White Is The New Black


     Let it be remembered that, as the world was blowing up, Fashion Week gave the New York news media a case of the vapors. But let them tell it. In the immortal words of The New York Times's Cathy Horyn: "...amid the parkas and the managed pant-suits there was a story here: the amount of embellishment and new technology...."
     The mantra of New Technology is on everybody's lips, of course. New Technology is the New Jesus. It's descending from out of the holy ethers to float us across the rivers of Babylon to the New Jerusalem - although, now that fashion has got its hooks into the stuff, I dunno, it could be game over for New Technology. Nothing goes out of fashion like fashion. The same newspaper, by the way, tells us that "long-form blogs" are also joining the Dodo and Paris Hilton in the Museum of Extinct Curiosities. But I wouldn't want to try this on Twitter. And the mosh-pit of Facebook seems an uncongenial place for my brand of high-toned comedy. I guess I'll have to soldier on here.
     Around the same time that Kanye West was perusing the gift bags at the Alexander Wang show on Pier 94, I heard a curious thing on NPR. Some cheeky young envoy from the realm of New Technology was complaining that the "public space" of Twitter and Facebook had to be respected world-wide as "the new town square," and wasn't it appalling that the authorities tried to shut these things down in places like Egypt, Algeria, and the lesser kingdoms of Arabia? 
      This is the kind of virtual thinking that passes for mental exercise these days in the land ruled by Lady Gaga. Hello. We (meaning the USA) do not run these foreign countries - I know it may come as a surprise to the paranoid conspiracy crowd. Even when these faraway places blow up and their former tyrants beat it to Monte Carlo, Zurich, or Riyadh, we do not step in and run them. We try to meddle a little, of course, but in the moiling red mists of revolution nobody even has the authority to pay attention to one of our perspiring attaches, and they don't want to hear our bullshit anyway, even when it comes with a suitcase full of cash.
      The idea that the rest of the world owes Jeff Zuckerberg and the creators of Twitter a certain respect is unrealistic, though it goes against the grain of our own First Amendment and the cardinal beliefs of Rachel Maddow. The clinical psychologists often speak of boundary problems - the inability to recognize where your stuff leaves off and the other person's stuff begins - but what we're seeing now in the American thought-sphere is explicitly geographic (and ethnographic) confusion. We don't understand that we are not them, and they are not us.
     Likewise, the infantile idea that these nations in the throes of revolt will slide from disorder into natural democracy like falafels into a pita pocket. What you generally get in political upheavals throughout history are protracted periods of confusion, factional fighting, and violence.  More often than not, they resolve in the rise of a new tyrant, some figure who seems to know what he is doing when everybody else around him does not - which is the essence of human charisma, being a declension of the following:
     1.) People who know what they are doing.
     2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
     3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
     4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
     Most of the human race is composed of the fourth category, which is why the figures in the categories above them claim their attention and allegience. Sometimes, the results are very unfortunate.
     The world is now blowing up politically at the same time that it is blowing up financially, and there should be little doubt about the relation of these two conditions. At a time of rising resource scarcity (oil, metals, fertilizers), and capital scarcity (unpaid loans vanishing in the black hole of default), and raucous weather in places where grain crops usually grow (Russia, Australia, Argentina), you can be sure that things will get weird.
     They are finally getting weird in the streets of the USA now, too. Wisconsin is surely just the first of many hashes that cry to be settled - and that state is not nearly as broke as Illinois, New Jersey, and California. A lot of stuff is shaking loose out there. Our charismatic leaders, alas, have been drawn mostly from category 3, and out of all their pretending comes a banking system that is flying apart like a Chrysler Slant Six engine that somebody poured Karo syrup into, thinking it might work as an "alternative fuel." The reverberations will be felt in every household, business, and office in the land.
     Some wags out there are even blaming Ben Bernanke for the worldwide rise in food prices, and the cause-and-effect relationship there is rather plausible. You juice the world money supply with an artificial $100 billion a month, at least, and the juice flows somewhere, lately into stock and commodity markets because who the heck wants bonds when no issuing entity has a prayer of staving off some kind of default, and the interest rates are a joke anyway.
     Americans lost in the Techno-rapture and the inane transports of Fashion Week have no idea how fragile our vital supply chain system is. If the lands around the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea continue to fall apart politically, you can be sure that something required by the oil markets will get broken over there - whether it is an oil terminal, or a shipping channel, or a royal skull - and before you can say Mike Huckabee the shipments of food to America's supermarkets will be interrupted, with predictable results.
     This could be a helluva week. We've flattered ourselves for years about how wonderful it is that everything is connected in this world - the Tom Friedman fantasy about the eternal sunshine of the global economy. Now, we're more likely to see the dark side of connectedness, as the planet's goodie-bag deflates and folks in colorful costumes start fighting over what's left.
_______________________________________________
My books are available at all the usual places.


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778 Comments

First!

SECOND!

Strange times indeed. Welcome to the Great Unmaking.

Gotta get up everyday and keep trying though, despite how fucked we are... right?

Here, now you can feel like your helping the cause.

This is a 30 second clip I'm sure will be laughed at, yet driving off the sun is a reality...

Please watch and vote

https://www.drivenissanleaf.com/Win/Vote.aspx?b=Y272Y85WBYZG

- Solar Guy

So well said and resonant with an argument I had this weekend.

Alternet.org had/has a story there on how new Wikileaks are about to release a story on how the Saudis have overestimated their remaing supply by FOURTY (40!) PERCENT. Peak oil was mentioned, and for an hour or so, I bantered with some asshat there who proclaimed he once beleived in Peak Oil, but did some google research and found that TECHNOLOGY will save us from PO because NEW TECHNOLOGY is getting oil out of the ground that couldn't be gotten before - and therefore if we used that technology to get that oil, and frack every square inch of the US and make drilling platforms the new millionaire vista from Florida - we would all be saved. He claimed that PO is a ruse simply because of NEW FINDS and NEW Technology and the fact that US oil production rose for the first time in decades thanks to that new technology.

It is refreshing to read what you write/wrote because I know I am not alone in my thinking or beliefs that technology is not a godsend to deliver us from the NEW dark ages. But I do hold out hope that someone will invent a new technology to deliver me from paying taxes.

Here is the story on Alternet:

http://www.alternet.org/environment/149876/are_we_headed_for_massive_oil_price_spikes_leaked_cables_claim_saudi_oil_reserves_grossly_overstated/

New technology - can't save you from a-holes, black holes, or reality......

I've exchanged my $1100/mo mortgage for $250/mo, better food, WAY less stress, better friends, more beach...in other words, downsized to a realistic, sustainable lifestyle...by moving to a warm country.

btw you people with your FIRST! & SECOND! are irritating morons.

there are tens of thousands of expatriated americans who've found some sanity overseas, get out of the System, stop playing their game

Excellent rant. Apparently the access to certain inane American self-flattery websites and "Two and a Half Men" culture has become a global human right to which no one can be denied. Check out this quick review of "GasLand": http://www.lesswaiting.com/gasland.shtml

Good commentary as usual. I am appalled how the powers to be are so willing to spend the country's money to protect the well of, and so willing to throw the middle class to the wolves. The debacle in Wisconsin brings that issue to the front page. If government approached the Wall Street financial fiasco with the same enthusiasm Wisconsin is displaying on its pensions and public employees union, then people would be hanging from streetlights on Wall Street. The differance in the approach is very revealing about priorities.

Couldn't agree more with your take on the riots in Africa and the Middle East. How that will end up is anyone's guess, but don't count on a smooth transition to democracy. They may end up with a tyrant not to our likeing, and what then, another invasion to make the world safe for democracy?

But hey, the fashion world is much more important,so don't worry, be happy. Right!

Great screed per usual. I hope everyone is buying Jim's books to keep him in the bling.

Thanks Jim, for another great Monday morning essay, especially;
- the inability to recognize where your stuff leaves off and the other person's stuff begins - but what we're seeing now in the American thought-sphere is explicitly geographic (and ethnographic) confusion. We don't understand that we are not them, and they are not us."

The saddest this is that we in this country have a lesser chance of ever experiencing real Democracy than those poor people out in the streets, and under the guns.

Walking on icy Main Street of N. Hampton, Mass. yesterday ... everybody, I mean everybody, young and old, walking along heads down looking or fiddling with their cell phones. The cell phone ... now that it is connected to the internet ... is where all wisdom is to be found and all questions answered.

Most Americans are more concerned about whats happening on "American Idol" than in the Middle east. I must admit I was surprised to see the Protests in Wisconsin. As you said, many states out there are in far worse shape than the cheese-heads...
Curious to see which State is next. My bet is on California.

Welles;

Which country?

-Marlin

CHINA is turning into the elephant in the room. After at least three years of extreme drought they WILL NOT be able to grow any grain (they have continued to try and seed the weather but there is only so much water out there). What happens when they need to feed 2 billion people this fall and winter? Will they begin to look North or South for food? Their deal with North Korea for a port looks like a giant takeover and the North Koreans will not be able to say no because they are starving too. Things look like they are coming to a head all across the world and nobody will be able to put any acne cream on it to make it look better. I look forward to the ZIT getting popped!

Great post today, JHK, but that's why we keep reading you. You see through all the memes that are just holding false hope together before people wake up to the realities and they will.

Today I was watching C-Span and lo and behold a Republican called in to say that she couldn't live without government assistance to her heating bills. What an interesting break-through. She said she was grateful for the assistance and never thought she'd be in that position. With 22.4% real unemployment and more to come with more mergers, this thing will start hitting critical mass.

About the labor issues in WI., the Republicans who play this game of fiscal responsibility have so far only gone after public commons issues and the left wing supported funding.

Their credibility is on the line for what they want to do about the giant privatized surveillance apparatus we pay untold amounts for and yet again our CIA didn't have a clue about the middle east. Too busy looking at us and not on what's going on out there---always the easy way out.

What will they (Reps) do about military spending? Or all those tax breaks and hand-outs to the corporate commies? Outside of trying to destroy the Democrats, what are their answers to the problems we face. Just the usual cut taxes to the wealthy and no regulations...Now that's rich. Why did the center vote for these BS artists anyway?
_______

Elle Be Me, Great post. I miss reading your comments. They are always on target. Just because you can get a bit more oil out of the ground than you did in the past, you can't furnish the growing economies in China and India on that.



Look, buy into it, or not. I don't believe in resource scarcity anymore, I used to, the first posts on this site were me preaching to the choir.

I believe JHK's view is too limited. Anyways, I may be 100 % wrong, that is fine, I can easily admit I 100 % suck, I really don't care, I probably suck anyways...

If you want a deeper view, read my past posts and nameta9 or old6598 on www.ilovephilosophy.com.

check out:

From:


http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174320


Yes, these issues evolve, as usual, in an infinite regression of complexity. Then, I don't know, something happened in the last decades. The US (and even the EU) from the 1950s to at least the 1980s had a ratio of minimum wage to rent at around 3 to 1. Not so anymore today. Has capitalism run out of gas, so to say ? Has technology automated away so much labor and optimized so many processes as to no longer provide enough "opportunities" ? Are there too few possibilities to make a profit, that you have to use ever more frauds and tricks like subprime loans ? Did globalization, with the entry of hundreds of millions of new, often educated workers change the situation forever ?

The old ideologies that worked for the US and EU from 1950 to 2000 can no longer be applied.

The reason I use the minimum wage (and you say no one makes, it, well then many are forced to work 2 or 3 minimum wage part times to make due, and in most of the world outside the US, like JAPAN, the EU, Latin America, etc. the situation is exactly as a said, most wages are minimum or low, most rents are very high, most of the time a wage is exactly equivalent to a rent) is because it represents a kind of BARRIER TO ENTRANCE. A fundamental barrier for any slob working the simplest job, 8 hours a day to live in some kind of house on his own with just that salary. It could be done in the US during the 60s, 70s and the US was capitalistic wasn't it ?

If you have welfare queens, well that is a result of EXCESS CAPACITY, the system is rich enough to give them everything for free anyways. EXCESS CAPACITY is the result of decades of application of education, technology, science, optimizations in the worldwide production system. This has made it so that there are deep structural changes that are now evident: most of what the economy needs can be provided with very little labor, at almost any price point, from almost anywhere (also thanks to the internet, computers, communications) etc. This changes the ball game completely, this makes all of the previous models, free market, or socialdemocratic or communist mostly obsolete. The system is a new animal, with completely different forces at work, all of the old ideas are mostly useless.

Do I have a solution ? Maybe not, maybe I am 100 % wrong on everything, great, who cares, talking about this stuff is just a hobby for me. But the only thing I see that could really make a difference are large scale public - private entities bringing on large scale ambitious projects. Like the space program: why on earth didn't obama invest heavily in this ? This is a great way to give "motivation", "dreams" to kids, to advance technology, to create high class good jobs, to find new resources, to get new companies making new things, etc. This is one of those trends (not invest in large public space programs) that are insanely wrong to me, this is one of only a few possible real innovations. The trend should become large scale ambitious projects and programs, not little company owners being workaholics to build their McMansion.

EXCESS CAPACITY: look at all of those joggers, all of those working out in gyms, etc. If you used all of that muscle energy in production factories, how much more labor could be available ? If you used the joggers to run bicycles that generate electricity, how much more energy could be produced ? Maybe we need, hobby factories, where people, in their free time, can work an hour or 3 shifts on production lines, manufacturing cars, BUSES, whatever. A really nice workout instead of the gym and you feel productive and satisfied, you actually did some real work instead of the office stuff.

But there is another more subtle game at play here, by atomizing people, everyone is specialized in something so obscure that only he and some future boss can judge it and decide to eliminate that job, puts the blame and situation squarely on the shoulders of the atomized person: it is never the structure of society, the general workings of the economy that determine that he "lost his job", but his personal failure, the general rules and structures of society are never questioned, when this is really the reason jobs are lost, because the general rules of the economy and society operate like this even though no collective action is possible, because everyone is such a specific individual. It makes me think about why websites like facebook and twitter are so sexed up in importance, are considered so cool: let people get used to short sentences, let them think in very short concepts, almost like small actions and reactions, so that they can never express deeper thoughts that can potentially question larger questions. It also makes me wonder, how so many in the US, losing their jobs, send out tens of resumes, have to find some new skill set to sale, are actually working in a sense, 24 hours a day worrying and trying to land some good paying job. So much effort, just to make people slide like worms on the ground. In this sense it is better in other countries, they may be poorer, but psychologically under much less strain, stress, guilt complexes, what they lack in material wealth, the US lacks in psychological well being.

Also, the talk of motivation, of people not wanting to "do something about" their economic situation never takes into account exactly what is available to do, namely odd, fluffy office jobs, call centers, salesmen, waiting tables, walmart or home depot clerk, etc. these are the majority of the possible choices, there really are not that many.

By working 60, 70 hours a week, you automatically force others to work just as much or be labeled lazy. Companies and the right wing loves this because they can make the hours longer and longer. So they guy next to you may "work 80 hours a week", well, you don't have enough motivation, you are then lazy even working 70 hours. Oh, but the guy over there works 120 hours, so everyone else becomes lazy, not motivated, etc. (reminds of the dot com slobs that worked like crazy). Don't you see where this thinking goes ?

“We may in fact have hit peak fish at the same time we are hitting peak oil.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/20/AR2011022002967.html?hpid=topnews

All very good points! I think that the Senate and our good old Prez should ok the cuts that the fuckstick house ok'd! Then we can just watch everything fall apart and burn.

I think you're right on about the potential for another oil shock out of the middle east. ANY disruption to Saudi Arabia, and what the 1979 Iran revolution did to oil prices will be seen as a minor hiccup compared to where prices will go from here.

Still, getting rid of despots hated by America such as Reagan's arch nemisis Gadaffi has got to be a good thing in the long run. Even Reagan couldn't get rid of him with air strikes directly on his house.

And you're also right, of course, how sad it is to see so many people around us fiddling with silly electronic phones, Ipods and other children's toys when real issues like the global financial ponzi scheme, catastrophic climate change and peak oil are completely ignored.

(I don't like reading fiction-but I'll be first in line to buy your non-fiction sequel to 'the long emergency', once you write it- hint, hint!)

Dear Jim:

A long time admirer of your written word. Wish you the best in the maelstrom to come.

Dr. D

Curious to see which State is next. My bet is on California.

Don't be on us! We've got the fiscal conservative Brown, i/o actor Arnold, now.

The view from California are that things are a goddamn mess and TPTB are proceeding to bluster and point fingers when they aren't bailing with goddamn colanders. Thank god pot is legal with the standard, bogus, doctor's note.

Sooner or later Moonbeam and the GOP minority that gets veto power in the legislature will shut everything down and the only people left with good jobs i.e. government workers will have nothing to do but cause a ruckus.

It's not that we don't have problems; it's that solutions to those problems are deemed out of the realm of physics if they impugn upon the wealthy. Governments only work if you tax somebody and taxing the poor doesn't cut it. Starving the poor doesn't work well because the poor have matches and this state is flammable for six months of the year.

The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion.

LOL... how funny to tune into CFN and find fashion week mentioned right off the bat... it reminded me of my favorite diatribe from the movie'The Devil Wears Prada' delivered by a perfectly bitchy Meryl Streep who is the editor of a US fashion magisine based on Vogue and it's editor Anna Wintour.

It always struck me as a perfect illistation of what Americans think is important(stupid things like football stats, "smart phones", and the latest dress fad)... the lines are delivered with the attutide of someone who has cured cancer.

(Miranda and her assistants are deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy snickers because she thinks they look exactly the same.)

Miranda Priestly: "Something funny?"

Andy Sachs: "No, no, nothing. Y'know, it's just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. Y'know, I'm still learning about all this stuff."


Miranda Priestly: "This... 'stuff'? Oh... ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blindly unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? (That's what we need here, a jacket)And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic "casual corner" where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of "stuff."

cant wait till gas hits 10 bucks a gallon.
lmfao

Will the long emergency turn into the immediate crisis? The long, slow descent into destitution is not working. What is needed is a shock doctrine in reverse, a shock which will create the necessary awareness for immediate change. However, it is not clear what this change will be as it might create even a more heightened sense of denial.

"Americans lost in the Techno-rapture and the inane transports of Fashion Week have no idea how fragile our vital supply chain system is. If the lands around the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea continue to fall apart politically, you can be sure that something required by the oil markets will get broken over there - whether it is an oil terminal, or a shipping channel, or a royal skull - and before you can say Mike Huckabee the shipments of food to America's supermarkets will be interrupted, with predictable results."

-Kunstler the Bold (Raconteur at large and Sovereign of the on-line nation of Clusterfuckia)
***************

'Nother good 'un, Mr. Kunstler!
I kept the coffee inside my mouth [and connected nasal passages], but just barely. The very mention of Huckabee as gen-yu-wine pres'den'shul material cracks me up every time. I guess I'm in love with absurdity; what's that saying?

Meanwhile, in Dumbfuckistan, why do so few see the incredible danger in a GLOBAL supply chain? Because it's gi-normous and complex makes it robust??
Just trying to entertain the thought that most think "everything's fine; it's all good [except for credit becoming a bit thin]" is getting tough. Sure, I gets me a cackle out of it, but it's sounding a bit hollow and madness-inspired! Lawdy, it's the beginning of withdrawal and de-luuuusion, I tells ya...

Keep on it; enjoying the podcast as well! Thanks much.

As far as his thoughts in the last 2 posts on the Arab uprisings, Jim neglects to honestly acknowledge the degree to which the revolt really is the product of human desire for a social order that is not a crude autocracy. These regimes are all marked by corruption, lack of opportunity and extreme disparities of wealth. Is food part of this? Seems likely but the students are not hungry, the doctors who are showing up to treat the wounded aren't either. Actually Kunstler has mostly put downs for non Jews of the greater middle east and his analysis is tainted by cultural bias. Better to read Robert Fisk who lives there or academics from the region, Democracy Now or Al Jazeera. Perhaps we are a little embarrassed that in the US where we have similar concentrations of power and similar overlordship by a bloated military system there is little sign of widespread call for a new order.

Jim,

Really good commentary today. I am surprised though that you didn't say something about yesterday's victory by America's youngest Daytona 500 hero. :)

More of the same I suppose. Anyway good points today all.

The calm before the inevitable storm has passed.

Right on Miss Forward!

http://www.gwabert.com/

That car isn't running "off the sun"... the "solar" panels contribute as much sunlight to "running that car" as the dab of toothpaste you put on a brush and spit out contributes to the running of you.
That car runs on coal... Let's ALL buy a "Nissan Leaf" and see just how fast the mountains of West Virginia get leveled.....

(if you don't believe me look at what gas powered cars have done to Crane, Texas)


This sentence jumped from the article:

"Our charismatic leaders, alas, have been drawn mostly from category 3, and out of all their pretending comes a banking system that is flying apart like Chrysler Slant Six engine that somebody poured Karo syrup into, thinking it might work as an "alternative fuel."

Couldn't pay you enough for that one.

Thanks.

-Kunstler the Bold (Raconteur at large and Sovereign of the on-line nation of Clusterfuckia)

Hmmmm, might sound better as "the *VIRTUAL* nation of Clusterfuckia", eh?

As we should have learned by now, through the magic of Madison Ave., "virtual" is so much sexier than "actual". ;o)

"I look forward to the ZIT getting popped!"

The ZIT being 2 billion people not eating? You are an asshat.

It seems the middle west suffers from the same problems as the middle east and the good people of Wisconsin are finally saying enough. Although not ready to immolate themselves they are ready to say, "enough is enough".

Technology has taken us far, so far that it has taken us away from some of the simpler, more common sense approaches to living. Instead we clutter our lives with technological gadgets that ultimately make us slaves to specialists. The car is a perfect example of this. The slant 6 engine Jim refers to once simple enough that a one could get under the hood and change a spark plug is now so complex that one is lucky to identify a spark plug.

Unfortunately this has popped up even in home construction. I have asked home owners if I could see their boiler, or heating unit.... and guess what they dont know where it even is. This is sad but true. I would like to send those of you interested in this sort of discussion to my blog. This blog entry http://greenovisionblog.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html
is about the latest style often found Dwell magazine about Prefabrication and how wonderful it is.... sorry I disagree... just another style that takes us further from simple regional understanding of materials and local knowledge, skills etc. Take a look at my blog here too... where I take apart The Ikea concept... scroll down
http://greenovisionblog.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html

I wish our country was as stoutly built as a Chrysler slant 6. Years ago my friends and I amused ourselves by trying to destroy a slant six that was part of a rusty old Dodge Dart. We drained the oil, started her up, and placed a brick on the gas pedal, taking bets on how long she'd go before she seized up. We gave up after a half an hour and hauled the entire thing to the junk yard.

All the blank slate theory busybodies are exercising their conceits when it comes to the Middle East and its recent conundrum.

Libertarians and the progressives are perhaps the worst in this regard with their, "they really want to be like us" mentalities.

Here JHK will exercise the jewish caution towards Israel's numerous neighbors and the liberal Kos types will show up bleating about how whites are verminous beasts and we are all equal anyway, blah, blah, blah. Conservatives will show up with the 101st rationale for dropping ordinance on the Arabs till they turn into harmless consumers ,"just like us."

The American Empire of influence is predicated upon the Blank Slate Theory and the BST is built upon supersaturated quicksand. It's toast.

"everybody, I mean everybody, young and old, walking along heads down looking or fiddling with their cell phones"

Same here...sheep lost in fake communities online as they walk around. Not good enough to be tethered to a computer at a desk and participating in fake communities like CFNation :) Say, is there an iPhone app for Peak Oil?

What's that Bruner SF novel, The Sheep Look Up? Google it...it's our world.

One day soon, our sheep will look up. Gas nosed over $3/gallon here. The sheep will become alert at $3.50 and begin to baaaaah rather loudly. At $4 there will be a bit of biting at the shepherds. At $5? Killer sheep? At $10? Lots of mutton stew.

Our wooly-heads may notice sooner, however; I noted the much higher "basket price" at Kroger's last week, and I did some math: 20% run-up in staples such as sandwich rolls, ham, ground beef, and, horror of horrors, chips. Did not check on Cheese Doodles.

Soda remains cheap, of course. And beer, thank God. Just keep sipping, and check out that new iPhone app!

"She said she was grateful for the assistance and never thought she'd be in that position."

Hello...anyone with a brain there...hello...? The money still must come from SOMEWHERE. The Governor of Wisconsin went to the cupboard and just like Old Mother Hubbard, to his shock, the cupboard was bare. Why? Years of uninterrupted Democrat rule had stolen everything. EVERYTHING.

Take any city or state in America that is run by the Democratic machine. Every single one is bankrupt. Every. Single. One. So now, the bearers of bad news in New Jersey, Wisconsin and Ohio are Republican. They didn't cause the fiascos but they must level with the electorate a try and fashion a way forward. You should get on your knees and pray they succeed.

