairly often, where you'll see a flurry of maybe 2 dozen pioneer species capture and occupy a site, but then the biodiversity will contract as the system matures (where I think our society is now) and the climax ecosystem might contain only 8-10 major species. We're talking just plants here, although microbial diversity is likely to follow the pattern, and obviously the human parallel is out there too. But any disturbance to the mature system resets the initial floristic model, and a diversification event follows. Peak oil obviously qualifies as just such a disturbance. In the US more so than anywhere else.

I tend to agree with you, and Greer, that a flurry of strategies will be hurled at global energy peak, and like the natural model, only the adaptive ones will stick to the wall in the long view. But what is adaptive, and what isn't, will vary greatly from system to system. I guess our generation's task is to give the dominant culture the finger and do some brainstorming.

Glad your brain is in on it!

Hmmmm, as a paranoid cynic, it behooves me to comment on "the price of everything and the value of nothing". (Oscar Wilde?)

Sometimes a portable fuel is much more valuable for its' work potential than whatever it might cost as a "dollar" amount. (If the currency will not reflect actual "work"/"energy", doesn't that factor begin losing its' relevance at some point?)

So, say I can procure (or even manufacture) a couple gallons of diesel (let's pretend it's 10 bucks per gallon, or even 20) to do a job with some heavy equipment. Would I spend the 3 weeks (let's say) to do that job by hand (if even possible), or a couple hours of machine work?

All depends what "work" means, doesn't it? Now, I will admit that real needs will quickly sort out the intrinsic value of ANY project, and how one might "invest" in it. (Wasted energy may become a horror, and a thing to avoid "at all costs". ;o)

Just some ruminations. (Chewing cud.)

I don't know. Maybe it is somewhat silly. My better half laughs at how much time I spend on this blog - dear lord, I DO believe he's making FUN of me! But what's a girl to do when she's over 80? Knit? Nope, tried it, didn't like it (same thing for lesbianism at Bryn Mawr...not that theres anything wrong with that..lol...). Sew? Yeah, I mend stuff...whoopee! Television? Nope, oh yeah, Judge Judy faithfully at four, maybe 1/2 hour of local news, Katie Couric, and then I'm done.
So, here I sit, typing to anyone about nothing in particular. I've spent my entire life "trying to save the world". Maybe this site is just another hallucenogenic for me...I got hooked one nite after reading a comment from "Grouchy Ol Girl". Said to myself, "Hey, that's me!" Of course, I'm not always grouchy...and yet, I'm always old. Seems unfair. ;)

Ms. Myrtle, you make me laugh! All these things are coming back into fashion for my generation - sewing, canning, gardening, etc - due to the energetic reality in which we find ourselves, but it's just the way of things to you. Always has been. Eighty something years, and you carried these mundane bits and bobs of yesteryear with you the whole way. I can understand your lack of enthusiasm for contraction!

Can I ask you a personal question? What's the appeal of Judge Judy? Is she like Maude? Have you rescued any trees from downtown lately?

"I guess our generation's task is to give the dominant culture the finger and do some brainstorming.

Glad your brain is in on it!" -Tripp

Not so sure 'bout that last part there; the reception gets a bit on the static-y side sometimes! ;o)

Tell ya what... Give 'em the one-finger salute with BOTH hands, then turn your back and stride away. Why turn you back and leave? Because, most of my generation are not worth engaging, as they don't want to entertain a scenario of energy descent [in any way, shape, or form]. It's a shame; there are a lot of good minds out there; it's just that they're rusty from lack of use. ;o)

...turn YOUR back and leave. lol

SEE? -Rusty Brains

I know we're way off topic here, so I'll be brief. I like Judge Judy's straight forward, take no prisoners, take no bullshit attitude. She's not afraid to tell it like it is. Yes, she's a bit overbearing, as was Judge Wapner before her, but hey, ya get cantankerous when ya get old...imagine 'Q', if you will!

I think the Maude you mention is from the movie, Harold and Maude, a favorite of mine as well. Well, no, I think of her more as a Bea Arthur type of Maude (t.v. series, circa l970's) Generally, Bea Arthur played this role as a loud mouth, obnoxious liberal know-it-all. I like to think of myself like that. :)

"imagine 'Q', if you will!"

One of my daily goals is to not do that;)

My friend went to the county dog shelter with the intention of getting a rescue dog. Cage after cage, after cage of pit bull mixes and chihuahuas.
She's not interested.

My kids are going to the HP Pavilion tonight to see Roger Waters perform "The Wall." Sometime I feel "like another brick in the wall."

SJmom

It's incredibly sad. So many on this thread (me too) talk about when TSHTF. It's here, ladies and gents. We just don't talk about it anymore - outside of this blog, I mean. Seriously, I'm presently making the social rounds of Christmas parties, cocktail socials at the local pub, and no one is saying ANYTHING. Of course, I sense a bit of desperation in them, same as I have. We just don't talk about it. Kinda like alcoholism, only the drug we're on is oil, and we don't know how to lick it. Ya see, there's this monkey on our back. We can't seem to shake him. Ever tried to give up cigarettes? Not fun! Necessary? You betcha. Well, the first thing an addict needs to learn is that he's got a problem. I think we're getting there. And we're just beginning to see the horrible devastation we've done to the Earth as we (hopefully) continue to sober up.

Online poll: vote against the Dream Act -
it's a Nightmare.

"My kids are going to the HP Pavilion tonight to see Roger Waters perform "The Wall." Sometime I feel "like another brick in the wall." -SJmom

LOL!
I'm sure you've considered how massively SUBVERSIVE that whole concept is!! (?)

"The Wall" performed in a friggin' corporate colosseum, no less... Wow, talk about yer basic oxymoronic mind-fuck. ;o)

I applaud the kids; hope they get "the spirit"!

JHK said: "A buck and a half for four little onions. $1.18 for one apple. $4 for a jar of jam. Compare these numbers with the wages that have not gone up effectively since around 1970."

First, I just bought twelve large JonaGold apples for $5.49, so each apple cost 46 cents. And they are large and delicious... and cheap.

Second, regarding wages not going up: historical wage comparisons are based on CPI data. The CPI overstates inflation.

Here's an example to make the point clearer. Back in 1972, basic pocket calculators cost $100. They were so expensive that ordinary Americans didn't buy them. So statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics understandably excluded calculators from the basket of items used to determine the CPI.

As time passed, of course, the price of calculators plummeted. A calculator similar to one priced at $100 in 1972 sells today for about $7.95. (In real terms, this is a price decline of about 98 percent.)

So, ordinary Americans now routinely buy calculators. But because calculators weren't suitable to be added to the basket of items used for calculating the CPI until their prices dropped and they became affordable, much of the price decline of calculators was ignored by the CPI.

Relatedly, as consumers substitute away from goods whose prices rise and into goods whose prices fall, the relative importance to consumers of these higher-priced goods declines as the importance of the lower-priced goods rises -- but the weights that the CPI gives to these goods aren't immediately adjusted.

The result is that, in the CPI, items whose prices rise are weighted too heavily while items whose prices fall are weighted too lightly -- or (as in with the calculator) not at all.

SOURCE: Donald J. Boudreaux, chairman of the department of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Soooooo,
It's all good, then?
Glad ta hyar it. Time to burn down the homestead and jump on the "good gummint" bandwagon (hope somebody brings some gas for both purposes). Oh, how happy we all shall be!

TAE has an excellent topic today regarding the relationship between diet and health...vely intelesting!

I believe that was Peggy Noonan, in an article she wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2005.

LOL!

Ozone, it's all good!

I'm eating one apple a day to keep them thar gubmint doctors away and internally things are moving quite well... if you get my drift.

I have noticed a few people mentioning how frightened Ben Bernanke looks, lately. I agree. I don't think I've seen anyone look that nervous, over looming, certain cataclysm, since Wendy, in The Shining, as Jack makes his way through the bathroom door.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TVooUHN7j4

My granfather was paid in chickens for deliviering babies during The Great Depression. Seems like an idea that might work.

I'm seeing an awful lot of negative commentary from CFN readers this week. What with Peak Oil and the sociopathically greedy Wall Streeters and no jobs what exactly are we going to do? There's talk of hunkering down and growing your own food, fixing your own shoes and having a genuine skill to offer. All these are really worthwhile objectives, because we will need them after WWIII. I mean, those of us who are left will need them. Look, history does really repeat itself, just not exactly. But the patterns repeat - they are timeless. So here's what will happen. As the whole shebang starts to implode - and it has - those who are greatly advantaged will start to get upset, very upset. The rank-in-file will also be even more upset, but this will count for nothing. It never has. But the elites will begin acting. And what will they do? Cook up a war. A nice, hot war. And no, we will not escape lots of civilian casualties this time. It will be Deus Ex Machina for our elites. Many of the problems we see enumerated in this blog will evaporate. And there will be plenty of resources left to keep the elites in style for a good long time. Plus, with technology and lots of capable hands in Asia, they certainly will not need the likes of us to be very well fixed. You don't think that can actually happen? Well, maybe not. But I'm fairly certain the European populaces, particular the Germans, could really not imagine in 1937 their cities being smoldering piles of ruins just 8 years later. In 1945, in Berlin, 4000 Germans were dying per day from starvation - this after hostilities had ceased! What a great population control device!
Just remember, for the elites, war can be a great problem-solver. But learn your skills nonetheless. You will need them if you are one of the lucky survivors.

Me thinks, perhaps, you have nailed it..."It" being whatever it's worth. As for "lucky survivors", yeah, okay. So how does one define lucky? Is it the way some people (women) define old? Say, for example, I'm forty and wish to doll myself up to try and pass for thirty. Has my little charade really succeeded in convincing others? In other words, I may THINK I look like a young 30 year old, but when I hold myself up to the looking glass, in bright daylight, do I still really LOOK like I'm 30? Most probably not. Wishing don't make it so.

As for war, it's inevitable. It's something we humans do to pass the time, settle scores, etc. They (wars) are nasty little affairs, unbeknownst to most on this platform. The tremendous waste, grief, and utter devastation is something that most posters here have no idea how debilitating this pattern has had on our world. We so soon forget, as a species, how much agony we bring about ourselves, what with our petty squabblings and all. Yet we will relentlessly pursue our agendas, both personal and national, as though the lives we leave in ruins matter not at all.

I have to laugh that there are outlet stores being built/opened in your areas, wherever that is.

In my very middle class neighborhood in suburban Columbus, Ohio, a new Goodwill store just opened this weekend.

Drove by and the parking lot was PACKED.

Sign of the times, IMO.

According to Woodward's book "Obama's Wars", this month, Obama is supposed to review progress with the "surge" in Afghanistan. If there is no progress with the surge,then Obama is supposed to begin withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan in July, 2011.

But, during his recent trip to Afghanistan, rather than making a candid assessment of the war, Obama instead lobbied for homosexual rights.

While in Afghanistan, Obama lobbied for the rights of homosexual Americans in Afghanistan.

Incredible!

"The President has been on the phones.

He's asking senators to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Now, with a vote coming any day, we need as many Americans as possible to join the effort.

Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins will cast critical votes: The last time repeal came up in the Senate, they voted against it -- and it failed by just two votes.

Now that a Pentagon study confirms that ending this policy would not negatively affect our military readiness or troop morale, there's a real possibility we could get them to change their minds.

Call Sens. Snowe and Collins now. Tell them that Maine supports the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- and they should, too:

-- Sen. Snowe at (202
-- Sen. Collins at (202)

Then click here to let us know how it went.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" discriminates against patriotic men and women who sacrifice so much for our country -- gay and lesbian members of our military who deserve to be treated equally.

The Pentagon's findings are just the latest signal that our troops are ready for this change. And top military leaders across the board -- from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to General Colin Powell -- have publicly voiced their support for repeal.

Sens. Snowe and Collins need to know we're counting on them to stand up and support this important legislation regardless of their party affiliation. They need to know we're watching and ready to respond to discrimination of any kind.

They need to know a majority of Americans believe, as the President said, we must end this law "because it is the right thing to do" -- that those who are brave enough to stand up and serve our country deserve to do so openly.

It's up to us to tell them.

Support the President's efforts and hop on the phone.

Call Sens. Snowe and Collins today and tell them to do the right thing.

Then please let us know what you heard:

http://my.barackobama.com

Thanks for your help,

Yohannes

Yohannes Abraham
Political Director
Organizing for America"

pucker said:

While in Afghanistan, Obama lobbied for the rights of homosexual Americans in Afghanistan. Incredible!

Obama lobbied for the rights of homosexual soldiers. Don't you support our troops?

Aren't the troops fighting for freedom? Shouldn't they be free from having to live a lie?

Shouldn't homosexual troops be free from the threat of being kicked out of the service, which they volunteered for and were accepted for and trained for?

The Taliban are anti-homosexuals... we should not be.

Clusterfuck Nation???

It's all good!!

You nailed it when you said
"The ONLY way that kind of back-to-1810 plan would work is if lots of people died first. Millions, billions, who knows..."
Have a read of Dale Allen Pfeiffer's work 'Eating Fossil Fuels' to get an idea of how many humans the planet can support if sunlight is providing the only energy going into crops and stockfeed, rather than the current diet of oil and gas based fertilisers and pesticides. I believe the number is around 2 billion, with about 150 - 200 million Americans able to be supported in the USA should all food exports cease from the USA when oil is no longer affordable.
(Original article here: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100303_eating_oil.html )

I don't think it's anybody's "plan" to have that happen, it just will unless we find a miraculous way to triple the energy input to agriculture from something other than fossil fuels. That's a simple application of the first law of thermodynamics.
As Vlad said, the trick is to be among those who saw it coming and survived.

BTW, you seem to have the most commented entry today - even a bite from the man himself. I guess that deserves some congratulations!

"Here's Johnny! Wendy, I'm home...."

"Too bad we're running out.

Now we have to deal with it."

Right on the money. Dealing with unpleasant tasks is something we in western society have managed to outsource a large proportion of.
Those chickens are coming home to roost, we can keep denying it and go out screaming like babies, or look at the inbound poultry as an opportunity to survive, albeit in a handmade way.

The Taliban are the freedom fighters over there. Our troops are not fighting for my freedom, or yours, or their own; they are fighting for US corporate interests. Don't ask don't tell is such a non-issue until we can stop bankrupting the country with all these pointless foreign military adventures.

But my main point to you concerns your earlier post about economics. Calculators of all things...
You have such a flimsy grasp of the subject that I am usually left shaking my head. (Gold has no intrinsic value, etc.) You are speaking from an idealogical point of view merely, and you have no perspective of the role of precious metals in any thriving economy over the last several thousand years.

So please cease a desist with your asinine posts about economic issues.
Your recent self- deprecating tone, however, I do agree with. You are, to use a seasonal metaphor, not exactly the brightest bulb on the tree.

But I would encourage you to educate yourself on how economies have worked historically. Please!

Best,

Lurker

Lurker said: "I would encourage you to educate yourself on how economies have worked historically."

The United States once had the world's strongest economy. You may be old enough to remember the 50's 60's 70's and 80's and 90's as times of economic strength.

That strength came after the adoption of fiat currency. That USA economic strength came after the Congressional decisions to go off the gold and silver standards (we went off silver in 1964). That strength came with the embrace of fiat currency.

Is that enough history for you?

The economy did not crash in the 50's 60's etc. after the issuance of fiat currency. Fiat currency has been working for us for decades.

The economy was wrecked by a combination of spending trillions on militarism and by massive theft, fraud, and corruption in both the finance and the defense sectors.


Kalpa,
"but with more and more areas growing grain industrially the mantra that we are nearly out of food is growingly a tiresome hype."

I wonder how much of that extra 'industrial' grain could/would be grown in an environment where fossil-fuel based fertilizers were unavailable, mechanised farm equipment was gathering dust in the sheds for lack of fuel and distribution networks were on a county scale rather than international?

Thermodynamics 101 says less than 1/3, a figure supported by economics 101...

If you think there's a lack of discussion about peak oil, just bring up keyhole event.

Frankly, Pollyanna kind of creeped me out with his ersatz familiarity with Centralia. That he would go to that trouble. I think, perhaps, I've become a bit of a target as I refuse to respond directly to his posts.

Don't Feed The Trolls. :D

I'm shocked. Twice! I can't believe a jar of jam costs $4 in the US. I thought you guys had cheap food
Second, I can't believe that the thing I find most shocking in James' article is the price of jam

K-dog, Centralia is on a major interstate between two large urban centers, Portland and Seattle.

When people driving by see "outlets" some of them think "shopping" "bargains" etc. It's not like Centralia is in the middle of nowhere.

That's why Toys"R"Us decided to put a store into the outlets mall there. And people were hired into jobs there.

http://centraliafactoryoutlet.com/press-releases/october-15-2010/

As I said before, it is strange Toys"R"US would make that kind of investment in Centralia Outlets without doing proper marketing research. But then, I haven't found anything about "receivership" yet either.

Wow. That's a big question as to what the problem is with this area. K-Dog is part right about lack of work. Our unemployment rate is around 10% and I'm sure it's more double that.

I think people that have money or jobs are holding on tight to it or paying down mortgages and credit, if they're smart. Because there's something definitely "in the air." People are nervous.

Our problems really started about 4 years ago when the coal mine was closed. We have a steam plant that had a coal mine (surface) right next door. 300 people out of work, bang, about a months notice. Right at Christmas. Of course, the whole thing has been under heavy environmental pressure. But, I recently found out that an extension of the coal field extended into the next county and they dragged their feet and dragged their feet and the utility finally got tired of it. Now they freight in the coal form back east. 300 jobs that averaged $50-75,000 a year.

And then there's the "old boys network." Judging from the last election, they pretty much made it through unscathed. They like things exactly as they are, and don't like change. There is a deep streak of anti-intellectualism.

Also, just south of Chehalis (the next town over. They run together) on the freeway is our awful "Uncle Sam Sign." It's been run and sponsored by one of the local old families for years. It's a huge double sided billboard with a very concerned Uncle Sam on it and it's message changes every month. It always tries to be witty or cleaver but always just misses the mark and just sounds ignorant. All ways a conservative message of some sort. Tea Party stuff before there was a Tea Party. Anti-Immigration, anti-tax, abortion, guns, any woman in power is the devil incarnate. You get the picture.

I have recently made the acquaintance of one of the relatives of one of the old power families. And, she loves to talk. I'm learning more and fitting pieces together.

As for my own business, what little I do is mainly from out of town. But, even thou my overhead is pretty low, it's not enough to keep me open. If there wasn't a Mcmenamins across the street (historic old building; bar, restaurant, bed & breakfast, movie theatre) I would have gone under long ago.

PS; But yes, Wally-World didn't help. It was the final death blow for the downtowns (Centralia and Chehalis) and a small mall we had here. Small, but large enough to have a Penny's, Sears and Payless. Now, virtually empty except for the Sears (still a'hangin' on) a multiplex and lots of government offices: unemployment, welfare and veteran's services.

I look at the current trends in Automation, to include:

RFID Self-Checkout at Wal-Mart and your local supermarket;

No Lights, Air-Conditioning, or Heat needed Warehouses and Factories;

Google's Driverless cars that already have 150K miles under their belts;

The Italian team that just had one of their robot cars make the 8,000 mile drive from Italy to Shanghai, China in 3 months earlier this year;

Prototypes for driverless taxis already being fully operational;

Google's real-time Voice Transcription service on YouTube;

Electronic touch screen ordering kiosks being rolled out in McDonalds and other Fast Food restaurants the world over;

And Unmanned Drone Aircraft;

As just a small sample of what's being done right now and I'm convinced that the ultimate goal of all this is to build up a technological infrastructure that'll be capable of removing up to 90% of the world's workers from the equation within a 10 to 15 year time frame.

If you and yours ain't got by then, then, under the present rules of our global society, you *will* be starved out.

Sound outlandish, I know, but consider this...

Moore's Law dictates that the processing power of a computer's CPU doubles every 2 years.

That's 5 turns of the screw, in the 10 years from today, to the year 2020.

Blink of an eye.

In that coming incredibly short period of time the average desktop computer will be roughly 15x times to 30x times more powerful than the ones we have today.

The switch between what we have today and what we'll have by then is going to be so dramatic that what we'll have for computers by the year 2020 is going to make 'Call of Duty: Black Ops' look like Atari's Pong.

And this increase in computer processing power isn't just going to be used for video games but will be implemented to *permanently eliminate* 100s of *millions* of jobs, the world over.

Right now it's still cheaper to pay a Chinese factory worker ¢25 cents an hour to stitch up your Nikes and put together your iPad, but the cost of switching over from that to automated systems will drop like a brick very soon and once that threshold gets past it will lead to dire consequences for most people.

Nope. Being here doesn't sound silly at all. It's re-affirming to hang out with peeps that mostly believe in peak oil, climate change, etc. I don't think I know a soul in "real life" that has an interest in it. Thought about maybe having an evening at the local coffee house and see if anyone shows. Except for the shy and hermit-y thing. The agoraphobia that flares from time to time.

I have also found some really good links to "other parts of the forest" here. Other great websites.

And, among the dross, some really good folks worth knowing who are inspiring.

"tried it, didn't like it.." Oh, my gosh Miss Myrtle! You were a LTG?
(that's Lesbian Til Graduation, for the uninformed. Just ran across the term recently, and I think it's a hoot!)

Tell you what: I'll knit for the both of us :D.

Maybe your squeeze could get you a subscription to a CSA for next year? You'd probably pick it up from the farmer's market. But, the drawback is you don't get to interact with as many folks or, spread your bucks around beyond one farm family. Hmmm. A thought, thou.

I see it is Monday night and there is only one mention of wikileaks. Let me make a prediction. By Jan. 1st, no one will not be talking about wikileaks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob7vcepdeOA

"History doesn't repeat itself but sometimes it does rhyme."
Mark Twain.

Jim must not be a savvy shopper :D I recently picked up 4 jars of Smucker's Jam for $1.49 a jar. 18oz (510g). It's not the best jam, but it's not the worst.

It was on sale with a coupon. I comparison shop, not run all over town, but pay attention to the ads. And, I found out that just about everything goes on sale in a 12 week cycle. So, I stock up and very rarely buy anything that isn't on sale.

There's still inexpensive, good food out there.

With the coming of Automation over the course of the next 2 decades permanently eliminating most jobs in the workplace, all over the globe, not just in the USA, its clear that we are going to have to embrace a different economic model.

One idea is that it may be time to implement the idea of a 'Basic Income' that Martin Luther King was working on right before he was murdered.

Only 50% of any country's population is part of the Labor Force.

So, in the United States that works out to about 150 million people today.

If we were to simply just give every last one of those 150 million people $500 a week to live on, that would work out to $4 trillion dollars a year.

The money already exists to do that, it's simply a matter of putting the idea out there and getting together the political will to make it a reality.

The alternative is a lot of people starving to death

How can we call the narcotized apathy of the last thirty years a "golden age?' Truth be told, I'm looking forward to a civilization where the lobotomized idiots who live in a virtual-reality bubble discover the joys of fresh air, hard work and live human interaction. We're not entering a dark age. Far from it. We're entering a period when folks who know the price of everything but the value of nothing will learn the hard way that basic survival skills that were passed down from one generation to the over centuries but have been lost over the last 100 years don't come with a price tag.


re "And on a lighter and more exciting note, my mother read a book recently that scared the you know what out of her"

What might that book title be, if you please ?

and thanx.

Automation is on the way out, most people just don't know it yet....

I still am not understanding what you are attempting to discuss, Pucker.

If you want to argue that Obama is manifesting some sociapathic characteristics - well, I might be able to make a case for that, on some level.

BUT

That only works IF you also want to argue that BushII and Clinton manifested sociopathology as their presidencies progresses. (And Regan, Johnson, Nixon - probably the whole lot of them)

==============

However, if you want to argue that Obama is the devil incarnate and BushII was the best thing since canned beer - sorry, man, but you're so far out in right field that logical discussion can not possibly help you, IMHO.

Although, I'd be willing to try - even in that case!

_________Gardening?_________

The "market forces" - that is the mass-produced, mass-programmed "consumerism" that has brought the developed world to the brink of resource-depletion-inspired chaos - and continues on without any progressive introspection about tomorrow's most fundamental needs has no natural social-political counter-weight. (Take that Faulknerian sentence lovers!)

In other words, the "I want" has been the steering mechanism of most of our nation's economic and governmental activities. And what we have now is a non-stop side-show of activities to prolong and sustain this status quo of profits over prudence, and non-sense over needs.

Currently, the powerful among us operate in a different time-frame. Somehow their position and comfort in society's hierarchy insulate or intoxicate them to the point of ignorance in regard to the depth, breadth and all encompassing significance of Peak Oil.

So again, in the midst of a Clusterfuck that is the result of vast interdependent socio-political-industrial constructs, what is the enlightened member of CF-Nation to do?

In Europe, the "General Strike" is a method of drawing attention to the needs of the working class. Although, there is little reported in our press - THSHTF - is indeed transpiring in several European nations. Is the calm of American cities the result of hubris or ignorance?

As George noted just above:

We're entering a period when folks who know the price of everything but the value of nothing will learn the hard way that basic survival skills that were passed down from one generation to the over centuries but have been lost over the last 100 years don't come with a price tag.

We have a government that is ruled by a power class that either is purposely ignoring or simply too greedy to acknowledge the dire consequences of entering the state of resource depletion without preparation and vision. (Probably both)

What to do? What would it take to "grow" a consensus among US citizens regarding the approaching necessity of steering the "free markets" away from passenger vehicle usage?

When will any "counterweight" be produced to the status quo? How can any of us "seed" the population with information that can steer the "Happy Motoring Public" off the roads?

How can we become real "agents of change" and stop the mindless Status Grow?

Gardening? I think not.

Hi Funzel

Cuba could have traded with countries other than the US that had no embargo. There are other states that had limited resources that were/are prosperous because they made use of their brain power and entrepreneurial skills. I would argue that Cuba is poor because they have a system that stifles people and keeps them living in fear of authority.

Speaking of Sears Roebuck -

This is one of great examples of poor management decision making by a US company. For some reason it was never discussed - even back in the 90's when the mistakes were made.

A friend of mine was in upper level management of the catalog division of Sears. He was a great guy working for a great division of a great company.

Some of you are going to be too young to remember - but Sears had the most amazing catalogs. You could buy anything from lingerie to a log splitter and have them delivered to the nearby Sears store. Every little town had a Sears.

Well - in 1993 my friend was forced out of his job. The catalog division of Sears was shut down with no warning. The whole thing was sold off for pennies, scrapped out, or just abandoned. This massive all-American distribution and marketing group was gone forever without recourse.

Less than TWO YEARS LATER, the dot-com bubble was in full swing.

What is/was dot-com and internet shopping except a catalog system, an ordering system, and a distribution system? - things Sears had mastered in the 1930's!

Stupid decision making - if Sears had waited two years they would now be Amazon - except with higher quality items - probably made in the US.

Good questions, Bud -

"Is the calm of American cities the result of hubris or ignorance?"

Possibly, but let's also consider:

- Complacency - well fed, warm, and/or older people rarely riot

- Fear - Going into a city and participating in a demonstration involves being out in an environment that may have some scary people nearby

- Shortsightedness - Young people in France are participating changing the pension age, a change that will affect them in 40 years. Our young people just want a new electronic gizmo in 40 hours.

- Lack of organization - (read lack of unions) Generally, spontaneous protests are small, lack press coverage, and are ignored. In the absence of viable assertive unions for real workers (not govt employees) in the US - who's gonna organize a protest that will attract attention

==============

On another issue - I'm not sure we're ever going to get away from "Happy Motoring" until we are too far into TS impacting TF for it to matter.

Mass transit is only gonna work for densely packed urban populations.

The *average* American will only allow himself to be "densely packed" like that out of hunger and desperation.

Of course, THEN we'd see those riots you're talking about - but then it's way too late.

The right has good reason to be nasty; the wealthy (the faction represented by the right) are bracing at the bit to transfer as much capital (Economic Surplus) as possible to China and India before the dollar tanks in value to get the best returns. All the tax break for the wealthy does is further enable this ongoing capital transfer.

But what most people neglect to consider is that all economic surpluses depend on agricultural surpluses. Neither China nor India has an agricultural surplus substantial enough to support the economic surpluses they now bask in. The simple truth is that those two economic surpluses are OUR economic surplus. Worldwide, and in the US in particular, agricultural surpluses are in decline due to high petroleum costs.

When I was a kid, grain reserves were measured in years; now they’re measured in days.

At some point in the not too distant future, our vast system of futures markets, needed to efficiently translate US agricultural surpluses into an economic surplus, is going to break down as volumes handled drop below critical minimal levels. When it does, let’ just see how long China and India continue to prosper.

Check out my (Grand Reinvention) Soap Box: http://margewargis.wordpress.com/

Don't worry about Brenanke, they will have him on CNBC and they will be fighting over who gets to b@#@ him first!

All, I know this might be off-topic, but suffer me please. So it seems that Julian Assange has been arrested for essentially not wearing a condom during consensual sex. At least one of the women who are his accusers is a known feminist who proudly harbors prejudice for men. Although not clear yet, Assange may have committed a crime. There is an Interpol warrant for his arrest, which I would expect is no small thing. I find this hilarious in a sardonic sense. Just a few short years ago, we had a president who humiliated himself by seeking out oral pleasures from an intern, in the oval office, no less. (I think the legal part of his travail was really uncalled for and hurt the nation even more than his public humiliation.) Is the West crazy? What's with this preoccupation with sex? For some reason I sense these kind of witch hunts give evidence some some kind of really pathological perversity. Maybe I'm making too much of it, Maybe it's just one more reason why we are the Clusterfuck Nation.

Well said, George, well said.

Al Klein,
I tend to agree that this is highly likely a set up and a smear campaign against Assange. However, please educate yourselves as to what is "feminist" and what is not. Here is an excellent actual feminist overview of the situation that thinking men need to try and understand:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/12/06/some-thoughts-on-sex-by-surprise/

That is probably hand-picked, Loganberry jam, organically grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York, trucked in overnight to a micro-jammer located just outside the Olympic village, in Lake Placid.

Sears is run by an ex hedge-fund manager named Eddie Lambert. He could care less about how the stores are run as he simply uses the capital to invest in other entities. His big mistake was going head-first into commercial real-estate acquisition , and is now stuck (temporarily?) with mass quantities of it.

If Google is such a great company, run by great people, why didn't they hire 20% more eployees in the next year, instead of giving everyone a 20% pay raise?

Networker, I would certainly agree that there are all kinds of "feminists" so I understand your point. What I meant to say was that one of the women appears to be an agent provocateur who is a self-pronounced feminist. As I understand it, this woman, person if you like, declared herself to be a feminist.

Mook, Sears is saddled with all that real estate until the next big consumer boom comes. At which point it will surely be worth trillions or maybe even quadrillions. And, oh yes, Lambert will be heralded as a genius. Very simple, really.

Someone went shopping for the apples. I did the jam. Jim said it was $4 a jar. It was $3.99.

