State of Suspension

     You kind of wonder here in the flash-frozen northeast if, a few days from now, scores of dead bodies will be found in unheated trailers across the county. The Weather Channel said 20-below-zero this morning in upstate New York. I know there are people so desperately poor out there because a couple of weeks ago I overheard a supermarket worker say she couldn't afford to buy propane. And she had a job!
     I haven't left the house myself for two days and a Snow Leopard installation put my iMac into a hang-up deepfreeze all its own (I'm on the MacBook now). But enough about me.... I wonder if Barack Obama himself is sleeping in a casket in the White House basement these days, waiting for fairer conditions before facing a nation spinning into the dark unknown. Of course he has to put in the annual appearance before a mostly hostile joint session of congress later in the week. I can't imagine that coming off as anything but an orgy of self-congratulation for our national wonderfulness - especially on the occasion of a multiple slaying - and cheerleading for the marvelous restoration of the set of revolving rackets we call "the economy." I pray to all the Gods that assorted heroes du jour will not be planted in the balcony of the House Chamber and subject to the Reagan-style show-and-tell, which the Gipper's managers so astutely used as a sly distraction from straight talk about where we are at as a polity.
     The bloodbath in Tucson completely obscured a momentous development in Mr. Obama's executive sphere, when he brought on JP Morgan factotum William Daley as White House Chief of Staff, for Gawdsake, and nobody in the news media so much as coughed into his (or her) sleeve. He also hired recent Goldman Sachs errand boy Gene Sperling to direct the National Economic Council. At Goldman, Sperling was charged with running self-esteem workshops for Third Worlders - an obvious public relations ploy. You wonder now whether he'll be carting American "99-ers" off to the Aspen Institute for weekends of buffet line cruising and "ideating" - to use a popular new vapidity from the lexicon of Big Business.
     Last Thursday, Mr. Obama actually flew up to my home territory to visit the headquarters of General Electric and sign on its CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, as yet another White House special economic advisor. Notice, by the way, that GE was the recipient of untold billions of TARP pixie dust. I wonder if the president got a good look at GE's home base, Schenectady, New York, a once-vibrant industrial dynamo now so sclerotic that it makes the former soviet Magnetogorsks and Traktorgrads sound like El Dorados. 
     Meanwhile, GE only incidentally makes electrical things anymore. Mostly, like everything else in America, they became a financial company, looking for ways to make money off of money, and mostly losing heaps of money in the process - for the excellent reason that it's really not possible to get something for nothing in this universe, though we wish it were. Likewise, GE's vaunted new battery initiative, which is aimed mainly at the idea that we can run the whole US vehicle fleet on electricity (mostly powered by coal, you understand, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels) is another quixotic project based on something-for-nothing wishes.
     The weird part is that a president can journey to a place like Schenectady - once a fine, small-scaled walkable city with first-rate public transit on a major waterway (the Mohawk River / Erie Canal system) plus the New York Central Railroad main line - and never notice that the future of this society waits in realms and actions other than the tragic habit of Happy Motoring. He certainly didn't use the occasion to make a single remark on that theme, which is probably the only true alt.energy scenario that might prevent America from sliding into a dark age.
    The appointments of Daley, Sperling, and Immelt show not just the total "capture" of Obama's government by sociopathic corporate interests (which, after all, have the sole mission of rewarding their shareholders, boards of directors, and executives), but it also shows the astounding poverty of imagination at the center of American political life. This is a fatal vacuum that invites something like revolution, because the only thing this vacuum seeks to do is suck things outside of itself into its own darkness.
     Revolutions come in many styles. This one is shaping up to look rather red-and-slippery, because the grift has really amounted to the wholesale theft of a generation's future. There are 21-year-olds out there right now laboring under massive burdens of college loans that they were swindled into signing at a time when the parts of their brain concerned with judgment had not fully developed, and they are every bit as smart as the men running the predatory corporations today. Even after they eventually give up paying their debt-peonage tuition loans, they are going to be very pissed off at the way the older generation ran their country into the ground. Let's just hope that the mental torture inflicted on them doesn't turn them into a legion of Jared Lee Loughners.
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My books are available at all the usual places.


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922 Comments

First!

What would you see as a result for company or state pensions in the near and far future? Question goes out to Jim and the readers. What is your reasoning for this?

James,
I am starting to think you should have called your book The Loooooooooooooooooog Emergency

Everything is moving in slow motion.

Just saying,
Aimlow Joe was here.
http://www.aimlow.com

As far as state pensions, here in CA, I think we need to slowly increase the qualifying age. I've posted before about pensioners who have worked for the state for 25 yrs., retire at age 50 and now have collected a pension at 80% of max pay at time of retirement for 30 years.

Not sustainable in a country that is poorer than 10 yrs. ago. Minimum retirement age should be no less than 55 now and increase to 60 by 2020. I don't think these changes are that radical or should be considered "pension bashing".

"Are there no prisons? No workhouses?"

N.Y. GOP mum on weatherization
HEATING HELP: Newly elected House members joined committee that supports ending 30-year program
By MARC HELLER
TIMES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23, 2011


WASHINGTON — Monday may dawn with temperatures in the minus teens across most of upstate New York [minus 28 here!], but the region's newly elected members of Congress are mum so far about a proposal to end a federal program to protect homes against harsh winter weather.

None of the four new upstate Republicans elected to the House in November, whose offices were contacted by the Times, would comment on the proposal to stop the Department of Energy's 30-year program to weatherize homes for low-income residents, floated Thursday by a group they recently joined.

New York has been the top recipient of such funds since the Obama administration poured money into the program for the economic stimulus in 2009.

Only Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Syracuse, returned calls seeking comment, and she offered no criticism of the idea, saying instead that Congress must have a "frank" conversation with the American people about the future of federal programs, popular or not, that have contributed to climbing federal deficits and a burdensome national debt.

All four lawmakers — Ms. Buerkle, Chris Gibson of Kinderhook, Tom Reed of Corning and Richard Hanna of Barneveld — joined the conservative Republican Study Committee after taking office this month. The RSC included the elimination of the weatherization program in a broad proposal to cut dozens of programs and slash $2.5 trillion in federal spending over 10 years.

Cutting those programs, the study committee said, would help restore the government's financial balance while eliminating duplicative or wasteful programs. The idea is not likely to advance in the Senate, if it even reaches a vote in the House. But it could set the tone for reductions that have a better chance of becoming reality.

Cutting weatherization grants would save $530 million a year, lawmakers said, based on typical funding amounts separate from the temporary increase the program received through the Obama administration's economic stimulus.

Word of the proposal has not reached all of the agencies around the country that administer the program, but advocates contacted by the Times said it would cripple their efforts, especially because states such as New York are in no financial condition to make up the losses.

"It's only one of the most cost-effective programs the government runs," said Charles A. Acquard, executive director of the National Association of State Utility Customer Advocates, in Silver Spring, Md.

Winterizing homes is not terribly expensive, he said, but saves low-income residents enough money through lower heating bills that they can, in extreme cases, keep paying their mortgage or avoid homelessness. Many low-income households in the north country also qualify for federal low income home energy assistance, a program that would face reductions, too, as the proposal takes a broad cut at non-defense discretionary programs.

"For people on the margins, energy bills often can send them over the top," Mr. Acquard said.

The weatherization program has helped protect about 500,000 homes in New York since its inception in 1977, said Denise Harlow, chief executive officer of the New York State Community Action Association, an anti-poverty organization. Often, organizations would look to Albany for help, but the state's bleak fiscal outlook suggests lost federal dollars would not be replaced.

"The state right now wouldn't have the money to put into the program," Ms. Harlow said.

In St. Lawrence County, where forecasters said readings would stay below zero all day today and Monday, the federal government has poured $3.7 million into the DOE's program in the past year, including $3.1 million in stimulus funds and $600,000 in regular funding. That has been enough to cover improvements in 524 homes, the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program Inc. reported.

The weatherization program became a popular target in conservative circles with the passage of the stimulus, which included $5 billion for the program. Critics questioned its economic impact and potential to create jobs. Those concerns were further fed by the Obama administration's slow implementation of the program. Less that half of the money devoted to the program has been spent, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported recently, in part because of the Energy Department's difficulty in administering such a greatly expanded program.

In the north country's congressional race, Republican challenger Matthew A. Doheny questioned why weatherization money belonged in the stimulus at all.

Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who opposes the RSC's spending reduction plan, said last week that he expects many of the ideas to lose favor on the Republican side as the real impact becomes known.

But the lead sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested at a press conference last week that they might go further by targeting smaller weatherization programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The program would take an especially hard hit from GOP efforts to stop any more spending related to the stimulus — possibly disrupting projects that already are planned or partly under way, a GAO analyst said earlier this month.

The proposal could become an early test of newly elected lawmakers' willingness to deliver on promises to cut federal spending and stick with their conservative base. Similar ideas surfaced from time to time when Republicans controlled the House before 2007 — home heating assistance was a favorite target, for instance — but New York's moderate Republican congressional delegation at the time stood in opposition.

It also may test the new Republican leadership, which has not indicated a willingness to go along with all of what the RSC proposes.

"They're going to get a lot of opposition within their own party," Mr. Acquard said.

Most of the manufacturing companies are just financial fronts for Chinese manufacturing - all the real work and wages once provided to American workers has been shipped offshore to that faraway, foreboding place. Thus, no middle class wages to pay the taxes that keep the state pension funds going.

So far, the states and local municipalities have not found a way to "outsource" their road maintenance, school systems, utilities, court systems, etc. to the Chinese. So with middle class incomes drying up thanks for manufacturing going away, states are leaning toward bankruptcy. Not a pretty site.

The multinationals have "bought" the government so they are not going to do anything about it. Also, average Joe is not going to quit buying the Chinese goods so we are on the path we are on...

The coup d'etat is complete, and it was done right in the open, without anyone questioning the deed. Not only that but the Fed is now changing the rules of the game, so that the deck is even more stacked. Are we beyond saving, or are we worth saving?

The status quo will be maintained, at whatever cost. The only question is, how much longer will this charade go on? There are laws of economics, and Keynesian Theory isn't one of them, but that hasn't prevented the Keynesians from violating every one of those laws. What will be the Black Swan event that demonstrates the fact, the emperor has no clothes.

Pensions:
JHK is insightful in speculating on the future disappointment of the current pension holders. They still live in a bubble. I reached adulthood post Reagen and could never find a pension even as a tradesman. I have fairly low standards about getting "taken care of" as I enter my early 40s. But the real danger comes from the current "pension holders" who imagine that it will be there for them.

"The appointments of Daley, Sperling, and Immelt show not just the total "capture" of Obama's government by sociopathic corporate interests (which, after all, have the sole mission of rewarding their shareholders, boards of directors, and executives), but it also shows the astounding poverty of imagination at the center of American political life. This is a fatal vacuum that invites something like revolution, because the only thing this vacuum seeks to do is suck things outside of itself into its own darkness." -JHK


Thank you for bringing back into focus the shape and direction of our "Grand National Suicide".
We can only hope that a financial collapse might curtail some of the ecological murder in which we're so heavily invested.

Knowing where one might be headed determines what one should pack for the "trip". Make things work where you live, people! (Or get the hell out of there if the "lifestyle" can only be sustained by direct central gov't. inputs. The "folks" in D.C. ain't gonna be on your side. Refer to "State of Suspension" by James Howard Kunstler ABOVE. Focus, people, focus....)

Looking at your situation in the US from someone in Canada, it is clear that your entire political system is fully controlled by the bankers. And the situation is not getting any better as shown by the latest appointments of yet more bankers.

It is obvious to me that the current administration is sticking sharp objects in your collective eyes with incredible arrogance and force, like a bully in a schoolyard.

How does it feel to have someone steal your lunch money? when do you say enough?


Good column this week, thanks.

Sorry to hear your iMac screws the pooch on a software upgrade. This country really is going to hell, or else the gods of computing are sending you a message you should be running Linux.

I'm curious what you all think about buying gold & silver: as Glenn Beck is pushing.

"How does it feel to have someone steal your lunch money? when do you say enough?"

I don't know. Maybe ask someone in Tunisia. Or maybe one of the young unemployed men in Egypt who have set themselves on fire in protest of their deplorable economy. Frankly, amerikans don't have the balls for any rebellion. Might have had 'em 70 or 80 years ago. Not now. Not even close. We're too busy arguing about abortion, gay marriage, muslims...you know, the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF!

Did you know that Mark Carney (head of the Bank of Canada, for Americans the Bank of Canada is our counterpart to the Fed) is a Goldman alumnus? That is really depressing.

Amazing, really, that a Democrat would so utterly abandon the unions (depleted and weak as they are...) in favor of a complete handover to "business interests."

Or not.

Even more depressing ( is that possible at this point?) is watching as the GOP pounces on their fav issues, like abortion....while Rome burns. The entire system may be in default, but damn it, we gotta get this here abortion thing riled up again...so that people ca have more kids with fewer prospects!

The elephant is in the room. But nobody is stating the obvious. However judging by the flurry of recent articles on the possibility of state and municipal bankruptcies, it is obvious that Greece is coming to America.

A Path Is Sought for States to Escape Their Debt Burdens:

"Policymakers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/business/economy/21bankruptcy.html

Mayors See No End to Hard Choices for Cities:

"Despite having one of the highest crime rates in the nation, Camden, N.J., laid off nearly half its police force this week ... On the other side of the country, Vallejo, Calif., was filing a bankruptcy plan that proposed paying some creditors as little as a nickel or 20 cents on each dollar they are owed."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/us/22cities.html

Budget Worries Push Governors to Same Mind-Set:

" The dismal fiscal situation in many states is forcing governors, despite their party affiliation, toward a consensus on what medicine is needed going forward. The prescription? Slash spending. Avoid tax increases. Tear up regulations that might drive away business and jobs. Shrink government, even if that means tackling the thorny issues of public employees and their pensions."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/us/17governors.html

Etc, etc...

Lets not forget the billions in "defense" contracts GE gets, especially now on this 50th anniv of Eisenhower's farewell address where he issued an ominous and unheeded warning about the Military Industrial Complex. Permanent war is big business, and it matters little if the wars are "winnable". But hey, at least we don't have a "defense" contractor for a vice president anymore. I'm sure Barack W Obamabush will end the wars any day now.................

People were dying in the metro Buffalo area weeks ago. One guy near Olean, NY, died in a mobile home fire. It was reported that he had no electricity and was using a homemade wood stove for heat. Poor bastard; no memorial service for him. Speaking of Genital Electric, have you seen their new commercial? All the employees are country line dancing because their jobs are so great, until the antenna falls off the radio. Ironically, it will probably the electricity that stops flowing that will end the party. Oh, by the way, no mention in the commercial of where to apply for one of these fabulous domestic jobs.

"I'm curious what you all think about buying gold & silver"

I'd buy cans of beans. By the truckload.

I am so disappointed in Obama I can hardly speak about it. To see him put all these robber barons in places of power is beyond disgusting.

Both my future and my children and grandchildren's futures are getting dimmer every day.

We are done for as a country.

Pensions? In Virginia our (R) governor is being very "clever." He is cutting the state's contribution to the pension plan by 2%, offset by a 2% employee contribution taken out of our paychecks. At the same time he is giving everyone a 2% bonus - not a raise, haven't seen one of those in several years. Of course a bonus is a one time thing, the additional pension contribution is forever. And probably the first of many cut/bonus maneuvers. Something has to be done of course, I just wish elected officials didn't have to treat us like naive children.

HI Jim
So things are moving along, very slowly as someone above commented, however by doing things that way the authorities will keep the natives quiet longer. Because once the avalanche of social unrest starts there won't be any stopping it. Please note the reported concerns of food shortages by agriculture ministers at a meeting in Berlin over the weekend.

Upstate New York is in dire straits except of course the area around a military post, but even there it isn't very good either. Cutting assistance at this time for basic necessities is either foolhardy or downright brutal but I think it will be done.

take care all
loveday

"'Are there no prisons? No workhouses?'

N.Y. GOP mum on weatherization"

I'd expect the return of debtor's prisons except we'd never be able to build enough of them in this land-of-the-free-on-credit. Perhaps a return to some form of indentured servitude for a government or a bank?

As for weatherization assistance, I can imagine my state's governor saying "keeping people from freezing to death is not a core function of government," even as he claims that billionaires deserve the continuance of the Bush-era tax breaks.

Bah. America on the skids is not pretty.

Newfie! You kill me. :-)
Beans....you're probably right, though.

Don't forget to buy some can openers too - hand operated, not electric!


If they are hawking it on TV, then it's probably a sucker bet. Do you physically have the gold, or just some certificates? I'd invest in other things, such as getting some gardening skills or learning to brew moonshine.

Good Morning all:

Jim our local news, down the road in Rochester was so excited about the GE visit and the new uptick for jobs it will create. It is sad many old timers even around here worked one or or another for GE in the "Glory Days". Many of my neighbors, friends, and work pals have become pro right wing, less federal government spending,and laugh at our current temp of -5f this morning, stating that global warming is false. I say climate change,but they are pushing for Mike Huckabee as the new savior who will control spending, bring back prayers,and God will save America. Meanwhile I am praying to Zeus for help.

Worked for Ametek, a fortune 500 company, for 26 years. I should get a nice pesion check when I am 62. I will get nothing. The company is presently quite profitable, but will jump right into the pack of weasels who will void all pensions. But' at the other end of the spectrum, the Wall St. boys got their bonuses last year because it was in the contract.

i own gold,lots of american silver eagles,many shares of gold and silver mining companies-have semi trailer with 50 lb bags rice,pasta,gravy mixes,freeze dried breakfast,etc.my family owns a cattle ranch and hopefully we won't need any of it in a survial mode but it is insurance.....

The narrative you hear on the main news channels is that Obama appointed these banksters and the GE toad to gain the confidence of the financial and business community. Which is mind blowing. After what was inflicted by those assholes on Wall Street and after all the offshoring it's Obama that has to justify himself?

The civil war has this as its predicate: who are you going to believe? Liberals who register black "takers" to vote? Or white "producers" who give us jobs, even in those jobs are in places like Bangelore?

For the gun-happy Real Murkans, the choice is clear. You vote skin color because that's the only thing that seems remotely tangible. In a nation that's become little more than a second-hand store in the space previously occupied by entities like Sears and Montgomery Wards, you struggle to understand how all this happened. In the end, you believe Glenn Beck and Michael Savage because nostalgia is our lodestar. There used to be this shining city on a hill. Then blacks moved in and everything went to hell.

Same here in the "sunny" South. Last week, a group of unrelated people quietly burned to death in an unheated home. Firefighters speculate that perhaps a kerosene heater lit some draperies on fire in the wee hours of the morning. Meanwhile, in an abandoned subdivision (one of many with most homes only 3/4ths finished) squatters huddle in mass, frequently setting vinyl clad Mchouses afire with untended candles (this from Gastonia, a suburb of the Charlotte-Mecklenberg area). Of course, the neighbors of the squatters are appalled that the "bargain" they got in the same subdivision is quite rapidly being turned into a shanty town, filling up with "all those people we wanted to flee from in the city." Ya can run. Ya can't hide - at least for long.

JHK suggested gold when it was 400 an oz. now ,who knows. Here in Illinois we just passed a state income tax increase to deal with 15 billion debt. Last week the founder of JIMMY JOHNS restaurants said he is considering moving headquarters from Champaign,Il to Florida to avoid taxes. As a result I am asking all to boycott. Talk about a rat leaving the ship and with his booty.

36 below early this morning in saranac lake , ny

"Do you physically have the gold, or just some certificates?"
I don't know. To get the answer you had to subscribe to his newsletter. Pass!
There was a comment about keeping it safe offshore, so it sounds like certificates.

The snow leopard ate your computer on a minus 20 degree day! Ha!

Serves you right for believing the corporate advertising.

:-)

I spent the past two weeks brushing up on political assinations... it seems that when it happens in any other country there is about a 10% chance of it being a "crazy lone gunman"... forgien political assinations almost always involve 2-8 people with close involvement, and the backing of some group (ETA, IRA, Drug Cartels, PLO, Front Liberation du Quebec)
Six people were convicted of killing Gandi (one conviction was later over turned) and two killed Indera Gandi.
As far as political assinations in the USA go there is one that stands out, the first Congressman ever assinated in office, Leo Ryan. Leo was killed by the "Peoples Temple" and only one person was brought to justice... the rest commited "sucicide" and could not stand trial. Of course it didn't happen on US soil.

The "Crazy lone (apolitical) gunman" as political asassin is a unique criminal class that seems to exist no where else on earth.

And the timing of the "crazy lone gunman" helped take the media eye off the ball.... no one even noticed that Obama is appointing corperate crooks... except Jim, and even he forgot about it for a week.

just sayin.

"These are the ones I worry about most, politically because they will vote for the corn-pone Nazis."


Corn-pone Nazis? Corn-fucking-pone-fucking Nazis? Would you please identify some of these corn-pone Nazi candidates that you are so concerned about? Please. Pretty please?

And Nazis (corn-pone or otherwise) aside. Who are you suggesting pissed-off, moneyless pensioneers should vote for, the same fucking MORONS that brought them to their current state?

There are two ways I see to positively respond to the state of affairs in the collapsing American Empire:

1. Do whatever I can to teach the young how to think critically, and to encourage them to learn meaningful things that will enable them in the years ahead to solve real problems, and keep food on the table. I'm talking about steering them away from majoring in gilded age subjects like business, communications, and sports marketing, and instead promoting the natural and physical sciences, food growing, food preparation, and all around handyman skills.

2. Focus nearly all of my energy, time, and dollars toward building and strengthening the local economy where I live.

""The appointments of Daley, Sperling, and Immelt show not just the total "capture" of Obama's government by sociopathic corporate interests..."
-JHK

Keeee-riced, the names of some of these "folks" continues to amaze! (In an Orwellian/ironic fashion.)
Immelt. Im[minent]-melt[down]; Wicked Witch o' the West: "I'm melting! All of my beautiful wickedness...", etc.

"I'm curious what you all think about buying gold & silver: as Glenn Beck is pushing."

Don't mention Glenn Beck. Even though Jimmy agrees with about 90% of what Beck sez on his daily program, Jimmy gets all torqued up because Glenn has a religious faith. NOT ALLOWED. Faith=Stoopid.

Hey Jim,

Like this part:

"Likewise, GE's vaunted new battery initiative, which is aimed mainly at the idea that we can run the whole US vehicle fleet on electricity (mostly powered by coal, you understand, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels) is another quixotic project based on something-for-nothing wishes."

I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating. Electric vehicles going forward just won't happen in a Peak Oil world. These advocates for electric vehicles are delusional. Without oil to make the tires, the plastics and other parts, it ain't going to happen.

Like Michael Ruppert says in this film Collapse, it take 7 gallons of oil to make one car tire.
You find the film at: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/collapse/

I can think of one corn pone nazi, she quit as gov. of Alaska

"i own gold,lots of american silver eagles,many shares of gold and silver mining companies-have semi trailer with 50 lb bags rice,pasta,gravy mixes,freeze dried breakfast,etc..."

What is your address? Just curious.

Good morning.

In coming weeks, I hope Jim will comment more on "massive burdens of college loans". Actually, the "student loan debt bubble" may have more impact upon students older than the traditional 18-21 years. These older students have fallen prey to the call centers of for-profit online universities. This is predatory capitalism running amuck in academia. Here is some background on this racket.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/01/permanent-debt-bondage-from-americas-student-loan-racket/

http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=116850&st=0

Students of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your loans! Most of the students of most of the advanced countries with the exceptions of the USA (and now maybe the UK) have no or little tuition to pay. Join their ranks. Those students will be the unwashed future leaders of those countries. Just think of the return their societies get from their education. Just think of the return our University Board of Trustees or Shareholders gets from your tuition. Renounce your loans. Pull an Argentina, Bolivia, Greece and Ireland. Just don't pay. Restructure, refuse and renigg. Let the loan sharks go down. The only thing you have to worry about is that Obama and his new crowd of advisors may institute a debtors' prison. Oh wait! That's america now! The future is here. Ain't america grand.

"Then blacks moved in and everything went to hell."

Oh really, race bating asshole? Well how do you explain Mr. Obama being elected? Fucktard.

"Talk about a rat leaving the ship and with his booty."

Well, I suppose Illinois could always LOWER its tax base and hence encourage business to stay or actually relocate there. But alas they remain on the top of the list as one of the most corrupt states in the nation, with bloated payrolls, corrupt unions(public and private) and the good old "Chicago Way" of doing business. And Jimmy Johns want to leave? And you are surprised and want to blame the founder? Go fucking figure.

Can we go one better? How bout not paying our "income" taxes? How bout letting those folks under 59 1/2 years of age withdrawing their IRA funds with NO penalty AND NO TAX? Seriously, how many of us can they fit into the jails and prisons? Just say "no" to this modern day robber baron bullshit!

"Can we go one better? How bout not paying our "income" taxes?"

News break. Currently, roughly 50% of Americans pay NO income tax.

Only losers in America talk about "revolution." Either those on Obama's left who he befriended up to a point or on the right like Harold Covington and his half dozen "vanguardists." Americans don't buy revolution that is for other people.

We have anything like that in this country it will look like the mini-empire of Yugoslavia imploding, but on steroids.

Anyway a tip for those on the Left, stop your baiting racism of whites.

Maybe the summer will be really hot and dry,as mother nature tries to achieve some balance ,but who really knows.We are entering the state of increasing chaos and eventual collapse. Our religions ,politics, economics, are leading us further down the road of destruction. Our consciousness is caught in the grip of fear and the resulting ego.Will my precious pension be gone,of course it will there is no safe haven on this path.The will to live to love to experience true freedom and evolve a balanced life supporting civilization is on the flip side of our present state. We can not solve our problems within the context that created it.

"Schenectady, New York, a once-vibrant industrial dynamo now so sclerotic that it makes the former soviet Magnetogorsks and Traktorgrads sound like El Dorados."
==================================
Magnetogorsks....hehe.....yeah, there actually is such a place, and it does look pretty good, at least from about 300 feet in the air! The next great real estate gold rush perhaps?

But seriously Jimmy, you're losing your gloomy touch, do you really think the Corporate GEO's give a shit about the shareholders?? You really are a Polyanna.

There are ways to attend college without incurring massive debt, even now. I for one went to State U on the GI Bill. Hardly cost me anything. And there is always the community college, come of which are quite good. Everybody doesn't have to go to Princeton.

Agreed.

Also need to radically change how education is done and how much time it takes. With resources and productive capacity in N. America dwindling or going overseas post secondary education is an unaffordable luxury. So we have to make the 13 years from K to grade 12 count. Make it intense, pack as much in as possible and don't worry about stressing the little dears.

My wife was educated in Asia. She said that the system here is la la land compared to what happens in the orient. Kids there work their asses off. I've read that student suicide in places like Hong Kong, Korea and Japan is fairly common because of the intense academic pressure. When was the last time a kid offed himself in N.America because he couldn't keep up in grade 8? Never is when. I'm not advocating killing off kids, I advocating upping the heat.

Amy Chua, so called tiger mom, is wacko but she does have a point. Enough diplomas in self esteem, enough pissing away hours, days and years on social media. Up here a school decided, for reasons known best to them, to have a day where the girls dressed as boys and the boys dressed as girls. That is until parents got wind of it and put a stop to the nonsense. Enough of this GARBAGE and wasting time and start teaching the tough stuff ie math, science plus vocational training for the academically disinclined.

Far as money goes it's important but the most important resource is motivated teachers, parents and students. Up here a colleague said that his kid had to share a textbook. Then he said something about the school swimming pool. So here's a thought: shut down the damn pool so you have enough money for textbooks. Ditch the computers and all the fancy schmancy technology. Money is short. You can teach in a barn with basic materials like paper, pencils, blackboard if you have to.

More Obama favoritism:

"Three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose political action committee spent $27 million supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, have received temporary waivers from a provision in the Obamacare law.
The three SEIU chapters include the Local 25 in Obama’s hometown of Chicago."

I'm shocked...shocked!

Gold is in a bit of a stall right now, but I believe it's at the very least a good place to park your remaining money--which I've done. I don't pay attention to Beck although I do hear he is a shill for GoldLine, is it? I buy gold and silver through Kitco, a very reliable and reputable company with offices in Canada and New York, and a very small markup over spot price if you let them hold it for you (buy through their "pool account.") It works for me--hope that helps.

"I can think of one corn pone nazi, she quit as gov. of Alaska."

Really? Well then I suggest you list something (video link or her writings) that would suggest that she is a Nazi. I mean, the fact that you disagree with her or don't like her is inadequate. We are talking NAZI here, so please provide the proof.

Only one person mentions the over trillion dollars a year we waste on the military?

Shouldn't that, and the rapidly rising Homeland Security boondoggle, be the first to go?

Pensions? Private pensions are long gone. The corporate raiders of the 80s bought and stripped numerous corporations of their pensions.

Personally, I lost mine in 2001. I had two, now both 401Ks. They both send me periodic updates, and I can watch my "fortune" rise and fall.

They are now going after public pensions. The drumbeat of hate is now being directed at public workers and their "bloated" pensions. (Note the regurgitation of talking points already on this blog).

Interesting how the flame-throwers aim at different groups, yet the embers of traditional hate don't die. Mention muslims or immigrants, or the old favorite, welfare mothers, and watch the hate flame up again.

Gold is a scam. People screaming about "fiat money" are manipulated into buying pretty pieces of paper showing that they own gold. How deliciously ironic!

This month's Harpers had a saddening story about the effect of the gold bubble on the rain forest in South America. Gold miners are ripping down forest, bulldozing the land, and dumping mercury into the rivers.

Just so Americans can feel "safe" in the coming disaster. I wasn't inclined to buy gold before, because of the effect on the workers in Africa, but I certainly wouldn't now.

And someone here linked to Naomi Klein last week, talking about the destruction of the beautiful Alberta forest, land and water, in order to dig out tar sands, to fuel Americans driving their pick up trucks 50 miles to work.


Oh, I don't know, maybe all them speeches calling the president a muslim terrorist? Drill baby drill!

Once I built a space shuttle - now its done .
Brother can you spare a dime ?

"Oh, I don't know, maybe all them speeches calling the president a muslim terrorist? Drill baby drill!"

I welcome you to post a single speech where Sarah Palin referred to our President as a "muslim terrorist." Just one.

Regarding "Drill baby drill." I didn't realize that wanting to tap into your nations' own natural resources qualified as being a NAZI.

This week's State of the Union address may be the last year any President will have any semblance of a "normal" economy to use as a backdrop to spout ignorant platitudes about "turning corners" and enhancing or "growing" the "recovery."

To be sure, by this time in 2012, enough proverbial treasury looting - as well as actual land-robbery by bankster's foreclosures - will have transpired to leave all but the very most purblind of bond holders the idea that maybe "paper investments" aren't all they cracked to be.

Unless of course, you're the one selling them.

I've previously noted that our present grace period of "economic stability" has been fueled by the Fed and Treasury letting the richest amongst the rich cash out of their toxic-paper holdings.

Although, the wild volatility of treasury-note sales has been ignored by the US press, most of the rest of the world has "caught on" and is listening closely for signs that the "music" is about to stop.

For those in the know, the latest Federal Reserve accounting stunt amounts to "not only can we print money" - but we can ignore (discount) debt as well!

I've been wrong for two years now, but I'll take another stab at predicting that the 2012 SOUA won't have many applause lines.

And by 2012 the President may indeed be giving the State of the Long Emergency Address.

Stay tuned, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel

"Ditch the computers and all the fancy schmancy technology. Money is short. You can teach in a barn with basic materials like paper, pencils, blackboard if you have to."
================================
Yeah!....and come to think of it, who needs those fancy schmancy pencils and paper too. Them dang kids can just write in the dirt with their fingers, that's how I did it in my day...and....hey!! you kids get off my lawn, gawldang it.

"the destruction of the beautiful Alberta forest, land and water, in order to dig out tar sands"

The Athabasca River river cuts through the area which is being mined for oil (bitumen), and some waste oil inevitably finds its way into the river. Mutated fish are being caught downstream.

Here's a picture of a fish from that river with two mouths and two jaws:

http://www.thetelegram.com/Environment/2008-08-20/article-1453769/Mutated-fish-caught-in-lake-downstream-of-Albertas-oilsands/1

The oil companies should have to post that picture on the gas pumps!

I'm curious, O. The article states that discontinuation of the program would save $530M/yr and then goes on to say that BHO gave the program $5billion in stimulus money. That's 9yrs worth of program dollars.

"The weatherization program became a popular target in conservative circles with the passage of the stimulus, which included $5 billion for the program."

Doesn't this mean that the program would continue at it's previous level, without annual funding, but rather using the remainder of the stimulus money? A shell game, true, but the people would not be frozen in their homes.

Back in the 80s my brother (former slum lord) used thousands of $$ from this program to make upgrades to his properties. He paid the utilities and benefitted from the higher resale value, as a result of the improvements, when he sold the properties. I'm not saying that he shouldn't have made the upgrades, but why should I pay to improve his property so he can later make more profit from the investment? He, of course, saw it as providing affordable housing for the poor.

I know there are many people who are legitimately helped by these programs. Certainly it helps in a larger sense, by reducing their energy needs, but we need to face the reality that, with $14 trillion of debt and growing every day, the brakes must be activated. EVERYTHING must be on the table.

Listening to Obama lie to the American people really turns my stomach after pretending to be such a populist candidate. Now that he has taken on the corporate pigs in his lifeboat as he heads toward 2012, it may end up capsizing unexpectedly.

All Obama is seeking is to cut wages, and benefits of workers. Just how is going to spread his fairy dust around the nation to magically grow the economy and create his robust industrial fantasy?

His plan to use these corporate predators to turn America into a competitive powerhouse, once again, is more soft shoe dancing on the stage of the Vaudevillian Theater.

He is just another Kool-Aid drinking oligarch shill.

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

"And someone here linked to Naomi Klein last week, talking about the destruction of the beautiful Alberta forest, land and water, in order to dig out tar sands, to fuel Americans driving their pick up trucks 50 miles to work."

And now we can deconstruct this stupid paragraph:

The Alberta tar sands are a Canadian natural resource. How Canadians choose to use or not use their own resources, is the business of Canadians.

Regarding driving 50 miles to work. People have to travel to where the work exists. What would you suggest for those who cannot afford the housing costs of the "big city" yet are employed in the "big city." And let us pretend for a moment that they could afford to live closer to their job. The housing market has gone to shit. Who is going to buy their home so they can move closer to their work? You? i thought not.

"The oil companies should have to post that picture on the gas pumps!'

Uh, huh. And when you tank is empty you are going to do what? Put the picture in your tank?

"the destruction of the beautiful Alberta forest, land and water, in order to dig out tar sands"

Waste oil from the mining operations is dumped into huge tailings ponds. Migratory water fowl landing in the ponds become instant dead ducks! Here is a picture of one of the tailings ponds:

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/albertas-tar-sands-and-the-dead-duck-trial/

The oil companies should have to post pictures of oil coated dead ducks on the gas pumps!


I think her "pals around with terrorists" and "doesn't see America the way we see it" pretty much speak for themselves. Do you remember her followers shouting out stuff like "kill him" and so on during her speeches? At least McCain tried to be a little classier.

The "drill baby drill" was just to remind you of her energy policy. Really, do we have any places left that aren't drilled? Seriously.

It was -22 in Vermont this AM with crunchy snow on the ground. Heard an interesting segment on VPR's ON POINT about the recent Organized Crime busts, the largest in history. Anyway, a caller's comment questioned the current rationale that the recent and continued financial collapse is not being treated as an "organized crime rape" of AmeriKa by the FBI? Really food for fodder. The response from the experts was we probably will see indictments in the next year or two. I for one am not holding my breath but will focus on my seed catalog order.

When Obama does talk about mass transit, it's about high-speed rail, and he talks a good game on that, but he can't deliver. The GOP wants to get rid of Amtrak altogether. It would be hard for Immelt to commit his company to building Acela II if guys like Boehner and Kasich in Ohio and Ryan and Walker in Wisconsin keeping saying "No, no, no, NO!"

Ryan and Walker in Wisconsin "keep" saying "No, no, no, NO!" Sorry for the typo.

Rex, don't be too confident about the Canadian government not being controlled by the bankers. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, is a 13-year veteran of Goldman Sachs. There's also a big revolving door between Bay Street (Canada's version of Wall Street) and the government. Do you think they aren't in cahoots with their counterparts in the US?

...." a legion of Jared Lee Loughners " indeed! With a side of "Snookies" and Jay Cutlers.

Times past, dating all the way back to the 1930s, the “Left” wasn’t a “body politic” as such; but rather an amorphous way of referencing that portion of population that – being free-thinkers -- weren’t disposed to accept a bundled slate of intractable party positions on whatever were the issues of the day.

Today though, the self anointed “Left” has ossified into a set of doctrinal edicts -- bona fides, you might say. Failing to embrace unquestioned the Left’s preachments on any one issue – or the entire “slate” -- one risks being branded with scurrilous labels.

Reminds me of how the Bolsheviks took over the Russian Revolution by branding anyone who dared venture into shadings of thought outside of the sanctioned structure became “dangerous reactionaries” – threat to the “movement”.

The Left today, no less than the Right, expects loyalty that is antithetical to the notion of free thinking. The consequence is that demarcation lines between “Left” and “Right” are drawn ever more harshly, serving to suppress or force further outside of public debate free-thinking.

Any surprise that as a nation we are becoming more anti-intellectual than before?

So we have to make the 13 years from K to grade 12 count
==

To what purpose? So they can better serve the corporate machine and the thieving oligarchy? Fsck that! You're just playing into their hands, like the fscking morons of the Chinese Commie Party.


Without fuel, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled.

Myrtlemay said: "How bout not paying our "income" taxes?"

===========

Great suggestion, Myrtlemay!

Here are people doing it:

http://www.nwtrcc.org/

A nonviolent revolution.

I can never fill the need to turn the palaver over to the many topics about me. Let's talk delusions.

I lost my coffee cup, so, I put on my thinking cap. I began going over the events leading up to the loss of the cup in order to track it down. I do not remember well, therefore I totally fabricate, this time out by using an eclipse*, which must have made the room go dark and that is when I must have lost it. Raising my hands to show how much, much as a fisherman does to show how big the one that got away was, I proclaimed that, "A large---", and quit it, dropping my hands. The notional size I then freed into the world as, "this largeness." After that, largeness in the general sense became reality.

Eventually, "a large" enters the language as in the answer to the question, "What size drink?"

I can't produce the cup yet. It is still lost. I've been writing. The sun is up, the moon is gone. I don't like the moon in the daytime.

Aside: Could something have swum across Jared's field of vision**? Yeah, you got it. And, he shot at it. Gee, what happens to The Wave at a football game?

The delusion comes in at the point that a false belief does, as the bottom drops out of, "a large (shape)", (ironically)leaving no support for the shape nor any large object. Without such an object, others are proposed with the larger ones coming under the greatest scrutiny. This is mere substitution and is an invalid argument.

Frankly, once a noun doesn't exist, its modifiers have to be expunged, being that our language is not a Romance one.

It was in the blanket. I unwrapped it, but, I kind of sat on it.

In a Romance language, when you stop between noun and adjective, there's no adjective to justify. Here, you are credited an object when you mouth the modifier, which comes first.

The Japs adopt the foreign words such that talking crazy is not their fault, and being crazy is distinct. You usually give gifts you can't afford.

"A large and very vague---", won't work any better, but "any" helps formulate the answers most commonly given so as to be right. "Any large---", remained viable, but only as a rubber (a period of play). I'm not using---I am, but, anyway, we weren't looking for another cup. Never mind, but this one says, "Proud to be a 100% dedicated, money providing, child driving, fix it man, hard working, much appreciated Dad."


* the idea
** field of wishin'

Pure, unadulterated Bull.
You can be "left" and think the way you want without recrimination, unlike the right wingnuts and the republican Fascist Party of America (you know, the Party that Wrecked America).

Matter of fact, one the great things about being liberal and progressive is the acceptance of different ideas/thought; but of course any far right "thinking" would not be welcome,just as far left thinking isn't welcomed by the fascist right.

As for this country going "anti-intellectual", that's because of the dumbing down of the population during the past generation. It is what the Right NEEDS - a mass of people unable to think for themselves, unable to scrutinize what they are being told. That's how the right brainwashes them. You need an uneducated populace for fascism to flourish. And here we are today.

Replying about the many state and local municipal governments that over-promised pensions that can no longer be paid: Many, if not all, will default. Translation: "They won't be paid."

The tax money just isn't there. Without jobs, many former taxpayers will be taking from the State instead of paying into its coffers. Business revenues are down, personal incomes are down. They will have to default, sooner or later.

In my state of Oregon, they are trying to pass a city income tax in Eugene to pay for the expense of keeping the public schools open.