These public "servants" that bray like pigs at the trough are in for a rude comeuppance. They were over promised by weak, dishonest legislators that were held captive by unions threatening to strike, should their outrageous demands not be met. Fuck 'em one and all. Fuck 'em and fire 'em. And change the goddamned laws so these ravenous bastards can't work for the public "good" and be a member of a union. Collective bargaining and public service are incompatible, corrupt, bank-breaking and have led us down a road to ruin.

That car isn't running "off the sun"... the "solar" panels contribute as much sunlight to "running that car" as the dab of toothpaste you put on a brush and spit out contributes to the running of you.
That car runs on coal...

If you help me win it suburbanempire, mine will "RUN OFF THE SUN". And if you don't the CRX I am converting will.

A LEAF takes 24 kWh for a full charge which gets you 100 miles.

A 5kw solar array, ~20 panels, will easily cover that in a day.

And yes I know it is all too late, the doom and gloom has arrived at our doorstep. But I still continue to PUSH ON, DO GOOD, and KEEP SMILING.

NOW PLEASE VOTE for something that will help change the world. Or just keep spitting up toothpaste was the analogy?

https://www.drivenissanleaf.com/Win/Vote.aspx?b=Y272Y85WBYZG

JHK,
I always look forward to your acerbic take on Clusterfuck Nation. Particularly the wonderful nuggets embedded within. This week's:
"Our charismatic leaders, alas, have been drawn mostly from category 3, and out of all their pretending comes a banking system that is flying apart like Chrysler Slant Six engine that somebody poured Karo syrup into, thinking it might work as an "alternative fuel." is another gem! In regards to the protests in Wisconson in reaction to that states Governor, isn't he one of the several forward thinking Govenor's who have turned their noses up at funding for high-sreed rail? I know full well your take on HSR James and I agree. It is far better to get our existing inter and intra city rails up and running (the ones that are out there rusting in the rain) which can be done now and far cheaper than HSR. But the hubris displayed by these Govenors is beyond the pale.

"That car isn't running "off the sun"... the "solar" panels contribute as much sunlight to "running that car" as the dab of toothpaste you put on a brush and spit out contributes to the running of you. That car runs on coal... Let's ALL buy a "Nissan Leaf" and see just how fast the mountains of West Virginia get leveled....."

Right on Suburb, Check out this comment to "Crude oil jumps 4% as Libya protests spread" article on USAtoday.com.

"I just got my new Chevy Volt two weeks ago and no longer worry about what happens to oil pricing. They can eat their oil as far as I am concerned. More people will be purchasing the Volt because I received over $20,000.00 in rebates from the goverment and my state. I work 12 miles from my home so I have not put gas in it yet."

Talk about ass hats; what is it going to take for Americans to pull theirs out and realize that happy motoring with electricity is as equally stupid as happy motoring with oil. Twenty grand in rebates to entice people to purchase electric cars; WTFG?

SNAFU

Isn't it enough that you link to your site? Do we have to scroll through endless "something for nothing" philosophy?

"...$20,000.00 in rebates from the goverment"

Exactly. It is such a fucking great idea that you have to be bribed to the tune of twenty-thousand-dollars. So, us taxpayers all get together and help any MORON in our midst, who would buy one of these monstrosities, with a check for twenty-thousand-dollars.

We are asking, just begging for a real cosmic ass whipping.

If you used the joggers to run bicycles that generate electricity, how much more energy could be produced ?

Not much. The human body is not very efficient. It takes tremendous fitness to be able to maintain 300 watts for an hour. At 10 cents per KW hour (roughly the cost of electricity), your talking 3 cents in that hour. If you grew all the food in order to provide calories for that work, maybe you would have a slight overall gain in energy. Better to ditch your ICE toys & ride the bike instead.

"A 5kw solar array, ~20 panels, will easily cover that in a day."

Ok, fine, but... That vehicle needs a road to roll along. I wonder if electric snow-plows will be capable of clearing the roads in winter ? Doubtful. I wonder if electric earth dump trucks will be capable of repairing the roads in summer ? There is the problem of the maintaining the highway infrastructure and it is probably a very energy intensive activity. If the entire context of Happy Motoring is considered, it looks somewhat dubious (to me)...

Marlin,

i'm in brazil, but you might substitute plenty of other central/south american countries, or sunny islands here and there.

for me the US *was* a great country a few decades back but became a society of obese, bloated, vacuous people who lost their dignity & are mostly just unthinking tax slaves dying to achieve some 'dream' that's necrotic & toxic to one's soul.

but at least social security will be there to take care of you right?

Problem is that we have a hybrid system. There was nothing wrong with the Keynesian model, that is if you had a good employment rate, progressive taxation and a national economy as opposed to Globalism and neoliberalism!

You can't have it both ways--but we try anyway. We deliberately destroyed our national economy for the transnationals in both manufacturing and high end. Our media tells us we must go back to college again so we can get the sophisticated technical jobs, but they still won't want to pay our rates in this country. It's a losing battle.

We need the colleges to stay open to train the folks from the BRIC countries while we spin our wheels and get into more debt.--gotta love the game-plan.

They could end globalism if they wanted to but the continual scam will go on instead.

Now they are stealing from the tax-payers upwards to the black hole of the ultra-wealthy who have the meme of no taxes and no regulation. It's an obvious way of stealing locally, state-wise and Federal taxes to the top echelon and then they'll say we're out of money. The pensions were fine, until they were destroyed by the mortgage fraud and who has the money now?

SO obvious, Tootsie, why don't you recognize this?
Read the "Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein, I'm tired of having to explain this from scratch yet again....

"..the ultra-wealthy who have the meme of no taxes and no regulation."

A large fucking lie. A LIE. Yet it is repeated over and over But a LIE none-the-less. And I am supposed to find succor by reading a book recommended by a liar? I think not. Read on:

"Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 -- paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income."

So, somehow I am supposed to believe that 2% who are paying 62% of ALL FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL INCOME RECEIPTS, are NOT paying taxes? Fuck you. You are a liar.

Progs and Cons unite. While the circus rolls on and on, teachers strikes and Arab hanky panky absorbing our minute attention spans the super sneaks on Wall St. are stealing us blind.

Same in my little slice of GOP heaven where the politicians single out the unions while at the same time reward their contributors with tax dollars.

We are being played folks, the dem/repub Punch and Judy show is for entertainment purposes only.

Tootsie,

I'm bored already. I'm done trying to reason with you. If you haven't figured out that there has been and is a balkanization taking place here, that's your problem. I've been watching this for a very long time.

The top are not paying taxes tantamount to what they are making and we all know at this point that it's not working. Between the globalism and the Milton Friedmanism, the wealth is going into fewer and fewer hands.

Your foul language does not suffice for argument. Isn't gonna work because we all know what's going on.
Over and out for the rest of the day...

Meanwhile, the countries that collectively comprise the fuel tank of the world economy are bursting into flames:

"The head of the Al-Suwayya tribe in eastern Libya threatened on Sunday to cut oil exports to western countries within 24 hours unless the authorities put an end to the oppression of protesters."

"There are also fears that the unrest in northern Africa and the Middle East, which has already ousted the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents, could spread to Saudi Arabia."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/21/oil-price-climbs-libyan-unrest

To paraphrase Jim: we are one international incident away from going out of business as a civilization - the economy won't work on $150 a barrel oil. Better stock up on Cheese Doodles and gasoline while they are still affordable...

I had a funny little thought last week... that someday in the not too distant future, we will look back at Facebook and Twitter with the same disdain as we now view Big Hair and Mullet's from the 1980's.

It is embarrassing to think that Facebook and Twitter could enact any real change in the world.

In my view they work to disenfranchise people from real communication. They work to create the beehive effect.

I quickly tired of FBing as myself. I created an account as Aimlow Joe and "friended" random people. I have to say that Icelandic people are some of the Friendiest in the world.

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

"The top are not paying taxes tantamount to what they are making..."

So it goes from "no regulations and no taxes" to "...not paying taxes tantamount to what they are making.." See how you lie. You are called on your lie and you run away.

You say, "I'm bored already. I'm done trying to reason with you." But you haven't tried to reason with me. You have tried to lie to me and get me to agree with your lie. There is a difference but you are too fucking ignorant and too much of a meat puppet to know the difference.

So, do everyone here a favor. Don't just make it a "Over and out for the rest of the day..." Go away for good. We don't need liars for the coming challenges our country must face. We need the truth.

". . . long-form blogs" are also joining the Dodo . . .". Jim, nothing succeeds around these parts as The Short Attention Span Theater. Try to pare down your wordy blog to just ten words or so. And, multiple syllable are not going to cut it, either.

Remember, this is a democracy. Everyone's opinion is equally valuable. Try to follow the mainstream media's example.

Hey lbendet,

You wouldn't happen to be a Wisconsin, Democrat Senator would you? I mean with the running away and all.

Facebook might be worth perusing if you could find that one face among millions who has no “friend” but their own solitary notes written on a very lonely wall. Otherwise, it’s every Tom, Dick, and Betty behaving as if their own personal wall is the new world version of CNN and MTV. And they're so damned popular; some of them acquire up to fifty friends a day! And who doesn’t want to be popular, or have their own fan club, right?

On the other hand, one person’s distinguished “long-blog” is another person's checkout-stand tabloid:

http://ruskin.classicauthors.net/SesameAndLilies/SesameAndLilies2.html

Of course everyone involved in global warming are scam artists. These are just the first few to be caught:


"SEC Charges Seven in Global Warming Pump-and-Dump Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2011-46

Washington, D.C., Feb. 18, 2011 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a group of seven individuals who perpetrated a fraudulent pump-and-dump scheme in the stock of a sham company that purported to provide products and services to fight global warming.


The SEC alleges that the group included stock promoters, traders, and a lawyer who wrote a fraudulent opinion letter. The scheme resulted in more than $7 million in illicit profits from sales of stock in CO2 Tech Ltd. at artificially inflated prices. Despite touting impressive business relationships and anti-global warming technology innovations, CO2 Tech did not have any significant assets or operations. The company was purportedly based in London, and its stock prices were quoted in the Pink Sheets.

Hey Tootsie---
I've been saying the same things over and over again on this blog since May, but today you're getting super-emotional
Question is Why?
What's going on today with you that's different than any other day I have written on this blog.
You and I will never see this situation the same way in eternity, so there's no point in continuing.

Since I'm not a policy maker, there's really no reason to go on this level of attack.

We are left to wonder what the problem is.
I don't expect you to to enlighten me as to why you are on a war-path.

Just put in perspective. We're all writing on here and we all have a right to our opinion...its not going to amount to a hill of beans.

It is weird how being first with nothing to say is a prize of some sort on this comment roll.

Anyway, Americans are generally deluded. They desire distraction from true reality and want to see a quasi-reality on television with behind the picture tube workers with cameras, and carts, and grips and gips. They prefer to watch fashion models and "stars" with fake boobs pour out of of hugely expensive gowns and costumes as they parade around one another stroking egos.

During all of this viewing the deluded American eats Cheez Curls, and drinks highly caffeinated or alcoholic drinks sitting in their Lazy Boys, appropriately named.

In the meantime, the world oppressors are pissing off their oppressed citizens. Yet, when you have nothing to lose, losing it might be worth something.

Union workers in Wisconsin are now pissed off, too; but, there are many who want distractions instead of standing up against domestic oppressors, such as the corporate oligarchs' political mouthpieces.

The world is spinning faster than ever. Is this the Change We Can Believe In, Mr. President?

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

"Just put in perspective. We're all writing on here and we all have a right to our opinion.."

First you lie about the top earners not paying taxes. I call you on it. Your retort is, wellllll, they aren't paying enough. The you say you are going to leave our presence by posting, "Over and out for the day..." but you come back to post again. Another lie.

I'm sick of LIARS. So, just to put it in perspective, shut the fuck UP!

The "carbon trading" thing was always a bullshit way to "make money".... pushed by the limousine liberals like Al Gore.... flying around the globe in a private jet yelling about climate change.
If the man were to be taken seriously he'd have moved to a small spread in Tennesee and started raising a few sheep and knitting while using sheep poo to fertilize his garden.....

Al Gore was the springboard for the ludicious idea that if you own a Hummer and I own a ficus that somehow you can pay me for the CO2 that your mobile version of Gary, IN spews out every inch it travels (and a few it doesn't) and my houseplant provides you with an excuse to continue your bad habits.

It's a bit like a drunk paying a mormen to spend time sober on the drunks behalf while the drunk continues drinking.

of course it's a scam.... that was evident the second a douchebag with a big carbon footprint started pushing it as an option.

It is hard to know what impact events have on our day-to-day life. A few years ago, prices shot up, copper wire that I needed to run a few electric lines was expensive, insurance shot up for cost-of-replacement, gas shot up. I was in a panic. I thought, ok, now time to create some emergency supply, if nothing else than for peace of mind. Then.... nothing.... prices came down.... Now, we look about, check the price at the pump, and a penny here and there. One of these scares will turn out to be real. However, the system ups and downs are also a stress on the system, body politic, and central nerves.

Regarding the Daytona 500--the 20-year-old that won was asked what he did in preparation for the race. Apparently, he prayed to the Lord to help him win the race. Good grief. Magical thinking religion gets on my nerves.

SJmom

SJ Mom. The driver did not say that the Lord had anything to do with his win. In fact, he credited his team and luck. This race as in each race he's run, he says a prayer prior to the start. Can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with that.

66th!!!!

And make sure you check out my website with all the answers to all your problems:

http://perfectworld.com/

Yeah. Welles, living in Brazil is getting more expensive. I just read where Rio passed NYC as the most expensive place to rent an apartment in the universe. Will inflation follow in the nether regions of that booming country? The elites don't like the peons having other than subsistence living no matter where you go. Isn't that how the game is played? Just asking. Perhaps it's time to move to another third world country? As for our leaders being part of #3 we all know they are meat puppets for the #1's who know exactly what they doing. Robbing killing looting and enjoying every minute of it. It's fun being international criminals.

Welles said: "btw you people with your FIRST! & SECOND! are irritating morons."

Welles, I am glad you've reduced your monthly expenses. I did that last year, too.

On the other hand, I can't explain, but it brings a smile to my face every time I see the "first" and "second". Sometimes I wish there would be a few more.

I see them as a sort of Opening Bell for the discussions. They show enthusiasm and loyalty to the site. Yea, it's silly. But I like the idea of some smiles as everything falls apart

Prayer is a part of ALL religions including Hinduism. God isn't just a state of Consciousness - something that you can "get" but rather Being itself. You will "get" it when He or She decides you are worthy and/or ready. You could say "It" but that has negative connotations in our language. Surely if God is not a Person, He is not less than a Person either.

Faith and Devotion: the missing keys of Yoga in the West. We pick and choose here - leaving out several of the eight limbs of Patanjali. Use the acronym ACTS for the various types of prayer: adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication or petition. The young man's prayer of petition was the prayer of a young man - but not innapropriate as long as he remembered to thank God if he won. Buddhism? A religion with rituals and chanted prayers invoking the Bodhisattvas for aid in place of God - all disdained by the Western meditators who want Enlightenment as something to put on their resumes.

American civilization continues to be torn apart at the seams. How long can life as we know it go on? Everything good that America has ever done seems to be being undone -- civil rights, child labor laws, unions, reproductive freedom. All being beaten down because some people don't want to pay taxes and want the federal government to shut down so old people don't get their Social Security checks. How dare old people expect entitlements that they paid into!

In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker (newly elected Tea Bagger) gave two huge, unsustainable tax breaks to Big Business without having the funds to pay for them so he took the teachers' funds and is now trying to outlaw union negotiation. Big Business will take those tax breaks and probably open some new factories in Mexico. In Missouri, Sen. Jane Cunnigham is trying to outlaw child labor laws so home schooled children can leave school at 12 and work full time. If Sen. Cunningham gets her way, we will have a new generation of illiterate, unemployable workers.

So if Saudi Arabia runs out of oil, the Banksters will still be in control (instead of in jail where they belong). According to Matt Taibbi of the Rolling Stones (Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail) -- EVERYONE is in on it. Apparently the SEC and the DOJ don't want to bite the Bankster hands that will soon give them super nice jobs (all at our expense).

So the choices are for us working folks (those who actually fix, heal, teach, rescue, save, protect, invent) can either ban together and fight back OR we can all bend over and take whatever crumbs our Corporate Masters feel like dolling out. Wisconsin is seminal.

True. All real movement are founded by Leaders who lead by example. Gore is a pusher and a hypocrite. Pelosi with her personal use of airforce jets is too. Even if global warming is real, these people aren't the ones to lead us into a new day. Rather they would have us be peasants and themselves as medevial Lords and Ladies.

"So if Saudi Arabia runs out of oil, the Banksters will still be in control"

Nope. Their institutions will be bankrupt. Oil is what backs every currency in the world and underpins every stock market. And Saudi Arabia could run out of oil next week if goes up in smoke. It would all be over more or less instantly. The price of oil would skyrocket to $300 or $500 a barrel overnight. Every business out there would go under. Game over.

And it could happen:

"the rising tide of violence around Saudi Arabia ... could ignite a political blow-out of terrifying proportions in the world’s biggest oil producing country."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1358581/Middle-East-unrest-Uprising-oil-giant-Saudi-Arabia-peril.html

The world should be on the edge but I guess people are too spaced out to realize they are just one revolution away from being pushed back in time 150 years.

"Now, we're more likely to see the dark side of connectedness, as the planet's goodie-bag deflates and folks in colorful costumes start fighting over what's left."

Worth repeating. Just love the deflating goodie-bag.

JHK--Disappointing missive this week. I can’t believe you didn’t have more to say about the goings on in Wisconsin. Are you in virtual hiding with the Wisconsin dems?

On the one hand we have a feckless president who says on a weekly basis “To be clear, there are tough decisions to be made, blah blah blah”…and then he promptly does nothing. On the other hand we have a Governor who is actually acting in a responsible manner and addressing the issue head-on. Sure, he might be ramming legislation down our throats like a “We-Have-To-Pass-The-Bill-To-Know-What’s-In-It” congressman who is blindly pursuing a dangerous healthcare mandate…but at least he is confronting the tough decisions head on. Can't say the same thing for Hope-And-Change.

Funny how you fear the ”cheeze doodlers in the Jesus belt” and “corn-pone nazi’s”. The real fear is dumbed down lefty union thugs who have been dumbed down by a generation of dumbed down lefty union thugs.

Can you imagine the media shrillness we’d be hearing, if the “racist and uncivil tea-baggers” showed up with vulgar protest signs (many of which are left behind as litter) and caused a state legislature to be closed down due to security concerns?

Thank God for Lefty Double Standards!

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent formm of goverment. It can exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury, from that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilization has been 200 years. These nations have progressed though the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual strength
2. from spiritual faith to great courage
3. from courage to liberty
4. from liberty to abundance
5. from abundance to selfishness
6. from selfishness to complacency
7. from complacency to apathy
8. from apathy to dependency back into bondage"

Lord Alexander Tytler - So true that little can be added to it. One note: the 200 years is limited to a political regime not a civilization. After all many civilizations have lasted for thousands of years - with dynasties rising and following every couple of hundred as Lord Tytler notes. But since America has suffered a vast influx of unassimilated aliens just as we lost all capacity to assimilate them, it is exceedingly unlikely we will rise again to form another regime or dynasty. Rather we will break into a million pieces. Hopefully one or two of the shards will reflect a little of the glory we once were.

{He claimed that PO is a ruse simply because of NEW FINDS and NEW Technology and the fact that US oil production rose for the first time in decades thanks to that new technology.}

-----
elle, i agree with you, but... in the near-term, new tech and new finds (newly-suspended environmental constraints, new money, etc) are indeed wildcards. one of jhk's few errors is his confident insistence that he can call peak oil to the very year. imho, resource discovery is inherently random, somewhat like roulette. (of course, if the roulette one is playing is of the russian variety, timing is not of critical importance... sooner or later something bad happens.)

and ps -- nice prose. write more why doncha?

Liberty
Equality
Fraternity

"The world should be on the edge but I guess people are too spaced out to realize they are just one revolution away from being pushed back in time 150 years."

If that means the end of the Banksters and the like, I would be willing.
A clean and better word is worth sacrifices.

Click on http://www.newjerseyprime.blogspot.com I have a worldview so pessimistic that I get the distinct that all this "unforeseen" "change" in the Middle East was not only forseen, but the agents of our "war on terror" have been very busy doing other things (while not finding bin Laden) like sparking uprisings... why?

To destablise Saudi Arabia of course... all part of that Kissinger Mistique popping up constantly for the past fifty years, and his plan to "Seize Arab Oil".... we live in a world that men like Alan and Foster Dulles, Prescott Bush, and their devotees (the neo-cons) have carefully crafted for us.

distinct "IDEA"... sorry

Fraternité, ou la Mort!

"Can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with that."

That is because you are not a douche. Apparently SJmom is.

The silence on this blog about Madison has been deafening. The Peak Oil Liberals here know that Madison is the begining of the political battles inherent in the Contraction, but they can't stand the idea that "their" people are on the wrong side here. So they say nothing. Likewise Mr Kunstler: he predicted all this years ago, but his bad guys are always the Corporations and the evil NASCAR Whites. He obviously can't stand his party being on the wrong side of history. He's actually still a member of the Democratic Party - he confessed it last year I believe.

Well if Saudi Arabia goes up in smoke here is what the world will look shortly after:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbWGoPEN9l8

The Banksters will be toast. But so will everyone else.

{He's actually still a member of the Democratic Party - he confessed it last year I believe.}


confessions made under torture are invalid, although i hear the supreme court is aching to reverse this.

kuns -

"Our charismatic leaders, alas, have been drawn mostly from category 3, and out of all their pretending comes a banking system that is flying apart like a Chrysler Slant Six engine that somebody poured Karo syrup into, thinking it might work as an "alternative fuel."

our 'leaders' know EXACTLY what they are doing...they are lining their pockets. as long as we pretend they are idiots, they will continue to get a pass from society as we love the weak and stupid.....

stop claiming the bankers are misguided or stupid or that our elected officials 'just dont get it'....these people are grabbing as much as they can as fast as they can.....

okay.....EIGHTY-ONETH!

now for all the doomsayers out here, get over it, the world's not ending, even if oil 'runs out' so to speak.

history shows one overwhelming response to scarcity, and that is technological innovation. we have scads of nuclear capability, yes there are risks, but they are very minimal if advanced tech is used.

i know it's great fun to play the doomsday game but we've been here so many times before and we're still chugging along better fed than ever. we survived:

deforestation of europe (wood being their oil)
arab oil shocks
oil at $147/barrel
ye ole depletion of whale oil
prolly many others i can't think of

doomsters need to learn that:


1. jesus ain't coming back
2. the world isn't ending in 2012
3. technology currently available/advances will supplant energy needs as fossil fuels get scarcer

not to say the so-called economy in the US doesn't suck & is not on a downward slide w/regards to living standards. it is. all my IT buddies lucky enuf to get work, after being laid off 6 mos. to 18 mos -- reported earning 1/3 to 60% of their pre-2009 salary, myself included. that game's mostly been played and we lost to h1b indians/chinese & outsourcing.

best advice i have for americans is to quit playing the empty-life game of slavework+taxes til death+debt, everyone just phuqqing DOWNSCALE, it's the same as a 50% RAISE if you can cut your expenses by that amount, hell it's more than a 50% raise given the stress you'll throw out the window with it.

NEVER was i happier than when i 'lost it all' in the US, i was finally free and easy.

shalom

ps plenty of work teaching english (at least you ought to be able to do that) down here in brazil, gizexcellent beef and purty wimmin you ain't never seen elsewhere folks, so do the bob barker and come on down.

peace to you all

...too all the idiots that repeatedly state..'they paid into social security so they deserve to get a check'...BULLSH*T...! no one paid into SS. they paid taxes and those taxes built roads, paid welfare, and bought bullets for police actions in foreign countries....no one paid into 'social security'

there isnt a dime in a 'social security account'...there are special treasuries that have to be redeemed by selling real treasuries into the market.....

Entertaining entry as usual Jim. Just a small item: the founder of facebook is MARK -- not Jeff -- Zuckerberg.

The idea that Facebook and Twitter are the new town square is rather amusing, considering that the center of these revolutions turned out to be the actual town square. Despite all these digital wonderlands, it was actual public places where actual flesh-and-blood people gather such as Tahrir Square that acted as critical catalysts for these acts of public solidarity and defiance. Middle eastern cities, being ancient, have places like these, where people can gather. Madison, Wisconsin, has a capitol building which serves a similar function (along with State Street). Given Jim's career began as a critic of public spaces, I'm surprised he has not commented on this more. The political role of public spaces: Kunstlercast topic, anyone?