I paid $3.50, because it was two for seven. I had to get "sugar-free". I am not sure it does any good on the calories. What if you count carbs?

There are a lot of requirements for customer involvement that waste your time.

The items can be double-scanned, or something can happen that causes you to be overcharged, but you have to move through the line, so sometimes it is only possible to examine your tape if you are some kind of asshole.

It would not be 3.99 unless there are people who are stupid enough not to know that is 4. The dynamic of a predatory marketing entity means that it is often more expensive to be poor. Hungry people should not shop. On the way to get food to prepare you may weaken and buy fast food.

Mostly, though, where is the equation that states how high destructive oil prices are? Jim says $70, I believe, and it's $90.

What about Jim? Well, he is part of a groundswell movement. You would have "our brothers out West", at a convention, like the Black Panthers. Well, way out West we is stone, umm, wasteful. We have several cultures, each with its own stores, some of them based upon a peasant lifestyle where people love to lick stamps and paste them in books. Others eat mainly rice.

A program is in place to extract wealth from cunsumers, and any attempt to feed yourself cheaper is, like a lot of things, seen as treason. Whether it is or not, other wealth extraction techniques can easily be substituted to make up the shortfall.

So we are whupped? If it depends on me we are. But, no. We can do this.

A parallel and co-op economy is a political movement, with all of you steaming into political prisoner exposure territory.

It won't get more than a token number of Americans to go for it before it is cut off at the knees.

This might seem like gardening, but with people like me around, every barn is a potential meth lab. After the meth labs proliferate, some of us inevitably build bomb factories.

I don't see why. If I am discussing drugs, when does the conversation change to guns?

Actually, the incentive umbrellaring this blog is the money Kunstler makes off it. The focus is not really "get back to the land set my soul free", that's just the overt hook.

Where is the body of knowledge on the internet for making a jar of jam, a stick of gum, some toothpaste? We got plenty of state secrets but no trade secrets.

Al,
Whether or not she is "feminist" (however defined) has nothing to do with either 1. making false accusations of rape, or 2. actually being raped. The fact that she identifies herself as feminist is being trotted out as the reason for her alleged false accusation, and the crime of rape is being minimized in the process. Put it this way: just because she is feminist doesn't mean she is lying.

It is amazing this needs saying, but being feminist does not equal the hating of men. It does however equal the challenging of men AND women, and their assumptions, which seems to often lead people to attack those "man-hating feminists."

As the author of that link I gave you said,
"Whether withdrawal of consent is what actually happened here is impossible to tell, so I’m not suggesting that Assange is a rapist or that these charges are 100% definitely on-point; I have no idea. But neither do the commentators who are saying that Assange did nothing more than have sex without a condom."

And one of the commenters there also spoke well:

Mike said, "This has been on my mind more and more as I’ve seen so many Assange worshippers belittle the crime of rape this week. Like you, I have no idea what happened, or even if the whole thing is a set up or government plot (but which government!?), but I am very uncomfortable with how flippant people are about rape when one of their idols is accused of it (see, Bryant, Kobe.)"

Don't worry about Brenanke, they will have him on CNBC and they will be fighting over who gets to b@#@ him first!
========

Would that be bash or blow?

Hi Al, I spent years as a bean counter working for property development firms active in both commercial and residential real estate. In my opinion that racket is all based on the greater fool theory. What is some property "worth"? Whatever some sucker is willing to pay for it. The people running those businesses are not that swift. They keep making the same mistakes decade after decade. Always the same story: building too much, buying too much, paying too much, borrowing too much. They never learn. But maybe the guy at Sears gets lucky. Maybe he will look like a genius in the end.

Ms. Myrtle May...

I've been making the social rounds and I know what people are talking about....their little worlds!

Last weekend a woman told me, "James just wasn't challenged his freshman year at Berkeley." I did my best not to roll my eyes and spill my glass of wine.

Jen

"If you don't eat your meat, how can you have any pudding" How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

In addition to my comments above, Angus Johnston also wrote a very balanced view of the spin being propagated:

http://studentactivism.net/2010/12/04/julian-assange-condoms-rape-and-sex-by-surprise/

Gosh, Cash, I thought that I was defending Americans!

My point about Cuba was that when the oil supply stopped, they turned to organic farming, mobilizing their population, and using government resources to help out.

Do they eat as well as we do here?

Not in terms of calories, for sure. But no one is starving, either.

We could do better, because we have a much bigger land mass, with ample water east of the divide.

We could easily feed our people.

Especially if we start paying people to voluntarily sterilize themselves!

a known feminist who proudly harbors prejudice for men.
========

I assume you meant against men. I bring this up because there exists this (very common) notion that when one pre-judges it is always in a negative sense.

Qshtik, thank you for that clarification.

As it happens, the idea that the woman "proudly harbors prejudice" (against men) is spin being propagated by the Assange lawyers. So far, this has been a media circus, and no one yet knows the true facts.

Sorry, I misinterpreted your post.

There's no doubt you have oodles of fertile land.

I heard a few years ago that in NY City they're building apartments without kitchens. Man oh man.

We stopped eating out years ago. To me cooking is no bother, you save time (just tally up how much time gets pissed away going to and from an eatery) and you save money. Cooking was actually stress relief after a nasty day in office hell.

I think we're losing valuable household skills. Never mind nobody knows how to grow anything, we're forgetting how to cook too. Anyone know how to sew, how to make their own clothes? I'll bet not one in a 100 people has a sniff.

Keep at it and you'll make yourself sick as you always do. A raw foods diet always ruins the digestive system. It's fine for a couple of days every now and then to clean out - but that's it. Don't believe me - just study Chinese medical theory or even Macrobiotics. The Ayurveda says the same thing. You are stuck in a gnostic problem of wanting to purify yourself out of existence. There are other types of gnosticism with other problems. Another common one is to think the world is an illusion so it doesn't matter what the body does - this one leads to orgies. Your type seems to be a Jainism type. So altho you SAY the World is Divine - you obviously don't believe it. The Hale Bop UFO Cult felt the same way you do. They believed that evil Aliens had fucked with the Garden Earth ages ago so that the soil was more or less ruined. They felt that you should be able to just eat on piece of fruit a day and be fine. Dude - it's never been that easy. So they believed that the world had been divine but now it wasn't so they wanted to leave. Does this fit you deep down?

Yeah and there was once a Socialism that wasn't Anti-Western Culture and Anti-White but that all changed when it was appropriated by Marxism. Same for Feminism. The fact on the ground is that most serious Feminists do hate men unless they psychically castrate themselves to become de facto women. Beyone that, as a Marxism, Feminism is not a Humanism. It's not really for women either. In Europe, it puts Muslims far above women. The silence about Muslim rape of Scandanavian Women is deafening. And these countries all allegedly the most liberal and most feminist in the world.

Well, there were the WTC riots in Seattle in 1999. There was pretty across the board representation by different group.

Then there were the demonstrations on Wall Street back in April. But there wasn't much coverage of that. Just a blip and it was gone from the media.

Hmmm. For some reason this one post keeps getting bounced. Maybe it's not long enough. Well, we'll try for long and see what happens...

"Centralia Outlet Mall Forced Into Receivership" The Chronicle, December 4, 2010. Front page.

www.chronline.com

Yeah right Vlad. Tell me something, if all these feminists hate men so much, why do they keep falling in love with them?

If feminists truly hated men, they could just go out and start shooting them. Haven't you ever wondered why they aren't in open armed revolt? It is because the opposite is true: feminists love men, enough to want them to truly understand.

In your case however, one could be forgiven for just plain giving up. Where did I put my 12-gauge anyway?

:)

Sometimes I look at cooking as OT ... Occupational Therapy. Sure it takes time, but it's healthier for me and cheaper.

Someone gifted me with a bit of sausage from a local butcher. One of those family run places that still around. So, what to do with this bounty. Slice a little of it up. I have some brown rice in the fridge. Add a couple of stocks of celery. Some garlic. Maybe a can of corn. A can of creme of mushroom soup. Sweet basil and turmeric. Nuke. Probably end up with enough for two or three meals.

Recipe? I don't need not stinking recipe! What I call vibration cooking. If it looks right, smells right and tastes good and is reasonably healthy, it's all good.

Of course, I'm a single guy and only have to please myself. A sandwich spread I most often use is: plane non-fat yogurt, a squirt of horseradish mustard and some sunflower seeds for crunch. With cheese (non-fat mozzarella) on good bread. I use plane non-fat yogurt a lot of places other people use sour cream. Like, on chili.

Be creative, be adventuresome. Take risks. You find out what appeals to your taste buds. Sometimes it's a wash. I like chili. I like broccoli. They do not play nice, together (to me.)

As it happens, the idea that the woman "proudly harbors prejudice" (against men) is spin being propagated by the Assange lawyers.
=======

Net, as is frequently the case, my replies have nothing to do with the comments themselves but, rather, the words used in making them. (I regret that a lot of people are highly annoyed by this.) And so, I don't care to voice an opinion (if I even had one) about the motivations of Assange's lawyers.

While we're at it ... harbors, spin and propagated are another three negatively loaded words.

Add a couple of stocks of celery.
=========

Back in the old days the punishment for certain petty crimes was a stint in the stalks in the town square.

;o)

Sorry Qshtik, I didn't mean to imply that your correction had to do with the content. I did understand your intent and was as usual, jumping ahead. (I actually like it when you correct everyone, and am not annoyed by it at all.)

I do agree that "harbors" and "spin" are both loaded words, however I disagree about the word "propagated." That word is more often used in gardening than anywhere else and in this case it merely is used to mean: to extend, to cause to spread out, to affect a greater number or greater area. Not particularly negatively loaded.

I use plane non-fat yogurt
=======

Which kind, B-52 or 747?

;o)

"Teddy "took a long, slow gulp of his vodka and tonic, thought for a moment, and changed tack. 'I'm glad I'm not going to be around when you guys are my age.' I asked him why, and he said, 'Because when you guys are my age, the whole thing is going to fall apart.' ""

Fuck Teddy and fuck his "slow gulps" of fucking vodka.
Of course he knew it was all going to fall apart. He helped orchestrate the fucking disaster. He could have taken some of his families ill-gotten, rum running fortune and possibly done some good with it but that wasn't enough. Instead, he made promises to ignorant voters that he knew could not be delivered. Why? For their votes from which he gained his power. Power for powers sake.

And he always did so with drink in hand. Sailing ones car off a dock and killing a young girl may have led one to reflect on the merits of sobriety but not our Teddy. Teddy was so impervious to his reckless ways he even named his dog, "Splash". Rest in hell Teddy-boy,,,rest in hell.

"Fuck Teddy and fuck his "slow gulps" of fucking vodka. Of course he knew it was all going to fall apart. He helped orchestrate the fucking disaster."

Holy cow! I find myself in perfect agreement with tzatza!

"I assume you meant against men. I bring this up ..."

You bring it up because you are a cunt. You continue to correct the mistakes of others and then make mistakes of your own. If your posts were meticulously constructed, with no mistakes, it would be one thing but they are not. Give it a rest or risk permanent cunt-dome.

*sigh*
Well, that was short-lived.

After all these years I broke down and got cable. You are right about Glenn Beck - he is a Great Master. Each day he desperately tries to wake up the Sheeple to their coming slaughter. Combining humor, learning, and faith, he is one of the shining lights of America.

I know how to sew and re-upholster furniture. I don't sew my own clothes now, but when it was cost-effective, I did. Custom-fitted silk dresses back in the early 80's.

Back in 1981, I bought an Elna Super sewing machine (made in Switzerland). It still sews beautifully -- I've sewn lots for the drama and choir programs at my kid's school. I am valued because I'm one of the few moms you can give a pattern to and I know what to do with it, no questions asked.

Jen

Women usually lack the guts to do the diry work themselves. They usually "fall in love" with another man and get him to kill their husbands. Why marry at all? It's a great way to get lots of money in divorce court. Real love from women would be to embrace the equality they supposedly believe in and stop throwing men out of their own homes. As you know, alot of women get into family law just to destroy men's lives by doing this and also denying them visitation to their children.

As for your 12 gauge, bring it on. I'm wating for you. Let's make Love.

hahaha! you just cannot help yourself Vlad, can you? :)

Centralia is in the middle of nowhere. The outlet mall in Centralia has competition from other outlet malls much closer to Portland Olympia Tacoma and Seattle.

Centralia is off the I-5 corridor but the I-5 corridor population can't support it by itself Centralia is more than fifty miles from any really big city.

In a world made by hand like the one to come, the likes of a 'Billy Bones' might pass you by if you lived fifty miles out from a big city (Olympia in this case) but that would not apply to the I-5 corridor, a thin river of overpopulation stretching all the way from Canada to Mexico.

Asoka, I live 100 miles from Centralia and have for thirty years.

It is in the middle of nowhere.

We could easily feed our people.

Especially if we start paying people to voluntarily sterilize themselves!
===========

Wage, I favor a cutback in population from the other end of the spectrum ... i.e. "pulling the plug on granny." I know that sounds awful but if people died at some respectable age like 70 (and as you may have read this is coming from someone who just recently turned 70) a whole host of problems, beyond mouths to feed, would be solved: the black hole of social security funding, healthcare (especially alzheimer's) for the aged, unemployment, etc. Every day I read the NY Times Obits and it's astonishing how many people make it into their 90's but I think many of them reach those advanced years held together by duct tape and bailing wire.

I have no idea how this might reasonably be accomplished but I feel certain that massively cutting back on child births is an ass-backwards way to go. Did you ever see the movie "Children of Men?"

Damn, this conversation deteriorated fast.

Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we're solving the world's problems?
========

That question comes to mind every day and the answer is yes.

In 20 years those of us not pushing daisies or residing in an urn on the mantel will be doing what we must to live and this blog will likely be long gone.

Myrtlemay,besides hoping you have a wonderful Christmas,I hope you will enjoy your gift of an American made,poor quality 25 dollar T shirt or the newest version of the American made Ford Edsel.(Volt?)

Wow! Your good! And (blush) I consider myself "accomplished" if I manage to sew in a zipper! Go to the head of the class, lady!

Sorry Q: should have been "You're". My bad, as the grandkids would say.

You continue to correct the mistakes of others and then make mistakes of your own.
======

You are wrong Tza. Other people make mistakes. I make typos.

;o)

Lew,
What can I say? I mean, there was a war on when I was in school, and men were in short supply! I actually only "tried" it once...okay, twice. But that was IT! I most definitely prefer men and always have.
Had to laugh when you described your cooking experiences. We need more men in the kitchen!

Oh, and as for my "experience", you can't say I didn't give it the good ol college try! ;)

If we were to simply just give every last one of those 150 million people $500 a week to live on
===========

Sounds a lot like EightM but without the skyscrapers and simple buses.

Well, even Edna St. Vincent Millay (well before you're time, I know and a Vassar girl to boot. I think) couldn't stick with the program. Finally landed herself a wealthy Dutch coffee broker who bought her a wonderful estate in upstate New York. Steepletop. Now an artists's retreat.

Re: Sewing. I'm lucky to get a button back on. But I have done a bit of rug hooking in my time and a bit of knitting. Years ago.

Sigh. I do miss having a real kitchen. An oven. Bread. Cookies. Pies. I can do a lattice top! And, individual meringues with lemon filling. And I developed my own recipe for cookies I call my "F*** You Mrs. Fields, Oatmeal Cookies." Whatever happened to Mrs. Fields?

Lew, I think you must mean the WTO riots?

"Well, there were the WTC riots in Seattle in 1999. There was pretty across the board representation by different group."

You had me going, though. Why, I wondered, were folks rioting about the World Trade Center in Seattle in 1999?

Why, I wondered did West Texas College go all the way to Seattle - why not riot at home? ;-)

But seriously, folks - The World Trade Organization riots always have a somewhat organized look to them.
And that organization seems to be international in nature.

Look, I'm not saying American aren't happy to riot at the drop of a hat - OR at the win/loss of a pro sports team. I'm saying that an organized protest that gets some news attention would require a plan.

Someone mentioned the "General Strike" in France. I don't think workers will "strike" willy nilly, without some kind of union/organizer protections - at least for some of them.

Q, as a Manly Man, I couldn't let this one slide by the thread. Tripp asked, and you responded:
=======

"Does it ever seem silly to you? Getting together like this and pretending that we're solving the world's problems?
========

That question comes to mind every day and the answer is yes.

=========

I had to look it up in the wuss dictionary.

Grown men who repeatedly engage in behavior that they consider to be "SILLY" are borderline mamby-pamby and are definitely exhibiting namby-pamby characteristics!

Now, you see, that's supposed to be funny, therefore there is no need to elaborate with an emoticon.

What would it take to "grow" a consensus among US citizens regarding ...
========

Budi, I've tried hundreds of times to engage my wife in conversation about the discussions here on CFN regarding energy descent, economic contraction, etc and it's all for naught. Usually her eyes just glaze over but today I must've gone too far and she told me to "Stop it!! You're creeping me out!"

Mook, you are correct about this:

"Sears is run by an ex hedge-fund manager named Eddie Lambert. He could care less about how the stores are run..."

WTF'ingF Seriously, no wonder American style capitalism is FUBAR'ed.

Take a great old company and finish running it into the ground.

Way to go, Eddie Boy!

"...held together by duct tape and bailing wire." -Q.

Typo, mistake, fuck-up, and interpretive fault. ;o)

Ya c'ain't bail no dang wowder wid a dang waar!

Baling wire will wire together a bale...

Sorry Q: should have been "You're". My bad, as the grandkids would say.
=========

Consider this: Your good is the exact opposite of My bad.

TZA,

In a response to Q, you mentioned something that sounded very intriguing to me.

"...permanent cunt-dome."

What on Earth is a cunt-dome? Do they hold sporting events there? How do I get tickets??

Or, perhaps you meant "cunt-dom," as in martyrDOM or starDOM.

Damn - that ends my interest in wanting to go see it!

I have a better idea. More proactive, I think. Gulp...oh, excuse me, just finishing off the first scotch and soda of the evening. (Here's to ya, Teddy! See ya in Hell!) Instead of waiting for granny and grampy to even GET on the damn machine, hogging up all the electricity, why not send out some "hit men"? I mean, let's do granny and grampy a favor and take them out quickly, sniper-like. Simple, minimum amount of pain really. Probably be doing them and yourself a huge favor, in the long run, I mean.

There's 5 hrs and 33 mins left of Dec 7th here on the east coast and no one has mentioned that today marks 69 years since "Pearl Harbor." I wonder how many more years till the common man forgets about "9-11."

Sears also used to sell opium through the catalog.

And pre-made houses.

Not long.
...Uh, what was I sayin'? Where's my ipod and [m]indfold?

I hear ya, man! As the times get weirder, the fantasy gets thicker and more widespread.

Actually, pension age affects young people as soon as they hit the labor force.

Retiring at age 60 frees up lots of jobs for younger people.

Here in the USA, generational hatred is stirred up, not generational solidarity.

Networker,

Regarding the word "rape."
Apparently the Swedes do not use the term like we use it in the States.

Our prosecutors like to get a sentence of life in prison for those convicted of rape. At one time, in some states, rape could be punished by execution.

In Sweden, according to one of your websites, a rape conviction earns the guilty party a fine of $700.00.

I'm not picking an argument with you Net.

But the word "rape" sways juries and sells ads on news programs. IMO, the word "rape" should represent a crime of sexual violence against women - and only that.

The use of this powerful word, "rape" for salacious or political purposes is unfortunate.
We're being manipulated.

If Assange committed a crime through WikiLeaks, that's what he should be charged with.

The rest of this is just a side show, and something of a Swedish/American dictionary conflict, IMO.

A feminist?

I heard that one of them is a CIA anti-Castro employee.

Is that the same one?

Because I don't think that the definition of a feminist is someone who entraps a man for money.

Read "Pebble in the Sky" by Isaac Asimov - similar to your idea, except the cutoff age was 60.

Net,
I would highly recommend a semi-auto 20 gauge loaded up with deer slugs. The distinct lack of kick gets you back "on target" nearly instantaneously, and still makes a hell of a mess.

(Or, if you'd desire a little hurt to go along with large bleed-out, mix it up with some shot-shells! ;o)

Looking at a woman is also sometimes called rape. Some Women would like nothing better than to be able to just point at a man and have the police lock him up. That's why I love Camille Paglia - the great Feminist Gadfly. She realized that the whole movement went crazy a long time ago. It meets the needs of very few women - since most women want to marry and have children. All of that is looked on with contempt by the lesbian theorists and separatists.

I haven't had time to read your link yet, but I do have something to say about rape.

Horrible crime. It took years for feminists to get it treated as a crime and not a joke.

Now only male rape is joked about. (In prison, ha, ha, really funny. Locked up and violated, the stuff of countless stand-up jokes).

However.

I remember once I had a patient who said that her boyfriend had begged her to have sex with her, and she said "no" and he begged her again, and she said "no" and he begged her again and she said "All right".

And her friends told her that that was rape. She asked me if I agreed and I said "No".

One of my co-workers commented "If that's rape, I'm raped every time!"

Tribadism? Didja tri that?

Well the more hatred the more love, up to a point anyway. Woman are like this especially. You will grow to love me if I irritate you enough. And as you know from your reading of Bataile, the "other" is always most attractive since objectification is the essence of sexual attraction. Thus Jews have Nazi porngraphy and vice versa; Jews have Palestinian pornography and vice versa. Since Communists are the other of Nationalists, I'm wondering if there is a possibility of an new kind of pornography based not on ethnicity but on ideology. What do you think? It would be very high brow by necessity; more akin to erotica - stuff you could read with either one hand or both but both on the subway.

Wage, you are correct:

"Here in the USA, generational hatred is stirred up, not generational solidarity."

Right now those born 1940 to 1960 are in leadership and have the bit firmly in their teeth. I continue to be amazed at the selfishness of what's happening.

From energy policy to tax policy, those born after 1980 are being systematically sold out.

============
On another note, I'm working real hard on the idea of conspiracies. I do know they wouldn't be having "general strikes" in France without unions.

By the same token, we wouldn't have the TEA party in the US without Fox news, the Koch brothers, or some organizing force - seen or unseen.

How am I doing?

I think that I'm finally emerging from the stupor of denial that our civilization really is collapsing. Even as a child, I had an intuitive feeling that my consumer society was spiritually vacuous and built on a foundation of sand and clay. Later, I intellectually recognized that Collapse is the logical outcome of our trajectory. But, until recently, I was still in denial of the outcome---Collapse. It was too remote, too far-fetched. It couldn't happen. In any event, how could I possibly act, and think in any way differently from the way that I am programmed to act and think? A creature of habit cannot change....

But now, I realize that our society has become INSANE, MAD. And I realize that I have been programmed, like the rest of society, to act and think in INSANE, MAD ways. To a certain extent, my situation is no different from the peon workers at Auschwitz who put on their uniforms everyday, and didn't see anything out-of-the-ordinary in their environment---the piles of corpses.

As our financial system implodes, as we pursue 2 inane foreign wars that we can't afford, our President, Mr. Obama, travels to Afghanistan to lobby for the rights of American homosexuals to engage in sodomy in foreign lands. And even some persons on this list can't see how MAD this is!

I realize that, perhaps, war and Collapse is the natural cleansing agent for this recurring, natural cycle of human decay and psychosis.

Thank you for your attention.

Your friend always, Cornelius Beauregard Armstrong Pucker, the Third.

Right back atcha big guy (or girl?)! I don't think I want either one of those "gifts" ;) I'm not sure it's worth mentioning, but one of the reasons we began to lose market share in Detroit to Japan (UK, etc.) is that the quality of American autos was piss poor then. Most people believe that this all started back in the '70s. Well, sit down honey, fix a drink, and let me tell you something you may already know. That Edsel you refer to (or was it I?, damned memory again!) was nothing other than a bona fide piece of molasses. It was conceived by some really smart, highly paid executives. It had all the latest do-hickeys - fins, chrome, automatic this and that - THE WORKS, circa l958. There were more than a few problems. It was, in the eyes of many, an ugly car. It had the added attraction of not running well (gear slippage, window leakage, etc). In short, it had all of the problems new car owners don't expect to have. Also, l958 was a recession year. Seems that folks just weren't in the mood to part with cash when they were out of work (or afraid to be). Who knew? Gas was fairly cheap, though, @ about a quarter to thirty cents a gallon.
Anyway, a friend of mine's father ran a car import business in 1959, and made a fortune selling volkswagons, bmws, fiats, etc. Detroit didn't wake up and smell the coffee until about 1981...a little bit of a sleepy dream to ya on Christmas, Funzel!

Puck,
Ya had me, up till the crack about gay and lesbians wanting to fornicate in Iraq. WTF? You can't possibly believe this MSM garbage about "Let's Let'm serve...It's the right thing to do!" Come on, this is a side show inside the circus tent. You seem to smart to fall for this crap.

Geez, I'm doing Q's work for him, but I'll go ahead and edit myself (beat him to the punch!):
"up till should have been up til,...or up until", "You seem to smart"...SHOULD BE: "You seem TOO smart." Criminy, Sister St. Mark would be sooooooo pissed!
We really do love ya, Q! Keep on akeepin on!

I don't think that American servicemen do want to fornicate in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama is using the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell non-issue as a smoke screen to appear like he's confronting the military establishment when, in fact, he's caving in to a policy of perpetual war. It's MAD, INSANE.

Thank you.

American car companies were also heavily involved in the concept known as "Planned Obsolescence."

Cars were SUPPOSED to wear out - to be replaced on something like a 5 year rotation.

It would have worked more or less forever in the States - with the Big 3, autoworkers, and consumers passing the bucks back and forth.

I remember the first imports from Japan - like the Beetle from Germany - as crappy, lightweight, and less reliable than American built cars. Then the Japanese started to build better cars. Then the first Honda in '75?? got 30 freakin' MPG -

It's only recently that US made cars started to compete on quality and MPG. I just bought a pretty good GM vehicle - made in Canada, but closer than Japan - work with me, I'm grasping at straws, here.

I wonder how many people are running around the US saying "we outsourced all our manufacturing," while driving an import?

What do you drive, Cash?

Pucker

Obama campaigned on closing Guantanamo and ending DADT - it's taken him two gutless wonder years to finally do something about one of these.

He can't move beyond the base of American voters.
If anything is MAD or INSANE - it's the average US citizen who votes??

Obama is just a symptom. Bush was at least as bad a symptom.

I'm still trying to figure out what you are going for here, Pucker.

You're right about that. Planned obsolescence...that lovely little idea, and some extremely ugly 1960's- l970's architecture came right from my peers from MIT, etc. Talkin bout my generation...we were the greatest....yeah, right...

The Greatest Generation

An earlier comment about Pearl Harbor has been rolling around in my mind like grit in an oyster - getting me more and more angry.

Here's the pearl:

One of my family members was a navy vet. Pearl Harbor survivor. I walked him to a table at a dinner one night about 3 years ago - shortly before his death. He had to hold my arm for support. I told this man that I was proud of him and he was genuinely SURPRISED.
It was hell, he had survived and moved on with his life.

My own father served 4 HARD years in the Pacific Theater. He never wanted to talk much about the war or think much about it. It was Hell, he survived, and moved on with his life. He died in '84. NOBODY ever thanked him for his service or genuflected over it.

Our last WWII veterans are passing away from among the living, now. I honor their service - ESPECIALLY BECAUSE each of them represents 1000's of others who served through the Hell and never received a whole lot of thanks for it.
============
9/11 is different. Unlike Pearl Harbor, there were no survivors who could fight - and finally receive their honors 60+ years later.
There was no nation like Japan that we could attack and beat to smithereens - so the US government simply MADE UP TWO nations that we could attack.

Do not conflate 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.
You dishonor the memory of both events.

And spread the myth of America under attack and the need for endless war.

It's called "One Second After". Apparently about a small NC town that broke down after an EMP. She tends to need sudden tragedy to make this shift work for her, and I assume this one did the trick. Never read it, can't endorse it. But there it is. I'm happy for Mom. We'll start planting her property in the spring. Which, by my account, means more good food for my children too.

NOT TO MENTION....

"That is probably hand-picked, Loganberry jam, organically grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York, trucked in overnight to a micro-jammer located just outside the Olympic village, in Lake Placid."

You mean he's listing the prices for real food??

Two of my husbands served during the war. One was a Merchant Marine and entered the war late, subsequently didn't see any combat. The other served from 1942 - 1945, and then again in Korea. I don't need to be told about sacrifice. We grew Victory Gardens and ate from them. My last husband had a moment of awakening in the 1980s, realizing the true insanity of war. It put him in a mental ward for over a month. BTW, he was a DECORATED WAR HERO, PURPLE HEART AT IWO JIMA! Mind your tongue, son!

"What" - got us here, to this point of over consumption, over population, and over confidence is a complex set of inter-dependencies based on ...

I think that credit (too much credit) has a lot to do with our (the US's) troubles. The system collapsed because many people borrowed heavily then defaulted. I think it was a similar story in 1929.

I think that everything else follows from that. I don't mean to dismiss peak oil as a problem, but the problem it is causing is being magnified x5 or x10 or beyond by excessive credit.

Commonwealth bank advert: conversation between equipment hire business owner and bank manager:
Businessman: Can I borrow forty-five million dollars?
Banker: No, but I'll hire it to you.

I read it - great book. It really brings home the fragility of modern society. There's an intoduction by an ex-military man. Apparently the Soviets had a plan to explode about 12 warheads over the US to create the Electro-Magnetic Pulses - each one taking out the transistor based technology for hundreds of square miles below it. Strategically placed, this could ultimately cause more death than "conventional" nuclear warfare. How? Through starvaton and disease. The novel goes into this in great detail.

Now that brings up a whole subject that hasn't been addressed on this site yet to my knowledge. What can people do to prepare for the health system break down? One survival writer said that veterinary medicine is more readily available to the layman than the tightly controlled AMA medicines. Some of the antibiotics that work for animals can work for man. Cheaper too. Hot water and vinegar are good, but if an infection really gets going those wont stop it. You work with animals, what do you think?

So check this shit out. We were bummed this past summer when saw the 14 acres up in the mountains my grandparents offered to let us live on because it was...um...actually TOO pristine. Too many bears, cats, and copperheads, too far from people and farmers markets, and no flat land for rotational grazing. Big time bummer, 'cause 14 f'ing acres of forested mountain slope with a salamander-loaded creek at the bottom?? We had an awfully hard time passing on it. (And it will always be available if the need arises.)

BUT, here's the newer cooler chapter. A 60-ish year old couple who live in Tifton, the town we're hoping to move to early next year, saw my talk at the Georgia Organics convention last month. They invited my grandparents over for dinner recently, and offered the idea that we were welcome to live in the old farmhouse in exchange for renovation. The old farmhouse on 300 acres with a pecan orchard for a front yard, and a fenced 5 acre paddock beside it for me to practice my rotational grazing methods in! These folks have been to Polyface Farm, Joel Salatin's place in Virginia, and are totally into the mob grazing thing.