The State of Oregon floated a measure in the last election to get the taxpayers to okay putting more school capital and repair cost on the public tab through bond measures, but that just gives them a little breathing room.

The longterm problem is schools and public employees in general have been paid far more than comparable private sector employees, including generous pensions and now those promised pensions can't be paid.

A lot of people who are retired and sitting pretty in a comfortable middle-class lifestyle will find the rug pulled out from under them in the next few years, IMHO. They will be very unhappy at this "unfairness".

My other thought is that, at the federal level, the rats know the ship is sinking, so they are openly looting and plundering all they can before the whole tragedy is over.

As JHK points out, it's all out in the open now. The Congress for the most part represents the wealthy interests of the few who paid for their re-election. Congressman Ron Paul and a few others are exceptions.

That's why Wall St. is not being prosecuted for their part in engineering the swindles that caused them to beg for a bailout. They own Washington, together with the military, pharmaceutical, and agricultural lobby. Their nest will be feathered and the rest of us will have to deal with it.

I find Jim's guideposts to be very accurate so far in describing the changes we are going through.

When will the American people wake up and see how they are being manipulated? Will they ever?

Will we continue to fall for working as good soldiers for the Empire and learn to be happy peons, watching the Kardashians live it up for us?

Or will enough Americans say, Enough of this BS! No more!

I hope it can be done peacefully, but I doubt that it will be. We need to see who the real enemies of freedom are -- the real enemies of the principles that made America great and put them in their place non-violently.

"Gold is in a bit of a stall right now..."

=====

Sell your gold before the collapse, unless you bought it at less than $300.

Just like people who preached "house values can only go up" there are people preaching "gold can only go up"

The gold bubble is about to burst. Get out of gold and silver now. Get into permaculture and building local community. People who love you (and fresg green vegetables) will get you through better than gold.

LARWBD- That mAd mAX scenario haunting us again eh....

How much TIME is left tick tock tick tock....

I think I need another ~2-3 years of just in time delivery to really have my shit together...

Pension? Heck, I don't even have a JOB! and haven't for so long, I feel I will never work again, at least not in a 9 to 5 job. It isn't that I don't want to work, it is that work that will pay a living wage is not there, and I am NOT being picky about what I take.
Do you think I give a rat's rear end if wealthy folk, and that means just about everyone to me, never get their pension? AWWWW cry me a river.

That kind of lack of class solidarity is why we will not have a decent future.

We stick together, or we hang separately.

You are an unemployed worker. Hating employed workers is downright stupid.

There are people who are responsible for your unemployment, and they are not your fellow workers.

JHK points them out every week, but, apparently, you are incapable of looking up that high.

jimmyjizm says:


"The Alberta tar sands are a Canadian natural resource. How Canadians choose to use or not use their own resources, is the business of Canadians."

Could just be that some of her concerns spring from the fact that Ms Klein FUCKING IS (in honor of your downgrading of the dialogue here today) A FUCKING CANDADIAN!!?

You must be Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. You are active at every discussion group I've visited since Sept. of 2008. You seem to be able to find them all.


Pardon me,....however, seems to me that people are disposed today to state a qualifier of political affiliation (such as "I'm really a liberal" or "I'm really a conservative") before venturing an opinion that might strike someone as "off color" to either "faction".

Pardon me,....however, seems to me that people are disposed today to state a qualifier of political affiliation (such as "I'm really a liberal" or "I'm really a conservative") before venturing an opinion that might strike someone as "off color" to either "faction".

many young people are starting to queasily understand the uneasy truth... they may never have a "real" job. Not unless nanotechnology, or something else as massively game-changing as that, utterly transforms our entire economy in a HURRY. Not likely.... these poor kids must feel as if they are getting punched in the stomach by Life. No wonder a few of them SNAP.

By the way, humanity may be reaching yet another peak, another limit of nature, in our lifetime: the limits of human physical athletic performance. Clearly, we have many far more pressing issues to grapple with, but this could limn the tragic sense that we can no longer say "the sky's the limit." I don't want to clutter up this page with URLs, so just google the phrases "Geoffroy Berthelot" and "Peaked Performance" for more info.

Wagelaborer, I am not about to care about "fellow Men" who don't give a darn about anyone else. I am quite capable of seeing the bigger picture, but that doesn't pay the bills. Your insults are unwarranted. Does nothing for any "solidarity".

'The tax money just isn't there'

Recently here someone claimed there are cops in florida that make 300k a year!

Come on everybody! (I think we need a GROUP HUG here!)

Obama agitated his base, promised 'hope', green jobs, whatever.Young fools helped elect him.

" The GOP wants to get rid of Amtrak altogether."

Amtrak has lost fortunes...forever. Getting rid of Amtrak, does not mean getting rid of trains. If the government defunded Amtrak the private sector would have the incentive to come up with a business model that would get commuters to work via the rails, but do so economically and at a a profit for investors.

As long as the government continues to subsidize waste the private sector can and will not compete.

Greetings,

I, for one, do not believe that gold or silver will have any value if the dollar collapses. First, there are few, if any, people alive today that lived during a time before the Federal Reserve. It is a medium of exchange that has not been used for close to 100 years. Also, the average Joe has no means by which to judge the authenticity of physical gold or silver.

Reading blogs from other people that have lived through a modern financial collapse, it seems that having excess "must have" items like food, water or toiletries to barter was what got them through the crisis.

Protecting those barter items can present a challenge especially given that we live in a nation that is heavily armed. That is why I live on a nice sailboat. I can make my own electricity, I have my own running water and I do not need fossil fuels to move from place to place.

My neighbors and I all have charts, radios, survival equipment and the means to harvest food from the ocean. We can all caravan out to any number of deserted islands and wait out the chaos and do so with electricity, plumbing and the knowledge that people wanting to give us gold and silver for our valuables are stuck on shore.

Good comments this week and it seems the Canadian contingent is growing.

Regarding the Alberta tar sands, I disagree that it's only our business. Amerika is our biggest customer, not only for our oil but our water, wood and electricity too. It's the price we pay for living beside the greatest energy hogs on the planet.

Our country has also been taken over by profiteers, rich people who think the resources in and on the ground belong to them instead of all of us. As long as they keep giving away our precious resources at fire sale prices, we should all be worried. As JHK keeps saying, these resources are finite. When they run out, where will the profiteers be to rescue us? Safely tucked away in some warm paradise, far from the starving cold hordes.

It costs more to get the oil out of the tar sands than the value of the oil. How does that make any sense at all? Meanwhile we keep hearing about "ethical oil" in campaigns launched by Big Oil up here to con us into submission.

It's all one world, people. Boundaries mean nothing anymore. It's time we face that fact and adjust our behaviour accordingly. Past time.

just in case there are any worrywarts lurking here... Lord knows, I have never noticed any, but there could be one, somewhere, perhaps in hiding... ha ha ha ha ha ha, I crack myself up. No, really, one more significant thing to worry about is this: how can we reasonably expect hundreds of millions of voters to contemplate the idea of global warming, when they are freezing to death?

Most people here would probably say that the point is moot, and that lack of resources will cause our whole way of life to go belly-up in time to stave off the most nightmarish climate change scenarios. One can only hope... but seriously. This extreme cold snap probably IS related to global warming, as the article at the end of this post tries to explain. But how many Glenn Beck fans will have the patience to even read that article? Not many.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/opinion/26cohen.html

"Not now. Not even close. We're too busy arguing about abortion, gay marriage, muslims...you know, the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF!"

More depressing than that, I think "most" people are really more interested in creating their insular, techno-mediated lives and deciding what Netflix movies to watch this week. The lack of intellectual engagement in this country is astounding, not to mention a general lack of ability to see the forest (global economy) for the trees (personal savings/debt). I disagree with JHK that globalism is some kind of intellectual fraud; it's as real as a dead Youngstown. It's as real as former blue collar workers trying to sell crap on the Intar-Webs. And JHK is in no place to criticize technological solutions for many of our problems. WTF? Were railroads (which he adores) not a technological solution? So he switches from iMac to a Macbook? Good for him. Lucky he can do that instead of bringing his blog text down to the telegram office. Seriously, if JHK really meant what he said, he would live off the grid (including that of the Web) and do his local farming thing.

Also, as a person who believes in Civil Rights, I don't think arguing about Gay Marriage is unimportant.

Whatever.

To what purpose? So that they can read, write, do math, think, so that they can understand when they're being bullshitted, know something about the world, in short so that they aren't total fucking morons, so that they can get around in this world and make something of their lives and not be played for total suckers.

Which in my opinion most people naturally are. They believe what they're told and have no ability to analyze the torrents of crap manipulators throw at them. Which tells me something about the quality of education they're getting. I'm too much of a humanitarian to make money off their idiocy but believe me I've been tempted.

asia, why don't you check on the accuracy of claims before repeating them?

The State of Florida public employee payroll data is in the public domain, freely viewable by anyone.

http://ia700402.us.archive.org/22/items/StateOfFloridaPayrollDatabase2008/FL-State-Payroll-2008.pdf

You will note most public servants in Florida earn between $30,000 and $50,000. Very few earn more than $100,000. County judges make $137,000. Do you really think the cop on the beat is going to pull down more than a judge?

HOPE FOR CHICAGO

Guess the creepy little fuck, Emanuel has been bounced off the mayoral ballot. Too funny for words.

Nickel, you make valid points about people not knowing how to $ value or identify real gold/silver coins. That is something I will have to think about further.
As for you riding out the chaos on your boat. Don't you think there will be more pirates that will want take your pretty toys away?

" They believe what they're told and have no ability to analyze the torrents of crap manipulators throw at them."

I don't believe you.

(Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Nor, according to you should I.)"

Haw bloody haw Dale, you're a really funny guy. No seriously , you really are. I'm wiping my eyes, I'm in stitches.

Now tell me, in your estimation, by the way things are going in the US, do you think the educational establishment, the status quo, is satisfactory? Or never mind that. Is the system, the way it is, sustainable? And if it isn't how would you fix it? Which brings us to the issue of facilities: what do you need to educate a kid? Do tell, I'm trembling with anticipation.

"It's all one world, people. Boundaries mean nothing anymore. "

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

Thank you!

I have often said the same thing on CFN, but some people want to get all excited about "the Mexicans" or "the Muslims" ... the blame is always put on someone else instead of who is looking back in the mirror.

That's the spirit!

I saw a kid in a museum about ten years ago. Him and his dad were looking at a gigantic dinosaur skeleton. His dad was telling him about the age of the dinosaur, and what it ate etc etc.

And the kid wasn't having any of it. He said to his dad how can they possibly know this thing lived 70 million years ago, how can they possibly know what it ate etc etc. And then the kid went into a tirade about other things he's been told that he didn't believe. Skeptical to the core.

And I thought way to go kid, you're one in a million. I wanted to shake is hand. That kid is going places.

Guess the creepy little fuck, Emanuel has been bounced off the mayoral ballot. Too funny for words. - JJ

That is a scream!

"He said to his dad how can they possibly know this thing lived 70 million years ago, how can they possibly know what it ate etc etc."

Two words: Carbon dating. It ate what was available at the time which also is included in fossil form. (You're not this stupid.)

Take a look at this article in Salon.com. It would appear Gingrich and his ilk want to allow the states to declare bankruptcy so they can drop their public employee pension obligations.

Thanks for the 40 years of employee contributions. You're on your own now, suckers!

I'm sure this will all be accepted with no uproar or objections.

http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/2011/01/21/newt_gingrich_and_state_bankruptcy/index.html

Pensions will become worthless by virtue of QE, IF they are not stolen outright by modern day carpet-baggers. Wages will look good for our young (particullary through older eyes). Wages just won't buy much.

The earlier comment about Republican mainstays: abortion, welfare moms, bl(a)ock vote,("muslims" recently added as an emotion trigger), were championed by none other than the late Senator Jesse Helms, RNC, (bless his soul). Like most Corn Pone Nazi's he studied and understood propaganda. He managed a local TV station in Raleigh, NC. With no guilt shown (publicly) about his charade orchestrated to divide and grab a calculated majority vote. I watch and wonder how salt-of-the-earth folks then and now can't see beyond the emotional triggers. I know many of these men and women.

Gulible is the last adjective you would use to describe them. Until they speak of "Liberals", their adoration of Sarah, and begin to repeat Fox News talking points. They proceed to the polls and vote American (as dictated by right wing talk) against their own interest time and time again. All the while feeling the power of "taking back our country". From who? Fellow Americans?

Senator Helms lived and died as a mean old man. I hope Sarah fares better.

You do that by disenfranchising the gov mafia/corporations and the institutions subservient to them such as the "public" school system. You withdraw consumption/participation and you withdraw the funding. You do this until these institutions and the power base behind them is no more. What you DON'T DO is try to reform these institutions, because the reform will always be co-opted and be used against you.


Boundaries mean nothing anymore. - Grouchy

I think an Aboriginal born and living on a craphole reservation in the middle of nowhere with no way to make a living might take issue with that statement. Ask him if he wants his ancestral lands back.

So how did Aboriginals find themselves in the fix they're in, marginalized on the turf their ancestors bought with their sweat and courage?

They lost it one boatload of white man at a time over about three hundred years.

Look at this place (Canada). We have got mind boggling resources in a resource poor world. We're also militarily weak, sparsely settled, disunited. Something like the aboriginals were a few hundred years ago.

Maybe we think we have no enemies? There are 7 billion aggressive, resource hungry people in this world. I think we won't have long to wait. I think we'll find out then the value of boundaries.

Jeez, here we go, AGAIN!? My posting did not mean to imply that Civil Rights, gay rights, etc. are unimportant! What we have at stake here is called SURVIVAL...that means gay, straight, black, white, brown, Republican, Democrat, atheist, Jew, Christian, what have you. When we have chopped down the very last tree, poisoned the last ocean, and paved over the last fertile land to make way for a Wallyworld, do you really think anyone will give a damn about a black man being turned on by an atheist Jew named Jerome? Can anyone say, "Easter Island"? No? Better learn about it, cause it's comin to a theatre near YOU!

How about raising it to 65 like it is for everybody else? Why should government workers get to retire 10 years before the rest of the workforce?

Gold is a scam. People screaming about "fiat money" are manipulated into buying pretty pieces of paper showing that they own gold. How deliciously ironic! - Wage

Ironic and hilarious too.

jimjim said at 11:30 a.m.: "one of the most corrupt states in the nation, with bloated payrolls, corrupt unions(public and private) and the good old "Chicago Way" of doing business."

Illinois has just proven itself not to be corrupt. Judges and courts are not paid off and it doesn't matter who you are: if you don't qualify as a resident, you can't run for office. We are a nation of laws. The Chicago Way is the way of abiding by the laws.


It's not whether American Dollar is to become valueless - it's happening right now. Silver almost doubled (85%) in one years time. Now almost all of that was now silver increasing but rather the dollar tanking. I respect your feelings about the brutality of industry, but you shouldn't let that get in the way of saving your wealth. Perhaps you could google ethical investing - there is a small movement and a couple of investment companies that take your concerns seriously. Perhaps you could order metals with their help. By all means stay away from certificates - they are not typically backed 100% by actual metal. And their value has not gone up comensurate with the rise in the actual price of metals.

Money should stay in close touch with the physical world. So what could be better than something physical like Gold or Silver? But what about convenience? Some people predict that a private money will soon emerge with notes that are backed 100% by these. No one expects the goverments to do it - although Russia has made noises in this direction, it might have been just to humiliate the hapless New World Order. They suggested the inscription "In Diversity We Trust" or something.

There was a hoo hah about gay marriage up here too. They eventually legalized it. In the grand scheme of things it's important if you're gay and of pretty much no consequence otherwise. The world didn't come to an end.

I am hoping that Obama has been canny enough to put Immelt/GE and the rest of his ilk in the spotlight with this appointment, and that he is planning to *shame* them into repatriating jobs. Obama is smarter than we are giving him credit for. Of course the problem remains that these guys have no shame, but I am still hoping against hope that it will turn out to be an adroit move.

Mr. Kunstler,

Regarding your iMac situation: if the iMac in question isn't built around an Intel processor, Snow Leopard probably won't work. I say probably, because if I don't I am sure there is some geek lurking out in the Internet waiting to prove me wrong. Suffice it to say, Snow Leopard is supposed to be for Intel-based Macs only.

Glenn Beck has religious faith like the United States has a gold standard.

Hahaha!

Jimjim fails at understanding metaphor!

Once again, asoka, you crack me up!

Yes, I'm not that stupid. I know about carbon dating and other methods.

People generally believe what they're told. Real estate "always" goes up. Right? Everyone "knows" this. Or at least they "knew" it. Or at least 15 years from now they'll "know" it again when they've forgeotten what we're going through now.

How will they "know" this 15 years from now? They'll believe the bullshit artists in the real estate industry that tell them houses are the best investment you can make and that prices always go up.

Maybe I didn't say it very well but my point was that the kid showed a really healthy skepticism which is something you don't see much of. IMO that's what great scientists and thinkers are made of.

Well in the short term, barter will be King. But once things start to get back on track, gold and silver will come back as a medium of exchange - as they always have. Very important: have small coins with which to do business - pre 1965 quarters and dimes (sometimes called junk silver). You don't want to have nothing but one ounce silver pieces or gold pieces if you just want to buy a can of soup. Making that kind of change would be a bitch.

For barter, bottles of wine, beer, and the harder spirits will be great. And of course canned food, fuel, firearms, etc.

Your lifestyle sounds fascinating. Can you reccomend a website or blog about survival boating?

Wow, jimjim sure is cranky this morning.

What's the matter, jimjim? Did the taxpayer-funded nurse not change your diaper yet?

Stacking the deck with corporatists really is the next fix in the government whereby Obama sets the stage for a loss of our services as is the Demopublican plan all along. Many are correct, however, that it's really the "Loooooo....oong Emergancy" and few of us will hold on so see any change in our lifetimes. And those twentysomethings? They're too jacked up on self esteem and Corn Sugar to really make a difference.

http://schwerpunkter.wordpress.com/

Yeah and the next ice age will be global warming too. Seriously, most of your fellow travelers have already jumped ship and are now talking about "climate change" not global warming. They never really meant global warming! East Asia has always been at war with Oceania!


Yes, they want to be the global empire, but they don't want to pay taxes.

While the influentials cheer the corporatocracy. Obama put one last nail in the age of progressivism with his latest installments of Wall street.
No, it's not the fault of Keynesianism as such that we're in this shortfall of funds, it's the problem that we're "global" now and moved into a different system that can't support Keynesian economics. Without a tax base, classical economics of barriers to entry, wage and price control, regulations etc. where we came from in the aftermath of WWII, that is..you can't support a government which is dominant abroad and fulfilling the social contract at home. You can't have it both ways. (how we hate to hear that)

The ideologues on the right are about to see the chickens come home to roost! Oh that beloved set of principles promoted by the corrupt Grover Norquist and Bob Ney, both implicated in Abramoff scandal, BTW, Wanted to see government shrink so small they drag it down the bathtub drain. Neoliberalism at its best.

Our government has been reduced to a special interest instrument confounded conflict of interest politics. But now they have to cut, cut, cut.... a fait a complit if you don't like taxes, how else is government supposed to pay for anything? --even Peggy Noonan and Joe Scarborough had to cringe when discussing all the cuts, though they do want ss and medicare reform & military cuts.

On Morning Joe, Noonan and Scarborough said government should do what it does best...are you ready...help finance innovation! They reminisced how the US gov stepped to the plate when they needed to outdo Sputnik. That's when we wanted to train a generation of engineers and such..Oh, -how we could be great!

All with the NYT headline, "Mortgage Giants Leave Legal Bills to Taxpayers."

I think that I got your point, Cash.

It's not that the kid was right, it's that he just didn't swallow whatever he was told because experts affirmed it.

As for the "right" of people to blow up mountain-tops to get coal, to contaminate water supplies to get natural gas, to destroy the Amazon to get gold, to destroy a great boreal forest to get oil, who gives them those rights?

What kind of sick society do we live in that allows the destruction of the very things that keep us and other creatures alive if a profit can be made?

If we can't question the economic system that tells us that destroying our ecosystem is of little consequence, as long as profits can be made, then any other skepticism that we have is useless.

Cash,
Well, yeah! Personally I don't give a fig if Adam and Steve want to tie the knot and pick out a set of matching Wedgeworth china, nor if Beatrice and Clara arrive at their nuptuals on a pair of matching Harleys. In my own experience, gays can be every bit as obnoxious and unpleasant as their straight counterparts. Of course, some of my best friends happen to be homos and lesbos (joke, here, folks)!
In the forties, they used to have a campaign called "Take a n.gger to lunch day". Maybe we can match this "progressive" attitude and have a "Take a gay to lunch day" (ANOTHER joke, folks)! Americans LOVE to stir the pot...no pun intended. If we could harness 1/100th of our energy we spend on useless things (our differences) and use it to organize a united, flat out revolt against TPTB, perhaps I'd have nothing more to bitch about (not holding my breath on that one)!

Greetings,

No, I'm not worried about pirates as anything that runs on fuel will not work for very long. Anything big enough to put a few pirates on and is capable of moving 20 or more miles offshore requires immense amounts of fuel. Those boats typically get less than 1 nautical mile to the gallon. If you listen to those boaters talk, they talk about "gallons per mile" when discussing fuel.

Finally, my friends and I would move as caravan in order to provide mutual support.

"Recently here someone claimed there are cops in florida that make 300k a year!"

That might be possible, if said cops are claiming their payoffs from organized crime. ;^)

Some people predict that a private money will soon emerge with notes that are backed 100% by these. - Vlad

Banks used to issue their own notes. ie Bank of Montreal issued (in 1938?) ten dollar bills rather than the Bank of Canada.

And I forgot to mention drilling for oil in the oceans and Arctic.

Out of sight, out of mind.

"Two words: Carbon dating. It ate what was available at the time which also is included in fossil form. (You're not this stupid.)"

Ummm, carbon dating isn't of much use past about 60,000 years back. Two words: do research.

"What's the matter, jimjim? Did the taxpayer-funded nurse not change your diaper yet?"

As a matter of fact she did. Don't you remember? You insisted you wanted to wear it on your head. Look up, moron...that shitty hat that people are pointing out to you is actually, a shitty hat.

"Obama is smarter than we are giving him credit for."

You have got to be shitting me.

United We Stand Divided We Fall.

"They" want us to take out our anger on eachother ie our fellow workers, and not on 'them'.

Our anger is misplaced.

It's not that the kid was right, it's that he just didn't swallow whatever he was told because experts affirmed it. - Wage

And that's the key to not being a schmuck. The "experts" have their own motives, sometimes financial, to get you to believe something or think a certain way.

My wife was educated in Asia. She said that the system here is la la land compared to what happens in the orient.
============

No Cash, I don't think so. Your wife is Chinese born and bred right? So I expect what she actually said was that the system here is rah rah rand (wink wink).

Our schools are more like babysitting centers.
For the most part. Public ones anyway.

Just read Aaron Klein's "The Manchurian President, Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists, and Other Anti-American Extremists".

Question; If half the stuff in this book is true, then how the hell did
Obama get his security clearance? And that goes for Michelle.

U.S. Post Office announced the closing of 2000 Post Offices today.

Speaking of security clearance, a tiny bit of news came out of Moscow this morning. Seems a suicide bomb went off at the airport there. Yep, killed over 60 people, wounding dozens more. And Lindsay Lohan has gone into rehab again...I think that takes her off the list of possible suspects, but you never freaking know.

Obama's no dummy. Case in point: judging by his recent appointments he's in the pockets of Wall Street, which depending on what you value, may not be a bad place to be. And he doesn't give a damn who knows it.

'wrong way asoka'...a cop in santa monica made more than the mayor of s.m. one year.
its called overtime.
i said someone else posted that.
gawd yr a buffoon.

"And that's the key to not being a schmuck. The "experts" have their own motives, sometimes financial, to get you to believe something or think a certain way."

Hmm, You mean like global warming? I mean with the trading of carbon credits there are trillions of dollars at stake.

@newfie,

Those hand operated can openers you mentioned upthread will be worth their weight in gold after the grid collapses. Think about it. All you have to do is stash 100 cases of them and you can get rich quick... of course you'll have to have an AK-47 & lots of ammo to protect your stash, and... see how quickly things get complicated? Mad Max indeed.

"Obama's no dummy."

Obama is no genius. Obama is average. He was smart enough to surround himself with a good spin machine and his appearance on the scene was well timed.

I've heard that North Dakota has a semi-sovereign state bank. Doesn't issue its own money of course, but it has followed much more traditional lending practices. North Dakota is also one of the very few States still in the black. Who knows? Maybe there is a relationship between these two sets of facts. Also their people are traditionalists with very few you know who's. I'm tempted to make a double entendre here - but I'll refrain. It's good to take a holiday every now and then. Sorry Cash, but there's more to life than just race.

Them dang kids can just write in the dirt with their fingers, that's how I did it in my day...and....hey!! you kids get off my lawn, gawldang it.
==========

Excellent piece of sarcasm Dale.

I used to tell my kids gruffly (with barely a wink) "hell, I was born in a log cabin that I helped my father build."

Imagine the look on everyone's face standing at the political buffet line when phony baloney is the only item on the menu.

That's funny. I'm going to show her your post. We're having flied lice for dinnah. When is the next Presidential erection? Did you know Amsterdam is on the Amstel River? Amsteldam doesn't have the same ring to it.

I'm doing my research to see who Mr. Purple is, from Reservoir Dogs. You are absolutely right! How is something with a half-life of 5730 years going to date 75 million years? Back up off the carbon, whichever Beatle you are, Tinktink, and take a run at that U/Th.

Having spent a lot of time volunteering in classrooms, I'm amazed at the amount of time teachers spend disciplining, re-directing, and doing clerical work. I don't think the class size is the issue, personally. It wasn't uncommon for a public school classroom to have 30 pupils in it when I was coming up (spent the majority in Catholic school, same difference in # of kids). Difference then was that the teacher could open up a huge can of "whoop ass" if he or she felt you weren't paying attention or were goofing off. Personally felt the iron hand land on me more than once for "acting cute". And as you can tell, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, then or now, but it didn't take me more than about three times before I resigned myself to STFU and at least act as though I were paying attention. If I had got away with the shit kids get away with today, well, let's just say that today I'd be wavin a tin cup at ya, smilin a toothless grin, across from your house, askin for loose change.

It just means the whole system has been corrupted from top to bottom - and that the birthers of way ahead of everybody else. Not smarter, just more honest about what's going on. The basis of all learning is a "willingness to have it be so". It doesn't matter what your IQ is - it will only work against you unless you have this. Smart people routinely build castles in the air; elaborate argument why bullshit is so. An example: J.P Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were the last people to know that the Soviet Union was a snake pit. And they were some of the smartest most creative people alive. Their genius just went into inventing bullshit excuses for the Russian Communist Party. Why? Because they were not willing to believe their lying eyes; not willing to have it be so.

So let's see that Birth Certificate.

jim, a rule of thumb for just about any malfing piece of electronic equipment (poee) -- open the main box (cpu) and, after grounding yourself for static (eg, touching an electrical outlet, or whatever,) pull out each & every board mounted to the motherboard. (sometimes there are plastic levers, etc, involved.) then, stick 'em right back in. imhe, this solves problems c half the time.

if a customer is watching, make a huge production of it. waving the entrails of a fatted calf over the cpu chipset is most pleasing.

with failed software installs, un-cable & un-power the hard-drive. additionally, with operating system upgrades, "intermediate installs" sometimes do the trick... eg, first install linux and *then* attempt snowleopard.

when all else fails, arc out the power supply and make an insurance claim.

Well, I meant buy some can openers for your own stash of cans of beans. Cans are hard to smash open with a rock. There are 300 millions guns in Amerika. So Mad Max will look like a Girl Guides holiday camp after the wheels fall off of Industrial Civilization. The Wild West will come back. Only the Colts will be replaced with automatic pistols and the shotguns with Ak-47s. It's gonna be interesting...

Like global warming? Now you're thinking.

The next big thing: legalization of pot. The experts will weigh in with deep thoughts on how much is pissed away on useless enforcement, that it's a benign weed, that by legalizing you get the bad guys out of the trade. And I'll bet the experts are funded by...

Then wait till the big boys on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry start lobbying to get into it.

And advertising! Can you see the brand names? There's loads of money in this.

Myrtlemay, who would you rather buy your grass from, your local biker or some drug company?

"Obama is smarter than we are giving him credit for."

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

Obama is playing chess, and he is only two years into his eight years as president. He may surprise us yet with more change we can believe in.

Obama's net job growth numbers in two years already exceed what Bush did in eight years. Of course Bush was losing 700,000 a month at the end of his failed policies. Tax cuts don't create jobs; they create deficits.

"Like global warming? Now you're thinking."

Really? Well its funny how many don't think about this subject. You are supposed to take at face value that global warming (ahh, I guess I should say man-made global warming) is all buttoned down and settled. And if you think differently, you are a neanderthal, and probably voted for George Bush. And yet the "science" is sketchy at best.

So who's the fucktard, believers or skeptics? (Guess which I'm voting for?)

I would not recommend buying gold or silver from anyone who advertises in MSM. You do not want to be paying for those ads!

Before buying metals i would recommend looking at your everyday needs and storing a backup supply of what you use. When something you use is on half price sale buy a years worth! (or more). Once that is done, look at developing local redundant sustainable sources for basic needs. Once you have your local sources of food, water, heat, electricity, deisel etc. established on top of your storage cushion you might want to trade some of your remaining paper money for silver coin in case the money fails. If you decide to do this, i recommend buying US silver coins from an in state coin shop in person for cash. Or maybe instead you spend the bucks on developing a mutual defense plan with your neighbors. Good luck!

Oh, the local biker, Cash, of course! Seriously, I get my supply from well known sources. If the stuff sucks, I don't buy it. The price reflects the quality. If the drug companies got into the play, I suspect I'd give up the habit. Dirt weed just doesn't do it for me.

"Obama is playing chess, and he is only two years into his eight years as president. He may surprise us yet with more change we can believe in."

Oh for fuck's sake he hasn't surprised me with ANY change I can believe in much less MORE I can believe in. Let me guess...you also believe in the Easter Bunny?

Vlad said: "Your lifestyle sounds fascinating. Can you reccomend a website or blog about survival boating?"

Careful, Vlad... there are sailors on boats who are Black... probably savage pirates every one of them.

Don't even think you can escape to the sea.

There is no escape for you.

I knew you meant a can opener for yourself... I was just using your comment as a jumping off point for a thought experiment in post-collapse entrepreneurialism... didn't get me very far. With the Mad Max scenario in mind, I wondered if it's possible to purchase a lightly used M-1 tank from DRMO(Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office). Then I thought about all the complex systems required to support such an absurd machine in the field... Then I thought about all the complex, interrelated systems required to support me in my present comfort zone, all of them built on a foundation of sand, and I got depressed...

FILM RECOMMENDATION

If you get a chance, you might enjoy a documentary called The Black Power Mixtape.

The film features rare archival footage shot between 1967 and 1975, including some of the leading figures of the Black Power movement in the United States, like Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver.

The footage was shot by two Swedish journalists and was discovered in the basement of Swedish public television 30 years later.

I'm with you. Word of mouth. Just like the old days.

"Our anger is misplaced."

=======

Everyone on CFN should heed your words, JackiBlue2.

Good luck trying to find a good can opener.

I hate those little handheld ones, and the quality is getting worse.

I wanted one like my parents had, hanging on the wall for decades, functioning well.

My Mom found me one in the 90s. The brand name was Swingline and the company was St Louis based.

It already doesn't function well. I only live 100 miles from St Louis. Shouldn't there be an abundance of frigging can openers?

No.

Finally, my husband went online and bought me one.
It arrived last week, from a True Value in New Jersey. (We looked at the local True Value. No can opener).

Sure enough. It's made in China.

I haven't hung and used it yet, but my hopes are not high.

Cash should listen to his own words: "And that's the key to not being a schmuck. The "experts" have their own motives..."

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

Cash claims to admire skepticism.

Yet when someone actually does go against the official story,

like saying World War II was counterproductive and enslaved millions of east Europeans under communism,

or saying that "capitalist" China is communists and greedy businessmen are doing business with communists and justifying it by calling them capitalists,

or saying that Whites are morally challenged because they are the only people in the world to drop nuclear weapons on civilian population centers,

then Cash is not so keen on skepticism.

"i said someone else posted that."

===========

And I said check the accuracy before repeating what someone else said. I like you asia, as a person. :)

"Obama is no genius. Obama is average."

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

Yes, most average people write two books, edit the Harvard Law Review, and become president of the United States. Just average achievements.

Asoka:

Why would anybody care about a film about the Black Panthers?

When TSHTF you might be interested in people who successfully developed a free breakfasts for children program to feed whole neighborhoods.

Mr. Purple is only mentioned in Reservoir Dogs, not actually seen.

Ooh, somebody's troll got re(n)amed!

So, tell me tinkletinkle, how does it feel knowing that you are unloved?

Anyone care to lay odds on whether or not the response to this comment comes in the form of a childish insult that doesn't make any sense?

You may be right but ND is very cold and very flat.
how much fresh water does it have?

FREE????

did you say free? who grew the food? how did it get to be 'free'?

Myrtlemay,

"Not the sharpest knife".....give yourself credit, you are plenty sharp.

Classroom discipline is all over the map in my kid's highschool. Most teachers have control over their classrooms, but some are utterly clueless and ineffective. Our school gives your one choice for a foreign lanquage...Spanish. That gives you a 50% chance of getting Mrs. X--but both my kids have had her. Here are some academic lowlights.

* Smoking pot in class
* Ordering pizza's to be delivered in her class--located remotely in the portables behind the school.
* Horrible racial slurs/jokes being told in class.
* General chaos and disrespect.

Of course there's not a dang thing to do about it because she has tenure.

SJmom

Where are you? US? Central America?

Greetings,

All boating is survival boating. One of my neighbors just took off for a two year sail to New Zealand and back. Everything necessary to sustain the crew of two was packed into their 30' Ketch.

The thing is that all of my neighbors that sail have boats packed full of survival gear. All of them can generate their own electricity. Many of them can produce fresh water. We all have radios, first aid kits, tools, rope, binoculars, charts, etc.

Which community will do better when or if things go to hell? Will it be suburbia or the cities? I doubt either and those people that try to hide away in the country will soon find themselves over run by millions of starving, well armed city dwellers.

I'm already in a community that doesn't need the grid - we'll do just fine.

U.S.A. West Coast.

Blacks can't swim anymore than Whites can jump. Blacks can run but not so well over broken ground. The greyhound is the faster dog on a track but the Afghan Hound is the fastest over broken ground. I'm an Afghan Hound and I will get away if chased by cannibals.

I found this via a link at DOLLARCOLLAPSE.COM

Fined for growing food:

Franklin also introduced H.B. 2, Georgia Right to Grow Act, which bans localities from prohibiting or requiring a permit "for the growing or raising of food crops or chickens, rabbits, or milk goats in home gardens, coops, or pens on private residential property so long as such food crops or animals or the products thereof are used for human consumption by the occupant of such property and members of his or her household and not for commercial purposes."

This sort of legislation will stem local abuse against small growers like Steve Miller who was fined $5,200 for growing too many vegetables in his two-acre garden in Clarkston, last year.

Billing itself as the "greenest county in America," DeKalb County has set a 2011 court date for Miller's organic garden, according to a recent update by Georgia Insight. Organic gardening has been Miller's hobby for 15 years. Though he sells some produce at local farmers markets, he gives most of the food to neighbors.


do you have a list of foods he took? and cost of food?

An interesting hypothesis, but it's only that.

"Most forecasts have failed to predict these colder winters, however, because the primary drivers in their models are the oceans, which have been warming even as winters have grown chillier."

This comes as a complete surprise to the “experts” but some hack from the NY Times has it figured out. The experts can't even agree on the causes or whether this (global warming) is manmade or just another natural occurrence in the endless billions of natural occurrences Mother Nature throws at us. These people try to predict weather for 50yrs out and can’t even predict the next season accurately. Yes, the average temperature is going up. Guess what? It’s done that a thousand times before and will do it a thousand times again. I do not believe it is manmade or that we could impact it if we tried. Back in the 70’s we were told there would be another ice age beginning……….right about NOW! Maybe they were on to something! But no, it will moderate again and people will complain that it’s too hot, too wet, too dry, too cloudy, too sunny.
I’m sick of all the hype over global warming. Move to Nunavut if it’s too hot for you, where you are.

I know this is off topic . Dedicated to Vlad. It is just something to brightin' yer day and show that Blacks and Whites can work together. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i0DMbCKnAg&ob=av2em

All offshore sailors are survivalists. It's the nature of the beast. The ocean has it's own way of sorting things out.

Several years ago, I went to a department store in Dusseldorf, Germany, understanding that Germans built and exported quality items. I bought two slightly different can-openers, both of very superior construction. I gave my one to my ex and she said something like, "You went on a trip and brought me back a can-opener!!!" My daughter and I happily still use our two can-openers. I notice the Germans have a huge positive trade balance.

I can't disagree. Having experienced the housing bust up close and personal, I DO expect the gold bubble to burst...but when? One good jolt to the system and the stuff could double overnight. I'm not immune to good old fashioned greed myself and we all expect jolts to the system, wouldn't you say?

Nickel does make some valid points, but there are ways to determine the gold content of coins. In TLE, people will know how to test for true coins. Which makes me think that selling precious metal validating kits might be a good future business, kind of like the old assay offices.

I'd rather own silver coins than gold coins. Say I go into my favorite grocery store in 10 years and buy a loaf of bread, some milk and some beef (assuming these are available at all). The bill, in today's dollar value, is $29. So I hand over my gold Eagle, present value, $1,360. How does the clerk make change? It's not practical. but if I hand over a silver Eagle, present value $30, the transaction is not difficult.

Personally, I own silver coins, but that's just insurance because nobody knows the future. A better scenario in TLE is bartering something useful you have for something useful you don't have. Thus, I would stock up on necessities now for future barering and for survival. In a societal meltdown, gold's practical usage is problematical, unless you figure out a way to transmute gold into food or clothing.

"Sell your gold before the collapse, unless you bought it at less than $300."

It looks a bit murkier than that. Paper gold and silver is selling off big time, while physical purchases are increasing. Since there is a lot more "paper metal" than physical, prices are in retreat, which encourages more physical purchases. Meanwhile China, Brazil and central banks with accumulation policies are on the sidelines, waiting for a bottom to resume buying physical. Those "playing" the paper may be doing so to make lower entry points for their physical purchases. ie. shake out the little guys, buy at the bottom and run it to the moon!

Also, as debt/credit implodes, paper dollars will increase in value for awhile. Writedowns, defaults, auction sales, and debt repayments all reduce the digidollars extant and increase the value of paper dollars for a time.

So, if you have money in gold to pay April taxes, well yes, sell now. OTOH if you have more paper dollars than you will need for five years, then it might make sense to "buy the dip" before March.

WaterWorld 2

It's probably time to acquaint the newer members with jimjim, tinktink, etc. He's been booted off so many times & reappeared under so many names that it became easier just to refer to him all the time as pissant (with a lower case p. For your edification, I present the definition of pissant.....pissant: an epithet for an inconsequential, irrelevant, or worthless person, especially one who is irritating or contemptible out of proportion to his or her significance. You cannot insult a pissant, because any aknowledgement of his existence, even negatively, is preferable to the lonely life he lives in his parents basement.

Yeah and / but on the Sea you have PIRATES.

and you are on your own out there. It can become very dangerous and very scary.

Not sure what the best solution is to finding safety for self and loved ones.

Yes a big part of the problem is a complete lack of RESPECT for 'elders'. Parents and teachers being elders.

Seems like parents don't know how to draw the line, and they let their kids run them around and around.

Not a good thing.

Hey you are SHARP ENOUGH ! and Sharper than most, and that includes me. You are Waaaay sharper than Me.

I enjoy your posts.

Reminds me of an interview I saw I think on The View
One of the women asked Dolly Parton :

Do you think marriage should be made legal for gays?

Dolly said "Sure, they should have the Right to be Miserable like everyone else !"

I thought that was very good.

"Obama's net job growth numbers in two years already exceed what Bush did in eight years. Of course Bush was losing 700,000 a month at the end of his failed policies. Tax cuts don't create jobs; they create deficits."

First off tax cuts do create jobs, but those jobs are generally created in China, India and Mexico. That will not change till corporations pay taxes on imports equivalent to the labor cost differential in the country of origin.

I'm not a fan of the red team or the blue team. Things are getting steadily worse. This is systemic and not the fault of the talk show host in charge. Obama is better at one thing, getting the press to spin it his way. Yes, Bush job numbers were bad, Obama's are worse. New jobs created under Obama average under 100K per month while new job losses average over 400K PER WEEK. That nets to an average job loss per month of over 1.5 mil using the governments figures. Much worse if you use real figures.