Another thing I'm surprised he hasn't commented on is the fact that the Pentagon is spending our tax dollars sponsoring NASCAR. The tea party republicans don't think that ending this funding is part of "fiscal responsibility" however, they'd rather just cut funds for poor women and infants. In fact, one senator received death threats for even suggesting that maybe funding NASCAR is not the best use of tax dollars in times of austerity:

http://politifi.com/news/Dem-Rep-Gets-Death-Threat-For-Saying-Pentagon-Shouldnt-Sponsor-NASCAR-1649430.html

You can't make this stuff up!

I've been hearing that Saudi Arabia could go up in flames for years now. You've got an out-of-touch autocratic monarchy with a massive population of young, sexually repressed males with nothing to do. Gee, who could have seen it coming? Those of use who could see it coming have been warning for years now that this was going to happen, and when it does, we'll be up sh!t creek without a paddle:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1358581/Middle-East-unrest-Uprising-oil-giant-Saudi-Arabia-peril.html#ixzz1EaA2wX1C

But, of course, the usual suspects didn't listen and bought SUV's instead.

Speaking of oil dependency, I'm not sure why Kunstler readers in their right minds would side with a right-wing reactionary like Walker, whose central campaign platform in Wisconsin was to eliminate the light rail link between our two largest cities, Milwaukee and Madison. Jim is always talking about how we need to start investing in rail. This was the ideal spot and location. Many people need to commute often between Milwaukee and Madison (I've had to several times), and the freeway is a nightmare, especially in Wisconsin where we are pummeled with snow six months out of the year making car travel impossible and even deadly. The rail line made perfect sense: link Milwaukee (and by extension Chicago's) businesses with UW Madison's world-class research facilities. And in a time where we have very little money, This particular rail line was FULLY PLANNED AND FUNDED! They were literally ready to throw the shovel in the ground when Walker bent over backwards to put a stop to it. It was so ready to go, in fact, that a rail building company reactivated the old Tower Automotive plant to begin building rail cars for rail systems all over the Midwest, exactly as Jim and others have been advocating for years (although it was a Spanish company). After Walker was elected, they shut down production, laid off their workers and left the state. During the campaign, even Republicans pilloried his trip to Florida for a national road-builder's convention, and road builders were a major contributor to his campaign.

Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-brothers funded propaganda outfit, bused in tea-partiers this weekend for pro-Walker rallies. Despite this horrible deficit we supposedly have, Walker has already passed millions of dollars in corporate tax cuts in this supposedly "broke" state, and he's doing on the backs of last remnant of the middle class that still has decent salary and benefits. Right-wingers hate public employees because they can't be outsourced to China and India or be replaced by cheap foreign labor like they've done to break the back of the rest of the working class. So they do what they've always done: play the working class against each other using resentment. The fact is that while middle class Wisconsin residents like me pay 6.5 percent of our incomes in state taxes, Wisconsin's largest corporations pay an average of 2.9 percent! The rich don't pay their share? Damn right! It's easy to bash unions, but the demise of unions is the main reason why the Forbes 400 gets richer every year, while the rest of use get poorer and poorer. See this article:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/02/wisconsin-union-battle-a-convenient-distraction-from-the-real-culprit-in-state-budge-woes.html
State income taxes: http://wuerthwhilewilywakenings.blogspot.com/2011/02/update-on-wisconsin-larger-corps-have.html
And whatever you think of Krugman, he hits it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21krugman.html?hp

hey, my nephew's on chinese television...

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/kaN_iOlAJ6M/

---------
errr, relevance to peak oil? well, me, i don't watch a whole lot of chinese tv, so i am struck by how similar their consumerist classes are to our very own. seems optimistic middle class values have taken hold of urban china in a very big way... reminds me of america, c 1961.

------
who's the neph? duh, he's the only white guy on the frigging show. next question?

you're right. if only democrats were in power, things'd change. they're for the little guy

binary thinking=waste your energy ripping the 'bad' guy you've been matrix'd into hating

FAIL

Newfie;

Have several hundred gallons of gasoline stored away. This time I remembered to use stabilizer.

Where's a good place to get cheesedoodles? Walmart? I like 'em fresh and crispy, served with Royal Crown Cola.

Got plenty of ammo, too. Do you think that will be necessary?

Please tell your audience sir what category you see yourself coming under.

"8. i forget what eight is for."

I almost fell out of my chair laughing...deep, full-body laughter.

And I've had the pleasure of seeing them in concert in their hometown of Spokane, WA!!


Thanks. I needed that.

DENIAL is the new black!

Jim;

that chrysler slant 6 engine was a pretty good little unit. They put them in tractors for Christ sake! I had one in my 81 Dodge Ram Pickup truck, three on the tree. You couldn't kill that goddam thing! I owned it until 1999.

Still, that was a good line.

"The crucial factor, however, is domestic opinion. First,
there is the why in the raison d'etat. The American people
instinctively felt that in Indochina the national interest was
not at stake and only the commitment itself made for
further commitment. Not so here. All would understand,
all those affected by inflation and unemployment, that is.
Second, performance. All agree that had the U.S. done well
militarily in Vietnam, public opposition would have been
limited to the tiny minority of those who oppose war, or
their own country, in all circumstances. The first group is
certainly entitled to its elevated conceptions, but the vast
majority of the people think otherwise. A neat and rapid
operation is possible in Saudi Arabia owing to the terrain
and the men, mostly absent. Moreover, the four required
divisions are fit, trained, well‐equipped, and battle‐ready.
On that score we need have no anxieties."

-Henry Kissinger, on the planned invasion of Saudi Arabia

SuburbanEmp;

Did you see the posts last week about antique sewing machines?

hey, thanks tripp -- i was going to make ten everything! everything! but then i figured absolutely no-one would get the ref and would just think i was insane as usual.

I have no doubts that the florida coastline will soon be speckled with Jewels that look and smell like oil rigs. I am also fairly confident that fracking will keep homes heated in the winter, as well as people using every last chemical and technology to keep the party going on. I get all that, I do. I don't exactly look forward to the day when gas costs $7/gal and romaine lettuce will cost 10/head. I know tere are people out there trying to keep it all together.

But when I read that article on the Saudi Oil being 40% LESS....I got a little afraid. The technology to extract what is left out there can get the oil, out - SURE. But at what cost? I should have told the guy I was debating to FRACK HIS OWN WATER SUPPLY....for once you frack, you can never go back...so drink THAT! The Bitumen extraction from the tar sands isn't exactly clean technology. It makes burning coal look like 2nd hand smoke from a cigarette.

Despite the technology wildcards and innovations, what we are left with right now, if SA is indeed in that predicament is a far more dangerous energy scenario - if we are willing to poison our environment so badly, beyond short-term repair (if it can be repaired) is boggling. Sure you can drive your car all you want - but if you cannot drink the water where you are, or anywhere near where you are, you don't have much. So you drive to get more water, using more crapoil, and more and more land and water are destroyed...til you drive how far???? Until it is all gone....your gas, your water and your land. KWIM?

And I don not think that the person with whom I was "debating" had any scope of oil production/consumption outside the grasp of teh USA. If the people cannot afford to buy gasoline because we are so damn poor from our numerous national financial fiascos....there is always a higher bidder elsewhere who CAN afford what we cannot. People think that just because the oil is found here, we keep it....to keep ourselves afloat. The sooner people realize that nationality is meaningless and profit is king, the sooner they will wake up and not screech, "drill baby drill" KNOWING that if it is drilled here, it will be sold to the HIGHEST BIDDER - and that ain't the US anymore....

If I ramble I don't mean to....I just prefer to show how it is all connected....

Sorry C. Cruz...as a conservative who is sympathetic to the Tea Party movement, I (and many others) agree that Federal NASCAR funding should be cut.

What is interesting about your post is that--like many--you seem to have a very short memory:

It wasn't so long ago that Democrats actively courted NASCAR fans. They became all the rage after Democrat Mark Warner won the Virginia governorship in 2001 partly on the basis of his assiduous attendance at NASCAR races. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrats were hunting down "NASCAR dads" (mostly Southern white males) for votes the way Republican were angling to secure the support of "soccer moms" in the 2000 election. After Kerry's lackluster turnout in the South in 2004, Dem attention has waned. Basically "If we can't curry favor, then F'em!" say the Dems. I say right on...time to start making those tough decisions.

PS--Funding should also be cut for the Army's $5M sponsorship of drag racing. Strange how the Dem anti-NASCAR amendment fails to inlcude this as well. I guess they're just NASCAR haters (when it's convenient).

On top of all the bad news Detroit got hit with the biggest snowfall we've seen in over a decade. Over eight inches of the white stuff and Metro Detroit turns into one huge parking lot with nobody going nowhere very slowly. Not surprisingly, some local wags have ressurrected the idea of a light rail line going down Woodward from Jefferson all the way out to the infamous Eight Mile corrider. It's a good idea and long overdue, but like every other good idea, it will come up against an insurmountable number of roadblocks because the white folks out in Bloomfield Hills don't want blacks from the hood venturing north of Eight Mile.

The following viewpoint regarding scarcity and abundance is likely to sound very simple: like duh, who doesn’t know this. But that is because spiritual wisdom does not require great intellect to be understood intellectually. The tricky part is that understanding something intellectually is not knowing it, not living it or being it. This is because it is ignored, remaining unconscious, as it in direct conflict with conventional wisdom (bullshit) of the worldly-minded or ego-centered outlook. Spiritual-mindedness then remains unconscious or simply considered as something quaint, poetic, or naive when it does get expressed. Unless one sorts out and seeks to resolve these conflicting views and their values, the intellect will go onhabitually dictating how one will choose to live, to be. It has been said that the intellect can be a good servant, but it makes a terrible master.

Assuming the Creator (or creation) is benevolent, it is logical that what everything and everyone needs has been and pretty much remains available in abundance. What is not a necessity is logically scarce. Can I get a “Praise the Lord”? Physical world examples: water, air, soil, edible plants and animals, rare baseball cards, gems, gold, yachts--you get the concept. So, what has our culture chosen to value? That which is scarce. And we take for granted (and worse we waste and pollute) what is abundant. Something else that is abundant is ignorance or uncertainty. When it comes to this we tend not just to take it for granted, but to completely ignore its existence, and instead prtend we know and have certainty. Fortunately the compassionate Creator provided and abundance of lessons and an inherent ability to eventually recognize and appreciate our ignorance so that we may at least gain that wisdom.

Actually Vlad, I do pray. I pray for the greater good, and that all things will work together for good. At dinner my family prays--nothing formal or memorized...it's more of a meditation and it changes every night. We ask for comfort for people we know are suffering from sickness. We give thanks for our food and the beautiful moments we have experienced (a sublime sunset for example), and kindness we have encountered.

Praying for good luck in a race when you're tailgating at 200 MPH is folly. In one instance in this race someone nudged another car and the ensuing chaos resulted in 14 cars being wrecked to some extent.

I was irritated yesterday because I went to church and the sermon was on Jesus walking on water. I go to church because I love the music there. Yesterday was great, a Handel prelude and postlude, and the hand bell choir. I don't know why Jesus would need to do magic tricks (walking on water) to impress his apostles? Maybe you have the answer, but I don't. He sent those he most loved out into a storm in a boat. Why? Seems like an unnecessary risk to me....just like tailgating at 200mph.

Jen


George, you can be the first one to ride on a light rail line thru Detroit after dark. Let us know how it works out.

-Marlin

The propaganda is really working, then. God, that's scary.

And where did that idiot get learn to be so naive and flippant about energy supplies? USA Today has to be one place. Garbage in, garbage out, garbage back in.

I've never seen another paper with remotely as large a circulation artlessly blow so much smoke up its readership's ass. USA Today chronically parrots whatever talking points are in circulation at the moment, leavens them with barely relevant man-on-the-street comments and blather from so-called "experts," and shamelessly publishes the resulting slop without any apparent editing other than cutting at random to fit the column space.

Even some of the investigative reports that I've read in USA Today, which are much better than its usual crap, had a truncated appearance. The editors seem unable either to edit for style and concision or provide extra space for relevant material, so they just pick a spot and cut.

Most of what is published in USA Today is lazy, pathetic hackwork. Most of USA Today's mid- to large-market competitors, for all their shortcomings, strive for and usually meet much higher journalistic standards. At least we have some bulwarks against popular idiocy, although not in the tony high-rise district of Arlington.

LOL....I am sorry, but that made me laugh out loud!

The one re-assuring constant in the midst of chaotic events is the sky-is-falling rhetoric of James Howard Kunstler.

The man has announced the end of western civilization - and been dead wrong - so many times now that it will be a warning sign if he ever wakes up one morning and declares the state of the world peachy-keen.

My favorite Kuntslerism was when he predicted the stock market would fall to 3,000 a year or so ago - and then, when it went UP a few thousand points instead, had the nerve to say that, because of the falling dollar, 12,000 is the new 3,000.

So, of course, he was right after all.

Which is always the point of cranks who pretend to have a crystal ball. They are smarter than everyone else, can see into the future, and are always right.

Here's a potential infrastructure problem from hell: dam failure.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/science/22dam.html?_r=1&hp

The problem is not that we're too poor as a society to repair decrepit dams and other critical infrastructure. The problem is that we're too delusional and hysterical to do competent threat assessments and consequently have a lot of ass-backwards priorities.

Highway safety is a case in point. The measures needed to prevent most fatal highway accidents are known, but there often isn't the political will to improve highway engineering, design, maintenance or signage, or to force the police to focus on drivers who are serious, imminent threats to public safety. So although our roads have become safer in recent years, they aren't nearly as safe as they would be if the authorities were really serious and instituted proven safety measures.

Jim;

Checked out your photos of Atlanta. I thought General Sherman and the Yankees burned that place down. Looks like the Rebs rebuilt it ... with concrete!

AMR;

Highway Safety? Half the drivers 'round hya (apologies to ozone) after 10 PM are drunk or stoned. The only highway safety is to stay-the-hell-home!

That is because you are not a douche.
=========

In HS basketball in the mid-'50s it was common to see a player make the sign of the cross before shooting a foul shot. Even though I was Catholic (at the time) this annoyed me ... the implication, of course, was that he was asking the Prime Mover, The Un-caused Cause, The Creator of everything, to intercede (if necessary) by suspending the physical laws of the universe to make the ball go through the hoop ... and what about the guys on the other team? How fair on God's part would that have been?

One day a defender on the opposing team (an atheist or a Jew perhaps?) must have been thinking just like me. As he lined up along the keyhole to rebound the free throw attempt he made a dramatic sweeping sign of the cross to offset our guy's sign of the cross. The crowd roared with laughter. It was an away game.

Hi Jim and all at CF nation

Well well things finally blew up in the good old US of A and someone in Wisconsin grew a pair. Good enough. Dear Gov Walker was just a little too arrogant- threatening the good people of Wisconsin with another Kent State type of intervention by the National Guard. Let's not overlook the fact that some of the Libyan air force defected instead of bombing their own people. Now that's something to cheer about.

As far as NASCAR goes it was a pretty good race. Good one Trevor Bayne I figure as long as there is enough oil left to fritter away on this sort of superfluos activity we are still a ways from complete break down.

Have a good one gang!
Loveday

The technology has existed for over a century to build electric road maintenance equipment. The problems are finding an electricity supply that is not cumbersome (i.e., avoiding frequent recharging or battery swaps or stringing power cords all over the work site) and is sustainable.

A more feasible plan might be to revert to animal and human power. It has been sufficient to maintain functional road networks as far back as Roman times. I imagine that with a bit of engineering oversight, the Amish would outperform most of PennDOT's current contractors. Of course, once we reach the point that Amos and his boys are repairing the Turnpike with an old hay cart and a team of Belgians, there won't be much reason to repair the Turnpike. The real action will be on the railroads.

Yes I did (and thank you) quite a set up she's got there! I had forgotten that a standard industrial machine could easily be equipped with a foot pump... (some foresight on the part of the manufacturer?? or happy accident?)

Right on newworld. JHK asks what if our political system cannot solve situations... A good question indeed. At a party over the weekend someone said referring to Citizens United.."we're doomed!"

I'm so glad, Jim, that I don't have to go to Facebook or Twitter to find your scribbles...
they serve me well enough right where they are.
My blue Mondays require their little ray of sunshine that you provide, no matter how darkly.
(and I will hereby proceed to NOT pontificate upon the perils of technology wept upon as Jesus' thorns...yow!)

Political history used to be boring. When joined up (as mentioned above) with economic history, it becomes more fascinating than Opra, more tantalizing than a triple-X rated Harlequin Romance. Luvly stuff.
.....not so much following the money, as much as avoiding the stench, rather in the manner of the streetwise pedestrian of Middle Ages Europe - knowing full well that shit rains from above.

It is a comfort, knowing that whatever happens the week before, Monday drops upon the mat a well-chewed bone, with enough scraps left over for a wholesome soup.

As B.B. King pointed out - the thrill is gone, from current events (but such astonishing amazements persist in the very wonder of such enchantments...the widescreen panavisioned IMAX'd and climaxed ineptitude of it all.)
Not to mention the curious echoing silences of non-response - once you wander far enough from the nearest sports bar.

(how the hell would we text if we didn't have opposing thumbs?)


Funny how you conveniently leave out areas in fiscal crisis that don't fit your Republican narrative. The Governator left CA in shambles, and lest you say that CA is really run by Democrats or Ahnold is a RINO, look at the hash the R's have made of the Texas budget. When oh when will partisan suckers on both sides see that it has little to do with party? Follow the money.

"And make sure you check out my website with all the answers to all your problems:

http://perfectworld.com/ " -S.Z.
========================

Shaka,
Thanks! I was thinking I'd have to be getting my "truth"[iness] from the RW idio-tards that prowl this site in hopes of "validation" for their cowardly and wildly improbable visions of a Big-Daddy Dick-Tater future. (They, of course, will be the new "select elite praetorian guard" with all the buggering they so fervently crave. Ah, chickenshits; wonderful fertilizer, wouldn't you agree?)

...too all the idiots that repeatedly state..'they paid into..."
blah, blah, blah.

You are right, my friend. There is much discussion today about austerity measures taken by WI (some delusional types still try to frame it as us vs. them, dem/repub.) and who is or is not paying enough taxes. I'm not going to argue any of that. I do know that someone has not paid enough into our system over many decades. neg $14 trillion at the fed level and many $billions at state levels.

I have a personal beef against coal extraction using mountain top removal. How come the feds have not gone after this? Some genius on this site should be able to enlighten me.

Also, speaking of coal, why isn't that creep, Don Blankenship, who retired as CEO of Massey Energy, in jail for criminal negligence due to the deaths of miners under his employ?

Mr. Kunstler is right on as usual. I know we all like to comment and yet it feels like pissing in the wind. We are on a run away train driven by Robot Mutant greedhead business school spawn marching to the beat of greed, me first, and as is said what ever they do technology will come to the rescue. Yep pissing in the wind.

You know, it's rather strange that you find tea party supporters (or sympathizers) on the Web site of a writer whose central issue is advocating the shift away from automobile dependence to other modes of transportation, especially rail transport. Of course, Kunstler has said we should get the freight rail system up to speed, because he doesn't think we'll be able to afford light rail. But these routes were fully planned, paid for, and "shovel ready", as the saying goes. One these rail lines are in, we can keep them running, even in the event of financial catastrophe if we need to. With gas currently over three dollars, and the entire Middle East about to go up in flames, you think this might be good timing to connect our major cities by commuter rail. And who is on the front line of opposition to rail transport? Yup, the Tea Party:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21mon2.html?ref=opinion

Oh, and I live in Milwaukee County, where Walker as county executive did everything possible to defund and bankrupt Milwaukee's only public transport system (the same one I took to work today). He was mainly supported by suburbanites who presumably drive minivans. Don't believe me? Here's Walker's lieutenant governor expounding on the important issues of the day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it0V5HFalZA&feature=player_embedded

My objection to Walker has nothing to do with Matrix reality, he's a corrupt and incompetent politician who does nothing but prosecute the class war.

I understand the frustration at the waste, fraud and corruption in Washington. I'm no fan of how Obama's performed thus far. But the tea party is just a well funded front group by conservative billionaires to distract the plebeians from their real enemies: Wall Street and corporate plutocrats who have captured the government. I'm glad you oppose our tax dollars going to fund NASCAR, but the post" tea party revolution" controlled House voted down attempts to end the funding 148 to 281.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/opinion/19collins.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Face it, Tea Partiers are just useful idiots.

The Governator left CA in shambles...

You can point fingers, but try to look deeper at the situation. As my favorite poster, Turkle from San Fran pointed out last year, CA has a really ungovernable situation. CA has a 2/3'rds majority requirement on tax increases, propositions that force fund allocation, property tax bills that don't reflect current values (unless you recently purchased the property) and the 3 strikes law that has increased the number of prisoners.

I could drone on about pensions and gov't workers retiring at age 50 and other unsustainable budget issues, but I've commented on this in past weeks.

Ront,
You could leave out The Guiding Light (the LawdGotaMitey), and your bucket still wouldn't leak. (Your argument would still hold water.)
Good goin'; I hear you.

That's a good point - as I said, "a young man's prayer". As for the pastimes of Jesus Christ, remember there were many dimensions to them - the practical one not excluded. He walked across the water to get to his disciples who were in danger from the storm. Peter came out and then lost faith and began to sink. Was that not a profound lesson for him - and for us? Remember what Blake said, "If the Sun were to doubt, it would immediately go out."

Another time they were out and a terrible storm came up and Christ just kept on sleeping. They woke him and he calmed the waters after rebuking them again for thinking that anything could happen to them with him there. I could be wrong but I just don't remember Him sending his disciples into a storm and into danger.

The water into wine, the feeding of the five thousand, the multiple healings - all practical and compassionate acts. And yes for some such displays of power might increase their faith. But certainly one can not be sure - the Pharisees saw and accused him of being in league with demons. And others might have followed him on the basis of the power alone with little interest in the actual teacings.

The Confucian Lin Yutang was outraged as a boy when his relatives prayed for a sunny day for his graduation when the Country was in crisis due to drought. Selfish prayer is a problem for sure.

Jim's mention of Fashion Week raises another pet peeve of mine (I seem to have lots of pet peeves): the entire concept, near universal among women but rare among men, of keeping up with "fashion." Silly me, I believe clothes should be worn until they are worn out.

Every day in the NYT and on TV there are shots of skinny models, not all of them pretty oddly enough, showing clothes that no one I know would wear.

Professional runway modeling requires the ability to achieve a straight ahead expressionless thousand-mile stare (why this has become the standard I am not sure but it may relate to the inadvisability of a women making eye contact with anyone on the streets of NY) ... and to walk with graceful confidence in absurd shoes as though stepping over furrows, placing the left foot slightly to the right of an imagined central line, and then the right foot slightly to the left of that line, and so on and so on.

As the model reaches a prescribed point she stops, juts out a hip on which the long thin fingers and perfectly polished nails of a hand are fanned out, does a whirling 180 with a haughty air, momentarily catching the eye of an attending buyer or two, and returns in like manner from whence she came.

No one in the natural world walks like this.

In the case of male models there is an added complexity in that they are generally gay but are expected to achieve an appearance of heterosexuality.

I became attuned to these things when I met my model wife-to-be in 1972.

I'm not sure what country you reside in, but in the USA we have something called the Schedule SE.It's 13.3% above and beyond INCOME TAX.

Now get a fucking clue.

{I just prefer to show how it is all connected....}

-----
once again, i *agree* with you, and enjoy the engaging way you make the case.

i cling to the notion that complex systems are difficult to predict. with all our supposed smarts, the current state of the art is "monte carlo" multiply-regressive modeling, eg, throwing every possibility in every possible combination against the wall and seeing what's left.

the lost horizon oil spill very well could have spewed the entire reservoir into the gulf of mexico; lots of people including me thought that was how it would go. a well-known talking head on cnbc (debating pal of jhk) predicted the gom would be a dead sea; last time i was at the dead lobster, the salad bar was full of gulf shrimp.

that it didn't turn out that way isn't about fate, or technology, or certainty: it was luck. they capped the sucker; the damage is not likely to be clear for several years, and by then the public may not care / be paying attention.

fracking has run into political headwinds... it's hard to ruin a watershed without pissing off a few republicans. what the canadians are doing with the tar sands truly is an atrocity of the first degree, it's hard to reconcile all that with the putative positive aspects of their national character.

------
are massively-connected networks more vulnerable to collapse than simpler kin? just a few generations ago flu pandemics decimated the globe; now there's a sort of transnational response. when it comes to petroleum, metals and grain, jhk is right as rain, it's a zero sum. so too with global warming, oceanic degradation and financial contagion... but still, i am at least willing to believe that pockets of cultural strength may be assets in the end. strangely, i see a possible white knight in china, a kind of youthful energy which just might be the anticoagulant our clotted arteries need.


JHK, great post this week. The kayro syrup thing is an urban myth, if you want to destroy an engine, bleach down the oil filler seems to be the way to go, at least according to MythBusters.

As for LARWBD, I've been road tripping a bit, and the things I seem to notice most are the numbers of dead abandoned cars along our interstates, and the gigantic potholes along said interstates.