In 3 years since I lost my "real job", my wife and I have wondered many times where our living was going to come from, and every time we feel certain that our living will come from our garden somehow. So long as our expectations are reasonable in the grand scheme of things. It's been a real leap of faith, especially for non-believers, but it seems to be happening. Not a week ago we were saying how nice it would be to find an old farmhouse in a pecan orchard. Now it looks like a done deal almost. We're meeting onsite at Christmas to settle the details...and probably plant next year's garlic crop! And this way we can take our time getting the house sold, and when we do, we can pay off the last of our debt, or buy some land of our own.

We're very excited! Just had to share that. Sorry. Please return to your brilliance.

Congrats, Tripp! You may be the only thing left for me to keep coming here (instead of to bitch and vent, I mean)! Truly you are the inspiration for the blog, and really have been since you came aboard. To confess, I don't often look at your blog...just too remote from me, I guess. Still, I peak now and again. Right now, my mind resonates with the fantastic land you and your family will be working on next. Thanks, I needed that...and happy Pearl Harbor Day to all.

Here we go..."Still I peak...", should be "still I peek." G'night!

A total cessation of births wouldn't be prudent, but a reduction would. A birthrate somewhat below replacement would not have to lead to demographic disaster. That argument is regularly made about Japan, and sometimes about Russia, but in point of fact the youth in those countries aren't just few in number, they're also pretty useless as cohorts: a great many Russian youth are hopeless drug addicts, and a great many Japanese youth are spoiled brats with terrible social skills. If these cohorts could somehow be better socialized and integrated into productive society, the demographic problems facing their countries would be much alleviated.

Offhand, I'd say that American youth are better socialized and more productive than Japanese or Russian youth, but that our elderly are less healthy and hardy. This seems to be partly the result of our medical system focusing so on the elderly, in contrast to a Darwinian situation among Russia's elderly. We also have a whole lot more people who never took care of themselves in the first place, evidenced by high and rising rates of diabetes and severe obesity.

These are just some anecdotal observations. They may not be entirely borne out by more complete data, but they're relevant to the demographic debate. In short, a relatively small youth population and a large elderly population may be less a problem of quantity than of quality.

There is an important political angle to the demographic debate, too. In the United States, it takes the form of a very well-organized and mobilized elderly voting bloc that, for better or worse, has a firmer grip than any other demographic on its share of the entitlement pie. This is useful for keeping shysters from gutting benefits for ulterior motives (e.g., diverting relatively stable and reliable Social Security deductions into wildly unstable stock portfolios and IRAs in the guise of "free choice" and "reform"), but it also worsens structural problems with Social Security and Medicare by obstructing much fairer, more effective reforms.

Social Security and Medicare do face serious structural problems, ones that will worsen in coming decades unless major reforms are undertaken. The structural problems can, however, be solved or at least greatly mitigated. The real impediment is political will. There will certainly be more manufactured crises and disgusting donnybrooks if anyone tries to implement serious, equitable reforms, unless Americans miraculously turf out the shysters whom they've sent to Congress (pretty low chance at present given the number of cynical Tea Party hacks just elected).

Two areas of medicine in which huge savings could be achieved in an ethical manner are the heroic efforts made to save barely viable premature babies and the terminally ill. Many of these patients have either no chance of recovery (e.g., Terri Schiavo and decrepit elderly patients with advanced Alzheimer's Disease) or no chance of having a good quality of life (in the case of severely premature babies). Again, there is a lot of political grandstanding in these cases from the likes of baby-worshipers, Bill Frist and company intervening in the Terri Schiavo case on the absurd grounds that she was sentient and being murdered, and Sarah Palin rabidly warning about "death panels." The structural problems in our entitlements, not to mention the overall quality of medical care for people who can really benefit from it, worsen when the nutters aren't sidelined in these debates.

What wonderful news Tripp!! I'm so happy for your family.

Jen

Another case of 'where's the government when you need them': there is still rubble in the streets of Christchurch from the earthquake on 4 September.

There simply isn't enough bulldozers and like equipment in New Zealand to clean this stuff up, apparently.

"You work with animals, what do you think?"

What I think is my wife makes a topical cream that works on damn near any complaint, including broken bones (that's my personal best experience with it), for humans, and for horses and dogs at least. I tried it on a rooster, but he was too far gone already. $15 for a big 4 ounce tin that lasts us at least 6 months, using it daily. Most amazing medicine I've ever used. She just listed with Etsy.com and sold some in the first week. That's some of our income that's coming out of our garden. She makes awesome soap too. My brother in Atlanta just started using it recently, and he says he will never in his life buy another kind of soap. Her Etsy.com link, which only has the cream listed for now, because our soap inventory is suddenly quite low:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/faboo42

That's one little way to start taking medicine back from the profiteers.

Another is to add mineral density to your diet. It helps a lot more than people give it credit for I think.

Other than that, I'm just glad I'm not 65 years old relying on a weekly pill box to get me through the day. See what eating petroleum does to us??

There were some good articles in the New York Times recently about severe weather and flooding in the Upper Midwest. Global climate change certainly seems to have been a culprit, as it has been in Australia. Some of the weather events were unprecedented in the time that written weather records have been kept in the locations affected.

If such severe weather spreads and becomes more frequent, the United States may not be able to remain a breadbasket to the world. This is especially true since we've planted so much of our productive land in places with historically more stable climates to lawn grass, asphalt and shitty architecture. We haven't devoured nearly as large a proportion of the land, or as productive land, in Tornado Alley as we have in the Los Angeles Basin, the Central Valley or Lancaster County.

I'm glad the military is going to institute open service for gays. The Military Elite hate it with a passion. The higher you go, the more opposition. The Marines and the Special Forces particularly. It will kill the espirit de corps which is so essential for a great military thus weakening the United States. The weaker the United States, the more chance it will split up. The more chance it will split up, the more chance that the White Race will live.

The counterfeit is the enemy of the real. A multicultural United States is the deadly enemy of the Real, Western, White, United States based on thousands of years of Tradition, Common Law, and Christianity. People who hate the True West can go live in Atzlan or New Africa (the deep South) Somehow I think very few will do so. Why? Do you know? I do.


Like JHK, I shiver at all this talk of
"recovery". Where do these people live
who talk of such? On the ground where
I live, I'm seeing such horrors on the
jobs front that almost ALL start-ups are
now hiring programmers at $12/hour (no, I
am NOT kidding) ... and they're getting
HUNDREDS of near-starvation applicants.

I, personally, know about a half-dozen
people who are draining their 401K's
without a job prospect in sight. Two
are talking about the prospect of entering
a homeless shelter in mid-Winter.

Watching the various BubbleVision channels
(CNBC, Fox Biz, Bloomberg) makes me want
to upchuck and die. What a bunch of
happy horseshit!!! Of course, since
the sponsors of the various BubbleVisions
are multi-nationals that want destitute
people to go out and spend, spend, spend,
of course their reporters aren't going
to say anything with more than a loose
correlation to truth.

I'll bet upcoming GDP stats will look good
because USA-based multinationals get to
count foreign sales as part of US GDP.
I feel like I'm living in the Soviet Union
and instead of one Pravda, we now have a
hundred Pravdas ... and the ACTUAL Pravda
in Russia reports with much greater objectivity
than our "free" press which is in thrall to
the corporate "Happy Happy Joy Joy" mandate.

Sigh.


E.


Well, Asoka, what do you think of Brother
Obama now? He's totally caved on campaign
promises so that TARP recipients can get
their $500,000 Christmas bonus ... and
he STILL has a majority until 2011.

They say that the best way to rob a bank
is to own one. Does that mean I should
buy Citi shares now?? I'm actually quite
serious because two brokerages came out
and made them THE number one bank equity
choice. Gee, can I rob the bank by owning
a PIECE of one (shares)??

Wow, Kafka's world really looks remarkably sane compared to this one.


E.

Tripp said: "we were welcome to live in the old farmhouse in exchange for renovation."

Wonderful news, Tripp!

Couldn't have happened to nicer people and validates the abundance available to those like you who are more into giving and sharing instead of hoarding.

I am very happy for you!

I am very happy for those pecan trees and those 300 acres, knowing they will be well cared-for by you and your family.

E. asks: "Well, Asoka, what do you think of Brother
Obama now? "

Obama is my brother and I love him.

but whats it made from?
and if you do move DONT BE LANDLESS...plow
[pun intended] your money into some land...even if you live a state away from it.


meanwhile down under the bitter fruits of immigration grow.
i was web searching protest art and found this gem:

Standing up for the rights of women will get you branded a racist and a sexist these days. And while women in Australia are free to wear the burqa, apparently Sergio Redegalli is not free, at least in the eyes of many, to call on them not to wear it. Yet another Islamic challenge to the freedom of expression: "Complaint lodged over burqa mural," by Josephine Tovey for the Sydney Morning Herald, November 26 (thanks to all who sent this in):

IT HAS become a lightning rod in the public debate about the right of Muslim women to wear the burqa, attracting protests, the censure of a mayor and messages of support from talkback radio.

But now the Newtown mural of a woman in a full-face Muslim covering with a strike symbol over her face and the words ''Say No to the Burqa'' is the subject of an anti-discrimination complaint.

Cigdem Aydemir, 27, a Muslim, artist and high-school art teacher, said she felt ''completely offended and insulted'' when she saw the mural pop up in her neighbourhood.

The work of a local artist, Sergio Redegalli, the piece adorns a wall of his studio facing the street and the busy rail line.

''My sister-in-law wears a burqa ... my mother wears a veil,'' she said. ''I wore a veil for 10 years of my life. I think everyone has the right to wear whatever they want on their body and that kind of diversity needs to be protected.''

Aydemir went to the police and then the council to try to make the complaint, but as the mural was painted on private property neither could intervene. She lodged her concerns with the Anti-Discrimination Board, who this week notified Redegalli.

He said he had painted it to open debate about the burqa, but now felt his right to freedom of expression was on the line.

''There's a problem about the right to free expression, the loss of the ability to say something without instantly being branded a racist,'' Redegalli said. He cited a number of reasons for his opposition to the garment, including concerns about security and the rise of Islamic extremism in Australia.

''There's thousands that can say we don't actually feel comfortable about this - that's not being taken seriously,'' he said.

But Aydemir said: ''It's Islamophobic; it's feeding the racist and sexist attitudes we have in our society.''

The image has drawn fire from locals, and has been defaced at least 20 times. The former Marrickville mayor, Sam Iskander, said in September the mural ''goes against the values which the Marrickville community has believed in and practised for generations''.

"DONT BE LANDLESS...plow
[pun intended] your money into some land"

My preference is definitely to put whatever we make from selling this house into land of our own.


Sears also used to sell opium through the catalog.

And pre-made houses.

I'll take one of each, please.

That's great news, Tripp.

And you never know...if they find you to be a good steward of their land, they may work out a reasonable purchase deal with you.

The old farmhouse on 300 acres
=========

Congratulations Tripp on this stroke of good fortune. Actually, from what I know of you, you've done your homework, paid your dues and created your own good fortune. 300 acres is one helluva lot of land. I'm familiar with 100 acres which I wrote about last year. It was the last farm of any size in Camden County NJ and literally a stones throw from the house I grew up in. Today the site has a bank, diner, strip mall and apartments on it. Kinda breaks my heart when I pay a visit every 5 or 10 years.

The house on the farm was built in the late 1700s or early 1800s. Clarence Victor Jarvis, a tenent farmer, and his ancient mother (passed at 93) lived in the house and worked the land. I pulled corn and picked beans and tomatoes as a boy and did other odd jobs. I gained an appreciation of the hard life of a farmer so I know you will have your hands full with 300 acres.

On another subject ... I checked out your wife's comfrey cream site and noted that one of the ingredients is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Various cooking shows, especially Rachel Ray's, make a point of recommending EVOO for cooking. But a few days ago I read a piece (can't remember where, maybe the NY Times) that explained that EVOO is 10x more expensive than canola oil and no better if the oil is cooked (raised to high temp in a skillet). The article claimed that EVOO had superior taste qualities at room temp, for example if spritzed on a salad, but no advantage if cooked. I don't know how the EVOO enters your wife's comfrey cream but she may want to think about canola if ingredient cost is even an issue.

Again, congrats on this turn of events. - Q

Great book! Parts of it return again and again to haunt me. The business woman in the remains of a power suit turned away from the town. She had been a public relations person for some big tobacco company. She's turned away because she has no useful skills to offer the town. Zip. So much for the big corner office and the parking spot next to the front door.

Congrats on the land. Hope it works out for you.

14 isolated acres? Gee, would your grandparents maybe be interested in adopting me? :D

Welcome to New Orleans.

There's big money to be made from disasters. Check out:
Naomi Klein's book, "Shock Doctrine." It's not a disaster, it's a business opportunity!

procon and wage, as I mentioned previously I too am deeply suspicious that this is a smear campaign against Assange. However, you should read the links I posted, as they go into these questions specifically.

Links here:
http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/12/06/some-thoughts-on-sex-by-surprise/

http://studentactivism.net/2010/12/04/julian-assange-condoms-rape-and-sex-by-surprise/

ozone,
Mossberg 20 GA pump, but I like the bleed-out, so loaded with buckshot currently. But slugs are on hand :)
Incidentally, when I quit my horrendous corporate job last summer, the first thing I did was put slugs through some old hard PC hard drives - made very satisfying donuts out of them! Took photos of them too, for future reminiscence.

Progressorconserve wrote: "I'm still trying to figure out what you are going for here, Pucker."

What I've been trying to say, and it seems that my powers of persuasion have failed me, is that OUR SOCIETY HAS GONE FxxxxCKING NUTS!!!!!!!

And most people don't even seem to notice it....

It's like the German guards at Aus chwi tz who each evening returned to their pleasant, well-kept homes in the suburbs with their well-groomed Ary//an kids and who go to church on Sundays. It's all normal...except for the piles of corpses!

I believe that Foucault in "Madness and Civilization" defined madness as a condition where one believes that what one is doing is perfectly rational, when, in fact, it is INSANE. Those damn N/az.is and their efficiency! Just so long as it was efficient it was o.k.---Zy//kl.on B.

Obama thinks it's perfectly rational to throw up a smokescreen with his Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell challenge to the military to mask his caving in to the military on its policy of perpetual war. MADNESS!

Unfortunately, the rape of women is still regularly joked about as well.

Vlad, you are just embarrassing yourself now.

So, re your ramblings regarding Nazis (etc) it follows that you, as an asshat, have feminist fantasies... ok. I see that I turn you on. If only, if only, it would inspire you to think as well!

Tripp! That is 100% Awe. Some.
But whatever you do, hold ON to the access to those pristine acres with water - you will likely appreciate the hunting there later.

Tripp, question: does your wife's cream have Comfrey in it?
And I use Azomite for minerals, both for myself, animals, and garden. What do you use?

Doh, I see it is comfrey cream. I use comfrey all the time too, both for treating things like cuts and bruises, as well as using it as a most excellent fertilizer on the garden. It used to be called "knitbone" for its intensive healing attributes, and it was always advised to be sure the wound was clean and infection-free first, because the comfrey heals over the skin so fast it can actually trap infection inside.

Pucker said: "Obama thinks it's perfectly rational..."

It is perfectly rational. That is the problem. The rational mind rationalizes very well.

Obama was influenced by Reinhold Niebuhr (the guy who wrote MORAL MAN AND IMMORAL SOCIETY).

Niebuhr battled with the religious liberals over what he called their naïve views of sin and the optimism of the Social Gospel, and battled with the religious conservatives over what he viewed as their naïve view of Scripture and their narrow definition of "true religion."

His long-term impact involves relating the Christian faith to "realism" in foreign affairs, rather than idealism, and his contribution to modern "just war" thinking. Niebuhr's perspective had a great impact on many liberals, who came to support a "realist" foreign policy. His influence has been acknowledged by such recent leaders of American foreign policy as Jimmy Carter, Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as John McCain.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

I admire many of Obama's qualities, but I do not agree with a foreign policy that uses kidnapping, assassination, psychological torture through indefinite confinement in Guantanamo, and uses drone bombers to kill people in countries against whom the USA has not declared war.

And finally y'all, might I direct your attention to a new, truly inspired article written by Joe Bageant? As always, both horrifying and hilarious at the same time:
http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/12/america-y-ur-peeps-b-so-dum.html#more

And just what would you have those people do? Stay home, brooding, being depressed, telling themselves how it's all going to come crashing down on them? Will it all crash, really?

Or as those who saw WWII coming did, you continue LIVING best you can, no matter the circumstances, no matter who you think or don't think will happen in the future. What will happen will happen. No point to stop living now.

As far as this being Obama's America, this all started before him....seen any Bushvilles lately?
Or do you think those millions who lost their jobs before Bush left office were already part of "Obama's America".
It isn't Obama's America. It's the America of every single person who has voted for this to happen since Reagan, c. 1980. And that means...Republican.
Enjoy.

I wish I could bet you, because I'd be that much richer on Jan. 1.

It will still be talked about. Because they will still be releasing cables by Jan.1. That alone makes you lose the bet.

Exactly.

And the "peak oil" problem is many many years down the road, still.

Thanks networker.

I enjoyed his writing, but I am ecstatic over the conclusion Joe seems to have come to at this stage of his life that:

one thing is certain. The only way out is in.

I agree completely.

Russ A asks: "And just what would you have those people do? "

I would not have them do anything.

What I should have done was to put brackets around that post [satire on] and [satire off]

I think CFN engages in too much fear mongering and talk of collapse. My post was making fun of CFN, but it did not come across well.

After reading Joe Bageant's latest piece, it would probably be a good idea if CFN cultivated an inner life, to complement (complement, not squash, not replace) their social and material lives.

In TLE it may be useful to have inner resources developed, as well as developing the outer ones. Each one decides how that happens. I have no recipes... each one is responsible to develop and evolve in their own particular way. IMHO nobody can tell you how. If you want, it will happen.

Christmas caroling is a good thing to do: it is at once spiritual and social. It builds community. Being on good terms with neighbors can only help in the future.

Most people I see during the day in my community are happy and carefree. It's part of the cultural ignorance Bageant describes.

If you try to engage them on issues, you risk a response like: "Global warming, what global warming? You an idiot? Cain't you see it's 8 degrees today?"

But here on CFN just reporting on what you see, that people are happy, causes you to be labeled "Pollyanna" because it goes against the CFN collapse story line that people are in pain and collapse is imminent.

You wouldn't respond to my thoughts about the Marxist Nature of modern Feminism and its hatred of the West. Why? Because you have no answer - it's the simple Truth.


Joe Bageant's piece savaged the worship
of money-mongering stupidity and the
idolization of celebrity ... both utterly
rampant in the US.

As usual, Asoka, your post PRESCRIBES
what CFN'ers "ought" to do, be, etc..
You just cannot resist the temptation
to get on your high horse and lecture
people about the realities of their
lives as if you know what they are.

The COLLAPSE is already here and you're
the last person to notice. Joe Bageant
sees it clearly. One in six Americans
are in hunger ... that's not some wild
supposition of mine ... it was a Bloomberg
ticker symbol whose data came from the
World Health Organization. We have
third-world rates of infant mortality and
second-world rates of longevity. We're
now something like 45th in international
math achievement test scores. Government
in America ... city, state, federal ...
are essentially insolvent and the Fed,
after today's announcement of an upspike
in unemployment, is talking MORE money
printing.

On the ground where real people live, I
know many people PERSONALLY who are one
paycheck from the street and/or who crash
at friend's apartments/houses because they
cannot even afford a deposit on an apartment
much less rent. Others are getting by on
$1200/month with a drawdown of their IRA's.

It's not the CFN'ers who need a new perspective.
Nothing in history EVER got done by people who
relentlessly refuse to see debacles that are
literally in front of their noses. Your views
resemble the views of the reporters on those
financial channels owned and sponsored by
multinational corporations whose interests
hardly extend past their shareholder base.

You talk as is the collapse is a HYPOTHESIZED
thing. It's already here. The only missing
component is rampant social disorder because
people are still, with great anxiety, able
to glue their lives together with dwindling
resources. That glue is, itself, melting
away. Nouriel Roubini, an excellent forecaster,
today said that another trillion dollars of
mortgage losses were on tap for 2011. That
would be the final straw.

Once social disorder occurs then it's years too
late to do anything except have the military
and FEMA round up people. The time for action
is now. Many of us thought that Obama would
be that action but he is a shill who has kept
the ENTIRE war machine in operation, allowed
corrupt bankers to socialize losses while
privatizing gains, and allowed the uber-rich
thieves to keep their largesse under the tired
rubric of supply-side economics ... discredited
even by Republicans like David Stockman.

This country is now beyond saving and still
heading pall-mall into a brick wall while
being narcotized by electronic gizmos, SSRIs,
a nanny-state educational sector, and the
reassurances of the very people picking our
pockets while we effervesce about the nice
smiles on their "Real-Wives-of-Beverly-Hills"
faces.


E.

(the anti veil mural).

So much politically correct BS is our society.

Reminds me of the Toyota advert: bugger.

For those not up on it:
It was an advert for a Toyota Ute (a smallish pickup truck), filmed in New Zealand and also shown in Australia. The advert featured certain situations that went awry because of the sheer power of the vehicle in question. One of these was when the dog hears the ute starting up and eagerly races out to leap onto the back of the ute. But the driver takes off too quickly and splats the mud up against the washing hanging on the line; also the dog goes SPLAT in the mud left behind by the ute. The driver looks back and says BUGGER!

Some prudes complained about the advert. In New Zealand, it was taken off for just a few days, but in Australia, it was off for several months, as the complaint(s) dragged on.


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. ----John Lennon

Between a hectic work schedule and the passing of my mother on Friday, I haven't had the time or heart to post anything but the most cursory statements. I've been overwhelmed with making plans for my mother and spending time with family and friends these last several days. I thought this morning how apropos to quote John Lennon as I think about how life-changers come crashing through our daily routines.
A cab driver, told me that "The jobs are coming back in five years". Truly mind-boggling. How long do they think people are going to stand for that carrot on a string?
I informed him that with these latest trade deals with S. Korea, don't expect anything but more unemployment. Lori Wallach was on C-Span yesterday and explained how destructive our trade deals are to our economy. It's frightening.
http://www.globalissues.org/video/728/lori-wallach-free-trade-how-free-is-it

Our tax deal is appalling. How can any group of people be so selfish as to want to keep those tax cuts for the wealthy in place. What has it done in the last 9 years? How is this group getting away with saying they have to deal with the deficit and you must have your "entitlements" cut back while they enjoy their entitlements at our expense. Why isn't everybody furious? (right and left)

Now our friends at Morning Joe are blaming our test scores and eduction system for why we're not competing. This may be a problem, but even white collar jobs are leaving the country, for the lower salaries and expectations. The Asians are hungry in every sense of the word and so will we be. Only---we are left with a first world price structure and an increasingly third world pay-scale and economy.

E, you really expressed the reality on the ground. Kudos to you.

"Tripp, question: does your wife's cream have Comfrey in it?"

It's called "comfrey cream!";o) I see now that you know that...

The comfrey, like the rest of our proprietary blend, is infused in the olive oil, so no bulk comfrey is actually in the cream.

For minerals I tend to think in terms of collecting what's present in high-quality food - humanure, compost, worm towers, and of course minerals from leaves and forest detritus. And comfrey! But I'll check out azomite! Any little advantage, right?

Yes, "knitbone" is a very appropriate name for it. I believe the ancients knew a ton more about plants, medicinal plants particularly, than we do. Those common names have a lot more validity than we probably give them credit for! My wife's cream fixed my broken toe overnight!!

I wish I could come see your place. Sounds like you guys got it together. Thanks for the good cheer regarding the new farm! We're pretty damn excited.

"But whatever you do, hold ON to the access to those pristine acres with water - you will likely appreciate the hunting there later."

It would take about a week on horseback to ride from the farm to the mountain, assuming safe passage could be had at all. But then, we're not quite there yet, are we? And I'm just starting to think about hunting again. Looking for a recurve bow on the cheap. I imagine the hunting up there could be pretty top-notch. The property shares a 1500' boundary with the Chattahoochee National Forest. End of the road.

"14 isolated acres? Gee, would your grandparents maybe be interested in adopting me? :D "

Thanks, Lew! And I don't know. If things keep going the way they are, a whole lot of people might be open to a whole lot of new ideas...sort of that initial floristic model that Ozone and I were talking about.

"Congrats, Tripp! You may be the only thing left for me to keep coming here (instead of to bitch and vent, I mean)!"

Ms. Myrtle, you're too kind! I'm awfully flattered. Here's to new ideas!! And may we all figure out how to get out of our own way.

Asoka for chrissake, Joe Bageant was NOT exhorting people to "get an inner life." I post a link to a great essay, and per usual, you go careening off into your own private little Christmas carol.

Eleuthero, thank you for saying it better than I could.

Vlad for PITY's sake, what in hell are you talking about? Why is it that rabid weirdos always read Marxism into every tea leaf they come across? I know this is asking a lot of you, but maybe you need to get your nose out of the books for awhile and actually listen to a few actual real live women? Or don't any want to talk to you?

Thanks for the good wishes, Ang, SJMom, and Soak!

We should be grazing beef by spring. I can barely sit still or hold a thought. (Especially as cold as it is in the house this morning!)

I told my DH about your pristine acres and he positively drooled over the prospect. I like to hunt. He loves loves loves to hunt. In fact I spent two weekends ago gutting, hanging, skinning, and butchering two 100+ lb deer. He shot both of them and is back out this coming weekend for a third. I told him he has to gut this time :)

lbendet, I am sorry to hear about your Mother. I hope she is remembered well.

"Congratulations Tripp on this stroke of good fortune. Actually, from what I know of you, you've done your homework, paid your dues and created your own good fortune."

That's damned decent of you, Q. And I hope we have enough aversion to the old labor-intensive food production methods that we are willing to try new things.

I sure am sorry to hear about your mother. You are certainly a major contributor to the lessons in adaptive behavior that I take away from this blog.

I am truly sorry.

26 years ago, my father died suddenly in the prime of early retired life.

3 years ago, I held my mom's had as she passed away following a long, hard, (yet generally cheerful and optimistic) battle with cardiovascular diseases.

The death of parents is something that will be faced by all of the fortunate among us, in God's (god's) time.

But there are no words to lessen the pain.

Take care, our friend. We'll be here when you need to vent at us! :-)

E. said: "Once social disorder occurs then it's years too late to do anything except have the military and FEMA round up people."

E. you are in la la land. Go spend some time in the third world, where all the statistics you just cited are much worse and still people, in their everyday lives, are civil, happy, and live with a good sense of humor, and a lot more hope than you exhibit.

"Once the social disorder occurs" ... always in the future... how many Friedman units?

Funny stuff to Asoka, Net:

"...and you go careening off into your own private Christmas carol...."

Thanks for posting Bageant's piece. I try to take a look at his website every week or so for a new essay.

Everybody in the US ought to read this one, TWICE.
Here are a couple of excerpts to read the 3rd time: ;-)

"Cultural stupidity might not be so bad, were it not self-reproducing and viral, and prone to place stupid people in charge."

AND
"In the historical view, cultural ignorance is more than the absence of knowledge. It is also the result of long term cultural and political struggle. Since the industrial revolution, the struggle has been between capital and workers. Capital won in America and spread its successful tactics worldwide."

"Will unrestrained global capitalism, with all the power and momentum on its side and motivated purely by machinelike harvesting of profits, reduce the faceless masses in its path to slavery? Does a duck shit in a pond?"

"Meanwhile, here we are, American riders on the short bus, barreling into the Grand Canyon. With typical American gunpoint optimism, we've convinced ourselves we're in an airplane. A few smarter kids in the back whisper about hijacking and turning the bus around. But the security cop riding shotgun just strokes his taser and smiles. Not that yours truly has the ass to take on the security surveillance state. Hell no. I jumped out the window when the bus shot past Mexico."

"...that politics worldwide is entirely about money, power and national mythology,...."

"But politics and money are never going to fill what is essentially a public vacuum that is moral, philosophical and spiritual."

"Some Americans believe we can collectively triumph over the monolith we presently fear and worship. Others believe the best we can do is to find the personal strength to endure and go forward on lonely inner plains of the self.

Doing either will take inner moral, spiritual and intellectual liberation. It all depends on where you choose to fight your battle."

excerpts from 12/7
Bageant

networker, I respond to you with Joe Bageant's own words:

"Spirit seems sort of like sex to me. You can read about an orgasm, but unless you have one, you just don't get it." http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2007/05/sick_of_fear_an.html

I am not here to preach. Either you get it or you don't. But I agree with Joe Bageant's position on spirit.

one thing is certain. The only way out is in.

ProCon said: "Doing either will take inner moral, spiritual and intellectual liberation."

Thanks ProCon.

This is the exact definition of the greater jihad.

lbendet, so sorry to hear of your loss.

Definitely blow. That is what those "cheerleaders" do for anyone who says things are going in the right direction.

Teddy is the main reason they call themselves "Massholes".

Again, Pucker, I'm asking a simple question.

Are you going off after Obama and the military because you are opposed to:
Obama?
Military geopolitics?
Madness in general?

Those are three totally separate issues, with separate reasons for existence and points of origin.

Yet every example you give includes an attack on the current sitting US president.

You and I ('specially you?) keep demonstrating the political F-ness of our CFNation.

So please be more specific.

LLB, Come on, you own a book store. You should use plain items!

========
Thanks ProCon.
This is the exact definition of the greater jihad.
========

Asoka, I didn't say this, Joe Bageant did.

And instead of the greater Jihad

Let's call it the greater Crusade.

Thanks for the link. I've seen it before, but I need to see things Alot before they stick. On overload.
I read the most recent post about Time passing in Siberia. I have experienced that to a degree in California. On the West Coast everyone is rushing around in cars with cell phones, even in "Paradise",
it's Rediculous. You get caught up in it. Well I FEEL it around me and it's disturbing.

Then 'you' go inland only 90 miles, to the Valley and some of those small Agricultural towns are like Siberia.
I kinda like it there better than the Coast for that reason. But it gets so Hot, and I am light skinned, and there is little to no public transit, that I am choosing to live on the Coast, for now as I can walk, bus or ride my Bikes.

Know what you mean tho. It's crazymaking. My God and they way 'they' drive ! out to get ya for real. I've had people look me right in the eye cuz no way they were gonna let me on the freeway. nope, can't even slow down for 3 seconds. These are 'grown ups', not teenagers.
I don't drive slow either. anyway, yeah time for a vacation for me.

Cool Website, thanks again.
oh I wanted to comment on when Cuba fed it self when the oil supply stopped, I think it will be much harder to do that in the U.S. simply because of the amount of people. And many not too bright, know what I mean vern ?

The reality is you can get "real food" for the same price (non-sale) as Smuckers when you buy at the proper time and place.

ProCon said: "Asoka, I didn't say this, Joe Bageant did. And instead of the greater Jihad Let's call it the greater Crusade."

Yes, I am supporting Joe Bageant.