After the Titanic hits the iceberg, changing the captian does little good.

Cash ole' boy, You're going to get awful tired waiting for me to debate the education system with you. Not because I don't have an opinion, but because nobody cares what we think.

I was just having you on a little, if you don't like it don't make yourself such an inviting target. You can die from such seriousness, ya know? Kick back and get a beer out of the reefer and watch a little of the Australian Open. I think Murry is going to do it this year, don't you?

Jackie,
Ya had me LOL and rollin on the floor! Thanks for the pick-me-up!

MyrtleMay is right that we are too distracted by people prioritizing Gay Marriage, putting all their effort into making sure that genetic engineering of better humans and Transhumanism remains funded and researched and legal. They're using gay people to sneak in Transhumanism, and the whole techno-future.

The marriage debate is a huge distraction, and will indeed have expensive and important ramifications when we finally get around to looking at genetic engineering. We should end the marriage debate and give gay people and same-sex couples full equal benefits and obligations as marriage in the form of Civil Unions, but not marriage, which should continue to be for couples that we approve of conceiving offspring together, using their own genes.

I'm new here, just recently discovered JHK, I am a prepper,and a socially liberal Libertarian. I'm ex-military and an Iraqi freedom vet thats anti-war,a son of an ex-farmer whose farm didn't quite make it through the industrial farm takeover of the early 1980's, thanks Gipper.
In some parts of the country like ours, the farm crisis was worse than things are now. But we had a garden, we had pork (lots of it), we had milk straight out of the cow (good too) and everyone worked hard, I mean damn hard.
I am a gen-xer, whatever that means, and I see a boomer generation bent on keeping their hopes and dreams alive no matter what the reality, that scares me. Considering, from my point of view, Boomers can pretty much outvote us and that whole generation has a penchant for self-fulfillment. Meaning: Boomers taken as a whole are bunch of fucking little Himmlers who can't help but stick their noses in everybodies business and tell everyone how they should be living their lives.
Like: whining endlessly about Vietnam and then sending their kids and grandkids off to fight for their 89 octane for their douche-bag Harley Davidsons.
Like destroying endless lives with their stupid crusading Drug War.
I could go on and on, so in closing, yes we are really and truly fucked as a country whether sooner or later does not matter.
JHK might be right, maybe there is a little hostility.

"Glenn has a religious faith. NOT ALLOWED. Faith=Stoopid."

But when you consider that Beck's religion is of a particularly recent and even loopier grifter/shaman/huckster flavor than usual… doesn't that make it better? Or, if not better, at least coherent and utterly predictable?

Agree with only 90%?
Acquiesce COMPLETELY to Beck, jimjim… your inner psychopath is telling you so! I'm seeing you in the magic undies, making real estate deals in the hundreds of millions. You CAN do it! Just hold your nose and take the pre-tax tithes.

"That kid is going places."

Where? The 700 Club? Samaritan's Purse?

Sarah Palin is mentally ill.

An excerpt from Matt Taibbi's book "Griftopia" unelegantly summarizes the world that we've created:

"Here's the big difference between America and the third world: in American, our leaders put on a hell of a show for us voters, while in the third world, the bulk of the population gets squat. In the third world, most people know where they stand and don't have any illusions about it. Maybe they get a parade every now and then, get to wave at shock troops carrying order colors in an eyes-right salute. Or maybe, if they're lucky, the leader will spring for a piece of mainstream entertainment---he'll host a heavyweight title fight at the local Palace of Beheading. Something that puts the country on the map, cheers the national mood, distracts folks from their status as barefoot scrapers at the bottom of the international capitalist barrel. But mostly your third-world schmuck gets the shaft. He gets to live in dusty, unpaved dumps, eat expired food, scratch and claw his way to an old enough age to reproduce, and then die unnecessarily of industrial accidents, malnutrition, or some long-forgotten disease of antiquity. Meanwhile, drawing upon the collective whole-life economic output of this worthy fellow and 47 million of his fellow citizens, the leader and about eighteen of his luckiest friends get to live in villas in Ibiza or the south of France, with enough money for a couple of impressive-looking ocean cruisers and a dozen sports cars. We get more than that in America. We get beautifully choreographed eighteen-month entertainment put on once every four years, a beast called the presidential election that engrosses the population to the point of obsession. This ongoing drama allows everyone to subsume their hopes and dreams for the future into one all-out, all-or-nothing battle for the White House, a big alabaster symbol of power we see on television a lot. Who wins and who loses this contest is a matter of utmost importance to a hell of a lot of people in this country. But WHY it's so important to them is one of the great unexplored mysteries of our time. It's a mystery rooted in the central, horrifying truth about our national politics. Which is this: none of it really matters to us. The presidential election is a drama that we Americans have learned to wholly consume as entertainment, divorced completely from any expectations about concrete changes in our own lives. For the vast majority of people who follow national elections in this country, the payoff they're looking for when they campaign for this or that political figure is that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when the home team wins the big game. Or, more important, when a hated rival loses. Their stake in the electoral game isn't a citizen's interest, but a rooting interest. Voters who throw their emotional weight into elections they know deep down inside won't produce real change in their lives are also indulging in a kind of fantasy. That's why voters still dream of politicians whose primary goal is to effectively govern and maintain a thriving first world society with international ambitions. What voters don't realize, or don't want to realize, is that that dream was abandoned long ago by this country's leaders, who know the prosaic reality and are looking beyong the fantasy, into the future, at an America plummeted into third world status. These leaders are like the drug lords who ruled America's ghettos in the crack age, men (and some women) interested in just two things: staying in power, and hoovering up enough of what's left of the cash on their blocks to drive around in an Escalade or 633i for however long they have left. Our leaders know we're turning into a giant ghetto and they are taking every last hubcap they can get their hands on before the rest of us wake up and realize what's happened." (Matt Taibbi, "Griftopia", pp. 9-10)

That brings up the old economist joke, also.

" A physicist, a chemist and an economist are stranded on an island, with nothing to eat. A can of soup washes ashore. The physicist says, "Let's smash the can open with a rock." The chemist says, "Let's build a fire and heat the can first." The economist says, "Let's assume that we have a can-opener..."

DFH Dave, if the "grid collapses" consider that there will be a limited amount of conventionally canned food, after which…

If you need to get into a can of food, you can do it with any number of combinations of household tools (pliers, hammer, chisel, tin snips, hacksaw, etc.)

OK, asoka, your other joke was funny, but this one is just sick.

"I'm curious what you all think about buying gold & silver..."

Gold is a sapling, silver is an acorn.

Holy shit.

Nice post, James.

It is seriously cold out here in the city, and I cannot stop thinking about how most of human existence has been geared toward thermoregulation.

We've just made it so easy that it's now considered a right. But, not all 21-year-old's are buying the college debt system -- this is the type of collapse that is bringing the real revolution.

Americans will not suck forever.

BTW (totally unrelated), can we stop w/ the inane "First!" comment? I don't know -- just saying.

Tommy
http://freedomguerrilla.com

A 65 year minimum retirement age would be good for gov't workers. I was only looking at incremental change, not confident enough that anyone has the courage to confront current workers with such radical change.

It's just like an increase in the gas tax. If the tax had been raised 10 cents a year since 1980 (@ $3.10 now), maybe we could have avoided the truck, V8, SUV, Hummer fiasco of the 80's-90's. And if "We the People" had kept spending under control in that time, and factoring in the gas tax increases, we might be close to a balanced budget, instead of $14 trillion in debt.

You can rub a can on a brick or cement wall too, it will grind open the can.

Welcome and thank you for your service. You won't get much attention, here, until you are adversarial toward someone. Just the nature of the crowd, I guess, but both JHK and the commenttators can be VERY interesting reading.

As a member of the crowd you dis, I can tell you that you have, by and large, nailed it. There are also some genuinely brilliant people among my group. I don't happen to be one of them, but feel bouyed, somewhat, by the company. There are also many, many who feel the way you do and are sick about it.

Sadly the folks who tend to rise to positions of authority and influence, tend to be more self agrandizing and power hungry. It's the nature of the political beast. Yes there are some truly idealistic do-gooders as well. Generally, the system takes care of them, by corrupting them, marginalizing them or flushing them out of the system. See Ralph Nader.

Sorry about your family farm. It was a tragedy, what was allowed to happen to farming, during the 80s. It also took place in many other industries, but I am always more comfortable with more choices and today's agri-business industry tends to be very narrowly focused. There is opportunity for smaller farms to specialize, as a result, but it is hard, hard work regardless.

I, too, only recently stumbled on to this site, as I tend to stumble on or over everything. Just my nature. Anyway, welcome home and best of luck with civilian life.

-ragtop

"So here's a thought: shut down the damn pool so you have enough money for textbooks."

Fill it full of horse manure and dirt and teach them to grow tomatoes.

"...and a very small markup over spot price if you let them hold it for you..." I'm against it, literally. "If you don't hold it, you don't own it." Ponce Cuba

They are selling many times more than they have. Paper metal is no better than paper currency.

JHK,

You say capital is vanishing. No argument here. I found this disturbing though:

U.S. Workers Face Chinese Employers
January 20th, 2011 by Phil Mattera
".. Until recently, China accounted for a negligible portion of overseas money flowing into the American economy. But in the past two years there has been an enormous influx. The Washington Post cites a consulting company estimate that the Chinese stake has jumped to $12 billion since the beginning of 2009..."

"Also, the average Joe has no means by which to judge the authenticity of physical gold or silver."

All the average joes I know can recognize a 1964 {90%} siver dime. In 1964 you could mail a one ounce letter for 4 cents. So a silver dime would mail 2 and a half letters. You can take that same silver dime, right now, to any one who recognizes it's value sell it for fiat, and go purchase about 2 and a half one ounce stamps.

Amazing. I been listening to Americans blame each other for high wages, pension plans, and the overall cost of american goods for thirty five years now. All it's gotten us is a lower standard of living and lower expectations of each other. You'd better hope the kids get mad enough to do something about it because this gang of complainers didn't do squat.

Thanks, I really got going there, I shouldn't lump all members of a generation together, mine isn't shaping up much better I'm sorry to say. The road to the truth has been long and winding for me, funny but I was talking with my brother last night and we talked about our journeys, how we've been able to accept how things are instead of how we want them to be ( not to mention navigating all the crap generated by the media, left and right) we both figure that our "norm" has shifted so often over the years we just adapt naturally. Thank you for your kind words and I am pleased to meet your aquaintance.
JJF


{what happens to The Wave at a football game?}

----------
our firm represents risk non-averse institutions, pension funds & high net-worth individuals seeking exposure to emerging social trends. as such, it behooves us to account for The Wave which propagates along any of several elliptical courses typically in high-capacity open air or domed football stadiums.

observations:

* a Wave will not propagate if fewer than fourteen individuals attempt to initiate it;

* as with The Failed Standing Ovation, an abortive Wave reveals its initiators as drunken fools;

* in certain circumstances, The Wave escapes stadium confines and travels willy-nilly across the countryside, leaving destruction & carnage in its wake (pittsburgh, 1982; athens, georgia, 1969;)

* the energy equivalent of The Wave (late season nfl; 80,000 fans; nickel beer) is reliably estimated to be equivalent to the daily output of canada's hydro-quebec operation. however, its carbon footprint is several orders of magnitude greater than that of all coal burned since 1825.

----------
but where does The Wave go?

you want the truth

{You won't get much attention, here, until you are adversarial toward someone.}

you, sir, are a knave and a buffoon.

Thank You for the 4:01 post.

"So let's see that Birth Certificate."

You don't one to be the head of a corporation.

"All the average joes I know can recognize a 1964 {90%} siver dime."

Look, I realize that a lot of people believe that gold and silver will save them when the dollar becomes worthless - I get it. I also get the fact that no nation on this Earth is more than 3 meals away from a revolution (or worse). When push comes to shove, people with food and clean drinking water will do fine. Those running around with bits of metal will find out, just like the Jews did, how much their gold, silver and diamonds are really worth - nothing.

Keep spending your hard earned money on those paper certificates that claim to represent gold and silver and I'll spend my hard earned money on items that allow me to be self sufficient.

Time will tell who is correct.

226 comments? It's still Monday! Not even that late! What, is everyone jobless and pissed off now? Can't say as I blame you guys. It's been 40 months since I had a "real job", or 6.67 Friedman units to be more specific. But damn if I haven't made some strides in the garden in that time!

You know what frightens me most about all this? It's that the-powers-that-be refuse to level with the masses. Makes sense, from a gravy train perspective, but when the gravy stops flowing from the magic gravy springs, and the biscuits get dry, things could get pretty ugly. I'm just sick to my stomach that people aren't being warned about how this might go. It takes time to get good at producing your own food, or living well on shoestring budgets. We could make a go of this if people just knew!

But then, it appears that more people are learning about it every week. (Thank you JHK, Hienberg, Bageant, Greer, etc, etc!) The top hobbies for 20 and 30 somethings these days are gardening, canning, sewing, keeping chickens and increasingly goats, and thrift store shopping. We'll get it. But can we get it in time to avoid the pain?

My friends and family along I-75 in Georgia - Tifton, Macon, Atlanta - have formed an alternative underground slow money economy. It gets more serious every month. There are now nearly enough items coming online to care for a family in its entirety. Or will be within the next 2 years, tops. We have various meats, dairy products including cheese, butter, and yogurt, canned jams and sauces, produce, fruit, nuts, mushrooms, handmade clothes and toys, effective herbal health products. All very skeletal at this point, but the gaps are filling in fast. Very exciting. I got a big kick out of my little brother pumping his fist when he discovered that both our father and I were brushing up on beekeeping over the holidays...

Don't panic. Just get started.

The three most telling words in JHK’s column this week:

“Poverty of Imagination”

And yet, school systems are increasingly abandoning the teaching of cursive writing. It’s just not time/cost effect in terms of test scores and teacher/administration reward.

I was watching  a spot on the news which stated that eventually all school writing will be paperless, done on the keyboard computer.
 
Is this really a good idea, beyond environmental concerns? Is there not an intuitive and emotional aspect of the intellect that is accessed via the mind/body connection that occurs in actual handwriting ? A creative cauldron lit by the match of the hand forming the undulating arcs and lines of grace in the art of cursive writing? Does not the sensuous circularity of cursive writing trigger far deeper awakenings within the whole person than is possible with the staccato like mechanics of the computer keyboard? Why must all current education be funneled into the catatonic competence of the technocrat and the automaton?
 
And what is graffiti art and tagging if not a monumental version of cursive writing? For so many kids, the desire for the personalized, flamboyant  and idiosyncratic signature  is what impels them to spray away with creative abandon. So why is this fundamental motivation being eradicated from so many public school lesson plans?
 
I recall as a boy being mesmerized by the extraordinarily beautiful cursive writing of my mother. I never quite matched her skill and ability in cursive writing, but I have to think that something of the striving and appreciation stuck with me after all these years.

More paper and pencils, please.

And I agree with Nickelthrower about the gold and silver. There was a time that I hoarded some, but I never had any qualms about trading it for self-reliant, procreative life support systems. I think that's what will really matter in the long haul. Money of any kind is a means, not an end. And the love of money will make this more difficult than it needs to be.

Just my .02

Really? You like equality? So you must be against all the ads that make White Men look like fools compared to their wives and girlfriends then. Giving up this pleasure may not be easy for you - but whoever said civil rights was?

Also become aware, if you are not already, of how they now always place Black Men and Blonde Women together. This has become a standard feature of Dancing with the Stars for example, one series after another. It indicates the iron determination of the ruling Clique in Hollywood and Manhattan to miscegenate the White Race out of existence. This is their symbolism btw - to them the Blonde is the epitome of Whiteness. So they focus on them. Personally, I find other hair colors just as attractive, but I recognize the symbolism since light colored hair is more or less unique to our race.

36 below is that the best you can do? sheeeet! go to this city of 250,000 in Siberia. http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/24959.html

Suck it up, Jimbo...you stayed inside for 2 days just because it got down to -20??? Out here in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, it was -46 at International Falls the other morning. Winter closed in suddenly on November 13 and we've had at least a foot of snow on the ground ever since. You've got to get a grip, big fella. The Long Emergency will play itself out and here in flyover country, we'll survive. All the best, my man. TC

My aunt, who is assistant dean of agriculture at the University of Georgia, stopped by our farm today with some nice chairs for us, and it was her birthday. In her honor we started a tradition of planting a fruit tree in our garden any time someone stops by on their birthday. Her name and birthdate are on the permanent metal label swinging from the lowest branch of a new Black Mission fig.

Mean Dovey? PoC? Iona? Any of you other Georgians, come on by for a glass of wine and a fruit tree planted in your honor at Tonic Permaculture in Tifton, GA, on your birthday! Best way to alert me is through my blog at www.smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com

Cheers!

hello Tripp, I really think whet you are doing is sweet. I also have a nice organic gig going. I live in a semi-rural ares with a large urban area close by. I think if times get really tough my plot is screwed. What are your thoughts on this scenrio?

"Money of any kind is a means, not an end."

Agreed. Short term, preserve some purchasing power, long term rebuild a local economy.

Tifton's on the list. I'll bring Osage Oranges.

prices of commodities are going up, non-renewable energy is considered a commodity. People have been commodified by the global corporate system and politicians who are elected by people are increasingly being commodified as well. Mr Obama's appointing of corpocrats is slyly concealing the reality that it is the other way. Corpocracy is monarchy disguised as democracy, a clever trick being played on the hoi polloi.

I understand Osage Oranges make one of the finest living fences available. And I would have to acquiesce to the idea of capital preservation in the near term! But I wouldn't get caught in a position of thinking that gold will buy food when food gets hard to come by. I know you know that...

I take exception to your characterization. You do not know mwe well enough to accuse me of such things, although my buffoonery is legendary in some circles. Thanks for noticing.

i want the truth, michael.

I am working on the psychic laboratory frame of reference,and I need some good reasons for being psychic, so, I am looking at the ability to see ahead in time. It is useful for me to know if an outside door is propped open, or else I take the key. These guesses can be made, but the feedback to the question could be the visualization of an image showing the door.

After doing thousands of trials and you get good at it, you get more detailed, if altogether speculative images, and "voices (although hearing voices is wrong; what is heard is speech. Voice and speech are not interchangeable. A sign can have speech on it, a voice can be turned up or down)", by, say, leaving off the long end of words you know, to provide a sounding board to hear the "echo" of your thought, where, "vacation" can stop with "vakay---", and this small pause is all you sample.

It makes many sounds by itself, up to three syllables and syntactically unambiguous. The newest monster truck at the Q last Saturday was "Maximum Destruction", and I could have sworn that the way the driver was tapping the throttle, the car said its own name, from the run-run-run of a revved engine (these trucks have very responsive throttles), they can get, max-i-mum de-struc-tion. I started thinking I'll never capture this, the wave happened in the stadium, I wished it to cease, it died out.

I don't know what we sacrifice if nobody believes in waves, nor can I specify exactly where the bad luck comes out when you have good luck. I know that a gauge particle is exchanged within a field, giving symmetry and energy a quantitative basis, and we don't have quantitative ESP, maybe not even qualitative.

Perhaps a nation of individuals produced a psychic wave which crested in the psychic derangement of Jared Loughner, Jared psychically drew that judge down to the site, the wave dissipated, the traces disappeared, and all fingers end up pointing in futile and oblivious directions, with a "tone down the rhetoric", or, "this guy was unbalanced". I mean, I know. Shit, I treated him worse than Julian Assange treats Bradley Manning. We are talking nonstop torture once they get full permission to come at him with ice picks for lobotomy.

More importantly, I don't think Dickie Feynman likes waves. Check out this passage from QED. All we have to do to justify it is to show that at zero understanding of ESP, we should take that which gives us the fastest run-through of understanding about the real world, not go off cowardly calling metaphors such as the mind real. Read your physics:

It is all or nothing: if one photomultiplier goes off at a given moment, none of the others goes off at the same moment (except in the rare instance that two photons happened to leave the light source at the same time). There is no splitting of light into "half particles" that go to different places.

I want to emphasize that light comes in this form---particles. It is very important to know that light behaves like particles, especially for those of you who have gone to school, where you were probably told something about light behaving like waves. I'm telling you the way it does behave---like particles.

You might say that it's just the photomultiplier that detects light as particles, but no, every instrument that has been designed to be sensitive enough to detect weak light has always ended up discovering the same thing: light is made of particles.

That's where the wave goes, it dies out like the remainder of its kind. The people stay alive. I for one am not happy to haul myself into a standing position when it comes, and certainly not twice. The hands---what do I do with my hands!? I can't smoke!

"I think if times get really tough my plot is screwed. What are your thoughts on this scenrio?"

There is a constant debate raging in my head: do I grow food discretely and act dumb? Or do I do my damndest to propogate the idea of self-reliance to anyone who will listen? My experience so far would validate the latter. The underground economy we are developing was really prompted by the actions of my wife and I. What was it Ghandi said? "First they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Something like that? True on all accounts. And we're finally entering the last phase with our circle.

Could be suicide, but I think people are getting it, and will be hungry for whatever knowledge they can find soon. Slowly, one at a time. But every one who increases their self-reliance dilutes the burden you carry. Eventually we become the majority.

Good on ya for all the hard work and wisdom of organic gardening. I heard a quote the other day that I liked. Can't remember verbatim, but it was something about success in gardening comes when your enthusiasm outlasts the back pain.

Look at how they treated poor Franklin Graham when he told the Truth about Islam - he'll never walk with Presidents like his Father did. But in the sight of God he may be a better man though lacking his Father's charisma in preaching.
I don't know that much about either one, but it must be hard to be close to our Elite and hold onto any integrity whatsoever. Maybe he did - it was a bit easier even a few decades ago.

It is the nature of the 21st century that the road to anywhere will be a circuitous journey. As for my generation, we deserve all the attention, good and bad, that we get. It's like a python swallowing a pig. It a huge bulge that has to work it's way through the system, but in the end, comes out like everything else.

Don't underestimate your ability to adapt. It will come in very handy in the coming years. My path has also been one of many twists and turns, many of which, very unpleasant. Every day is now a geat day and the negative stuff I hear from the fringes (right & left) really have no effect on me. Don't get caught up in the side show. It's a diversion from what is really important.

I look forward to your comments on future writings from Mr. Kunstler. I am always interested in knowing the views of those who have recently been in the trenches.

As a desperate atheist, I have prayed for al Qaeda to return with sufficient explosives and the necessary artifice to take out the Capitol Building when the greatest collection of criminals in the history of Man is gathered there. God willing--and existing--and cognizant of the scum He hath created.

"I'm curious what you all think about buying gold & silver"

I'd buy cans of beans. By the truckload.

That's it isn't it? Everyone is looking for answers or trying to supply some of their own (pimping a website). I'd diversify. I'd buy tuna along with the beans. Land is what a self sufficient man has always wanted. You can't eat gold, but you can use land to plant a garden. All you will have to do is build a maginot line around it and you'll be able to survive.

headless [or clueless]:
Perhaps, just perhaps its the real govt of the US that brings in the 'terrorists'.
if thats right yr scenario probably wont happen.
if its wrong yr scenario might happen.

Out of blacks? We can send them some. What; Delivery refused?

oeo, asas,zsazsa, not yr mommy..
a prize to whomever[?] can list all jim jims acro nimnims!

I like your thinking. Wish I had the same. Unfortunately I'm an hourly wage drone living in the city. Only 9 years to retirement. Panama looks better every single day.

Don't try to smash it with a Chinese made can crusher, or you'll have two pieces of trash. What a bunch of junk. Those Pampered Chef ones with the big, white, plastic handle work nice for opening the pet food cans down at my cabin.

The founder of Jimmy Johns is a rat because he's moving? I'd say the Illinois state legislature are the real rats.

"poor Franklin Graham" who gets over a million fucking dollars a year to cram religion down the throats of people desperate just to survive, who bears gifts of Chinese junk and religious tracts.

Franklin Graham, who considers Catholic Haitians "non-Christians", as evangelicals consider all Catholics: no better than pagans, rather, worse.

Franklin Graham is a sick piece of work.
http://www.theawl.com/2011/01/our-government-funded-mission-to-make-haiti-christian-your-tax-dollars-billy-grahams-son-monsanto-and-sarah-palin


Dear Rev. Graham: Obama was not born a Muslim and neither is anyone else

Posted on 08/22/2010 by Juan

Evangelist (and hateful bigot) Franklin Graham said this weekend that President Obama was ‘born a Muslim’ because, he said, Islam is transmitted through the father just as Judaism is transmitted through the mother.

Presumably it is this sort of thinking that has led an increasing number of Americans to believe, incorrectly, that Obama is a Muslim.

Graham as usual is not only hateful but also plain wrong. The Talmudic rule that one is a Jew by virtue of having a Jewish mother has been responsible for imagining the Jewish people as a race as well as a religion. (They are not
Vlad said: "Look at how they treated poor Franklin Graham when he told the Truth about Islam"

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

Vlad, do you mean when evangelist (and hateful bigot) Franklin Graham said President Obama was ‘born a Muslim’ because Islam is transmitted through the father just as Judaism is transmitted through the mother?

Graham as usual is not only hateful but also plain wrong. The Talmudic rule that one is a Jew by virtue of having a Jewish mother has been responsible for imagining the Jewish people as a race as well as a religion. (They are not actually a race, of course, and most Jewish women are descended from a Gentile ancestor).

But Muslims are not a race even in the imagining, but rather a world-religion to which belong people of virtually every ethnic group in the world.

Unlike in Judaism, one is not born a Muslim.

Rather, children of Muslim parents who embrace Islam typically recite the confession of faith around puberty and undertake to fulfill the obligations of Islamic law at that time.

Until that time, they are not mukallaf or obliged to perform the rituals of the religion.

Franklin’s allegation would imply that children are Muslim by birth and have to fast the month of Ramadan when they are 5. It is ridiculous.

I don't think those city dwellers will make it out here. Buffalo is the closest city and they would have to walk over one hundred miles and not have a clue where to "invade" first. Unless Apple is making an app for home invasion that is.

Corn-Pone Nazi Number One: Timmy McVeigh
Corn-Pone Nazi Number Two: uhhh....McVeigh?

How about:
1. Teach the precepts of the rule of law all 12 years in school to everyone.

2. Get rid of the lawyers--all of them.

Bread, milk, and beef will probably be more like $1500 new currency. Don't you dare give up a $50 Buffalo for that. Anyone who has ever held, or listened to a silver dollar drop can tell if it is real. I have a few 2006 Buffalo $50 pieces in the safe deposit box, and believe me, you can tell that they are "real".

Does tinktink know he is now does estrous? A few drops of tink's on his ass and he'll have half the bucks in the county trying to cornhole him.

...." a legion of Jared Lee Loughners " indeed! With a side of "Snookies" and Jay Cutlers.

Do I detect a sore loser from the windy city? You forgot to mention Lady Gagas, although snookie gives her some respectability.

Do you think I give a rat's rear end if wealthy folk, and that means just about everyone to me, never get their pension? AWWWW cry me a river.

Kat, you're right where Obama and the NWO want you to be. Soon there will be vacancies in Obama's private army. You will be contacted by your local recruiter.

Tripp, Are you now, or in the future, going to be trying to raise capital for your operation? Dividends paid in jelly and mushrooms would be accepted! At least those who don't have the physical desire to participate in your lifestyle, could participate by making a capital investment.

ladelfina, I only meant the can opener business as a tongue-in-cheek stand in for any post-collapse attempt at entrepreneurialism... My concern is with the effect of widespread unrest on attempts to build and maintain the kind of self-sufficient local economies often prescribed as a potential solution to the collapse of the grid. There are currently over 7 billion people alive on our planet, and I fear that a billion or two might survive war, disease, and climate change long enough to overrun these new Jeffersonian communities. Respectfully, I'm guessing you'd disagree, since you put the term "grid collapses" in quotes, as if such an event isn't possible?

I just have one thing to add...for so much has already been said.

Maybe some of you should pick up a copy of the Anti-American Manifesto by Ted Rall. You can buy it at the failing Borders bookstore, online or see if your local library has it (doubtful on that).

I did and well....he makes some *REALLY* good points.

Carry on....

Thank you for your kind words and I am pleased to meet your aquaintance.
=========

I am a sort of king-maker around these parts in the sense that you're nobody until Q has pointed out an insignificant error or two in your post. So, on your first day as a commenter at CFN, I declare you a "somebody."

The expression is I am pleased to make your acquaintance. Also, you left out the first c in acquaintance. Good luck in the future; I'll be watching.

San Diego report- doomer slanted analysis of that little vitamin D mill as of last week. My ex wife and I moved from there in 2006 to escape the fast crash we were expecting.

Slightly crumbling infrastructure such as big cracks in concrete things, less updates to paint on buildings, and not so much remodels as historical but nowhere as bad as midwest with it's falling chunks of bridges and collapsing roadside houses.

Traffic at rush hour was very navigable, never saw that in 20 years that I used to reside there. Kinda scary in that these folks are now idle in their depreciated house.

Beaches were lightly used, about normal for January but it was the kickest ass weather that week. Did not all these unemployed want to converge on the beach? what gives, depression? HDTV?

Billboard ad- "Can't talk now, phones tapped. Better meet me at the bar" "Stella Artois"

Sign ads on telephone poles- "Cash for your Warhol"

Keeping appearances up for sure, not many core vacant storefronts like in other Cali and Oregon cities. Many businesses scaling back, bitching about cashflow though. Outer exurb CRE going vacant in big way. No longer "available for lease", but "for sale" seems to dominate the dusty windows.

Food is very expensive, a meal is about double what it was in 2006 when I left. Oddly, coffee about the same.

Tent cities bulging everywhere complete with cops in force patrolling at the fringes of downtown.

Some enlightened downtown housing that includes trolley stop available, but not selling at all. (smartcorner)

People are taking loans on their 'cars' to make downs on discounted 'houses' in the outer exurbs.

that's about it. Back in the fog now.


My neighbors and I all have charts, radios, survival equipment and the means to harvest food from the ocean.

Don't forget to stock up on tartar sauce.

I was that kid. And now that I've grown up I realize my skepticism was well placed. When I learned to look at the facts and ignore the given explanations, I freed my mind.

JJF,

Thanks for sharing your story, and thank you for your service. I'm a Southener, and a fellow Gen-Xer. I don't spend a lot of time worrying or wondering about who did this to us, Boomers or what have you . . . I think a big part of that is that we were all born into this huge unsustainable debacle, all of us who are currently alive, and we have all benefited and conversely, contributed, unknowingly or not, to the situation we currently face. Be thankful that you've had the farm experience in your lifetime, because there are people who have not had the benefit of that, and it will be useful to you and your family in the years to come, IMO. I've grown up in this whole shit-storm as well, and I'm thankful to my dirt-poor family back in Alabama that I've actually had the privilege of crapping in a real outhouse, drawing water from a well (no indoor plumbing at my grandparents house, back in my childhood), watching my grandaddy put in and tend a garden, watching my grandaddy split wood for the wood-burning stove that heated the house, watching my granny gut and pluck and scald a free-range chicken that my grandaddy blessed and beheaded of a Sunday so that we could have Sunday dinner, watching my grandmother chop a rattlesnake in half with a hoe when we gaggle of grandchildren hollered that "there's a SNAKE, granny!" These are skills and experiences that will benefit you and yours when the day comes. I am grateful NOW for being as poor as I once was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joNzRzZhR2Y&ob=av2el

It may not seem like it now, but one day pretty soon you will be the "go-to" dude in your community, and you're doing the right thing. Peace, and thanks again. Nice to meet you.

RE: CFN comments section

The only winning move is not to play.

Hi Tripp,

I've been wanting to tell you for a while now . . . thanks for your great posts and your great blog, I follow you, dude :)

You actually inspired me to move from my old apartment here in DFW to a duplex with a small yard so that I can start getting back to my "green thumb" . . . I have always enjoyed growing things, and I've been a subscriber to Rodale's Organic Gardening magazine for years (as was my deceased mother) but you are the start of some awesome shit, dude! I'm building a compost bin this weekend, BTW :)

Oh, and I wanted to tell you, because I read it and I was only lurking then, but I'm so sorry to hear about your whoring :) goat, who lost her life to dog attack. I was really sad to hear it. My grandpa used to have a few goats, and they were like pets to us kids . . . such sweet animals, really. Anyway, thanks for all your good advice and guidance, and know that you are helping people, your efforts are not wasted.

Myrtlemay, who would you rather buy your grass from, your local biker or some drug company?

Biker :) The biker is HONEST. You have a face-to-face relationship with the biker . . . the biker will tell you . . . "Hey, I have some awesome shit here!" or the biker will tell you "hey, man . . . this is some kind of stanky-ol' skunky shit, I can't tell you anything other than it'll get you baked if you smoke enough of it" . . . and that will be true :)~

I think I told this story here, before. It's 1967. My 18th b-day. My room mate and I had just moved into our new digs. $49 a month. (and gas and a pack of cigarettes cost the same ... $.25. Of course, the minimum wage was $1.25. I'm going from memory, here.) The world was not 24/7. One had to actually plan more than 5 minutes into the future.

It's late. We're tired and hungry. We have bread, mayo and cans of tuna fish. No can opener. A bit messy, but my boot and a screw driver worked just fine. :-)

What is the point of this moronic crap fest?

Every week is the same.

Someone writes, "First post!"

The next couple posts are about how, "This can't go on much longer." or "I'm amazed at how long this has lasted."

Then jimjim/zsazsa/OEO or whatever her account name is this week starts writing one line vignettes that, without fail, include the words "fucktard" and "moron." By the time the morning is over, there will be a dozen or so of these posts splattered all over the comments section. One wonders, does jimjim have a job in the private sector that he constantly champions on here? If so, what kind of retarded chimp complains about other people being moronic and lazy and then proceeds to spend the morning at work flaming people on the internet?

Then there is Vlad, who always pulls some random crap out of his smelly ass, maybe about blacks not being able to use the white man's toilets.

Then Qshtik corrects a single post's grammar and acts like a self-satisfied twat about it. If that's what makes you feel good and warm about yourself, correcting other people's grammar on the internet, then you need to GET A LIFE.

And now all this talk about buying gold and silver and hoarding beans under your bed. Oh, yeah, that's a new one. Haven't heard that before on here.

This board seems like a place where too many losers in real life hang out to be "right" about something or to spread their vile ideas (looking at you Vladdie boy) that are not acceptable anywhere else on planet earth.

I know I've contributed my allotment of internet spooge on here over the years, and now I'm bowing out for awhile. This blog has gotten FAR off track from discussing Peak Oil, Climate Change, etc.

Someone let me know when you've solved all the world's problems, and I'll come back. But I'm not holding my breathe.

If it was so easy to solve the world´s problems...
But talking is a very small beginning.
Besides being able to express one´s thoughts, it is also very interesting to hear what others have to say.
That is how we develop.
Communication is not life, but is life the way it is.
If we couldn´t talk or write we wouldn´t improve.
I guess the Internet is one of the greatest things that happened in my life, and I am convinced I grew a lot since I can read and communicate whith so many people.
You are wrong, it is not useless, on the contrary, there are too few blogs like this or better, too few people who bother to read.
If the majority would just know what is going on around them, well the world would really be different...
And regarding being negative and pessimistic...there are too many out there so optimistic about the future and look where they have brought us...a little bit of realism would do wonders.

Jared Loughner believed one thing above all: there is no future.

What is the point of this moronic crap fest?

Turkle,

I have in fact asked myself the same question. What is the point? I think perhaps you're going through the "Les Miserables" stage :) There really IS no point, if you want to be real about it. It's all the same fucking day, man! (to quote Janis Joplin, on the train :)

I will say I like your posts, and think you're a bright, intelligent person. I've only recently come out of lurkdom myself, and I'd hate to see a bright person such as yourself leave, with only Vlad to provide filler :) You ask valid questions, however . . . WTF? Why should any sane person (even a bright one) stay around and read this doomer bullshit, if there is no one here to provide even a gnat's ass of hope? Why?

Should Vlad lead the way? Or perhaps our esteemed BustinJ, who has recently decreed "no hope, none whatsoever . . . put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye" :)~ (stoopid prick . . . utterly useless, far as I'm concerned :)~~~

So what do you guys have planned FOR THE FUTURE? I personally have no children, by conscious choice. But what of your CHILDREN? SURELY those of you with children give more of a shit. Let's have a topic of hope for them.

Regards, TT

---Let's just hope that the mental torture inflicted on them doesn't turn them into a legion of Jared Lee Loughners. ----

Oh, that would be getting off lightly. It will be much worse....

civil rights,homosexual marriage??
look around,ever see two male gorillas humping each other?
No?apparently they got more sense than you mentally disturbed creatures.Now get back into the closet and do your thing,the people are really not interested in your mental problems.

Nope, sorry to disappoint you, Shak, I won't be marching in O's army, or anyone else's, either. I've got their numbers.

However, don't think those of us on the outside looking in care too much about those who have more, have always had more and who NEVER cared or who seem so spoiled.Wow, that attitude really shocks people? Really? Gotta remember, in the future, there's going to be more of us have-nots than those that have, doesn't matter if the haves are blue collar, white collar, no collar, whatever.Do you really think we care if folks we see as spoiled don't get all they planned on getting? Welcome to the future. Ain't life a bitch. Deal with it.

Where is their garden? Or, were they too busy back packing in Bali, or jetting off to Cancun or mall shopping? Understand?

Oh, don't get me wrong. I don't wish for bad or misfortune on anyone. Life is a bitch enough. But, if you can't have it all,or if your pension evaporates,well, tough cookies, some of us never had it so good.And there is going to be LOTS more of us have-nots than those that have. Why should we care if you don't get your pension? Some of us could never plan on that. Do you care aobut us?Lots of folks will have even less. So quit complaining and start tearing up the yard for a garden.

Much of what I see here is the same as what I see elsewhere regarding political discussions. Many of you here are held captive by the conventional "right vs. left vs. right" mentality....you know....that bullshit that keeps you divided and the major political parties loving you?

Both parties and both philosophies suck.

Free your mind and your ass will follow.

A FUCKING CANADIAN! Dog I'm still laughing!

Turkel,
I've always enjoyed your posts and would be sorry to not have the benefit of your ideas. In the last month we seem to have lost E. and Hancock again as well. It seems that everyone just went a little haywire.

What I don't understand is why you bother to debate certain people that seem to be poisoning the well. What does constant race related issues have to do with a blog addressing peak oil and finance. I just skip over the noise makers and don't get involved.

There has been someone on this blog who has gone after me and I just ignore his posts. So what, so he insulted me, big deal.

This is virtual communication, not personal. It has it's place, but don't get embroiled in conversations you don't want to have.
That's all I have to say...

The really big news is that OPRAH HAS A SISTER!!! The networks are all over it. And, oh ya, the ROYAL WEDDING coming up in April. It's going to be FAB and everyone who is anyone will be there, just like Obamas lavish dinner for the Chinese dictator.

There are a few other things going on, too, like an airport bombing in Moscow (35 dead), gathering riots in Cairo, and the certain upcoming genocide in The Sudan. But why bring up such unpleasantries when everyone is having such a good time!

As for me, I can't wait to see dresses Michelle Obama and Nancy Pelosi will be wearing tonight at the big speech in Washington.

James...
I spent over 50-years paying my taxes and pursuing the 'American Dream." It was always in reach - but not quite yet.
Now in my eighth decade, I no longer live in the land of my birth. Why? I can't afford to live there anymore.
This comment is not an exercise in self-pity, but rather a warning to the young.Protect the Constitution; because without it, our nation is doomed to an unwinding of our sacred heritage, and a scary version of fascism, American style.
ZZZZZZ

Zaxxon you sound like a Patriot. Did you serve in WWII, Korea?
I was looking at photographs of my Dad's unit taken in the Rhineland in Mar. 1945 (793 Combat Military Police Battalion). They look like young wolves. No neck tattoos, no nose rings, no purple hair.

Just learned more about Oprah and her new found sister on ABC. Turns out, the mom, Oprahs mom, had 4 kids by four different dudes. She wasn't married to any of them. Buy hey, what the hell, girls just wanna have fun. Today's show: Lesbians married to gay men.

Just another episode in the freak show that characterizes American Life, my friends.

Turkle said: "This blog has gotten FAR off track from discussing Peak Oil, Climate Change, etc."

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

Turkle, thanks for bringing us back on track.

One of the questions to answer about the world's oil supply is whether the historical development of petroleum formation has been biogenic and non-biogenic.

If you go with the “abiotic” oil formation theory then the concept of “peak oil" is destroyed, i.e. with abiotic oil formation the notion that world oil production is destined to reach a maximum, that will be followed by an irreversible decline, doesn't make any sense.