{I'm so glad, Jim, that I don't have to go to Facebook or Twitter to find your scribbles}

-----
recently i created a facebook alter-ego; i live in africa, am of no specific race; all my friends except for one mysterious white chick are black africans. i've been friend-requesting real people i know; to date no-one's friended me back.

fb is indeed an amazing piece of work, all that relational horsepower serving silly whimsy. to me it's no surprise that the youth of the undeveloped world and the middle-east gravitate to its public square; and how amazing it is, that they can communicate with such impoverished literacy.

still, if facebook & twitter are information superhighways, they feed the cross-bronx expressway. that is to say, all the software wizardry in the world cannot turn shorr-tensionspann dross into gold... crowd-sourcing be groupthink writ large, and believe you me, jojo stalin would be horrified.

# 134

Nice week's work, JHK.
Thanks as always!

Here's my favorite part. You applied it to societies undergoing revolution, but it works as well for the slow revolution taking place in our own US society.

For example, these 4 categories of people have been visible here since 1980 or thereabouts:

"1.) People who know what they are doing.
2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
-jhk-

Unfortunately, those leaders in category 1, beginning coincident or not, with the Regan Revolution, knew EXACTLY what they were doing as they outsourced everything and rejiggered the tax codes to favor financial whoring over productive work.

Because of the immense wealth and asset base of the United States - financial whoring was a successful strategy for a long, long time.

Eventually, the piper will be paid.
Or the pimps will be paid.

In my heart I know planned obsolescence (fashion) is silly. But darn it, I have wanted a St. John knit outfit ever since I graduated from college.
I'll never get one because I'm not going to pay $1,200 for an outfit. But St.John's styling is beautiful.

Jen

Hey, rude bastard. Are you sure you are responding to one of my posts? What did I write that requires me to get a clue?

Great fashion post!

Hey, BS, I think I figured it out. You think that all the funds paid into Schedule SE are just sitting there? The feds borrow against it. They may have promised to pay it back, but who knows when TSHTF.

Are you one of those Tea Party types that complain about federal spending and also bitch about no cost of living increase for SS?

Okay, think I mentioned this before, file it under the category of "who gives a damn?". One of the finest motors to come out of Detroit was the famous "slant-six". Myself, drove l961, 1963, 1966 Plymouth Valiants. Whenever I had a problem with said cars, mechanics (these were the days when they wore starched, white uniforms with the brand of gasoline they sold was embossed on their shirts, ran out to fill your tank, check your oil, wash your windshield, and check your tire pressure. These mechanics yawned in my face when I told them of a problem with the engine. I got a little indignant with one of these "gas jokeys" once. His response was, "Lady, there ain't nothin about a slant six we CAN'T fix!" I learned to shut the fuck up after that. Don't think I ever parted with more than a $20. when I had an "engine problem" with those cars!

I am driving a rental car this week, don't ask why !
I already told the story anyway, I have a Camry,
ok the rental car is a Nissan Sentra. Smaller.

Since it's new it's Zippy. It's not electric, but the steering is I am told. All I know for a fact is that I cannot stand the steering, electric or not.

Nissan makes good stuff, I just don't like the steering and my god this Leaf is 32k. I am so glad I am not young in a way. I would be more lost than ever, where to start, where to go, what to do who to 'be'.

I've always driven used cars, with one exception. got a great price on a new camry in 05.
It got totalled read ended by a Ford 3 fucking 50!
ford 350 v10. anyway that is another reason I think that the Leaf is too small of a car because of all of the jackasses, and most of them drive like jackasses in the big trucks. Scares me and makes me mad.

So I believe it costs way too much and is much to small. The zero emissions is cool, my 04' camry has that, or the closest thing to it.

I like a car at least as big as those camrys.

no offense, Leaf not for me. And too small IMHO.

around town, probably ok, just watch out for inconsiderate drivers' in big suvs, etc.

A friend of mine bought land in Dominican Republic and is building a small house there. Can't think of the name of the area. It's rural.

Anybody know anything about that country ? I know Haiti is on the other side of it over the mountain.

That old Chrysler Slant Six! What a beautiful torquey long-stroker of an engine.
A common mod in the old days was to bore out the jets in the Carter carburettor and run on atomised Cheese Doodles. You ended up with a half-way house, somewhere between Rudolph Diesel's first engine (which ran on coal-dust - it killed him in the end..)and a low compression semi-diesel.
You had to retard the ignition about five degrees, and getting the right orifice in the idle-jet was tres difficult, which resulted in big cheesy-fart back-fires, a "lopy" idle, and a trail of yellow smoke-rings. Happy days!

Apologies Jonathan, I thought I hit the anonymouse comment button but replied to you instead. But I was replying to the below specifically( rather rude in it's own tone as well):

"too all the idiots that repeatedly state..'they paid into social security so they deserve to get a check'...BULLSH*T...!"

And you agree with that, as if "idiots" don't actually fill out an SE IRS form...AND PAY 13.3% beyond standard income tax ?

malthus,

loved your post but forgive me for pointing out the correct phrasing is "pissing against the wind".

jammer

It's just for fun. Who started it, was it Asoka ! That's what I remember. Doesn't matter, I've never been first. Haven't tried tho.

Being relatively tall for the era (5'10), and needing some extra cash to get me through grad school, I went on a few casting calls for "actresses", models and "extras" in Manhattan during the late l940's, early l950's. When they call them "cattle calls", they aren't kidding. I got rejected many more times than I ever got called. And when I did get called, it was excruciating work! All day long, walking around in heels, in confining dresses which almost mummified your ankles, and pounds of pancake on your face...for...a few dollars..a DAY! Nothing like the fortunes made by models today! We were picked over like Macy's bargain basement left-overs! And the photographers pinched! One day, fed up, I took my over powdered face, silly frocked frame (sometimes we got the clothes in lieu of pay!) home on the NY/PHILLY metro car. I stumbled into the train in tears arriving at Suburban Station in Philly. Dad just looked at me, sighed, and said, "I'd never have let you go to New York if I knew they were gonna turn ya into a floozie!"

"no one paid into SS. they paid taxes and those taxes built roads, paid welfare, and bought bullets for police actions in foreign countries....no one paid into 'social security'"

Wrong. They payed, and still continue to pay PAYROLL TAXES. You've confused income taxes with payroll taxes.

Please get a clue--idiot

An observation on food prices.

My family buys what I call edible "consumer products" largely in a grocery and fast food restaurants. They've been hollering and screaming about how much prices has risen, even complaining about the exorbitant prices of fast food "meals". (Typically they like to buy from the various dollar menus.)

Meanwhile, I buy traditional food and prepare 98% of what I eat from the basic ingredients. Oddly, I have seen zero price increases in meat/dairy/eggs and in local organic produce, price declines. Real food should be going up in price too, but so far, it has not. Now, of course, most people would describe the food I buy as exorbitantly priced (with lots of time involved to get and prepare it), but priced in terms of what an hour of labor will buy, it has always cost this much. I think many people don't realize that dropped in price was edible "consumer products" masquerading as food, and now those "consumer products" are going up in price, almost to the point where they are approaching the cost of food. For the price (even with extra labor), real food is a better value.

Good story on Alternet, thanks for the link. It expresses the PO thinker's sentiment quite well - it's not a theory, oil (and gas) are a finite resource and *will* run out: PO is mainly a debate over timing!

The time course of these events is years, possibly decades - and it's natural that as the price of crude rises, so does the technology to extract more. There was a recent article in Scientific American of how we'll extract ever more oil in the future - injecting solvents into the reservoir, injecting heat and steam, injecting biological agents (gasp) engineered to break up heavy oils. Putting aside the horrors these could wreak on groundwater and other side-effects, these technological marvels add to the costs of extraction - and require higher prices in the first place, to make them worthwhile.

I browsed over to PeakOilDebunked the other day to keep myself 'fair and balanced' - as usual came away unimpressed by the alternate view. The primary blog explained that since things are generally the same as in 2006 (at least in terms of oil consumption and pricing) that things are fine and that logically, PO is a hoax. What a relief. Happy motoring!

We are too damn busy chasing our piece of the pie to look up. Let them eat cake http://bit.ly/iaYN1J

No such thing as Highway Safety. At any time.

People drive like they are out to getcha. A friend of mine put it this way, that they don't care and are out to commit suicide and don't mind taking you out as well.
That is the way it feels out here in Beautiful West Coast California. The people really are not that nice. As a whole. And in Sillycon valley they are even more ruthless.

Driving is over rated, and the way most drive is sickening. And downright deadly dangerous.

DO NOT TAILGATE AT ANY SPEED. Thank You.
It is SO rude and dangerous. I don't understand why CHP does not give tickets to those who do so.
Shit they do it. All the time.

oh well, I try to go out less and less these days.
I definitely plan and combine my trips to the store.

People are filled with Rage, and behind the wheel that is not a good combo, because when you are driving your Adrenaline is up, and you cannot stop yourself from reacting sometimes. It is very hard. damn near impossible.

I'll try and calm down now. Driving is a hot topic for me.

Mike, I have sort of been seeing this too. Not much going up, with some exceptions: beer (though sometimes it goes right back to nice deals like $7/6-pack of New Belgium, or Blue Moon), avocados (for a couple of weeks they went from 40c each to 60c ea, maybe more of a crop yield issue, back to 40c now, even 30c for a little while last week), compari tomatoes (was $2.50/lb, now $4), .. and that's all I noticed so far really. Haven't noticed any change in spinach, onions, grapes, oranges. Beef seems to be about the same as last year, at the supermarket anyway, as does chicken (though I usually buy the pre-made rotisserie chickens from HEB (big chain in Texas) for $7 each -- yeah, a whole juicy chicken ready to eat!) I don't eat bread, so don't know what's going on there. Ice cream has stayed the same -- B&J and Haagen Das has fluctuated between 2.50 to 3.24 for the last couple of years, usually right at $3, though I think haagen went from 16oz containers to 14oz..

now, I know things like wheat and potash are moving now, so I expect we will see increases this year. Clothes too, cotton almost 3x what it was a year ago

Speaking of essentials, tonight would be a good time to top up your gas tank!

I don't know about all that zone, but this is I think an interesting fact. The Wisconsin Governor claims they are some 3 Billion $'s in debt. Why? Didn't congress just "give" the Banking Elites 2 Trillion $'s? If congress can be so generous to dead beat bankers, why can't they help out one of our finest cheesemaking states? Three billion dollars is .15% (that's fifteen hundredths of one percent) of two trillion. Nothing! Point one five percent. Don't tell me they can't print that much money!! Bernanke could print that much in his garage on a sabbath's night, for goodness sake.

{I am so glad I am not young in a way. I would be more lost than ever, where to start, where to go, what to do who to 'be'.}

----
for the longest time i drove a '93 camry with a bunch of letters indicating how sporty it was. when the kids were little they bashed it incessantly as they used the driveway as their playground; it ended up looking like foil off a baked potato.

oh what a beast that machine was... eager engine, hard steering & suspension, rough sex transmission, plus a terrific radio. because the thing was so disreputable, everyone in the family, kids especially, begged me to get rid of it.

i used to do long commutes at odd hours of the night, and so i drove fast. as a kid my buds and i used to play this game: set the cruise control at 100mph, suspend it as any normal person would; then, as any normal person would not, hit 'resume,' see how long you can ride the bull, hopefully not in a 25mph school zone. (just kidding about the school zone.)

round numbers do hang round my brain. i used to go from stockbridge to boston (mass pike) at the famous buck. that car just ate it up.

------
my daughter goes to school with some rich kids. once, waiting in the main circle, a black limousine with a driver in livery picked up a carefree blond girl. it looked like so much fun. when liz came to the car i could just feel the shame on her face: dad in his camry.

Interesting that no one here has yet said what catagory they are in 1 thru 4.

I wish I was #1, but probably more like #4.

and sometimes #3.
I guess sometimes I know what I am doing and sometimes I don't.

I think Political leaders would fall under #3, more often than any other. Good at faking it. And convincing others.

- on Wisconsin -

Individual State issues are always tedious for most everyone, especially residents of the other 49 States. But I am certain there are parallels between Wisconsin and my home state.

Three weeks ago, I described how corporate timber interests pushed through massive reductions in State of Georgia property taxes, some years back. These reductions were offset by income and sales taxes, collected and controlled mostly at the state level.

Property taxes are a stable source of revenue.
Property taxes favor local county control.

Georgia continues to cut state level corporate income taxes - apparently in a race to the bottom with Wisconsin and most other states.

But the collapsing economy means that income and sales taxes are way down. So Georgia is having a revenue shortfall.

But I'll guarantee that the corporate timber interests in Georgia will never give up a single cent of their tax cuts.

Regardless of how State of Georgia services suffer. Or how the genuine interests of lifelong Georgia residents are compromised.

The SCOTUS decision on corporations made them legally "persons" - sadly.

Selfish to the end - like 2 year old child "persons," except with immortality - corporate interests will ruin what's left of a great free Nation.

Shaka,
Here's a little more on that pretend "governor" who is only there to govern one thing: Destruction of the unions in the service of his paymasters, the Koch Bros. [Inc.] And what might they be about? I believe it would be summed up in two words: cheap labor. What a fine thing it would be to serve the Koch Bros., eh? (Of course it might involve a small adjustment in wages, but hey, we must sacrifice for those we love.)

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/02/21-6

(I know, I know, CD is so one-sided it can't stand up, but the basics of the issue are found here and there without too much strain.o)

"1.) People who know what they are doing.
2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
-jhk-

{I wish I was #1, but probably more like #4. and sometimes #3.}

-----
(i know i'm stalking you, jackieblue2u, bear with me.)

are there not more categories? me, i am sometimes good at seeming to be anything i choose... thus i am both #2 and #3. we two slash threes are everywhere, we're as thick as lizards, we are your sons & lovers, systems analysts & dental hygienists, legion onto the good night.

other categories to which i belong:

5.) People who know they are doing nothing.
6.) People who know that knowing is useless.
7.) People who know that what people know or don't know, and what people do and don't do, that it all don't mean a damn thing, because we are dying.
8.) People who wonder about people using words and numbers, how we're the only animals who do so, how maybe the other animals know something we don't.
9.) People who can talk talk talk so as to get a glimpse of your eyes.

Hi C.CRUZ, You laid it out pretty well with regards to the Tea Baggers. I'm guessing that this may be the year when the various states finally have to come to grips with their budgets, and I'm sure the right wingers have their solutions in mind.(Wisconsin). My great grandfather was one of the first Teamsters here in Minnesota, and was in on the forming of the original union. The businessmen hired pinkertons and used the cops to go around town breaking up the organizing meetings and beat the hell out of the people at the meetings. The Union guys went home and oiled up pick axe handles & baseball bats, and went back the next day. He fought the cops and the Pinkertons in the "Battle of Deputy's Run" , down on 26th & Nicollett Ave. They killed a cop and a pinkerton, and when they were done, they had the right to organize. The Teamsters are corrupt now, but the idea is still the same, sometimes you have to fight for what's right. We may be heading back to those times again.

Caltrans has had some success in Humboldt County getting drivers to slow down on 101 between Eureka and Arcata. The non-limited access segment between East Eureka and the Arcata KOA has been designated a "safety corridor," with a very clearly posted 50 mph speed limit and electronic radar displays. Rarely have I seen anyone drive recklessly on that segment or faster than 56 mph past the radar displays. That part of the highway isn't the blood alley that it once was, because in a T-bone collision the difference between a 50 mph cruise speed and a 70 mph cruise speed can be the difference between fully recovering from injuries and going home in a box.

We have some aggressive drivers and really shitty roads up here, too, but it's not all bad news.

Good thing Major League Baseball spring training is winding up for the new season.

Some of my friends and I refer to ostentatiously big pickups as "shlengtheners." Seriously, a lot of men driving crew cabs or anything with a jacked-up suspension are using their trucks as codpieces. They are not subtle about using their trucks to prove their masculinity. And more than a few of them endanger themselves and all around them by driving aggressively for a further dong boost.

Around here at least, a lot of the ladies driving shlengtheners are trying to "cowgirl up." It's not usually the real cowgirls who are sporting redneck decals on their late-model highriders, either. I'd say it's all a sick marketing trick by and for losers who know nothing about cattle.

One good effect of the recent uptick in gas prices is that fewer of these morons will be out on the roads. The Long Dong Silver crowd starts hurting enough to garage its auxiliary penises in times like these.

"shlengtheners" & Long Dong Silver crowd. Great descriptors. Thanks for the humor.

On a happier note -

We were out on our little slice of heaven, today - and we finished the last of the fruit tree prunings.

Just ahead of the peach blossoms, too. (Slow down trees - there are bound to be some more hard freezes coming to these Southern mountains!)

I can not be the only one who feels himself relaxing with the approach of spring and summer.

It's time to rotate up last fall's canned goods, and dig to the bottom of the freezer for orphaned cuts of meat, or packages of last summer's fruit that can be brought forward before this year's produce starts to come in.

No matter what may happen, with oil prices, and Egypt, and global cooling, or warming, or whatevergoodorbadmaycome -

I begin to relax - like my generations of farming, hunter-gathering, and cave dwelling ancestors before me - to realize that warmer weather, almost always, means happier days, better food, maybe even - better sex.

CF On, you all!

I know that some of you support the Good Doctor.
If so, now is the time to re-affirm that support:
www.libertypac.com

-AK

Mark. Zuckerberg's first name is Mark. You're confusing him with Jeffrey Zucker, the former NBC president.

"If government approached the Wall Street financial fiasco with the same enthusiasm Wisconsin is displaying on its pensions and public employees union, then people would be hanging from streetlights on Wall Street. The differance in the approach is very revealing about priorities."

Amen, brother.

Scapegoating is alive and well in America.

"Hello...anyone with a brain there...hello...? The money still must come from SOMEWHERE. The Governor of Wisconsin went to the cupboard and just like Old Mother Hubbard, to his shock, the cupboard was bare. Why? Years of uninterrupted Democrat rule had stolen everything. EVERYTHING.

Take any city or state in America that is run by the Democratic machine. Every single one is bankrupt. Every. Single. One. So now, the bearers of bad news in New Jersey, Wisconsin and Ohio are Republican. They didn't cause the fiascos but they must level with the electorate a try and fashion a way forward. You should get on your knees and pray they succeed."

Hey Tootsie.

Sorry, but in the state of Ohio your little cupboard theory doesn't quite work.

Education, for example, is primarily funded at the local level. We get an ever-lessening amount from the Feds, and what essentially amounts to a flat-fee from the State.

Our local school district has just put another property tax levy on the ballot, a) because they need the money to keep operating, and b) because they don't know how much they can count on from the state, and expect that it will be decreasing.

So bottom line is that this is union busting, plain and simple.

"Curious to see which State is next. My bet is on California."

A safer bet would be Ohio. Demonstrations already started today in our statehouse and will be going full steam by tomorrow when Senate bill 5 is introduced.

FWIW, the Ohio bill also includes police and fire. Equal opportunity union busting.

"The world should be on the edge but I guess people are too spaced out to realize they are just one revolution away from being pushed back in time 150 years."

"If that means the end of the Banksters and the like, I would be willing.
A clean and better word is worth sacrifices."

Unfortunately, seems like it's going more the way of serfs and feudal overlords.

JHK wrote: "the essence of human charisma, being a declension of the following:
1.) People who know what they are doing.
2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
Most of the human race is composed of the fourth category, which is why the figures in the categories above them claim their attention and allegience."

Comment: What would Jesus do?

Tripp,

Two questions for you this evening:

. What's with all those bank failures in GA? Another one went under last Friday.

. Have you ever heard of "Biodynamic Farming?" From what little I know about it it sounds like Permaculture.

Mike Moskos, re: your observation on food prices...I'm curious where you live?

Q, crazy timing. I just stopped by to drop a link to my latest blog post, and noticed a post that looked like it was for me! And it was!

I haven't a clue about the banks to be honest. And my opinion of biodynamic farming is that it's a pretty kooky deal, full of crystals, and potions, and auspicious timing for planting. Not like permaculture at all really. Most permies are hard-core science types. And aside from me, pretty level-headed folks...

http://smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/2011/02/virtually-free-protein.html

New post over at Small Batch for the self-reliant types among us. Has gratuitous pics of my new bunnies in it too.

Now, it's way past my bedtime...

Poor kid ! haha ! Reminds me of the movie Uncle Buck with John Candy. Funny !

Hey did you ever see the New Car, I think Highlander, commercial where one "cool" kid gets picked up in that and another kids dad pulls up in an old station wagon and the kid runs and dives headfirst into the back seat and hides. If you've seen it I am sure you laughed.

My favorite car was a 92 V6 Camry Wagon. With racks on top. Sad story. Should have replaced the engine and kept the car, but let it go instead. Have an 04 4 cylinder Camry now.
I love it, Great Stereo ! Nice ride. Good enough!

When we get older and hopefully grow up, we KNOW that those really aren't the things that matter.

Also when young and asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I agonized. I just wanted to be me, and be happy, I wasn't happy when younger. Troubled childhood. didn't know Who I was how was I gonne be anything if I was nobody. This is a true story. I am sure I am not alone on this. Many kids feel this way. Too many.

I think the question should be "What do you want to DO to earn a living, when you are old enough ?" Especially for some / most kids these days.

Many People hide behind their personas / images, you know what I mean. And their Titles. I am a doctor, etc. They hide behind their work. And or lose themselves in it. Cops on Power Trips are the worst. Once I said to one "without that uniform and that gun you are a nobody". It's a long story I'll spare you. He was just an ass****. A big bully in a Uniform CHP, with a fucking Gun. Nice ! and so freaking young.
Scares me. It's a long story, and I just need to stop before I get started.

Now I am stalking you :) !
That is the only emoticon I know so far !

What is ORIONOIR? Probably a stupid question.
Something I should know but don't.

Good Night !

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Your Constitution is unique where it says that all men are entitled to the right of the pursuit of happiness.
That is what everybody wants, young or old.
You could be deprived of many material things that in principle not only make you happy, but in certain cases make you even unhappier, but still be happy.
What I do not agree with, is that all men are created equal.
In reality (and that is the good of nature) everybody is unequal, we are all individuals who have similarities, but are different in their similarities.
That is the base for building a society which is really democratic.
That every man is an individual and has the same rights as all others, one of them being the pursuit of happiness.
Individualism and freedom to reach the goal you want, that is real freedom.
A society build on the fact that there are no individuals, but what counts is the "State" the "Nation" not only kills the freedom, it also kills progress, kills the right to pursue one own happiness.
Because happiness is in the dream, in the effort to reach it.
Happiness is in what you do to be happy.
America was a great nation as long as people were free and had the means to pursue their goals.
That was the American dream, the dream of a better life for oneself and for one’s children.
Progress is made by individuals, not by nations.

" I begin to relax - like my generations of farming, hunter-gathering, and cave dwelling ancestors before me - to realize that warmer weather, almost always, means happier days, better food, maybe even - better sex."

I just have to ask PoC...was the above just an "affected" attempt to annoy Q? I'm sorry, but it's just too damn corny, even for you.

Besides, Love ain't waiting till summer; it's blooming in the right here and now--haven't you been reading?

Are there any plans for a recall petition against Governor Walker? I'm well beyond the point of giving him the benefit of the doubt because he inherited a fiscal disaster. The man is acting like a jackass. If California were governed by an ultrapartisan provocateur who couldn't stay off the warpath against public transportation and raised the specter of the Homestead Massacre in order to intimidate his opponents, I'd sign a recall petition at the first opportunity.

JHK wrote: "the essence of human charisma, being a declension of the following:
1.) People who know what they are doing.
2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
Most of the human race is composed of the fourth category, which is why the figures in the categories above them claim their attention and allegience."

Comment: What kind of beer would Jesus drink?

Holy beer, made with holy malt in the City of Vatican and personally blessed by his holy highness the Pope Benedictus the 6th.

One question:
Do the pure spirits drink?

The violence in Libya has sent Brent crude to $108.20 and West Texas Intermediate to $91.42. It looks like we're headed for a repeat of 2008:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-oil-20110222,0,7384546.story

By the way, the comments on this article are insane.

JHK wrote: "the essence of human charisma, being a declension of the following:
1.) People who know what they are doing.
2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
Most of the human race is composed of the fourth category, which is why the figures in the categories above them claim their attention and allegience."

Comment: "Force Factor"

http://www.healthheadlines.com/article/content/fb_lgid=31&fb_lpid=1093&fb_itid=1856623&pid=100&fb_itid2=2669&nid=68&aff_id=20110222

Where are all the religious leaders of the Middle East that have been teaching their followers kids to blow us to shit?

I'm with Welles. Got out in '85 during 2nd Reagan administration, cause I knew in my waters where this was all going. Call it a hunch.

Results: both kids born free, grew to healthy adulthood on national healthcare systems. My own health excellent too, BTW. Lived with less than my siblings, but grew more 'inner capital' from cross-cultural experience. Became self-sufficient and resilient without being classed as "wierd" or "commie" by my neighbors.