Call it Jihad (Islam), call it Crusade (Christianity), call it Yoga (Hinduism), call it meditation (Buddhism), etc.

What it's called is not important.

What is important is what Joe Bageant said this week at the end of his essay:

one thing is certain. The way out is in.

"The reality is you can get "real food" for the same price (non-sale) as Smuckers when you buy at the proper time and place."

Hey Mook, I totally understand the desire to save money, and food seems to be a good way to do it if you're attentive. My underlying point though is that looking to save money on food is wrong-headed. Aside from seasonal bulk produce purchases I mean. Actually, I think we should, and eventually will, spend a lot more on food because it is the most important aspect of life, bar none. Far and away the most important. I'd prefer to see folks save money by cutting back on alcohol, tobacco, drugs (including prescribed pharmaceuticals), dump the tele, cook at home more and eat out less, drop to one car, or none, and definitely paid for, which drops insurance requirements, which...

You see where I'm going with this. I think the bad habits we need to be cutting out are the ones based on petroleum - the commute, the gas-powered toys (don't I love saltwater fishing), and most of all the oil-soaked food we eat. That's a habit that's about to get a lot of people in a lot of trouble. But it takes time to foster relationships with local producers, or to learn how to be a significant contributor to your own diet, so the best time to start was last year. The trend of searching for the cheapest food from wherever alarms me. In an energy descent context. Local producers will make or break us when the system starts to cough, so it seems germane to court those relationships at our earliest convenience. From whichever side of the cash register you prefer.

Not that I don't understand the necessity of saving money in hard times. Believe me I do, and my food choices have occasionally suffered for it. I'm just trying to warn people away from one of the worst habits oil has dumped on us in its long march to the peak. If you can find real food, that pays the farmer a living wage, then great. But cheap food is petroleum-subsidized food, and federally subsidized food, and I know you're not counting on those two entities to maintain the status quo. Not judging by your love of gold anyway!

"Now our friends at Morning Joe are blaming our test scores and eduction system for why we're not competing."

Friends? Please. These morons are blaming the education system? Well they may have a point. Brzinski graduated from Williams College, Geist from Vanderbilt, Scarborough from U of Alabama and Florida (OK, these schools don't count) and Barnicle from Boston U. Yet listen to the daily ramblings of these nit-wits.

Understand that when they were attending these fine institutions schooling was more difficult and tougher. (Yeah....riiiight.) But even if that were true, how does one explain their daily, imbecilic take on current events?

I’m not sure if the term “Status Grow” was ever used anywhere any writers before. But I made it up during my post yesterday to refer to the all-pervasive enemy of all things sustainable. And if you have ever read any of my old posts you would know that is have also called this social evil by the term discretionary consumption .
The publication and relevance of the theory of Peak Oil, with all its significance continues to suffer the effects of the “Status Grow” and Joe Bageant doe an excellent job of telling the “hows and why” of the powers Status Grow.

Our hyper capitalist system, through command of our research, media and political institutions, expands upon and disseminates only that information which generates money and transactions. It avoids, neglects or spins the hell out of information that does not.

This may be the best description of why the rich and powerful continue ransacking the earth, even in the face incontrovertible evidence of catastrophe.

Of course, there is still money to be made by the already rich. So the million or so people who own the country and the government use their control to convince us that there is no collapse, just economic and political problems that need to be solved.

From: http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/12/america-y-ur-peeps-b-so-dum.html

Definitely worth a read. $$$=Evil?

E,

I think one problem is that certain of us are too young to remember the way things were economically just two generations ago so they lack perspective.

I don't know how old you are but I remember when my father was EASILY able to support my mother, my sister, myself, pay off the house in 5 years, pay cash for a new full size car AND put money in the bank. Paid with hard dollars that bought stuff not inflation debauched paper.

And he came to Canada penniless, with no English, semi-literate in Italian and skilled only in farm labour. And his story was very common. This country is full of older immigrants like him from all over the world who worked and prospered. But nowadays an immigrant comes over and, except for the highly educated or skilled, there is bugger all except pizza making and delivery. And the same goes for the native born.

In my home town we had a variety of industries that employed thousands of people with decent wages. That was then. Now it's rusted out, boarded up and depopulating. All my childhood friends moved away. Even my parents moved away. The only things I have left there are the graves of my grandparents and some buddies who died young. Like that Simon and Garfunkel song said, nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town. When I go back to visit their graves it kills me. It kills me to write about it.

I think the story of my home town is the story of huge swathes of the US and Canada. Those industries are gone to various slave wage crapholes in China, India, Malaysia, Mexico and the people here they used to employ are scratching for a living at temporary, marginal work for shit pay if they can get any at all. Like you said there's a horde out there one paycheque from bankruptcy or homelessness.

9.8% unemployment? 7.6 % in Canada? Bah! Total fucking, contemptible lies. Too absurd for comment. Double those figures and maybe you're closer. It's like official inflation statistics. Garbage. Worked over and chewed over and massaged and screwed with until they bear no relationship to reality. And anyone who has any real world knowledge and experience knows it. I wipe my ass with government numbers.

Our captains of industry, our governments, our financial establishment fucked us. This continent unravelled under the corrupt, moronic, malicious stewardship of our political establishment, under the leadership of multiple administrations in the US and Canada, both Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative. They are all dirty dogs and as I think you said, there is not a dimes worth of difference between the lot of them.

Vlad, your comment that the Muslim rape of women is ignored by the press provides us with some valuable information. Which is: in the calculus of Political Correctness, Muslim-ness trumps Feminism. This revelation is bound to cause some of the mouths on this blog to commence frothing. And please, CFN readers, I'm not editorializing here, just reporting the obvious.

"I'd prefer to see folks save money by cutting back on alcohol, tobacco, drugs (including prescribed pharmaceuticals), dump the tele, cook at home more and eat out less, drop to one car, or none, and definitely paid for, which drops insurance requirements, which..."

Thats what you'd prefer? Good for you. But why not save the way you wish and not have preferences for how others should save? I mean "drop the tele"? Is that telephone or television. Both can be invaluable tools in eliminating unnecessary trips. You know, in a "Let your fingers do the walking" kind of way?

Then you say,

"But cheap food is petroleum-subsidized food, and federally subsidized food..."

That's exactly right and people who have no additional means of income should seek these cheaper alternatives as they have no other recourse. I mean for crying out loud, that organic farmer who is driving a Kubota tractor is doing so because the John Deere costs too much. A fella's gotta do what a fella's gotta do.

"when Cuba fed it self when the oil supply stopped, I think it will be much harder to do that in the U.S. simply because of the amount of people."

Not to mention no dictator to just tell the people that they have to start growing food organically on every square foot of arable land they can find, and that it has to be done today. I prefer a democracy over a dictatorship for sure, but in this case it isn't going to help. You're absolutely right.

The other angle is that hispanic people tend to be a lot more social and family oriented, tribal you might even say. (Partly because that is the inevitable outcome of a lower energy society! Which they were even before the crash. Did you read my blog post about neo-tribalism last month?) A trustworthy alliance of friends/family is probably one of the most important facets of successfully engaging energy descent, in my opinion. I don't think we could make it solo. Americans are nothing like Cubans in that regard, to put it bluntly. We're pretty good at solo.

And yeah, I do know what you mean, Vern;)

Off-Track Betting sites in New York City are officially out of business. I only know of one bookie who went out of business, and that was because he used his own product. Is there anything that these clowns can't run into the ground?

"I mean for crying out loud, that organic farmer who is driving a Kubota tractor is doing so because the John Deere costs too much. A fella's gotta do what a fella's gotta do."

I never said there weren't major problems in the organic industry. To my mind, "organic" is still Cartesian dualism, trying to control and dominate nature. It isn't an answer and it can't stand alone without industrial agriculture to supply its "organic" inputs, like manure from a feedlot. Right. Good wholesome stuff. There are methods of producing food that aren't though, and those don't always come with fancy expensive labels. Because with food, small is always better, and fancy labels are often cost-prohibitive for the little guy. That's why we have to get to know our producers. You be the judge of what's ethical to put on your family's plate, not some regulatory agency.

They're going to die right along with the whole of the industrial food system. Best to get off the government teat as soon as you can.

Pro,

I don't drive. Haven't driven for a long time. But I used to own a 1976 Chev Impala. Long gone.

We get around by bus and subway. Much cheaper than driving.

"Obama is my brother and I love him."

Well by that standard, George Bush is your brother as well. Love on, brother, love on.

I mean, unless your goal is to kill off the poor people who can only afford industrial food. Hmmmm...never thought of that. Where's Mika?

When my mother was young she used to make her own clothes. That's a valuable skill.

Do you guys have any idea how much federal subsidy is behind industrial food? If you strip away all the welfare and entitlements for industrial agriculture, and they will be stripped away eventually, how would the price of that petroleum-soaked supermarket wheat bread compare to locally grown and baked bread?

My guess is it would actually cost MORE. This system is dying, and it isn't going to put out a PSA before it croaks.

"Best to get off the government teat as soon as you can."

That is moronic. A poor person that is merely trying to purchase the most calories for the least amount of money doesn't have the luxury to "go local." It is the same argument that insists we need to build trains and right now damn it.

Trains and local produce will probably, once again, have their day in the sun. But for that to happen, millions (perhaps billions) will be sent to the grave because it will mean that our current form of sustaining 6 plus billion people will have collapsed. In the mean time people will get by the best way they can. To do otherwise is to completely irrational.

When beef or pork goes on sale (1.99/pound) I buy a couple pounds for stew. I saw a vindaloo recipe (an Indian adaptation of a Portuguese recipe for meat). It's good if you like spice. You can always dial the spice down if your stomach/ tastebuds can't take it. It's basically cubed meat marinated overnight and then simmered for a couple hours with garlic, vinegar, water, turmeric, cumin, chilies, tomato paste, onions, coriander powder, fenugreek. I get the spice pretty cheap from a local Bulk Barn store. There's many variations of this recipe that you can find on-line or as you said you can be inventive. This lasts me and my wife three meals. It's better on the second day.

Tzatza said: "Well by that standard, George Bush is your brother as well. Love on, brother, love on."

Exactly correct!

Precisely, so why are you encouraging people to commit suicide by relying on a dying system?

I thought that making it through the population keyhole event was what we were discussing. My apologies. But enough people are already relocalizing to create a viable regional economy in most places. And the less prepared we are to accept our plight the more regional die-off there will be.

If you want to keep shopping all over the world because that's what you can afford, be my guest. But don't say I didn't warn you. I think it's wiser to dump lots of other expenses/energy uses instead of ultimately starving because you insisted on buying the cheapest food you could find. Regional economy and neighbors be damned.

This isn't a class thing. It's a survival thing. I'm not encouraging you to buy more expensive organic options at the supermarket; I'm encouraging you to dismiss the idea of supermarket. For your own safety. Although I'll be the first to admit that I'm still working on that one.

I think it's BOOT ! ?

Oh I get it: Marxism has had little or no influence in Academia and Feminism - is that your theory? What idiocy. You are either a moron or a liar. Marxism has had an incredibly destructive influence on the world. Most people know this so you and your ilk try desperately to hide what you are as you march through the institutions. And now you are amazed, no outraged, that we are fighting back. It's all uphill from here on in, baby. You're going to have to fight for every inch. And when the slope hits ninety degrees you all are gonna slide back down to your well deserved obscurity.

How do I know you're a Marxist? Because no one who reads or has been to College could deny the on going Marxist inluence in our Culture. That you do so just indicates the desire for subterfuge. We've had quite enough that thank you. You're against it when the Capitalists engage in it but love it when the Communists do. As the old Czech saying put it: Under Capitalism man oppresses man. Under Communism it's the other way around.

Hold on partner - how can a topical mend a broken bone?

"Precisely, so why are you encouraging people to commit suicide by relying on a dying system?"

Uh, I'm not. I'm saying that a poor person has to make a dollar go further than one who is not poor. You, on the other hand, are saying the poor person should buy local. Local is more expensive. Your suggestion is the path to suicide...not mine.

"I'm not encouraging you to buy more expensive organic options at the supermarket; I'm encouraging you to dismiss the idea of supermarket."

So all those inner-city residents can "walk" over to farmer John's for their salad greens? Yeah baby. Thats going to happen. Brilliant.

"This isn't a class thing. It's a survival thing. "

No shit. But you'd never know that from what you are proposing.

Yo, Cash; That was quit a post up there at 12:34. One of the better things I've read on this blog. The headline in yesterdays local newspaper was that a 60 something year old man died out at the local homeless camp in the woods. Natural causes. Yeah, sure.

It was reported on the local blog. No comment. I don't know why, but I was put in mind of Robert Frost's "Death of the Hired Man."
So, I posted a link to the poem.

Our families are a bit similar. Dad swung a paintbrush all his life. He's 89 now, still gets around pretty good and has most of his marbles. His feet bother him from standing on too many ladders. But he and Mom paid cash for every vehicle and house they bought. They never had a penny of debt. Dad took side jobs and Mom was a waitress for several years. So we had a few extras.

But, as to food. Oh, I like spicy! I figure I'll just keep wallowing in the stuff til the old gut gives out. I'll check into that Vindaloo recipe. Some friends are going to gift me with some meat I was wondering what to do with.

Thanks for the posts. Both of them.

Me thinks it should be illegal to NOT have a fruit and veggie garden instead of a frikkin LAWN. double wammy, waste of water and more.

We are idiots. not all, but most. of course none of us on 'here' are. except maybe me. and a couple others' you know who you are.

you'll have to excuse me today, my back 'went out' and i am feeling no pain right about now. until the meds wear off. i wrote ware off. Then the pain is off the chart. dammit. i've got ice on it, so that's the best i can do.

i live in an apt. and i miss having a garden, there is a lawn around here, but no way we could make it a garden. wtf ? no common sense.
Waste of space, at least it's no all cemented in.
some of us plant tomatoes and beans on our porches. better than nothing. pretty cool actually.

"Where's Mika" .... Probably off fighting forest fires in Israel?

I agree I like TT also. His writings that is.
and yours also. and others. any but MINE ! I try to lay low and listen and learn.

"I think it's wiser to dump lots of other expenses/energy uses instead of ultimately starving because you insisted on buying the cheapest food you could find."

What makes you think people haven't dumped these "other expenses"? Christ you are a zealot. You want to start a truck farm? Be my guest. All of your neighbors must buy from you because this is your profession? I don't think so.

People have to operate in their own economic self interest. For you to expect them to do any differently is not only pompous it is sophomoric in the extreme.

The going ons of these creatures fascinates me. Last year a few Blacks were forced to apologize to gays - so now Homosexuality is begining to trump Blackness in the hierarchy of grievance. White Men are still safely on the bottom and there they will stay until all of this blows to smithereens. The Crash is not all bad by any means. As normalacy reasserts, we will come back into our own as Nature intends. In the meantime - enjoy the show. I love seeing the Zombies turn on their God, Obama. The liberal masses are slaves in search of masters who wont whip them so hard. But dangerous - Phillip "Egalitaire" one of the Nobles who started the French Revolution ended up losing his head. Not Egalitare enough! People still think that the peasants and "workers" started Communism all by themselves. Well in that case, who funded it? Organized it? Peasants with pitch forks don't get very far - ask the Irish. They only began to succeed when the Irish Americans became available to finance them. So who financed the French and Russian Revolutions? No one asks - they wouldn't like the answers.

The Left turned against the Jews when they realized the Jews were ordinary selfish people like everyone else. Now they worship at the Muslim knee - slaves seeking Masters. The Jews were warned that their gentile zombies would turn and rend them but they didn't listen. Now they will have to pay the piper for the dance.

you can learn about small scale farming at

metrofarm.com

Asoka said: "It is perfectly rational. That is the problem. The rational mind rationalizes very well.
=========

Are you sure this is what you intended to say? If I read the above correctly you seem to see "rationalizes" in a positive light but here is the definition of rationalize:

to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.

Q, thank you for your inquiry.

Rationalizes is the precise word I needed and I did mean it in a negative sense.

Here is how it goes:

Let's kill [insert name of group here] because [insert reasons here]

Kill them because they are terrorists, they are gay, they are Jewish, because we think they will kill us if we don't kill them first, etc.

Perfectly rational societies do perfectly monstrous things... because they rationalize well.

Did anyone notice WikiLeaks released more documents last night?

Governments are going to have to learn that post-9/11 we are in a different world. Governments are going to have to recognize that there will be some loss of privacy and they can no longer protect their documents or keep them secret.

Arresting Assange will not stop the release of WikiLeaks information dumps. And there are not enough government agents to play whack-a-mole.

Previously governments could do something and then feed a story to the main stream press spinning it however they wanted.

Now government lies will be exposed through a new kind of journalism that doesn't give you the pre-digested government version of the story: WikiLeaks gives the original government source documents, so you can see for yourself what governments are really doing.

""Where's Mika" .... Probably off fighting forest fires in Israel?"

Hardly. Mika would more likely be setting forrest fires in Israel. Like father, like daughter.

"WikiLeaks gives the original government source documents, so you can see for yourself what governments are really doing."

Cool. Maybe Wiki will post your proctology exam or pictures of your clap treatments because you paid for them as a result of medicare/medicade funds. I mean, after all, since we tax payers are helping pay for your hiney-scan, we should be privy to the photos.

The Jobs Picture
titles this weeks post and with Obama agreeing to an extension of tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 this week I pose a question to our gentle readers here.

Is it better for the 9.6% economically dissappeared to waste away on unemployment for another year waiting for a promised recovery or should they get cut off causing their hungry bellies to make them take to the streets demanding social change and maybe burning a few cars?

Remember those sitting home on the couch have a high probability of picking up a revolver and blowing their brains out so the answer to the question is not quite as obvious as it seems.

Your thoughts?

"...with Obama agreeing to an extension of tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000..."

These are not tax CUTS. These are the same exact rates that have been in existence for the past decade. Nothing was cut. The rates just stayed as they were.

That has been the incessant lie of this administration the demotwats and the lametream media. "CUTS, CUTS, CUTS, CUTS.", they bray. Like the lying asses they are.

setting forrest fires
=======

It's forest fires and you are Forrest Gump.

the lametream media
=========

O-tay Buckwheat.

These are extensions of Bush era tax cuts from 2001 and 2003. These are tax CUTS you lying ass.

A few days late from my last post. You really don't get it, and I won't waste my time arguing. The unraveling that is going on now is a RESULT of fiat currencies. And it will get worse. Your reply only indicates how shallow your understanding of how things work really is. You needn't reply as I'm done with your sorry self.

Wholly Shiesse!
Excellent news; hope it shakes out smooooooth!
(I'm sure it will; visitors to Polyface are reknowned non-assholes... ;o)

Tax cuts - smacks shuts!

Spending cuts - lending butts!

My guberment funded medical pics - is that gonna be a turn on for you?

I will happily send pictures of my colonoscopy to you, TZA.

Only if you promise to learn that things have to be paid for and that taxes are the only way that governments can do it.

Oh, that - and teach national political leadership how to use Accounting 101 knowledge and basic grade school mathematics.

"Incidentally, when I quit my horrendous corporate job last summer, the first thing I did was put slugs through some old hard PC hard drives - made very satisfying donuts out of them! Took photos of them too, for future reminiscence." -Networker

HA! Perrrrrfect! ;o)

Interesting point, Al:
======
"valuable information. Which is: in the calculus of Political Correctness, Muslim-ness trumps Feminism."
========
Either energy descent will put an end to some of this foolishness OR internal contradictions will.

Political Correctness was supposed to be all about extreme orthodox liberalism.

Orthodox Islam (yeah, Christianity or Judaism, TOO - don't get your panties all in an uproar, Asoka) is the EXACT opposite of extreme orthodox liberalism.

That which is unsustainable, can not be sustained.

There are many things that seem to work in the begining but fail completely over the long or even just medium term. Fiat Currency is exactly like petro-fertilizers: they work great at first but end up ruining the soil. Another example: junk food makes a person feel great for a short period and not great later. Another example: romantic relatioships often seem great at first but typically don't have the depth to last.

You've got to try harder Soak. You can't be this dumb - you just can't be.

E.,
Thanks for the reality squeezin's there. ;o)
A.'s sparkling optimism usually doesn't bother me (and his humor does make me laugh at times), but when he starts sounding like a paid, happy-talking gov't. shill, I kinda want to spit...

Again, good points about what's REALLY going on 'round hyar.
-Rusty Brains

A shotgun slug through a hard drive
A .22 hollow point through a USB drive

Who knew redacting data could be so much fun?

I'm completely surrounded by conservatives.
Wish I could find some more well armed liberals to go shooting!!
===========

And on a practical note, and speaking of getting rid of old computers - for some reason computer disposal seems to be a big blah, blah, blah of political correctness.

I've seen ads where companies would CHARGE YOU, like $5.00/desktop to dispose of your old CPU in an environmentally sound - and I guess, humane? - manner.

Bull Snot - I take mine and my family's CPU's to the local scrap yard. They pay me $.07 per pound. If I'm worried about data security I'll be sure to throw the computer case and hard drive in a mud puddle, or run over it with my truck tires on the way to the pay window.

But from now on, I'll shoot my computers humanely first. Thanks, NETWORKER!

Every now and then a glimmer of reason shows through your otherwise barbaric demeanor. Foolishly I engage that glimmer of reason, only to just be horrified again by your complete lack of not only any semblance of cultural decorum, but also any sort of landscape perspective of peak energy, descent, and the radical ways that will alter life as we know it. I won't make that mistake again.

At the closing meeting of the Georgia Organics conference I attended recently, the consensus was that local producers can't keep up with growing demand for their products. We actually spent time at that meeting brainstorming ways to get more people involved in farming to meet demand.

The world according to energy descent doesn't really give a shit what you think is going to happen, or what you perceive to be happening now. It will continue to function just like any other contractionary biological system, with or without your approval. I was simply trying to give you some insight into what is actually happening on the ground, in an arena you obviously know precious little about; why it makes sense for that to happen; and possibly how you could benefit from that knowledge.

But like I said, I won't make that mistake again. Stick to what you know, whatever that is, but you might want to stay out of topics you don't have any first-hand knowledge of. It just makes you look even dumber. As tall an order as that is.

A, interesting response to Eluthero, when you say:
=========
"E. you are in la la land. Go spend some time in the third world, where all the statistics you just cited are much worse and still people, in their everyday lives, are civil, happy, and live with a good sense of humor, and a lot more hope than you exhibit."
=========

You've got it, A! This is why this whole website (except for you, of course) resonates with a feeling of unease.

We American CFN'ers KNOW, in a visceral way, that we're - in the US - only about two week's worth of oil imports away from disaster.

Most of us KNOW that our families and friends are spread all over Hell and Gone because of the things that have happened to our Country over the last 50 years - mostly impossible without a constant supply of cheap imported oil.

If we've thought it through, we KNOW that we're living an unsustainable Multiculturalist's Wet Dream that will turn to a nightmare if/when our economy tanks more seriously and energy descent begins.

============

Let me go back to our Mexican peasant, who I postulated for you several months ago - surrounded by friends and family, participating in a local economy that will survive without oil - leaving him and his extended family alive and almost as happy as they were WITH oil.

Why on Earth do you want this man to come - legally or not - into the US - to live in fear and add to our pre-collapse population???

Open borders be damned - there is more to life for this man than go/go/go US economics and sending money back home.

Does anyone happen to know of a comprehensive index/introduction to millenarian cults in the U.S. and overseas? Thanks.

Your friend always, Cornellius Beauregard Armstrong Pucker, the Third.

Millenarian:
1.[n] a person who believes in the coming of the millennium (a time of great peace and prosperity)
2.[adj] relating to or believing in the millennium of peace and happiness

I think you are in the wrong place PUCKER

So sorry for your troubles. I hope you and yours are bearing up okay.

(I'm waiting for just such a shoe to drop on me pretty soon, and I'm avoiding thinking about what-all will have to "be done" at that point. I'm glad there are others that are less emotionally crippled than I am around. Hope you've got some good people to help as well.)

Divine Qne,

did you know new jersey is more crowded than any other state and all western european cuntries?

Tripp! Dag I was always kind of hoping we'd end up neighbors. I was up in the Cohuttas a few weeks back and saw more people fishing Jack's than usual -fishing for their lives now I 'spect.

Tifton is ABAC so I know you will find ways to make $ in addition to food. My dad's company does lots of sprayer work in south jawja for pecans. Beautiful country -I avoid 75 like the plague and drive a bit west sometimes. once they were harvesting cotton and it was like it was snowing -the air was full of tiny bits floating around. there is a killer fish camp in tifton I forget the name but I know where it is. Its going to be HOT as hades in summer -but you know that.

I cant wait to read about your new adventure.

It is possible, as you know, to find ways to live, and live well, in spite of the rigged economy. Who knew Id pay for my winters propane by selling paintings out of the back of a pick up?

i heard C2C radio last nite ..alex jones was praising GB.
then i heard a program on harp/chemtrails today...yikes.

o green thumbed one..any advice on fast growing trees?

A raw foods diet always ruins ..............

you are too smart..as a teen i did it for 4 years...a friend died on it.
in hawaii in the 70s there were many food fanatics.

in 99 Investors Biz daily mocked the protests

"WikiLeaks gives the original government source documents, so you can see for yourself what governments are really doing."

Only if you can {will} read between the lines.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/12/07/18665978.php


white self hatred rules..in euro ville perhaps its because they had 'the german problem'.

'Brzinski'...you think for an instant he ever was on the side of good?
if so henry k is a jewish saint

"o green thumbed one..any advice on fast growing trees?"

Are you making fun of me, Soviet Monica? I probably deserve it.

Fast growing trees for southern California? So not my region, but think in terms of nitrogen-fixing pioneer species that grow fast to provide shade and copious nitrogen-rich leaf fall to nurture subsequent successional diversity. Honey locust and red alder come immediately to mind, but the former has some specific characteristics that you'll want to consider! Like 4 inch thorns that are so hard they can be used for nails. Growing straight out from the lower trunk. (Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Depends on how far along in descent thinking you are I suppose.)

I'm sure there are others. I'll think it over.

actually i was NOT mocking you..
what about trees that provide food or herbs?

and do you grow bamboo?

heres one for you asoka..o multi cultural one:


The lawyer for an African woman charged with smuggling young girls from Togo to New Jersey said her trial was about cultural norms that failed to translate in America. Twelve American jurors saw it as a clear-cut example of human trafficking, and she was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Both sides focused on the cultural nuances of the case; the defense arguing the woman was a benevolent mother figure who helped young girls escape a life of poverty; the prosecution accusing her of using the threat of African voodoo curses to keep the girls subjugated.

The case highlighted a legal strategy that experts say immigrants' defense lawyers are using increasingly in the U.S.: the argument that a defendant's actions reflect his cultural upbringing, rather than criminal intent.

"We derive meaning from action, and that meaning is very culturally laden," said Susan Bryant, a law professor at the City University of New York who provides cross-cultural training to lawyers and judges. "If you look out the window and you see someone with an umbrella, you may assume it's raining. In China, it could just as easily mean the sun is out." ............[ legalese cunt]

here in soviet monica a japanese woman killed her 2 children in the water of the bay and used the cultural defense..hubby cheated or ran away or whatever..group harikari

"order number 213, your order is ready"
David 7:54

And Hawaii is paradise... Why should people have any problems in such a beautiful place? But they do - the singer Jewel got beaten up everyday by the Polynesians. It all just goes to show that man does not live by brown rice alone but every word that prodeeds from the mouth of the Father.

Ever meet the Rama cult - Dr Frederick Lenz I believe. I got a kick out of this Jewish looking kid on 60 Minutes. He was bitter because they gave him a teddy bear and told him it was an alien from another planet. His job was to talk to it and try to get it to talk back. He spent a whole year doing little more than this - probably the best year he'll ever have if he only could see it that way. He was very angry because they made such a fool out of him. People will believe anything - a teddy bear is an alien, Islam is a religion of peace, that multiculturalism works etc. Maybe that's why Rama ended up killing himself - it was so easy to fool people why bother staying on the same planet as with such cretins? Or perhaps his sins threw him into a terrible depression and he was too arrogant to ask for Divine Mercy.

Pucker, here are some books that list millenarian movements or discuss them:


Turner collection on religious movements. Melanesia-Theory by Study Centre for New Religious Movements

The occult roots of Nazism : secret Aryan cults and their influence on Nazi ideology by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

The return-to-origins motif in Pauline theology and its significance for a theological interpretation of Messianic and millenarian movements in Melanesia by John G Strelan

New heaven, new earth : a study of millenarian activities by Kenelm Burridge

Millennial dreams in action; studies in revolutionary religious movements, by Sylvia L Thrupp

Encyclopedic sourcebook of UFO religions by James R Lewis

Radical religion in America : millenarian movements from the far right to the children of Noah by Jeffrey Kaplan

Regarding Obama and his refusal to raise taxes: Which Republican has the blackmail photos of him?

---
Jerry Brown gives the straight dope on the CA budget problems -- $28.1 billion deficit over the next 18 months:

https://www.calchannel.com/channel/viewVideo/1914

Well put, Vlad.

COWS,

I don't think there are any blackmail photos. Membership has its privileges and he has joined the club.

An interesting analysis:

http://www.alternet.org/world/149080/4_scenarios_for_the_coming_collapse_of_the_american_empire/

An excerpt:

"December 5, 2010
A soft landing for America 40 years from now? Don’t bet on it. The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines."

"romantic relatioships often seem great at first but typically don't have the depth to last."

Then what should a healthy relationship be based on Vlad, a shared belief in the superiority of the white race?

Everything fails in the long term, Vlad.

As a famous economist once said, in the long term, we're all dead.

"Hawaii is a paradise"

Maybe it used to be, but now it is an overdeveloped traffic nightmare with a native population that has severe weight problems.

Rama.........i knew him all too well.
i am in el lay..which is where he showed to con sukas [me included]
he was a powerful hypnotist / collector.
[bob dylan line again..like 'growin food ill be outlawed'].
i knew the kid that wote ' take me for a ride'

theres a book on amazon...'kalis oddiyya'
amara said ' rama got powerf rom the spirits, but thats like makin a deal with the mafia. they came and collected on him.

from coast to coast last nite.....
alex jones says theres a connection from planned parenthood to bill gates..i already knew buffet will be givin his $ to this organization.

those who lingered on say rama / freddie maybe had VD and was deep in social drugs.
he was a very evil man.
now tony chase goes out and 'talks rama up' to the suckers.

Progresso,

Thanks for the read.

Interesting article yes, but it seems quite speculative. We will be better off when we pay more attention to the facts behind our many and colorful narratives. It is hard to read tea leaves so far ahead and a Black Swan or two will come along and destroy the best analysis man can come up with at any time.

But hey, its the journey, not the arriving that counts anyway.


Did anyone notice that MasterCard and Visa announced that it would suspend payments to WikiLeaks and then MasterCard and Visa were targeted -- and taken down -- by "hacktivists."