I suspect that peak oil is first and foremost a matter of production flows. Consequently, the mechanism of oil formation does not strongly affect depletion. If you could prove to me the extreme — and unlikely — hypothesis of abiotic petroleum formation, then I would gladly eliminate "peak oil" from my vocabulary.

As a CFN optimist (there aren't many of us among the doomsters) I would like to address the whole "peak oil" thing in a more optimistic way.

So here goes: the end of the oil age will come long before the world physically runs out of oil.

If you think that is not a realistic assessment, please provide evidence to the contrary, and then we will be discussing peak oil on this blog.

My source of evidence includes academic, industry, and government sources. BP, Shell, the IEA, etc. all recognize that we have reached the end of "easy oil" but we do not have a proven physical shortage of oil reserves. (Yes, even Shell is aware of "peak oil" and thinks it will come in 2015).

But other studies conclude that oil production will be around 115 million barrels a day in 2030 with no evidence of a peak in supply before 2030.

The expectation is that oil's share of global demand will fall from 34% now to 30% in 2030 according to the IEA's World Energy Outlook (2009).

If we are anywhere over 100 million barrels a day in 2030, then we will be over current production levels, which means we have not hit peak oil yet.

Consider also that the world is very busy reducing its reliance on hydrocarbons and the share of zero-carbon fuels is rapidly increasing.

I understand your weariness with the moronic insults on this blog, and your desire to return to a discussion of peak oil, but instead of focusing on "peak oil" we should be focusing on global energy security from a multitude of sources that are complementing and will replace oil as the primary fuel.

We also cannot isolate "peak oil" from other factors like population (world population, which has nothing to do with "illegal" immigration in national settings), per capita income, economic structure (communism will win out as the People's Republic of China becomes the world's biggest superpower), and fuel mix.

Thanks again for bring CFN back to the topic of peak oil. I am questioning whether peak oil has happened globally. Even if it has, we will have decades of dwindling oil supply on the downside while alternatives are sought. Thorium reactors, anyone? http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html

Good post--much more to the point of this blog. I thought you might want to check out a long-term international consortium for fusion. It's a great site and it is kept up-to-date on what's being tested and where. Iter is in the process of being built in the south of France, but there is some off-site testing.
http://www.iter.org/default.aspx

lbendet, while I wish the fusion folks all the luck they will need, the fusion promise is in the future.

The thorium reactor is a proven technology which successfully produced power for four years in the 60's before being cut because one thing thorium does not do is provide byproduct for nuclear weapons.

The use of thorium-based fuel cycles has been studied for about 40 years, but on a much smaller scale than uranium or uranium/plutonium cycles. Basic research and development has been conducted in Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA. Test reactor irradiation of thorium fuel to high burn-ups has also been conducted and several test reactors have either been partially or completely loaded with thorium-based fuel.

I hope fusion can be implemented on a large scale. I know thorium can because it has a decades long track record. More on thorium's research and development history here:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf62.html

...there's more to life than just race. - Vlad

Vladdie old bean, there's hope for you yet.

{That's where the wave goes, it dies out like the remainder of its kind. The people stay alive. I for one am not happy to haul myself into a standing position when it comes, and certainly not twice. The hands---what do I do with my hands!? I can't smoke!}


----------

s, i don't know if i've ever encountered someone who thinks as you do, and, heck, i've been around. otoh, some of what you write is acute, blindingly lucid... phrases and ideas for wh i make immediate effort my memory to etch; otoh, a close read of more than one paragraph gives me migraines.

what i know and love of science is its metaphors; beyond that, i don't understand the math, i haven't done the reading, and i'm too lazy to do any original thinking. i wonder if perhaps some of your mastery is as mine, eg, metaphorical.

in high school they taught us of light's dual nature, wave and particle. was not this the classic muddle: if (outer) space is a vacuum, eg, absolute nothingness, how do light waves travel? the fix was to assume an "ether," some magical substance transiting all manner of vibration.

once again, i'm just a guy nursing a scotch down the end of the bar, not even full of sound & fury. still, i've read "high energy physics for dummies," i've hung with a chick now working at cern's large hardon accelerator; i know a little, and baby i can guess the rest.

more high school physics: a wave approaching shallow water increases in amplitude. thus, when The Wave transits an arena, short people precipitate high-frequency ripples opposite the flow of the principal wave. inevitably, standing waves occur as the secondary wave falls in and out of sync with its parent.

if we understood crowd behavior there would be no financial markets. however, the concept of "quantum entanglement" offers rich theoretical avenues.

my experience with esp is maddeningly opaque, as if by nature. many many times i've wanted special knowledge and done my darnedest to perceive it, but if anything the results are worse than mere chance. still, we all have had a prophetic dream or two, no? i had impossible knowledge of my grandfather's death, even though i was not particularly close to him. when my coach died i tried for months to sense his presence, to no avail. as they say: he's not with god, he's fucking dead.

still, at the risk of blowing this comment away, let me see if i can find a link to an interesting psychology experiment, which is peer-reviewed, replicated, etc. these guys are the ones who borrowed the 'quantum entanglement' phrase from particle physics; if nothing else, you gotta love em for that.

interesting blog
---------
http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2010/02/quantum-biology-now-quantum-psychology.html


well, i don't stb finding the experiment i was thinking about, but !jumpin jehosaphat! there is a ton of interesting google results for "quantum entanglement psychology," including some web site wh seems to be a clearinghouse for exotic mushrooms. now i've a serious hankering for some good shiitake...


I think you told part of it a while back but not the part about the can of tuna and the screw driver. Great story. Ah youth.

You talked about prices. The first time I shopped for groceries was the first time I paid attention to prices. I paid $8 for a bag of groceries. And on the way home I kept thinking holy shit, eight bucks, eight bucks, I'm going to go broke, how the fuck did I blow eight bucks.

Someone let me know when you've solved all the world's problems, and I'll come back. But I'm not holding my breathe.
==========

Oh God, no!! Shane come back Shane. (BTW it's breath. Go to Dictionary.com)

Cash, No there is not, what you spouted was silly kiddy ideology crammed into your head by Mommy Professor and his/her little cult of terrorizers (they will call you bad names or threaten you).

As if any Africans, Asians or Israeli Jews want to be physically replaced.

Tripp, do you brew your own grog?

Newworld what are you talking about, you've lost me.

fusion power is a pipe dream.
stop watching those star trek reruns.

{I understand Osage Oranges make one of the finest living fences available.}

here in new england we live with the evil bastard spawn of our forefather's "living fence" scheme: wild rose.

wild rose tells us that heaven exists; walking at night, you smell its scent on the moist air as if god himself were fixing to snuff your life with gauzy celestial chloroform. the smell of memory, of impossible summers long gone.

do not touch: the malicious plant first dispatches tiny scout thorns tasked with grabbing your clothing and flesh in order to pull the big guns at you. resistance is futile! dagger, rapier, stiletto most cruel; then come the major blades too terrible to name.

----------
so many here describe survivalist stratagems, i must say, it's been an education. still, has the law of the guerrilla been repealed? we who know our woods, its pitfalls and glacial bunkers, its swamps and benevolent trees -- the whole deal, if you know your terrain, your well-armed opponent may be in for a long night. and so with nettles, poison ivy, black berries and most of all, the wild rose: you might just have one thoroughly demoralized imperial storm-trooper by dawn's early light.


--------
this guy's a riot:

http://bryanlewissaunders.org/drugs/

Airplanes were a pipe dream at Kitty Hawk with people standing around laughing at attempts to make a flying machine. Without vision people will perish.

Here in Pennsylvania it is mostly referred to as multi-floral rose. I cut and burn as much of the crap as I can each year. The problem is you have to attack the roots again each year. The benefit is, you drink your beer at the end of the day with cuts all over you and a smile on your face. This is also why I shy away from planting any bamboo.

"The road to the truth has been long and winding for me, funny but I was talking with my brother last night and we talked about our journeys, how we've been able to accept how things are instead of how we want them to be ( not to mention navigating all the crap generated by the media, left and right) we both figure that our "norm" has shifted so often over the years we just adapt naturally." -JJF
===============

Excellent! It's my contention that the future belongs to the adaptable, intellectually flexible, and critical thinkers. Having a bit of "military discipline" doesn't hurt either (as long as one can ditch the inherent racism that's stenciled on the kill-button).

As far as the hard work and drudgery of traditional farming, please see Tripp's blog about steering towards permaculture. There's a lot about cultivation of perennials to create more self-sustaining food sources.
Check it out at:

http://smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/

You can contact him there and get some good stuff started!
All the best to youses... and don't forget to have some fun. :o)

Marlin honey, what you REALLY need to watch is "Becoming Chaz," which debuted at Sundance I guess. It's the story of how Chastity Bono turns into a man. How an ugly woman turns into an ugly man. (My goodness, her neck measurement is like my waist measurement.) My tolerance stops at transexuals. They've got narcissist personality disorders and sorry...that can't be fixed by surgery.

On a side note, however, the Berkeley City Council is considering a special fund (from taxes) for city employees that want a sex change because it's not covered by insurance. Your tax dollars at work. c

SJmom

Homemade Hooch:
Who was it (from Eastern NY or Western MA?) who makes LARGE batches of wine, etc.?
I've got to get started on some distillation as well as continuing experimentation on blackberry wine. (Hey, most every 5gal. batch is a mystery and a surprise.)

Foggy memory... why would that be? ;o)

Q is really showing his age now; this clip will put in context for the younger folks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTq75HIEjro

San Jose Mom;

Oh, I'm pretty tolerant myself.

I'm just sitting back enjoying the show, the freak show if you will.

Actually I have a relative who knew "Chaz" at NYU and still keeps in touch with him/her.

Chastity Bono, a side show freak, par excellance!

United States of Denial. We really can afford tranny operations, 1.5 million new immigrants of no special skill set, SS for retiring high productivity Boomers and a world empire for the DOD?

Next step is anger and the Big Momma Libs are gonna have a hard time running the day care center known as the USA functioning.

"... he'll never walk with Presidents like his Father did."

He'd prefer to walk with the King anyway.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Exhibit A.

And thanks for that correction, Q. I'll make sure to include it when I publish my book.

I agree with you about our energy future. It doesn't seem logical that we don't develop alternate energy sources. But we seem to respond best when a crisis occurs, so I don't think we'll have a smooth run toward unlimited energy. It'll be like our present day food delivery system, "just in time". Unlike many on this blog, I'm unable to be pessimistic about this; there's so many possibilities for renewable energy that pessimism is irrational. As well, a scientific breakthrough could come at any moment, too.

Fusion is not a pipe dream. Some day much of our power will come from fusion, just not in the foreseeable future. If the pessimists are correct, then we won't have enough time to develop this near-endless energy source. Attaining nuclear fusion has been an intractable problem, but that's only up to now.

Abiotic oil is a possibility, but I haven't looked into it. FYI, the thriller novelist Steve Berry's latest, "the Emperor's Tomb", is about abiotic oil in China.

People have been bitching about how things are so out of whack in America, for oh, at least in my lifetime. Forty years ago, people were saying that America's end was imminent.

Are we lazy? Yes. Are we spoiled? Yes. Are we dumb? Yes. But if only .1% of us have some vision and ability to act, that's 300,000 people who can make a big difference.

Wow, that's really nice of you, O3! Thanks for the support! And maybe I need to get a practical post out next, and ease up on the philosophy for a week or two;)

"Without vision people will perish."

Frank Zappa would say, "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible." I would tend to agree with that, however our age defines progress. Innovation, and particularly behavioral innovation, will be the order of business for us young'uns.

"Tripp, do you brew your own grog?"

I'm embarrassed to say I don't...but I do have a beer-making kit, and it's on my list of self-reliant skills to acquire! Suppose I should grow the hops and grains too. Planning on hard ciders and jacks from my apples and pears as well. And of course wine, from grapes and other small fruit. I hear blueberries make a damned decent wine. I've planted lots of those. Any suggestions? Get to it while the gettin's good, you say?

Truthteller, I can't begin to tell you what a post like yours means to me. We probably all wonder if the time we spend here is worth it, especially when so much needs doing to get ready for a new future. Then something like your post comes along, and I'm reminded that my time spent here has indeed been worthwhile, and not just a detractor from my family and our efforts.

Thanks alot for the pick me up! Oh, there is one problem though. My last name isn't "Ticket" but it's not far off, and definitely starts with a T. So since I scroll up from the bottom to catch up, every time I see the signature "TT" I think it's me! ARgh! ;)

I am tolerant of trans-sexuals, as I am any harmless, law abiding, self-supporting citizen. They are who they are, and I can choose to not hang out with them..

But I'm NOT tolerant of using the taxpayers' money to perform unnecessary surgery on someone to soothe their gender insecurities. As it is, surgeons are exploiting the insecurity and psychological problems these people have, to charge exorbitant fees for unnecessary surgery that can damage their health and fail in it's purpose, which is to change the person's sex.

It sickens me to see our money and a surgeon's talent put to such a use when we have so many people who cannot afford essential medical care. This includes many productive, working people whose salaries don't cover their expenses, and they shouldn't have to pay taxes to help someone resolve his/her/its identity issues.

A trillion and a half for war each year and 20 trillion in transaction guarantees (give a ways) to the ultra rich leave little money for peasants. I expect no social security, no medicare, no medicaid in the future. The future is simple "get back to work slave".

"and so with nettles, poison ivy, black berries and most of all, the wild rose: you might just have one thoroughly demoralized imperial storm-trooper by dawn's early light."

That's beautiful, man. Particularly the bit about dragging your enemies through poison ivy. New Year's Eve I was digging up wild/feral blueberries along a major road here in south Georgia, and apparently manhandled some denuded poison sumac in the process. I've never been so miserable in my whole life...still getting over it. Oh, and somehow I gave it to my wife and 6 month old son too. His healed quickly, but hers is still going...all over left side and back where I snuggle her. Most expensive blueberries ever.

"Tripp, Are you now, or in the future, going to be trying to raise capital for your operation?"

It's beginning. My brother is helping foot the bill for spring calves, and my mother will likely be investing something in her future through our farm. The landowners brought us on as a hedge against future food shortages. But my grandfather just gives me packets of seeds and says he'd like some of these. He's been gardening all his life, but I think he'd like start backing off in his golden years and let me do it for him.

Why? You got a few doubloons burning a whole in your pocket?

The only difference to be had is to totally collapse the system. What we need is another black plague to kill off the banking/corporate aristocracy.

@Cash
A medical card at a pot clinic in LA goes for $60. You get a discount if it's a renewal. Much more civilized than using the local supplier.

Jill from Berkeley

Laura, I agree with you about taxpayer money going to support sex change operations. Insurance premiums go to it also, as well as for IVF and egg donors and surrogates for single people and same-sex couples. And just imagine how much it will cost to actually combine trans surgery and fertility treatments to actually enable people to procreate offspring as the other sex, or with someone of their own sex.

It really is ridiculous that we haven't put the kibbosh on Transhumanism and same-sex procreation and trans procreation. We are missing out on an opportunity to shake up the status quo and correct the priorities, because why? We think people would rather that their insurance company and taxes paid for a gay couple to have a baby together, than actual medicine for sick people?

Jill, hon,
Are ya sayin that me and my "homies" ain't siverlized? We ain't afrom californee, as it wore. In dese dern hills, ya gotta catch as catch can. Can ya get in on the low down, girlfrien? Personally, I ain't mowed a blade of grass since the '90s. don't touch the stuff - don't believe in it. course, whatcha all do in berkee aina nunna my afair...herd ya'll bunch of antee war upsterts, tho...jes sayin.

12? cops shot in 24 hours!

Well, a friend of mine knows her bro LIJAH BLUE.
and his daddy was disowned by the allmans crew for turning states evidence [the dealer got 50 years.
a few years back the [dreaded] LATimes did a piece on their sportswriter..page 1..on his sexchange. Christines dead.
the throwaway NEWTIMES wrote a long goodbye to chris.

Mike Penner Dead: "LA Times" Sportswriter, AKA Christine Daniels ...Mike Penner Dead: "LA Times" Sportswriter, AKA Christine Daniels, Committed Suicide At 52, Colleagues Say......
www.huffingtonpost.com/.../mike-penner-dead-la-times

hahahah,,,the huffington post wrote it up[he,she.
it shit].
that being said the LAT put a 500 pound black cross dresser x male prostitute on the front page. gawd what an eyesore he was.

Haitians mix 'magic' [calling on evil spirits] with african religion etc...and call it christianity.
good for franklin.

The world is becoming both centralized and de-centralized at the same time. What a weird predicament. Here in North America, political power at the federal level is becoming dangerously concentrated in the hands of the corporatocracy, religious fundamentalists and military. This is happening just as the federal government's role in the lives of the citizenry is becoming scaled back to where it was in 1929. Other than delivering the mail, handing out pension checks and collecting taxes, what significant role does Washington play in the lives of most Americans? Politics is becoming more localized in Detroit, Chicago and Omaha at the very moment we need a vibrant, proactive national government.

turkle,
Now you know why I left for an extended period of time and only come back now for the amusement value.

I wasn't BTW, as "Qestik" (or however you spell his handle) being "sarcastic" with "Cash". In fact, as the CFW Arbiter of grammer and usage he should know that was satire. I'm not interested in increasing the suffering, or preying on, any of the deluded morlocks who rant here regularly..... but I digress.

This board is a pretty good example of how silly American public discourse has gotten. If anyone wants to prove that "reality" is relative, this is as good a place as any to start. While reality ultimately IS relative, there is also something called "discerning wisdom" here in the relative world (planet earth), and one will see precious little of that wisdom on this board. About half the people around here are simply making up their positions strictly on the basis of whatever pops into their vacuous little minds.

Get over yourself people! you don't have to believe something just because you THINK it. Most of what you "Think" is just your brain jerking off. The motor is running people, and reason is out of gear. Stop listening to yourself like you're the fucking holy gospel. Wake the fuck up!

" If so, what kind of retarded chimp complains about other people being moronic and lazy and then proceeds to spend the morning at work flaming people on the internet?"

I can think of one....YOU. (Fucking MORON)

"Corn-Pone Nazi Number One: Timmy McVeigh
Corn-Pone Nazi Number Two: uhhh....McVeigh?"

I asked for candidates that fit this tag. Nice try.

{Corn-Pone Nazi Number Two: uhhh....McVeigh?"}

i respectfully nominate vlad

Nice post for us this week JHK. I agree with you about quite a few things. And I've always felt disdain for what you describe as:

"Reagan-style show-and-tell, which the Gipper's managers so astutely used as a sly distraction from straight talk about where we are at as a polity."

Of course I can draw a straight line between the policies instituted in the early to mid 1980's and our present long, sad slide into Useless States.

How to recover, I do not know. But nerves are visibly jangling all over the country and even all over ClusterFuckNation. 330+ posts by Tuesday evening may be some sort of record. And the pissed off tone of some of the posters, and the attacks and counterattacks seem unusually strident, even for this CF'ed place.

One thing that would help would be to do away with the head-lock that the Dems and Repubs have on party politics. The positions of the two parties may look and sound radically different.

But - certainly at the national level - the only thing that gets legislative action these days is based on legislative prostitution and corporate whoring. And this is a terrible analogy because it disrespects honest hard-working prostitutes and fun loving whores the world over.

Please go away often? No, just once. You have no money to buy anything and nothing to sell but old hackneyed liberal junk.

You aint nobody until somebody loves you.

I am not a rich man but I have a positive cash flow. I have debt but all the toys I need. I have some gold and some PPL stock. What I don't have is the desire to invest in any more gold and certainly not the stock market. I'd rather invest a little in something that has a positive spin on it.

Magical Rituals often work before they've even been done - causality isn't the same on other planes. But if you consciously try to omit the ritual it wont work - intention is everything. The physical action is just the last in a chain of events that started at the level of mind. Call it the trickle down theory. The ritual or intent to do it is the anchor baby. From the Eastern Perspective, Ramana Maharishi said, "Words are the great grandsons of Truth."

Bill, thank you for your response.

What no one here seems to want to defend with any kind of objective hard evidence is that peak oil has not yet arrived globally (though it has in the USA).

WHERE ARE THE "PEAK OIL" ALARMISTS?

Where are the CFN 'peak oil' alarmists now that gasoline is over $3.00 a gallon in many places?
Have they all gone into hiding?

Isn't the moment ripe for doomsayers to emerge, blaming this market fluctuation on America's fossil fuel 'addiction' and the depletion of world petroleum supplies?

Instead, we read sober articles such as the one in Tuesday's Denver Post analyzing factors responsible for the price rise without mention of the trendy theory that global production has peaked (or will peak soon) and that shrinking supplies will trigger an oil shock sooner rather than later.

Maybe the alarmists are still updating their talking points.

Back in 2005, when the Denver World Oil Conference featured a parade of pessimists predicting a future of soaring prices and depleted reserves, another Denver Post columnist (who has since moved on) warned of oil hitting '$200 a barrel, which even the experts in the industry see coming soon to a gas station near you.' Didn't happen.

The New York Times' John Tierney made a wager around that time (2005) involving the same $200-per-barrel price in 2010. And Tierney, being a media big dog, went right to the top, sealing a five-year wager for $5,000 with Mr. Peak Oil himself, Matthew Simmons, author of 'Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.'

Needless to say, Tierney won. (Simmons, unfortunately, died in August, although the debt was paid.)

In a recent column, Tierney explained that while he was no expert in 'Saudi oil production or the other 'peak oil' arguments that global production was headed downward,' he had learned from the late economist Julian Simon that 'you can always make news with doomsday predictions, but you can usually make money betting against them.'

The exuberant Tierney maintains the 'overall energy situation today looks a lot like a Cornucopian feast' - maybe a tad too rosy - ticking off such examples as 'giant new oil fields' off the coasts of Africa and Brazil, the oil sands in Canada, an increase in U.S. production, and the discovery of 'vast quantities of natural gas.'

He might also have mentioned the uptick in Russian production after its collapse in the 1990s, a potential surge of oil from Iraq and even the surprising yield from the Bakken formation in North Dakota, which The Associated Press reports 'could leapfrog in a few years from the fourth-biggest oil producing state to No. 2, trailing only Texas.' The Bakken is now believed to hold 25 times as much recoverable oil as the official estimate just 15 years ago.

Not that an oil glut is in the offing, given rising demand in China, India and elsewhere. More to the point, inept governments from Venezuela and Mexico to Nigeria and Iraq keep a throttle on supplies.

If we do suffer an oil shock in the next decade, it will be the product of political constraints, not played-out reserves. Otherwise, remain calm. Oil historian Daniel Yergin's Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which never hopped aboard the peak-oil express, expects supplies to grow for the next two decades. And any longer forecast is suspect on its face.

After all, who knows what technologies will be employed by then to reduce the need for petroleum or to boost its supply? As Yergin explained a few years ago, 'This is the fifth time the world is said to be running out of oil. Each time ... technology and the opening of new frontier areas has banished the specter of decline. There's no reason to think that technology is finished this time.'

SOURCE: Vincent Carroll. (2011, January 19). Where are the "peak oil" alarmists? Denver Post

I love that quote:

...the late economist Julian Simon said that 'you can always make news with doomsday predictions, but you can usually make money betting against them.'

Anybody want to explain why all the predictions of the last thirty years (since the Club of Rome LIMITS TO GROWTH report issued in 1972) have not come true? We should be at over $200 a barrel by now... if the Club of Rome was correct.

Many are disatisfied afterwards and want to change back - not so easy in the case of mtfs. Should we fund this too?

Now that you're out of it, what do you think of Joseph Smith? Do you believe there really were any gold plates?

Jill, Myrtle, and all of you other "Free the Weed" agitators. I'll tell you what would be more civilized than a $60 California pot card OR buying from your local dealer. GROWING YOUR OWN!!

Do you have any idea how much high quality herbage I could produce out of a raised garden bed? Answer - a whole lot.

How many people know that home brewing of beer or wine was ILLEGAL in these United States until the late 1970's - that was a legacy of Prohibition.

Outlawing alcohol was dumb move that gave us organized crime penetrating government at all levels.
Outlawing the growing of a PLANT has given us organized crime that is now beginning to seriously penetrate Immigrations and Customs - at the Federal level, after doing enormous damage at the local and States levels for decades.

Could some "right winger" tell me why pot is bad. I'd like to learn something *new!*

==============
And several posters this week have bemoaned the Right vs Left divide in US politics. What should we replace it with?

And as sure as God (god?) made little green apples - Pot legalization is something that most of the left wants and something that most of the right hates. Why is that?

It sure is nice to see this blog back on topic again…sex change financing and all that

Well he feeds alot of people - no one makes them eat his food. I hope you don't blame Whites or Western Civilization for the earthquake or for Haiti's plight. We've tried to help them again and again - it just doesn't take.

Graham feeds them first - and then only then offers them the gospel. No one is turned away for being uninterested in the gospel. You may have a valid point about Monsanto - they are unsavoury of course. Personally, I don't believe in any foreign aid - that would solve the conflicts of interest with one stroke. I'm not against private charity of course.

Turkle, dale, Hancock1863 -

So many excellent posters claim to be giving up in frustration. I feel your pain, guys. This blog is the poorer without you, though.
But I understand. You lay out finely crafted arguments - but it only takes one Vlad saying
- "please go away"

Or one JimTzaLing saying ,"cut taxes on the wealthy," to make you feel the whole fight is worthless.

Sometimes you've got to ignore a post and just keep rolling - somebody is listening, and this is a great place to sharpen GOOD arguments to use elsewhere.

My opinion of Joseph Smith is that if he had been born in the present day, he would be diagnosed with bi-polar illness. I don't think there were any golden plates. Maybe they were real to Joseph. Hyper-religiosity and hyper-sexuality (hence all the wives) are common symptoms of bi-polar illness.

Some of my fellow disillusioned Mormon friends think maybe the Book of Mormon was produced by a phenomena called "spirit writing."

Who knows? Anyway, Mormons are generally nice people and they make great neighbors. If you're ill or need anything, they'll be over with a hot dinner ASAP without asking. The liberal Presbyterians I've been hanging with for 20+ years don't have a clue about such neighborly acts. But they'll yack endlessly about the environment and gay rights. They form study groups at the drop of a hat...that way it takes six months for them to decide on a new carpet for the sanctuary. Ugh. The thing is...they talk about things a lot, but they don't actually DO alot. Sorry to say, but if we serve coffee in ceramic mugs after the service, instead of styrofoam cups, it's NOT going to transform the environment.

When my father died last Spring, my Presbyloopian pastor didn't even manage to call or send a quick email of condolence. I had a snit fit when it came to filling out our pledge card for 2011 -- ended up cutting our annual pledge in half.

Jen

I don't claim that Obama is a Muslim - nor do I believe that he is a Christian. He's just like you - into anything that's anti-White and anti-Western. But even his official "story" states that he studied Islam at a madrassa when he lived in Indonesia. I'm not sure if Islam requires an offical declaration or "baptism" for people who are born into the Faith as Obama was. Certainly they do for converts. You say it comes at puberty? Is it done formally - like a bar mitzvah? I hold no brief for everything Franklin Graham says. If he believes that Obama is a Muslim then I disagree with him.

The Jews DO consider themselves a separate people, a "race" if you will. Traditionally they thought us lesser beings. And you too btw. The reform Jews have left alot of this behind - but some of the attitudes persist even among them.

We just found out today that our new Senator Dick Blumenthal (D CT) has a personal net worth of 75 million dollars. And here's a man who spent the entire campaign last year inveighing against "Rich Republicans". The esteemed Senator has been our Attorney General for the past 20 years at $175,000 per year. Some of us are wondering how he accumulated that kind of swag on such a
(relatively) modest salary.

Isn't that something that should've been revealed BEFORE the election, not after. Same with Obama. There are many things we still do not know about his background.

Sometimes it seems our media is worse than useless. I have to go to BBC to get any accurate idea as to what is going on.

"And maybe I need to get a practical post out next, and ease up on the philosophy for a week or two;)" -Tripp
==========

Mmmmmm, I dunno; gettin' yer mind right is just as important as practical and proactive application. I think you're providing a good helping of that. Of course if you find something kewl or gob-smacking in your own back 40, I'd certainly like to hear/read about it! (Now that's entertainment. ;o)

You can always just add some more links for the practical application side o' things, no?

Ps. Juice of the jewel-weed to neutralize the itch oil of poison ivy; not sure how effective on sumac or within what time-frame it needs to be applied. Just a little Yanqui med'sin.

Maranatha! The King is coming! Martin Luther King? they ask.

Yeah but what's wrong with a little bit of voluntary eugenics? The fit should have more children than the feeble. You may be right about this being a cover issue, but you sound like your're against any eugenics.

People have been bitching...that's 300,000 people who can make a big difference.

That's what I'm talkin about. I just rode my bicycle 100km today. I'm not sitting in traffic with the thousands of other sheeple. Of course, there will always be someone who points out that, "gee, how much fossil fuel was burned to deliver the food calories so you can bike?"

You're probabily right - it's sad. I love the idea of gold plates and the Urim and the Thumim. I once met a transvestite ex-Mormon who likened Smith to L Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology. There are apparently small groups of gay Mormons who are opposed to the Church but don't have the inner resources to reject the Chruch that rejects them. Maybe if they wait long enough their God will change his mind as He's done about polygamy and Blacks.

Alrighty then!!
Asoka sez there's oodles of poodles of doodles of Texas Tea and other marvelous energy pant-loads to be had for a looooong time! I'm gonna get me that low-mileage '74 Caddy I've had my beady little eye on and just driiiiive, driiiive, drive my grandkids future away. 'Sides, that shit comin' out of the tailpipe is excellent plant food, ain'cha hear'd the news?

Fuck it; sounds like big fun to me! Business as usual is good fer business. Jobs, don'cha'know. Like I always say: "Fuck the next guy; what's good fer me is GOOD.... so it's all good...

I don't claim that Obama is a Muslim - nor do I believe that he is a Christian. He's just like you - into anything that's anti-White and anti-Western.

Hey Vlad,
The cleaners called. They have your white hood and robe both freshly washed, bleached and pressed; they're ready for pickup.

I think if you grew your own, you'd have to put concertina wire around the yard so that it wouldn't get "harvested" by interested parties.

I think pot needs to be de-criminalized (and it pretty much has been in California, depending on how much you have).

They've found that heavy pot smoking in young men leads to an increased risk of testicular cancer in the 20's--and the cancer tends to be quite aggressive.

SJmom

"You got a few doubloons burning a whole in your pocket?"

If you have seeds.

The Mormon prophet receives convenient revelations...no doubt about that.

BTW, I was quite amazed when my son came home from school yesterday and his AP Psychology teacher told the class that blacks have an average IQ of 85. Yikes....not sure that's part of the California state curriculum.

"I'd rather invest a little in something that has a positive spin on it."

I heard D. Trump just bought 30 million in Iraqi dinars. Don't wait until next week.

"We've tried to help them [Haiti] again and again"

You mean via the repeated rapings by France and then the World Bank? Who extorted so much money from their federal coffers that they didn't have enough left to build proper roads, much less schools? Admittedly Papa Doc Duvalier is as much to blame in the last half century as anyone, but the Haitians have been taking it up the pooper without lube for the better part of two centuries now. Oh yeah, and they originally arrived on Hispanola against their will and put to work on balmy sugar cane plantations for perks that barely pass as room and board.

Lazy fuckers.

"I'd rather invest a little in something that has a positive spin on it."

You tell me what you want it invested in and I'll make it happen. Dry-aged grass-fed beef is my major enterprise, but I could see shipments of fruit and nut boxes arriving every summer and fall too. Canned goods, my wife's famous salve, whatever. Your call. You know how to get ahold of me offline?

Back when W was running the first time I had a little cartoon of a long haired guy in a robe standing on top of the Capitol Dome with the caption:

We Don't Need Another President, We need the King.

I showed it to a guy at work and he asked, "Elvis?"

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1198-storming-the-ark.html READ THE ABOVE LINK ABOUT HOW THE PREPPERS in the 1500's got ready for the end,

After they defeated the French, they killed every White they could catch. That wasn't very wise on their part. Nor does it make for people wanting to invest in your country. Nevertheless, America went in several time in the 20th century to try and help. It didn't help. Nothing can help. We shouldn't waste anymore money on them or any other country. You can't buy good will or friendship anyway. If companies want to risk things like this - that's their business. Ditto for missionaries.

Why corn pone? Why can't I be a filet mignon or at least a beef stroganoff nazi? Be generous in your fantasies at least.

Just finished watching the SOTU speech. Having Dems and Repubs intermingled was a great change. And I believe it sped up the delivery, which is always a good thing. It did give the illusion that our legislators were actually listening to the President and might act in the best interest of the country - at least for some of this one single hour.

On a lighter and unrelated note re corn pone nazis - Corn pone is a traditional staple of poor folks.

and the Tofu Terrorists wouldn't inspire much if any real fear.

How about the NASCAR Nazis, instead?

$3.40 a gallon here on West Coast Cal. Today.

SJ, regarding the concertina wire around my raised bed of pot AND your saying that -"They've found that heavy pot smoking in young men leads to an increased risk of testicular cancer in the 20's"

My "grow your own" proposal solves both problems. If everybody and his brother can grow pot, then it's just another weed - and not worth guarding with razor wire. Well, maybe just a large outside dog and a shotgun near harvest time.

And cheaper pot means that the health conscious would not need to smoke it. I really would like to have it on salads - or extract THC with vodka.

The Bible also says that humans should eat marijuana - in no uncertain terms - Genesis 1:29
"Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."

What do we think we're doing going against God's Will?

The Musicologists assert that American Bluegrass/Country music is the offspring of Scottish and Irish folk music. I’m not sure if the below link featuring a rip-roaring hoedown with Earl Scruggs and The Chieftans qualifies as “Corn -Pone” culture or not. All I know is that it is very, very good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByYSkRGrMqw&feature=autoplay&list=PL46CA38C9C42A2038&index=3&playnext=2

Alright, I took my own advice and managed to roll out a practical post this week (but as always, with a hefty dose of permacultural philosophy!). It's a requested article about carbohydrate crops - potatoes and sweet potatoes, in particular. Seemed fitting to start thinking about them now before we get into the planting season.

http://smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-post.html

Cheers!

Ozone says:


Alrighty then!!
Asoka sez there's oodles of poodles of doodles of Texas Tea and other marvelous energy pant-loads to be had for a looooong time!

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

That's right, Ozone. If we are going to discuss peak oil, I would prefer to do it based on provable facts, not on doomster fear. Alrighty then??

For example, in 1956, when the concept of "peak oil" was formulated (I am defining peak oil as the point at which production starts falling). In 1956! US output was expected to fall from the late 1960s.

But new discoveries have constantly pushed that date back. BP was estimating world oil reserves at 1 trillion barrels a "looooong time ago" 20 years ago (that's 40 Friedman units). Now, despite record consumption, the estimate is 1.333 trillion.

So I have put historical evidence into play. I have noted record consumption, consumption that did not exhaust oil supplies. And into the mix I have provided hard numbers and a source for them.

Maybe the numbers are wrong. Prove it or provide alternative numbers. Maybe the source is not trustworthy. Prove it or provide a better source.

I prefer citing hard data and providing sources to simply using terms like "alrighty" and "oodles" to make fun of a post and/or the poster.

In 1956 I guarantee you the peak oil theorists did not think consumption could increase as it has, and that population could increase as it has, without the world being in much worse shape than it is now.

Based on my investigation I think we have at least 46 more years. That is not a looooong time, but it is enough time to leave the "oil age" and achieve "global energy security" ... through a heterogeneous and synergistic assortment of oil substitutes, population control, conservation, and reduced demand through conscious energy descent.

Either we do it voluntarily, or we will be forced to do it by the "laws of physics" you believe in.

One more thing, staying on the peak oil theme, which I believe is appropriate for this blog.

Many distrust anything that comes from a source like BP. But BP has to abide by the laws of physics also. They are in business to make money. If BP starts lying about oil supplies, and nature doesn't really have those supplies, BP goes out of business. To stay in business BP has to be truthful and abide by the laws of physics. If they lie, reality will slap them up the side of the head.

As I said in my last post, BP reckons that the 1.333 trillion barrels of known oil reserves are sufficient to last for just over 45 years - though time estimates vary greatly. My figure of 46 years is an average of government, industry, and academic estimates which I believe is reliable.

A company like BP, to stay in business, needs to know, with some certainty, facts, for example, facts like these: Saudi Arabia has sufficient supplies to meet its needs for 66 years; Iraq has enough to meet its needs for 142 years; the US would run out by 2018 if it did not import.

If you have different numbers and different reliable or peer-reviewed sources, please share them.

Let's discuss peak oil rationally, because it is the cause of much CFN fear and much CFN pessimism, CFN demoralization, CFN cynicism, and a general CFN "we're so fucked" attitude ... none of which may not be related to reality.

http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/washington-state-joins-movement-for-public-banking/

Washington State Joins movement for public banking!

And a Vermont State Senator sponsored a resolution to amend the U.S. Constitution denying corporations personhood!

http://www.alternet.org/story/149620/

CORRECTION:

some of which may not be related to reality.

Tripp, I will be in touch. DK.

Observer, this is great news!

Currently, all the state’s funds are deposited with Bank of America. HB 1320 proposes that in the future, “all state funds be deposited in the Washington Investment Trust and be guaranteed by the state and used to promote the common good and public benefit of all the people and their businesses within [the] state.”

New Mexico and other states can't be far behind to get their funds out of Bank of America, before BoA crashes and burns.

That's great news! I was aware of the North Dakota State Bank and often wondered why more states didn't have one.

Thanks for the heads up. I'll follow this closely. Maybe even a few phone calls and e-mails to my Reps.

I am also going to post a thread about this on our local newspapers Forums. See what kind of feedback I get on this. Probably some negativity as I have been painted with the liberal brush. :D Which means quit a few of the Peeps will dismiss it out of hand. Probably, without reading the article.

We do have a Washington State Employees Credit Union. I belong to it. It's great.

Bullshit: "We do have a Washington State Employees Credit Union. I belong to it. It's great. "

Seen in an ad online recently: "Do you love your bank?"

Also seen: "I love my bank."

What kind of robotic soliloquy is this? Pure advertising bullshit. "Oh, what a feeling."

If that kind of garbage actually lines up with your feelings- I'd say you live a hollow existence.

atm. CO2 = 385ppm and rising.

'socksa said, "In 1956 I guarantee you the peak oil theorists did not think consumption could increase as it has, and that population could increase as it has, without the world being in much worse shape than it is now. "

Brother, a few clarifications:

"Peak oil theorists" absolutely thought consumption would increase as it has. Namely, Henry Ford, among more notables.

Same with population. (Malthus et all)

And as for the shape of the world, it is as bad or worse than predicted, in all sorts of metrics.

Anyone here good at Fermi problems?

How much CO2 was produced by this post?

SFPSYCHOMOM says, "They've found that heavy pot smoking in young men leads to an increased risk of testicular cancer in the 20's--and the cancer tends to be quite aggressive.'

I read frigid women get breast cancer because not enough men squeeze and milk and suckl and knead and tenderize and otherwise manhandle them. Bullshit. People don't get cancer for any such reason. The chances are so slim they're no reason not to get high.

Asoke;
Orion;

Right now I'm half way thru Dilip Hiro's "Blood of the Earth, the battle for the world's vanishing oil resources." Nation Books, NY, NY 2007.

Worldwide demand for oil:

1900 ... 500,000 bpd
1915 ... 1.25 mil. bpd
1929 ... 4 mil. bpd

1935 ... barrel of oil briefly sells for 10 cents per barrel.

1950 ... 10.4 mil. bpd
1960 ... 21 mil. bpd
1970 ... 45 mil. bpd

1970 ... U.S. production peaks at 11.3 mil. bpd.

1986 ... barrel of oil sinks below $10 per barrel.
2000 ... 80,000 bpd+
2011 ... 88,000 bpd

One interesting fact that I didn't realize is out of the 7 billion barrels of oil expended by the allies in WW11, 6.5 billion of them came from the lower 48. It's why we won the war. There were fuel shortages here in the U.S. then, prompting President Roosevelt to look east and form a "special relationship" with Saudi Arabia". In 1946, for the first time, the U.S. had to import oil to meet current demand.

Asoka and Orion, you seem to suggest that we are not at peak oil, indeed, we are far from it. For me, that pretty much defeats the whole purpose of this site and CFN.

It's my theory, if the oil supply is indeed secure and plentiful, then Big Business, Big Government, Big Welfare, and Big Military can keep this sham economy going almost forever, can ride the wave of bullshit and subterfuge, grift and fear, far, far into the future. The majority of us here ... we'll be at home, busy watching the Kardashians and Oprah on TV, for the pixel images on the television screen give many of us a sense of normality and security. "The grocery stores are still well stocked, I can still buy a plate of steaming buffalo wings at the local pub, the ballgame is still on TV tonite; How bad can things be?"