People ask me if I'd move back. What the fuck for?


From:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174320

Silhouette, you describe capitalism quite well, you must know it well then. I don't think I do too much, but anyways your description boils down to a system of constant change, in constant flux - strain, creative destruction, a constant shuffling of the cards, etc. The variables in the system are never ending, the actions and reactions never ending, but the only clear pattern is that of creating an ever richer rich class and ever more poorer people.

So, even following the right wing ideology, people are lazy, not motivated, the new normal is 60 hour work weeks, etc. then it is easy to see how you filter out all of those not able too, not willing too, not having the right skill set, too lazy, that suck too much, or whatever reason on earth that are not able to pull off 60 hour work weeks. So this redistributes more wealth to a smaller number of people who "deserve" more. But the pattern can keep on going on, the next new normal can be 80 hour work weeks, and the cycle continues, you filter out even more people, more wealth to fewer people, and on and on.

I often find it hard to imagine what on earth people have to do for so many hours, especially if it is really productive work, where you have a clear cut input -> manipulation -> output, but these are exactly the jobs that are disappearing in favor of vague, fluff, sales, whatever. Maybe alot of work consists of public relations, office politics, like the JAPANESE salary man that has to wait until his boss goes home at 10 at night, therefore he puts in a 15 hour work day (not sure if really producing anything).

But the bottom line is, what kind of end result will you get ? In the US maybe 10 million workaholics making a million dollars a year, 20 million not working at all, 70 million making 10,000 to 20,000 dollars a year (average slobs putting in an average 8 hours a day, they are really freeloaders if 80 hours is the normal, they should be grateful to get anything at all).

If this is what the right wingers want, great.

The entire concept of "a healthy economy" or "economic crisis" doesn't even make sense then. The economy must always be in crisis mode, everything and everyone must constantly be under stress, to capture any kind of advantage, any kind of profit possible, any kind of new skill set that is presently needed (obviously extremely difficult, given that the skill set can get very technical and very specific very fast, and you may need many years to really acquire it, if you even have the natural - mental ability which most likely you don't). Then the present US economy is really doing great, the more crisis, and inequality, the more unemployment the better it is, the more pressure to produce and "innovate", always for the "common good" (which really means for the 10 million making a million dollars a year).

The US economy has never been so healthy as in the last few years, god bless!


But maybe, there really can never be any solution to the "economic crisis", given that inequalities are natural (it is equality that must be enforced and imposed), so the winner take all will always dominate no matter what system, human nature is what it is, end of story. May the strongest win...

The US economy has never been so healthy as in the last few years, god bless!


With regards to:


The entire concept of "a healthy economy" or "economic crisis" doesn't even make sense then. The economy must always be in crisis mode, everything and everyone must constantly be under stress, to capture any kind of advantage, any kind of profit possible, any kind of new skill set that is presently needed (obviously extremely difficult, given that the skill set can get very technical and very specific very fast, and you may need many years to really acquire it, if you even have the natural - mental ability which most likely you don't, and by the time you acquired it it is no longer even needed). Then the present US economy is really doing great, the more crisis, and inequality, the more unemployment the better it is, the more pressure to produce and "innovate", always for the "common good" (which really means for the 10 million making a million dollars a year).

Reminds me of how I hear that companies now need mechanical engineers or tool and die makers. I have been hearing this for decades now, wonder why they can never get the right amount of these...

Maybe because at a given interval of time many of these are layed off, and left not doing their job for a few years, making them "obsolete", and then after, companies complain all over again, that there are not enough of them, and so on...


People ask me if I'd move back. What the fuck for?

Major LOL -- This is precisely what echoes in my head each time I imagine being back 'there'.

Cheerio!

Yes, 'inner capital' is precisely what these countries have that the Untied States do NOT have.

Americans can't even fucking read or make change anymore for chrissake...epic country FAIL

The economy runs if people spend, the more they spend, the more they consume, the more is produced.
It doesn´t matter if they have to borrow more and more.
In a few words: you need to have sick people to have a healthy economy.

I'm thinking the unrest in Libya, even possibly civil war, is the Black Swan that JHK sometime writes about ... combined with what's happening in states like Wisconsin and Ohio ... a series of events that crystallizes and shines a light finally on the predicament our Country is in regarding energy and excessive debt, making it clear to everybody.

One thing, though, the panic about rising crude shows how important oil still is the the west. Just last week, in some newsspeak happytalk, I heard Obama refer to petroleum as 'yesterdays energy', as if he had something waiting in the wings to replace it. I've been hearing about 'alternative energy' since my college days 35 years ago, usually by some smug, effete sonofabitch who acted like he knew more than everybody else. Well, where is this 'alt energy'? You've had 40 years. We could use some know.

Still watching events in Wisconsin. I'll say it again ... public sector unions, what a scam on the body politic they are. One example ... the town I grew up in, when I was a kid, didn't even have a police force. We had one resident state trooper. There is pretty much the same population now, only difference, there's a 25 man police force with patrolmen earning on the average $100,000 per year ... bunch of punks with chips on their shoulders riding around in expensive new cars loaded up with sophisticated weapons busting everybody's balls. For a number of years I was steward, then committeeman for my union, chief duty going around preventing people who should have been fired from being fired ... Public Sector employees ... what a bunch of leeches.

Last weekend 40 people, you heard that right 40 people, were were shot to death in Juarez, Mexico. That's a pretty high death toll, indicative of war, not a mere civil disturbance, more that any weekend toll at any time during the Iraq war. And this is right on our border. Valuing his opinion, I'd like to see Jim's take on the bloodshed in Mexico. Incidentally, where's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in all this chaos? The whole world is boiling up around us and I've barely seen or heard her. Remember 5 years ago George Bush was the worst idiot in the history of the world and she and her 'team' were going to conduct foreign policy 'Smarter"? Remember? Do you think we forgot? If we only apologized, apologized to the whole stinking world. It was supposed to be all sweetness and light by now. And people believed this shit. What the hell happened?

Old6699, I'm reading your posts 2 & 3 times and I still can't figure out what your driving at. I'm not that bright. Recently I read Oswald Spengler's 'Decline of the West", and had to read that twice as well. To understand it. Best theory: Being a Gentleman Farmer is the highest form of existence in the civilized world. So Trippticket, you're on the right track.

Watched 'Winchester 73' this weekend, 1951 film with Shelley Winters and Jimmy Stewart. Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis had minor, almost cameo roles.

Best line, Shelley Winters to Jimmy Stewart "May I have it. You never know when a girl might need a bullet".

You said: "In reality (and that is the good of nature) everybody is unequal, we are all individuals who have similarities, but are different in their similarities."

My take on the "All men are created equal" is not a statement of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, or a biological statement. Of course they understood that not everyone is alike.

It's more the idea of getting away from European models of royalty and aristocracy. We are in this new world born to achieve whatever we put our hearts and minds to without having to overcome a caste system. It presupposes that we can start from the same place and make what we want of our lives in a self-determined manner.

It's great to at least start with that supposition as unrealistic as it is in practice. You gotta love them for trying!

People seem to like hierarchies, unfortunately and those who want more power and money tend to use hierarchies for their own benefit. Ultimately none of us are "ordained by god" and we are after all just flesh and blood.

Oh yeah, I see Code Pink, New SDS and the new Black Panthers have showed up in Madison. Only question is, Where's Al Sharpton? The networks, except for Fox, hammered and lampooned the tea party rallies last summer. Funny, they're covering the mob in Madison a little differently.

JHK wrote: "the essence of human charisma, being a declension of the following:
1.) People who know what they are doing.
2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
Most of the human race is composed of the fourth category, which is why the figures in the categories above them claim their attention and allegience."

Comment: What kind of a pickup truck would Jesus drive?

"Comment: What kind of a pickup truck would Jesus drive?"

I'd have to with a bronco.

I understand that all men are created equal in the sense that all men have the same rights,
"People seem to like hierarchies"
it is not a matter of liking, it is a matter of being "different".
Whichever society you analyze, you will always find some sort of hierarchies, there are everywhere people born to be the "leaders".
That doesn´t mean that they necessarily need to be evil or dictators, they express the common "view" in the best way.
That is what a President or a politician should be, or a bank director.
That also doesn´t necessarily mean that they have to be paid 1,000,000 times the normal guy.
Or that they are entitled to have everything and the others nothing or almost nothing.
The good society is the one where everybody has his place and his right retribution.
All good societies begin this way and slowly degenerate, who has more has always more of more and who has less has always less of less.
Then who has more doesn´t want any other having more and misuses his power to forbid it.
Then there are revolutions and everything goes back at the right beginning and so on...
One should learn from the past, but one never really learns.


I am getting at explicitly this:

1) There is no need for alt energy: you need alt organization of living arrangements. That can be done quickly and easily and at a low cost. Case in point, build many hundreds of skyscrapers across the USA, and put, within the same building, nice apartments to live on some floors, offices or what have you on other floors, and on other floors stores to buy. In such an arrangement, you don't even need much oil anymore since you don't have to use cars much at all. Or anyways anything similar, any permutation of the above. And build a BUS network (and trains if possible), but especially BUSES, diesel - electric, or ethanol electric. This also curbs emissions, oil usage, creates economies of scale, etc. Also telecommuting to work, and similar. There are many options if it is really desired.

2) We don't even need so much labor anymore given that the economy is now an automatic - optimized economy that needs very little real productive work to produce all it needs, therefore free salaries or something along these lines.

3) End the home ownership myth, install cheap rents, build homes with cheap rents or make them available (there are 10 million empty homes in the USA).

4) Free public health care.

5) Get rid of most of the right wing, capitalistic ideology as it is now obsolete, no longer pertains to an automatic, excess capacity, globalized economy that needs less and less labor.

6) Huge public, and public - private ambitious programs, like space exploration, high speed trains, skyscrapers, you name it.

7) Resource Scarcity is all false, the resources are infinite, technology will overcome any and all limitations (solar, wind, nuclear, genetic engineered bacteria that produce oil, fusion energy) especially if you mine the solar system and especially if you use many alternative social and urban organizations. Remember man is the infinitely programmable machine, the resources therefore are infinite. this living arrangement is only one quirk system possible amongst many hundreds of others possible. Study anthropology just to have an idea

8) Money doesn't run out, it is an invention, it simply reflects social interactions, organizations and power structures, therefore money is also infinite.

9) Don't buy into any of the myths this right wing ideology has been brainwashing everyone with for the last 100 years, namely, competition, the ever changing new skill sets, innovation (this yes if you innovate as described above), the more education means more work myth, democracy, and all the many myths I described in all my posts.

Now, go on and convince obama to implement all of this...

" I begin to relax - like my generations of farming, hunter-gathering, and cave dwelling ancestors before me - to realize that warmer weather, almost always, means happier days, better food, maybe even - better sex."
-poc-

I just have to ask PoC...was the above just an "affected" attempt to annoy Q? I'm sorry, but it's just too damn corny, even for you.
-buck-

LOL - that's about the nicest thing anyone has said about me on CFN in a while! Gotta keep pushing those envelopes.

You think I got a little to much "optimism" into that post?
I did get a little carried away yesterday - watching the sap rise all around. And pruning those fruit trees, fig trees, and grape vines - taking the power of nature and throttling it down for my own purposes - yeah!
That thing about the "gentleman farmer" being the highest form of existence - I can second that notion, especially on a day like yesterday.

As far as "better sex" specifically - it's an important part of the puzzle - for why something about American life has gone so far off the rails. Sex sells everything, but it's not bringing happiness to very many people at all.

So I don't mind bringing sex up on CFN.
We've talked about worse subjects here.

Agreed,
We had the right idea after the depression and WWII. If we go in the direction of purity in any system, we cause misery. The mixed economy we had worked for the majority of people. I am not interested in a welfare state, but I think dismantling the commons and all the checks and balances for the sake of the global economy was totally destructive to the middle class.

Corruption is part of our nature, but there comes a time when it throws everything off. When government, corporations, banks collude the people suffer.

We could make the right choices by utilizing our anti trust laws already on the books and reinstating Glass-Steagall, but will to do so by the leadership of this country isn't there.

Again this morning I hear people discussing how we should compete globally. Do these people understand what they mean by this?
Do they understand the bottom line is that those who charge the least for their services wins? Where does that leave us?

All I know is that services are going up in price, rents are going up, houses will be going up. etc. Where does that leave a working public that h as to accept less and less money for their work?


What would Jesus drive, drink, etc.

driving -
"I'd have to go with a Bronco" - tripp

Yeah, no doubt! Or maybe a Mustang. Or a Mule or a Gator? OK, that's probably enough of that.

Jesus would certainly have a great webblog.
And a cool Facebook page.

This does raise the interesting question about some of the other Greats of history would have turned modern society to the advantage of their ideas.

Thomas Paine and the "Common Sense" blog?
Geo. Washington emailing the Army at Valley Forge
John Hancock digitally signing the Declaration?

Makes you wonder where all the great leaders have gone, doesn't it?

Anyway - why would Jesus buy beer? He could just turn water into wine.

Okay old 6699 you're making your points & I'm not going to bust your you know what anymore, but, I still don't see where all the resources would come from to implement a system like that.

The whole premise of this site is that resources are dwindling ... just the opposite of what you seem to be saying ... that resources are infinite.

Additionally, for what you suggest, wouldn't it be necessary for a strongman leader to regimentalize and dicipline the population per Stalin in 1931 and Hitler in 1934? And perhaps eliminate people couldn't or wouldn't conform? It sounds like the recipe for another bloodbath.

Are there any CFNers here who understand Old6699 and agree with what he's saying?

Those 4 Americans hijacked on their Yacht by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea ... they were all just murdered.

Any body out there still telling us that Islam is a 'Religion of Peace'?

I don't know why, but I'm starting not to believe you.

I was thinking JC would drive a Ford F-150, maybe a HD F-350, with a Calvin and Hobbes sticker pissing on the Cresent Moon!

"Makes you wonder where all the great leaders have gone, doesn't it?" We used to be a country run by intellectuals and now we are run by morons and actors!

Just reread these comments and it makes me look like a neo-con! Yikes! I'm actually a libertarian and not the tea bag type!

{I just have to ask PoC...was the above just an "affected" attempt to annoy Q? I'm sorry, but it's just too damn corny, even for you.
-buck-

LOL - that's about the nicest thing anyone has said about me on CFN in a while! Gotta keep pushing those envelopes.}


----
here in self-centered city, i figured PoC was just throwing me a bone, wedging sex into the conversation.

do not even the heavyweights here -- and i'm sure they don't know who they are -- power down their computers from time to time, put their considered opinions upon a shelf, walk out into this beautiful world?

for example, i always read lbendet's posts with a careful eye, i'm confident in his or her judgement and facts, i've found the writing cumulatively instructive. still, i wonder if l ever bends it, even just a little bit.

I'll take a Slant Six (225 CID) over anything the bankers create. Steel has intrinsic value, and the Slant Six was as reliable a motor as ever found its' way under a car hood. (The GM 3800 isn't too shabby in that regard, either.)
The world of things will reclaim our lives from the world of shadows and digits on screens. In what state we end up when the reclamation happens is the question to ponder.

Probably a donkey powered wooden two wheeled cart.

That's a really good point. The US has about as much influence as Finland in this bun toss but so has the likes of Bin Laden and his Egyptian sidekick al-Zawahiri.

Trippticket, Orion, PoC et al;

friends;
It's fun to banter back and forth about Jesus, postulating on what he would or would not drive ... jab some jabs at the Christian religious fanatics out there ...not being too religious myself it doesn't bother me ... besides religious people, Christians and Jews alike, are an easy mark ... you can say anything you want to or about them ... they won't respond much, just turn the other cheek ... meanwhile as an added bonus we get some morning yuks on the cloistered CFN ... what's not to like? ... even Jim throws some jabs once in awhile ... it's all in good fun ... what the hell. right ...

Ok, but I warn you, Don't ask anybody "WHAT WOULD MOHAMMED DRIVE'? That is, if you want to keep your head on your shoulders.

-Marlin

"here in self-centered city, i figured PoC was just throwing me a bone, wedging sex into the conversation."

Actually, I was throwing that out there mostly with you in mind, orion. Or, more likely, with the delightful charms of JackieBlue in mind.

It is a funny thing. Under the umbrella of Peak Oil, over the past 8 months - I have watched, cheered, and thrown the occasional punch - as CFN has engaged in some roaring fistfights over some really contentious stuff.

Politics, religion, and race - the big 3 of contention - never mentioned in polite society - but debated on here to the point that it sometimes seemed that Demons in Hell must be participating in, or at least monitoring, the discussion thread.

But, despite my gentle encouragement; joyous, natural sex is a topic that seems to be off the CFN table, or something - even though our host is not shy about including it in his fiction.

I've got a couple of theories about this, but I'd like to hear from some other posters.

===================
and "heavyweights" - Lord a Mercy, orionoir - glad neither you nor I can never be considered to fall under such an awful sounding descriptor!

Your point is noted, Marlin:

"WHAT WOULD MOHAMMED DRIVE'?

There have got to be some Muslims out there, somewhere, with a sense of humor. They sure don't make it into the news very often in the States, though. We seem to hear about the Muslim lunatic fringe pretty consistently. And 19 of the lunatic fringe did attract our attention on 9/11/01.

Ought to make somebody want to call up that preacher in Kansas and ask him what Mohamed would drive.

And then ask him what Jesus would drive.
And then ask him if he had ever considered the possibility that Jesus would be driving while gay, bi, or transgendered.

Anyone ever wondered what the genotype of Jesus would be?

XY is the genetic code for a "normal" male.
Y comes from the father's (Father's) chromosomes.

XY-? X?-? X(GodlyY)

I'm off (the website??) until tonight.

You are SO wrong. In Revelations (King James Version) it says that the Lord will descend from the heavens on a purple charger on the day of his second coming.

End of discussion. Jesus will drive a purple Dodge Charger.

Jen

Latest headlines from MSNBC: "NEW YORK — Stocks fell sharply Tuesday and oil prices spiked as investors became worried about increasingly violent protests in Libya.

Oil prices rose 6 percent to $95 a barrel after the uprising threatened the country's oil production. Libya is the world's 18th largest oil producer, accounting for 2 percent of global daily output. It also sits atop the largest oil reserves in Africa.

At least 250 people have been killed in Libya so far, according to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Key government officials have resigned and air force pilots have defected following a crackdown on protests in Tripoli, Libya's capital.

Traders are worried that the unrest will spread to other oil-rich countries in the region or lead to higher gas prices for consumers. Governments in Libya's neighbors Tunisia and Egypt have fallen in the past month and protests are continuing in other countries in the region including Yemen and Bahrain."

Many People hide behind their personas / images, you know what I mean. And their Titles. I am a doctor, etc. They hide behind their work. And or lose themselves in it. - Jackie

Bang on. Also, the reality is that in the corporate and professional world you have to conform to a certain image. The man in the grey flannel suit, the organization man even if this terminology is really old.

Then you see that it's all fake. The organization that hired you looks at you and wants only one thing, to either eliminate your ass from the payroll or offshore it to India.

You realize after about the third "restructuring", watching your compadres get hustled out the door with a cardboard box under their arm that next time it could be you. When you're young you're optimistic, that it'll always be somebody else gets it between the eyes and not you. And then you realize it's not a question if "if" but rather "when".

And you realize that this modern working world is a sinking ship with a greasy pole that everybody's trying to scramble up to stay above the waves while Wall Street and CEO's steal millions and billions from shareholders or workers or pensioners or the company coffers.

After decades of it the personal fakery is onerous. It's an act. You're not really your tightly wound work persona and you revile the relentless skull cracking regimen and bullshit life you're living. Every merger/acquisition/divestiture/restructuring/system conversion that you busted your ass over was a total waste of time because it would inevitably all be undone in the next corporate tumult. It's like wearing shoes that don't fit and you want to get rid of them.

Are you a corporate drone like I was Jackie?

I pronounce "orionoir" as "iron ore". And I really can't picture you as a corporate drone. The image of a pasty faced, round shouldered, lungless sedentary doesn't square with your writing.

pucker asked: Comment: What kind of a pickup truck would Jesus drive? trip then answers: bronco. then san jose mom ends with a charger. listen, i believe it paramount that for this level of discussion that the vocabulary be kept clean. fist off, a bronco is not a pickup nor is a charger. this thread takes on the parallel of the childrens game of telephone. that type of devolution in the discussion corrupts any validity.

Orionoir

I guess my cyber personality is rather pedantic! Ha, that's really funny. Just like anyone else on this blog incl. JHK, I do have a sense of humor and am a well-rounded individual.

I never wanted to get personal on this blog--it's not facebook ya know, but ok since people keep asking....Awright already, I'm a woman. Also a boomer. Wouldn't trade the time I grew up for anything. I had a great time and still continue to enjoy my life.--phew I feel so much better now.

I work at home 90% of the time as a digital retoucher and artist an am working with a gallery toward a 4-person show of abstract art.

Why am I so adamant about what I write here? Because I'm over-compensating for the lack of information defining our global and financial - military hegemony. It all fits into our PO situation and monopoly capitalism. We are suffering and have been for a long time, although we didn't really bear the brunt until 2008.

I am informed by many economists who are more Keynesian and believe we took a wrong turn when we embraced supply-side-global economics.

I was just visiting a website of Henry C.K. Liu. and recommend something he wrote in 2009:
How Supply Side Economics of a Low Tax Regime Pushes Down Wages.
http://www.henryckliu.com/page213.html

Yikes! You covered a lot of stuff with that post, and boy, it does look like a coalescing of a bunch of things, making the perfect shit-storm [coming soon].

So, just to pick one item [of many] that we've been painted into a corner by. (And really, not "the little people's" doing; this was done for BIG MONEY and ALL THE MARBLES. Our inattention and complacency ALLOWED it to happen; I think there's a difference, not an "excuse".)

Sorry; here we go...

"One thing, though, the panic about rising crude shows how important oil still is the the west. Just last week, in some newsspeak happytalk, I heard Obama refer to petroleum as 'yesterdays energy', as if he had something waiting in the wings to replace it. I've been hearing about 'alternative energy' since my college days 35 years ago, usually by some smug, effete sonofabitch who acted like he knew more than everybody else. Well, where is this 'alt energy'? You've had 40 years. We could use some know." -M554

Let's take a very brief skimming of the political "tone" of this issue.
Jimmy 'the wimp' Carter went on the teevee, wearing a sweater; said to turn down the thermostat, conserve fuel, and get busy on finding new sources of energy. Now, that would require an adjustment in "lifestyle" that was [apparently] non-negotiable, resulting in pissing and moaning, and general 3-year-old behavior in the infantilized "American People".

So, when the RW corporatist, eco-raping, profit-gulping actors and their Republican toadies sensed that pouting, they knew just what to do.

--- Candy, yes, candy for everyone, it's "morning in America" (you stupid fuckers), and get them solar panels down off the roof. You don't need that shit; there's plenty of oil for all, forever! Let Unka Ronnie here, take care of you, and there will never be a day of discomfort again. ...And if anyone should get in our way (unions, brown people, those who aren't "profitable", "commies", etc.), Gawd he'p 'em, we'll kick their sorry asses.

...And thusly were "the conservatives" led down the garden path by those who would take from them their birthright, their dreams, and their very future survival in the service of Almighty Mammon and the fevered, insane, world-domination dreams of St. Ronnie the Addled.

What was around that last bend in the garden path? Why look! A small clearing with a barrel on its' side; two stakes driven into the ground on either side; and some lengths of rope. What do you think happens next? ...Noooo, it's not the Rapture, Poppets; noooo, it's not a membership to the Wealthy Fuckers Club; and noooo, it's not safety from all those people and things we've been carefully taught to hate...
C'mon, guess what happens.

Someday, I'll make a journey to St. Ronnie's grave, blubber a little for my FUBAR'ed former country, have a few [more] tots of whiskey, and piss on that fucker's headstone. Hope it leaves a nice stink. (What was that, Suburban E., asparagus?)

Well now, I feel better; how 'bout you? ;o)

Oops, I think it was LLB with the "asparagus effect". ;o)

You look at those chicks and you wonder where it is written that they have to look so skinny, even anorexic.

Ozone;

You better not try that peeing stunt!

President Reagan's grave has security cameras all over the place fitted with special technology to identify unfriendly intruders.
THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND THEY KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!

Just because you're holed up in the hills in western New England, under 4 ft of snow, don't think you won't be found. You will be.

Just joking, Ozone.

Whoa!
We're both "feeling better" about somethin', one after t'other.
That can't be good. This place is for venting spleen and bile. Mis-use of "product" infraction! ;o)

Mot people writing here are either impotent or frigid, as is most of the west and first world, so get over it.

Agreed, these 2 terms are cultural artifacts (impotence and frigidity), they don't really exist in nature, they are mental - social constructions according to a youth driven sex model which is practically impossible to achieve for anyone.