Websites belonging to other anti-WikiLeaks entities like Swiss bank PostFinance, Senator Joe Lieberman, PayPal, and Sarah Palin have also been disabled.

I think Assange has thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of net-saavy supporters who believe in freedom of information and are willing to retaliate through cyber warfare for the legal and economic action being taken against Assange.

The wise thing for governments to do at this point would be to release Assange, before governments start losing the command and control of their armed forces and central banks.

Somehow, like Bustin J, I think WikiLeaks will be in the news on Jan. 1.

Maybe 2011 is the real year of Y2K in the form of cyber meltdown.

TURK..once i read that in studying the big isle
scientists found that its 'on a shelf'
think wax dripping off a candle but growing outward as the drip increases...
and that theres a strong chance much of the isle will snap off and sink due to being on a thin volcanic shelf!

Jimbo, while I sometimes dig on your doomer sentiments, you are ahead of yourself here in that Casandra Complex way of yours. Only 5% of those Americans with a college degree are unemployed at this point. And the overall rate is something like 10% or 11%, which is not great (France anyone?), but isn't really that terrible either. The Great Depression had unemployment rates of around 30% or more. Basket case countries have rates around that or higher. So America continues to muddle along somehow, and the idea of a "job" is not dead yet. We are not at full employment, but the bottom hasn't fallen out either. In other words, if you want a job, get a college degree in the right area, and you will be likely to find one with an adequate job search. Of course, you might have to move someplace not so desirable, but that's life.

"[A barrel of oil is] well into the price range that destroys economic activity in the USA."

Do you have any evidence for this? Because really, a fifteen cent a gallon jump is what, like $2 or $3 dollars a fill-up if you have a 15-gallon tank. That's nothing. That's the price of a cup of Starbuck's. Motherfuckers living in trailer parks spend over a hundred dollars a month on their fucking cable bills, Jimmie. You're talking like $15-20 per month more in gas bill if you drive a four-banger, assuming you fill-up a lot (more than once a week). That is a absolute pittance. It is the cost of eating one meal at a low-end restaurant. Talk to me again when gas prices have doubled. Then we'll see some SHTF action. Well, maybe these slight increases hurt the assholes in the SUVs a lot more. Perhaps that's why there's so much hemming and hawing from these fat fucks on the tv news as they fill up their Land Barges. Good. Fuck em. Americans are complete idiots in how much car they buy compared to how much they need. Higher gas prices will start to correct this, and it is about time.

Yes, the overall indebtedness of America is getting ridiculous, as you've often written. Then again, many of the developed countries are in the same situation, so America's situation is hardly unique. The only thing that is preventing us from balancing the yearly budget is political will to cut some government programs and raise taxes in the upper brackets, which we don't seem to have, mostly because our lawmakers are whores for the top 1%. So, yeah, the debt situation could implode sometime, but when? You write as if it has already happened but it hasn't. At least, the dollar's value has not fallen drastically, and America continues to pay off bonds as they come due. Of course, that could change, but you talk as if America is like Weimar Germany already.

And fiat money...it works great, actually, when compared with a gold standard. There were more bank panics and financial upheavals BEFORE the creation of the Fed Reserve than after, in fact far more. The economy has taken off since its creation, so (Vlad) don't give me this Luddite crap about how we should return to trading chickens or whatever. Modern economies demand fiat currency systems with central banking. Nothing else works. Even when we were supposedly on the "gold standard," we really weren't, e.g. America NEVER had enough gold to redeem all the dollars in circulation since forever, at least not since about 1873 or so.

That's about it. I welcome your insults, rebuttals, and comments.

Have a clusterfucking evening.

"Maybe 2011 is the real year of Y2K in the form of cyber meltdown."

DDOS attacks are not going to bring down the internet, at least not permanently. All you gotta do is ban the offending IP addresses by blocking them with a firewall. If it happens again, then you ban the new addresses. Rinse and repeat until attackers run out of IP addresses.

Though I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic or not.

did you know new jersey is more crowded than any other state and all western european cuntries?
=======

Yes, I'm aware. Here's another interesting fact. There's an area of central NJ right near me (the focal point would be the towns of Edison and Iselin) with the greatest density of asian Indians anywhere outside India.

Great comment, Turkle!

Put on your helmet and prepare for incoming ... you just violated several of the CFN dogmas, like this one: fiat money is bogus and worthless.

Reading this shit is *far* more entertaining than anything you could watch on the boob tube!

As for the hacktivists shutting down Liebermann's and Palin's websites...Jesus Christ, if we only knew that's all it would take!

Are they taking requests?

How about taking down Meet the Press and Sarah Palin's idiotic "reality" show as well?

There's got to be some malicious code that could eliminate TV shows, right?

CORRECTION

[satire on]
Maybe 2011 is the real year of Y2K in the form of cyber meltdown.
[satire off]

"with the greatest density of asian Indians anywhere outside India."

NJ, hey not sayin your wrong there Qshtik but have you been to Redmond WA and seen what 20 years of cumulative H1-B employment by Microsoft has done for America. Plenty of Indian restaurants for sure here, if you like roast goat and curry this is your place.

Anybody reading been to both places and can rule in on which has the 'greatest density of asian Indians anywhere outside India.'

?

"My guberment funded medical pics - is that gonna be a turn on for you?"

Hardly, douche-bag. I was directing my missive to asoka-herself and NO I don't want his med pics either. I was merely pointing out to her, that this revealing transparency that Wiki seems to be suggesting will be the salvation of the world main contain info that is neither enlightening nor relevant. It just MAY contain a bunch of shit that is nobody's fucking business.

"I will happily send pictures of my colonoscopy to you, TZA.

Only if you promise to learn that things have to be paid for..."

Only if you promise to learn that some fucking things do NOT have to be paid for...at least not by us taxpayers. Its fish or cut bait time entitlement boy. Time to grow a pair and reach in your own personal wallet. What? Nothing in your wallet? Wow man, better get biddy and try filling that wallet.


I'm 58 years old, Cash, and you're right ...
unless you're over 50, you cannot remember a
time when one wage earner EASILY supported a
family of four. Now nearly all mothers work
and even with two wage earners a house is not
affordable. The reason is that in 1960 a
typical house was about 1.5-2.0X annual salary.
My Dad bought a house in suburban Philly in
1960 for $10K and his salary then was $7.5K.

Now, the median-priced American house is about
5X median *household* income. That means that
in a two-parent household it's 2.5X of EACH
earner's income. However, even this is misleading
because divorce has gone ballistic since 1970.
Most marriages end because of MONEY ISSUES.

As for unemployment, the most scandalous behavior
in this regard is in the mainstream media. They
almost NEVER advertise the U6 rate which is
advertised on the Bureau of Labor website. It's
around 18%. Then there's also all the premature
retirements and such that aren't even calculated
in the U6 rate. Real, unfudged US unemployment
surely MUST be around 22% if you factor in all
the people who work a 10 or 15 hour parttime
week ... which counts them as fully employed.

I'm glad some of us actually try to dig up the
real stats instead of listening to Bloomberg or
CNBC or Fox Biz and taking that as gospel.

E.

Fiat money is not bogus and worthless, I am sitting on a huge pile of firewood (25 tons worth) and am pleased to see that my 'value' has gone up about 10% in the last year.

Bogus and worthless I think not, I get a very warm feeling knowing my woodpile is increasing in value every day.


Thanks for the Kudos, LB, and many heartfelt
condolences for your loss. I had been wondering
what happened to you.

Yes, that tax deal caused the ten-year note yield
to rise FORTY-FIVE basis points in two trading
sessions ... which tells you what bondholders
think of the Fed adding yet more untold trillions
to the debt.


E.

k-dog, I have been to both places and Edison wins.

We have objective data on this from the 2000 census:

21% Redmond, WA

36% Edison, NJ

I went to an Indian Festival in Edison and it was fantastic! Hands down, Edison wins.

Anybody need some wood?

Hi, honey. Glad to see you're back.

"I mean, after all, since we tax payers are helping pay for your hiney-scan, we should be privy to the photos."

I for one am against an "open ass" policy.

K, the following paragraph comes from Wikipedia:

As part of the 2000 Census, 17.75% of Edison residents identified themselves as being Indian American. This was the highest percentage of Indian American people of any place in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. (The neighboring community of Iselin had the second highest percentage, at 17.44%.) [29]

Not sure where Asoka got his numbers. Even the total of ALL Asians is not 36%. It is about 27%.

A question for Asoka: Where was the Indian festival held that you attended? About what year?

tzatza,

Your points on buying local and it not being affordable are a bit off.

When you go to a local farmer's market (where they are available...not everywhere and not in winter obviously), you can often find produce for LESS than what you pay at the supermarket, with better quality. That's because the shipping costs are lower, the food doesn't sit around very long, and the middle man is cut out. Very rarely is local produce significantly more expensive than at a national chain grocery store.

And the "poor" in America generally make...er...poor choices in their cuisine, at least judging by how many unhealthy-looking fat asses are waddling about these days (or motoring about in their government-provided electric wheelchairs).

You can live just fine on rice and beans and a bottle of vitamins, with maybe a few fruits and veggies thrown in there. Make a nice stir fry with some frozen brocolli or something. What's that going to cost, like $50 a month? And it would be pretty healthy.

But people choose to eat at Jack in the Box and Taco Bell at $4-5 a meal and get fat.

Now the "organic" grocery chains, like Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck), are definitely priced higher than a typical supermarket. But that's not the only option. And that's not local either.

Anybody need some wood?
==========

Yeah, I could use wood. At 70 I don't get wood like I used to. Used to be I could cut glass with that thing.

;o)

Hi Q, I think it was the Navratri Festival of Edison sponsored by the Indo-American Cultural Society and it was somewhere around the early 90s, almost twenty years ago. You tryin' to trip me up?

Asoka, so that's the answer then. The 2000 census is rather dated,and the H1-B program has been continually ongoing. It's possible that Redmond could have eclipsed Edison by now but I doubt it if the 36% number remains accurate.

As far as I know we still have a shortage of engineers and scientists and other high tech workers in America and despite huge unemployment problems it is still important to bring in foreign high tech workers to do the work Americans are not sufficiently educated for and to do the jobs we don't want.

Besides, we have plenty of room and resources and the unemployed just need to look for work harder.

Right?

My dear tzatza. There you go again with the "government bad" and "free market good" blather.

Old people don't pay the costs of their own medical bills, because it is far too expensive, by a long shot. They can't afford it. End of life expenses in the last six months are around $500,000, and that's just a slice of the total medical bills for a senior. Who has that kind of money to spend out of pocket? Basically no one except the very wealthy.

And insurance companies cannot make a profit if they have to cover old people, because the premiums would be ridiculously high, also basically unaffordable. That's why the government covers them. Private health insurance doesn't actually work for senior citizens.

When you gonna grow up, Tea Bags? Some things we DO have to pay for as a society if we want a decent quality of life, because the "free market" fails to provide an adequate, affordable, or humane solution to the problem at hand. I'm so fucking sorry about that but Ayn Rand was totally full of shit. And so are you.

Here's a little thought experiment. When you get to be an old fart, are you going to go with the private insurance industry for coverage or are you going to take Medicare?

If you take Medicare, well then, you're just another hypocritical twat. If private insurance is so great, then go with that when your actual medical expenses become significant. Or just pay for everything out of pocket like you seem to propose. I'm sure donating your entire life savings and then declaring bankruptcy will work out just fucking great for you and your descendants (though I seriously doubt any female would want to procreate with you).

And by the way, just calling something an "entitlement" doesn't make it bad, wrong, or undesirable. It just makes you look like another selfish asshole.

"you cannot remember a time when one wage earner EASILY supported a family of four"

The simple solution to that "problem" is not to have a family of four if you are the only wage earner.

No one is forcing people at gunpoint to breed, and having children is not helping the overpopulation problem. Free birth control is available. If you have children that you can't afford, then it is your own damn fault. I have no sympathy.

K-Dog said: "I doubt it if the 36% number remains accurate."

K-Dog, I found US Census data for 2006-2008 Community Survey estimates for both places but it only gave me "Asian" population.

Redmond probably beats Edison for Japanese and Chinese residents, but even without a large population of Japanese and Chinese in Edison, the Asian population of Edison (36%) overwhelmingly beats Redmond's 21%

Redmond data here: http://bit.ly/fcJoXS

Edison data here: http://bit.ly/f4Cmys

You tryin' to trip me up?
==========

No.

I attended a huge Indian Festival around the same time frame that was held on the grounds of Middlesex County College. Don't know who sponsored it. It was quite a spectacle.

Kind of fun to see how such a simple question can lead to so many answers but that's the way life is except when we forget and think we have all the answers.

It does not matter to me if WA or NJ has the larger Indian population so long as we can all sit around a campfire, sing songs and be one big happy family.

I'll bring the wood.

ProCon, I highly recommend it. The ultimate in personal redaction. Not only does it obliterate any possibility of future personal-file snoopage, it is also intensely satisfying, especially if one has spent any long hours (or days) repairing said drive in the past. And that goes double if it happens to contain one's brother's Windows files/viruses/spyware/ancient apps, which one has repeatedly fixed for him and thought the wretched cycle would never end. Former techs like me, who have spent countless hours trying to teach folks how to stop fucking up their computers were thanking Linus Torvalds (God) when the damn things got cheap!

We are one big happy family.

I'll bring the marshmallows 'cause I have some fiat money the grocery store still accepts.

"demotwats and the lametream media"

I'm sorry. I don't speak Tea Baggese.

And Hawaii is paradise...

It's absolute crap (from my parents). Try the Gold Coast or Perth instead. I think JHK was onto something good last week.

I remember when my father was EASILY able to support my mother, my sister, myself, pay off the house in 5 years, ... --Cash

Spot on. Women who stay at home have better adjusted kids, according to general consensus. The best thing the pollies can do is to find out what went wrong with having one income, and fix it.

Or they can skip the finding out part: it's the cost of accommodation (real-estate/rent/mortgage and commercial leases), and sometimes the cost of transport.

Our captains of industry, our governments, ... are all dirty dogs and as I think you said, there is not a dimes worth of difference between the lot of them. --Cash

Hear hear. Although the Independents (members of parliament not aligned to either major party) are scoring a few deals "for the people". And we have David Thodey at Telstra making a difference, and Theresa Gattung (former Telecom NZ) who told it like it was.

Wikipedia will explain some of the above.

marshmallows :)


Ozone wrote:

"E.,
Thanks for the reality squeezin's there. ;o)
A.'s sparkling optimism usually doesn't bother me (and his humor does make me laugh at times), but when he starts sounding like a paid, happy-talking gov't. shill, I kinda want to spit..."

A's post, like almost all of his posts, is
HIGH-HANDED ... like he personally knows how
to live in African-like poverty and be the
Sunny Jim that he is. And his sunshine always
seems to be accompanied by a lecture about how
we "ought" to be.

I'm just describing what I see on the ground
in one of the most affluent towns in America,
both from a personal and broadly observational
perspective. It's not like I'm enjoying
reporting personal friends and acquaintances
whose every day is full of manic bargain
shopping and coupon clipping just to get by.

Asoka, stop with the sermons about how we
"ought" to be. I suspect that many of us,
including myself, get a lot of pleasures
from our everyday lives. I've got friends,
hobbies (music, chess, astronomy), and I
don't take small pleasures for granted.

However, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't
decry the worsening of our conditions to
third world levels (again, one in SIX Americans
suffer from hunger ... name a European country,
even Portugal, Greece, or Ireland that's that
bad off) for people OTHER than myself.

I dislike this mentality that just because I'm
okay I should piss all over people who notice
things that are NOT okay. Isn't that what is
happening in America? The "I got mine" mentality
so if life's bad for YOU, well, then fuck your
attitude????

Many things about your writing style are irksome.
Bad reading comprehension (the Joe Bageant
article). The "I'm spiritual and have crazy
wisdom" shtick. And now the "you all have to
learn to be happy" shtick. I'm not unhappy
about MY plight. Does that mean I should piss
all over people who simply observe WHAT IS??
Am I not aloud to be concerned until we reach
Western Sahara levels of total decay??

I try to respond to your high-handed horse hockey
as little as possible but sometimes you just get
so goddamned superior that I really get an animal
spirit to want to metaphorically knock you on
your ass.


E.

Well first some good news...

This blog and the comments section is suffering from hyperinflation, 417, 586, 629, and 738... amazing what QE’d styled froth can do... eh?

Mirroring real life in more ways than one I dare say, so let’s take a few choice comments from this weeks JHK missive...

*There's no way the USA can ever "recover" to that lush breeding ground of swindling, fraud, and childish irresponsibility*

Absolutely not with oil heading fast back to the $100 pb plus, OECD knee-jerk economy black-death rate!

http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-53398220101207

*American supermarket aisles still groan with every conceivable staple and delicacy, but note the prices of things*

Yep I’d say that’s bang on... right, here... right now.

http://www.safehaven.com/article/18697/chart-of-the-week-inflation-in-the-real-world

But perhaps using LNG to cook corn, a best bet for those $ impoverished, food stamp lacking or silver/gold coin cash strapped?

*The crisis of capital still has many acts to play out*

And rumour has it the Deutschmark is once more being mass printed on Heidelberg presses in the Odenwlad.... for when the handelsleute beschließen, genug zu schreien sind genug!

And this is the beginning of the end for the EEC continuity for sure...

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article24368.html

Weird thing is, this might take some pressure off the greenback for a wee while...

So more time to relax, down a full-sugar Pepsi, or heavy alch beer and stare blank faced and expressionless (due to the comfort of Prozac) into the glowing 50” plasma screen enjoying all that is Kardashian... while popping the salty pretzels.

(I thought this was some new Star Treekie development), but no... (thanks for the hat-tip Jim), being a UK based Brit I had to go trawl it up online-n-gawd... what awful victims of bad plastic surgery role models those Kris and Bruce are...

Is this currently the very best that the US can aim for... ??

An adolescent stuck cling-on boomer society, dominated by must-have brand toys, plastic celebrity, instant gratification and a desperate (and highly manufactured) yearning for self-glorification?

Tis surely not a healthy way to live?

The sooner the *world made by hand* realities, mentality and health benefits kick in the better... me thinks...

Can anyone here really doubt this or wish for less?

*sniggers*

Now must dash, have flights to Boston to sort, luck of an Irish witch you might say, and not that long ago I lived in Van Buren Place...

Not a street as such, but a nice coincidence I’d say...

Be seeing you...

"what about trees that provide food or herbs?

and do you grow bamboo?"

I do! I have a 50' timber species that will produce 4" culms one day, and a 25' black bamboo I'm planning on using for decorative gates, arbors, etc. Still very young. I couldn't build a Barbie pergola out of it at this point. I'll be looking to add new species to that collection as I go, especially the sweeter shoot varieties like Phyllostachys dulcis, sweet shoot bamboo.

The trees I'm talking about are almost always good food trees too. And really that's the role of a pioneer - condition soil, and attract others to build diversity and resilience. Honey locust produces a sweet legume pod in the fall that poultry eat, and can be made into a mead type alcoholic beverage. The prunings make fine nitrogen-rich mulch and goat fodder. Locusts also produce world-class bee food in spring. There are thousands of plant species to choose from. Never plant anything for only one purpose. Always stack functions.

And of course there are always pioneer shrubs too, like Siberian pea shrub and Goumi berry that produce decent fruit and livestock fodder. If you have a dry spot, think stone pines. That's really long term planning though. You were looking for fast.

There are some great permies in California, maybe look up Larry Santoyo, I think he's LA based. He could help a lot more in that region than I can.

Hope that helps.

"The ultimate in personal redaction."

Reminds me of the scene in "Office Space" where they steal the copier the day they get fired and take it out to a field and beat the ever-lovin' shit out of it.

"PC Load Letter? What the fuck does that mean??"

That movie was inspirational for me, I have to admit, especially just departing from cubicle hell myself. That one and the Matrix. Really the same story. Unplug and live a real life. Some folks around here could benefit from that idea.

Regarding a family of 4 on one income -

The house was probably 1200 square feet or so with single pane windows, one bathroom, tiny rooms. They had one car, if that, without seat belts or a radio - you get the idea.

It's keeping with "the Jones-es" in the States. I'm sure y'all keep up with some similar family in Canada and Australia.

And a woman at home full time - especially once the kids reach kindergarten age - can represent a large "underutilization?" of human capital - considering modern appliances and cooking practices.

Just some counterpoints, guys.

"And rumour has it the Deutschmark is once more being mass printed on Heidelberg presses in the Odenwlad.... for when the handelsleute beschließen, genug zu schreien sind genug!"

I've certainly had enough. Beeilen der Balkanisierung anfang! Or something like that...

Tripp, precisely :)

"The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care." - Peter Gibbons

"I for one am against an "open ass" policy."

Rather odd as all you do around here is talk out of your ass.

The face of an angel:
- http://flic.kr/p/8RCeGq

(You will die a very slow painful death. There will be no redemption for you, Vladik)

Nice little insults, TZA, especially compared to some particularly weak ones that I've seen on CFN.

I'm not sure how/why referring to Asoka as "her" is supposed to be an insult, though.

Don't you like girls??

===============
Anyway, to more useful specifics - you say:

"Its fish or cut bait time entitlement boy. Time to grow a pair and reach in your own personal wallet. What? Nothing in your wallet? Wow man, better get biddy and try filling that wallet."
==========
Actually, TZA, my wallet's in pretty good shape. My wife and I worked hard for 30+ years, made some good decisions, and we've been Blessed (blessed?) with sufficient resources to live well.

Taxes are the dues we pay for being successful.
If you don't want to pay taxes - don't make any money and go live in a box under a bridge.

What is with all the yammering that you and the right wing do TZA, with respect to federal marginal tax rates on those who have more than $250K of INCOME. (definition of income is important, BTW - cause most of the rich don't show a whole lot of "income" for tax purposes)

Do you make more than $250K/year - if not, why do you even CARE about this??? Answer this, please!

Do you now make $50K but expect to someday make $250K - you are probably living a very unlikely dream, TZA -

And fiddling with marginal federal rates is not going to make your $250K dream any more real.

PC, sorry to cut in, but why should the gov mafia have any of our money? The whole system is totally illegitimate and morally bankrupt, why should it be supported?

Ah, Mika - so you're an anarchist?

Reference Somalia for the answer to your question.

""The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care." - Peter Gibbons"

Sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays...;)

PC, as far as I know, Somalia is just another case against the gov mafia. But perhaps you can school me different.

Am I not aloud ...
=========

TeeHee, that's a good one.

"Do you make more than $250K/year - if not, why do you even CARE about this??? Answer this, please!"

I don't want the government, whose officials continually fuck up everything they touch, taking any more of any individuals money in taxes. That includes the poor, the middle class and the rich.

Each individual can best determine how to spend what they have earned. Siphoning their money via taxation and delivering these monies to various federal, state and local agencies only waters down the effectiveness of an individual's purchasing power. The graft, corruption and waste that is running rampant throughout our governmental agencies ultimately turns dollars into dimes.

Let me ask you a question. Why would you NOT care about increasing taxes? We as a nation are bankrupt. And we are bankrupt not because we do not pay enough in taxes we are bankrupt because of the shit-heels who can't think of enough fucking ways to piss it all down a sink.

And by the way, the top 1% of wage earners pay 38.02% of Federal Income Tax. The bottom 50% pay a mere 2.7%. Are you suggesting that the "rich" aren't paying their fair share? Pul-fucking-eeeze.

I was using Somalia as a present day example of anarchy in action.
You say,
"The whole system is totally illegitimate and morally bankrupt, why should it be supported?"

You're overreaching in referring to the WHOLE system as morally bankrupt - certainly parts of it are, though - no argument.

It's a simple equation though

No taxes = no government = anarchy

I might be OK in anarchy because I'm mean as hell and pretty well prepared - that doesn't mean that anarchy would be a net improvement, even to my personal situation.

And MIKI - your Israeli mask is slipping a little.

Do the Israelis want lower taxes and cuts in guv'ment services, TOO?

perhaps you can school me different.
========

ly

"what about trees that provide food or herbs?"

Plant every herb you can get your hands on, the most commonly used closest to the kitchen. I keep thyme, oregano, basil, sage, chives, savory, rosemary, lemon balm, a mint selection, and lavender close by. Figure out what to do with the others as they get established. But plant everything that will grow, which in your area is damn near all of them.

I drink hot tea every morning made from mint, lavender, lemon balm and bee balm, with a little local raw honey. Better medicine than anything the establishment offers.

TZATZA

The top 1% of wage earners pay 38.02% of Federal income taxes BECAUSE THE TOP 1% OF WAGE EARNERS HAVE ALMOST ALL OF THE FREAKIN' MONEY!

And the game has been rigged so that they are getting and KEEPING more and more of it.

You are not in the top 1%.

Why are you defending the top 1%. They have plenty of tax lawyers and lobbyists - they really don't need your help.

I was using Somalia as a present day example of anarchy in action.
==

Somalia is a gov mafia induced anarchy. And I completely disagree with your premise: No taxes = no government = anarchy

You can have government without taxes, and you can have anarchy induced by government.

As for Israel, the Israeli gov is composed of real political factions representing actual electorate. It is wholly different than the elitist moneyed corporatism masquerading as a form of democratic process that is the US political system. That said, other than defense I would eliminate all fed gov expenditures and the taxes that support them.

I don't want the government, whose officials continually fuck up everything they touch, taking any more of any individuals money in taxes. That includes the poor, the middle class and the rich.
Each individual can best determine how to spend what they have earned. Siphoning their money via taxation and delivering these monies to various federal, state and local agencies only waters down the effectiveness of an individual's purchasing power. The graft, corruption and waste that is running rampant throughout our governmental agencies ultimately turns dollars into dimes.
=========

Precisely. My sentiments as well. [the government] that governs least governs best.

"Tripp! Dag I was always kind of hoping we'd end up neighbors."

Me too, Dovey! There's no place like the north Georgia mountains. You really have it made up there. But my tribe is elsewhere unfortunately, and so I must go. But I certainly hope to see you at our farm in Tifton any time you're passing through. And if you want meat, eggs, comfrey cream, whatever, just give me a heads-up a little in advance of your arrival. I'm planning on having a few thousand pounds of grass-fed beef available every year at least.

"Its going to be HOT as hades in summer -but you know that."

Hotter than Macon? Not noticeably I don't think. Gainesville wasn't anyway. But I won't mind the extra 5 degrees in winter when I'm trying to keep crops going!

You'll have to point me to the fish camp, although I'm hoping that somewhere on 300 acres there's a decent fishing hole. I know there are a few cypress domes, so if times get tough we can always gig frogs, and eat turtles, snakes, and stump-knockers. Yummy!

I want you to know that I really admire what you're doing. Making a living out of the back of your truck, while giving the formal economy the finger, is commendable. We're trying hard to get there. You are very inspiring to my household!

TZA

I'm not arguing that there are not trillions that we could cut from US spending.

Defense spending, agricultural subsidies to big ag, and foreign aid come immediately to mind.

Those cuts probably aren't happening, for various well known reasons. Anyway, cut's won't get us out of the hole we're in.

Tax rates were 90% under Eisenhower in the 1950's - a time of peak US prosperity.

Tax rates were cut to 70% under Kennedy.
Probably, that was about perfect - and prosperity continued.

Under Regan taxes went down to 35%?
Under BushI taxes went back up a little - leading to some of the Clinton era prosperity.

The "religious faith" in lower taxes led BushII to cut far too deeply - especially with two wars going.

And now somebody's gonna have to pay.
I nominate the rich since they've got the money.

Otherwise we ALL pay - through inflation and slowly declining standards of living.

"Why are you defending the top 1%. They have plenty of tax lawyers and lobbyists - they really don't need your help."

Really? Well if they have all of these lawyers and lobbyists and the top 1% are still paying over 38% of Federal taxes how much would they be paying without lawyers and lobbyists? How much SHOULD they be paying? I mean in your little world of "fairness"?

" BECAUSE THE TOP 1% OF WAGE EARNERS HAVE ALMOST ALL OF THE FREAKIN' MONEY!"

Well they also tend to be the ones who employ people. Do you now or did you ever work for a poor person? So by your reasoning since they "HAVE ALMOST ALL OF THE FREAKIN' MONEY!" (Which they do not.) we should do what? Tax them out of existence? On what grounds? For them having been successful? There's a brilliant plan. Lets eliminate all private employment by taxing employers out of business. We'll confiscate all of their money and hand it over to government officials so they can continue to do the wonderful job they do. That way we go down the shitter at an ever faster pace. Brilliant!

MIKA

Are you saying there are no taxes on Israelis?

Death and taxes have been around since before our time.
They will be around as long as humans have a vestige of civilization to make life a little less brutish and short.

==============
Changing the subject slightly - we've got a chicken/egg thing going on here.

The right corporate wing (that Q, Mika, Tza seem to be shilling for right now) wants to CUT TAXES, and CUT TAXES some more - in the best "starve the beast" Ronald Reagan style, even though the beast grew under Reagan.

Why don't our RW corporateshillmen - I mean congressmen - cut the spending FIRST? They had 6 endless years to do it under BushII, after all.
And it looks like they'll have a majority again in 2012.

===========
We're rearranging those deck chairs on the Titanic again, boys. Nothing's gonna change until our uber-rich want it to change - at which point it will, likely, be too late.

Let's just be clear for whom we are shilling.

I'm shilling for my children and grand-children, whether they be rich or poor.

"And now somebody's gonna have to pay.
I nominate the rich since they've got the money.

Otherwise we ALL pay - through inflation and slowly declining standards of living."

Guess what, almost 50% pay NO income tax. Yet the entitlements that have been promised these same folks have increased, the latest brilliant plan being Obamacare. We were broke BEFORE Obamacare was put to paper but in their wonderful, paternalistic way our esteemed leaders rammed this little jewel through anyway.

I hate to burst your bubble but their aren't enough rich people to take care of our current financial fiasco and we ALL are going to have to pay the piper. You think you kick this can down the road by picking someone else's pocket. That is the exact thinking that our elected morons have shared for decades. Thats how we got to where we are.

First you say:

"And now somebody's gonna have to pay.
I nominate the rich since they've got the money."

Then you say:

"Let's just be clear for whom we are shilling.

I'm shilling for my children and grand-children, whether they be rich or poor."

Well which is it? Are you proposing we take all of your rich grandchildren's money? How is this "...shilling for my children and grand-children, whether they be rich or poor"? For chirst's sake you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

Yikes!

Out shopping for Christmas toys.....this year there is a "BARBIE TOTALLY STYLIN' TATTOO." Barbie comes with 40 tattoos and stampers! Hours of tattooing fun turning Barbie into a sleazy looking whore.

When my kids were ages six and three, we went to Toys-R-Us and my son pointed to a pink Barbie box and said to his little sister, "Look Eleanor, this is a "B" and it stands for Bimbo."

SJmom

"Out shopping for Christmas toys.....this year there is a "BARBIE TOTALLY STYLIN' TATTOO.""


I hope Jimmie reads your post as he is such a fan of tattoos!