Don't forget, in 403 AD, on the day the Visigoths kicked in the door and busted into Rome, most Romans were taken by surprise. They were at the Arena, watching the games.

"In 1956 I guarantee you the peak oil theorists did not think consumption could increase as it has, and that population could increase as it has, without the world being in much worse shape than it is now."

Well, actually, no. As a matter of fact, voices from the past can still be heard today, warning us about the inevitable depletion of oil as a future energy source. A long article, nevertheless worthy of consideration surrounding P.O. (sorry if hyperlink doesn't work)

Rear Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, USN, in May 1957
HTTP://www.energybulletin.net/node/23151

A brief excerpt from Admiral Rickover's article:


"Barring atomic war or unexpected changes in the population curve, we can count on an increase in world population from two and one half billion today to four billion in the year 2000; six to eight billion by 2050. The United States is expected to quadruple its population during the 20th Century � from 75 million in 1900 to 300 million in 2000 - and to reach at least 375 million in 2050. This would almost exactly equal India's present population which she supports on just a little under half of our land area." ....................

"One final thought I should like to leave with you. High-energy consumption has always been a prerequisite of political power. The tendency is for political power to be concentrated in an ever-smaller number of countries. Ultimately, the nation which control - the largest energy resources will become dominant. If we give thought to the problem of energy resources, if we act wisely and in time to conserve what we have and prepare well for necessary future changes, we shall insure this dominant position for our own country."

Perhaps most people weren't thinking about these things in 1957, but Admiral Rickover certainly was.


Progressorconserve,

Well dang, I wouldn't want you to go against the bible! I like salads myself!

SJmom

{Asoka and Orion, you seem to suggest that we are not at peak oil, indeed, we are far from it. For me, that pretty much defeats the whole purpose of this site and CFN.}

thanks so much for the shout out, marlin. i'm full of opinions but quite a bit less informed re peak oil than enthusiasts here. still, the burden of proof rests most heavy on those who question prevailing wisdom; my sense is that the peak oil-ists ally themselves more with the counter-culture than the nuts & bolts petroleum crowd, the boys and girls sitting in classes at texas a&m, etc.

(not that there's anything wrong with that: what draws me to jhk and his books is his flawless eye for the aesthetics of failing civilization. the man is a giant; but i wouldn't take his investment advice.)

my background, if you subtract the crazy stuff, tilts heavily toward banking & finance. i'm fairly well-read vis a vi business journalism, which, imho, is where some of our finest journalists hang out. the thing about the business world, finance especially, is that it's utterly amoral. because people keep score in dollars, they have a harder time lying to themselves (although, yes, recent events show a kind of systemic denial every bit as lethal as personal denial.)

just as there was money tb made in the 07 credit collapse, there surely is money tb made in collapsing oil production. you would see lots of heavyhitters standing by the exits if end times were as imminent as jhk believes. exxon, etc., would not be behaving as placidly as markets indicate. on the politcal stage, the middle east would be a much bigger zoo: i mean, if the saudis were coming up dry, who'd care a fig re palestine?

great events, like earthquakes, are preceded by tiny, incoherent waves: seismologists have called twenty of the last three great temblors. that is to say, those on a hair trigger tend to fire early & often, missing the mark so consistently that their superiors direct them to the kitchen instead.

inevitability, too, is a conceptual tar-baby: was the fall of the soviet union truly inevitable? why hadn't it fallen ten years before? if gorbachev had been sober, and reagan sentient, could not the bear have hung on til the petroleum gravy train was on line? and if rigid state control were still status quo, would russia be as financially corrupt now, and if not, could it instead be rising right along with china and india?

petroleum, of course, came as white knight to world in crisis over diminishing reserves of whale oil (eg, whales.) i don't know if there were "peak whale" theorists, but if there were, they had their facts straight but consequences wrong.

there are more than a few pigs in the global pipeline: fiscally, many states, usa chief among, seem determined to wreck themselves. if there's a lead horseman, it's got to be municipal & state debt, aka, public pensions. unlike jhk, though, i don't imagine the checks will simply stop; rather, the federal government will find a way to inflate the shortfall away. with all the *de*flation in the system right now, perhaps no-one will notice.

on a larger scale, insolvent states big enough to float their own currency (the usa) will similarly inflate the money with which they repay obligations. however, in the short-term such eventualities mean nothing: year to year, any number of variables hit the bottom line. heck, the invention of the ipod probably was half a $trillion to the good for the us trade deficit.

global climate change, for those who don't deny it, will shake the global paperweight like a walmart paint mixer. of course, it's a slow train coming. but, what, we who have children, can we imagine our grandchildren's lives?

someone else here observed a simultaneous and paradoxical growth of centralized *and* local government: this rings true to my ear. climate change will bring numerous global disasters (eg, this is pakistan, this is pakistan on drugs, this is pakistan on drugs in a frying pan) and thus more frantic alliances of global institutions, but it will also reward localism as never before. food supply lines will rupture hither and yon; suddenly your local farmers' market will no longer be just a place to leer at wholesome-looking women. (although this author hopes that these markets will nevertheless continue to serve this primary purpose.)

'the new yorker' had a piece a month or so ago about new (from our pov) viruses emerging from central africa. the author's point = you think hiv, sars & ebola are bad, just wait. we ain't seen nothing yet. challenges such as this require strong global government: presumably, of this the davos crowd is well-aware.

in conclusion, i am like frazzled high schooler ending an essay by writing 'in conclusion' when i've simply run out of things to say.

moronic crap fest... brains jerking off...

Why don't you and Turk fuck off and go give someone else the high hat.

Replying to or debating Asoka is like chatting with a child just after they have learned to read.

As so debating Peak Oil - without any framing or deposition of what constitutes fact; or forming agreeable subjective yet definitive ideas on what "shit out of luck" means; continues to be cross- talk and scatter-shot rhetoric of no persuasive significance.

Does it matter that nation's with the largest per person energy consumption are also the nation's with populations least geared to accepting changes in their quality of life?

Last night's State of the Union Address, with it's self-congratulatory-tone and "all we have to is compete" theme is proof enough that Peak Oil is of little importance and completely "off the radar" of our world leaders.

So perhaps Asoka's child-like wonderment, and lack of concern about Peak Oil is justified.

My perspective has always been that as long as about 30-40% of the US is placated by the rich -the rest of us can all just go to hell. And that's pretty much what is happening now.

So to all my medical professional friends, my lawyer and stock broker buddies - I "see" your point. Peak Oil really is 10 years off - for you.

{As I said in my last post, BP reckons that the 1.333 trillion barrels of known oil reserves are sufficient to last for just over 45 years - though time estimates vary greatly. My figure of 46 years is an average of government, industry, and academic estimates which I believe is reliable.}

---------
analysts often implicitly assume criteria that are not necessarily acceptable to society at large. fo example, many assume a huge proportion of global energy needs will be met by coal (thus alleviating stress on oil supplies.)

producers, of course, love to assume that environmental laws will be suspended. opening the arctic national wildlife refuge to drilling is just the beginning.

remember all the starry-eyed predictions re the canadian tar sands? what a frickin crime, the damage they're doing up there.

sadly, as oil becomes increasingly harder to get, the environment will take it on the chin worse and worse with each passing year. a day will come when deepwater horizon will seem so quaint.

No suggestions really. My grandfather and father used to make their own wine. They had barrels and a grape press. The quality was pretty good. My father made beer too. The quality varied from really good to so-so.

Did you hear about that microbiologist that extracted 45 million year old yeast from amber and managed to reactivate it and make beer? Amazing thing if it's true. They say the yeast metabolizes sugar differently than modern yeast and gives the beer a clearer tint and spicier flavour.

As I listened to the spew of last night's SOTU Address, I didn't hear too much about how we should use this new "Sputnik" moment (a tired cliche) to get off of our lard asses and reduce fuel consumption. Oh, yeah, I heard the usual spiel about "high speed rail". Missing was where we're going to get the cash to so much as set up a steam engine choo choo, let alone the technology and materials with which to do it. And please somebody tell me what's with the VERY offensive remark about how using high speed rail will reduce the "pat downs"! Am I the only one enraged at this tongue-in-cheek remark. Say I'm a thirty year old traveling via plane to Arkansas from New York with my wife. I get the unmitigated priviledge of seeing my wife's breasts, butt cheeks, inner thighs and waist fondled by some over-heated lesbo on a sex-power binge. Or, I get my genitals fondled by a hurly-burly man, who simply can't get enough of the outline of the head of my penis in his palm? This is a State of the Union address? This is a joke? I for one am not laughing.

No mention, either, of the never ending wars that are bankrupting us, or how TS is hitting the fan in Egypt and Tunisia, other than how we stand by "democracy"..WTF?

That's pretty interesting, SJ mom.

I am not very tolerant of trannies, either. Spending all that money and mutilating their bodies, just to force everyone they meet in the public to deal with their own private sexual fantasy?

I thought it was self-indulgent, but I didn't realize that, as a group, they were known to have narcissistic personality disorder.

And that the medical-pharmaceutical complex is making billions from them, while people die from lack of insulin or BP meds, well, that's also sick.

Like empty McMansions, and tent cities, and some eating 12 course feasts, while other people eat from garbage cans.

All I know is that it is very, very good. - Buck

It is.

Here's another stirring bit of American music;

http://www.rocketship7.com/images/05_05_05_Track_5.wma

It was used as the opening theme song to a morning kid's show in the 1960s. I doubt the composer foresaw that.

Actually, the whole s/he thing, where some man uses scalpels, drugs, clothes, and makeup to fool those he comes into contact with, with varying shades of success, is kind of like the whole US economy, with tarted-up charts and cheerleading TV pimps, and a very grave President giving speeches that the pimps tell us are eloquent - all trying to convince we, the public, that what we see is not real.

Some people think that St Paul had temporal lobe epilepsy. I've read that the disease manifested itself in some of his behaviours ie his visions, deep moralizing, compulsive letter writing etc.


"If BP starts lying about oil supplies, and nature doesn't really have those supplies, BP goes out of business."

BP is on their way out of business due to negligence and what remains of the American boycotting spirit. They should lie every time they open their collective mouth from here on out.

"They say the yeast metabolizes sugar differently than modern yeast and gives the beer a clearer tint and spicier flavour."

That's incredible news. And scary in a sort of Jurassic Park kind of way. Primates hadn't even started evolving by 45 mya, much less humans. Who knows what a reawakened organism like that could do. Still, fascinating stuff!

{the whole s/he thing, where some man uses scalpels, drugs, clothes, and makeup to fool those he comes into contact with}


---------
am i the only one here surprised by the intolerant (venomous) tone of the posts about transsexuals?

i mean, who the fuck cares? the coach of the new york jets is into feet, the steeler's coach puts rodents up his butt... and?

the video people have cited, it must be the one johns hopkins did, right? where the surgeon uses forceps to lift the patient's newly-liberated testicles and place them in a pan? news flash: all surgery is gruesome, childbirth included.

indirectly i knew renee richards (nee raskind) -- played tennis at yale, became one of the foremost ophthalmologic surgeons in the world, gave it all up for her ill-advised women's pro tennis fling. docs i knew mourned the loss of a great colleague.

i do not believe in surgical solutions for social problems, abortion included. but i'm not going to pretend that social problems do not exist, i'm sure as hell not going to pretend like i have a stake in another person's decisions about his or her body.

any time i see someone raking an anonymous someone else over the coals for some abstract sin, i glance around for an escape route or two.

oh, right, it's about insurance money! well i'm tired of paying for your lung cancer, mr marlboro, and your slutty cervical cancer, hah, i give you only store-brand chemo. everybody, all of you: hurry up and die, just don't start nibbling at my entertainment budget.

Good points, Myrtlemay.

Didn't he joke last year about Hellfire missiles being used to attack unsuitable suitors for his daughters?

That wasn't so funny to the families of the thousands of victims of US drone attacks.

Hi Wagelaborer,

The narcissistic label for trannies is my opinion, not published research.

Jen

Myrtlemay;

Hyman Rickover was an early hero of mine. He's the father of the Nuclear Navy. I served in the submarine service in the 70's and his memory still loomed large there. I'm not surprised Rickover said that. As a trained engineer, he was always a forward thinker.

Orionoir;

Thanks for the response. I hope you keep posting here. i'm interested in what you have to say.

George,

When you say politics is being localized in Chicago, Omaha and Detroit are you saying these are the new regional power centres in the US in the place of Washington and state capitols? I'm curious about where you're coming from on this.

I've been thinking that the US with 300 million plus people is just getting too unwieldy to govern from one national capitol. There are too many competing regional, economic and ideological interests. But, as things are now, it seems too many states are too bankrupt to effectively step into the power vacuum. So maybe we're thinking along the same lines.

So the question in my mind is, besides corporate board rooms and maybe military bases, where is political or public decision making happening, if anywhere.

I'm curious as to your choice of these three cities. I can see Chicago but I'm surprised at your mention of Omaha and Detroit.

But to answer your question: "what significant role does Washington play in the lives of most Americans?", the feds extract a lot of money by way of taxes. Then they print a whole lot more out of thin air thereby debasing the coin of the realm. They also deploy military force where it has no chance of doing any good and in a manner where it aruably is making things worse. In broad terms what they are doing IMO is helping write the recipe for national suicide.

Oh Orionoir, one more question.

The Dow today broke 12,000.

I know the Dow is made up of the top 30 capitalized companies in the U.S. However, what does the figure '12,000' actually mean?

Also, what's the link between the Dow and the American economy at large, the economy in the cities, towns, and countryside? If there is one it seems kind of tenuous right now.

MM, if you don't mind my asking, what state do you live in? I can't remember if you ever mentioned it or not. Memory isn't what it used to be.

"Replying to or debating Asoka is like chatting with a child just after they have learned to read."

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

Resorting to ad hominem is conceding the argument, instead of supplying hard data, evidence that comes from reliable sources. I have provided the numbers and identified and defended my sources.

I'm still waiting (in child-like wonderment) for anything that definitively proves peak oil is something we should be worrying about. My contention is the oil age will end and we will secure gobal energy security without oil.

Analogies to Visigoths invading Rome don't quite make the grade.

CORRECTION

My contention is the oil age will end and we will secure global energy security without oil.

CORRECTION TO THE CORRECTION

My contention is the oil age will end and we will secure gLobal energy security without oil ... SANS APOCALYPSE.

Cash,

I've heard that theory about St. Paul also. But I am convinced that some saints have had incredible mystical experiences induced by prayer and meditation. St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross come to mind.

I also think that entheogens (mushrooms, peyote, etc.) can induce incredible "union with God" states of consiousness. Huston Smith had his first awakening when he took LSD -- after years of meditation.

That being said, entheogens taken in the wrong setting, by those who haven't developed a healthy sense of self, can be damaging to the individual.

I think it's silly that entheogens are prohibited in the U.S.

Jen

The Paley Commission predicted oil and coal shortages back in 1952 - and recommended that the US turn to solar energy-

"In 1952 -- fifty years ago -- the Paley Commission reported to President Truman that, "Efforts made to date to harness solar energy economically are infinitesimal. It's time for aggressive research in the whole field of solar energy -- an effort in which the U.S. could make an immense contribution to the welfare of the whole world." The report concluded that solar could play a greater role in energy production than could nuclear power, and that an aggressive effort could heat 13 million homes and offices by 1975.

One year before that date, in 1974, even the Atomic Energy Commission admitted that by 2000, solar could provide 30% of the nation's energy needs.

In 1972, the American Institute of Architects published its study called: "A Nation of Energy-Efficient Buildings by 1990." Their study concluded that readily available energy conservation measures installed in old and new buildings would offer an energy supply greater than what we could get from the Alaskan North Slope, or domestic oil production in the continental U.S., or an overly optimistic prediction of nuclear energy output."

http://www.ratical.com/corporations/shortonDRE.html

My point was that if someone puts rodents up his butt in public, and tells you he's laying golden eggs, you have a right to be skeptical.

"The Paley Commission predicted oil and coal shortages back in 1952..."

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

Wage, thanks for making my point. All the reports and commissions and engineers and admirals, etc. were saying back in the 1950's that we would run out of oil.

Surprise!

60 years later and world oil supplies have not yet even peaked, and won't for a while ... after which (if it ever peaks) we will have a long energy descent emergency ahead of us ... but no apocalypse and no reason for doom and gloom pessimism.

We simply have a challenge to meet: No need for so much drama.


How many of you astute observers of our time watched Obama's speech and caught his discussion of "Territorial Tax system?
I didn't hear any discussion of it. In fact there was no attempt to explain what is was.
So let me enlighten you and you can might draw the same conclusions I made.
From: http://www.expatintelligence.com/territorial-tax-systems.shtml
[Territorial Tax System is a tax system in which only the income earned in the country where the individual is living is taxed. In other words,if a person is living in France, only the income earned by him / her within France will be taxed under the Territorial Tax System. If this person has a great deal of business in say Belgium, the income he  / she earns from the business ventures in Belgium will not be taxed.  So, to put it simply, income derived from a foreign source, outside the borders of the country where the individual is residing in, is exempt from tax....
Territorial Tax Systems also are pro free market. One of the advantages: *They boost the compositeness of U.S. corporations doing business within another country’s borders.]

This is just what we needed to increase employment here---NOT!
So while Mr. Obama says he wants to increase incentives to promote hiring here in the USA, he's actually providing them a counter incentive. In the speech he also discussed going to South America, not mentioning CAFTA, but you know that's on the table. Mr. Obama is in fact a dedicated free-marketer and with a reduction of taxes from those who can afford it most, he is allowing this country to be hollowed-out, as did his predecessors in both parties.

Of course as we continue to go down the rabbit hole, there will be no money for the commons. Each year those private TBTF entities will need more money to make their yearly profit, that's who we are fighting for our ss, medicare and even USAF.

_______
Chris Matthews couldn't get over the Michelle Bachmann's Bizaaro World revisionism history that the founding fathers in their infinite wisdom abolished slavery. Even more amazing that the Republican guests on his show refused to take issue with her statement. As Matthew asks (paraphrased): Doesn't she know the origins of the Republican Party? This is the quality of thinking we have to deal with when trying to fashion meaningful laws in this country.

CORRECTION

We simply have a challenge to meet: GLOBAL ENERGY SECURITY, NOT GLOBAL OIL SUPPLY FOREVER.

No need for so much CFN drama and hand-wringing ... AT ALL.

{Also, what's the link between the Dow and the American economy at large, the economy in the cities, towns, and countryside? If there is one it seems kind of tenuous right now.}

there actually is, or was, a theory behind the index developed by ?charles dow. in classic "dow theory" the economy breaks into three sectors: utilities, transports and manufacturers. believers look for all sorts of correlation & divergence in the charts of the three indices.

these days, most people pay attention to the s&p 500, an index of the five hundred largest corporations. the numbers probably aren't arbitrary, but that's the easiest way to look at them. numerically, the s&p is roughly, what, a ninth the dow... 1250 vs 12000... which is fundamentally meaningless, of course, but something to wh superstitious traders pay attention nonetheless.

at the bottom of our last collapse, the dow fell under 7000. so jhk's prediction of 4000 for this year is gloomy in the extreme.

------
real world relevance is like pornography, you know it when you see it. eastman kodak, for example, (kicked out of the dow for sucking so badly) went from being an iconic american brand to being a pathetic also-ran... but unless you live in rochester, new york, its demise probably touched you not at all. but for those rochester people, ummm, hiroshima comes to mind.

older people tend tb in traditional pensions which guarantee a certain payout; many younger workers, however, are in "defined contribution" plans such as 401k -- these poor saps have more reason to watch the dow and s&p, because their futures are directly tied to the performance of stocks and bonds. during the gogo years c the turn of the last century, my cowworkers and i raided our 401ks with impunity, because the rising tide was lifting every damn asset class.

you'd be amazed at all the numerology ("technical analysis") at work at companies wh should know better. methinks seb & i missed our true calling.

---------
the broad market is anything but gloomy right now; the race is not always to the swift, but in general, don't bet against goldman sachs. that is to say, the important central banks are on the same page right now, and the torrent of money is not likely to cease. it's worrisome in the extreme that all this liquidity is and has been flowing without budging us unemployment c 10% -- that's a huge red flag. but for whom?

Last January, in case anybody forgot, was when American Democracy was assassinated. Citizens United guaranteed that the rich and powerful could now donate unlimited sums to convince the masses that their candidate was the best. Most people, not really looking into things at all, would be swayed by relentless advertising (especially one that uses fear and hatred as its basis). Citizens United also hides the identities of the campaign donators so theoretically Bin Laden Construction Co. will now be able to influence the outcome of American elections. The Supreme Court voted in favor of Citizens United 5 to 4.
What if the outcome could be reversed? There is a little known rule that allows Supreme Court justices to be impeached if they are found guilty of a crime. Justice Clarence Thomas comes to mind. His wife, Ginni Thomas, a self-proclaimed trouble maker, may be his downfall. Ginni recently called Anita Hill and left a message on her answering machine demanding an apology from Professor Hill regarding her accusation of sexual harassment that almost derailed Thomas' appointment. This has set off a chain of events.
Now another group has discovered that Clarence Thomas did not report Ginni's income of over $600,000 on his disclosure statement -- from the NYT -- "Justice Thomas said that in his annual financial disclosure statements over the last six years, the employment of his wife, Virginia Thomas, was “inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions.” In addition, a new, credible witness has appeared saying she was also previously harassed by Clarence Thomas.
Justice Thomas routinely handles complex legal issues and was befuddled by a disclosure statement? What part of disclose your wife's income is confusing? Seems to me that Justice Thomas should be investigated here. If he's cheating on disclosure forms, what else is he doing? If some ambitious lawyer would start an investigation, Mr. Thomas might just resign. Things could get interesting if we start looking a little closer at Clarence Thomas.

I think they ban these things not because there's hard evidence that they do harm but because there's this protestant/puritan mindset that anything that smacks of pleasure/self indulgence is morally suspect.

After all, instead of unwinding or getting high you could be working. Work, damn you, WORK. The CEO's bonus can never be too big after all. And if you're not dedicated mind, body and soul to the company and the boss's bonus then why exactly are you alive? I'm sure there's some retired, one armed colonels in Toronto in their Rosedale mansions that would gladly ban sidewalk cafes and damned if they wouldn't have a go at fresh bread. Too much sensory stimulation for right thinking people.

Up here there's quite a few Somali immigrants one of whom is a bud of mine. They like this twig called khat from east Africa which you used to be able to get at some cafes here in town. Chewing this stuff gets you mildly buzzed. But true to form the feds made the stuff illegal. Now importing it is the province of criminal gangs. The PTB never miss an opportunity to mess things up.

I know the Dow is made up of the top 30 capitalized companies in the U.S. However, what does the figure '12,000' actually mean?
==============

Marlin, granted, the DOW 30 "Industrials" are all large but they are not necessarily the 30 largest "cap" stocks. As examples AAPL and GOOG have huge caps but are not among the DOW 30. As to the calc of the "average" see this wiki link:

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

The DJIA is like a wet finger held up in the breeze as a guide to how the market in general is doing and by extension how the economy is doing although there are often timing issues in their correlation. The pros pay more attention to the S&P 500, another bunch of very large companies, simply because it is more broadly based. It's index value is also calculated in a different manner than the DOW but I forget the particulars.

You also mention that the link between the DOW and "the economy in the cities, towns, and countryside ... seems kind of tenuous right now." That's true but as a broadbrush view it's like the old saw "whatever's good for GM is good for the nation."

Qshkit, Orionior, thankyou.

Something just came back to me. My dad's co worker, Hungarian immigrant, long deceased, used to make cherry wine. He used to give my dad a bottle once in a while. I was a young feller so I don't remember much except the nice aftertaste. So you might try cherries.

Things could get interesting if we start looking a little closer at Clarence Thomas.
==========

I'm wondering if you would have written this post if the accused had been one of the liberals on the court like, say, Breyer or Kagan.

The question is, are you mainly concerned that "Citizens United guaranteed that the rich and powerful could now donate unlimited sums to convince the masses that their candidate was the best" or, you just can't stomach Clarence Thomas?

And please somebody tell me what's with the VERY offensive remark about how using high speed rail will reduce the "pat downs"! Am I the only one enraged at this tongue-in-cheek remark.

This came from Obamas' Speech last night.

I saw that part AND the Audience laughed. Real fucking funny !

I wonder is He really that stupid or just playing US for stupid ! There are plenty really stupids around.

Came to North Carolina about 20 odd years ago to do a bit of consulting work for a multi-national corporation. Never left. True love clipped my wings...sigh. May - December type of thing. ;)

"I wonder is He really that stupid or just playing US for stupid !"

Jackie, either way, we are all COOKED!

The pat down comment was funny! Don't get your panties in a knot, Myrtle. Good grief you were having a vivid homo-porn fantasy there with another man's hand in your pants. Very telling ;-)
"No mention, either, of the never ending wars that are bankrupting us"..........umm you must have left the room to remove said knotted panties when he talked about Iraq & Afghanistan.

Hey Jackie,

I'd bet money that in the future they'll have big-time security measures in order to get on a high-speed train.

Jen

From Simon Tisdale, writing in the U.K Guardian: “Tuesday’s large-scale protests were different in significant ways, sending unsettling signals to a regime that has made complacency a way of life. ‘Day of Rage’ demonstrators in Cairo did not merely stand and shout in small groups, as is usual. They did not remain in one place. They joined together – and they marched. And in some cases, the police could not, or would not, stop them …
But Egypt is not Tunisia. Egypt is a much more efficient police state, a much harder nut to crack. Its leader [Hosni Mubarak, 82] is as tough and as canny as an old fox. Its military and ruling elite is in hock to the Americans to the tune of US$2-billion a year – and the American republic, itself born of revolt, has no love of revolutions…
There is no revolution in Egypt, yet. But, hypothetically, if Mubarak were to fall, the consequences would be incalculable – for Israel and the peace process, for the ascending power of Iran, for U.S. influence across the Middle East, and for the future rise and spread of militant, anti-western Islam. And not least, for 80 million Egyptians.”
Could the overthrow of Egypt's Mubarak and the replacement of his pro-Western government with a hard-line Islamic regime lead to the mother of all energy crises in the West? I'd be interested what the more informed readers of this blog think about the recent wave of unrest in the Middle East.

the new decemberists cd has a wonderful song about the "war at the end times." unfortunately, the lyric sheet is in my car.

After what happened in Madrid, that's not such a bad idea.

orionoir, it is titled "Calamity Song" ... here are the lyrics:

Had a dream
You and me and the war of the end-times
And I believe
California succumbed to the fault line
We heaved relief
As scores of innocents died

And the Andalusian tribes
Setting the lay of Nebraska alight
‘Til all that remains is the arms of the angels

Hetty Green
Queen of supply-side bonhomie bone-drab
(Know what I mean?)
On the road
It’s well advised that you follow your own bag
In the year of the chewable Ambien tab

And the Panamanian child
Stands at the dowager empress’ side
And all that remain is the arms of the angels
And all that remain is the arms of the angels

When you’ve receded into loam
And they’re picking at your bones
We’ll come home

Quiet now
Will we gather to conjure the rain down?
Will we now
Build a civilization below ground?
And I’ll be crowned the community kick-it-around

And the Andalusian tribes
Setting the lay of Nebraska alight
‘Til all that remains is the arms of the angels
‘Til all that remains is the arms of the angels

The ME is a joke that is what. For all the lies that are spewed to cover for the blood and soil zionist project to make it appear like a universal non-racial oligarchy the Arabs still come off like they are stuck in the 1930s and hence they are hapless to make any positive changes.

Prediction harderline jew hating Arabs ascend, the paranoid right wing Israelis' ascend - Armageddon, and still because of people who cannot let go of Adolph Hitler and 1945 America only compounds the destruction.

gosh, thanks asoka. reading the words is so *very* different from hearing them sung.

-------
seems to me that many voices in america right now sing a similar tune of the end times. i must admit, i was thoroughly caught up in y2k hysteria, advising my father to buy a generator capable of smelting aluminum.

the other day i tried to make conversation with a sullen walmart cashier; none of my jokes were working, but finally something clicked; she told me to get ready for december 21, 2012.

i said, oh. like the movie? everything blows up?

she said, there will be some action. not things blowing up.

i asked, action?

she said, action. i can't wait. i'm sick of this boring shit.

-------
me, i believe the horseshit about the "greatest generation," that those men and women rose to the task. of course, they were children of the worst economic collapse this nation's ever seen.

we will soon need another greatest generation. i look at my kids and their friends, i think: they could do it. i see the drek on television and think: nope, ain't no great generation to be had, not even a piss-poor one if you ask me. in this way i oscillate vacillate oscillate between hope & despair.

In regard to increased security checks on a "high speed train"..or slow speed for that matter
would any terrorist be stupid enough to be on that train,when there is ample opportunity and ways to do grave harm,probably without even being near the train?

About that sleaze ball on the supreme court,I can hear him already screeching discrimination,racism and claiming he can't be prosecuted because he is a German from the Black Forest.

Jen,

Speaking of saints experiencing God directly go and read 'Autobiography of a Yogi' - Ch. 14 "An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness". This took place when Yogananda was about 17 years old or thereabouts. It will blow your Presbyterian mind.

And the church lady is into entheogens! Now isn't THAT special?

Iona

" if Mubarak were to fall, the consequences would be incalculable"

NEWS FLASH:

Mubarak's son (the heir apparent) and his family have fled to England.It's all over save the crying. At this rate the Middle East will be on fire by Spring.

"At this rate the Middle East will be on fire by Spring."

==========

You mean less than one Friedman unit? That is a bold prediction. We are so fucked! [sarcasm off]

"Or one JimTzaLing saying ,"cut taxes on the wealthy," to make you feel the whole fight is worthless."

Cut taxes on the wealthy. (YOU are worthless.)

"That is a bold prediction.'

Nothing bold about it. It is about educated, unemployed youth. They look around, see dictators that have no plan to change their futures for the better and come to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose. The battle has just begun.

And what, pray tell, significance would you place on Mubarak Jr. heading out? That his old man isn't shitting his pants? I think not.

"The battle has just begun"

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

Might I suggest a theme song then: "Dead is the New Alive" (Emilie Autumn who is just starting her 2011 North American tour) of the CFN Asylum.

Welcome to the Asylum
http://www.emilieautumn.com/

Like CFN doomsters, they are so fucked!
[sarcasm off]

Whats a high hat?

notoeo........are you oeo [having returned from the grave?]

Hmmmm? I think I'll stick with not OEO.

if there truly were an economic disaster coming down the tracks, how would we know?

in my life there have been two trainwrecks, dotcoms in 2000 and credit/housing in 2007. data is ubiquitous, word of mouth networked, and punditry free & worth exactly what it costs... so it's not as if public information will tell you anything the herd does not already know.

still, we all see without seeing. with the dotcom bomb, didn't we all know at least one bizarre story? my brother in law was working at a "group home" for $12 an hour, all the while day-trading paper profits into six figures. he thought it was normal for a stock to triple in a month.

similarly, with the real estate bubble, i knew several blue-collar guys who were "flipping" houses and loans into the $millions, as if by magic.

in a sense, i think jhk has the sort of eye for incongruity that most of us have lost. if you want to be vigilant for calamitous events, it helps to look at one's world in a spirit of jamais vu. (the opposite of deja vu.) (okay, i just made it up.)

politics are getting stranger, but muddling remains the operative mode. when enough people start failing to muddle, i'd move away from assets whose values require social cooperation.

because katrina was the end of the world in microcosm, i take some lessons from it. such as:

* there were many pictures of people looting disposable diapers -- that's because, no matter what, the smell of a poopy diaper is way worse than the risk of getting shot -- conclusion: buy pampers and whoever the hell makes them.

* personal entertainment loses its value compared to the show on the streets -- blindly sell the nasdaq.

* fast food rules in times of trouble; plus, when the world around you is breaking down, it's time to make the best of the burgers & fries still around -- buy mcdonalds.

as for gold, christ, what nasty shit it does be: any money in gold is "sterile," which means essentially that you've taken your capital into the woods and put a bullet in its head. kindv like ol' yeller. as for the idea it will be some useful form of exchange after the known world passes from the scene, hah, if people won't exchange dollars, who's to say they'll honor a useless hunk of metal?

what i don't understand is this: if you're mrs mubarak and you've just given birth to a beautiful baby boy, how in god's name could you name him "hosni"?! what the hell was she thinking?

...as for the idea it will be some useful form of exchange after the known world passes from the scene, hah, if people won't exchange dollars...'''


Ahhh, thats kind of the point. Gold has been around since the beginning of time. It has been found to be useful long before paper currencies came into being.

Is now a good time to buy gold? Beats me. But you can make one observation. The value of gold has never gone to zero. You can't make the same claim for paper currencies.

Umm, thanks, but I didn't.

Do you realize that they are blowing the tops off of mountains in West Virginia to get the coal?

Did you forget the Gulf of Mexico's oil spill?

Do you know that the Alberta is being chewed up and despoiled in order to get oil?

Do you support drilling in Alaska?

Sure, we're not totally out of fossil fuels.

But if we'd have listened to wise voices of the past, we would be energy efficient by now.

I don't think it's OK to chew up the entire fragile skin of our planet to find stuff to burn, even if it's possible.

Hi Iona,

My mind is getting blown all the time. What the Presbyloopians and Mormons don't know is that once or twice a month I go to Satsang with Mokshananda in Santa Cruz. (Adyashanti passed the flame to Mokshananda.) Mokshananda falls into several categories...Advaita/non-dual, and he is a good friend of Ken Wilber. I've read most of Wilber's books.

Jen

FYI, a good way to check out the reputation of gurus is "Sarlo's Guru Rating System"

Oh, that??
It's just maternal, wishful braggadocio applied in a name. "When this little pissant grows to maturity, his hose will be seen to hang to his knee, (inshallah)!"

Forgive me for stepping in here. The expression "high hat" was used during my youth. It referred to snobbish, "I'm a bit above you, socially speaking." sort of colloquialism. As an example: Myrtle was sick of the way John high hatted her whenever they were invited to the same party. Note that in this example, high hat is used as a verb; also completely acceptable in common vernacular among people. Hence, John "high hatted" me, meaning that he acted superior to me, and in this case, in front of fellow members of our social group. It's probably a bit dated now. People seldom wear hats - high or whatever - today, excepting the backward baseball cap, I mean.

"Surprise!

60 years later and world oil supplies have not yet even peaked, and won't for a while ... after which (if it ever peaks) we will have a long energy descent emergency ahead of us ... but no apocalypse and no reason for doom and gloom pessimism.

We simply have a challenge to meet: No need for so much drama." -Asoka

Believe it or don't, I DO take your point.
But we are diametrically opposed in our contentions about what "might be done".

IF we have a slow, gradual [oil] energy descent, the outcome might be WORSE than some sudden jolt (or fits and starts and stalls). What I'm seeing everywhere is, "If I close my eyes and ears, it'll all go away." ...and other forms of magical thinking. This "cargo cult" shit is becoming more profound as the pain becomes more evident. That's NOT going to get anything done.

"Something (existing technology?) will be perfected to save us and smooth our way into an alternative energy world" is your contention (sorry, basically).

"No one will search for an alternative until we're hard up against it; and by then, it'll be far too late", is my contention (again, basically).

You see nicey-niceness (in the transition); I see the savagery of the desperate.
So, you must see how we cannot agree on this point, no matter the time-frame of the actual diminishing of resources. (And what we're "transitioning to" is absolutely up for wild speculation and debate, ain't it?)

I didn't watch or listen to the SOTU address last night. I find that as I get older my stomach is getting weaker. I just can't take listening to all the bullshit. When a president gets up and tells us the truth, then I'll listen:

"My fellow Americans, our country faces great problems today. Notice I don't use the euphemism, "challenges". We really do have problems. Unemployment and underemployment is at over 21%; in fact, only 47% of the entire potential workforce is really meaningfully employed.

'We gave away trillions of dollars in a misguided attempt to rescue the American financial system; now we owe more money than we are able to pay back.'

'I'm sad to say that many of our politicians seem to be unduly influenced by powerful financial interests.'

'We're throwing away many of our resources in fighting immoral and useless wars. They're immoral because we won't tell the truth - that we are fighting only for oil; useless because we really can't win - we seem to have forgotten the lessons we learned in Vietnam.'

'Our government overspends to provide many entitlements, when no one is really entitled. Rapacious capitalism has replaced capitalism with a conscience. No longer do the needy get help from their friends, family and neighbors. They expet the government to provide for them.'

'We were the victims of a stunning terrorist attack in 2001. While the threat of terrorism still hangs over us, our government has used this terrible situation as an opportunity to usurp many of our most cherished ideals - our right to travel freely, our right to privacy, our right to free speech, among others. We are in danger of losing our republic.'

Now, my fellow Americans, let me tell you what I'm going to do about these problems......'


When the president gives a speech something like this, then I will stand up and listen to what he's saying.

BEAN,

There are politicians speaking like this, hopefully some of them might actually run for the top office.

Though I don't yet know that much about him, Ron Paul gave his response to the SOTU. You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0B8--qw1ws

Though I don't yet know that much about him, Ron Paul gave his response to the SOTU.
===========

It was RAND Paul but regardless an excellent response to the SOTU.

Yeah, let's blame the progressives for the deficit. What a gigantic crock of shit.

Who took the country off the gold standard?

Republican president Richard Nixon.

Under whose administration did the federal deficit more than double as a percentage of GDP?

Republican president Ronald Reagan.

Who cut taxes during wartime and created most of the current problems with the federal budget?

Republican president George W. Bush.

Under which president did the federal government last have a balanced budget?

Democratic president Bill Clinton. (And BTW, yes, there was a Republican Congress, but that body approves the budget submitted by the president.)

You dittoheads are fooling yourselves by scapegoating progressives and liberals. It simply doesn't hold up to examination. The fact of the matter is that Republicans are fiscally reckless. They aim to derail the government.

Cheney said it best, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."

I can't even imagine what the conservatives would be saying if some liberal said this. The person would have bee rhetorically drawn and quartered.

Did Democrats play a part in all this? Most certainly, Democratic presidents and legislators played a role. There is no doubt about it. Obama did increase the federal deficit by a significant amount. I'm not arguing that he didn't, though Bush used a number of accounting tricks to make his deficits seem smaller.

But any way you slice it, historically, Republicans are the ones primarily to blame.

Oh, I guess I lied about not posting anymore. So sue me.

Oh, I guess I lied about not posting anymore. So sue me.
==========

We welcome back even big government socialists here. We understand the addiction.

Well I don't know about the state of the union, actual or sprinkled with fairy dust, but I attended the Georgia Ag Forecast 2011 yesterday morning, and apparently the recession is long since over, commodities are selling at record high prices (never mind the sky-high costs of inputs, sonny), and the picture for agriculture in Georgia is sunny for the foreseeable future. Yes, I know the second speaker on the agenda just gave a run-down of how 28% was cut last year from the state's extension budget, but recovery is imminent, natch, and there are always those 12 billion mouths to feed worldwide by 2050.

When the economist from UGA stood up there and delivered the forecast, I couldn't help but imagine a spread of tarot cards laid out on the podium in front of him...uh oh, Death and the Devil? (shuffle, shuffle)

"Yeah, let's blame the progressives for the deficit. What a gigantic crock of shit."

Lick me, fuck-stick. You already signed off for a while. Remember?
Go the fuck away.

"Oh, I guess I lied about not posting anymore. So sue me."

No fucking shit, sherlock. Thats all your ilk do is lie. That and suck government teat.

Some swell PROGRESSIVE headlines:

Pelosi Logged 43 Flights Covering 90,155 Miles with Air Force Aircraft in 2010...


Kucinich sues House cafeteria for $150,000 over olive pit in sandwich...


Stupid fucking hypocrites!

That and suck government teat.
===========

Why is it that even people who cuss like sailors will always say teat rather than tit? "No fucking shit, sherlock" is OK but "tit" is out. Go figure.

You are an eclectic one. I practice Kriya Yoga, the meditation practice Yogananda brought to the West. It's been a meaningful and deeply powerful experience for me. I was brought up in a very strict Christian evangelical home. I had to move on from that, and did, but seeing that you are Presbyterian brings out my irreverant side which is why I was having a little fun with you about that. You don't seem to have taken offense which is good.

I heard Adyashanti talk a couple of times. Didn't do anything for me. He claimed to be enlightened, but compared to what? A nice guy, I thought. But the talk was namby-pamby with no real content that I could discern. And the people that came up to ask him questions were VERY loopy. Anyway, it wasn't my bag. What is he doing now since he passed on the torch as you say?

Been reading Vivekananda recently. Very powerful presence comes through in his writing, a very powerful soul. He was the first Indian swami to come to the US in 1893. As the first Hindu he broke the ice, and Yogananda taught people to swim.