In nature anyways the deal is, people get toghether, reproduce, end of story. If they do it once or a million times, at 13 years old or 90 who knows and who cares...

Anyways....


social security taxes are simple taxes....went to supreme court. do a little research you stupid f*ck!

LOL!
I think by the time I drag my sorry, seditious ass out there to do the dirty deed, nobody is gonna give much of a shit. Other fish to fry than worrying about the desecration of some damn-fool's "spinning"-place, eh?

PoC,

Truth be told, I enjoy your posts on the nature world of Georgia--you write beautifully. And you're pretty unflappable too; Asoka is the only one who has managed to throw you off you’re game, you of the rapidly flapping fingers. And speaking of Asoka, I hope everything is OK.

But back to Georgia. Have you ever heard of Guzton Borglum and the Stone Mountain carved Confederate memorial debacle? To make a long story short, the irascible Borglum, who eventually carved the Mt. Rushmore memorial, was literally chased out of Georgia by the State Patrol. Quite a character, to say the least.

Old6699;

You leave me puzzled???

-Marlin

Maybe I'm the odd man out here, but I really can't stand NASCAR and its fan base, but I actually like Formula One racing. That latter is expanding eastward, with an F-1 race being planned for India in the future. How does F-1 racing fit into the established anti-sports bias of this CF?

And how much does it cost to have a fly-over of 4-5 F-18 Hornets (over a domed stadium no less!) or at a NASCAR event? I think the idea is to get young men at such events think the military is "cool." Who is doing the cost/benefit analysis of the military "sponsoring" of such professional events?

Apparently anyone who pays into Social Security--and make no mistake, that is how the program is sold--and expects to receive a check at the appropriately designated moment, is either an “Idiot” or, according to Jonathan SS, a sympathizing “Tea Bagger”.

Beyond that, your original assertion is quite bizarre:

“.too all the idiots that repeatedly state..'they paid into social security so they deserve to get a check'...BULLSH*T...! no one paid into SS. they paid taxes and those taxes built roads, paid welfare, and bought bullets for police actions in foreign countries....no one paid into 'social security'.”

And the best you can do is cite some arcane legal ruling (I do question whether you have the capability of correctly interpreting your citation) when you know full well the implicit social contract as understood by nearly anyone with room temp IQ over the last seventy-plus years.

In fact, millions of “Idiots” expect to receive a Social Security check every month--and they do.

But go take a look at a Schedule SE and carefully read what those collected taxes are earmarked for, instead of attempting to obfuscate your incredibly lame initial assertion in convoluted legalese.

Interesting questions.

...On the nascar deal, I don't begrudge anyone enjoying it for the [mebbe-somebody's-gonna-get-kilt] gladiator event that it is, I just have a bitch with its' encouragement of resource wasting at the most blatant level. Why? Because the Big Boy producers WANT us to waste 'em. Why? Because it fattens their short-term bottom line. Why? ...I dunno; 'cause I don't understand that mind-set of unending, rapacious acquisitiveness.

Oh well, didn't get too far with that, did I? ;o)


Please cite the "other provisions of law"

EXCLUSION OF SOCIAL SECURITY FROM ALL BUDGETS Pub. L. 101-508, title XIII, Sec. 13301(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104Stat. 1388-623, provided that: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the receipts and disbursements of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund shall not be counted as new budget authority, outlays, receipts, or deficit or surplus for purposes of - (1) the budget of the United States Government as submitted by the President, (2) the congressional budget, or (3) the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

Ozone;

That special racing blend used in NASCAR ... its provided for free by the folks at Sunoco for the privilege of hanging up their banners around the stadiums. I understand it would sell for as much as $20.00 per gallon. It must be costing Sunoco quite a bit ... I don't think those 750bhp cars get too good gas mileage 'specially at 200mph, but the company must think they get their moneys worth.

Cash stated: "Every merger/acquisition/divestiture/restructuring/system conversion that you busted your ass over was a total waste of time because it would inevitably all be undone in the next corporate tumult."
========================
Yes, the whole notion of "change is good" that is nothing more than an excuse for management to prove they are "doing" something, that they are "making an impact" in their organizations -- usually long enough to turn things upside down before they wander off to their next position in the corporation, or occasionally, are deemed unwanted by the corporation and are removed. All crap created to keep everything in flux whether existing organizations and processes are worth keeping or not. To call this approach to operations a mess is an understatement.

Cheers

Before reading any of the comments, I'd like to say thanks to James for not leaving for greener mosh-pits.

Make your stand right where you are, there's no where else to go.

C. Cruz stated: "The idea that Facebook and Twitter are the new town square is rather amusing, considering that the center of these revolutions turned out to be the actual town square. Despite all these digital wonderlands, it was actual public places where actual flesh-and-blood people gather such as Tahrir Square that acted as critical catalysts for these acts of public solidarity and defiance."
=============================
Strongly agree. The nonstop attempt to substitute virtual interaction for real interaction among citizens is insidious but apparently has been very successful in at least some of the western countries, and in the USA very much so.

What your comments imply is that these virtual town squares (like, um, this one we're using) can be turned off on the whim of "the authorities". It doesn't take much thought to realize this setup is loaded in favor of the state/corporate establishment against any interests that citizens might have.

Also noteworthy is that interest in the virtual meeting places is probably scant (compared to western countries) in the countries where all the turmoil is taking place now -- that is, the people in those countries still have public places to meet in person. The closest thing to such a meeting place in the USA anymore are the shopping malls, which conveniently happen to be the property of corporations and which the public can be locked out of if it pleases the corporation to do so. It is harder to lock down a genuine town square, marketplace, etc.

There are still functional cities in the USA with real public spaces, but unless one has lived in one of these cities, the knowledge of such spaces and their role in public activities is limited.

Cheers

Yes, I heard on Public radio...KCRW.
So, so much for public radio.

I have zero respect for prison guards and their union, And they are a major part of the uprising in Wisconsin!
The left siding with prison guards...a laugh.

You didnt eat that 'rogue' dog you shot, why would you eat rabbits?

Let see:
LA Times, Wash Post, Newsweek, Fareed Zakariah, Time etcetcetc.NBC Bla Bla Bla

wasnt 'Bio' Rudolph Steiners baby?
yes banks are failing, by the 100's I believe.

so killing a cop is 'fighting for whats right'?

@ Mr JHK - spot on as usual - but then I get and so love your high-toned comedy!

@ Newfie - spot on post matey - good link...thx

Tis the Saudi Royals now shi##ing themselves that the ole tribal wounds of past have/will now roll into there eastern (oil field/tech) region...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8294187/Mid-East-contagion-fears-for-Saudi-oil-fields.html

And yes those last week Wikileaks do seem to infer that some Arabian types have been telling (porkie-pies) think cockney-rhyming slang about real reserves, ahem, cough, well for decades actually...

‘Crude Awakening’ – was a well made movie (I bought it years ago) - was way ahead of its time and both Colin Campbell & Matt Simmons were on the money ages ago, (with geology/oil tech defo). But not a single OECD politico has EVER taken this info out there vocally, with the people they allude to represent - and hinted get ready folks.... TLE is coming.

http://www.youtube.com/user/pennyshares#p/u/7/-IXjd7ZOxJo

Some more of the movie tasters to view, here

http://www.youtube.com/user/pennyshares#p/u/5/eRWkD4t5q6E

This clip way-ahead of its time is bang on with what is unravelling now in the ME...

http://www.youtube.com/user/pennyshares#p/u/3/_bQlkZPRxKM

And the same movie too will tell you why tech at this late stage, will not save our collective 7bn peeps bacon...

And as far as I’m still aware not one single major, large audience, Western TV station network anywhere has EVER broadcast this whole film either...

(I wonder why?)

So come on ladies, get on yer backs you Yankee high-fructose-corn-syrup and taco-bell fuelled southern gals yawl, and start popping out those future (Hoo-Rah) ready to go Jarheads!

Camouflaged khaki the de-rigueur new black coming soon everywhere, no YSL goodie-bag required!

But who’ll be ‘controlling’ us free-soul-spirited libertine types sailing out there in the deep blue sea... eh?

I’m back in my temp home domain now of Plymouth UK, so twas good-bye to what was once St. Boloph, last week tis far warmer here... lol

We have a last-century memorial tucked away in Devonport, so no one with an iPhone ever visits there *sniggers* it’s in honour of a local guy whom ventured deep into the Antarctic...

Around the site is laid some words from one of his last diary entries, that read thus:

"We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last...

If only our US/UK leaders had the guts & right stuff to start thinking and talking out loud in a similar fashion...

(Dream on)

Be seeing you...

Banking Busts and Blunders:

http://problembanklist.com/

Have fun!

Back to Wisconsin ...

Apparently, the whole thing is a plot by the Crotch brothers. What just occurred to me is that unlike most CEOs, they think beyond the next quarter. Interesting.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/21/947947/-The-Koch-Brothers-End-Game-in-Wisconsin

And, yes. I was responsible for "The Asparagus Effect" post. But, not that name. Which, I really like.

I also am responsible for the "Junk expands to fill the space allowed" meme, but I'll let that one slide :-) .

{I never wanted to get personal on this blog--it's not facebook ya know, but ok since people keep asking....Awright already, I'm a woman. Also a boomer. Wouldn't trade the time I grew up for anything. I had a great time and still continue to enjoy my life.--phew I feel so much better now.}

----
thanks so much for satisfying my curiosity, lbendet -- i did sense a female vibe in your writing, but my radar isn't 100%. (it's a game i play whenever reading... guess the gender of the journalist... i'm right better than chance, but not a whole lot more.)

'pedantic' isn't quite the word with which i'd tag you... 'thorough,' 'well-informed' but, alas, also 'humorless,' as in one who suffers fools not gladly. thus i thought you some kind of academic.

as jackieblue2u stated, a person becomes his or her persona. that can be liberating, albeit dangerously so. in real life, with occupations, some of us can compensate for our more distressing personal shortcomings; sometimes that's a good thing.

i was afraid that when my dad retired he would cease to exist: if he wasn't a doctor any more, who or what could he possibly be? when i was young i was ashamed of him -- he had none of the easy social skills of other kids' dads, he seemed a second-rate doormat in the world of good-natured shoulder-chucking men. then once i was with him in the hospital, i saw all these hardened nurses and young docs kissing his ass, i realized he was somebody. once, after a big race i had won, a middle-aged couple came up to shake my hand; of course i figured it was because i was such a star. the man said, your father, he is a great man. he kept repeating those words; he wouldn't let go of my hand. turns out their daughter was dead, but i guess my dad had ushered her into the beyond with his signature compassion & integrity.

being on disability troubles my self-esteem, that's for damn sure. still, i can't get over how beautiful this world can be sometimes.

Puzzled ? It was with regards to:

From progressorconserve :

"But, despite my gentle encouragement; joyous, natural sex is a topic that seems to be off the CFN table, or something - even though our host is not shy about including it in his fiction.

I've got a couple of theories about this, but I'd like to hear from some other posters."


He wants theories so:

Most people writing here are either impotent or frigid, as is most of the west and first world, so get over it.

Agreed, these 2 terms are cultural artifacts (impotence and frigidity), they don't really exist in nature, they are mental - social constructions according to a youth driven sex model which is practically impossible to achieve for anyone.

In nature anyways the deal is, people get together, reproduce, end of story. If they do it once or a million times, at 13 years old or 90 who knows and who cares...

Take it or leave, put it in your pipe and smoke it.

think what the guy's getting at is that SS taxes are not put away in any fund anywhere, the excess after paying out to SS recipients is just thrown in with general funds and spent immediately on something such as road building and whatnot, and the government literally writes on a piece of paper 'We owe XXX to the SS Trust Fund' for whatever it didn't, but should've, placed into the mythical Trust Fund.

well now those pieces of special paper, when THEY need to be paid, are 'funded' by stripping the populace of its money via taxes.


look, SS is a vicious con, like most of .gov, sure people get paid a pittance of what they COULD've earned with the money, but the system's design guarantees that it will implode, it's analogous to a snake eating itself from the tail forward.

i'm just glad it'll be there to take care of me though.

Last Word on
What Would Jesus Drive:

1970 Hemi 'Cuda

All powerful, sign of the fish

R. Sox

qtips said, "pet peeves): the entire concept, near universal among women but rare among men, of keeping up with "fashion." Silly me, I believe clothes should be worn until they are worn out."

Something you should understand about women: they are basically creatures of habit.

A woman without make-up is like a woman undressed. Would you leave the house undressed? Likewise, a woman without the proper fashion would be shunned from the social circles.

The social circles are arrainged in a vertical position. From top to bottom, the prettiest, trendiest, and most exclusive groups, down to the fugliest and least attractive groups.

Since fundamentally, beauty is unearned wealth, or at least access to it, this is the simplest measure of one's peer group.

Whereas, in the male domain, these vertical heirarchies exist, there is no advantage to physical beauty- in fact, it is most likely an impediment. A similar slavishness to fashions also exists in subtle terms- hair off the collar, no neckflames, suits, ties, shoes, etc.

In the female experience (as contrasted to the domain) the experience is defined as quality of life inversely proportional to time. Everything has a sell-by date, this idea is imprinted and programmed from an early age by society. A person hits milestones by which time they are expected to attain certain things, otherwise, they are failures and outcasts.

These milestones are patterned on time-points. These begin in primary school. Young children are thrown in a room and the competition begins. Who gets better grades than whom; who plays with who on the playground; who is taller than, draws with crayons better, runs faster, gets higher marks on the test, and so forth. Integral to all of this is the importance of appearance.

Appearance is enforced throughout the culture, in adults, primarily, and this is picked up by the children. They imitate the patterns of behavior of their parents. They get it from nowhere else. Appearance would not be a parameter of social status if it was not a prime expression in social mores.

When adults tell children "Appearances don't matter" or even the old canard, "Be yourself", it is of course, a lie, even if its best intentions are transmitted, the implication is that the adult world is a world of untruths and moral failure.

Anyway, back to the wimmen.

A woman is controlled by her biology to a much greater extent than a man. This is not so much a product of her essential physicality, but again, programming. A girl is taught very early on the distortions that she has a biological clock, that beauty fades and cannot be replaced, that her body is a capsule with a sell-by date. In other words, a woman's beauty value is maximized by 18 and plateaus for a very short time and then declines rapidly by 40. This terrifying scenario is believed by most women. It is a message reinforced by other women, primarily, and then cultural messages.

A woman starts competing, these days, well before puberty. It does not end after the "prime years", it is extended. The cultural mythology is filled with examples of this extended vanity.

And it is a very simple vanity. The worst aspects of it evolve a person who is, at worst, delusional and self-destructive. Since women take at face value in their formative years that their potential has its roots in a degenerating physicality, hitched to self-worth and therefore happiness, there arises a sort of morbid fatalism.

Women don't spend an hour a day working out- no- because the body cannot be defended against time- and that would be hard work, which is a hallmark of lower classes and therefore, non-beauty. They spend an hour concealing, smoothing, blending, primping, and if they have money, boob jobs, butt jobs, crinkle-erasing, and so forth.

The terror of deterioration and the loathing of hard work deter women from a healthy self-concept. Most women, anyway. After a while, the exercise of makeup and fashion is an exercise in pursuing self-esteem. Obviously this is a false place ot pursue self-esteem.

Fashion is simply the adjunct to the attainment of beauty. It is couched in terms of "self-expression", or even "taste", but, this is manifestly untrue in most cases, as you would begin to wonder how developed a creative, individuated sense of self-expression could be when it is simply a mirror image of something else.

Where I live, the current thing is fur-lined hooded parkas, and skin-tight jeans, with boots of some kind. Yesterday's trends are fading, like the hideous Huge Sunglasses trend, or before that, g-string and thong "Whale tails". Heels come in, go out.

But fashion doesn't stop at clothes- it continues into accessories- the studs, rings, necklaces- and the tattoos- the ubiquitous "tramp stamps". What else- boyfriends, husbands, who are compared on their relative "merits", Cars and SUVs, jewelry, number and type of children, cats or dogs, all the "lifestyle" accouterments... the wallpaper, the color of carpet, and so forth.

If a woman of this type is with a man that is her equal, you can rest assured that he is clothed in the appropriate "male" fashion. A fashionable woman would not tolerate anything less. Therefore many men's "fashions" are actually aimed at women, who they adorn like all their other possessions. Women prefer suits because they want their man to look like the most successful men. If Donald Trump took to wearing Tu-tus, then that would follow. Also note that not a few men would take to tu-tus without a woman to command it thusly; a great deal of men are already subject to the tyranny of women by their absurd socialization which pedestalizes the female. Many men these days are fashion-hounds because of the increasing absence of the male from primary education and development.

Remember, these are all learned value scales, so, "Ken" dolls are the prototypical mate, and girls have a decades-long head start in the ways of dominating men and other women. They are given models of people to manipulate, and this is their primary talent and skill.

I have typed long enough here, but, suffice it to say that men live in a world created by and for women, like it or not, and no one will repeat this fact to anyone in polite company because it is anathema to the accepted belief. Consumer society's values, and even capitalism's values- are reflections of the feminine will.

The Consume-everything, regardless of the future, regardless of the common wealth, is a mirror of these female vices. The future simply isn't important to such creatures. When their beauty runs out there is no point to life. Continuance was always a man's concern. He was concerned because he was never sure if his children were his own.

I think the decline of men happened over time. It was a result of the enlightenment and increased technology, but also the intense negativity of popular culture against the male. As popular culture exerts its insidious effect on females, males get a different spectrum of dysfunctional and destructive programming. I would argue it is even more destructive that the programming for the females, as it results in mass body counts, mortality, morbidity, and more frequently, and mental illness. The separation of males from the sphere of children has been especially horrible. The alienation in first world societies has been in crisis for longer than many thought possible.

Yeah, and don't forget the pinkerton. If you bother to check out the history, you'll find that the cops, the pinkertons, and local businessmen attacked the union organizers without provocation the night before. The businessmen said they were all Communists. Back then, shooting union organizers was a pretty popular sport. The men went out to organize, & the cops & pinkertons showed up to kick their asses & got piss pounded instead. Too bad for them.

BustinJ you sure do know alot about women!

-Marlin

BustinJ,

I don't agree with everything you say, but you do make some excellent points.

I've noticed that many of the women in my immediate neighborhood are into "Ladies Night Out" socials that involve "pampering." Next week they are going to all get their nails done and drink wine. I was invited, but declined the invitation because 1)Mostly they bitch about men, and shamelessly gossip. 2)I work out in the garden too much, hence my nails get dirt under them. I keep my nails really short because it suits me. I don't know why they think they need to be pampered on a regular basis?

This "Nail Night" is being organized by the uber-bitch across the street. She was a cheerleader and homecoming queen when she was in high school, then went on to become a sorority slut at Cal Poly (She has huge boobs!). No doubt some of the night's conversation will be "Nail Jen" since I won't be around to defend myself. (I feel a snit coming on...)

They also have botox parties. Yikes. Some women ask me if I've had botox because my skin is unusually wrinkle free for age 51. I tell them that my secret is Dial soap and a life of wearing sunscreen. They expect to hear that I use some $100 potion from Macy's (you'd have to be into magical thinking to believe the outragious hype in some of those fancy cremes).

As for men's fashion. I don't know where you live, but in Silicon Valley, professional tech men wear Dockers to work. Very casual. I buy my husband Dockers and casual shirts because he doesn't want to go anywhere near a store other than Fry's Electronics or Best Buy. Seriously, he can go YEARS without buying a thing. I give up and go shopping for him when his pants get frayed.

Jen

{A woman is controlled by her biology to a much greater extent than a man.}

----
bustin, you state a point of view well, but you seem oblivious to the existence of any other pov, a failing which i find unforgivable when writing about gender, race & class.

as an instructor of writing i used to tell my kids to red-pen "i think" and "in my opinion" from their work -- after all, we know it's what you think, you're the one writing the essay. but in public discourse i think common sense imperes us to acknowledge respective limited fields of vision.

for example, not all women feel naked without make-up. i am well-acquainted with the type, but even in corporate connecticut she is in the minority. not all women feel stamped by a sell-by code, not all women are ruled by biology.

in a way, you're like vlad, painting a portrait of the lazy pickaninny living for loose shoes and tight pussy -- yes, the type surely exists, but no, it's hardly representative of anybody.

in the nearby state university there are barbie dolls, for sure, but there are also plenty of man-haters, as well as man-eaters, dragon-ladies, shrinking violets, librarians in glasses, cum-slurping gutter sluts, girls next door, dressed for success ruthless corner-office seekers, jocks, more jocks, rocket scientologists... you name it. it takes all kinds, which is good, because we've got em.

are you young? then i forgive you. in prison or otherwise living not in the company of women? double forgiveness. sisterless, raised by wolves, singing in the vatican boys' choir? if not, sheesh, get a clue: there are women exactly like you.

----
oh, wait, now i remember what i was going to say, re {A woman is controlled by her biology to a much greater extent than a man} -- you've almost got it right... please allow me to edit ever so slightly:

a man is controlled by her biology to a much greater extent than is she.

Didnt some fool from the Times write that bestseller?
'THE HUMMER AND THE FICUS TREE'?

Bravo Bustin - you are a great Misogynist. And you have great potential as a general Misnathrope - if you could only get over your racial sentimentality. You are still trying for a place in the Liberal Tribe. Don't bother - they're dying. And they would never forgive you for your viewpoint of women anyway. Take a hint from Wells and get to Latin America where women still try to please men. Just watch out for the hustlers.

Yes theres an inevitable contraction for the US.
And its going to be very ugly.

But Wisconsin has been a hog farm for too long.
Lets not confuse pigging out with peak oil!

I cant find the post today above this about:
'When i was young our town had 1 state trooper.'
Contrast this to Wisconsin [or was it Minn?]
THAT HAS A BILLION DOLLAR SUPERMAX PRISON WITH ONE INMATE.
That I heard on Public radio years ago.
Yet the libs side with the dreaded prison guards and their union.

Telling people not to generalize is the same as telling them not to think since a concept is a generalization. Yes of course caution must be used. There are over generalizations and there are different kinds of women. But in truth the male gender produces far more eccentrics - both higher and lower. The Bell Curve explains it well as usual. The mass of women are clustered right under the dome of the curve - far more than for men. Most men are there too - but far more men than women are at the lower and higher ends of the curve. Women see the large numbers of misfits, criminals, and retards and feel superior to men - all the while totally oblivious to the numerical dominance of men at the higher sectors of the curve especially the second and third standard deviations upwards (IQ's of 115-130 and 130-145). In their defence though, there are far more men at the inferior end of the curve than in these higher areas. And of course it is easier to see what is beneath you existentially speaking - and much more fun...

Any thoughts on the Judge in Penn facing life in prison for being on the take from the 'for profit prisons'?
Particularly with the goings on in Wisconsin [heroic prison guard protesters the left loves so in wisconsin].

Orionoir,
The world would be a dreary place without beauty and as someone who earned a BFA in painting I embrace it. Happily I still produce art and that is really where I live. Funny that you thought I was an academic.

Anyway I found your story about your dad, very touching and I also encountered someone who shook my hand in a similar way, saying "Your father is a Prince of a man". It didn't surprise me, though, he was smart, kind and funny--I lost him 23 years ago, right before I went to China.

When I went to the Great Wall, I kept walking beyond my friend and guide and found a small pavilion overlooking a particularly beautiful view of the mountains and sat for a while thinking about my dad. I could share this view with my family through photographs, but felt the finality of his passing in that I would never be able to share this with him.

OK, that was sad and serious. Honestly I have a more funny side--guess it didn't come out in this post. Maybe next time.

Fascinating! Absolutely flip-flopping fascinating!
Ibendit
Lbendit
ibendit
lbendit

"I guess my cyber personality is rather pedantic! Ha, that's really funny. Just like anyone else on this blog incl. JHK, I do have a sense of humor and am a well-rounded individual."
-lbend-

I took your handle as Lbendet.
Orion, for understandable reasons, took your handle as Ibendet.

I would never, ever, in 1,000,000 years, have had the sensitivity or intuitive ability to deduce that you, Lbend, are female.

============
Which goes to part of my explanation as to why the CFN discussion thread is rather, shall we say - sexually muted.

Most of us on here project our own personalities like crazy. Therefore, Lbend, I just ASSUMED that you were male, right out of the chute, without another thought about it.

You are obviously intelligent. And you think, more or less, along the same lines of brilliant logic that inform my thinking.

But now that I know you are female, Lbendet - I just KNOW - KNOW, with Certainty - that you are gorgeous - physically and mentaly! It's that projection thing operating, beyond my control, once again.

To be continued -
But you have to admit, this is very interesting!

What about the ultimate protest of the middle class. No one files a Federal tax return on April 15th. Millions of us - no return. Drag it on and then choke the system. What would happen if the trillion dollar military budget wasn't funded? What kind of message would that send?