Are you saying there are no taxes on Israelis?
==

I really don't know where you're getting this from. If anything, I'm saying that taxes are TOO HIGH and that the fed government is TOO BIG. Israel started as a socialist country, and it's now moving in an even worse direction, i.e, the American moneyed corporate fascism with corrupt CIA agents in high office. I want fed taxes and gov ministries eliminated, and the graft and corruption that goes with it.

The City State, is as big a gov as I will tolerate.

"B" and it stands for Bimbo
==

Sad. You must be really fat and ugly. And you probably always were that way too.

I'll bet you can't match the local price! Up here in NW Pennsylvania, I pay $45 per face cord (4' x 8' x 18"). Mostly cherry to boot. Saving my own trees, that are mostly cherry and maple, until after the big one.

Cheez-it's K. Riced, m'man!

Not only have you imbibed massive amounts of RW Kool-AID[S], you've gargled with it, bathed in it, and after all that, had a giant high-colonic with it! Is your name G[ee] W[izz] Bush (the Butcher) by any chance? If not, you should definitely ask him for employment; I'm sure he's got some of that well-deserved righteous-rich-folk lucre stashed around his place somewhere. All you have to do is bend over so he can brand you as his bitch and you're in the special-friends cadre! Good luck and good fortune... (bring petroleum jelly; I'm not sure it's generally provided.)

(Howzat fer a "jobs pitcher"?)

Wow. I hate to see a woman waste her time keeping her kids STD and tatto free. She is much more valuable bringing home that extra pizza money. In the meantime, porn and pot will keep the kids busy.

Toodle-Pip!!

That's not a bad price a'tall!
It comes out to about $120 per [128cu.ft.] cord; and cherry and maple to boot? Damn good...

I can get it for about 80/cord (log length) but I've got to process it, so I harvest most of my own. (Why not, if I'm putting in the labor anyhow?)

Our local oil-and-gas guy says that a cord equals approx. 100 gallons of oil. If that be true(?), then your wood equivalent is about $1.20/gal. [of oil], correct?

...a cord equals approx. 100 gallons of oil...
(BTU-wise, that is.)

Anyone read David Stockman's latest comments on the Obama Administration's handling of the economy?

He really lays it on the line.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Banana-Republic-Finance-Why-minyanville-1254294547.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode=

Check it out!

Agreed about the house and the car. The house my parents built was an 1100 sq ft split level, one bath, one car garage. Most houses in my hometown were similar in size. Somehow no deaths were recorded because of it.

But this business about women working for outside the house: I got into the labour force at about the same time that women started to do the same in large numbers, when the baby boom peak did the same and co-incidentally when offshoring began in earnest. So you had a huge flood of new workers and a steadily declining base of employment opportunities. No need to recount history. We know what happened. It was what it was.

Should women have stayed home? IMO you can make arguments both ways on this. For my mother it was pretty much a full time job, keeping the place clean, keeping us on the straight and narrow (especially me), feeding us when we came home from school for lunch, getting supper ready, the gardening etc plus she used to do some seamstress work for a local ladies wear shop. The house was always immaculate, my sister and I always showed up for school looking tip top and when we got home in the afternoon our mother was always there.

Was it an underutilization of capital? For our family I would say no. We were way better off with her at home than working outside in my opinion. Would my my mother have been happier outside the house? I don't know, I'm never going to open that can of worms. What's done is done.

But having spent a lifetime in a so called "career" I would say that there are worse ways to spend your life than staying home for the purpose of caring for and feeding a family. But that's just my opinion. I think every family is different.

Globalization is doing to the Chinese people what the Industrial Revolution was doing to us before Franklin D. Roosevelt.

As long as we're devaluing the currency, why not capture ALL of the costs in our supply chains and share a common currency with China?

I mean, as long as we're going in that direction, might as well take our hits and get them over with.

Then, in order to reduce shipping costs, we can construct a big vacuum tube, lining the Pacific Rim, that will allow us to ship all the stuff for WalMart quicker and with a lot less energy usage.

Related to the jobs picture, may God bless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and keep her safe from evildoers.

My dear tzatza,

Many people do not pay income tax. This is true. Initially, the income tax only applied to corporate income. Later, the upper tax brackets were quite high for millionaires. Did this stifle economic growth or health? Hardly.

The lower 50% still pay all the other taxes, including payroll taxes, sales tax, etc. And because these people tend to have low incomes, this is a significant chunk of their earnings.

The reason that the top people pay the most taxes is because they have most of the money. The income and net worth distributions are quite lop-sided these days. I don't care to rattle off the percentages (do the research).

Additionally, the government is responsible for the prosperity of much of the upper class. For instance, bankers can get 0% interest loans from the Federal Reserve and loan this money out at 5%. So since the government is basically passing them free money, it is entitled to take however much of that gifted money back.

And also, since you don't earn $250k a year and probably never will, why do you care about the Bush tax cuts?

You even confuse this issue. The $250k number just means that money beyond this is taxed more. And this is TAXABLE INCOME, not gross. If you are earning $250k a year in taxable income, this means you are pulling down $400k a year gross. I'm sorry, but you can afford to cough up a bit more tax if that's your situation, far more so than someone with $500 or less in their savings account.

Oh, right, "the government" screws everything up. Is that why the banks required trillions of dollars in loans and grants? Because the government screws everything up. Is that why the government has had to step in and provide health insurance for around 50% of the population pre-Obamacare? Because private industry is doing such a great job with health care. Is that why GM had to be bailed out? Because the government can't do anything right.

I dunno, lady. You're kinda hard to take seriously. You are transparently selective in the programs you choose to mention and who you choose to blame. You harp on Medicare and SS, which are very popular and effective programs, yet you say absolutely nothing about the bloated defense budget and America's 800 military bases, which takes up over half the discretionary budget and has many hidden costs associated with it. You have endless buckets of vitriol for democrats (even for Ted Kennedy...who is DEAD), but one would think the republicans crap rose pedals listening to you. Point of fact, the repubs are responsible for most of the national debt (again, do the research). But, of course, one wouldn't know that reading your silly posts.

"Well they also tend to be the ones who employ people."

Thanks for the short lesson in tinkle down economics. If "the rich" are the ones who employ everyone as their serfs with all their extra cash, shouldn't the employment situation be incredibly great right now. Because tax rates for the wealthy and the ultra-wealthy are at their lowest...well, ever. And the rich are the richest they have been since the 1920's. So much for your little theory.

And again, you fail to mention that corporations and small businesses already get many tax breaks. Many corporations pay ZERO income tax, just like half of the population you mention previously. Yet you're okay with this, I suppose.

You know who actually does directly employ people with the money they receive? Governments. They can do direct hire or contracting. This is a gigantic part of the US economy. But again, listening to you, one would think that the government throws tax money into a pit and pisses on it.

Turkle said: "Thanks for the short lesson in tinkle down economics."

Turkle, that was an impressive post!

Thank you for the lesson in trickle up economics.

Up from lowly wage earners... to the rich... through government contracts and government subsidies the rich get through their lobbyists.

"And by the way, the top 1% of wage earners pay 38.02% of Federal Income Tax."

And, by the way, the top 1% has 35% of the total wealth.

RE: income distribution

see this

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

especially the summary paragraph

"As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one's home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%."

So if America is going to raise taxes, it should be on the upper 20% or at least the top 1%. They have nearly all the wealth.

The bottom 80% cannot foot a much larger tax bill, as they are already scrapping by with only 15% of the total.

Capiche?

re: the tax situation

American total wealth is around $50 trillion (and that's probably a little low).

So to make up a trillion dollars worth of yearly deficit with taxes, you'd need 2% of this per year (2.0% of 50 trillion being 1 trillion).

That isn't really a big deal. All it would take is the political will to adjust the tax rates a bit, not even drastically. Since the upper 20% has 85% of the wealth, e.g. the ability to pay more taxes, you'd start there.

And the remaining $300 billion of the total $1.3 trillion could be made up by federal government cutbacks and the like.

But since the wealthy control the political system in America, I wouldn't hold my breathe on this.

"The reason that the top people pay the most taxes is because they have most of the money."

Brilliant. But even if everyone paid 10% of their income in taxes the rich would still pay more because 10% of a larger amount is a larger amount. But that ain't good enough. The rich are "rich". And that makes them evil. So they must be pennalized.

"I don't care to rattle off the percentages.."

Well no shit. That would entail knowing what you are talking about which is not the case.

"Additionally, the government is responsible for the prosperity of much of the upper class. For instance, bankers can get 0% interest loans from the Federal Reserve and loan this money out at 5%. So since the government is basically passing them free money, it is entitled to take however much of that gifted money back."

You want me to argue that this is OK? I won't because it isn't. The laws need changed.

"You even confuse this issue."

Really? Where am I confused?

"Oh, right, "the government" screws everything up. Is that why the banks required trillions of dollars in loans and grants? Because the government screws everything up."

Hey MORON, you are making my point much much better than I. The banks should have never be given trillions in loans and grants. The government FUCKED UP by bailing them out. The banks should have gone down. GM as well.

"You harp on Medicare and SS, which are very popular and effective programs.."

They may be popular. So is Britney Spears. They are not effective. SS has been a fund that has been robbed by legislators since its inception. It is a box full of IOU's. It is one of the largest ponzi schemes in the history of mankind.

"...you say absolutely nothing about the bloated defense budget and America's 800 military bases, which takes up over half the discretionary budget and has many hidden costs associated with it."

Sorry I don't mention every single aspect of our government in each and every post. (As if you do, you fucking idiot.) The defense department's budget IS bloated. It is a part of our pooly run, corrupt government. It should be cut. You have my permission to cut it today. Feel better? (I hope not.)

"And again, you fail to mention that corporations and small businesses already get many tax breaks. Many corporations pay ZERO income tax, just like half of the population you mention previously. Yet you're okay with this, I suppose."

Once again, if corporations pay ZERO income tax it is because our governing class FUCKED UP. Our system of taxation is complex by design. It's complexity guarantees the employment of hundreds of thousands of government worker bees as well as "experts" who attempt to navigate around it in the private sector. It is a sham and an insult to each and every American

"You know who actually does directly employ people with the money they receive? Governments. "

No shit sherlock. But inept fuckups in the government sector screw EVERYONE. If I own a private business and hire my fucktard nephew and he fucks up who gets hurt? Me. Now let the government hire my "fucktard nephew". Put him where you wish. He'll make life miserable for all who enter his sphere. And because he works for the government it will be next to impossible to fire his worthless ass. I mean government fuck-ups gotta cover each others back. Just-fuckin'-sayin'. Over and out asshat.

""And by the way, the top 1% of wage earners pay 38.02% of Federal Income Tax."

And, by the way, the top 1% has 35% of the total wealth."

Hmmm. You again are making my case. Looks like they are being over-taxed by about 3.02%. Thanks for pointing that out , genius.

Turk I'm begging you to throw it in right now. You always head down this tired path and ALWAYS end up looking like the idiot you consistently prove yourself to be. Oh wait. Thats the definition of insanity. (Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.)

Nevermind.

Don't feel bad - every saint has a past and every sinner (fool) has a future. I myself was once a liberal socialist and even has a beautiful mulatto girlfriend. All my "friends" envied me and some tried to take her from me behind my back. I was just begining to awken and only had mild racist views. She went into therapy to try to break up with me but couldn't do it. In my own defence, I must say that she was extraordinary, an anamoly, a gentic sport: her IQ was incredibly high - higher than mine in many areas except commonsense - the basis of philosophy which is non other than love of wisdom.

Yippee- I see the future more clearly - now that "space" has been privatized.

And so it goes, like radio, television, like the Internet, "corporate control" is wresting away the cosmos from humanity.

I can't wait for some companies to start extorting the Feds when some space place goes bonkers.

Fuckit, why not just auction off launch codes. As Mitch McConnell says, America works best when it corporations are left alone to do what they do best. I'm sure Newt Gingrich will be inline for some weightless space sex, which is sure to be one of the first really marketable "space services."

So basically, tzatza, you're a nihilist. You argue that the government should have let the banks, the airlines, and GM fail (care to add any more to this list?), all because of some philosophical notions you have about there being a firewall between government and free markets.

I'm sorry, but that's not good enough. This is a horrible way for a society to function. You cannot seriously argue that an entire society's well-being should be sacrificed simply because you feel in your heart of hearts that the government shouldn't mettle with pure capitalism. Capitalism has always been tempered by government policies and intervention, and it always will be. I'm sorry if that hurts you down there, but that's the way the system works. The whole system of easy credit and money that powers the economy is run by the Federal Reserve, a pseudo-government entity that returns 90% of its profits to the government. If you removed or curtailed it, the American economy (indeed the world economy) would sink like a rock.

Explain this to me. How would it have helped anyone if the largest banks in America had failed? How would it have helped American corporations if their lines of credit had dried up? How would we be better off? You would be pleased (I guess), because the government didn't get involved. Yet we would have had a 2nd Great Depression. Would that have made you happy, to see the private sector collapse entirely, sacrificed for your petty notions about how the world ought to work?

And the rich SHOULD pay more. The bottom 80% have 7% of the financial assets. It makes no sense to tax them at the same percentage as the upper 20% that has 85% of the wealth or the upper 1% that has around 40%. Only a completely obtuse person would argue that tax rates should be the same on a slice of the population that has 85% of the wealth versus one that has 15%. That the rates are different is part of the whole concept of progressive income taxation.

Additionally, as a percentage of income, the very wealthy pay LESS than the middle class. See famous statement by Warren Buffet on this.

The rich aren't evil. Have I ever stated this? They just need to pay slightly more in taxes, more in line with previous historical norms. I am not advocating the 90% top tax rates that we used to have, just a few percentage to make up government budget shortfalls. I fail to see what is so wrong with this, or why it puts you in such a huff. You are not part of this class, and you probably never will be. Hell, for all I know, you're in the 50% that pays no income taxes. I don't understand why you constantly astro-turf for the political and financial interests of 1% of the population to which you do not belong.

And it does not follow that because X% of the population has Y% of the wealth, they should put in Y% of income taxes. Not at all.

"That would entail knowing what you are talking about which is not the case."

Uh, no. I went on in subsequent posts to point out the very real inequalities in income and assets in terms of percentages, citing a detailed research article.

I note that anyone who doesn't agree with you entirely must not "know what they are talking about." Then you usually proceed to call them names.

Is that because you're right about everything? What a laugh. Your position of being right all the time about everything is flatly ridiculous on the face of it. Anyone who claims this is not to be taken seriously.

"But inept fuckups in the government sector screw EVERYONE."

This is not at all limited to the government, not by a long shot. The inept workers at BP who caused an oil rig blowout affected the entire gulf region to the tune of billions of dollars in lost revenue and vast environmental devastation.

"Brilliant."

Common sense. Look into it.

"ALWAYS end up looking like the idiot you consistently prove yourself to be"

Says the lady that has gotten banned 8 or 9 times from this blog.

Does that somehow make you a genius?

Turk, the reason you believe as you do regarding taxation is that you accept the notion that government must be big (and big government requires big taxes).

In fact strike the word "accept." You adore big government. I'll bet you experience a real sense of comaraderie here at CFN where the comments section is loaded with socialistic soul-mates like Asoka, Wage and others ... where you can discuss government taking more from certain people simply because "they can afford it" ... no other criteria necessary - like a balance between taxes paid and services received.

Personally, I love the famous line from Grover Norquist who said he wants to shrink government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

I fail to see what is so wrong with this, or why it puts you in such a huff. You are not part of this class
=======

Turk, I'm surprised you think this line of reasoning is valid. It would be like telling Asoka "your not on death row, so what's your beef with the death penalty."

"Turk I'm begging you to throw it in right now. You always head down this tired path and ALWAYS end up looking like the idiot you consistently prove yourself to be. Oh wait. Thats the definition of insanity. (Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.)"

You claim I'm an idiot. So prove it. Judging from the amount of times people on this board have said the same thing or similar things about you and your views (or worse), I could easily take the low road and claim the same thing about you.

But I actually don't think you're an idiot, not really. We just disagree on a lot of issues, especially the extent to which government should be involved in society. You come across as a libertarian (?) or you have those tendencies. Fine. Defend your positions in detail. Don't just call me an X-tard because I happen to disagree with you. It makes YOU look like the idiot when half of the content in your posts consists of name-calling and other personal attacks.

I want to see you defend the proposition that the US government should have let Bank of America, GM, the airlines, et al. fail and go bankrupt. I want you to defend your position that the government should have a "hands off" attitude in terms of free markets, when time and time again this has been shown to lead to disaster for the society at large.

I want to hear you argue about how the private sector could provide on its own the financial underpinnings of the economy that the Fed does.

I even agree with some of the points you made in the rebuttal post, about downsizing the military, about retooling Medicare and SS to make them solvent, etc.

On taxes, you are simple-minded and just wrong. Top tax rates on the wealthy and on corporations have never been lower. By your logic, that lowering taxes on the wealthy increases employment, unemployment should be very low right now. And it isn't. Trickle down economics has never worked. Along with some modest government cuts and readjustments, a minor increase in taxes on the upper 20% and/or the upper 1% would solve the government's yearly budget problems. There is a reason that the upper tax brackets were at 90% during the 1950's. Because it WORKED.

I think you are far too obsessed with how the world "should" be in line with your philosophical principles of capitalism. You never seem to acknowledge that combined public-private systems have evolved into their current state for far more complex reasons than people being "evil" or "wrong". In many cases, a strong central government benefits the private sector and especially the wealthy (the intertwining of public and private banking I provided being just one example).

But you start from the premise that you're right about absolutely everything, which is completely absurd on the face of it. No one is even close to right about everything, least of all you. Also, I'm not sure there is an absolute right/wrong on these issues we discuss. There are points of view, and there are winners and losers created by policies. It is not just a simple matter of 1+1=2.

Also, I know you enjoy all this internet banter/bickering/trolling (it helps bolster your fragile self-esteem). So flame on sister. I can take it.

Because he is arguing against his own self-interest. A common theme these days, it seems.

Hiya, Q.

Thank you for the respectful disagreement.

Government has its place. I don't argue for government ownership of the means of production. I do not argue for a cradle to grave nanny state that provides unlimited entitlements (e.g. unlimited welfare, unlimited unemployment benefits, etc.). I do not state that government can do no wrong. I am in favor of reducing the size of the military. I am in favor of balanced budgets or at least some semblance of financial responsibility.

Progressive income taxation IS based on the ability of the taxed to pay. This is wrong...why? Government is not a McDonald's. You don't plunk down your dollar and get a cheeseburger. Taxes paid by one individual will never equal what they pay in. Some will get more out and some will put more in. I fail to see how this is so wrong, as this has ALWAYS been the case RE: taxes.

Riddle me this. Give me examples of modern, decent-sized countries and peoples on this planet that are successful by any measure without strong central government backing. I can't think of too many.

Because I can give you plenty of examples of weak central governments that are complete disasters. Somalia and Afghanistan come to mind.

Then there is China, currently the world's economic powerhouse, which is a communist dictatorship, about as strong of a central government as you can fashion.

See, things are never as simple as big government = bad. That's all I'm trying to point out, really.

"Personally, I love the famous line from Grover Norquist who said he wants to shrink government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.""

And what takes the place of democratically elected governments and their social programs, accountable to the people? Individuals? Nope. Corporations and the wealthy, accountable to no one. Like most Republicans, Norquist is a shill for the corporate/business class, that want to see more and more resources transferred from the public to the private realm (e.g. their pockets). And in this endeavor, he and his compatriots have been largely successful. That the middle class has seen almost none of these real economic gains in the last 20 years is apparently not a concern of yours.

Turkle said: "No one is even close to right about everything..."

Turkle, this is a very important point to keep in mind.

Neither is anyone in error 100% of the time, though, judging by comments made by CFNers, I come close.

We are all unique, we are all members of the human family, and we all have something to contribute. It's so beautiful!

In terms of THE JOBS PICTURE, there are 3.4 million job openings and the government is actually hiring slightly fewer people than before. Over the 12 months ending in October 2010, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total non-farm and total private but fell slightly for government.

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Turkle said: "Give me examples of modern, decent-sized countries and peoples on this planet that are successful by any measure without strong central government backing."

Very strong point, Turkle. The countries with high rates of educational achievement, with lower infant mortality, higher longevity rate, etc. are the countries (like the democratic socialist countries in Scandanavian) that take a higher percentage in taxes. I've heard as high as 50%

In my opinion the USA government is not big enough, the tax rates should be higher, because people obviously do not know how to spend their own earnings judiciously nor are they willing to band together to create, libraries, police forces, and water treatment plants. Governments do those things better working from a healthy tax base. Taxes should obviously go up on those who have profited from public infrastructure, government subsidies, and government contracts.

"Taxes paid by one individual will never equal what they pay in."

Sorry, that should have been....

The cost of services provided to an individual will never equal what they pay in.

Elizabeth Warren (raise a toast!) wrote a book called "The Two Income Trap." Pretty much outlines what's damaging about two income families.

The Republicans are serious about cutting spending.

The Republicans (and one Democrat) just defeated the defense authorization bill which would have provided bonuses for service members and improved health coverage for troops.

Oh, Pollyanna is just bright-siding us. See the book, "Bright-Sided" by Barbara Ehrenreich. Probably in concert with O.D.-ing on what a friend of mine calls his "I don't care" prescriptions.

The library I worked at was always "trading up" on copying machines about every two years. I swear, toward the end they were buying surplus off the Star Ship Enterprise.

One day I got stuck pretty much on my own and immediately, I had a patron in my face because the machine wouldn't work. It kept displaying the error message "Insert Key Card." The three manuals that came with it did not have any information on this particular error message in their troubleshooting sections.

Finally, another employee came back. He informed me that that message means...."Put the money in." I added an addendum to all three manuals.

Wow, Turkle, nice job!

I've been out getting some honest work done and rolling over in my mind how to respond to Tza, Q, and the rest of the "cut taxes and drown the government in the bathtub crowd."

You did it for me - thanks for handling all my heavy lifting for the evening!

Labor vs Capital
Capital WON the fight in the US. And now capital is slowly outsourcing from the US.

Capitalism is based on the principal that every entity will act in its selfish best interest. This includes the rich, the corporations, and the workers.

TZA, you have been *brainwashed?* to not act in your best interest. I can tell you are anti-union. Your politics favors the ultra rich.
The politics of the ultra rich also favors the ultra rich and does not give a crap for all the TZATZA's in the land.

It is a form of treason to back tax cuts for those who could pay while the US goes further in debt. It may not be too late, yet.

But it will be soon.

Here's an idea. If the Government gives me back every cent of Social Security I've paid over the years (with a little interest, please) I will happily sign away my right to any future "entitlements." Think it will fly?

"PC, sorry to cut in, but why should the gov mafia have any of our money? The whole system is totally illegitimate and morally bankrupt, why should it be supported?"

Spare us the cheesy moralizing.

I have a suggestion. You can move to a country that has no real central government or any taxation. I'm sure you'll do great there, for the 15 minutes you manage to survive.

How is Kandahar this time of year?

Q, Turkle's correct to to thank you for respectful disagreement.

I will respectfully ask you to consider your situation in life.

You were an accountant for the US DOD for most of your working career, correct. So now you have a decent federal pension with COLA's and healthcare.

Plus you probably draw social security and medicare benefits. But NOW, retired at age 70 - you think government - which gave you your ability to rise to the top of the heap - is too big.

Are you a TEA Party member, by chance?

Just asking - and I'm not sure it's fair to respond that government was ALWAYS too big, even while it supported you.

Wow, seriously, Q? You're against big government or at least question its legitimacy (or just playing Devil's Advocate?), and yet you used to work for the largest employer on the planet, which is a government entity.

This is why I question the Tea Party rhetoric. Much of it basically seems to boil down to, "I got mine. Screw the rest of you."

When someone who receives Medicare, SS, a government pension, etc. calls for cuts to "big government," I question their real motives, which are not altruism or the common good.

What big government are they talking about? They mean YOUR big government, not theirs. Keep all the stuff they need, naturally.

Cash, Lewis, and several others -

Regarding women working outside the home. I understand where you are coming from, guys. If a family wants a permanent stay at home mom and wants to make the financial sacrifices - more power to them!

There are ways to screw it up in both directions. As the Mook pointed out, having your little kids smoke dope and use porn as the baby-sitter is a HIGH price to pay for money to eat pizza out.

And there is NO DOUBT that the stay at home moms make suburban life better for everyone - especially for the working moms.

But there is nothing magical about stay at home moms. And sadly, Mook, kids will take wrong turns in life in spite of the best of home situations.

My grandmother WORKED as a stay at home farm wife. Cooking, canning, freezing - she was an essential half of a survival strategy. Post 1950's couples might want to acknowledge that housework is easier now (and a household costs more dollars to run) and that something may need to fill that gap.

As long as a couple knows prior to marriage what they are going for - to each his own!

Unlike tax policy - this is a personal decision made by individual couples.

With any luck
- and if we pay our national debts to the Chinese with a tax increase on the rich (HAHA!)-

this will always be an personal decision for American families.

'You argue that the government should have let the banks, the airlines, and GM fail (care to add any more to this list?), all because of some philosophical notions you have about there being a firewall between government and free markets.'

Philosophical notions? Hardly. It's called reality. An entity should stand or fall on its own merits. Giant banks that have gotten "too big to fail", never would have gotten too big to fail if the government hadn't continually stepped in over the years, when the gamblers running the banks stayed a little too long at the craps table. Guess what? When an entity knows it will always have Uncle Sam at the ready when it fucks up, it has no fear of fucking up. So it can act recklessly with impunity.

Regarding GM and companies like GM: the world, at any given time, needs a certain amount of automobiles (or widgets). Had GM gone down the crapper, the other auto manufacturers of the world would have picked up the slack in their production schedules. The bad actor, GM, would have been removed from the mix and the companies that operate responsibly would be rewarded with additional customers. You also would not perpetuate a fraud such as the Volt, a $41,000 joke that our very generous government must offer a $7500 incentive in order for someone to purchase the piece of shit. Of course this merely encourages really corrupt companies in the private sector (yes they DO exist) like GE to cozy up to Sammy and order 15,000 Volts so they will appear all green and show their ever-so-sincere-concern for our environment and buy some products from Government Motors.

Never mind that 50% of the electricity generated to power these turkeys will come from burning coal. (How ironic.) Of course GE won't expect Sammy to return the favor by purchasing some of their power generating equipment or choosing GE for some defense department contracts. Nah, that'll never happen. The fact that GE is the parent for NBC which runs MSNBC for no other reason than to trumpet the Obama administrations "accomplishments" also doesn't hurt GE's fortunes either. (Funny how bailing out a failed company like GM, only leads to more corruption and government collusion with other bad actors (GE).)


"And the rich SHOULD pay more."

Why is that? Lets take money out of the equation. Lets say a person has more intelligence than another person. That person didn't do anything to become more intelligent, they were born that way. So, using your argument, intelligent people should have to stay longer at work and produce more. Why? Because they are intelligent ("rich"). The same would apply to bigger and stronger people. "Sorry, bud, you gotta tote more iron today than Tommy. I mean, you are twice his size. It's only fair. God made you that way, so if you don't like it take it up with him, pally."

"The inept workers at BP who caused an oil rig blowout affected the entire gulf region to the tune of billions of dollars in lost revenue and vast environmental devastation."

Sorry bud, but your vast environmental devastation claim hasn't quite panned out. BP has spent a small fortune,how in cleaning up what can be cleaned up. Regarding the billions of dollars in lost revenue, Obama rushed in and in effect told BP if they ever wanted to operate another day in the U.S. they better put 20 billion dollars in an account that Obama's administrator would draw from to make things right. Bottom line is BP will be forced to do the right thing, which they should. They are insured for such calamities and should make good on their mistakes. Now you tell me how the government makes things right when they fuck-up? Pretty please. Fanny and Freddie?
they are at least as responsible for the "almost bank failures" as the banks themselves. What have our esteemed legislators done to address the corrupt, wicked ways of Fanny and Freddy?

When private enterprises fuck up, they pay up or are put out of business via the courts. You must get permission from the government to sue the government when the government fucks up. What the fuck up wif dat? Remember 9/11? Our government failed to prevent terrorists from getting on planes and almost taking down our entire financial sector. Who was held accountable for that? How has our government attempted to make that right?

"I note that anyone who doesn't agree with you entirely must not "know what they are talking about." Then you usually proceed to call them names.
Is that because you're right about everything?"

I choose to answer and reply to specific things that are posted here. That means that the things I do write about, are things I know something about. In everyday life I am not right about many things. On this site I am right about everything because I control my content and make certain my facts are accurate. Otherwise, I wouldn't post my fact based opinions. I might add that everyone that does post here does follow my criteria. Take yourself, for instance.
And finally: "Common sense. Look into it."

You go right ahead and "look into it". "Common" sense is what has gotten us where we are. I prefer uncommon sense.

'TZA, you have been *brainwashed?* to not act in your best interest"

What a MORON. No one from the government knows how to act in my "best interest" better than me. Every dime that is taken in taxes goes to some MORON thinking they know what my best interest is. And you think I'm brainwashed. Sheesh what an imbecile!

white people are rioting!

prince Charles car attacked after fee hike

AP - In Britain's worst political violence in years, furious student protesters rained sticks and rocks on riot police, vandalized government buildings and attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, after lawmakers approved a controversial hike in university tuition fees

Beware the "reformed" true believer. The end result is even more dangerous than the original version. Authoritarian scum abound; you'll notice their numbers correlate nicely with the preponderance of rampant stupidity. ;o)

''You argue that the government should have let the banks, the airlines, and GM fail (care to add any more to this list?), all because of some philosophical notions you have about there being a firewall between government and free markets.'

Philosophical notions? Hardly. It's called reality.'
and what is defended There is done thru the priciple of 'LEMON SOCIALISM'

IT 'TAKES A VILLAGE' TO RAISE A SOCIALIST!

against big government ...
WELLL WHAT WAS THE US AND CANADA LIKE IN 1900?

what was life like before huge federal government and income taxes?
before endless war funded by income taxes?
before foodstamps?

"your"

its 'you are' or 'you're'

your is indicative of possession, yes?

ah yes Navaratri..to celebrate durga [slaying?] the demons.

so thats why you hate niggers...yr colored gal pal left!

DONT YOU RAIL AGAINST THE CONTROLLERS, THE SUPER RICHE?

' You argue that the government should have let the banks, the airlines, and GM fail'

who do you think owns / controls these 'failing' corporations?

maybe tzatza is right..maybe you are stupid.
in any case what you love is 'lemon socialism'.

TZATZA, you say:
======
"On this site I am right about everything...."
==========

And then YOU call ME a "MORON"

You will never change your mind though - in spite of all logic to the contrary and the end of the US as a first world country.

Obviously, you voted for BushII.
He never changed his mind, either.
Wish we could have kept BushII only on CFN.

imbecile, (your word) indeed!

I have a suggestion. You can move to a country that has no real central government or any taxation.
==

That's the best argument you've got? Weak. Very weak.