Also, Yogananda predicted a terrible depression that would make the 30's look mild in comparison.
Could be we're on the cusp of that. He didn't write anything about it, but his direct disciples of which there are still a few, have written about it.

(Nice to share some of this information in between the diatribes going on here today.)

Iona

KNOWING IS AN ACT OF WILL

LIVING IS AN ACT OF FAITH

1 ppm by volume of atmosphere CO2= 2.13 Gt C

How many Gt C in all of the recoverable oil? And how much ppm increase potential?

1,333,000,000,000 bbls oil, 7 lbs./ gal, 42 gals/bbl, 85% Carbon by mass, so 1.133,000,000,000*42*7*0.85= 3,331,167,000,000 lbs. Carbon.

For every 2000 lbs, 1 ton, 166,558,350,000 tons, a gigaton being 1,000,000,000 tons, so, 167 Gigatons of C, for every 2.3 Gt C, 1 ppm= 72.6 ppm.

How long will it take to get there?

Currently we burn 86,000,000,000 bbls a year, 42 gals/bbl, 7 lbs./ gal, 85% Carbon by mass, every 2000 lbs. / ton, every ton / Gt C=

86,000,000,000*42*7*0.85/2,000/1,000,000,000= 10.74 Gt C per year / 2.3 = 4.7 ppm / yr of potential, of which, 2.6ppm are not stored in biomass, geology, plastics, or the ocean.

72.6 ppm potential eaten up at the current rate (2.6) leaves just about 28 years.

In other words, the rest of the recoverable oil is gone within 28 years and the atmosphere in 2039 is running at 457.6ppm CO2. That is a level last seen 35-45,000,000 years ago.

Observe graph:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

As for deniers,

"No significant trend means CO2 increases indefinitely..."


c 12g/mole + oxygen, 16g/mole * 2 = 44 g/mole, ratio C/O 0.27 by mass.

I invite evrybody who cares to be an American to read this article of the NYT and think: what your friends (Europe) and your enemies (the rest of the world) think of you.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/01/26/technology/tech-us-iran-nuclear-russia.html?_r=1&hp

Pat said, "I invite evrybody who cares to be an American to read this article of the NYT and think: what your friends (Europe) and your enemies (the rest of the world) think of you. "

I don't understand, maybe you have wrong URL?

Like most self-described Tea Partiers, Rand Paul does not primarily turn his attention to the elephant in the room, which is the ridiculously bloated outlays for national security and defense here in the states, more than the rest of the world COMBINED.

Once all the bells and whistles and nooks and crannies are accounted for, this amounts to over one trillion a year, and that's not counting hidden costs like paying for the lifetime medical care of a soldier who comes back from Afghanistan fucked for life. Nor does it include things like prisons or other federal law enforcement agencies, of which there are many. Just the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will end up costing trillions in the long run.

Republicans are actually pretty much okay with spending taxpayer money on bunker busters and white phosphorus. Yet the mere mention of Social Security turns them rabid.

We're okay with screwing over grandpa. But let's not talk about the obvious things.

Maybe a few of the 15+ government "intelligence" agencies could be eliminated (a funny juxtaposition of terms if there ever was one). Let's start with agencies whose primary purpose is to spy on Americans.

Perhaps we could shut down a couple dozen of the hundreds of military bases we have scattered around the world.

We could stop trying to rebuild and refurbish the entire medieval country of Afghanistan or sending our troops there to wander around and get their legs blown off.

We could cut one or two of the 11 carrier strike groups.

We could have the military stop spending money on unnecessary air shows and other dog and pony bullshit.

The military could stop outsourcing everything with "cost plus" contracts that royally screw the US taxpayer.

We could eliminate any one of a number of boondoggle future weapons programs that will never work and aren't needed.

Maybe we should actually revisit this whole idea that America needs to maintain an expensive worldwide military empire.

Perhaps we should rethink the concept that "fighting terrorism" should involve demolishing other countries and then having Haliburton rebuild them on the taxpayer's dollar.

Nah, fuck it, let's just summarily unplug all the respirators. That should save us a couple billion, and these people aren't contributing anything to the economy anymore really. They are just wasting our precious air. And we wouldn't need to have any Death Panels that way, either.

"big government socialists"

You need some new material.

Let's talk about the new Republican Speaker of the House.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-the-crying-shame-of-john-boehner-20110105

What a guy. It makes me weep with joy.

In case you haven't heard, China has bought Spain (plus Portugal / Greece.)

Remembering Howard Zinn who left us to our own devices one year ago today.

The article mentions the dirtiness of coal and assumes it is not a viable way to power the country for driving. This may be true but it may not.

First of all, if part of the dirtiness of coal implies carbon emissions and global warming, that may not be a serious problem, for two reasons. First off, the US alone can do nothing about the problem, and it is far from certain, indeed quite unlikely, that the Chinese, Indians and Russians will act against it decisively. It may actually be that global warming is irreversible and a phenomenon to be managed rather than reversed. Given that the planet has had ice ages and cold periods before, at least one recent one quite detrimental to humanity, it is possible (although perhaps unprovable) that global warming is a good thing that will ameliorate a cooling that would happen otherwise. In addition, it is possible, although again unprovable until events show it, that global warming will actually be good for the US overall, given our geographic position. Some areas will certainly suffer, but that has always been true about geological changes... the Sahara Desert used to be an ocean, and no longer is because of things that had nothing to do with people.

Secondly, while coal has issues, we have it. And it is possible that those issues can be solved technologically, and the money spent to do so generated and consumed purely domestically. Which is a good thing overall. Finding ways to capture and use the byproducts, especially those containing carbon, could lead to the development of new fertilizers. Oil and coal and fertilizer and wood and all living things are just different forms of carbon. We have plenty of carbon, we just need to learn to manage it as such, in the abstract, and transform it in nonpoisonous ways. This may be difficult but it is not impossible. Certainly a shift in emphasis from using perception and money to make money, and a focus on domestic utility, is needed. But a more rigorous analysis of these problems is required than is presented here.

Sanjose mom

Speaking of Presbyterians, have you ever read Jack London's short story "Samuel"? London was a great admirer of Scottish Presbyterians, calling them self-reliant, God fearing, hardworking, honest, salt-of-the-earth types, just the kind folk JHK and many CFNers could warm up to. Jack London ... I probably wouldn't have agreed with his politics, but that son-of-a-bitch could write. And he had balls this big.

SanJosemon, go ahead and hammer Presbyterians and any Christians or Jews all you want, but don't dare utter any home truths about Islam and Muslims. Big Sis at DHL won't be happy and some persuasive re-education, for you, might be in order.

More about oil. Last night on Coast-to-Coast, Nauri's guest, a Charles Schultz, spoke at length about 'abiotic oil', petroleum that is being continually manufactured within the bowels of the earth, providing mankind with an inexhaustible supply of the stuff. Additionally, all the planets and moons in our Solar System, Galaxy and Universe also produce abiotic oil ... It's just up there waiting to be mined out by anybody with the fortitude and wherewithal to do it, like the gold outside Sacramento, CA in 1849. So there's no longer anything to worry about. Asoka, maybe you were right all along.

{In addition, it is possible, although again unprovable until events show it, that global warming will actually be good for the US overall, given our geographic position.}

optimism is a splendorous thing, and it's an ill wind that blows no good. you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. but

* the nightmare of global climate is *not* its end state, *not* some eventual rearrangement of dessert & arable land, not even the oceans' new status as exceedingly large stagnant ponds -- nope -- it's how human civilization and the earth's species cope with the dislocations of change.

indonesia's christmas tsunami killed into six figures, as perhaps a half dozen other seismic mishaps have in the past century. millions became refugees, whether they found refuge or not. these were regional, "one off" deals to which other nations were able to respond.

if some portion of the indian subcontinent is underwater, where will people go? can you imagine pakistan with ten million refugees on its doorstep? and which would be worse, them being muslims, or them being not?

droughts come, droughts go, but when a drought comes to stay, people move. ditto for floods. in my mind, if anything is to precipitate the long-deferred confrontation between the "haves" of the world and the "have-nots," a sustained ecological disaster will do it.

i've seen predictions that new england will become the new bread basket of the world. hot damn. lord knows, i'm sick of sledding. but what if the world needs a whole lot more bread, what if sub-saharan africa doesn't begin til it gets to kilimanjaro?

"Why is it that even people who cuss like sailors will always say teat rather than tit?"

Because "teat" is a cooler word. Kind of like fucktard is a cooler word than asshole, Fucktard.

"Like most self-described Tea Partiers, Rand Paul does not primarily turn his attention to the elephant in the room, which is the ridiculously bloated outlays for national security and defense here in the states"

Wrong, King-Douche. Following Rand Paul quote:

" I think there has to be a compromise on the budget. In order to address the deficit the only compromise that I think we can have is you have to look at the whole budget. We’ve always excluded the military and said we’re not gonna look at the military. Or the Democrats exclude the social and domestic welfare spending. Everything has to be on the table. We have to do this intelligently."

Now please go back to "going away". That is all, MORON.

"big government socialists"

You need some new material.

Of course you can continue to sing the praises of "big government" till the end of time. In spite of the fact that is is failing miserably, on a global level. That is fine. But should someone criticize such moronic sentiment they need to get "some new material". Go figure.

My question, in regards to Egypt, is this: according to the latest Wikipedia entry, the Suez Canal, which has been under Egyptian ownership since the 1950's, handled about 1.6 million barrels of crude PER DAY as recently as 2008. With global oil production declining to 84 million barrels per day in 2010, what effect would a prolonged shut-down of the Suez Canal have on North America's energy situation? If Mubarak falls there's no doubt he will be replaced by a hardline Islamic regime that will be hostile to the West in general and America in particular. Would a new government in Cairo find it in its' best interests to keep the oil flowing through the Suez? Could America, or a coalition of America and its' allies keep the canal open? I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts.

{In spite of the fact that is is failing miserably, on a global level.}

how do we know that "big government is failing"? we are not able to compare its results to those of the absence of big government. how would "small government" handle (known) global pandemics such as hiv, sars, drug-resistant tuberculosis & h1n1, let alone the unknown pathogens still out there?

the global depression of the 1930s was handled by relatively small government; this time around, america had the good sense to use its clout to strong-arm europe, whose banking sector, if anything, is at least as weak as ours.

everyone loves to beat up on the welfare programs such as medicaid, medicare, social security and, umm, welfare; still, we have yet to see the data on what modern america would be like without these safety nets.

name a "small government" country you'd like to raise a family in -- yemen? or perhaps one of the police states? me, i'm rather fond of scandanavia, a bunch of countries who tax their rich people into submission.

I wrote a letter to Amtrak complaining about a nasty security guards who hassled me when I was getting on a train.

I pointed out that it was a total farce to pretend that train passengers were a threat to the train, when we were traveling 300 miles over open track.

Why would anyone bother to get on a train with explosives and die themselves when they could easily derail the train?

Or blow up the station.

Which, as we've seen in Russia, can kill just as many people as getting on the train or plane.

This whole treating passengers like criminals is a farce. It is a way of teaching us all to be submissive to authority.

I am also engaged in a Facebook discussion about testing people for drugs. Most of my Facebook friends reason that since they are tested for drugs, everyone else should be too.

Apparently, Kentucky is now testing welfare recipients.

I am the only one pointing out that drug testing is a new thing. Treating employees like suspected criminals should be considered un-Constitutional, but is so widespread as to be considered normal.

And the same people will brag about living in a "free" country! Yeah, right.

"Would a new government in Cairo find it in its' best interests to keep the oil flowing through the Suez?"

Regardless of who is in control in Egypt they will need money to maintain control. Stopping the flow of oil would not be in their best interest.

"Apparently, Kentucky is now testing welfare recipients."

Kentucky's welfare recipients apply and receive welfare because they claim they can not find work. If the reason they can not find work is because they are high on meth it is the obligation of the state to determine this. Why? Because if this condition continues indefinitely the taxpayers are subsidizing the very behavior that prevents the welfare recipient from ever exiting the system.

I suppose if drug addicts want to live in a "free country" they can do so but not as "freeloaders".

Orionoir says "I've seen predictions that say New England will become the New breadbasket of the World."

Orionoir, The Connecticut River Valley, from Old Saybrook all the way up thru Mass. and into Vermont/N.H., as you probably know, is exceedingly fertile, even now, and at one time, if not the breadbasket of the world, WAS the breadbasket of the American Colonies and the early American Nation. It fed the Continental Army and kept the large cities like N.Y. and Phil. in vittles and milk.

In fact one of the many tragedies manifested 'round here in the past century or two is the abandonment of the farms and land and the land being converted, year by rear, first to industrial then to Suburban residential uses, including that bane of the 20th century, strip malls. Some of the best farmland in the world was recklessly plowed under, paved over, built upon and generally destroyed.

It's not uncommon to be driving down the road here and come upon the incongruous sight of a 5 or 6 story office building, surrounded by a massive paved parking lot, in the middle of a larger field or meadow. If you look close, most of the time, you can still view the old stone walls piled up by 17th, 18th, and 19th century yankee farmers to mark boundaries and keep in livestock. Those abandoned walls tell you right away that you're looking at farmland. Now, increasingly, many of those office buildings are being abandoned, like the massive Aetna Insurance complex outside Middletown. How long does it take for one of those concrete, brick, steel and glass monstrosities to fall apart and sink into the earth? Probably centuries. Until then we are stuck with them.

On a more optimistic note, there seems to be a new found interest in farming and gardening around these parts, exemplified by all the farmers markets springing up everywhere. It's a good sign.

But you probably know all this anyway, Orionoir being familiar with New England as you seem to be.

My question is whether this unrest is going to result in the replacement of the thieves and cutthroats currently in power with other thieves and cutthroats.

I'm also wondering whether the unrest is rooted in record commodity prices which are jacking up food prices. The masters of the universe in our central banks may have as their priority the well being of their bankster friends so they are printing money like there's no tomorrow to goose securities prices.

After all where do central bankers go after their contract is up? Who do they socialize with? Do we think they're going to give up their invitations on the glittering Georgetown dinner party circuit?

But at what cost all this money printing? Worldwide inflation, starvation, massive unrest, revolution? What then? Do the banksters think they'll be immune from all this or are they going to end up like the Czar and the Russian aristocracy? There's no army that can long cope with enraged mobs. We've seen this over and over in history. The banksters and their fartboys in the central banks should give a thought to this.

I wouldn't over-estimate American influence. If the US was so influential they'd have imposed peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the Iranians wouldn't dream of building nukes and Pakistan would have coughed up Bin Laden years ago.

The US has a massive navy and air force and nukes up to here. So what. The United States matters about as much in the Middle East as Portugal. They all say thanks for the foreign aid Mr President, your outfit looks very nice today Mrs Secretary of State, do give Bill our regards, now piss off, we have assassinations to plan, missiles to smuggle. I can see in my mind's eye Israelis trying to keep a straight face, Arabs laughing in their beards.

The idea of current American hegemony rooted in military power isn't based in reality IMO. It's an American conceit. Not only does the idea give purpose, shape and texture to the lives of patriotic Americans but also to the lives anti-Americans, domestic and foreign, of many ideological, religious and ethnic affiliations. It's what gets people out of bed.

The problem is it just doesn't square with the facts as I see them and I'm not buying it. American adventures in places like Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan didn't demonstate American power, they exposed American military weakness and doctrinal inadequacy, political irresolution, domestic division and outlined the limits to American reach. These actions IMO were as effectual in world affairs as poking anthills with sticks.

Obama declared defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan and now the clock is ticking on American retreat. The angry men with the turbans are watching and waiting.

correction: ...but also to the lives *of* anti-Americans...

Remembering Howard Zinn who left us to our own devices one year ago today.
===========

Howard Zinn: a man who had not one kind word for any historical figure who ever existed since the Big Bang. But probably he was someone's lovable character of an uncle.

"...places like Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan didn't demonstate American power, they exposed American military weakness and doctrinal inadequacy, political irresolution, domestic division ..."

How true. The "power" is there but it has always been held in check. And to what ends? Of late (Korea, forward) there is never a resolution to the conflicts in which we enter. But if the cause is truly legitimate (and if we are putting American lives on the line it had better be) we should be resolved to bringing it to a conclusion as quickly and judiciously as as possible. Instead, we opt for being nibbled to death by ducks. Ignoble to the nth degree.

Qshtik, Ya Howard Zinn, the only positive thing I could say about him is that he hated the Soviet Union as much as he hated the United States. He had no quarrel with Marxism, uh uh, its just that he thought stalin lenin & co. implemented it the wrong way. 40 million human beings liquidated for a discredited political scheme was just too many, even for the likes of Howard Zinn.

"In other words, the rest of the recoverable oil is gone within 28 years and the atmosphere in 2039 is running at 457.6ppm CO2. That is a level last seen 35-45,000,000 years ago."

That's quite an analysis, J. Certainly more than my brain would have been willing to churn through this morning!

But, ever the optimist, I can't help but revert to the inherent implications of peak energy. For the expansionary, horse-drawn, Eurasian culture that spawned the vast majority of this site's readers and contributors, growth is everything. Here's the silver lining of peak energy. Without energy growth, economic growth ceases to function, and the system undergoes another and much larger wave of catabolic collapse - the one that began in 2008, and the one that will take down the bulk of the middle class in the industrial world. Without the billion-strong consuming middle class, planet-destroying economic activity grinds to a screeching halt, including the current pace of deforestation, saltwater fisheries raping, and fossil fuel burning. All of those destructive activites are part of the economy that is undergoing catabolism, and all are THE major contributors to the assumptions of your equations.

Yes, at the rates of fossil fuel consumption last reported by the agencies that make a living off of the continued use of such fuels, we would be heading where you say we're heading. But that's already not the case. It's like the Dean of Ag at UGA standing up before the crowd on Tuesday morning talking about 12 billion mouths to feed by 2050. Seems reasonable, as long as you don't factor our energetic reality into the equation. Peak population is at hand, and peak biospheric exploitation is in the rearview.

Continuing, such a rich atmospheric environment for plant growth, to my mind at least, fosters accelerated reforestation, which sequesters and locks up the atmospheric carbon in question at an accelerating rate. I assume, based on my general understanding of physics, that we are already in a net reforestation pattern. I admit that local deforestation, particularly around metropolitan areas, could be quite severe as we move back into a wood-based economy, but again the global net change should be headed in a positive direction just as net energy use is. Without cheap fuel, and ubiquitous cheap fuel-powered tools and trucks, how will we get far enough out of our population centers to make a significant impact on the countryside?

Just consider the severe lack of motion in a wood-based economy versus an oil-driven one! Our needs and our means are both radically reduced in such a scenario.

Of course there will be people who will make some of that happen, going out to cut and returning to sell loads of firewood in the city, but as they range out from town the product becomes less redeemable for actual profit, especially with a declining resource pool on the purchasing end, and an event horizon of de minimis ROI develops around each population center, the radius of which is based on a suite of factors: population, bioregional geography, climate, particularly rainfall and temperature regimes and their impact on forest regeneration times, general affluence of the community, and access to useful fuel and tools, among others I'm not thinking of, I'm sure.

Assuming that humans, even today at our near-peak population, occupy only 6% of the landscape (and shrinking predictably as commuting becomes less practical), the 94% of non-occupied land is allowed to recover with far less interference than it is subject to today.

This is largely applicable only in the developed world, as rising costs of living won't affect the third world nearly as severely, but considering that the US alone consumes 25% of the world's energy and 33% of its raw material goods, I'd say that it's safe to assume that as the US does, so does the Earth.

Not to mention that there is a growing cadre of good people out there actively engaged in propogating methods of producing food that enrich instead of rape the landscape, and actually sequester atmospheric carbon in the process. These memes are catching on, and will play a significant role in the coming decades. My life, for one, is now dedicated to such an endeavor.

Anyone like to reserve some carbon-negative dry-aged grass-fed beef now? It's just a by-product of our carbon sequestration program, but it sure is yummy.

Here's is terribly stupid attempt at demonstrating at how the quality of life is being taken away from the poorest US citizens.

Please offer your own comparisons if you can. Or better yet refuse the following "logical" extrapolation.

At the age of 16 years, I worked at a gas station pumping gasoline for 32 cents per gallon.

I earned $1.60 per hour, the prevailing minimum wage. The "grossed" the purchasing power of five gallons of gasoline.

If existing energy costs of gasoline are reflected through a prevailing minimum wage I would need $15.00 per hour. (using 3.00 per gallon as a current price)

Please tell me how this doesn't represent energy scarcity for minimum wage laborers? Please relate to me how it doesn't matter to you because you've been earning over $50,000 per year for 30 years.

In other areas, I just made an energy utilities payment (gas/electric) that exceeded the entire year's cost when I live in my first apartment.

Okay, minimum wage laborers have lost at least half of their energy purchasing power. Energy utilities have increase nearly twelve-fold in my fraction of an adult life time.

Where was it that we are "meeting our energy demands?"

Let's talk about the new Republican Speaker of the House.
===========

An excerpt from your Taibbi link (trimmed and bolded by Q for emphasis):

Voters are fatigued ..... by the increasingly infuriating fact that no matter which party is in power, the leadership inevitably borrows like dice addicts on the Vegas strip and uses the money to pay for huge Frankensteinian initiatives that bloat the size and power of the federal government, often without semblance of sense or plan.

I've been prescient in this regard since before I knew what prescient meant.

(Speaking "non-poisonous-carbon-modifiers")
"But a more rigorous analysis of these problems is required than is presented here." -B.E.

Nice try, but many of us know this "approach".

That's an [ever so slightly skewed] Bush-ologism for: "...but it will need more study"; which is insider-speak for: "that should stall off the bastards for a while"; which, in turn, is Real-speak for: "we ain't gonna do shit; now kindly piss off; nothing to see here; move the fuck along".

I think I've got that about right.
Now, as to which corporation you're shilling for?
.......perhaps a little something in the fossil fuels industry, or a related "investment vehicle"?

I submit your post to Asoka for perusal as a prime example of "relying on others to save you, until it's far too late". Now as to why it would be too late? Well, that's pretty simple: the corporate fucks will commodify and squeeze profits from any/everything until it's squeezed dry, then cast about for "the next big thing". They're not interested in R&D; they're interested in USING someone else's R&D (especially those paid for with public funds).

Have fun in your new Disney World of Wasteland (tm MoreCorporateAssholes).

Good article eh?

Between the two wars, the creation of DHS + TSA (Thousands Standing Around), Medicare Part D, and No Child Left Behind, the Republicans appear to be the new party of Big Government.

"...I admit that local deforestation, particularly around metropolitan areas..."


There are more trees in the U.S. now then there were 100 years ago. You have to remember, suburban neighborhoods came from farmlands. Farmlands were deforested for the purpose of growing crops. What is one of the first thing a suburban buyer does upon moving into their new domicile? Plant a few trees.

"The United States matters about as much in the Middle East as Portugal."

Uh, I think your geopolitical analysis is a bit off there...

"... the Republicans appear to be the new party of Big Government."

No, no. Paltry in comparison. Mere pikers:

"The still-fragile economy and fresh tax cuts approved by Congress last month will drive the federal deficit to nearly $1.5 trillion this year, the biggest budget gap in U.S. history, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday."

Full story here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/26/AR2011012602971.html

Of course I'm still waiting for King Fucktard's response to the fact that Rand Paul included cuts to the defense department as a way of getting our house in order. But then King Fucktard is never incorrect.

More great news from Big Government:


"WASHINGTON (AP) - Sick and getting sicker, Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037, congressional budget experts said Wednesday in bleaker-than-previous estimates."

Mmmm, Mmmm. These Feds sure know how to get 'er done. Bleaker than previous estimates? Why thats the first time that ever happened.

Obama's State of the Union Was Tantamount to Plagiarism

Lord, why does this inept bumbler even bother?


Story here: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/alvin-felzenberg/2011/01/26/obamas-state-of-the-union-was-tantamount-to-plagiarism

Congressional Republicans threatened to shutdown the legislature unless the Bush tax cuts were extended. Essentially, they said they would shut down a whole branch of the government unless they got their way. And the original cuts were a Republican plan. So I don't see how you can pin the BUSH tax cuts primarily on the Democrats. That is a total snow job.

Obama's big yearly deficit numbers are primarily due to the following...

The huge bailouts given to the public and private sector. (which were one offs)

Interest on the national debt.

Putting the two wars "on the books."

The recession that started in 2008, which according to the Matt Taibi article I posted, erased about 40% of American's wealth. Thus the tax base contracted enormously.

If you read my previous post, I don't defend Obama. But he is just following the Republican playbook established by Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, which is to increase spending without raising taxes to pay for it.

Now Mr. Personal Responsibility wants us to throw a pity party for some fat SUV-driving dumbass who got a no-down-payment option ARM on an overpriced McMansion in the sticks an hour's drive from their job because "Housing prices never go down."

Cry me a river why don't you.

Yes, I did listen to President Obama’s State of the Union Address this January 25, 2011, and was disappointed to hear the same sing-song Horatio Alger refrain that has been standard to all such addresses since Horatio first published.

OK, OK, kudos to the Bill Gates entrepreneurial types bringing forth their Gutenberg grade techno thrusts forward (to disproportionate wealth for themselves by-the-way). This disproportion would be obvious if wasn’t omitted the reality that approximately 70% of work in any society is one or all of the following: tediously routine, repetitive, laborious, menial, but often too rife with threat to life and limb as well as to long term health.

Accident can’t be explanation for how standardized is this omission. These triumphal ceremonies of placing laurel wreaths on entrepreneurship and business must derive from keen understanding that inequality is innate to the capitalist ethos. Obama’s oratorical polish provides a blinding luster that obscures more effectively than does direct denial of this broader workforce foundation upon which the economic pyramid rises.

“State of the Union” really wasn’t the topic, rather the state of passive aggression as an evolved art form. “Passive” in that rather than calling out the real culprits behind America’s insolvency – the Wall Street hooligans and the American flagged multi-national corporations – great focus was obliquely laid upon the American workforce. The undercurrent of insinuation was that American workers were too preoccupied with preserving middle-class standards rather than surrendering living wages in a competition with third world nation workforces.

Alger themes have served the status quo well historically as well as into this new Robber Baron era. Not just in justifying the gap between top and bottom wealth distribution but by simultaneously casting a wake of self blame upon those who labor in those much less vaunted yet foundational segments of economies. This “self blame” is fundamental to keeping the serfs subdued.

Exalt in your serfdom is the crux of Obama’s message. Continue in subservience to your betters. Never mind those quaint democratic notions of self/citizen value beyond the measure of market indexing. You are just a cog in the economic machinery.

Education, …forget about it except as a kind of machine tooling for your singular “cog” function and value of driving the gears of the economy. Serfdom is noble, so notions of “higher learning” otherwise distracts from the really important mission of GLOBAL ECONOMIC COMPETITION.

All those “ivy tower” notions of social contribution outside of the economic sphere is pure dreamy “egg head”. Get over it and just shut the fuck up! (language prettied up, of course).

I know most commentators on here are all about doom and gloom. The US "gubmint" does spend way too much money on war machines. Yhey do have some cool sh^^ I have to admit. I would give up one of my AR-15's for a ride like this. Kudo's to OZZY!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlptREBYs14

The fact that 60% of the budget goes to mandatory entitlement payments suggests to me that a large fraction of Americans actually like big government programs such as SS and Medicare. They just don't want to pay for them, kind of like having your cake and eating it, too.

I notice this attitude particularly among the elderly, many of whom seem all riled up about all of this. But don't you dare touch their Medicare, the entire costs of which they pay only a tiny pittance.

You think my geo-political analysis is a bit off?

Now ask your self this: what has the USA accomplished in the Middle East (despite decades of fucking about)? Nothing you say? I would agree with that assessment.

Who have they replaced Sadam and his party with? Another gang of two bit thugs? When you have a spare monent ask yourself what did the Iraqi festivities cost in terms of money, lives and limbs? But we digress, was anything accomplished? No, you say? I would agree with that assessment also.

And ask yourself how long have American presidents and their foreign policy apparatus been been stuck up to their necks in the Israel/Palestine swamp? How far have they gotten? Nowhere?

But never mind, I was exaggerating anyway. Of course the US matters in the Middle East. At least a little more than Portugal.

During the 1950's, a very prosperous decade for America, the top US marginal income tax rates were over 90%.

http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php

Coincidence? I think not.

Look what happens when Reagan comes into office. By the end of his term, the rates have been more than cut in half. According to tinkle-down economics, shouldn't we all be a lot richer now?

So much for voodoo economics.

And you think those crape myrtles and red maples will be spared when firewood gets scarce? After the masses have converted from grid-powered heating systems to wood-fired ones?

Not to mention that the idea that there are more trees in the US now than there were 100 years ago is straight up horseshit. No offense. Most of that farmland converted to suburbs was still real forest 100 years ago. This country isn't all colonial territory. And secondary and tertiary slash pine plantations and poplars along the driveway are not the same as mature wild forest, and not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the bulk of aerial forest biomass on the North American continent. That mass that just emerged from the housing boom.

I get the feeling from some of your points that you assume life will continue normally for the remainder of your days. And if you're 98 or so, you may be right.

Reply if you want, I'm heading back out to set fence posts.

How about all the millionaires in Congress donate their paychecks to the federal government.

Or they could pay the complete costs of their now 100% taxpayer funded health care plans.

You know, just to set an example.

But they like their government goodies just as much as the next person.

As usual, it mostly boils down to "Cut all the crap I don't need, because I got mine."

Ignoble yes. Having pissed all over the US I have to say this. One place where American military power did some good was in western Europe. I've ranted about this before in response to anti-American postings so I won't belabour it but imagine if the US wasn't there post WW2. What would have stopped the Red Army from rolling right across Europe?

You're nibbled to death by ducks. You have to ask why does this happen? Post Korea it seems that the American people don't have it in them to go all out. The US military kills and destroys but doesn't deploy sufficient force to finish the task. I think maybe it's the collective memory of having breathed so much blood in WW1/WW2/Korea. You've had way too much of it.

Bloody awesome isn't it?

My hyperbole detector must have been switched off.

America currently occupies two entire countries in the ME. (Well, Afghanistan is not really the ME but might as well include it in the discussion as it borders Iran.)

Also, look at how many billions in foreign aid are funneled to countries there (Egypt, Israel, etc.).

Saudi Arabia and Israel both get a lot of sweetheart, cut rate deals from the DoD on fancy military gear.

There are also dozens of US bases in countries we haven't invaded (yet).

It isn't exactly small potatoes. I actually think the US has a huge amount of influence in that region, for better or for worse.

"Congressional Republicans threatened to shutdown the legislature unless the Bush tax cuts were extended"

That god for that as those :cuts" applied to everyone (that pay taxes that is).

"...I notice this attitude particularly among the elderly."

No fucking shit. Know why? Wait for it...wait...wait...BECAUSE THEY ARE FUCKING OLD. They don't have any time left to make any other plans. THEY WILL BE DEAD SOON. And so, the government that made reckless promises must live with them. And you and I must hold up our end of the bargain.

Oddly, enough, however, this very set of circumstances that you seem to eschew came from, you guessed it, BIG (DUMB) Government. And while you want to crucify the likes of George Bush, he actually suggested that maybe in the future rather than continue down the forever underfunded road of entitlements, perhaps we could start taking control of our own retirements. But of course that could never happen in King Fucktard Land. Because in King Fucktard Land, Big Daddy (or in your case, Big Mommy) knows best.

"My hyperbole detector must have been switched off."

No, you brain is turned off as it has been since birth.

I'm confused now. You complain about the deficit and then quote part of an article that blames a large part of it on these same cuts. Specifically, you tried to blame Democrats for passing this tax legislation under a deal brokered by Obama with petulant and obtuse Republicans.

You're all over the place. Which is it? Do you want people to get tax breaks or do you want the deficit reduced? You cannot have both. If you think the deficit can be reduced solely by "cuts", then you have not looked at the numbers very carefully.

And arguing that tax breaks will eventually increase tax revenues due to increased tax receipts is a discredited idea. I have never seen any credible data supporting that idea, which you have consistently argued.

And, yes, it was an extension of existing rates. I just call them "tax cuts", because this is the common term used by the media. Get over it.

"you brain"

Hm....

No, you're the king of the idiots around here, cupcake. You get your account banned about every two weeks for calling people silly names, yet you keep coming back. You have no credibility. So stop trying to pull this whole Internet O'reilly shtick. It is old, and you are a joke.

"And, yes, it was an extension of existing rates. I just call them "tax cuts", because this is the common term used by the media."

Well we wouldn't want you to do anything to run afoul of the media. I mean THEY generally know what the fuck they are talking about.

Regarding deficits and taxes. We are not where we are because we are not taxed enough. We are where we are because FUCKTARDS, such as yourself, don't seem to understand that there are no free lunches. It is really that simple. Yet simple to simpletons is too complex.

I'm sorry I can't dumb it down any lower for your comprehension. Maybe you should go talk it over with some mold spores. I'm certain they could enlighten you.

I have argued consistently in various posts that...

Medicare needs to be reformed and better funded.

The military/security/defense budget needs to be drastically cut.

Social Security needs to be reformed in various ways.

These three areas together comprise about 75% of the yearly budget.

Yet I'm still labeled a "big government socialist" by the peanut gallery.

Whatever.

Your comment reminded me why I sift through this stream of infantile bullshit...there are some real gems in here, sometimes.

I concur with your comments re: the soul-destroying nature of most work in our civilization, and the self-deception and slave-morality-back-patting that are required for its continuation.

So, it almost seems like the collective take on peak oil here has changed. Maybe its further off than we (I, Kunster, Savinar, IEA, etc.) thought.

I am a bit ashamed to admit that I find this disappointing. Not too ashamed, though, and Cavepainter's comment gets to the heart of my reasoning.

It means more business as usual, more years of our girl-power, self-destructing society. More limousine lib pretending "were all equal" as the bottom 90% works so the top few can afford to take a different 19 year old czech whore out on the yacht every week.

But then again, these anti-peak declarations often assert the wonders of Candadian tar sands, shale oil, etc...What about EROIE, environmental costs, etc.?

Maybe there will never be a conclusion to the peak oil debate...until something definitive happens...?

"You have no credibility. So stop trying to pull this whole Internet O'reilly shtick. It is old, and you are a joke."

Really? Well you seem to be somewhat amused. I mean you spend enough time getting all worked up by my posts and clickety-clicking your inane responses.

"there are no free lunches"

Wow, thank you so much! You're a genius of epic proportions. It all makes sense now. Thanks for the precious nugget of wisdom.

"Yet I'm still labeled a "big government socialist" by the peanut gallery."

Hmmm? You seem to be trying out Obama's Clintonian shift to the center. Here's the problem: I don't believe him and I certainly don't believe you. Why? You lie, get the facts wrong and go on to the next train reck. Same old lame old.

"Thanks for the precious nugget of wisdom."

So, you did speak to the mold spore! And he got through! Well, well we really are making progress.

"Really?"

Yes, really. You are the worst poster here, evidenced by your multitudinous account bans. I rest that case, and I notice you didn't dispute it.

"Well you seem to be somewhat amused."

I am mildly amused by the internet dust-ups that occur here. What's your point?

"I mean you spend enough time getting all worked up by my posts and clickety-clicking your inane responses."

I go through bursts of activity on this site. You consistently astroturf here like it is your day job, even after you get your accounts banned for being an epic moron.

So would you rather I not replied to your posts?

Then don't reply to mine. Simple.

And YOU have the temerity to call someone else's posts inane? LMFAO.

"Yes, really. You are the worst poster here..."

"So would you rather I not replied to your posts?

Then don't reply to mine. Simple."


You are pretty fucking simple, I will agree with that. You are saying that your actions are dictated by my actions. That would make you a meat puppet. But I already knew that.

"LMFAO."

And that is impossible. Were you to do this you would cease to exist.

"I go through bursts of activity on this site."

That would be that same type of "burst" that a slug would make in attempting to try to cross the continental United States?

Excellent post. This non-stop "redirect" foisted by our leaders and media is a more successful use of propaganda than the notorious "big lie."

Truth be told, (as if it ever will) - out branches of government have been so thoroughly subverted that many of the dimmer minds take as fact that there "is nothing to be done" about the financial sector's take over of our political system.

We are in fact in the midst of the most serious political crisis in history. And the fact that two of the most powerful nations on earth have disparate economic positions can not be ignored.

"So would you rather I not replied to your posts?"

Did you mean "reply" to my posts? No, actually, I'd like you to honor your proclamation made yesterday, that you were going to take a little break from this site for a while. Especially if by "while" you mean, ohhhhh, lets say the next fifty or sixty years. Kay?

The maintainer of this website has been trying for years to force you to stop posting here by banning all your accounts. Why don't you take the hint?

If me posting here pisses you off, I'll keep doing it just to spite you.

Kay?

"If me posting here pisses you off, I'll keep doing it just to spite you."

And that proves what a small minded individual you are. You are going to spend (obviously non-valuable) time to spite me..an unknown entity on the internet.

Are you one of those over paid federal employees that merely exist to "spite" us foolish tax payers?

I'm tired of all the juvenile rhetoric here. Regardless of who's right, how about polite discourse? I read through all the posts here because I look for rational ideas worthy of my time. Having to go through all the schoolboy insults is not a good use of my time. I bet many others on this site are sick of this too.

I commend you on your post. Spoken like a man who has a keen sense of reality.

Dang, Rippedthunder....that is quite a ride. The pilot is so calm and collected. How they manage to land those jets on a carrier is amazing.

SJmom

PS My daughter plays "CrazyTrain" on the E-lectric guitar!

you might enjoy ennio nemis's free book:

REAL KRIYA INFO .COM [I think]
...............hes really studied 'kriya lines'.
and he answers emails.

"• Forests cover about one-third of all land in the United States, and more than 60 percent of Virginia.
• Nationally, government lands account for 26.9 percent of timberland. In Virginia non-industrial private landowners own 77 percent of the forest land, government 13 percent, and forest industry 10 percent.

• America still has 70 percent of the forest land it had in pre-Colonial days—about 737 million acres today.

• Since 1952, the amount of hardwood growing stock (all live trees more than 5 inches in diameter) in U.S. forests has increased by 82 percent, while the amount of hardwood sawtimber (large trees) has more than doubled. Virginia’s forest resource is 78 percent hardwood types.

• Approximately 2 million acres are replanted annually, while many lands regenerate naturally.

• More hardwood grows each year than is harvested and lost to fire, insect and disease.

By Paul Howe, Executive Vice President,
Virginia Forestry Association
Guest Editorial
November 1999

"unemployment c 10% -- that's a huge red flag"

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

No, 10% is the new 5%.

When they said 5% it was really 10%.

When they say 10% it is really 20%.

20% unemployment is the new normal.

It has always been that way in third world countries.

The USA is now a third world country. China will soon be the world's biggest military power, utilizing technologies we do not have. Already China has matched the United States in the number of rocket launches into space.

When it comes to future warfare we will be left behind. China will have the lead on cyber attacks, space weapons, lasers, pulses and other directed-energy beams.

According to Aviation Week, even peaceful Japan is planning to put a directed-energy weapon on its next-generation fighter.

We will still be having bake sales to get funds for education, for students to graduate from high school, because the Republicans want to "cut spending" and "cut taxes" ... endangering our national security.

The USA wastes half its entire national budget on welfare payments to the Dept. of Defense and it insists on expensive and obsolete Cold War toys that don't work. The reality that warfare is changing has only half-dawned on the Pentagon.

Some Tea Party members want to eliminate the EPA. They want to eliminate the Dept. of Education.

I want to eliminate the Dept. of Defense ... and all the life-long entitlement payments (welfare) to veterans (and perks like job preference benefits) for killing people in Europe, and Japan.

If you choose to "serve" your country, why should you then be entitled to life long welfare?

Was it "military service" or a calculated scam, better than being a mercenary, to rip off the system for the rest of your life?

We are still paying out military pensions to members of the so-called "greatest generation" ...

They appear to not know the definition of the word "service"

What the "greatest generation" got was life-long "entitlement" at the expense of all taxpayers.

I wandered a bit from unemployment... but I feel better for the rant against the privilege veterans receive because they "served".

The military, like the Mafia, takes care of its own. And like the Mafia, they ask people to do immoral things, and reward them for it... for the rest of their lives... with taxpayer money. It is sick.

The USA deserves the slow death it is suffering, or rather reaping, for all the death and destruction it has sown around the globe. Live by the sword and you will die by the sword.

$2 Billion a week in Afghanistan.

http://comptroller.defense.gov/budget.html

Read it and weep, for it has destroyed our country economically and morally. But few are patriotic enough to demand the elimination of the Dept. of Defense.

Excellent insight. Thank you for this contribution.

And, also, thanks to ibendet for his contribution to the analysis.