They already have our money, so it's not a question of they can't spend it. And now-a-days, even if we owed them money, the Fed can just print more and give it to the weapons brokers. Not worth much, but as long as the top executives, the upper 5 percenters got paper, they'd be ok with that. It's all they are worth anyway.

Does anyone remember the chant, "Hell no we won't go?" Well a bunch of us still ended up in the military, but it sure did raise a ruckus. And that's just what they need in Washington - a message so blunt and so wide-sweeping that democrats and republicans can't ignore it.

Like the stamp act revolt or the the Boston Tea Party (the real one), an act so demonstrative and
broad in scope that all the world would stand up and notice. The Americans are back, this time fighting tyranny within their own borders. Why they would have to send out the national guard after us and arrest us all. Millions of people going to court to jam the judicial system. The ten ton block that broke the system.

Wouldn't it be something if the Wisconsin Statehouse protest worked its way across the nation and just like in the eastern countries it spread like wildfire. We can't bail you guys out any more. We are broke, we are tired, we too want back the pursuit of happiness which you have stole right out from under us.

The Great Tax Revolt of 2011. I wonder if we have the guts.

{I could share this view with my family through photographs, but felt the finality of his passing in that I would never be able to share this with him.}

-----
nice reply, thank you. i've written here re my experiences with cancer; it was c 6 years ago that my own passing seemed imminent and real. what you say about no longer being able to share, that's very close to my heart, that was really the only sad thing i was able to feel, the prospect of no longer being able to see my kids grow.

-----
this is a horrible killing of two birds with one stone, but if you're reading, bustin, i apologize for the stridency of my last post to you. you deserve better. i will do better.

Everything is fine, just keep watching TV.


Actually, I think the Libya situation is a
tempest in a teapot. Over the short term,
Arabia has THREE Libyas worth of swing
capacity.

What really IS bothersome was today's
announcement that the world corn demand
CANNOT be met because supplies are at
1974 lows.

Well, they don't call this site CFN for
nothing.


E.

Chucky D

It could happen at some point when people are really hurting beyond listening to the platitudes they are given. They have to be at a point where nonsense like, We will be a nation of innovators is no longer going to keep people in line.

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a really interesting article back around 2008 describing the unemployed as going around with their laptops dressed in suits, too busy working to get a job to address the problem.

At what point does the charade get called-in by the majority?

Re: SS

Thanks for reiterating what I was trying to say. The fed gov't borrows against the funds. I certainly didn't mean to say that people should not expect to get payments, but that anything could happen (look at WI) when gov't over promises they may have to under deliver.

Also, I never used the term "Tea Bagger". I was questioning retirees that want less gov't spending, as long as it doesn't affect SS & Medicare ("Keep gov't out of my Medicare!").

E.
Re: Saudi Oil
Just came across this article on Energy Bulletin
http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-02-22/oil-and-revolt-libya-%E2%80%94-what-if

Most of the people protesting in the ME right now simply want the right of self-determination, which is exactly what they are saying when asked why they are protesting. What could be more American than that? America invented this as the basis of governance. Some want Sharia law, but I do not get this impression from the protesters in Egypt, who are by and large focused on secular rights like voting and freedom of the press/expression. They want an end to corrupt, unaccountable regimes that do not follow the will of the people.

And the protesters are highly influenced by American culture, which is basically an open network where one can say whatever one wants, with the exception of extreme language like threatening the president. It was an American Google employee who sparked the protests in Egypt, which arguably began this whole chain of events. You may not realize it, but many in the ME when you get past the reflexive anti-Americanism due to policies like the support of Israel, actually want the same things as most Americans, e.g. the ability to vote and determine who is in charge, being able to express opposition and criticism, and to have open communication with anyone using the internet. These rights are highly appealing to most people.

The ME are realizing that it is not America which is the Great Satan but their own governments. I am not arguing that America has not done some really messed-up things in that region, especially the Iraq War, which was a catastrophe both for them and us. But for most countries, it is not American policies that are keeping them down but their own rulers.

The problem with censoring the internet is that to make it airtight, you have to shut it off entirely. It is oft said that the internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. As you can see, the Egyptian and Libyan governments have had to completely shut off the internet in order to prevent people from interacting with each other.

Libya, for instance, bans political parties and allows absolutely no criticism of the regime. These regimes are incredibly and brazenly corrupt. The Egyptian leader supposedly has billions in offshore accounts in Switzerland. And many of these regimes are using police and soldiers with live ammo to put down protests, sometimes even grenades and air attacks.

What this does not bode well for (possibly) is Israel's relations with some of its neighbors, including Jordan. Many of the protesters are calling for the severing of relations with that country. Maybe this is a good thing, because Israel should have to deal with the consequences of its actions and policies.

This all may also have an effect on oil exports when the dust settles. For instance, Libyan oil production has been shutdown as of now. New governments may not be willing to export as much as the previous ones, or they may nationalize their oil companies or boot out the multi-nationals. As usual, American politics in this area is primarily driven by oil.

I know you think Americans are cocksure about having an influence over ME politics, but I am not getting this at all. Obama said that he never thought that he would be able to determine the outcome in Egypt. Please see recent press conference.

What happens may depend on the country. Egypt is seeing a fairly orderly transition. If the Libyans keep up their protests, you may see full scale civil war, as Ghadaffi has vowed not to step down.

And actually, the US has enormous influence in Egypt. They are second on the foreign aid budget next to Israel. If you don't think billions in aid is not a fairly big stick, I don't know what would be.

"And the mosh-pit of Facebook seems an uncongenial place for my brand of high-toned comedy."

Everything and everything happens on FB. There isn't any one type of person to which it caters.

I don't use Twitter either, but it has been enormously influential. You might as well call the Egyptian protests the Twitter Revolution.

"And people who don't know what they are doing."

I'm not sure how to interpret this in the context of your post. The people in the ME know exactly what they are doing and what they want. They want to be able to elect their own leaders, hold them accountable for their actions, and to be allowed to voice reasonable criticism without being flogged or having their businesses firebombed. They want to be able to organize their own political parties. They want to be able to peacefully assemble without getting shot at or have grenades thrown at them or get locked up in a torture dungeon.

I am not a neo-con by any means, but they got it right when they said that people naturally want democratic governments. And American being the first democracy (well republic actually), our culture is enormously influential there, whether you recognize that or not. People consider it a right to be able to communicate via the internet, and Twitter and FB are the primary tools, both of which (not coincidentally) were created by American companies.

The Saudi oil story is old news. See Twilight in the Desert. I guess Wikileaks provides some internal confirmation, but I think a 400+ page analysis by an energy expert is better evidence than a few diplomatic cables.

Mammar al-Gaddafi says, "Generations from now, Libya will be at the top! It will be the leader of Africa, Latin America and Asia; it will be the leader of the whole world!"

And you wonder why people want new governments? This guy is freaking nuts.

Jeez!
Such woman hating going on! Okay, yeah, we WOMEN like to dress in "style". We know men expect some good looking legs lurking behind a skirt. Just a little secret, ya men out there...you like to get laid...guess what...? WE LIKE TO GET LAID, TOO! A little bit of powder, some lipstick, and a half decent set of gams gets us laid good and proper! (at least it used to work that way!) Oh, and yeah, San Jose Mom, we (OTHER) women are BITCHES! We're just a few steps removed from the men when it comes to marking our territory! I'm not saying I'm particularly proud of this behavior from the "fairer sex". We all inherited it from our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, etc. BTW, I liked that you don't keep your nails "up"! Gardening is, to me, much sexier than a manicure! Let those neighborhood bitches sharpen their claws in their own fashion, and on their own time! No reason for you to give up a useful hobby to join in on the fray.
As for women and their influence on men's fashion - okay, yeah...we ARE responsible! If it were up to women, (daresay it already is) men would look like gallon sized versions of Rosie O'Donnell! Can you say, "gag me with a spoon?" YUCK! Give me a man like "Tripp" any day of the week!!!

"The Great Tax Revolt of 2011. I wonder if we have the guts." -ChuckyD
====================

Well, I suppose that all depends on how much one has to lose (think "asset seizure" and "liens").
That's the gun-to-the-head via the "justice" system they've got going for them.

Desperate measures can be mistaken for courage, and will certainly do the job at the crucial moment, but we're just not in that kind of pain yet. I have no doubt it is coming, despite official reassurances to the contrary. Only one question is necessary to clear the whole issue. Is the govt. stockpiling enough food to feed the populace for [at the least] a year? If the answer is "no", then you can see what they're NOT considering. Hubris, ignorance and stupidity create a highly explosive and toxic mix when combined with times of scarcity and rampant uncertainty. (Keep an eye on the Rapture cults, if they suddenly expand their numbers, they'll provide a sure clue that the fecal matter HAS ALREADY hit the oscillating air-circulation unit.)

Some have said that the Governor is pro-Corporation - and it may well be. But that misses the point: the contraction must come and it will call for sacrafice from everyone including Liberals. Who cares about the Teachers - there are no jobs and the schools are going to close. The kids will be better off without these repulusive Miss Grundies - all unconscious agents of the New World Order. Let the Liberals vote out the Governor if they like - it will all be the same in the end. And the Four Horsemen are coming for the Big Corporations as well.

Christ/Kalki/Mahdi will come after the Four and He will ride a White Horse. He came before as a suffering servant. This time He comes as a Conquering King.

Ha!
Well that'll teach me to post before I read through everyone else's!
Compact reply there; shutting the hell up now.... ;o)

"listen, i believe it paramount that for this level of discussion that the vocabulary be kept clean. fist off, a bronco is not a pickup nor is a charger"
-jammer-

Nice points, jammer -
My first concern was regarding, "fist off," - because I thought that you were making some sort of funny veiled reference to the sexual atmosphere, or lack thereof, on CFN.

BUT, it's likely that "fist off" was a simple typo.

And accuracy of posts is very important.
i appreciate your concern for the sort of car, truck, or other vehicle that jesus would drIve.

Thank you for your support.
Please post frequently.

a youth driven sex model which is practically impossible to achieve for anyone.
============

Translation: someone here's gotta "woody" problem ;-)

One more scary piece of supposition about the mysterious Ray Davis and what that harmless, regular guy might have been doing in the AfPak deal. (No, not Ray Davi[e]s from the Kinks; the pretend-diplomat, killer fellow!) WWIII anyone? We gots to get back on top somehow; seems like a good plan. Hoorah!

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27548.htm

The interim Egyptian government immediately affirmed its intention to follow its international treaty obligations, including with Israel. Hm, could that be because they don't want US and A to shut off the billions they get in international aid gravy? I'm thinking that could have something to do with it.

Not so with the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals.

"Is the govt. stockpiling enough food to feed the populace for [at the least] a year?"

Uh, no....

The modern food paradigm is "just in time" delivery, like most things these days. That means we don't have a stockpile of food. Though I really don't worry about food shortages in the USA all that much, at least not in the immediate future. The country is chock full of fat people, and we could probably lessen our consumption by a good 25% and still be fine. Just the food that goes to waste could feed a small African country. We could also simply cut our exports, which would screw over some other countries, but in truly desperate times it could conceivably happen. Also, people could stop eating so much meat, which could happen simply through economics as feed prices rise. We could also discontinue the ethanol boondoggle. Anyways, there's a number of options for the US.

This is of course not the case in countries like Egypt and other parts of the Third World, which have faced bad problems with food supplies in the last couple years. I recall there was a Food Crisis a few years ago, and prices are starting to get up there again. Food scarcity and the Let's just put it this way. If the USA starts having food supply problems, the rest of the world will have already gone Mad Max. Food scarcity and the accompanying rising prices will be a huge issue going forward due to continued overpopulation and changing crop yields from to climate change. Unlike the US, people in poor countries spend a big chunk of their budget on food, whereas it is a relatively small part of most American's monthly expenses.

Let's just put it this way. If the USA starts having big food supply problems like a lot of people starving in the street, most of the world will have already gone Mad Max.

Apologies for cut and paste weirdness with last post. You get my drift.

No worries; I'm diggin' on your riff, daddy-o.
;o)

The thing about TSHTF is that it hits people at different times, because they are standing at varying distances from the oscillating blades. Some are in another room and won't get hit unless it is a really powerful fan and a great big load of dookie. Others have on biohazard suits and they don't care if they get hit.

I guess that's stretching the analogy, but the idea that there will be some consensus on the issue is, I think, a flawed one.

I mean if you live in Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan, or the Congo, TSHTF a long time ago. You might already be walking around with one leg on makeshift crutches trying to find your next meal.

For everyone to reach agreement that everyone has been splattered, the world would basically have to get clobbered by a giant asteroid or something similarly catastrophic.

If James Lovelock's predictions of drastic rise in temperatures and sea levels turns out to be correct and we all have to move to the North Pole, that would also probably do it. Though there would probably be some guy saying, "What do you mean TSHTF? I love it up here. It is so purty."

People's experiences on this planet vary quite a bit. Some people are living in a box under the freeway as we speak. Others are drinking bottles of champagne that cost more than the average world citizen's yearly income. There's a gigantic spectrum of experiences, especially regarding personal/national standards of living, so getting people to agree on overarching pronouncements about the planet can be kinda difficult.

Some people are just going to keep saying, "What me worry?" until they are actually flung headfirst into a gigantic vat of poo.

She was a cheerleader and homecoming queen when she was in high school, then went on to become a sorority slut at Cal Poly (She has huge boobs!).
==============

How's chances that mayhaps you could like forward me some sort of like link, email address, or like cell number or whatnot so I can like confirm what you're sayin about this bimbo? Actually these kinda gossipy bitches like disgust me. Wuddya say her cup size wuz?

^^^^ Dirty old man. ;)

^^^^ Dirty old man. ;)

I don't mean to pile on, but does Q's handle have any relation to an obsession with having a stiff rod in his hands?;)

"I'm with Welles. Got out in '85 during 2nd Reagan administration."

And where is your private paradise? Your inner capital is precisely what most Duhmericans would call "a lowered quality of life." Which is why there has been no mass exodus to third world countries. There is though now a growing wave of baby boomers retiring south of the border and elsewhere, but it is more out of necessity than a desire to find utopia elsewhere. America is the last lifeboat on earth, but it's being sunk on purpose by TPTB. I do believe there are small islands of serenity and security out there in the large world, if you can find them. I am with Vlad on the final hope for mankind appearing as a Conquering Savior restoring order to the universe. Until then I consider myself safe wherever I am under His watchful eyes.

the unemployed ... going around with their laptops dressed in suits
===========

I'm confused, who was dressed in suits, the unemployed or the laptops?

Just watching Obama's brother, the leader of Libya, reading from his green book on CNN and it brings to mind the scene in Apocalypse Now where Brando is reading poetry to Cpt Williard. You can't land on Venus with fractions. And you can't make up the stuff that's going on now.

"In nature anyways the deal is, people get together, reproduce, end of story."

I'm not sure about some of this, Old69.
An outsider, looking in, would think American society was oversupplied with sex - to the point that no one, anywhere in these United States was ever unsatisfied for more than a half hour or so.

But look closer and there's the manufactured scarcity of unrealized desire - driving us frantically from our SUV's to our teevee's to our Cheeze Doodles.

I suggest those skyscrapers, Mars missions, and buses of yours will need lots of spaces for lots of sex.

If the outcome is to be anything like human happiness.

Qshtik,

Don't get me going! Years ago a bunch of us women were out watching the kids (making sure they didn't run out into the street, but also drinking cosmopolitans). For reasons unknown (she doesn't have a pool) she comes out with her lawnchair wearing a bathing suit and a sarong. We are talking double D's here, held up by strings. The get-together breaks up and later she saunters over to get her daughter at Kevin's house. He looks at her and says something stupid like "Ah, carumba" (looking directly at her DD's). Then she goes around saying that Jessica's husband sexually harassed her. What a crock.

I could tell you many stories of her treachery. Last year she had a graduation party (8th grade) for her daughter. My daughter is a year older and the two of them used to be friends. We weren't invited--no big deal. But the next day she brings us leftovers from the party. I'm sure she did it to make certain we knew that we weren't invited and to rub salt in the wound.

My dream is that those DD's get so long and saggy that she'll have to tuck them into the waistband of her jeans. I hope it takes a crane-like apparatus attached to her ears to keep those boobs from the effects of age and gravity!

SJmom

(Oh Jen, where's your Christian charity?)

This guy is freaking nuts.
===============

Colonel Qaddafi: aka the Daffy Qa Kernal

Chucky D -
That might actually work:

"What about the ultimate protest of the middle class. No one files a Federal tax return on April 15th. Millions of us - no return. Drag it on and then choke the system."
-chucky-

Unfortunately, most of the honest to God, working class people, left in this country get a tax REFUND when they file their taxes.

It's us rich capitalist bastards that have to PAY when we file.

I've been on record for months on CFN as saying that TPTB are really, really stupid - if they exist at all.

But on US Federal Tax policy - TPTB have been masters of Demonic psychological brilliance.
- Bastards!

JHK wrote: "the essence of human charisma, being a declension of the following:
1.) People who know what they are doing.
2.) People who seem to know what they are doing.
3.) People who pretend to know what they re doing.
4.) And people who don't know what they are doing.
Most of the human race is composed of the fourth category, which is why the figures in the categories above them claim their attention and allegience."

Comment: It may be blasphemy to suggest that Jesus, the son of the Lamb, would drive a Bronco? Shouldn't He be drive'n a Dodge Ram?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Ram

Blasphemy!!! There is no such MOPAR. The correct color designation is Plum Crazy!

"Obama's brother, the leader of Libya"

Huh?

Grammar Nazi alert! :)

And where is your private paradise?
==========

Well I don't know about BeThe's paradise ... but Welles's motivation for am-scraying to Brazil was to escape some kind of tax lien. That's what he told us 6 months or so ago.

What kind of pickup truck does Obama drive?

Obama once told a prospective voter in North Carolina that he "...likes NASCAR."

Jen,

Do you have any jpegs you can post?

Harv

I hope it takes a crane-like apparatus attached to her ears to keep those boobs from the effects of age and gravity!
===============

Maybe she could carry them around in a wheelbarrow.

BTW, I hope you realize my "cup size" remark was supposed to be funny.

About the guy who said "Ah, carumba":

Decades ago there was an episode of Candid Camera (or some similar show). A guy gets on an elevator and standing there, straight faced and nonchalant, is a totally naked woman. They ride wordlessly till the elevator stops at his floor. As he steps off he turns to her and says "I love your outfit."

I missed the pic of Tripp, although I think I saw Orionor's...or maybe it was a young Johnny Wesimuller about to swim The Amazon.

Weissmuller*

Krugman has an interseting blog post...and the number twelve comment is spot-on:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/more-on-defense/

Just in a manner of speaking--soulmates in their dictatorial tendencies.

I spoke with Welles. He sounds blissfully happy there in Brazil. I guess a good woman will do that for you. And good steak too.

Me, I'm not ready to flee the homeland as of yet. Too many family ties. When the Chinese are amassing armies along our southern border, then I'll board a plane to Dublin. I can always bartend in a pub for room and board.

If Obama is a dictator, I'm the King of Botswana.

Let's just use the last guy for comparison.

George "You're with us or against us" Bush gave the country two unnecessary wars, costing trillions of dollars in the long-term, and amounting to absolutely nothing but a bunch of angry or dead Arabs. Meanwhile, those who planned 9-11 got away. He took the international feelings of sympathy and goodwill following that event and proceeded to flush them down the toilet.

Bush actually said, "Things would be much easier if I was the dictator." Does it get any clearer than that?

He also stated that he would have invaded Iraq if only his dog Barney agreed with him.

He rammed his neo-con agenda of perpetual global domination down our throats, him and I-controlled-eight-war-games-on-911 Dick "Shotgun" Cheney and "Stuff Happens" Rumsfeld, along with Paul "They will greet us as liberators" Wolfowitz.

I think it was mostly about giving the reach around to assorted "defense contractors" like Carlyle Group, Haliburton, etc. What is more fascist and dictatorial than tying private economic prosperity to global war?

So there you have an actual dictator, right out front with his little band of crypto-fascists and closet Nazis.

And now Obama is trying to give us....waaaaaait.....wait for it....waaaaaait...

Health care reform.

Oh, God, won't someone save us from this heinously evil man.

I mean, WTF, were you in a coma from 2000-2008? Have you been sucking the juice out of Rush Limpblob's bunghole?

Obama is definitely a corporate whore, like most high level politicians these days, specifically for the as-yet-unprosecuted perpetrators of one of the largest financial meltdowns in history. He was also far too soft with the military, which should have been yanked right out of Iraq and Afghanistan. If anything he's far too conciliatory, especially with the insane, dingbat Republicans.

But a dictator?

GIVE....ME...A....FREAKING....BREAK.

Are you out of your mind or just joking?

Long before it even got to that point, which it never will because the two countries are economically co-dependent, America would vaporize the Chinese mainland with a few mouse clicks. They know this, and that's why they haven't taken back Taiwan or really done anything against the US militarily. America has the nuclear card, and it is a game winner. About the only thing they can do is play economic/cyberwar games and (maybe) once in awhile run a proxy war, which hasn't happened since Vietnam. China is definitely not a threat militarily. Economically, it is a whole different story.

Not that America won't go to hell all by its own self. We don't need Chinese troops on the Mexican border in order to drown in our own filth.

Bustin, I like your analysis, interesting. It gets me thinking, for example about EXCESS CAPACITY. I think we have way too many clock cycles available in our mind, compared to the possible content that it can usefully use. Therefore, the mind is on a constant "content search", it must constantly be occupied, in interaction, achieving something, transitioning from any start point -> path -> end point, the start and end points being any possible configuration of information the mind body - social constructs, perceive - invent - create.

But to calm it down, it can watch TV, or entertainment, especially all kinds of electronic entertainment, this very blog, being another form. The goal is to keep it busy all the waking hours, so maybe 10 hours of sleep and 14 hours of TV would be a fantastic achievement. But the greatest achievement of all, for the best possible form of civilization, would be something like 14 hours of sleep, deep sleep if possible, and 10 hours of total void, just existing and looking and doing absolutely nothing at all, staring in the void. That would be paradise, a hundred years like that would be the best possible life by a long shot.

Or you can try out various "Technological Singularity" experiments such as:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172275

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=162692

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=163667

...

"10 hours of total void, just existing and looking and doing absolutely nothing at all, staring in the void"

Heroin?

Reading up a little on the current situation in Libya.

Gaddafi has vowed to die as a martyr. It could get really interesting, in that he's just completely wacko and willing to do anything to keep himself in power. I mean, he's unleashed foreign mercenaries to kill his own people, among other things. That's like a James Bond villain level of insanity and evil.

Excerpt from his little speech:

"These gangs, like cockroaches, they don't represent anything. They're not even 1 per cent of a million of Libyan people. They're nothing. They're one handful of people who are trying to imitate what's happened in Tunisia and Egypt. They were drugged. They were given orders. These are cockroaches."

They were drugged! They were given orders! These are cockroaches!

Ahahaha. Classic. You can't make this stuff up!

That's a great way to endear yourself to the population you lead, by calling them drugged cockroaches following the orders of unnamed entities.

Meanwhile, the entire eastern part of the country is no longer under his control, and the army is defecting to the opposition en masse.

Me, I think he's about to get bitch-slapped by the long arm of mob rule, the most basic of democratic tendencies, and he definitely deserves it for all the insane crap he's pulled over the years. But we shall see.


Three officers from the USCIS district office in Bangkok, Thailand, traveled to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan to naturalize 98 soldiers, sailors and Marines during a ceremony on Jan. 29. See the pictures and read more at:

http://blog.uscis.gov/2011/02/uscis-naturalizes-98-service-members-in.html

"Muammar Qaddafi is history, resistance, liberty, glory, revolution."

Yay! He's just straight-up bats*** insane. I love this guy.

Citizenship for service. Its like, so, Robert Heinlein. Or Roman Empire.

Bear in mind that the very nature of capitalism is EXCESS CAPACITY, a system that "accumulates capital", because it is able to produce more than it can consume. The reason why there are trillion dollar debts and 100 trillion dollars in banks worldwide is because the system is so productive, high performance, optimized, automated and efficient as to be able to constantly produce trillions of dollars of extra money that doesn't even know what to do essentially. And it does this with millions of people not even working (uh oh, there goes out of the window the myth that "hard work is needed for the economy").

Not to even talk about the record profits :

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/business/economy/24econ.html


Anyways, get over it, don't be fooled, money is infinite and resources are infinite, they are just being constantly hogged up by the rich, banks and capitalists and just being parked (maybe in properties, like the chinese do by building entire empty cities ?) to be used for fun stuff, eventually...


"America is the last lifeboat on earth..."

hahahahahahahaha


"I do believe there are small islands of serenity and security out there in the large world, if you can find them."


HAHAHAHA HAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHH HUUU HUUUU!!!