Anyway, why should I have to move anywhere? Why shouldn't I be able to affect a real democratic process where I'm at? Why shouldn't I be able to put a stop to a gamed and rigged economic, political, and legal system through the process of reason, persuasion, mass civil protest and disobedience.

Tza,

The problem I have with your overall viewpoint is that you make absolute propositions based upon an idealized view of capitalism and free markets (i.e. your philosophy), which does not and cannot exist.

For instance, you call any corporate entity that has strong connections to government a "bad actor." Then you go on to name some of the largest and most powerful corporations in America, e.g. GE and GM, as well as "too big to fail" banks.

Shouldn't it tell you something about modern capitalism writ large when many of the largest capitalist entities are so strongly dependent upon government subsidy and support? In fact, capitalism at its highest levels depends upon strong central governments, especially central banking.

For instance, look at how the Federal Reserve operates. It backs all major banks by offering very low interest loans, as well as providing depositor insurance and other services. In turn, these banks lend money to the rest of the country, which includes mortgages, short-term loans to corporations, and the rest. The banking/financial sector in the United States would simply not exist in its current manifestation were it not for government backing. And what follows is that the vast array of large and small businesses in the United States would simply not exist without this governmental backing to the credit system.

What also comes to mind are the plethora of defense contractors that suck off the government's teat: Haliburton, Bechtel, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, etc. These companies would not exist, or would be drastically smaller and less wealthy, without the government giving them lucrative contracts.

These arrangements exist because they have some benefits to society. It is not actually in society's best interests to have chaotic bank failures. No one benefits from this. It is not really in America's best interests to let its only domestic car company go out of business. It isn't in America's interests to allow its defense contractors to be at the mercy of the free markets.

"taxes"

Nonsense. By your logic, everyone should just pay a flat fee to the government. Someone's innate intelligence or strength is not analogous to how much money they can accumulate. Because money is the only real survival mechanism in purely capitalist economies. Additionally, the amount of money someone can accumulate is strongly tied to the governmental system in which they are embedded. The very wealthy in America (say CEOs) benefit from a vast array of government-provided services and regulations, including roads, utility systems, public education of their employees, and patents. When the government takes a chunk out of this income, it is NOT unfair. That person would not have gotten wealthy at all were it not for government in the first place.

In a purely capitalism system (say with a very small government), the winners are rewarded handsomely by taking the vast majority of the profits. Losers are punished by either being shut out of the system entirely or by barely being able to scrap by on what the winners choose to give them.

What I think of is the slums of places like Brazil, filled with losers, devoid of government influence and services outside of a few gun-toting policemen. I do not want this here. Most Americans do not want this. So capitalism is tempered by government intervention and programs. This is not evil or wrong, far from it. What is far more harmful is saying that every person must turn a profit in the free market or be shut out from society completely. Frankly, I cannot think of a worse way to run a society, aside from perhaps an out-of-control totalitarian dictatorship.

Then you have issues of employment and economy. There is nothing inherent to capitalism that provides anything close to full employment or even a healthy economy. The government can and does pick up the slack. Think of the number of Americans employed by the state, local, and federal governments. Now add to that the contractors that work directly for the government. Now add to that all the goods and services bought by these governments. Now add to that all the money re-injected into local economies by these workers. All told, this is a massive chunk of America's GDP and its workforce.

All that said, I agree with many of your points. Government often insulates itself from the world at large. It can cause economic distortions that might be harmful down the road. It is not always held accountable for its failings.

That said, you seem to be of the mindset that we should throw the baby out with the bathwater, e.g. because government does some things wrong or inefficiently, that it should be drastically reduced in size to something that "governs least."

Again, I'm going to ask you, what nation on this planet provides an example where small, weak central governments lead to success on the world stage?

I have no problem with holding government more accountable for its actions. It should be. Heads should have rolled over 9/11. Fannie and Freddie do need to be reformed. The government should probably not be in the business of purchasing bundles of mortgages.

This doesn't mean that we should instead switch to a drastically curtailed form of government. If anything, the sorry state of the nation's infrastructure (bridges, roads, grid, etc.) shows that more intelligent investment is needed in the right places.

It isn't a weak argument at all. It is called putting your money where your mouth is. If you really believe that government is illegitimate and we should all rule ourselves, please go implement your plan in a place where real anarchy exists.

tzatza,

Yes, your best interests, like having well maintained roads, a modern electrical grid, safe bridges, safe drinking water, safe food, public police officers, public firemen, etc.

Your position that government can do no right is just imbecilic. It does things in your best interests everyday. You just choose to ignore it.

I'm glad I stayed home for most of my kids childhood...but it came at a price. I've been out of the job market for too long and now it is impossible to find a job in high tech public relations. It's depressing not to have a meaningful career anymore. I'm sick of doing volunteer work.

Nevertheless, staying at home probably benefitted the neighbor kids. My house is a respite for them. Latchkey kids were always welcome over here. Some moms took advantage of me. One little girl stayed over for several nights and her mother never called or checked on her. Finally, I had to go to my bookclub and my husband was in no mood to deal with other people's children....I tried to contact the mother at work and on her cell phone....no answer.


One little boy was over here as much as possible...and eventually we figured out why when he came over sobbing and wounded. His mother had just beaten him with a hanger. I called social services. The mom was really pissed at me. Too bad, bitch.

SJmom


TzaTza - just in the interest of proving you wrong about something, consider the following:

You said:
this...."would apply to bigger and stronger people. "Sorry, bud, you gotta tote more iron today than Tommy. I mean, you are twice his size. It's only fair"

Out in the real world, where real men work, TZA, this is EXACTLY the way it is. A man who can do real, honest, physical labor is valued more BY HIS PEERS. There are jobs on a labor crew that will fall to "Big John" (or Big Al or whatever his name is) that no one else can do.

And the bosses don't pay Big John more. (The effete capitalist bastards may pay him less, in fact.)

But Big John has the ability - so he gives more.
Our rich have the money --so they should pay more.
==========
It is certain, TZATZA, that you are wrong about this.
Plus, you have given us evidence that you never had to make a living working with men, by the sweat of your brow.

That fits right into the pattern!

Money (wealth) buys power; power protects money (wealth). Okay?

If the enslaved should bless their shackles; leave them to cry for their monstrous Masters and drown at the oars of the sinking ship of Empire.

It isn't a weak argument at all.
==

It is weak, as it is fallacious. Kandahar is a war-torn wilderness, where religious Islamists slavery, anti-enlightenment, illiteracy, ignorance, backwardness, corruption, gov mafia cronyism and coercion reign supreme. It is the antithesis of the egalitarian/libertarian political model that I advocate.

"If the enslaved should bless their shackles; leave them to cry for their monstrous Masters and drown at the oars of the sinking ship of Empire."

That original? If so, well done, sir!

Jesus Christ I'm glad I spent the day at the market...you guys get everything covered?

You wrote:
"What big government are they talking about? They mean YOUR big government, not theirs. Keep all the stuff they need, naturally."

I couldn't agree more. This is why JHK constantly harps about America's overfed clowns, who tend to be spoiled because of our unreal gains in living standards post WWII.

What gets my goat, is the fact that the single wage earner of my parents generation decided to become hogs. They secured their main residence, then proceeded to buy another one and rent it out to twenty-somethings for more than what they would have paid monthly for a mortgage. But, in the end, they died anyway, and their kids have had no trouble pissing their inheritances away on $2000+ mortgages on ugly cookie-cutter homes that are mostly now underwater and still sinking. In my area, the 50 somethings, who were "unlucky" enough to have had to buy twin or row homes 20 years ago, are now the owners of the only houses people can afford to buy in the current economy. And if they are not looking to sell,the taxes are "only" in the $2000 a year range. The big-shots in the cookie cutters get to pay $7000+. Ahhhh, the prestige.

You wrote:
"On this site I am right about everything because I control my content and make certain my facts are accurate."

What you write is accurate, but how you stress the numbers is fed by your personal philosophy. When you look at tax burdens across income levels, you need to look at all taxes paid, not just federal income. There are dozens of flat taxes that hurt lower income people the most. eg. sales, car license, gasoline, telecom, hotel, property (plus all those adders), airline, SS payroll (benefits the six figure + group the most), electricity, natural gas, etc.

your is indicative of possession, yes?
=======

Yes. Ya got me. My bad.

Ha!
With all the literary references I've been stuffing my head with lately, I'm not really sure how original it is. I BELIEVE it to be; but then again, that don't make it so! ;o) (It was a fun little visual though, wasn't it?)

(That last was a reply to Tripp. Solly...)

There are dozens of flat taxes that hurt lower income people the most.
=======

Carrying your thought a step further, I suppose you'd favor a system whereby the poor pay $5 for a movie ticket, the middleclass, $10 and the wealthy, $15?

How ironic that people post their anti-government thoughts on the internet, created by government funded research group DARPA, using the WWW, created by Tim Berners-Lee at government research institution CERN.

But, yeah, government doesn't do anything useful for you...right.

You know, if we were living at a level of political organization that was even remotely sustainable in the long view, none of this mind-numbing right v. left conversation would be necessary. We'd have missed our chance to watch The Matrix and Office Space at the movies, and experience the unplugging paradigm shift, true, but then, we wouldn't really need them to help accomplish a task that didn't need accomplishing, now would we?

Ah yes, keeping up with the Jones.

The house was probably 1200 square feet or so with single pane windows, one bathroom, tiny rooms. -ProCon

... while I agree that houses have become more outlandish, I still think that "bang for buck" has gone backwards. For that I blame the banks who relaxed deposit requirements: when it goes from 20% to 5%, prices will rise four times.

The builders will make their products more outlandish to stop the questions of "why are we paying nearly $1M for a pile of crap", but in the main, builders or speculative landowners are putting the extra dollars in their pocket.

They had one car... -ProCon
which is utterly infeasible now because governments have put public transport in the bin for four decades. As for the mod-cons in modern cars, that's just technology making stuff cheap.

I'm not sure about the underutilised woman at home bit.

Largely speaking I agree with you, but in looking behind the reasons for said things, my assertion is that it's the system (banks and govt), not people, that's leading the change.

Reread my post. I didn't advocate eliminating flat taxes, just looking at total tax burden and not complaining just because the bottom 50% of wage earners pay no fed income tax.

Out in the real world, where real men work, TZA, this is EXACTLY the way it is. A man who can do real, honest, physical labor is valued more BY HIS PEERS. There are jobs on a labor crew that will fall to "Big John" (or Big Al or whatever his name is) that no one else can do.

And the bosses don't pay Big John more. (The effete capitalist bastards may pay him less, in fact.)

But Big John has the ability - so he gives more.
Our rich have the money --so they should pay more.
==========
It is certain, TZATZA, that you are wrong about this.
Plus, you have given us evidence that you never had to make a living working with men, by the sweat of your brow.

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

Progressor...you took the words right out of my mouth!

Tzatza said...

"So, using your argument, intelligent people should have to stay longer at work and produce more. Why? Because they are intelligent ("rich")."

Yup. That's the way it's worked every single place that I've been employed.

I'm very good at what I do, a quick study & quick worker.

And at every single place, I've been rewarded for my excellent work with what?

More work.

So the slackers, mediocre & those working the system get to do a lesser amount of work, while I get to do twice as much.

Sounds like maybe they're the smarter ones. That is until it's time for layoffs. Or bonus time.

Just sayin'.

Heya, asia.

You like to apply moral judgments, i.e. this or that thing is bad/evil/wrong, e.g. "lemon capitalism." These distinctions generally exist only in your mind.

I never said I love anything about the current system. State-sponsored capitalism is the system that has developed over time. And that's the way most countries operate right now. There is not a country on this planet that implements the pure libertarian principles espoused by several people on this site, and for good reasons. It doesn't work very well for the common good of the citizens. At least, I do not know of a country that uses these principles, and I'd be happy to look into it if someone could find one.

When the primary industries or corporations of a country go bankrupt or otherwise get wobbly, one of two things generally happens. The company or industry is nationalized. Or the government finances it for a time and restructures it (e.g. GM). If the company is allowed to fail and dissolve, then it probably wasn't considered crucial to that nation's economy.

America had its round of Social Darwinism and unfettered capitalism. It resulted in 10 year-olds working 16-hour days in unsafe factories, families crammed into unsafe tenement slums, terrible environmental pollution, and unhealthy and unsafe products. The government has assumed more power in this area to temper the inherent exploitation of pure capitalism. In the banking sector, prior to the creation of the Federal Reserve, there was no depositor's insurance, and there were frequent bank panics where depositors lost their savings. In other words, the good old days weren't so great.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why people think this is such a bad thing for the government to be involved in shaping and regulating a capitalist economy. I guess people in America just take things like labor and safety laws for granted or that corporations have policed themselves in the last one hundred and fifty years.

And then there's those who say the government never does anything useful. Except a government research project created the internet on which you are posting your messages here. Funny huh? Without the government, we wouldn't even be having this online discussion.

Ang, you are indeed an optimist when you say:

"So the slackers, mediocre & those working the system get to do a lesser amount of work, while I get to do twice as much."

And your get your reward when you are not laid off or at bonus time.

Good luck, Ang. In a rational world you would be correct.

In our real world, though, keep your eye on "those working the system."

They will tend to come out on top - time after time - good times or bad.

Oh look tza, Obummer wants to overhaul the tax system and make it simpler, just like you said you wanted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/us/politics/10tax.html

Can you get behind that or are you gonna flip flop like a typical Tea Bagger?

The ongoing argument here is what the role of government should be in the many aspects of the American experience.

To me, the tax situation has to do with simple logic, kind of like the quotidian version of physics' law of conservation of matter and energy. There cannot be perpetual motion machines. You can't get more energy out of a system that you put in. The equations must be balanced.

The same with government spending. How can an entity spend more than it takes in, unless the difference is paid back. If the government spends more than its revenue, then the excess is debt. But debt eventually has to be paid off.

Printing money to pay off debt is not the solution because that's like trying to create energy out of nothing. There is no way out - Vito will eventually come see you with a baseball bat. Vito is really China, Japan and the rest of the world to which we are indebted.

So the first step is to agree we must settle this debt. How we do it is another matter. Remember, reality says we have no choice but to settle it.

The next step is how to prevent the existing debt from expanding. The only way is to balance the budget. A very simple reality. Arguing about which line items in the federal budget should be effected is just posturing. What is needed first is a consensus that the budget must be balanced. The amount of the budget itself is secondary. To spend more, more must be taken in. Again, it's that simple.

Who pays how much to the government in taxes need not be discussed until first a philosphical agreement is reached on how we handle our national finances.

And then there's those who say the government never does anything useful. Except a government research project created the internet on which you are posting your messages here. Funny huh? Without the government, we wouldn't even be having this online discussion.
==

This is the second time I read you spewing off this nonsense. The government didn't create ANYTHING! All it did is subsidize R&D expenditures for the corporate sector with public money. If the the government created the internet then it should have patented that "creation" and charged the corporate welfare users a license fee to use that "creation" and pay back the money owning to the public purse!

"Carrying your thought a step further, I suppose you'd favor a system whereby the poor pay $5 for a movie ticket, the middleclass, $10 and the wealthy, $15?"

If you're too poor to go to the movies, you probably shouldn't go to the movies...unless the theatre owner figured out that it was in his financial best interest to get more people in by graduating the box office price. I mean, wasn't he going to show the movie to those 40 full price payers anyway? Wouldn't letting a small group of poor folks in at the last minute for 5 bucks a pop represent pure profit? What about the garbage they are quite likely to spend their "savings" on at the concession stand? Perhaps more likely than the full pricers are even?

We should allow the free market to work by itself, unencumbered by classist objection, if we are to call it the free market, n'est pas? The hotel industry obviously finds its relevance in such a predicament already, with their "midnight" specials. Come in after 9 pm and get that 80 dollar room for 40. Better than leaving it empty.

On a related note, I worked at a very progressive, avant garde sort of local organic grocery store in Washington state while we were there. We always charged the well-to-do membership full price, and offered the same goods to people paying with EBT cards for 10-50% less. With full knowledge of the wealthier members too. They were perfectly willing to "subsidize" access to good food for the interested but cash-strapped customer.

Not that radical really.

Q, Why no response to PC's inquiry/contention that you spent the majority of your employed life working for the DoD? As I seem to recall, from previous interactions with you, you told me you worked for a Defense Contractor; yes, no, maybe?

In either event your small government stand reminds me of the republican winner of NY district 48, where I live, state senatorial seat. She ran on a smaller state government and cut taxes platform except of course for the government jobs in her district, those are essential, it was the jobs in other districts that needed paring down.

Kinda, sorta, same, same as your attitude previously pointed out by, I believe, PC, you got yours so piss on everyone else who did not. PC was likely not as indelicate as I.

Truthiness disclaimer, I am a bona fide DoD CSRS retiree and unless the CSRS is getting nearly a 90% investment return on the money I paid into the retirement system US taxpayers are footing the majority of my retirement.

SNAFU

Hey Kiwi - it's great to have you here from Down Under?

You say that banks and governments drive real estate, and of course you're correct.

There are also "lending ratios" to consider. For example, land value and building value need to have a "reasonable relationship" for a conventional loan.

So, if you have a lot worth half a mill - this explains why the builder you mentioned is building a stupidly sized house with lots of bells, whistles, and geegaws - so the house itself will be worth a million or so.

And speaking of capitalism, when you say:
===========
"but in the main, builders or speculative landowners are putting the extra dollars in their pocket.
============

Very true, which is a great example of how low personal income taxes skew values of all sorts of property. And money that should remain in real estate is siphoned out into all sorts of undeserving pockets.

I understand the Australian real estate boom continues along with the China boom.

Hold on to your hat - we found out in the States that when these things pop, they pop with a vengeance!

You know, Q, many Americans are just barely getting by these days. Maybe you are feeling nice and secure in your retirement with that government pension, but many people do not have such a peachy situation. In many households, $100 a more per month (let's say in tax breaks) is actually a lot of money. The percentage of mortgages that are underwater is large and growing. Between the costs of medical care (e.g. insurance and out of pocket), child care, and housing, the middle class is generally feeling very squeezed. Around 27% of households have $500 in savings. That's living right out on the edge. And I haven't even covered the details of the vast number at the very bottom, living on the streets and in prisons, who are beginning to gel into a permanent and hostile underclass.

Contrast this with the top earners, who have soaked up almost all of the economic gains over the last twenty years. Regarding the Bush tax rates, these apply to people who make $250k a year in taxable income. This means they are making $20k a month in taxable income. This amount of money should allow anyone to live comfortably anyplace within the United States in a big house, have several nice cars, and support a couple children with change to spare. So, personally, I have no sympathy with this upper 1% who makes more than $250k per year and don't want their taxes raised back to pre-Bush levels. They have largely gotten this wealth at the expense of the middle class, who have been cut out of these gains. They deserve to have a little bit of that wealth redistributed.

You think that's stealing? You think its communism? Tough titties. That's how progressive income taxation works.

That said, I am not arguing for perfect equality or anything close to it, as it is impossible and not particularly desirable. But there is a point when income disparity starts to tear a society apart. Look at Brazil, where the fear of kidnapping and crime is so great that the country has the largest car armoring industry in the world. The rich live in gated communities surrounded by hellish slums ruled by drug dealers. Upwards of a 1000 boys are killed per year in the major cities.

Do you want to create this situation in America? Because we're already headed in this direction. When a wealthy society cannot provide at least the bare bones of a decent and humane existence for those on the bottom and instead allows a small percentage to monopolize most of the capital, you can be sure that it will come back to bite everyone right in the behind (especially in terms of higher crime rates).

And as for the movie ticket question, it is irrelevant. Going to the movies is a discretionary purchase. Payroll taxes are not.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA created the internet. This agency is the research arm of the DoD and part of the US government. The first internet nodes were at public universities. It is a fact. The government created the internet.

You think the government should have licensed this technology. Hm, okay Mika. That's great. But the government gives away technologies to the private sector all the time.

Your personal feelings of shoulda, coulda, woulda on this matter are (yet again) completely irrelevant.

Q and TZA

My lawyer bills $150/hour
- a *typical* cashier earns less than $10/hour - but we'll round up.

(And hey, I've got a cheap lawyer - don't sue me! ;-) )

So to go to a movie that costs $10.00 our cashier has to work for an entire 60 minute hour.

Whereas my lawyer has to work for 4 minutes to go to the same movie.

Is this *fair?* No, of course not, but nothing in life is fair.

However, government tax policy should be FAIR. My lawyer can easily pay 50% and have $75/hour left over.

Our cashier is barely making it as it is at $10/hour.

Plus - the cashier spends every cent she earns, thus building up the US economy.

I know for a fact that my lawyer is investing in venture capital funds all over the globe.

Cut taxes on the rich - they create jobs in the US - is an invidious, divisive LIE - that is going to be the death of a free United States.

Follow the money, TZA and others - it is leaving the United States - because taxes on our rich are TOO Low.

But the government gives away technologies to the private sector all the time.

Your personal feelings of shoulda, coulda, woulda on this matter are (yet again) completely irrelevant.
==

You think you and your gov mafia can play commie rough shots over everyones head and we'll all lie down and take it. Well, fsck you! And fsck your commie commissars and your commie propaganda outlets passing themselves as places of higher learning. Your days are numbered.

I didn't advocate eliminating flat taxes
==========

That's true, you didn't ... at least not in so many words. But I detect a complaint that if the poor pay the same for something as the wealthy (like a driver's license) the poor are somehow being screwed.

When I hear a statement like "There are dozens of flat taxes that hurt lower income people the most" it sets my teeth on edge. It makes me want to say something rude like "well duh, no shit Dick Tracy, of course it does." Forget taxes ... EVERY expenditure by the poor hurts them more. Why else do you think people would rather be rich than poor? What kills me is there are people who actually think the playing field can and should be leveled by government social engineering.

Another good post to Q at 10:17, Turkle. You and I have been on a ROLL this afternoon and evening.

Point/counterpoint - we whupped their butts!

Problem is they will never see or believe it.

Completely and totally brainwashed - fiddling to the music of Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh.

Shilling for the ultra rich - as the United States slips into the slow, slow burning of decay.

ClusterFuckedNation, indeed!

And I just saw Mika's post at 10:43. Our days as a world power may indeed be numbered - although the SOB doesn't have to gloat so much!

And if only we could get our people to stop being so selfish for a few years and to pay our National bills - right here - at the End of Empire, it's still not too late -

But it will be soon, I believe.

Q said:

What kills me is there are people who actually think the playing field can and should be leveled by government social engineering.

Q, not only can equality be engineered by government policy, you would personally prefer to live in those countries that engineer equality because the quality of life is superior when high taxes and big government create a pleasant place to live.

Here are some countries where you can drown the government in a bathtub and with weak government comes high income inequality:

RICHEST 20% TO POOREST 20%

Sierra Leone: 57.6
Namibia: 56.1
Lesotho: 44.2
Bolivia: 42.3
Central African Republic: 32.7
Botswana: 31.5
Paraguay: 27.8
Haiti: 26.6

Would you prefer to live in any of those countries?

Or would you prefer these countries where high taxes and government intervention HAS lessened income inequality:

RICHEST 20% TO POOREST 20%

Switzerland: 5.5
Canada: 5.5
Netherlands: 5.1
Austria: 4.4
Denmark: 4.3
Germany: 4.3
Sweden: 4
Norway: 3.9
Finland: 3.8
Hungary: 3.8
Czech Republic: 3.5
Japan: 3.4

BE HONEST, Q... WHICH SET OF COUNTRIES DO YOU PREFER?

IF YOU HAD TO CHOSE TO LIVE IN ONE OF THEM BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T MAKE YOUR MONEY OFF THE USA GOVERNMENT?

WOULD YOU LIVE IN ONE OF THE COUNTRIES WITH A WEAK DROWNABLE GOVERNMENT, OR STRONG HIGH TAX GOVERNMENT.

IS THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH GOVERNS LEAST REALLY THE BEST? BE HONEST.

(sorry my caps key got stuck. I didn't mean to scream)

Statistics are like burkas. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. In this case, what's concealed is the centuries of theft and exploitation by the top rich countries from the bottom poor countries. Btw, Asoka, how come the rich people in them poor countries are all associated with the gov mafia?

The Republicans voted down the entire funding of the military today.

The small, drownable-in-a-bathtub, government folks seem to be OK with this Republican action even though it leaves our country defenseless.

After all, it is a way to reduce government spending and that is what they want, right?

Less government, small government ... that is what the Republicans have achieved in refusing to authorize funding of our entire military today.

The drown-the-government-in-a-bathtub crowd should be in favor of what the Republicans have done ... to be consistent with the "less government is better" philosophy.

Radical congressional representatives (both on the right and on the left) may shut down the entire government through their stubborn refusal to compromise, and then they can rejoice because they are irresponsible and selfish and uncaring.

They got theirs, the hell with everyone else, seems to be their attitude.

asia said: "white people are rioting!"

This is not good, asia. Rioting is not good. Don't sound so breathlessly excited.

Though it is not surprising that morally challenged white people are rioting.

White people murdered millions of Natives in the Americas.

White people kidnapped and enslaved millions of people from Africa.

White people murdered millions of Jews, Roma, gays, etc. in Europe.

White people dropped nuclear bombs on civilian population centers in Asia. (the White race is the only race to use nuclear weapons on human beings in the history of the world)

So whether it is the Americas, Europe, Asia or Africa, white people pretty much do what they want when it comes to extreme and massive use of violence against others.

Look. America does not matter that much. It was a phony inorganic construct. There isn't much of an identification as Americans either. International corporations matter more. So did ancient family, clan, and tribal affiliations. Have noticed that people are more gutless than anything else. A few exploiters can rule, exploit and ruin, hundreds even thousands, of gutless fools. It is easily done.
Geoff
Sacramento, California

Greetings all:

JHK again thank you interesting insight into our current happenings. The Evening news tonight had a shocked Diane Sawyer saing that students in England threw stuff at the Prince and his wife to be car's in protest of the decling economic times,BUT,BUT the reporter shouted many students did not support that action. I lost a battle with a neighbor when trying to convince him to prepare for the peak oil world. JHK he likes your articles and thoughts,then he went to other peak oil sites, and one sysop of the site declared that proof of peak oil is true he just did an astrogical chart, his study of astrology proves peak oil, my Conservative Christian neighbor said its all bull about peak oil,oh well the cold snowny winter finally returned to western NYS, but its all good, no worries.

TBU said:

Look. America does not matter that much. It was a phony inorganic construct.

Interesting.

If you understand "inorganic" to mean not created through living processes, then how was America born, and how did it grow, if not through organic, living human beings who, consciously decided to create something?

If you believe tribes, clans, and families to be "organic," they are still often dysfunctional social constructs, which you are born into and did not consciously choose.

Did anybody notice that WikiLeaks today released more documents ("cables") that relate to North Korea, Burma, Egypt, Venezuela, Kosovo and Nigeria. Assange being in prison will not stop the leaks from happening.

WikiLeaks is equal opportunity when it comes to document dumps (not anti-United States).

"You can't stop what's comin'."
- No country for old men

I prefer inorganic constructs. I prefer America.

When you think about it, friendship is an inorganic phenomena. Friendship is absolutely human, but there is no inbuilt friendship mechanism in your biology; it is non-biological.

Through your biology you fall in love. But you rise in friendship. It has a spiritual dimension.

Friendship can result in bonds as strong as, or stronger, than organic relationships produce. A good example is the "band of brothers" phenomena in war.

Looked at objectively a platoon is an inorganic group of strangers thrown together in the military. It is not like a tribe or clan or family you are born into.

But the inorganic band of brothers achieves a degree of unit cohesion through friendship that they are willing to sacrifice their lives for one another. Often band of brother friendships endure long after the war has ended, often for a life time.

Yep, I prefer organic food and inorganic social constructs with a spiritual dimension.

=======

"One thing is certain. The only way out is in." --Joe Bageant

USA Fatwa Against Julian Assange

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/2/assassinate-assange/

Dear Prime Minister,

We note with concern the increasingly violent rhetoric directed towards Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

"We should treat Mr Assange the same way as other high-value terrorist targets: Kill him," writes conservative columnist Jeffrey T Kuhner in the Washington Times.

William Kristol, former chief of staff to vice president Dan Quayle, asks, "Why can't we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are?"

"Why isn't Julian Assange dead?" writes the prominent US pundit Jonah Goldberg.

"The CIA should have already killed Julian Assange," says John Hawkins on the Right Wing News site.

Sarah Palin, a likely presidential candidate, compares Assange to an Al Qaeda leader; Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator and potential presidential contender, accuses Assange of "terrorism".

And so on and so forth.

Such calls cannot be dismissed as bluster. Over the last decade, we have seen the normalisation of extrajudicial measures once unthinkable, from 'extraordinary rendition' (kidnapping) to 'enhanced interrogation' (torture).

In that context, we now have grave concerns for Mr Assange's wellbeing.

Irrespective of the political controversies surrounding WikiLeaks, Mr Assange remains entitled to conduct his affairs in safety, and to receive procedural fairness in any legal proceedings against him.

As is well known, Mr Assange is an Australian citizen.

We therefore call upon you to condemn, on behalf of the Australian Government, calls for physical harm to be inflicted upon Mr Assange, and to state publicly that you will ensure Mr Assange receives the rights and protections to which he is entitled, irrespective of whether the unlawful threats against him come from individuals or states.

We urge you to confirm publicly Australia's commitment to freedom of political communication; to refrain from cancelling Mr Assange's passport, in the absence of clear proof that such a step is warranted; to provide assistance and advocacy to Mr Assange; and do everything in your power to ensure that any legal proceedings taken against him comply fully with the principles of law and procedural fairness.

A statement by you to this effect should not be controversial - it is a simple commitment to democratic principles and the rule of law.

We believe this case represents something of a watershed, with implications that extend beyond Mr Assange and WikiLeaks. In many parts of the globe, death threats routinely silence those who would publish or disseminate controversial material. If these incitements to violence against Mr Assange, a recipient of Amnesty International's Media Award, are allowed to stand, a disturbing new precedent will have been established in the English-speaking world.

In this crucial time, a strong statement by you and your Government can make an important difference.

We look forward to your response.

Nobody can stop what is coming, so go with the flow. --Asoka


Interesting dialogue re big vs. small
government. As usual, the truth is
likely to be somewhere in the middle.
Somalia's government is probably as
small as it gets yet this libertarian
paradise is run by pirates. Libertarians,
bless their naive hearts, believe in a
philosophy that only works if every
person in a society operates on a very
high moral and ethical plane.

However, for those believe in big government,
try working in a public education institution.
Outside of the hard working people in Admissions
and Records, most administrators and counselors
are like Commie Apparatchiks ... useless as
tits on a bull and their salaries are 2.5-3X
the rank and file teachers. And they go to
conferences and stay in swank hotels on the
public dime. I could cut my college's budget
in half without firing one person who does
REAL WORK.