But don't you dare touch their Medicare, the entire costs of which they pay only a tiny pittance.
================

People pay into Medicare less than (or even a lot less than they get back in nominal dollars) but in real dollars the difference is paid by them and or the rest of society in the present or the future via the loss of purchasing power of their money due to inflation. Many people don't realize that "something for nothing" is an illusion and despite your disdain for the cliche "there is no such thing as a free lunch" it is actually a genuine pearl of wisdom.

Since 1952, the amount of hardwood growing stock (all live trees more than 5 inches in diameter) in U.S. forests has increased by 82 percent, while the amount of hardwood sawtimber (large trees) has more than doubled. Virginia’s forest resource is 78 percent hardwood types.

Yet, some how mystery-demand has outstripped all this new wood and required opening tens of thousands of additional acreage to logging.

Or- maybe - the quote is just incredible bullshit -which is more likely.

One thing that the US has accomplished in to keep the Saudi royal family in power, securing access to oil and making sure that oil, the lifeblood of the industrial world, is traded in dollars.

That is enough to make a big difference.

Now they have multiple bases in Iraq, and influence over Iraqi oil.

What more do they have to have to make you think that they are profiting from meddling in the ME?

"Nationally, almost one million acres of forestland were lost to development annually from 1992 to 1997" ~ National Forest Service

"Otherwise the number of motor vehicles has been rising in the U.S. by an estimated 3.69 million each year since 1960" ~ FHWA

"the average car emits about six tons of carbon dioxide every year" ~ EPA, Car Talk, etc

"Overall, there were an estimated 254.4 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States according to a 2007 DOT study" ~ RITA Bureau of Transportation

No, we're not in any way effecting the atmosphere, or contributing to climate change.

"The US military kills and destroys but doesn't deploy sufficient force to finish the task."

I don't know about this assessment. Fewer troops are required than in the past, because their lethality and efficiency has increased.

I would attribute America not "winning" wars more to changes in the nature of warfare. Technology has taken great leaps over 50 years. Fully automatic weapons, powerful explosives, and advanced (and cheap) communications technology, among other advancements, have shifted the advantage in an insurgency, or what used to be called guerrilla war. Now the insurgents can easily drag out a conflict indefinitely by working from the shadows. The IED has become the primary weapon of these groups (along with car bombs), and it is a very effective strategy.

Indiscriminate and massive use of force does NOT work in this context. It simply alienates the population and creates more enemies. This is at the heart of Petraeus's counter-insurgency doctrine that is being practiced in Afghanistan now. Troops over there spend a lot of time sitting down with elders and drinking tea, discussing topics like building schools and roads.

It is quite difficult in this era to completely defeat an enemy in their own country, if they do not want you there and are sufficiently determined and well-armed.

In the case of Afghanistan, the terrain and the culture imply that we could be there for 50 years and there would still be some level of armed resistance to our presence.

Germany and Japan were completely defeated and their cities firebombed into ruins. The populations were not well-armed and were receptive, or at least accepting, of an occupying force.

In Afghanistan, what would you bomb? The country is one big mountain range. There are practically an infinite number of hiding places for the bad guys, many of which cannot be easily identified.

More munitions were dropped on Northern Vietnam by the US than in WWII. Even when we had carpet bombed this small country, they STILL were able to field an effective fighting force. And they had actual armies.

You imply that only if America used sufficient "force" in Afghanistan, we could prevail. I seriously doubt it. The Russians certainly didn't pull any punches and look what happened to them.

"We are all Keynesians now." --Richard Nixon

"we are not able to compare its results to those of the absence of big government"

Somalia doesn't have a big government, nor the Congo. They're doing great over there.

I have also heard good things about Lichtenstein.

Tripp,
I just gots to say, that's one damn fine well-reasoned post! I'm gonna read it again...
:o)
Oh, and don't forget, there might be some o' them country-type folk on the furrrr outskirts that won't take poaching on their woodlots none too kindly.

'Yogananda predicted a terrible depression that would make the 30's look mild in comparison'

other than kryanandas word..IS THERE PROOF/CAN YOU CITE SOURCE?

If you ignored Jimjim HeHe might not go away but he'd post less!

I wonder what would have happened if America was as ruthless as the ancient Romans. When Hannibal was laying waste to the Roman countryside and Rome was on the ropes, the Greek city-state of Syracuse logically decided it was a good time to launch a rebellion. The Romans, near defeat against Hannibal, but not quite through, sent a force they needed desperately at home to Syracuse and put down the rebellion. That was toughness personified.

I abhor war; it should only be considered as an absolute last resort. BUT, what if we had nuked Russia in 1945 when we were the world's only nuclear power? No cold war, and we could have ruled the world. I don't think any nation in history had ever had such a tactical advantage over the world in that brief time period.

As the world's only nuclear superpower, we could have nuked North Vietnam, and that would have broken its back. No country could have stood up to us. There would be no nuclear Iran, and we would not have to worry about disrupted oil supplies.

I know this is crazy talk, and immoral beyond imagination. I'm just rebutting your thesus that force doesn't work well now. I think that Will has a lot to do with it. We are too civilized to wage ultimate war, which is kind of an oxymoron because any war at all is the ultimate destructive human activity. America goes into war with all sorts of restraint and conditions - at least according to our capabilities. And that is a good thing.

'Mama Weer All Crazee Now"--Slade

"Germany and Japan were completely defeated and their cities firebombed into ruins. The populations were not well-armed and were receptive, or at least accepting, of an occupying force"

True enough, yet in the case of Germany we left most of their mid-level military command and control somewhat intact. I seem to remember that some German officers were allowed to retain their sidearms.

I couldn't prove that with a brief internet search, but I did find this snippet, which gives the general idea, immediately after German naval surrender surrender:
===============
7. The German Admiral SKGGERAK will dispatch by sea within 48 hours after the surrender becomes effective, a responsible officer not below the rank of Captain, to the Commander-in-Chief, ROSYTH, with corrected copies of charts showing all German minefields, wrecks, booms, and other underwater obstructions, details...."
===============

Now, Afghanistan did not have much command and control, but IRAQ DID. And the invading "Coalition Forces" completely destroyed Iraq command and control - to the eventual detriment of the occupation forces. (Loss of Iraq HE's that were eventually used for IED's - comes immediately to mind.

To my eyes this inept decision has the bumbling amateurish and non-military fingers of Cheeny and Bush all over it. FUBAR!

And thanks for your service and welcome home ??? -
Three letters in your screenname - somebody tell us his handle. I've got too much of a pissed of headache from the JimTzaLingnotOEO dribble to go look for it.

I believe America's treatment of her military is part of the mystery. What do you think?

Social Security is in trouble because the trust fund that was supposed to separate it from other government monies has been continually raided over the years (you all remember the lock box?).

Even so, its deficit is $600 billion over 10 years. That's $60 billion a year. Given that the entire yearly budget deficit is $1.5 trillion, this shortfall does not imply that SS is a hopelessly flawed program that must be scrapped. It is a relatively small part of the current deficit and can be fixed.

About 20 million people live above the poverty line due to this program. Many Americans have virtually no retirement savings. It turns out that working as a greeter at the Wal-Mart doesn't pay enough to build up a fat retirement account. For some, SS is all that prevents them from living in a box under the freeway.

And yet several people here claim that going forward the whole program should be scrapped. I absolutely disagree. Some pretty minor adjustments to benefits and eligibility could make it solvent in the long term.

Now Medicare is another animal, a 500 lb. gorilla if you will. Its long term deficit is 6 times that of SS. If we expect to keep this program, then we need to fund it a lot better. It is also in need of basic reform to make it more efficient and less costly. There needs to be far more scrutiny in payouts for things like elective surgery or procedures.

I don't know all the details of proposals for government individual retirement accounts. But the problem there would be people who chose not to put any money into their accounts or didn't earn enough during their lives to fund their own retirement (for whatever reason). They will still get sick. They are still going to retire and need some kind of basic, subsistence-level pension.

Pissed OFF headache - that should have been.

We normally don't have such an unthinking and verbally abusive troll as notOEO in our midst. He'll be banned soon - meantime everybody please try to ignore him.

notOEI is a piss-poor spokesperson for the right wing of the US and for our modern military.

We really need a good right wing spokesman on CFN.
Any volunteers? (...yeah, yeah, I know....never volunteer haha)

"Yet, some how mystery-demand has outstripped all this new wood and required opening tens of thousands of additional acreage to logging.

Or- maybe - the quote is just incredible bullshit -which is more likely."

Thank you, Bud. My sister's hypochondriac son apparently has a "real, diagnosed medical condition" that makes him hyper-sensitive to, well, the planet. But that doesn't keep me from thinking he's a pussy, or that the doctor's a prescription kick-back big Pharma dupe.

What part of my public persona suggests that I would kowtow to the establishment's "statistics"?

Nuclear weapons are off the table, for various reasons. There is the potential for fallout into areas near the target, possibly other countries that were not targeted. And nukes would end up destroying whatever you're trying to capture.

One can pursue the "Let's just make bigger bombs." philosophy to the nth degree. But at some point, it stops making sense. You could eliminate human life on this planet with the US nuclear arsenal. Who would that help?

In the case of Afghanistan, we could drop a few nukes, sure. It wouldn't matter. There is no central organization that would capitulate, the insurgency there being a collection of various groups, not all of which even like each other.

And that was my point. The kind of wars we are engaged in are different than in the past. Stand-up fights between two relatively equally matched opposing armies are becoming a thing of the past.

I was wondering ... Do any of you CFNers have any insight as to what's happening over in Davos? What's it all about?

Thanks, buddy! And let me tell you, I hear a lot more gunfire out here in the sticks than I ever heard in the 'hood. I think I'll be mindin' me own business in the garden for the most part! Which is coming along nicely, by the way! Did you see the recent potato post on my blog? I changed the header photo to a rooftop pic of my new garden under construction.

http://www.smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/

Best to you, mate.

I am confused by this notion of conservatism.

GW Bush claimed to be a conservative. Yet he and his gang would talk about spreading the "Democratic Revolution" far and wide. That does not sound conservative to me. It sounds like a proclamation that would come out of the Politburo. I guess one would call this neoconservatism. If this is this case, it isn't conservative. It is actually quite radical.

The article about John Boehner, surely a self-described conservative, implies that he is someone who would take money from anyone. He was caught literally handing out checks from the tobacco industry on the House floor. One year, he played about 180 rounds of golf with lobbyists and CEOs. Is this what conservatism means, being an amoral whore for irresponsible corporate interests?

And then there are the Tea Partiers, which is really a big bag of randomness. You have your anti-abortionists, Constitutionalists, gun rights advocates, etc. You'd be hard pressed to pick out a single coherent ideology out of all the yelling and Obama bashing, aside from a general distrust and vilification of government. And many of them really just don't know what the hell they're talking about. This article is hilarious.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-on-the-tea-party-20100928

What about Sarah Palin? Again, there isn't a there there. She's an empty talking head throwing bones (tweets) to her silly followers.

To me, conservatism is a flawed concept. The world is a constantly changing place. Picking an arbitrary set of current or past values/institutions/arrangements and sticking to them come hell or high water is more like insanity than coherent political philosophy.

Or am I missing something here?

Beantown Bill says "Stand up fights between two relatively equally matched opposing armies are becoming a thing of the past".

True enough Beantown Bill, that is, until we come up against China. But then again, we aren't really equally matched.

Chinese Army ... 7 million regular troops.

U.S. Army ... 490,000 regular troops.

It hardly seems fair.

As far as Iraq goes, historically the conflict that it most resembles, in the number of troops engaged and number of casualties incurred, is the Philippine Insurrection, 1899-1902. The casualty numbers are almost identical. Philippines had a pretty good outcome, as I think will Iraq.

Sure.

Davis is one of the many workshops/conventions/meetings where the global elite get together to rub elbows, exchange ideas, make plans, etc. This includes everyone from CEOs and hedge fund managers to presidents of major countries. I'm not a New World Order conspiracy theorist, but there is certainly a whiff of world governance about it.

There is a really good article about meetings like Davos in last month's Atlantic.

...response to the fact that Rand Paul included cuts to the defense department as a way of getting our house in order.

Nice talking point. Let's see some real cuts. Once certain districts are on notice, watch any and all politcal parties bitch & moan.

Hi, Marlin.

That was my comment you were responding to, BTW, not Bill's.

"until we come up against China"

Why are more and more people considering this a foregone conclusion? It is anything but. Under the current political/military arrangements, it is quite unlikely we would ever engage China in a land war in Asia. Economically, there is far too much at stake for both countries to throw away in a meaningless bloodbath.

America always has the nuclear card, and China is quite wary of coming even close to making us play it. It does not matter if they have 10 times our troop strength. The entire country could be annihilated with the push of a button, if push came to shove. (Well, that's exaggerating a bit, but US nuclear capabilities are far beyond any other country.)

There is the possibility for proxy wars or "war by other means", but I just don't see a mano-a-mano engagement happening anytime.

Man, nicely encapsulated! Thas' all...

Bill, you really need to brush up on your grasp of history and reality. And I'm not talking about the BS narrative they feed you at school and the other propaganda outlets. The "Cold War" and the whole arms race was a calculated maneuver by the Anglo-American imperialists to drive forward profits for the Wall Street banksters. Same applies for WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and on and on. Ideology has nothing to do with it. Ideology is what they sell to suckers and imbeciles. The banksters financed the Nazis in Germany, they financed the Bolsheviks in Russia, and they financed the Red Commies in China. And they did this before, during, and after WWII.


I was thinking along similar lines.

Originally, I was responding to the youtube video. I noticed that he mentioned "social programs" but said not one word about the military.

I know that he claims everything is on the table, but where does the rubber meet the road?

And a few cuts here and there will do very little.

We need to think big like removing our troops from Germany, Japan, and South Korea. The debacle in Afghanistan needs to be ended. etc.

All I have heard is stuff like, "Oh, yeah we're going to eliminate a weapons program that everyone agrees is a useless boondoggle."

That just doesn't, er, cut it.

And, also, I just generally question the integrity of Republicans. They are the ones who originally got us involved in these trillion dollar conflicts, produced huge budget deficits, enacted reckless tax cuts, etc.

And now they're riding to the rescue and saying, "Don't worry, we'll fix it."

Yeah, right!

Mika,

Banks finance everything and everyone. They do not generally have political allegiances. They are only concerned about getting their money and interest payments.

So you'd be hard-pressed to assign much blame to them for World War II, which WAS a highly ideological conflict, especially in Europe. The Nazis and the Communists were engaged in an epic conflict of philosophies. This is born out by the literature.

Sure, banks facilitated them via financing, but that is irrelevant. These countries went to the banks to get financing, not the other way around. If one bank had rejected them, they would have found another.

Similarly, the War in the Pacific was fought by a democracy against a tyrannical regime with a fascist ideology.

From what I've read, WWII would not have occurred in Europe had Hitler and the Nazis not seized power and enacted their program of world conquest. One person actually can have that large of an influence on world events, believe it or not. No one in Europe wanted that conflict to happen except the Germans.

I agree that The Cold War had an air of sham about it, with incidents like the fictional "missile gap", ginned up CIA reports, etc.

But definitely not WWII. It was an epic clash of political philosophies.

And WWI was more about nationalism and entangled alliances than behind the scenes banksters.

"The banksters financed the Nazis in Germany, they financed the Bolsheviks in Russia, and they financed the Red Commies in China."

I have no argument with this, but, again, assigning blame to the banks seems kind of dubious to me. Banks of one kind or another finance every country on the planet. You can cherry pick a few countries that you don't like, but that doesn't make a very strong argument for some kind of nefarious conspiracy.

Very well then; I shall give 'er a look!
Thanks for the heads-up...
BLAM!!! Whut-th-hell-wuz'zat?? Naaaaasty; sounds like a 50cal black powder muzzle-loader, t'me. Over the hills an' thru the woods.

Weird. All-eyes-ears-nose-and-sphincters-tightly-and-permanently-closed watches as the Republicunts (self-styled "conservatives" don'cha'know) tick off the 'completed' boxes of their [supposed] agenda (with a helpful, friendly hand from the Demotards + Handlers), and is gob-smacked as things get more and more [well and truly] fucked!

There's some kind of disconnect here that deserves "further study". An excellent case for clinicians.

I'm not just talking about the banks. I'm talking about the clique that controls the banks, the major corporations, the government.

It wasn't just financing by the banks. It was technical and material assistance through the various corporations, as well as diplomatic and political assistance through various back channels.

There's an official narrative, and then there is the unofficial narrative. And the two are in direct contradiction. Unless one takes into account the overriding agenda of profit and banking/corporate imperialism.

Turkle,

In Matt Taibbi's "Griftopia" he describes how Greenspan and Reagan raised the rate of social security taxes and proceeded to raid it. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it along with "Shock Doctrine". Both w. very good records of what has taken place to create the financial debacle we now find ourselves slogging through.
I think with the Tea Party in place we may be living through an austerity phase in the not tooo distant future.

Thanks, Asia. I'll look into the website. And the only written source I know of for Yogananda's depression prediction is Kriyananda. I have some issues with him, but the prediction makes more and more sense every day what with the increasing denial, greed, lack of coherent leadership, etc - once the whole stinking, rotting edifice implodes...it'll be like, totally gnarly, dude!


Just got a copy of "Shock Doctrine" at the library. Looking forward to reading it. And if it was you who first mentioned this book on this blog, Thanks!

{If you look close, most of the time, you can still view the old stone walls piled up by 17th, 18th, and 19th century yankee farmers to mark boundaries and keep in livestock. Those abandoned walls tell you right away that you're looking at farmland.}

perhaps you wander as i do, these connecticut forests preserved by ladies who might otherwise be tending public gardens, water company and flood control tracts, ruthlessly rectilinear powerline cuts, brambled trashlands behind retail establishments, doctors' offices, condos & light industrial complexes. the lord's prayer notwithstanding, i trespass.

when god laid waste to sodom & gomorrah, it is said that not stone remained upon stone. we americans are not yet as effective as mr pissed-off almighty, but give us time. in the mean, stonework exists obliviously, depending on nothing but gravity to spell its creator's name.

stone walls fascinate me; given sufficient whiskey, i can watch one all day. what kind of men made such things: so much labor, and for what reward? any pile of rocks can mark a line or dissuade a cow, so what's with the artistry, what the hell were these guys thinking?

rocks are existentially unambiguous. if a rock rests on two others, it won't move much; if it rests on three or four, it will stay there for all time. chipmunks and ice, blind reeling deer in heat, megaton oaks, shifting watercourses, assholes on atvs: nothing much matters.

they say the idea of "the road" came to cormac mccarthy when he was hanging out in a hotel room with his young son. (an old guy, he married a student: if that's not incentive to get the manuscript off to the publisher, what is?) this thought occurred to him: what if it's only we two?

when i'm in the woods with my dogs i often think similarly... all that gasoline, all that drek, gone, gone, gone. i will follow this stream to where it crosses that heavy broad wall, i'll scramble the stones while the dogs make their way through the skunk cabbage. we will get to high ground, a place to look around. as if there were something to see.

{There's an official narrative, and then there is the unofficial narrative. And the two are in direct contradiction. Unless one takes into account the overriding agenda of profit and banking/corporate imperialism.}

i did some wage labor for various big banks, boa among them. surely there's a good case to be made for the insidiousness of capitalism and how global banks systematically do the least amount of good (eg, evil) for/to the most number of people. so i'm not contending your critique.

still, it's easy to overgeneralize abstract beliefs and thus to disregard the simple realities of organizations and the people who comprise them. that is, imhe, bankers were among the most honorable people i've ever worked for. well, some of them.

honesty counts for a lot, at least on an interpersonal level. although this sounds silly, bankers tend to follow ethical standards which are often more rigorous than the law.

i liked the insurers, too. the defense contractors, ge & ut, mostly were despicable. the time i clerked at victoria's secret, gosh, what a darn nice bunch of gals!

if i have a point it's this: all these evil-doers on wall street and in corporate suites around the world, they're people, many of them decent straight-shooters. if a theory depends on the existence of greedy malevolent bastards, i believe it will fail reality's test. our politics are corrupt, but are politicians are mostly ordinary schmoes doing kindv their best to represent the interests they think matter.

the evil is in the incentives, and the incentives are in our culture. it's like, guns don't kill people, a country kills people, a national history does, a set of myths, a religion which sees death hierarchically, a tolerance for social injustice kills people. apologies for structural inequality kills people. banks basically move money, hoping to put up decent numbers when the quarter comes round.

------------
as for kvetching about free money going to veterans, etc, i'm not sure it much matters. people at that income level tend to plow their incomes right back into the economy.

even bankers, traders & celebrities taking home eight figure paychecks, that's a relatively small hit the rest of us compared to the damage done by the rest of the top one percent of worldwide wealth.

does a $billion even get you onto the forbes four hundred? that's an awful lot of money, and it mostly doesn't go into the economy that you and i know. instead, the wealthy tend to concentrate their money in ownership vehicles that have nothing to do with creating jobs, most especially not in high cost countries such as the us and europe.

anybody who works in the corporate world is essentially serving the club of worldwide wealth -- i mean, yes, there are stockholders, but the only ones who count are denominated in the $hundreds of million. if you go to a good university, such as krugman's princeton, everything you do there is paid for by an endowment comprised of many $billions of corporate wealth. and the city and state you call home? the moment the ultra-wealthy lose confidence in their bonds, all will be a memory. how's that for a conspiracy?

Yes, they're a real swell bunch. That is, until you meet the barrel of a gun and the thugs they financed to put a bullet in your head, or the thugs they financed to work you to death in a slave labor camp, or the thugs they financed to incinerate your people in ovens, or the thugs they financed to incinerate you from the air with napalm or atomic bombs, or the thugs they financed to destroy your DNA with chemical biological and radiologic weapons, or the thugs they finance to sustain their contrived wars, or the thugs they finance to simply deny you employment and turn your town to desolation.

"Yes, they're a real swell bunch."

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

Little Himmlers. Nobody is doing anything wrong, yet millions die. McNamara said we killed 2.5 million in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. And now we continue killing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Colombia, and Pakistan.

A real swell bunch, those "volunteer soldiers" (immoral mercenaries) being financed to a tune of $500+ Billion a year and "just following orders" to kill whoever they are ordered to kill.

http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/s11/churchill.html

Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens by Ward Churchill


WTF and Cavepainter -

Great post, Cave and great rejoinder, WhiskeyTF.

"I concur with your comments re: the soul-destroying nature of most work in our civilization, and the self-deception and slave-morality-back-patting that are required for its continuation"

So, I agree you're both on the money, but I think you may be taking it a little too seriously. I wanted to sell a bumper sticker several years ago,

"Work Sucks, but You Have to Go Anyway."

I think VERY few people get to have careers that are pleasurable, and *soul-affirming.* Most of us truly are in the position of working to live, not living to work.

But when I was a kid in the '70's, work tended to be fun - even though the actual work was drudgery. And I was fortunate to have several rewarding job/careers through the years. Generally - though - what made them fun (or yeah, also could sometimes make them miserable) was the caliber of coworkers and the sense of shared purpose - even shared with upper management.

I think the downsizing of America and/or 15% unemployment - whatever you want to call it - is killing off the last of work as soul-affirming.

Probably except for the upper crust -

Do you guess you'd still hate going to work if you made $10million per year??

========
And as far as your Peak Oil postponement contention, WhiskeyTFox. Personally, I'm of the opinion that Peak Oil will hit the US with a whimper and not a bang - Unless, something unforseen (like collapse of Egyptian govt, mentioned upthread) causes worldwide disruption to energy flows for weeks or longer.

JIT inventory systems meet SHF collapse?

Thanks, Asoka.

I have noticed that the more we bomb them, the less they like us. Expect more 9/11 attacks on a grander scale, perhaps radioactive.

Here is a list of the countries bombed by the United States since the end of the Second World War.

Note that these countries represent roughly one-third of the people on earth:

Afghanistan 1998, 2001-

Bosnia 1994, 1995

Cambodia 1969-70

China 1945-46, 1950-53

Congo 1964

Cuba 1959-1961

El Salvador 1980s

Korea 1950-53

Guatemala 1954, 1960, 1967-69

Indonesia 1958

Laos 1964-73

Grenada 1983

Iraq 1991-

Iran 1987

Kuwait 1991

Lebanon 1983, 1984

Libya 1986

Nicaragua 1980s

Pakistan 2003, 2006-

Panama 1989

Peru 1965

Somalia 1993, 2008

Sudan 1998

Vietnam 1961-73

Yemen 2002, 2009

Yugoslavia 1999

Asoka, that link you posted is the budget for only a small part of the American military industrial complex

http://comptroller.defense.gov/budget.html

The USA has a secret black budget hidden from the American public for "intelligence" agencies like the CIA. That money goes for running private armies, setting up secret torture prisons, kidnapping people, assassinating people, etc. And nobody knows if it is Billions or Trillions of dollars because it is not public information.

Maybe WikiLeaks can help us out someday in finding out what our government is doing in our name.

"Or- maybe - the quote is just incredible bullshit -which is more likely."

Don't like the figures? I suppose you could do a little research and see it they are correct . Naw, just calling them bullshit is easier. Never mind.

The Tea Party is in charge now?

Hardly.

They are just window dressing. And the Repubs don't control the Senate (at least not yet), so all they have the power to do right now is obstruct and introduce legislation that will be voted down in the other chamber.

Ironically, the new Republican Speaker of the House is exactly the kind of politician that the Tea Partiers railed against, a sleazy amoral career politician. He's cozy with K-Street and takes millions from corporate interests. He goes to an average of 1.5 fundraisers a day. He likes to shmooze with CEOs on the golf course.

But they're okay with that because he's on "their side".

Meet the new boss. Worse than the old boss.

The Tea Party...what a joke.

"The USA has a secret black budget hidden from the American public for "intelligence" agencies like the CIA."

Really? And you are in on this "secret"? It doesn't sound like a very good secret if they shared it with you asoka-herself.

Asoka, what are you complaining about? Don't you love "big government"? The billions you cite for the Pentagon budget and the CIA budget are just the beginning of defense related expenditures. You haven't even mentioned the VA system and all the myriad types of veteran benefits or the interest on the national debt created by war spending.

If you add up all the war-related spending, it comes to way over 50% of the national budget. Here is a pie chart of where you income tax money really goes:

http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

"I'm of the opinion that Peak Oil will hit the US with a whimper and not a bang"

Where's your evidence for this? Perhaps it is just wishful thinking. The US is one of the most oil-dependent countries on the planet.

Is everyone going to go out and buy a $30,000 electric car?

It will be more like a death by a thousand cuts or rather a slow squeeze...you know the old one about the frog in the pot of water that slowly heats until the boiling point.

Current Military
$965 billion:
• Military Personnel $129 billion
• Operation & Maint. $241 billion
• Procurement $143 billion
• Research & Dev. $79 billion
• Construction $15 billion
• Family Housing $3 billion
• DoD misc. $4 billion
• Retired Pay $70 billion
• DoE nuclear weapons $17 billion
• NASA (50%) $9 billion
• International Security $9 billion
• Homeland Secur. (military) $35 billion
• State Dept. (partial) $6 billion
• other military (non-DoD) $5 billion
• “Global War on Terror” $200 billion [We added $162 billion to the last item to supplement the Budget’s grossly underestimated $38 billion in “allowances” to be spent in 2009 for the “War on Terror,” which includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan]

Past Military,
$484 billion:
• Veterans’ Benefits $94 billion
• Interest on national debt (80%) created by military spending, $390 billion

To paraphrase the words of Rummy, the black budget is one of those known unknowns, in that we know it exists, but don't know how much money gets dumped into it.

"if a theory depends on the existence of greedy malevolent bastards, i believe it will fail reality's test."

Recent documentation on the financial and housing crises does not support this thesis.

The National Intelligence Program (NIP) funds intelligence activities in several Federal departments and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

NIP’s budget is classified, so the 2011 Budget does not publicly disclose funding requests for intelligence activities. So nobody knows if it is Billions, or Trillions. That is what Asoka said.

Asoka, we've already plowed this furrow.

"I have noticed that the more we bomb them, the less they like us. Expect more 9/11 attacks on a grander scale, perhaps radioactive."

You do not understand America. If you really want to see America raging and trampling around the world like an irrational wounded bull elephant - go ahead and arrange for one of your compatriots in whatever country you are from to perpetrate a nuclear 9/11.

Not many things will unify this fractious mess we call the US - but an organized outside attack will do it.

No need to respond. I have nothing to add on this subject that I did not say 3 months ago when you first brought it up.

Yes - you are missing Tradition, the past without which there is no future. I hope at least you can admit that it is very far from being Pelosi's "astro-turf". No, it is real, raw, and very chaotic. By no means is all of it worthy. And the Republicans are doing all they can to co-opt it. You People and the Repugs have had your way for the last century and look at where you've driven us. The real America resisted both WW1 and WW2 what to speak of our Asian adventures. The real America resisted the instituion of the Fed. The real America intended to send the Blacks back to Africa after the Civil War. The real America is a White, Western Nation. The real America is almost gone - but somehow we have to find our way back to it. It's a long shot but there is no other. The Two Parties are hopelessly corrupt and devoid of anything worthy - all they have is greed and gender studies; banksters and communist thug/perverts.

Turk asks:
"Where's your evidence for this? Perhaps it is just wishful thinking. The US is one of the most oil-dependent countries on the planet."

I watched Regan use politics, leverage, and deficit financing to make the first "oil crisis" go away. It seems to me that those three *strategies/tricks* are about played out for the US. And I certainly see no objective evidence for abiotic (AKA infinite) oil supplies.

And global climate change, which may have Atlantic water lapping up over NYC, looms in the distant future - whether we admit it or not. So I think the end of under $3.00 gas is upon us permanently and forever - sooner or later.

As far as whimper vs bang, Turk. Maybe it's semantics. I just see a steady creeping of prices, first to $4.00, then to $5.00, then who knows. One way or another - the US will adjust, because we have no choice.

However, a BANG - type oil shock could get really grim, really fast - for a awful lot of people in the US. That's why I ended my other post

JIT inventory control - meet SHF in USA.

Liberals wont allow Kenya to freely celebrate the triumph of their Countryman, Barack Obama. Always trying to keep a Black Man down.

http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=9761

Vlad,

You are severely idealistic and naive, which, ironically, are accusations you often make against others on this blog. There is no such thing as this "real America", and there never really has been. It is a fiction that you maintain in your head. You set impossible and artificial benchmarks of racial purity and isolationism that could never be met.

If I asked 20 people what was the "real America", I would get 20 different answers. If I invented a time machine and traveled back to 1823 and asked 20 different people the same question, I'd still get 20 different answers. That should tell you something. You have a hopeless nostalgia for an idea of America that never existed.

The world is constantly changing and so are nations, laws, and traditions. History doesn't unfold according to some strict set of ideological rules laid out by backward looking zealots (which is a good thing).

What worked 100 years ago may stop working, so we move on to other paradigms. Almost everything that comprised tradition 200 years ago in America has been swept away. Our morality has completely changed. We don't have slavery anymore or institutionalized racism. We don't hang people for stealing horses. Dueling is not allowed. etc.

You can either get on the boat, or you can be left on the dock hollering maniacally into the wind about how things should have been. Your choice.

Turkle says:
"I am confused by this notion of conservatism."
AND
"To me, conservatism is a flawed concept. The world is a constantly changing place."

==============
I'm not saying I disagree, Turkle. I've said several times that I believe this website tilts left because reality tilts left by most objective measures.

You and I, Turk, have to work pretty hard to find something worth disagreeing about. (Gun control, two? weeks ago may have come close.)

And yet, something like 30% of this country is vehemently and aggressively "conservative," or "neo-conservative," or whatever you want to call them.

And my point was that this website needs an articulate spokesperson for this large RW faction. JimZza cusses too much and is too much a parrot of the Hannity/Limbaugh entertainment group. Vlad gets his conservatism (some of which is pretty interesting) all bollixed up with his racism.

Cash is pretty good, and he's really rational and polite, BUT he's not from the States.
Q makes conservative noises sometimes, but I think he's happier picking grammar nits.
Marlin54, how about you?
Anyone else have nominations for a spokesperson for the right on CFN?

Hi,

Thanks for the thoughts.

World oil production has plateaued. Output has not significantly increased since 2004. This suggests to me that going forward oil demand is going to be highly inelastic, e.g. every last drop will be bought up, with no play between supply and demand, and no ability to significantly increase daily production. (That's what Peak Oil is about, daily production, not reaching the halfway point in reserves.)

Now add in the rise of China and the rest of the developing world, ravenous for oil to fuel their booming transportation and construction sectors, and you have the makings of an epic shit storm.

When this particular glob of fecal matter hits the proverbial fan is anyone's guess, though I am of the mindset that we are already within the paradigm of the TLE and have been for some time.

Right on, Jen. The Mormons I have been acquainted with are VERY nice people (although I escaped the Southern Baptist convention in my early youth and have been running ever since :) Last year, when I was out of work, I spent a good bit of time in the evenings at the pool in my apartment complex, trying to relax and not panic about my situation, and I met some very nice Mormom missionary ladies who were in town on a "mission", working at the local Mormon job center they had going. They tried to help me get a job and invited me over to their apartment for dinner and a movie a couple of times, the "sisters" who were there on their mission working together. I don't know much about Mormonism as I have generally not taken up with any organized religion since my youth . . . but their social values are stellar, IMO. Lovely human beings.

Mika,

This is actually a really interesting topic.

Most international banks and corporations have no compunctions about working with any entity that could possibly benefit them (e.g. make them a profit). So I have no doubt that many Western firms were involved with the Nazis.

There is a book about it here that I have been meaning to read but haven't gotten around to it.

http://www.reformed-theology.org/html/books/wall_street/

But I doubt that the banker tail wagged the Nazi dog.

Everything I've read thus far about WWII suggests that it was a "pull" rather than "push" paradigm. The Germans sought out these collaborations. At least from what I know about the Nazis, they were very shmoozy with German industrialists and bankers even before they took over the entire country. Did they get technical assistance from American firms? Yup. And these firms probably even knew that Germany was using this assistance to rearm. But they simply didn't care or think about it too much, because they were making money from it.

Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which is the best general book I've read on that period in Germany, does not mention assistance from American firms but does mention many meetings and deals with domestic (German) businesses and banks.

But the concept of a "high cabal" planning out WWII in advance, I find completely unbelievable. A close examination of Hitler's ideology and plans, and how he shaped the Nazi Party in his image, suggests that what happened in WWII was almost inevitable once he seized power and decide to implement his "master plan".

Reading Sutton's book right now. This is like going down the rabbit hole. Wow.

I misspelled "Mormom" in that last post, but now that I think about it, I'd have to say that's an apt description for the "sisters" :) They were simply beautiful, caring human beings, the best "mom" you could have hoped for in a crappy situation :) I am grateful to them for sharing their time and love with me.

Tripp,

Your efforts are ABSOLUTELY WORTHWHILE. Ok, dammit, I guess the goddamned Southern tree-huggers are having a love-fest up in here here :) which should send the CFNers screaming in in revulsion :) (oh fuck, human beings being kind and complimentary to one another . . . oh, the horror! Especially Southern people . . .that shoud give Jim some shit to write about, how we southerners are inbreeding even here on his comments forum, yanno :) But seriously, Tripp, thank your wife and children for me, for your efforts in taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with those of us who are less knowledgable. They really are not wasted, as I plan to share this information with others along the way. And I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on and so on :)

Right on, Stud! Good tunes, good tunes!

No there used to be alot more common ground. We could have never accomplished as much as we did otherwise. And that's what a real culture is - getting everyone on if not the same page, at least the same chapter. The massive immigrations from different part of Europe began to erode all this - and of course the machinations of the Anglophile Bankers. The rise of Liberalism/Communism and Third World immigration has finished the process. A person or nation that tried to be all things to all people will end up being nothing to anyone. Would a Swiss Village still be a Swiss Village with sky scrapers, housing projects filled with Blacks, and trailers filled with rednecks? Yes things change but in an orderly way in accordance with their nature. Your kind of change is the forced, unnatural change of the revolutionary and agent provacateur.

The main ideology of Academics and Graduates like you is to be Anti-American, Anti-Western, and Anti-White. This is the "glue" that holds you all together. And you all endorse the looting and dispossesion of the remnants of the Builder Race. And you even fancy yoursleves not only moral, but the most moral, the Liberated Ones. It is the fraud of frauds - spiritual criminals gloating over the destruction they have wrought. And you even fantasize some kind of glorious future! In vain - your fortunes are tied to the Builder Race; the parasite dies when the host does.


Well said, James, about us pensioners ...
I'll be one starting in six months.
But you know how it is ... various
cans will be kicked down the road
and they'll find a way to keep these
houses of cards more or less upright
for maybe five or six more years.

After all, look at what QE2 has done
for the stock market ... at which it
was directly aimed. And why was it
aimed at the stock market? Yup. That's
right. To revive dying pension funds.
Of course, like all financial legerdemain
that has no REALITY in back of it, it is
utterly doomed.

That's why all would-be pensioners should
think about keeping their jobs unless they've
got a solid half-a-million or so in private
savings (that is, independent of their alleged
pension balances) so that when TSHTF you have
some time to do something besides abject panic
and hysteria.

I predict there'll be QE3 and QE4 because it's
all about keeping the voting geezers aloft but
the price to be paid for all this will be a
truly memorable inflation ... which I used to
think was not until 2015 but the darned Fed
seems determined to move it up to 2013.

The problem is this: If the NOMINAL Dow goes
to 20,000 but your Rice Krispies cost $9/box,
have you "won"? This is a question which many
amateur financiers never ask themselves.
Moreover, despite Obama's jobs rhetoric, all I
see on Bloomberg ticker items is about more
thousand-job layoffs. Who is the next Boeing?

I'm approaching geezerhood (59 soon) and I'm
just damned glad I had a decent run in life.
I sure as hell feel sympathy for the under-40s
on this website because even though I might find
the Gen X/Y crowd a bit taxing, socially, I don't
think their optimism will meet with the desired
happy ending.

Some facts just cannot be talked, wished, or
mathematically manipulated away.

E.


You're absolutely correct, CP. The Left
expects its edicts to be obeyed without
rational discourse every bit as much as
the putatively doctrinaire Right.

There is no more Left that respects the
values of the Enlightenment ... honest
examination of theses and antitheses,
open free discourse, respect for
fundamental freedoms, especially speech.

That's why the opposite of the horrible
Titans of Wall Street, their antipodes,
are NOT free thinking progressives. They
are apparatchiks working as administrators
in schools who waste millions supporting
high paid "Diversity Administrators" who
support diversity in all things EXCEPT
speech. They are government agency hacks
who do nothing at very enviable salaries.

The Jeffersonian Left no more exists than
the Constitutional Right. All we have are
people who want to be paid for leftist and
righting rhetoric ... in the absence of
true adherence to the best principles of
those traditions.


E.

The Myth of Cause and Effect

There is a tendency in economics today to say that more education, more research and innovation, more competitiveness, more flexibility will create "work", will create "more jobs". This is an imaginary cause and effect, an imaginary connection, that all kinds of talkers use, to essentially calm down and justify all of those unemployed or badly employed workers and the "new generation" of how our "advanced economy works" and will create "new jobs". If you were to finally reveal the mask behind all of this BS, you would have to say the truth, the jobs aren't there because the rich don't want them to be there, they want to just keep their money.

The cause imposes very precise behaviors and activities like ever more learning, more education, more training, more pressure to invent the "next big thing", but the effect seldom occurs: since this cause and effect is an invention, a man made connection, the powers that be, every now and then sprinkle some effects with the excuse that the cause generated it. Like google: 10 years ago there was altavista, which was much more advance, and more efficient, but the powers that be had to create and reinforce the mythology of the "startup", of the "young company" that creates the next big "breakthrough", the "venture capital" myth.

This slowly and subtly made google become the fashionable "search engine", and especially reinforced the myth that the young guys invented the new "breakthrough" instead of simply keeping and improving altavista, that was a corporate creation that worked much better.

The same can be said of facebook: the only thing facebook did was combine the existing internet applications like instant messaging and photo sharing into one coherent site, there was no new "genius" behind that site, all of those things were mostly old hat by the time facebook came out. But this reinforces the "startup myth", the myth that some young guy will see some genius application that none of the older ones can see. So there you go with the myth of "innovation", "research", etc. But it is just a sprinkling of the effects, that occur once in a while, that serves to feed this imaginary cause and effect.

This "innovation creates jobs" myth was due to that one time quirk, that one shot combination of events from 1970 to 1990 that created the microprocessor, (also due to moore's law of transistors doubling in number on chips every 2 years), the PC, software and the internet (with Apple and Microsoft being the leading myth examples) that did create many new sectors and new jobs.