The only reason why countries like Sweden work
is NOT because huge taxes make for a terrific
society. It's because they are serene
MONOCULTURES with low crime, tough educational
standards, and a sensible attitude about what
a rational CEO payscale should look like. In
the US, the Republikook mentality is that any
calls for rational tax structures on the rich
are "class warfare". As far as I can tell, the
only "class warfare" going on is the rich
downsizing the middle class ... while they
are leading one business enterprise after
another into abject failure.

The Republikook mentality is more of the
already-debunked "Supply Side", "Trickle Down"
bullshit which requires that we ignore US
history. Under Eisenhower, tax rates on
the rich were from 70% to 90% depending
upon the obscentity of the "salary".

It'll be interesting to see if Obama's
campaign to close tax loopholes even gains
traction in his own party. Sorry, TZA-TZA,
not a fucking person in the world "deserves"
a $100 million "salary" for one year. An
average American makes about $2 million over
a LIFETIME and I've never seen a CEO class
that ever deserved fifty LIFETIMES of money
for a year ... much less the sociopaths in
the boardroom in 2010.


E.

Anyone who thinks there is any reason to even discuss letting current tax rates revert - should take another look at the facts.

America is great because the little people aren't killing and kidnapping the rich. Off hand I think the rich owe the country's little people something for playing nice.

http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/tax-rate-comparison/

"Our cashier is barely making it as it is at $10/hour."

Got a suggestion for your cashier...go to law school.

"Sorry, TZA-TZA,
not a fucking person in the world "deserves"
a $100 million "salary" for one year."

I doubt that anyone is receiving a 100 million dollar "salary". There are people who receive compensations in excess of 100 million, however. They sign very lengthy, very specific contracts that lay out what they must achieve in order to qualify for huge bonuses. They are are investing billions of dollars and when their performance is good its conceivable they may make tens of millions of dollars in a year's time. How does this hurt you or anybody else for that matter? Why should you care for, one moment, about someone in the private sector making a lot of money?

Yeah, that's one thing America needs - more lawyers.

The "practice" of law is controlled by a guild - propped up by power of the government.

CEO's and corporate boards are (mostly) incestuous bulls*it artists - they certainly have you completely flimflammed, TZA.

How about we have a world where cashiers can earn $150/hour - and lawyers and CEO's max out about $10/hour?

I bet we'd see some different approaches to taxes and corporate governance then.

"Sorry, TZA-TZA,
not a fucking person in the world "deserves"
a $100 million "salary" for one year."

Furthermore if someone is being paid "a $100 million salary" they must have earned (hence "deserve") it. Can you explain how a corporate board would allow such a payment to someone who did not deserve it?

Furthermore if someone is being paid "a $100 million salary" they must have earned (hence "deserve") it. Can you explain how a corporate board would allow such a payment to someone who did not deserve it?
==

My ass, they deserve it. These are all professional thieves and racketeers and they should be locked up, for life. As to how the corporate board would allow it, simple. They're all in on it, and all on the take. It's one big fscking racket. And the gov mafia is in on it too. They should all be prosecuted and locked up under the RICO Act. Including the last 5 presidents of the US. They're all mafia.

That was a good article and not only because I agree with what he's saying. On this site there's been debate about whther we'll be facing inflation because of all the money printing or deflation because of the collapse of demand. When you look at the commodity prices that Stockman cited, IMO, there's only one direction that things can go.

Let's examine a medium priced corporate lawyer earning $1000/hour.

That's $16.00 per SECOND of time.

He can pay his way into our cashier's $10 movie and have money for a large popcorn with 2 seconds of work.

The lawyer is acting in his selfish best interest - and that of his clients - to skew pay scales and tax scales so that they become richer and richer.

The wonder of it all is how talk radio and Fox have convinced all the young TZATZAs in America to argue LOUDLY for the interests of the super rich - instead of their own interests.

It is going to be a sad footnote to the collapse of the US - if our middle class does not wake up and stop voting for the politicians of the modern Robber Barons.

"How about we have a world where cashiers can earn $150/hour - and lawyers and CEO's max out about $10/hour?"

So you want to pay eight dollars for that loaf of bread? Try not to be such an ignoramus.

You set up the scenario of the difference in pay between an attorney and a cashier. A cashier (though some of my best friends are cashiers) need only know how to push buttons. In this day and age, their having to know how to add or subtract isn't even a requirement.

To become an attorney, one must invest the time (4 years of undergrad, three of law) and roughly a quarter of a million dollars to become an attorney. So, not only is one paying a lot to go to school, most have exited the world of full time employment for a seven year period in order to do so.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to have a pity party for attorneys as this is still a free country and a person can choose to go, or not to go, to law school. But if you think the relative value of an attorney's time should be on par with that of a cashier or better yet the cashier and attorney's recompense should be flip flopped, it is only because you are a complete idiot.

"The lawyer is acting in his selfish best interest - and that of his clients - to skew pay scales and tax scales so that they become richer and richer."

How is an attorney, charging 1000 per hour (Not certain I ever heard of an attorney making this much but what the hey.) acting in the best interests of his client? I mean I can see how he/she is acting in their own best interest but how is $1000 per hour acting in the best interest of his client?

You really need to take the internet test to make certain you are not drunk (Don't know if they have a "stupid" test but you should definitely look into it.) before posting here.

What ever. Keep digging.

It was a hypothetical - to point out how politicians would reverse tax policy in a split SECOND to extract 90% of the money from a $150/hour cashier.

You took it seriously.

I don't call names on the internet because it clutters up the debate and accomplishes no purpose.

I will, however, quote you back to yourself:

"because you are a complete idiot."

TZA

You missed my post about the incestuous corporate boards and CEO's.

These guys have convinced themselves that they are all worth this much - then they support each others corporate malfeasance.

And $1000/hour is only $2,080,000 per year.
That's not much money at all for these corporate Robber Barons. (Do the math!)

The only wonder is that you support their robberies with your politics.

"The wonder of it all is how talk radio and Fox have convinced all the young TZATZAs in America to argue LOUDLY for the interests of the super rich - instead of their own interests."

You are not a particularly bright penny. My argument is for the freedoms of each and every individual. You want to cull the super rich (whatever the fuck that even means) from the heard and treat them differently. I don't.

I believe that laws that continually limit the freedoms of individuals (all individuals) ultimately destroy nations. You are calling for class warfare. That is a tired, lefty tactic of the dimwitted. Us or them. Have you seen the videos from London lately?

"The wonder of it all is how talk radio and Fox have convinced all the young TZATZAs in America to argue LOUDLY for the interests of the super rich - instead of their own interests."

You are not a particularly bright penny. My argument is for the freedoms of each and every individual. You want to cull the super rich (whatever the fuck that even means) from the heard and treat them differently. I don't.

I believe that laws that continually limit the freedoms of individuals (all individuals) ultimately destroy nations. You are calling for class warfare. That is a tired, lefty tactic of the dimwitted. Us or them. Have you seen the videos from London lately?

"The only wonder is that you support their robberies with your politics."

What the fuck robberies are you talking about? Could you be a bit specific? If robberies are occurring then the robbers should go to jail. You are merely espousing a bunch of unsubstantiated clap trap.

Try not to be such a generalized idiot. Reach for the "specific idiot" brass ring. What a maroon!

You are calling for class warfare.
==

It's only "class warfare" when the poor and middle class have had enough of being shafted up the ass by the corporate bankster aristocracy. When corporate bankster aristocracy does it to everyone else, is "freedom of the individuals" to buy and steal the government and whoever and whatever they want. Fsck you, tzatza, you pathetic swine.

Re big or little government: It makes no difference what we have as long as its citizens are prospering and happy. Is that happening in America? If not, then our government isn't a good government.

We know this: The US government bailed out the largest banks. Would our country have gone down the tubes if it didn't? Over 8000 banks operate in the US. Would it be possible that the remaining banks could absorb the business of the TBTF banks? I think so. Would this roil the financial markets? Yes. After a period of discomfort, would we get back to normal? Yes.

In a capitalistic system , regardless of whether or not you like it, profits will be pursued. Do you think every one of the 8000 remaining banks would be too afraid to take advantage of the TBTF's failures?

The fact is, the leaders of our government were placed in a room and told by Hank Paulson that if they didn't bail out the big banks, tanks shortly would be rolling in the streets. And why would Paulson lie like this? Could it be because he worked for a very, very large financial institution before he entered government service?

In one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in a long time, the Court ruled that corporations could legally donate money to political campaigns. Do you think the government is not corrupt?

It is rampant corruption that has, is, and will wreck our country. Corruption takes advantage of people's lust for money and power. Rather than going back and forth over whether government should be large or small, how about working on the changes needed to end, or at least minimize, the corruption?

"I don't call names on the internet because it clutters up the debate..."

Riiight. Instead, you offer pre-programmed nonsense with the delusional thought that you are engaging in debate. You are not. You are engaging in regurgitation.

Now clean up your keyboard, your room and go outside and play. You need some fresh air.

"When corporate bankster aristocracy does it to everyone else, is "freedom of the individuals" to buy and steal the government and whoever and whatever they want. Fsck you, tzatza, you pathetic swine."

Once again, I say if laws are being broken put the miscreants in jail. Why you think I support theft or lawlessness is beyond me. I welcome you to point out where I have ever suggested any such thing.

I'm sorry you have it in for the rich. I'm merely saying that if someone has acquired riches legally, I could care less. You seem to want to lynch them. Why is that?

Rather than going back and forth over whether government should be large or small, how about working on the changes needed to end, or at least minimize, the corruption?
========

Smaller govt = less opportunity for corruption

Let me suggest one area (out of thousands that could be mentioned) that should be removed from government involvement whether local, state or federal: Education.

Government does not run the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket chain ... why on earth should they be running a chain of schools?

Tzatza said: "Why you think I support theft or lawlessness is beyond me. I welcome you to point out where I have ever suggested any such thing."

Tzatza, when George W. Bush was president, did you support USA military operations in Afghanistan to maintain Karzai in power? Do you support them today?

"Tzatza, when George W. Bush was president, did you support USA military operations in Afghanistan to maintain Karzai in power?"

No. And what that has to do with the price of kumquats is beyond me.

I could care less
========

How this phrase ever wormed its way into the vernacular I don't rightly know but what TZA actually meant was "I couldn't care less.

Once again, I say if laws are being broken put the miscreants in jail. Why you think I support theft or lawlessness is beyond me. I welcome you to point out where I have ever suggested any such thing.
==

You deliberately ignore the biggest fsckin thievery on the planet, the US gov mafia corporate bankster racket, and then you have the nerve to smugly ask me to point out where the theft and lawlessness has occurred? You shameless swines should to be hang on meat hooks.

"You deliberately ignore the biggest fsckin thievery on the planet, the US gov mafia corporate bankster racket..."

Um, OK... I'll try and make it as clear as possible. If there are people engaging in illegal activities in the "US gov mafia corporate bankster racket" they should go to jail.

Now how is it that I am ignoring this "biggest fsckin thievery on the planet"?

Tzatza,

You say: I believe that laws that continually limit the freedoms of individuals (all individuals) ultimately destroy nations.

OK that's valid to a point. But IMO this society worked best when people and especially people who are unusually bright or talented or driven act with some self restraint and self discipline such that laws to limit their freedoms aren't necessary.

A free market doesn't mean anything goes and such exceptionally talented people should have the intellectual wherewithal to realize that you cannot continually push the envelope of your fellow citizens' tolerance and goodwill. Everyone has to bear in mind the fact that they are part of a larger network of interdependence. In simple terms your neighbours have to make a living too and the fact is you can't live without them. Someone has to pick the crops, collect the garbage etc etc. Is there a limit to how skewed the distribution of income or assets could be? You shouldn't try to find out because on the other side of that limit is catastrophe.

If you want to have mayhem make sure you have a large number of unemployed, unmarried, frustrated young men. I was once young and so were you or maybe you still are. So what makes a young man tick besides always wanting to get laid? IMO a chief source of self worth for young guys is working and supporting a wife and a family. But he needs a decent paying job for this. The other is the respect of his peers. So a lot of young guys try to prove their courage and strength in demanding or extreme circumstances ie sports or street fighting or actual warfare. Young guys have an urge and an instinct to band together and fight rival groups. I don't need to elaborate, you know what I'm talking about.

How many times in history have we seen hordes of angry, unemployed, unmarried young fellas fall under the spell of a charismatic leader and then go off on a rampage. They try to get what they think should be theirs and they try to prove themselves to their peers in combat. Like Germany in the 1930s. Hitler promised hungry and unemployed German boys a uniform, a cause, three meals a day and, most importantly, self respect and look at what happened. Or like the Communists in Russia. Or like a lot of young Muslims guys nowadays. Or the Vikings.

I would submit that "anything goes" and the devil take the hindmost does not work. It never has. I don't think that anyone is advocating class warfare but rather the opposite. What I'm advocating isn't socialism but moderation, wisdom, forebearance and common sense. But in the absence of any of these then we'll have to make do with regulation, red tape and expensive, burdensome and sometimes corrupt bureaucratic oversight.

"How this phrase ever wormed its way into the vernacular I don't rightly know but what TZA actually meant was "I couldn't care less."

Ah, actually grammer queen I meant, " I could care less" as in I COULD care less but I do not. Now please eat shit and die.

Now how is it that I am ignoring this "biggest fsckin thievery on the planet"?
==

Because you're deliberately ignoring the fact that the corporate/bankster mafia and US gov mafia are in cahoots and are operating a racket at the expense of the rest of the population, the public purse, the value of labor and currency. "Laws" are not only not being enforced, "laws" are deliberately created to facilitate this racket and thievery. Every facet of ethicacy and common decency has been dismantled. All the watch dogs, from the media, to the law society, to law enforcement, to Congress, to the Supreme Court, to democratic system itself, have been affectively neutralized.

No, it's not class warfare, it's Tzatza's idea of fair play. Like I said, fsck you!

you have the nerve to smugly ask me to point out where the theft and lawlessness has occurred? You shameless swines should to be hang on meat hooks.
========

He didn't ask that at all. He asked you to point out an instance where he supported such theft or lawlessness.

...and it's should be hung


I'm not arguing on the need for some regulation. I'm merely saying that the direction we are heading is straight towards disaster. Let me give you a couple of examples:

I recently was asked by an invalid to cash a check so they would have some cash on hand. They made the check out to me and said. "They know me at the bank." Well "they" did not know me at the bank. So, when I drove up to the teller's window I included my drivers license, along with the check, in the vacuum canister. The teller asked if I would mind coming into the branch to cash the check. I said I would not, parked my car and went inside.

"Could you show me another form of I.D."? she asked, once I stood in front of her.

"Sure", was my reply. Well the next request was for an ink impression of my right thumbprint of which I opted out. Funny thing was if I was ready to open an account at this bank the need for a fingerprint would not be necessary. So, if I was an international terrorist with bad intentions they would gladly accept me as a client but for them to cash their own check, with me providing adequate identification, they want to run the full monty. Now where on earth is the logic behind that?

Heres another example. I heard Tom Brokaw relate this one. Tom is a big fly fisherman and is know by many for this past time. As such he was approached by a few Supreme Court justices and some other high-level muckety-mucks to arrange a fishing junket.

Some high level security types, (FBI I believe) traveled to Wyoming to make certain there was security in place before the trip took place. On his way back, an FBI agent approached a TSA agent at the airport. "I'm and FBI agent", he said while showing his badge and identification. "I'm going to remove my gun take out the clip and run it through your x-ray machine", he informed the TSA agent. The gun went through the machine. The FBI agent stepped through the electronic frame and set off the beeper as he had forgotten to remove a Swiss Army knife from his pants pocket. The TSA agent put the clip back in the gun and handed it to the FBI agent. He then looked the FBI agent in the eye and said, "I'm going to have to confiscate this knife."

Here is a prediction: The internet is about to be regulated (use restriction) in a big way. The Wikileaks imbroglio will be the excuse. We will continue to be groped at airports. Our government is currently tracking autos via GPS devices that are being spirited under cars without so much as a court order. Fingerprints are being required to cash checks. Car stops for this reason and that.

Our freedoms of movement and conducting transactions in the world of commerce are being whittled away. Does the beastly nature of man require that he be somewhat restricted by regulations? Yeah, I think so. But what has been unfolding in this country in the last year or so is historic and frankly more than a bit alarming.

He asked you to point out an instance where he supported such theft or lawlessness.
==

And I answered. By ignoring that racket and turning a blind eye to it, he effectively supports it. Silence is complicity. It's a simple and common tenet of law and morality. So as far as I'm concerned, he's part of that conspiracy.

"Because you're deliberately ignoring the fact that the corporate/bankster mafia and US gov mafia are in cahoots and are operating a racket at the expense of the rest of the population, the public purse, the value of labor and currency."

No I am not you fucktarded, thick, ignorant, non-comprehending cretin. I am saying put the practitioners of any and all illegal activities in jail.

Now how the fuck can you accuse me of ignoring your concerns?

" Like I said, fsck you!"

And for crying on a FUCKING crutch if you mean to say "fuck you" how about saying, fuck you. Who's fucking sensibility do you think you are protecting by inserting an "s" in lieu of a "u" when referring to the work FUCK? Do you think there is someone on this planet that is going to mistake your spelling for any other word than "fuck"? (You're just pretending to be this stupid aren't you?)

Now how the fuck can you accuse me of ignoring your concerns?
==

Because you're ignoring that the whole system is corrupt from top to bottom. And rather than admit that it needs to be dismantled and the beneficiaries of that racket need to be in jail and their stolen and ill-begotten wealth confiscated, you shill for these swine and the system that they created. Now, I'm not going to call you a cretin, because I want on that meat hook where the ravens can pluck your fscking eyes out.

..I want ^you on that meat hook..

"...rather than admit that it needs to be dismantled and the beneficiaries of that racket need to be in jail and their stolen and ill-begotten wealth confiscated, you shill for these swine..."

Let me venture a guess. You are a blind person. Your communist, puppet master/keeper is making up responses to questions that you pose to me. That is the only explanation I can imagine for your intransigent fucktardedness. That or you were recently hit by a bus while reading a well thumbed copy of Das Kapital while munching on some angel food cake.

Whatever. Have a lovely day comrade.

"..I want ^you on that meat hook.."

And no, I do not want to know what you would do with me were I on a meat hook. Although I'm guessing I would be dead and that the only way in which you might get some "enjoyment" in this life would be with someone who is no longer living.

Viva Che, baby!

TZA said to Mika: "No I am not you fucktarded, thick, ignorant, non-comprehending cretin."

but don't be fooled ... they're getting together tomorrow evening for eggnog at TZA's place.

Have a lovely day comrade.
==

Communism and Fascism are babies of the same bankster aristocracy gov mafia, imbecile.

Tom Brokaw ... is a big fly fisherman and is know by many for this past time.
==========

TZA is sloppy sometimes. He meant to type "and is known by many for this pastime.

Teehee chortle.

Every facet of ethicacy and common decency has been dismantled.
========

There's:
democracy
literacy
accuracy
diplomacy
fallacy ...

why not ethicacy?

gei cacy afen yam, q

A great quote for JP Morgan:

"He who sells what isn't his'n / Must buy it back or go to pris'n."

Cash,
Responding to TT, you say:
"But IMO this society worked best when people and especially people who are unusually bright or talented or driven act with some self restraint and self discipline such that laws to limit their freedoms aren't necessary."
=========
Good point, but with the top tiers over-weighted with psychopaths, that idea of self-restraint goes wafting out the window, eh?
===========
"A free market doesn't mean anything goes and such exceptionally talented people should have the intellectual wherewithal to realize that you cannot continually push the envelope of your fellow citizens' tolerance and goodwill. Everyone has to bear in mind the fact that they are part of a larger network of interdependence. In simple terms your neighbours have to make a living too and the fact is you can't live without them. Someone has to pick the crops, collect the garbage etc etc. Is there a limit to how skewed the distribution of income or assets could be?"
============
Why, sure there's a limit. We know just where it is: when the gibbets and guillotines get set up in the central squares, the line will not only have been drawn, but quite deliberately stepped over.
=============
"You shouldn't try to find out because on the other side of that limit is catastrophe."
==============
Whoa, whoa, whoa... holt on thar, Cash!
I positively ENCOURAGE TT to find out where that limit lies! (Wounds and bruises are most convincing of intents and motivations.)
============

BTW, TT, if you COULD care less, it means you still have a [certain] capacity to care, so you've either misspoken or you DO care somewhat.
Not caring to care (although caring) is unclear in the extreme. Sorry, that just happens to be one of my very dearest and closely cosseted peeves.

The half hath not been told.

"I'm very surprised that christian feminist 'equality' women can so idolise a WikiLeaks hero that they do all in their power to get him into bed as soon as they have the chance. And then, when they realise he's not as interested in them as they are in him, go to the police and accuse him of rape. This demonstrates an extreme contempt for the women who are real victims of violence and sexual crimes. Their behaviour is unconscionable.

If you're a groupie at heart, why not just try to keep quiet about it? It's nothing you should spread on the net or go to the police to talk about. As things look now, Anna Ardin's carefully planned character assassination and revenge on Julian Assange amounts to nothing more than a suicide bomb on her foot. A bit unlucky for Anna that Google cache keeps track of things like an Internet god. If you're going to delete, then delete good and proper."

http://www.countercurrents.org/rudling081210.htm

That was a very good answer. I'm with you in that the US govt and to some extent govts in other countries are engaged in pointless harrassment of innocent people. You could say the same about corporations. My ex employer (an American multinational) used to ask for hair samples as a condition of hiring to test for drugs until the Cancuk govt outlawed that bit of lunacy.

Several years ago I was in Texas on business and I saw in the airport a really old creaky black lady have to take off her shoes before she got on the plane. Stupid, pointless. Same shit up here. Aggravation without security.

There's that old saying: if you give up your liberty for the sake of security you'll end up with neither.

But based on what I'm seeing I have to conclude that, even if there's no explicit conspiracy between Wall Street, the US Treasury, Congress and the Presidency, the elites in your country and mine are acting against the general good of the country and its citizens. And, who knows, maybe there is an explicit conspiracy. Maybe the conspiracy is just implicit. Do we eat and drink with them? How do we know what they talk about? As I said earlier in one post, I can remember how things were and I know how far we've fallen. In business they judge you by your results. So I'll do the same. The results suck. We're getting hosed.

You look at the Fed with Uncle Ben busily blowing bubbles. To what end? To create a firestorm of inflation? Or maybe that's just collateral damage because the real priority is Wall Street bonuses and who after all do people at the Fed rub shoulders with? Half of those guys are Goldman alumni. The Governor of the Bank of Canada (our counterpart to the Fed) was an investment banker at Goldmans. Seems to me what Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Keep the party going and fuck the rest of us.

A quick anecdote on the mind boggling arrogance and stupidity of our financial elite: in the late 1990s two of our major banks (BMO and RBC) wanted to merge. Such a thing would require Fed govt approval at the highest levels ie Prime Minister, Minister of Finance. The bank CEOs announced the merger, apparently without first getting govt OK. Which is mind blowing arrogance. The Minister of Finance and the PM said basically go fuck yourselves, no chance. A few years later, with the same Prime Minister and the same Minister of Finance in power two major banks again wanted to merge, again BMO but this time with BNS. They tried to pull the same stunt. They tried to do an end run around the govt with the same two senior Ministers. They got the same answer: go fuck yourselves, no chance. After the first failure you'd think they would have learned. Mind blowing stupidity.

It is true that smaller government means lesser members will be corrupt. But what about the magnitude of the corruption? For example, it only took a small number of Nazis to dream up and plan mass extermination. Many of the people who actually worked in implementing the program were not members of the National Socialist Party.

Either there is corruption or there is not; you can't be half pregnant.

I personally believe it's best for the government to stay out of our affairs, but I could live with some of the intrusions if the government was honest and effective. However, it's not the government's responsibility to make anybody's life better or easier. In a good society, those that can't help themselves are helped by other citizens, who voluntarily provide assistance. Help for others is not legislated.

It is our government's responsibility to insure we all have an opportunity to provide for our own welfare, and that's all. Usually this entails having an effective military to protect its citizens as they go about their lives.

You could say that I am not living in the real world, which is based on survival and dog-eat-dog. But a primary purpose of being civilized - which we like to think we are - is to be socially and morally advanced. And that would include willingly taking some of your time and energy to help others less fortunate than you.

"Can you explain how a corporate board would allow such a payment to someone who did not deserve it?"

Simple, tza. When the board is packed with the CEO's best buddies, he gets to determine his own compensation package.

Good point, but with the top tiers over-weighted with psychopaths, that idea of self-restraint goes wafting out the window, eh? - Ozone

Sure does. Over weighted with dead eyed crazies, underweighted with intellectual acuity.

I wonder how a company would operate if higher management and the boardroom were had people with degrees in the humanities instead of business degrees. Would it kill to have people in the upper reaches who've studied history or literature or philosophy instead of frenzied MBAs or CPAs who think that such knowledge is irrelevant, useless clutter?

I've heard it said that learning to read, write and speak Latin is great training for the mind because, in Latin, if you don't have it exactly right you have got it totally wrong.

There are so many things wrong with the American economy, it's hard to know where to start. The jobs issue is clearly first. Without jobs, people have no money, without money, people have no homes, no food, no hope. Getting all those jobs that the CEOs outsourced to China and India back isn't going to happen. The CEOs lined their own pockets by shipping out our jobs because they didn't want to pay American salaries or benefits. Their stocks went up but not because their products were better but because they had less salaries to pay.

How long will it be before we see children running in the streets because the government had to lay off teachers, buildings burning down because the government had to lay off firefighters, crime running rampant because the cops got laid off too. Social Security and Medicare will be slashed to the bone but the military will always get its funding because we don't want to risk having the latest high tech weapons (although the terrorists always use low tech weapons).

We are on the Road to Anarchy but FOX News won't tell ya that. FOX is desperate to keep the rich richer. Class warfare IS happening -- the rich are squeezing the working class and middle class for their tax breaks. And FOX has brainwashed those living in trailer parks, carrying guns that it is "Socialism" to pay taxes.

Any sane person realizes we need to get off this road right now! If we don't, everyone will suffer if tens of thousands of angry people roam the streets, burning financial institutions down because they have lost everything. And the police won't stop them either because they got laid off too.

But I guess the rich will hire their own security force, build enclaves around their houses and hope the mobs kill each other. As long as the rich continue to hide money in offshore accounts, trust funds, hedge funds and other tax avoidance schemes, we are in danger of losing the best country on earth. But that is the GOP plan = to make the rich our masters and the rest of us serfs.

The half hath not been told.
==============

Messi, the link you provided is terrific.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of [wo]men? Twitter knows.

"Simple, tza. When the board is packed with the CEO's best buddies, he gets to determine his own compensation package."

Not so simple. That is a published figure that is subject to the scrutiny of shareholders. If performance is sub-par and a CEO is raking in undeserved recompense they will not be for long.

"The Governor of the Bank of Canada (our counterpart to the Fed) was an investment banker at Goldmans. Seems to me what Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets."

I'm hearing you. There does seem to be a bit of inbreeding going on. I'm afraid that part of the problem is the complexity that has been engineered into the system. Where are you going to hire someone that has enough knowledge to fill the watchdog posts other than the very institutions you are attempting to regulate?

That is not to say that these clowns should be operating outside the confines of the law, however.

"TZA is sloppy sometimes. He meant to type "and is known by many for this pastime."

Squished- dick is is a bore. ALWAYS.

"We are on the Road to Anarchy but FOX News won't tell ya that."

You mean Hannity, and Beck and O'Reilly haven't mentioned the anarchy that is headed our way? What the fuck you smoking?

Squished- dick is is a bore. ALWAYS.
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Suggestion: to avoid appearing 'stooopit' proofread your comments before clicking Submit.

A small number of people monopolizing most of a society's capital leads to an unhealthy domestic economy. It is not a coincidence that America's domestic economy took off following the implementation of the income tax. This tax system allows some money to be redistributed from relatively unproductive purposes, such as stock speculation, into more productive economic activities. For instance, the government might take some money and use it to build a new road, which would put a whole crew of people to work. Or it may directly hire a worker who then puts most of his salary into the local or at least domestic economy by way of goods and services purchased or a mortgage or rent paid.

Naturally, there are limits on either side. A good government should not so overtax its corporations and wealthy members that they cease to be productive (e.g. Atlas Shrugged though this case is far overstated). But on the other hand, societies that pander to the wealthy and allow vast inequalities to persist and grow are settings themselves up for stagnation and failure. As asoka stated very well, the worst countries in which to live are generally the ones with the most unequal income distributions.

Since the wealthy actually won't "give up" much of their money themselves, over time we have developed a system that encourages them to put money into economically productive activities. For instance, corporate tax rates in America are low and oftentimes a corporation, especially the largest ones, pay no tax. Well, what is this really about? It is to encourage those with capital to form and back corporations as investment vehicles.

Also, the income issue is generally a red herring for the very wealthy, as they gain most of their wealth through capital gains, and the capital gains tax is just 15%. So this ends up being around the effective tax rate many will end up paying on their "income."

I understand that this is a curtailment of a purely free capitalism, which would allow each person to keep all of their monetary gains, without any income taxation. But, I'm sorry, this simply does not work. Capitalism naturally sets a system of winners and losers. And furthermore, it tends towards "winner take all" systems, e.g. monopolies. What happens to those who are shut out of this system or cannot function in it? What happens to the losers? Do we simply hope they will shrivel up and blow away? Do we put them away to rot in prison for non-violent, victimless crimes? (America's current modus operandi.)

I guess my whole quibble with relying on pure capitalism as a philosophical system for structuring a society is that it says absolutely nothing about the things that really matter to people. It establishes no moral principles beyond the profit motive and naked self interest. Its freedom allows the winners at the top to take nearly everything while those at the bottom barely get by, living on the table scraps.

Some of the most advanced nations on the planet temper these tendencies with strong socialist safety nets. Ask yourself, are the countries where pure capitalism reigns actually ones in which you would want to live?

I'd also like to say something about the US governments involvement in the economy. It has driven the economic prosperity of the country. The Great Depression ended because the government hired a large number of soldiers and converted peacetime manufacturing to a war footing. Then following WWII, the American government in its wisdom converted the destroyed countries of Japan and Germany into modern, democratic, moderate economic powerhouses. The Marshall Plan helped rebuild and stabilize Europe. Domestically, the creation of the interstate highway system and the GI bill following the war, among other things, lead to America's greatest period of economic prosperity.

And what were the big capitalists doing during this time? They were busy selling widgets to the Nazis.

So don't give me this business about the government can do no right and that the private sector and corporations are inherently better structures. It is hogwash. And it isn't supported by the recent historical record.

herein Asok 'tours africa and tells us how awful it is BUT welcomes all muslims and africas to move to the USA and 'work the system':

Sierra Leone: 57.6
Namibia: 56.1
Lesotho: 44.2

Central African Republic: 32.7
Botswana: 31.5

Haiti: 26.6

haiti is 'new africa'