Problem is that happened only once, and can happen only once, but the myth remains and lives on because of its ideological usefulness: everyone is brainwashed by all of this BS about innovation, education and research, so the fact that there will be less and less jobs is only the fault of the workers who are not "competitive enough", who "don't innovate enough", who "can't discover the next breakthrough". It personalizes the guilt, it justifies the system in not creating the jobs by saying, only innovation, and research and education will create the jobs. But this is false, there is no connection, the fact is we live in automatic excess capacity economies, where if anything, innovation and research will kill ever more jobs by automating and optimizing the production process ever more.

What really is needed to create jobs is simply FREE SALARIES, huge government or private - public companies hiring millions of workers to build very large scale projects, like trillions of super high quality skyscrapers across the USA, trillions of rockets to explore space, trillions of huge systems, high speed trains, jets, colonization of the solar system, etc. And you give millions of people a salary and cheap rents for high quality housing. And even if millions don't have much work to do, you pay them anyways to give the economy a consumption base that increases ever more.

Peak Oil is a bunch of BS, because all energy problems can be solved by using natural gas, bioethanol, skyscrapers where work and housing are combined so that you don't even need transportation, BUSES, genetically modified bacteria that produce oil and anything else by the trillions of gallons, atomic energy, and many other technologies.

But you have this right wing thug mentality, this resource scarcity myth, where there is not enough for everyone, that pensions and medicaid - medicare are unfunded "entitlements", that energy is running out, etc. that simply serves to concentrate all the money in fewer and fewer hands, while millions are ripped off. We live in an economic system of huge abundance, untold of, just look at how many building the chinese build (a third world country), with all of their excess capacity, there is more than enough to give billions of dollars to billions of people.

But you have this right wing reaction to blame the other workers, the illegals, the cheap third world workers, the government workers, it is their fault I don't have a job, it is their fault that I have less money, etc. This thrives on the impulse to beat up the weaker person, to find someone to take it out on.

But we must impose FREE SALARIES, HUGE PUBLIC - PRIVATE PROJECTS, AND CHEAP RENTS FOR HIGH QUALITY HOUSES, THE FED CAN PRINT ALL THE MONEY FOR IT (instead of giving it to the banks and hence the rich that just hog it all up), THAT IS HOW SIMPLE IT REALLY IS.


Another very important thing: this talk of innovation, research and competitiveness is so vague, undefined, impossible to measure and even pinpoint down, that no one ever challenges it. It is like reading a bible, it is taken for granted, whatever it means, but since innovation is such an abstract and vague concept, anything goes, any example can serve to justify its connection to the "creation of jobs". No one challenges it, because they don't even know what they are challenging or how to define it. Another ideological masterpiece by the right wing thugs, and the education industry.


That's one way to stave off extreme anger toward the globalists who sent our jobs to low wage workers around the world. Just string the people along for some future hope of meaningful and well-paid employment. Oh why don't you go back to school and borrow more money from the banksters to train for something that will probably be done by someone in India. China has a new program to train its people for high-end jobs. You hear the innovation meme from Steve Schmitt and others--and that's supposed to employ 300 million people--you know the folks that give you fundamentalism and creationism. They hate science-but they'll all be innovators.
Sure--Innovation takes place where things are being made.

Everyone is brainwashed that there is not enough of energy, food, land, money for everyone. That there is "overpopulation", that we will need to sacrifice in order to survive, etc. THIS IS FALSE, this is part of a huge ideological construction that has its roots in the Resource Scarcity Myths, that have been going around for 50 years.

There has never been an era of more wealth, and a huge potential for even much more wealth for trillions, that's right TRILLIONS of people, thanks to technology and optimizations. Huge populations would be an asset not a liability because it would allow us to more quickly and easily colonize the solar system: we have created artificial cells that can do any possible trick, we have particle accelerators that can be engineered to produce iron and gold, we can build trillions of skyscrapers on Mars, harness the energy of the SUN, etc.

But this resource scarcity myth, and the green and environmental movements, and the crappy "democratic process", where everything is always blocked creates false scarcities.

Check out:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=171623

Iona Laundramat, Good for you.
I can't exactly say enjoy the read (Shock Doctrine) but I promise it will be a real eye-opener.
And yes, I have mentioned SD many times on this blog. Glad to see it's taking hold.

E.
It's good to see you back on the blog. I won't be getting any pension and as far as I'm concerned I prob. won't stop retouching till the conditions force me to. Of course, there' always retouching by hand.

"we have particle accelerators that can be engineered to produce iron and gold, we can build trillions of skyscrapers on Mars, harness the energy of the SUN, etc."

We already do harness the power of the sun. It's called a garden. And man will never come up with a more optimal solar collector than a fruit tree. Neither here on Earth, or in a skyscraper laboratory on Venus. Now, you may return to your comic books, laddy.

For those of you who wonder about Sarah Palin's appeal - or those who think she can't motivate black male voters, consider this:

Of Tracy Morgan -
"He’d been asked whether Tina Fey or Sarah Palin was better-looking, the New York Daily News reports. “Let me tell you something about Sarah Palin," Morgan said. "She's good masturbation material. The glasses and all of that.”

http://www.newser.com/story/110779/tnt-sorry-for-morgans-palin-masturbation-crack.html

I'm glad you're finally getting acquainted with the research provided by Prof. Antony Sutton. ( http://www.filedropper.com/antonysutton ). The more you'll read, the more you'll know, and the more you'll realize that your theory of "pull vs push" is complete nonsense. (Because even on the most rudimentary level it cannot account for the high level assistance given to the Soviets and the Red Chinese).

Hey Tripp,
Yeah, I'm pretty sure old6699 may be a reincarnation of 8M. You are absolutely correct that photosynthetic organisms are the ultimate solar collectors. How else can you get zero maintenance and something that works even if try to destroy it - just look at a field of kudzu!

But I do/did occasionally enjoy 8M's journeys to beyond the edge. I still don't know why he attacked Wage for her post of the video of the high speed buses. I thought the video was funny and sort of complimentary to old8M.

On a more practical note, thank you for the invitation to visit your new place and plant a fruit tree. I keep meaning to get down to ABAC for a forestry conference. If and when I get that on the schedule I will definitely contact you and try to arrange a meeting out on your land - and I'll bring some seeds and seedlings! And remember to let me know if you head cross-country to Athens. I'd still like you to see the old farm. It actually might have potential as a permaculture homestead if we could get the right tenant in there.
(And 8M - if I could take one of those freakin' high speed buses with a private compartment and a Rolls Royce suspension to Tifton - I would.)

Glad things are going well for y'all! I'm in agreement with the positive feedback you've been getting lately from others on CFN.
- PoC

Hoo boy!

EightM escaped from the padded room at Greystone, thumbed a ride to the local library, got on their computer and established a new CFN account handle - Old6699 - and is back with the same old free salaries and trillions of skyscrapers fantasy.

To be fair there was something new ... engineers can create gold with particle accelerators. Hmm, I wonder if they sell particle accelerators at Home Depot.

Innovation stands on the shoulders of that which precedes; it is rarely novelty born in a vacuum. The “stuff’ which came before--History, Literature, Art, etc--and the sense of context and creativity that it fosters, is increasingly severed from the mainstream American educational experience. Basically, America is one giant rerun of “Mr. Holland’s Opus” with MBA’s ignorant of Galileo determining what constitutes practicality and prudence.

Against that backdrop “Innovation” is nothing but an empty platitude, no matter how seductive the rhetorical flourish sounds in a momentary utterance.

Meanwhile, look what country is actually expanding their financial commitment to the humanities:

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2010-2011/arts-and-humanities.html

Progressorconserve says ... "this website needs an articulate spokesman for the RW faction".

POC;

The thing I like about this site, aside from Jim's obvious literary talent, is the wide diversity of opinion, all the way from Vlad Krandz' RW racial diatribes to Asoka's LW America hating rants. It's all here, really, the whole stew. "Let people say what they want", that's my philosophy. There is even room for a mainstream patriotic conservative like myself. CFN has a big tent, and all reasonable opinions seem to be welcome.

" "The Long Emergency" is an important book, affecting me like Jack Kerouac's book "On the Road" did when I was a kid. (Incidentally, Kerouac was a conservative, a backer of Ike and Nixon. Also a Navy Veteran.) I began looking at things differently and examining those around me more closely. On a more practical level I began to teach myself new skills and learn new things, like turning my 2 acre suburban plot into a small vegetable farm, organically, using strictly hand tools put away a long time ago. The town I grew up in was a mill town that turned out axes, machetes, plows and adzes for 160 years. It was a joy to sharpen up those tools and use them again. Up to about 2 generations ago my ancestors lived on the land, Yankee and immigrant farmers wresting a living from this rocky New England soil. It has taken one thin volume, TLE, to get me back to where we were for 10 generations. So in a way I kind of welcomed what JHK was predicting, not the chaos and violence, but of life becoming more real, closer to the bone, fundamental, and honest.

It's odd, where I live now, on my road, my neighbors are Physicians and Attorneys. They're are lovely people, every one of them. We didn't have alot growing because my Dad was severely wounded in the Korean War. Now the odd thing is ... I'm the only Blue Collar union guy here and we're Republican. My professional neighbors are Democrats, and very liberal. For me, this puts paid to the idea that Dems represent the working class and Republicans represent big business. (Something David Horowitz has already eloquently pointed out). (I know this is partially explained by Jack London's "Favored Union" theory expressed in his book "The Iron Heel").

The Democratic party, the liberal party, which controls Connecticut on every level, above all represents the interests of public service unions, organized minority groups, environmental scam artists and anybody else trying to live without doing productive work ... whose end goal it is to wrest whatever swag they can from the public treasury and honest working people. And its all overseen by a cabal of White Homosexual elitist legislators like McDonald, Lawlor and Williams.

It's enough to make one sick.

{I'm approaching geezerhood (59 soon) and I'm
just damned glad I had a decent run in life.
I sure as hell feel sympathy for the under-40s
on this website because even though I might find
the Gen X/Y crowd a bit taxing, socially, I don't
think their optimism will meet with the desired
happy ending.

Some facts just cannot be talked, wished, or
mathematically manipulated away.}

50 fast approaches for me, but, more to the point, health issues should have had me dead seven years ago. my time feels borrowed. there's freedom in having nothing left to lose, eg, looking at the college tuition s only now beginning to htf and then looking at my wife, thinking, baby, you're on your own.

of course, responsibility asserts itself: no-one wants to leave a mess behind. i do what i can. if i thought rice krispies were going to $9, i'd damn well have consumer staples in the velvet lockbox.

my life has been a hell of a ride; that it's still going on is like the punchline to some cosmic joke. i've had the good fortune to be able to pass for upper class, and middle class, and, at times, underclass; perhaps i've unique perspective on my country's crimes of inequality. even now, with two kids at a first-rate prep school and a third rubbing elbows with a passel of korean expats (courtesy 90% financial aid,) i find i can still chit chat with dads who arrive in helicopters, moms who like the home in switzerland best. similarly, i hang with guys in aa who'v just finished 7 year bits for assault, women who may have whored for drugs but drew the line at taking checks from the government.

for this pov, it's plain difficult to buy into grand schemes of "us and them," if only because i've always taken great pleasure in belonging to no "us."

everyone here agrees that the american way of life will be negotiated, is being negotiated even as we speak. imho, fiscal catastrophe will precede by decades the energy apocalypse. because the "have nots" are in for a serious shellacking, the "haves" will ultimately be challenged. because, cynicism aside, we are in this together.

as cataclysms go, i don't think the transition to the new fucking normal will rank with world wars one or two. more than ever, the fate of the earth will depend on the kind of people in stewardship of it.

-----------
several months ago (twenty feet of snow ago) i took the apple of my eye to look at brown university. as college tours go, it was an oddball: the dean's message was, this is paradise, and you can't get in. and yes, paradise it was, full of bright-eyed youngsters running around building alternate universes in shoebox dioramas, mastering every position of the kamusutra before lunch. even without the actress who plays hermione, the place was hogwarts on acid.

brown used to be "the anus of the ivy league." (i believe that's dartmouth now.) then one of the rockefeller boys ponied up a $bil or so. now it's got this dynamic president, a black woman of all things, and the school can't help but be groovy even when it's not trying.

incidentally, that wonderful president also sits on the goldman sachs board of directors. what a coincidence! if i didn't know better i'd say it was a conspiracy.

still,(and this may be what i was trying to say,) we live in america, we live in a society which recognizes talent and variously makes ways for people to rise (or fall.) if there are emergencies (long or short) down the road, a whole lot of bright, educated people will be needed.

as a parent i'm mostly in thrall to the hard-headedness of my kids' (privileged) generation. the facebook nonsense seems a useful kind of networking after all, an easier kind of democracy than the insularity of my own teenage days. plus their taste in music is way better.

if my firstborn becomes an environmental scientist (or professor/researcher of same) i don't doubt there will be work for her. perhaps she won't get a helicopter; but you know, i hate those things.

Sarah Palin’s Alaska has done a good job of sharing her culture and lifestyle, which is the culture and lifestyle of many Americans who are conservative, meat eating, hunters, who drive pickup trucks and SUVs. I a lot of my family is very much like the Palins. Most of them are good people.

Sarah Palin’s Alaska really appeals to these people because Sarah Palin’s Alaska is really about Sarah Palin’s America — the huge segment of our society that she represents. Over five million people tuned in for the premiere episode of the series (a record for TLC). The show was TLC’s No. 1 rated show.

The theme song choice of “Follow Me There” by the Christian contemporary music group Third Day, would suggest that the Sarah Palin's Alaska show is about spreading a Christian message and conservative values more than promoting a political agenda. This would be consistent with Sarah Palin’s evangelical beliefs.

I think the Palins have done a good job presenting their lifestyle, values, culture, and message. Apparently millions of Americans find a connection with the show.

I would not be surprised to see her run for president, perhaps skipping the primaries, throwing her hat in at the last minute. I would welcome Sarah Palin's candidacy because she does represent millions of Americans who believe in American exceptionalism.

Ironically Vlad all these anti-Whites here under the disguise they call "anti-racism" need to read "World Made By Hand."

Not since "Albion's Seed" have I found so many references to the old stock America.

Deep down that inferiority complex eats at their souls.

The Blank Slate theory is dead, inertia carries on the policies but even the managerial administrators are looking like Arab kleptocrats and their loot the till on the way out the door exile.

CORRECTION

A lot of my family (THE HUMAN FAMILY) is very much like the Palins. Most of them are good people.

"if i thought rice krispies were going to $9"

==========

There are many people here who think endless printing of fiat money will result in rice krispies at $9 style inflation.

The truth is after 70 years of fiat money the CPI was so low that those on social security got no COLA last year: there is no inflation. Fiat money works.

{The town I grew up in was a mill town that turned out axes, machetes, plows and adzes for 160 years.}

collinsville? a special part of the world indeed.

normal mailer, writing re provincetown, compared the tip of cape cod to the spiral of a human ear. me, if i were conversant of things profane, i'd make the reader see the farmington's sharp passage through the rough thighs of satan's kingdom in an even more intimate anatomical way.

the old machete factory and the small village behind it, how carefully nestled they are, almost hooded by the steep hills that open to the flood plain.


---------
strange but true: once i was drinking alone at that trendy-wannabe place, the patio above the river... the couple next to me were energetically discussing state politics, of course i insinuated myself into the freay. as i've said before, i collect celebrities, including our now-disgraced ex-governor, johnny "the con" rowland... so i had some dirt to dish about his well-known "throwing the wife down the stairs" episode.

i must say, my gaydar is widely considered to be superior to the us installation in thule, greenland. but on second thought, perhaps that's why lawlor seemed so non-plussed when his female companion sat on my lap...

"The town I grew up in was a mill town that turned out axes, machetes, plows and adzes for 160 years." -Marlin

Oho! That would have to be Collinsville. (We escaped from Unionville in 2006. Just down the road, as you know.)

I hope you've heard that they're thinking of bringing back the hydro-electric power from the dam, built by the Collins Company sooooo loooong ago. Ya know, if I were a "Canton-ese", I'd sure think about building a hospital there. Mebbe on top of the hill, where the bar (The Shed) used to be? (Terrible location for septic with all that rock, but with a lot of thought... ?) Anyhoo, what I heard was, power enough for 1500 homes. Homes, schmomes; I'd say a hospital with actual electricity when the grid has eaten itself alive, might be a tad more important. Afterwards, one could think about the mood lighting for yer coffered ceiling.

I had a 34" Collins machete years ago with a bone handle. Low carbon steel that took an edge like a razor. Jeez, whatever happened to that thing? Damn kids lose everything! (Uh, that would be me. ;o) Long live [in memory] the Hammer and Crown!

Wage, you say the US kept the Saudi royal family in power. No offense but I would submit that this is another American conceit, that their existence depends on the US somehow.

I don't think it does. For one thing the Saudis can buy what they want or need including armed protection with or without American consent or participation. Plus no ruler or ruling elite stays long in power without the implied consent of the governed. Once people get fed up with the kleptos running their lives the kleptos get the boots. There are many examples. Tunisia is the latest. And there is nothing the US can do about it. The US meddled in Iran but could the US save the Shah? Could the US save the Vietnamese ruling clique? Are the new ruling cliques in both those places any better than the old ruling cliques?

But let's say it was true. What are the alternatives? IMO the Saudi royals are a product of local society just like Sadam was in Iraq. Let's say the US got in a snit and withdrew its "support" and the Saudi royals lost power. Who would take their place? Would the alternatives be materially different? Are the murderers contending for power in Iraq any different or better than the murdering clique headed up by Sadam?

Do you think that any new ruling Saudi elite wouldn't sell the oil? I think they would. They would fill their Swiss bank accounts to bursting just like the current gang, the new princelings and their menacing entourages would terrorize European nightclubs and whorehouses just like the existing gang and enough people would be beaten, enough palms would get greased in Saudi Arabia, of commoners and elite alike, to keep their grip on power.

What of US forces in Iraq? They wrecked the place. To what end? You say US forces in Iraq give the US "influence". Do they? I seriously doubt it. I think the US is stumbling around in a hall of mirrors in Iraq, as befuddled as can be, unable to discern friend from foe, truth from fiction, helpless to control the borders, Iranian meddling, factional disputes, Sunni bombers or anything else. Rival gangs are still contending in Iraq and the contours of the new hierarchy are still in flux. For all the money and blood expended in Iraq, IMO when the issue is "settled", the new bosses are going to look an awful lot like the old bosses.

The US is not profiting from their meddling in the Middle East, far from it. Your military and foreign policy apparatus is pissing away torrents of time, money and energy in a part of the world that will do what it does according to its own timetable. The US looks to me like a kid with a stick whacking beehives and getting badly stung. American people are a small minority in the world and your civilians, soldiers and diplomats can't be everywhere. American money does talk. But people don't stay bribed. They take your money and laugh at you. And you are not remotely the only elite or centre of money or power or influence.

...And how 'bout a factory that makes hand tools? What a novel concept! Forward into the past...

For all the money and blood expended in Iraq, IMO when the issue is "settled", the new bosses are going to look an awful lot like the old bosses
==

Yes, but they will be selling Iraq's oil in US dollars. Which, in the final analysis, is the only thing that matters as far as the US imperialists are concerned.


Has anyone bothered to look up from your arguments to notice that we are surrounded? An exit tax, which I believe went into effect this month means if you expat from the US you will fork over 55% of your wealth to Sam. Try smuggling it out by plane; naked body scanners my friends. Try even removing it from your bank after you discover the criminally high fees being imposed by your bank - the gvnmt is telling your neighbors to turn in anyone buying things with cash (they may be terrorists). It's about your money bitchez, that's all it's ever been about.

"To be fair there was something new ... engineers can create gold with particle accelerators."

Question is, at what price does it become feasible to do so? One million per ounce? Two million? A billion? Just doesn't pencil out (tm JHK)...

Marlin, excellent post - that's exactly what I had in mind. I'll get back to you if someone else doesn't say it all for me first. Thank you, BTW!

I just had to get to Asoka about Palin, first before I have to do some hones work.

First, his post proves Asoka will argue ANY position - so y'all don't read too much into what he says about anything.

Second, and more importantly - I'm 99% certain Ms. Palin is as fake as a $3.00 bill. I do believe I could take her out in the little mountains behind my house with a rifle, a box of ammo, and a video camera. And within 10 minutes of filming - and if she didn't accidentally shoot my sorry white ass first - I'd have video proof of my contention.

Maybe I'm wrong about this - but I need a whole lot better proof than her political record and that hyperedited "Palin's Alaska," or whatever the thing is called.

My bottom line for my right wing brothers, out of 150,000,000 American women:

THIS is the best we can do?

hones work??

First I'm going to hone a chainsaw chain.
Maybe then I can do some HONEST work.

Pepper Spray, you left out two very important pieces of information about the exit tax: 1) it only applies if you give up your US citizenship, and 2) it only applies to people who have a net worth of US$ 2 million or more, or if you had an AGI over $139,000 in 2009. That applies to what? 2% of the population?

It was a good terrorist contribution to CFN, Pepper Spray! You had me going for about ten seconds.

Exit Tax for US Expatriates

If you have taken the far-reaching and irrevocable decision of giving up your US citizenship to permanently disconnect from your US tax obligation, you still have to settle your exit with the IRS. On June 17, 2008 the new law came into force that made it relatively easier comparing to the previously existing regulations. Though now, if you are wealthy enough, giving up your US citizenship proves to be a rather expensive step.

Covered Expatriates and Exit Tax Threshold

The Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (the HEART Act) and the U.S. Treasury Notice 2009-85 establish the following rules for US expatriates.

The law applies to US citizens who expatriate, as well as long-term US permanent residents who give up their green cards, which they have held for 8 of the last 15 years. Both categories are subject to immediate “exit tax” on unrealized gains on all their assets in the US and worldwide, including grantor trusts, as well as on any future gifts or bequests to US citizens and residents, if any.

You qualify for the covered expatriate and the related exit tax, if you meet any of the following criteria:

* you have a net worth of US$ 2 million or more;
* you have an average net U.S. income tax liability of greater than US$ 139,000 (thereafter indexed for inflation; $145,000 for people expatriating in 2009) for the five year period prior to expatriation; or
* you fail to certify that you have complied with all U.S. federal tax obligations for the preceding five years.

Herewith, all property subject to gift tax and all property, where you hold a use right, are included for purposes of the net worth test.

The exceptions are dual nationals from birth, who have not lived in the US for more than 10 years from the last 15, and persons younger than 18½ who have not lived in the US for more than 10 years.

"Maybe I'm wrong about this - but I need a whole lot better proof than her political record and that hyperedited "Palin's Alaska,"

=========

PoC, my point was Sarah Palin appeals to millions of good people.

It is an indisputable point and her TV ratings on TLC prove it.

You have no counterpoint, so you still thought it necessary to attack with an ad hominem: ignore Asoka (even when he tells the truth)...

I will wait for an apology. You are better than this, and I know you are not a racist.

CORRECTION

The exit tax is even less onerous than Pepper Spray implies.

You will be subject to the "exit tax" if your US tax liability has been more than approximately $145,000 for each of the last five years, or if you have a net worth in excess of $2,000,000 on your expatriation date.

SOURCE: Internal Revenue Code Section 877A.

By the way, most immigrants looking to turn in their green card probably are probably not multi-millionaires.

The number of citizens who have had five consecutive years of over $145,000 income, who are looking renounce their USA citizenship and move out, is probably far less than 2% of the population.

This must be how people who go cold turkey from CFN feel!

I don't want to go out and campaign for candidates. I don't want to be viewed as a perpetual money-raiser. I don't want to be on these talk shows giving my opinion, second-guessing the current president. I think it's bad for the country, frankly, to have a former president criticize his successor. It's tough enough to president as it is without a former president undermining the current president. Plus, I don't want to do that. In other words, in spite of the fact that I'm now on TV, I don't want to be on TV ... I tell people that one of the interesting sacrifices, I don't think you sacrifice to run for president, but to the extent you do is you lose your anonymity. I like the idea of trying to regain anonymity to a certain extent. And being out of the press, at least in this stage of the post-presidency is something that makes me very comfortable and its somewhat liberating, frankly.

--- Former President George W. Bush, after ordering the death of hundreds of thousands of people as President.

Depending on your view of the things Asoka writes, the comment I am replying to is either a complete lie or merely utterly foolish.

Here is a link to historical CPI-U data (the most frequently referenced of various "CPI" measurements) that spans from 1913 to the present.

http://www.fintrend.com/inflation/Consumer_Price_Index/HistoricalCPI.aspx

The first thing to remember is that a rise in the prices of goods and services is not inflation itself but rather a symptom of inflation. Inflation is an increase in the money supply at a rate greater than the increase in the production of goods and services. There is often a lag in the rise of prices following excess creation of money. In the fullness of time the current massive creation of money will show itself in rising prices.

Asoka has taken a few recent headline readings of the CPI to make a case that "there is no inflation. Fiat money works" but let's take a longer view. Over the past 50 years the CPI-U has grown from 29.6 (the avg of the 12 monthly values in 1960) to 218.056 (the avg in year 2010). Some typical basket of goods and services that cost $29.60 in 1960 would cost $218.06 in 2010. That is a 737% increase. Money created out of thin air to fund big-government socialism caused this massive loss in purchasing power. It is quite possible that the money you saved for retirement over these years will buy less now than it would have bought in the year(s) when it was earned.

Despite the relentless rise in the CPI index values over time there are brief periods (recessions and depressions) when the CPI might remain relatively steady or even decline. The avg CPI-U reading in 1927 was 17.4 but it declined to 10.0 in 1933. That's called deflation. Well, of course it declined. The economic depression caused demand to drop so severely that prices declined.

The present is similar to the Great Depression era although nowhere near as bad .. at least not yet. We have had near flat CPI-U readings although they still reflect modest inflation. The last three annual readings were:

2008 215.303
2009 214.537
2010 218.056

Prices rose a total of 1.6% over two years.

When I write this type of reply to Asoka (and I have written others before) I am never quite sure if he already knows these things and is therefore a liar or if he is simply a fool.

"I am never quite sure if he already knows these things and is therefore a liar or if he is simply a fool. "

=========

Those are my two choices?

ROTFLMAO!

Money created out of thin air to fund Dept. of Defense contract socialism caused this massive loss in purchasing power.

Asoka, you should give up your attempt to discuss the exit tax ... you're tripping all over yourself.

First you said one criterion was $139K "AGI" and then in your correction you said $145K of "income." It was neither. It was "tax liability."

Prices rose a total of 1.6% over two years.
==

Prices rose alot more than 1.6% these past 2 years. Try 50% to 100%. The CPI index is total BS.

Tripp

My wife asked me to ask you if you would know how to keep a ponytail palm small ie stop it from getting tall, without killing it.

We have one in the living room. It is getting bushy and growing vertically. Right now it fits in a small plastic pot. The plant is about 20 years old.

I guess one option is to water it less, the other is to try to prune it. She tried googling and said there's different advice on what to do.

Any ideas? Many thanks.

10 years ago I lived in a Mobile Home Park.
Where I live, even a 'trailer' costs a fortune.
Especially a modular.

Anyway I remember there was about 1/2 Acre of land just sitting there, probably still is. But we weren't allowed to make it into a garden.

No common sense.

Now I can't afford any amount of land here where I am from and have lived my whole life, CA, So I am going to try and put in a couple of above ground planters, and also use a few big Pots and grow vegies. And hopefully a couple Lemon Trees. I have a green thumb. Love to watch things grow, and learn about it.

It's another Mobile Home Park, in a Nicer area, and it cost nearly 1/2 M to get into, the 'buy in' and the Modular,back at the height of the Bubble in '06. Now 'worth' 1/3 of that price.
Since it's a mobile home, you have Much less property taxes, if it were a house with a foundation, the taxes alone would be 600$ a MONTH.
and actually not one house in this county would sell for less than 1/2 M. And it would be an old old place at that. TAXES alone would be $800.00 a month and the house would be 50+ years old.

Now I would THINK that these old timers who 'own' the MH Park would HAVE A FREAKING GARDEN/ SMALL FARM in it, but NO they don't. It's all paved over anyway.
But even if they just took out one of the trailers and used that for a small farm, you could feed everyone, but NO, they won't have it.

IDIOTS. When I get in I will push for that, but it's highly unlikely. People, especially old people don't like CHANGE of any kind. IMO. Most of them. And they Hate me for being 'young' in comparison.

Been here so long, and really have too many 'ties' to leave. but almost anywhere else is cheaper.

Will stay and make the best of it.

Umm, what do you mean by all out, Cash?

You seem to be advocating outright genocide.

3 million Vietnamese were killed and one million Iraqis, with 4 million refugees.

Vast areas of Vietnam were deforested with chemicals that cause birth defects and cancer to this day.

Iraqi and Yugoslavia were both modern countries, and the US targeted their infrastructures, including water and sewage treatment plants, electrical grids and hospitals.

The US has committed war crimes in its attacks on other countries, and even had the World Court rule against it when it mined Nicaragua's harbors in the 80s.

It is illegal and immoral to wage the kind of anti-civilian wars that the US has waged for 60 years, but you seem to call for even worse.

I'm surprised. The "stabbed in the back" theory is usually a right wing tact, used by Hitler re WW1 and by the right wing in this country re Vietnam.

"And you even fantasize some kind of glorious future!"

Vlad, if they gave out medals for false assumptions, you'd get the gold.

Wow, Q!

To have a "tax liability" (taxes owed) of $145,000 for five consecutive years, how much income would you need?

You have completely destroyed Pepper Spray's paranoia about the exit tax! A very very small number of people in such a category are looking to renounce their citizenship.

Thank you so much. Good work, Q!

That's pretty interesting, tt.

My extended family is Mormon, although not my nuclear family.

I thought that only the males became missionaries.

So, I asked my Egyptian Facebook friend what's going on, and he says that the army is split, and they're not holding back the protestors, but that the head of the military has flown to Wash, DC (to get orders?)

He believes that the government will fall within hours.

Well, then they should have picked their own damn cotton.

Hot off the wire: "Stocks worldwide plunged the most since November, crude oil jumped and the dollar gained against the euro after protests in Egypt intensified and President Hosni Mubarak imposed a nationwide curfew. Egypt’s dollar bonds sank, pushing yields to a record high.

The MSCI World All-Country World Index of stocks in 45 countries lost 1.3 percent at 2:26 p.m. New York time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2 percent to 11,840.58, putting its longest weekly winning streak since 1995 in jeopardy. Oil futures increased 4.2 percent to $89.24. The dollar appreciated 0.9 percent to $1.3617. Yields on Egypt bonds due in 2020 surged 22 basis points to 6.51 percent and rose 86 points this week, the most since they were sold in April." And what was the biggest story here in Detroit, Michigan? It was the release of Charlie Sheen from a Los Angeles hospital where he was taken after complaining of abdominal pains.

Pro, thankyou for the tip of the hat but I just want to say that I loathe "left" and "right" in equal measure so I don't know that I'd be any good as a spokeman for the "right" even if I was American.

As Eleuthero would say there's not a dimes worth of difference between Democrat and Republican or, in Canuck terms, Conservative and Liberal. The irony is that their respective supporters group themselves into opposing camps of "left" and "right". Not that any of the parties give a shit what their supporters say.

So why do I detest the "left"? Because to me the agenda of what we loosely call the "left" is an agenda of societal suicide. And why do I detest the "right"? Because what they strive for is economic suicide.

What motivates them? On the left it's blind, unreasoning hate of their own society, traditions and country. Why the hate? Really, what does it matter? It can't be argued with. On the right it's blind, unreasoning greed. The right paints itself as corn dog eating, rock ribbed patriotic murkans all the while doing everything they can to undermine the country's economy and government. The justification? Liberty and a free market. The real issue? Their own bank accounts. And the justification of the left? That the US is evil incarnate, an imperialistic, all consuming cancer that needs to be eradicated.

Both left wingers and right wingers IMO are twisted and evil. The agenda of both left and right is to destroy the US (and also to destroy Canada, our left and right ideologues are no less vile if somewhat different in their ideology) and my agenda is piss all over both whenever I can.

To get orders...hah. Wage there you go again massively overinflating American power. What can anyone in Washington do? What would they advise? Nothing and nothing.

If they went to Washington it was to ask for refuge.

Prices rose alot more than 1.6% these past 2 years. Try 50% to 100%. The CPI index is total BS.
===========

Get a grip on yourself Mika. You're talking like the barflies at the Bottle and Cork where I hung the last ten years of my illustrious 8-ball career.

The apparent disconnect between the BLS's inflation data and what you think is reality is a result of what is included in the so-called typical basket of goods and services, not literally the fudging of numbers for ulterior motives. I'm not certain but I believe (a key driver of) the low CPI readings of the past two years were greatly influenced by declining home values. If you are like me - not affected by declining home values (that hold down the CPI) because I paid off my mortgage in 2005 - the inflation I experience is based on things like movie tickets going from $8 to $10 (a 25% increase) or eggs over easy with sausage, home fries, toast and coffee going from $6.35 to $7.95 (+25.2%) at the local hash house.

As to your remark that "the CPI index is total BS," I used to think that might be true but when I realize that thousands of government employees would have to be in on the conspiracy I reject it. Show me even one individual who has said "I worked 30 years for the BLS and their data is bullshit and I can prove it." BTW, I dealt on a daily basis for 26 years with CPI and other BLS generated data and saw no reason to doubt its veracity.

P.S. I note that both you and, especially, Vlad incorrectly write "alot" a lot.

As to your remark that "the CPI index is total BS," I used to think that might be true but when I realize that thousands of government employees would have to be in on the conspiracy I reject it.
==

Did the CPI index double and triple when housing prices double and triple? Anyway, if that's your rational for rejecting reality, you're an idiot. And not just an idiot, but a completely certified moron.

doubled and tripled

Tradition is great. Next time you go to the doctor's office when you're feeling bad, you can request that they slap some leeches on your arm.

"Both left wingers and right wingers IMO are twisted and evil. The agenda of both left and right is to destroy the US"

This statement is highly insulting to anyone of a moderate stripe - which is most people. I know of no one on the moderate left and right who think this way. Displeasure with country does not necessarily equal hate of country, it's usually resentment of certain factions and what they are doing to it. For those that hate it, I say leave and I hope the door hits you in the ass. You obviously speak of fringe extremists and fundamenteds on either side of the spectrum who are known perpetrators of hate and violence.

As a proud lefty, not only do I want to see the U.S. stop meddling in the affairs of foreign countries who despise us, I want us to flourish and grow sustainably, and lead by example in the world. I also work enough non-profit/volunteer hours a week to constitute a second job trying to make this a reality. Blanket stereotyping of this sort is indicative of a very small mind.

First of all Wage, the words legal and moral and war don't belong on the same page. The stock in trade of war is death and destruction. The aim is to break the will of your opponents and make them surrender. For what reason? One of two reasons: to stop them from making war or to heist their land and resources.

It took ten years of exceedingly bloody warfare in the 20th century to make Germany behave. I read that in WW2 alone Germany suffered 14 million war casualties, ten million of which were inflicted by the USSR. In WW2, despite taking millions of dead and wounded, both in combat and from bombing raids, the Japanese army was still pretty much intact and itching for an American invasion of the main Japanese islands so convinced were they that they could win and send the Americans packing.

So what was the US response? Two atomic bombs. One wasn't enough to convince the Japanese to quit. And there's even a school of thought that the atomic bombs weren't what convinced Hirohito to throw in the towel. Do you know what they say did the trick? A declaration of war by the USSR. Apparently the Japanese had heard about what the Red Army had inflicted on eastern Europe and especially Germany and the thought of an enraged, drunken Soviet army raping and murdering everything in sight in Japan was too much to contemplate. The Japanese knew their enemies. The Americans had some respect for life. The Soviets had none, not even their own.

The point of all this? That war is an exceedingly bloody business that can't be won on the cheap. Is it effective? Let me ask you, have you heard a peep lately from confederate secessionists? How about German Nazis or Japanese militarists? No? If you're going to wage war you have to be prepared to kill on a massive scale or don't bother because otherwise it is absolutely pointless.

Another example from history? The Roman invasion of Gaul. The Celts were fierce, warlike people who invaded and settled northern and central Italy and were a constant threat. So Julius Caesar went in and killed one quarter of the population of what is now the territory of modern France ie around one million people out of four million. Did it work? The Celts went from being proud wariors to peaceful farmers that started speaking Latin and paying taxes to Rome. So yes, it worked.

So do I advocate war? Only as a defensive measure and only as an absolute, last resort.

As far as Yugoslavia goes, the Serbs have a lot to atone for. If not for the US and British bombing them would they still be raping and murdering their neighbours? The Serbs looked to Russia for support but the Russians said forget it.

Thank you so much. Good work, Q!
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Yes, I intended to mention that my correction of your error strengthened, rather than diminished, your point - that relatively few would be dissuaded by the exit tax criteria - but I hit submit too quickly.

My point is that you often copy, paste and submit shit without understanding its true meaning ... like when you said "there is no inflation. Fiat money works."

"Anti-American, Anti-Western, and Anti-White"

Vlad, you are someone who...

-Hates anyone with darker skin than you.
-Hates American culture in its current form.
-Hates the "liberals" and "socialists".
-Hates modern day values like tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

So it is more than a little hypocritical for you to be labeling others as "Anti", wouldn't you say?

Explain to me why it's up to you to lead by example or any other way. Still the urge to meddle?

And I suspect that if I had crapped only on the right and not the left you would have lauded my post as not blanket stereoptyping indicative of a very small mind but rather one who was highly moral, perceptive and literate.

And how could this post be seen as insulting to moderates? Are you a moderate or a lefty? Or are lefties by definition "moderate" and right wingers by definition "extremists"?

"The agenda of both left and right is to destroy the US"

I think that's a pretty backward assessment. Most highly political types on the left and right claim they are trying to "save" America. Whether they actually are or not is another question. But the stated agenda is always about how much they will improve things.

I think you need to stop picking on left-handed people. They have it rough in this right-handed world.

Cash said: "As Eleuthero would say there's not a dimes worth of difference between Democrat and Republican..."

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There is that falsehood again.

If it was true, wouldn't FOXNews promote Democrats?
Why does FOX only promote Republicans? Perhaps there is a difference?

Cash said: "The Americans had some respect for life. "

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Seen on a pickup truck bumper sticker today:

God bless our troops, especially the snipers.

The USA has a federal budget, most of which is dedicated to activities of death and destruction, and a populace that believes in warfare, especially at times like 9/12.

Funny kind of respect for life, that.

Q said: "My point is that you often copy, paste and submit shit without understanding its true meaning."

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I am guilty as charged. I copy. I paste. I do not understand the "true meaning" of what I do or why I exist.

Does anyone understand the "true meaning" of those things?

Does not understanding the "true meaning" make one a fool, or a liar?

Are those the only choices for someone who contains multitudes?

At least you did not attack me for defending Sarah Palin and saying the millions of hunters and non-vegetarians who watched her program on TLC are good people.

Thank you for that.

Cash said: "So do I advocate war? Only as a defensive measure and only as an absolute, last resort."

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This is priceless.

How do you define "defensive measure"? Suppose you suspect someone (you know, like Saddam Hussein) is doing something (you know, like developing weapons of mass destruction), then are you justified to go to war?

How you do define "last resort"? Pretty much any way you want when you really want to go to war, when you believe in violence and think there are "winners" in a war.

Egypt gets billions in military aid from the U.S. Only Isreal gets more $$$$$. Wonder what will happen to all that fancy US military equipment? Not sure I even want to think about it. What a mess.

SJmom

I didn't write that, Cash did (note the quotes). I should have hit "Reply" to him instead of a new comment..

Nonetheless ........ working for a 501(c)3 means working the middle to accomplish anything. That means dealing with the more moderate factions of both parties that can work side by side and get the job done. Very often, we agree on the basic mission, it's just how do we get there.

Now, are the more moderate candidates from both parties going away? Sadly, yes, most notably the Repubs. My state became the laughing stock of the U.S. when Mike Castle lost in the primary to Christine O'Donnel. Mike was a guy who reached across the isle, was pragmatic, threw a bone (or at least a few crumbs) to a number of progressive causes. We see where it got him.

Hey cash, how much volunteer time do you put in? Are you active in civic affairs? Joined a Civic League lately? Are you an active member of any non-profits? What are you doing in your spare time to enhance city, state, or country you live in, for the betterment of its citizens and community? Just curious ...

Only males get the preisthood in the Mormon church. It's a right-of-passage for males to go on a mission at age 19. For women, it's highly optional, and they can't go until they're 21.

Jen

Wow, busy afternoon of CFN.
I'm starting at the bottom and trying to work my way to the top.

SJ says:
"Wonder what will happen to all that fancy US military equipment? Not sure I even want to think about it."

If our national and military planners have even the amount of sense that God gave a goat - then there are hardware chips built into critical equipment that will bring it to a standstill pretty quickly.

I know lack of spare parts will ground most military aircraft fairly quickly, also.

We may soon have a chance to find out, won't we?

'What really is needed to create jobs is simply FREE SALARIES, huge governm