My FRIEND, and you are my friend, I remember speaking to you, the Great Satan has wonders - wonders! - in hoodwinking you into believing that load of tripe. Man what subtle indoctrination has done to the population: "greatest country on earth", "just try to start a business anywhere else", "no one has freedom like we do", "the light on the hill". Extreme kudos to the american opinion manufacturers and govt/psyops/mainstream media triumvirate!

my friend, GET OUT and relax in central/south america, go to scandinavia and let your hair down, you have no idea of the quality of life that awaits you:

way less stress
access to medical care no questions asked
great healthy non-toxic food
svelter, more attractive people
more living, much less working
better social ties


or do you prefer to stay in the US Matrix of-

endless stress
endless high(er) taxes with very little in return
toxic food
toxic culture
bankrupt govt
insane wars
nauseatingly fat, IGNORANT populace
wrecked currency buying less and less
work 8 MONTHS a year to pay taxes
no work (economy~s BOOMING where i am)
dependency on CARS
failed "education" system


My friend, i sincerely wish you will take the red pill and WAKE UP, rejuvenated by your new-found freedome outside the shore of the US.

LISTEN to what people here who've moved abroad are saying....kids raised happy and healthy, way less stress.

STOP being a drone who~s only purpose is to lay tax eggs and burn yourself out, then collect a dog-food pittance when you~re 65 (OOPS they just raised it to 70/72/74 when it~s your turn), only to perish a doped-up wretch in some fetid, rancid 'nursing' home.

/rant off

shalom my friends

The whole world boiling up ... in Libya ... Bahrain ... oil prices spiking ... food shortages ... 4 American Christian activists murdered on their yacht off Somalia ... mob action in Madison and Columbus ... earthquake in New Zealand ... so I tune in to MSNBC to get their take on their events of the day ... Chris Matthews was on ... the entire program was about ... SARAH PALIN ... how stupid she is! ... uninformed ... a maniac ... A DANGER TO THE REPUBLIC THAT MUST BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS !!! ... reminds me of 2 summers ago ... I walked to local market to buy a copy of the Wall Street Journal ... they were fresh out but had a NY Times 1 left ... even tho I never read that effete, elitist rag I bought it. This was during Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza. I wanted their take on it. I got to the editorial page ... you got it ... every editorial about SARAH PALIN ... not very flattering ones either. Nothing about the war. Sarah Palin is Ghengis Kahn, Caligula, Stalin and Hitler all rolled up in one ... a poseur, a mountebank, disingenuous, ignorant, doesn't read books, likes guns, is religious, nativist, racist, jingoistic, corporatist, doesn't promote alt. energy, polarizing, indeed, represents everything bad in America now, in the past and in the future.

I have to say that I've seen same of the same thing on this site. For many, interest in energy depletion seems to translate into left wing politics. Why, I don't know. It also seems to engender a visceral hatred, for some, of the United States itself, and of the American people, and advocating moving to foreign countries. To me its puzzling, but it reminds me of a decade or so ago ... I always liked the theatre ... but after Kramer's 'Angels in America' was produced every goddam play that came to Hartford or Universities around here had a homo theme, no Shakespeare, no Moliere, no ONeil, no Shaw, no Chekov, ... no nothing except shit about AIDS, homos, transgenders and all that other related bullshit I could care less about. So to go to the theatre you had to wear your AIDS ribbon (remember those?) and oh yeah, we're trendy, we're eclectic, we're iconoclasts ... we support special rights for homosexuals ... WE ARE SUPERIOR BEINGS BETTER THAN YOU BECAUSE, AGAINST 10,000 YEARS OF HUMAN HISTORY, WE SUPPORT MEN MARRYING MEN. That's about when I stopped going to the theatre.

Hey Vlad, does that remind you of the chapter in 'Camp of Saints'
and the public swimming pool in Lyon?

And there is this;

"All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purpose of Government make it impossible for administration officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with government-employee organizations. The employer is the whole people ...

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT 1937


-Marlin

@ progressorconserve

*I suggest those skyscrapers, Mars missions, and buses of yours will need lots of spaces for lots of sex. If the outcome is to be anything like human happiness.*

You’re not a nostalgic wile-chile still longing for those hedonistic care-free sixties by any chance are you darling?

(Talking of sexualised space missions)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAoWAbNMcaI&

I found the above movie (DVD) wide screen remastered version for less than $3 gathering dust on a shelf at one of those ‘I’ve nicked a phone/lappie/xBox/BlueRay/PG game/memory chip now gimme-the-cash exchange’ shops, a few months back!

Yep the coming yacht build #17 will have a retractable LCD - and you do need a few larfs pre finally settling down snuggled-up in the master-suite of an evening, you know, let yerself go - live a little!

(Blockbuster as we all know filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection end of last year - I believe its still in operating receivership under Icahn), but finding film entertainment you don’t own for free might not one day be that easy....eh?

As to me; I’m just a simple, air-headed 5’8” of man-pleasing, ole-fashioned brunette yachtmaster navigatrix, small boobed, 2/3rds arse/leg to body ratio’d type. Mixed with a lot of lean muscle,(try winching up a main on ter tod) without it. (Though the new one’s self-furling), so will need to amuse myself some other way, flying/teasing the Spinny should do it...

Nails... you’ve got to be kidding right?

(Cheerleaders seem like dead-weights to me, but do make great fish food, all that puppy-fat).

And anyone lurking here seeking crew auditions needs to have a certain Ugo Tognazzi’ish quality about them, lol...

Anything less really will not do, so whass-up Bud’ guzzler boyz - look away now...

(But enough of distraction)

One thing you 'all' know now (watching the footage from the ME) is what’s guaranteed with citizen chaos (Mad Max’ness) is a swift militarised crack-down, state sanctioned or otherwise. Narco-gangs too are well geared for stepping in to fill a void when TSHTF...

(Black markets then go into overdrive)

So evening classes knowing how to strip down, grease, oil and service an AK47 quickly, in the dark a bonus might be a good idea....

That and how to breed fluffy adorable bunnies too - they make great snacks - cooked toasted and skewered...

Toodle-pip

Welles;

In Brazil, do you have 1st and 2nd amendment rights? Just wondering.

"In Brazil, do you have 1st and 2nd amendment rights? Just wondering."

YES, and this comment points out the inbred belief that ONLY americans have these rights. "My aren't we superior".
-------------------------------------------
In Brazil you can actually just walk up to the president of a nation of 190 million people and talk to him/her, shake their hand. TV comedians regularly do just that, waltzing up to the president/former president and joke around. No 3-month waiting list, security screening etc.

no country is the perfect one, but there are MANY lands worth living in.

{In Brazil you can actually just walk up to the president}

-----
i've never met a happy expat. except perhaps roland the headless thompson gunner.

just sayin...

Orionoir;

Warren Devon?

-Marlin

- msnbc, the nyt, and Ms. Palin -

Nice post, Marlin. The quote from FDR concerning public employee unions is a good one. I have also become concerned that Federal employees and their salary/benefit packages are, basically - running ahead of reality - WITHOUT Union power being exercised.

msnbc bashing Palin - My counter argument is as close as FOX, where just 10 minutes ago I saw a panel who were completely CONVINCING that Obama is mishandling the Libya situation.

Remember Egypt became Obama's fault pretty quickly on Fox, also - two weeks ago plus/minus.

==============
I think what we're seeing for "news" and especially the opinion pages and pieces attached to "news" - is that attracting loyal listeners has trumped anything that even tries to resemble honest analysis, any more.

Maybe it was always thus - FOX worries me more because a substantial minority of people get their news 100% from FOX - and it's on 24/7 in so many places.

Heck, FOX plays as background noise at most of the DOCTOR'S offices and restaurants around here.

And we wonder why there is an epidemic of stomach ulcers and high blood pressure! hah!
==================
I didn't mean to get all political on you so quick, Marlin. You strike me as an honest, honorable American with conservative beliefs. Keep speaking up on CFN.
A voice like yours is needed here.

Welles;

Being part Portugese we have some relatives in Brazil who we still keep in contact with. When my mothers grandfather came here (in 1888) his brother went to Brazil. They seem to be pretty happy there.

Recently read 'Lost White Tribes' by Riccardo Orizio' ... about the 20,000 Confederate soldiers and their families who emigrated to the Brazilian interior after the Civil War. Their ancestors are still there, intermarried with Ukranian immigrants and of course native Brazilians ... they hold on to relics like rebel flags, uniforms and muskets ... wild ...

The goal of the necessity of a huge population explosion is to let Free Willonium become the principle Mass - Energy form of the universe. When the number of elementary particles made up of persons (really entities of mass - energy configurations) exceeds the number of all the other mass - energy forms existing in the universe, the laws of physics will finally be defeated.

Therefore, we start at 10 billion people and try to accelerate the numbers by using giant reproducing labs where the fertility rates skyrocket (along with all other possible methods) so as to reach 10^100 people in a jiffy.

The resources are infinite, the universe large, so nothing is stopping us.

On a side note, even just one point where the laws of physics are defeated, namely only one free will can also do the trick...

You’re not a nostalgic wile-chile still longing for those hedonistic care-free sixties by any chance are you darling?
- alexandra -

To some extent, this does describe me, Alexa. In well fed, yet overmortgaged, America - I think sexual frustration leads to a lot of tension that boils up in some very unexpected places.

But the main purpose of the specific post you replied to was to ask Old69 to include some INFINITE sexual practices in his utopian vision for the future.

It would be GOOD marketing, if nothing else.
==============
On another, much more tragic and somber note, those 4 American lives lost off Somalia -

Do you think the original pirate attack was pure bad luck, or something more sinister. Two small boats - with one deliberately finding the other - over 200 miles offshore. It's such a needle in the haystack exercise.

Pre-GPS, I've had trouble finding a second small boat even 5-10 miles offshore, in daylight - even though we both had radio contact and were TRYING to attract each other's attention.

Hope you don't mind my asking your opinion, but the question has been bothering me - and you are our resident blue water specialist.

Old6699;

I'll ask once again, what the hell are you talking about?

Explain yourself, Sir!

PoC;

Thanks for those kind words. I should be around these parts a while longer. I stopped working on Nov. 30 so I've been hanging around for almost 3 months now ... I can tell you my wife is getting sick of me being home all day while she go out and works ... she makes comments like STAY THE HELL OUT OF MY KITCHEN!!! ... for me its been an ordeal ... snow drifts here counting plowed snow 20 feet high outside my window ... I've actually had nightmares about it.

Anyway, first place I applied for a job I think is going to hire me ... they called yesterday. It doesn't pay as much as the Govt. job I quit of course ... I got sick of that place after 25 years ... same goddam people everyday, same conversations ... Yankees vs Redsox ... I had to go so when I became eligible (age 56) I put in my papers and that was that ... applying for a job isn't like it used to be .. you need pee test, bloodtest, homeland security check, FBI check, state police check, motor vehicle dept. check, lie detector test, all kinds of credentials and proof of former employment, 3 interviews, reliable references and other stuff I can't remember ... luckily i have a good record. I can't imagine if I didn't ... nothing is forgotten now, nothing, now that computers are here.

I'll be checking in on this site. Jim's the best and there are many, many interesting posters here. Also, its a good place to have your ideas a prejudices challenged. Besides, there is nobody around here I can talk to about the issues ... the issues that are on the forefront of CFN.

BustinJ- That was one hell of a nice long post yesterday. I'd say that I could concur 40% - which is a lot considering my CFN persona as an acknowledged lover of most all things female.

I'd say that you describe a certain *"TYPE"* of American female quite well. I suspect that you have a specific woman or two in mind as models.

While I was reading your post, Jerry Reed-1982, "She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft," kept playing in my mind.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja7mwvH5DNc

It's not really any of my damn business - except to say that all women don't fit your descriptions.
Some of them are a downright pleasure to live with. Can't let you try out my favorite female on a full time basis, though - WHY NOT??
she's already married!
HAW! HAW! HAW!
sorry 'bout that, man.

And, PoC you're dead right about Fox news.
It does seems idiologically driven.
I don't watch much of it except to admire the young, attractive blond and brunette on-air personnel.
Where do they find those girls?


'She got the goldmine, I got the shaft' That's good stuff PoC.

How 'bout this "She actin' single, I'm drinking doubles"

-Marlin


The girls on FOX - doubtless eye candy, Marlin!
News anchors in major markets - male and female - are chosen for "hotness," anyway.

"And, PoC you're dead right about Fox news.
It does seems idiologically driven."
-marlin-

People still laugh about it for now, but enough FOX, over a long enough period, will cause some *warping?* - even of an intelligent, stable personality.

I can think of one smart friend and one smart family member. They both used to enjoy a good political discussion with me. But in the last two years - our friendly political discussions have inspired them into something that looks eerily like deranged hate.

I've never backed down from a friendly political discussion in my life, but with these two - I finally had to back off.

Weird, when I stop to think about it - I have talked myself out of some seriously tense situations in my life, with a joke or something to break the tension. But with these two old friends - nothing worked - and I finally had to unilaterally disengage before old friendship was damaged.

And yeah, some moderate drinking was involved.
And yeah, they both apologized the next day.
(two totally separate incidents, BTW)

But there can be something strange that happens to people who watch too much FOX.

I'm not sure hiding the alcohol away from FOX devotes is going to be a solution, either. hehe?


@ progressorconserve

*Do you think the original pirate attack was pure bad luck, or something more sinister.*

We fish hungry Euro types thought it would be all fine-n-dandy to send factory-fishing ships down there and hoover-up all their stock out... which errgh... call me naïve but wasn’t that likely to sorta piss-off the locals who’d be doing okayish off the ole going out there and fishing thing...for decades of family generation previously off the African coast-line?

So what could they to turn to next? Oh yeah piracy... a historically proven method of reliable treasure gaining, and it works... just ask those ‘banksters’ up there on Wall St!

(The hostage business in worth $1bn pa and growing) Any creative hedge-fund mangers on that yet?

That British couple (Chandler’s) irony in the name eh? Whom were seized back a few years ago were particularly dumb, (I couldn’t feel sorry for them at all) believe me, from the Seychelles yacht marina they left, everyone there warned them of the ‘danger’ of their planned route....and they were seized at least 600Nm off-coast. So they’d been warned repeatedly, no doubt with head-shaking not to venture anyways down there. And I believe their tiny boat was set to auto-helm no one on watch at the time – so they were boarded while they both slept...

Silly, silly.... silly.....

Most yachts carry radar reflectors way up the mast, and sails if big enough should give off a bounce signature, but even then to sail at night without a fixed watch is plain stupid. To think a 1000 TEUs container ship is going to change course or stop for you way-out in the ocean doing 35knts, even if you blip-up on there screen, you’re assuming someone really is watching - carefully...

Errrgh...no I don’t think so!!

But these pirates are well-funded, innovative, well equipped, well-fed, best navi/gps/tech, guns/RPG’s equipped so to find boats at night really ain’t going to be to difficult for them, they’ll also know there ocean down there very, very well.....

Read more here:

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/17-07/ff_somali_pirates

Our new boat will have an AIS Transponder on too, but if we were ever likely or stupid enuff to sail into Asian or African known trouble hot-spots, that would be switched off, as would all navi lights, you name it, and minimal sail exposure too... tinkle, tinkle gently along...

It would also be all hands on deck, and be nicely equipped with enough firepower to make a boarding costly in man-power terms...

Business men ain’t dumb, and can be lazy too... once the odds and work level gets to great for the reward - they always head off for the softer targets, simples. That’s why cruise-liners packed full of rich retired elderly frail boomers is perfect source material...

(U’man nature - tells you all you need to ever know)

And to all other CFN’ers - sorry for shifting der fread off-tack, next one along please jibe it back...

Ta muchly...

{Warren Devon?}


-----
wow, marlin: very few people know of warren zevon's other brother, warren devon, who famously married debra zebra.


-----
hear now some trading advice for financially-minded cfn'ers, you know who you are... don't worry about long-term $7.00 gallon gasoline, set your sights on near-term $4.00. the action in light sweet crude is setting off alarm bells all over this land, it's suggesting things that other, relatively placid, markets are not, eg, that large players are getting anxious.

you can get all the "technical analysis" you want on cnbc, nearly all of it is horseshit. still, look at the chart for oil and react from your gut... something funny's going on. once a doc explained how to tell if a heart is fibrillating: if you can nod your head to it, it's not in fibrillation. try nodding your head to oil right now.

Orionoir;

Warren ZZZevon, right, its been awhile.

Doesn't get much play anymore.

-Marlin

You sensed a female vibe? I sure didn't.

It's like my gay friend, who has no gaydar, which I'm always teasing him about. I guess I have no femaledar.

Glad to know that Ibendet is female. I always enjoy her posts.

I have CNBC tuned in and all the sudden everybody is freaking out about oil. Crude is headed up close to $100 per barrel and Brent stands at $110. (Is brent the oil that comes from the North Sea?)

One question tho ... first, world demand is almost 88 million BPD and rising. I didn't realize it was that much. Saudi Arabia reports today that they have as much as 6 million BPD spare capacity and can make up any shortages emanating from Libya.

Do you think that's accurate, or is it more bullshit?

I wear the same dress every year to the Xmas party. (17 years now). I got it at Montgomery Ward's, and I like it.

This causes GREAT uproar at the hospital. I have had people I don't even know ask me if I'm going to wear the same dress again this year.

The one who seems to be most upset is a good ol'boy, Vietnam vet, ex-coal miner, ex-rodeo clown, NASCAR lover, right winger racist.

One year I actually wore a different dress, a cute sequined number that my mother bought at a thrift store and gave to me.

After all the uproar, only 3 people actually noticed that I wore a different dress that year.

One of them, the redneck.

Also, only 2 or 3 of my co-workers wear makeup.

And we all wear scrubs and running shoes to work.

I quit using soap on my face at age 17, when I noticed that the commercials for cream pointed out that "soap can dry your skin, so you need to buy this cream".

No soap, no cream. Problem solved.

Reminds me of a story I read about Germany in the 1930s. Some fellow, a non-German academic (I think), had some German associates or acquaintances. He said that they were fine people, good humoured and intelligent, but if you said "Germany" or "National Socialism" they'd get a set to their jaw, they'd puff out their chests and they'd get a far off look in their eyes. This was pre WW2. Losing themselves in the greater whole and losing their minds along the way.

Another: I saw on TV a documentary about Hitler and the rise of Nazi-ism. One clip showed Hitler, early in his political career, in a meeting with a group of corpulent German businessmen, obviously prosperous. Hitler got up to give a speech. He started slowly and quietly but he raised his volume and stridency as he went along and within a few minutes he was shouting and shaking his fist and the otherwise rational and decent German townsmen were on their feet shouting "Seig Heil, Seig Heil" and giving the Nazi salute. It was quite a performance. Hitler had them in the palm of his hand.

The point is that people are such sheep. Easily deranged like those fanatical Germans who threw their lives away for their mad Fuhrer. As Mr Kunstler said people are pretty much clueless and will follow those that just seem to or pretend to know what they're doing. Thinking for yourself is hard.

So your buds listen to Fox News and get the same slant over and over. You have a group-think echo chamber. As Goebbels said repeat big lies often enough and people will think it's the truth. Otherwise reasonable people adhere to nonsensical notions as the price of belonging to the club. Obama is a Muslim. Iraq had WMDs. Unfettered free markets. Greed is Good. And now the latest descent into lunacy, the right to carry concealed handguns on campus. It's in the 2nd Amendment. All righty. It's not my place as a foreigner really to tell you guys how to run your lives but I'm your friend whether you like it or not so I have to say it: this is craziness, amend the 2nd Amendment.

You get the same type of thing in colleges where you have campus leaders marinating their young charges in fashionable politically correct ideology and brining their souls in anti-Americanism. So you get a large contingent in your society whose instinct it is to Blame America First, to think of their country as an Evil Empire, to cast their own countrymen in the worst possible light and to think of every possible excuse when it comes to evils committed by non Americans. Anthropogenic Global Warming, er, Climate Change. The science is settled and irrefutable and must NOT be questioned. And it's the same thing with the so called Theory of Evolution, a sorry assed shambolic mess of a non theory if there ever was one. Evolution happens. We see it under our noses. And the theory that purports to explain it does no such thing. But if you're, ahem, "rational" and exercise evidence based thinking then you must BELIEVE. It's either that or you're one of those trailer park dwelling Christians. And that's not a compliment.

People are people. Same phenom everywhere. Up here too in boring old Canada.

Hey Cash, the Left has its own AgitProp department!
And its pretty effective and ubiquitous, too.

Um, remember after Katrina?

When the government announced that it wouldn't provide for its citizens? That we were all on our own? That everyone should have at least a week's supply of food and water?

Old6699;

I'll ask once again, what the hell are you talking about? - M554

Sounds to me like too much whacky tabacky. Has to lay off that shit for a while. Everything in moderation.

Sj Mom NOT a Douche.
You the Douch and a Bully.

Needs to grows up !
Some people on here are trying to help you do that. You are a sociopath it sounds like. Cuz you don't listen to people who CARE.

You are not a safe person.

Not a nice person. I don't like you here.

Not sure why you get to stay.

{world demand is almost 88 million BPD and rising. I didn't realize it was that much. Saudi Arabia reports today that they have as much as 6 million BPD spare capacity and can make up any shortages emanating from Libya.

Do you think that's accurate, or is it more bullshit?}


-----
commodities and currencies have always baffled me, so don't take my word for anything. still, i'm reminded of the old saw: money talks, bullshit walks.

luckily for us, we can all follow the money... it's broadcast real-time. if the saudis have all that extra oil, why did the market spike 9% yesterday?


------
once i used a college "alumni network" to go around talking to businessmen who otherwise wouldn't have given me the time of day. this is how i got to talk to the guy who was running general electric's pension, a portfolio c $9 billion back when that was real money.

he described his lot in life in fairly sorrowful terms -- because "he" had such a huge footprint, he had very little freedom as far as getting in & out of asset positions. i recall him saying something to the effect that, for guys like him, making $tens of millions here or there was just plain noise when performance is judged by percentage points off $9b.

the lesson i took away: little mice such as you and i are the lucky ones, because we can scamper around under the feet of these elephants with impunity, scrabbling after itty-bitty crumbs which to us are quite large.

never forget, though, the game is played by elephants, now more than ever. a $9b portfolio is chump change... look at sovereign wealth, pimco, the big hedge funds. and of course, the us federal reserve bank.

jhk sees the rot in world finance and thinks: the dow will be cut in half, then cut in half again. but since when has reality driven the market? as they say, you can't fight the fed.


--------
as for gender surprises on cfn, i'm amused. i must admit, i haven't read wagelaborer closely... i guess the nick made think, hey, he's another guy like me, selling his soul to the corporate world. now that he's a she, wow, my ears are perked, i can't wait for her next post. :)

But if you pronouce it 'haySOOS' he be driving a Honda. Low ri der.

[re tootsie] {Not a nice person. I don't like you here.}


------
say no more, jb2u: i will have him killed.

Hey Cash, the Left has its own AgitProp department!
And its pretty effective and ubiquitous, too. - M554

I know, I've seen it.

Glad to know that Ibendet is female.
===========

I think the more interesting question is why someone goes along for months deceiving others, or allowing others to deceive themselves without setting them straight, assuming the recent revelation of female gender is not itself a falsehood.

I'll be honest, I am highly skeptical that Asoka is Black (and please don't give me the "one-drop" rule) or even male.

Wonder why I thought you were a guy ?
Interesting how we 'perceive' folks on here.

Obama isn't a dictator, he's a puppet, just like Bush.

And why are you giving him a pass?

He's continuing military corporate wars and it isn't because he's too nice to yank them out.

The "health care reform" you speak of is actually a health insurance give-away first introduced by Republicans years ago.

Obama has continued the give-aways to the financial sector and has claimed the power to assassinate American citizens without charges or trials, just on his say-so, a right not claimed by the previous "dictator".

Please remove your partisan glasses and realize that there are only two parties in this country - the 1% on the top, and the 99% on the bottom. And they're the only ones partying.

They keep us on the bottom by divide and conquer.

Oh, yeah. I agree about Fox.

A new doctor started working ER. I carried on a mild flirtation with him, but one day, I walked in on him while he was watching FOX news, and I made a crack about it.

He turned on me! I couldn't believe how vicious he was. He literally thought that Fox News was fair and balanced. Which is idiotic.

I didn't speak to him for a few weeks, until he came and made make-up moves.

Well, that's funny that you thought I was male. So much for your femaledar.

Also, the the reference to Saudi oil wasn't mine, but I believe that someone above posted a link to a wikileaks article saying that the Saudis have over-estimated their reserves and that they can't repeat their past performances where they pumped extra to saturate the market.

Old,

You’re a very smart poster and I enjoy your thoughts immensely, but you’re “All -Talk”. Or rather, you only know what you’ve read. And you’ve read a lot of menus I can see, but I doubt you really know what most of the food tastes like. But when a person really knows what there talking about, it feels like gravity. And right now you’re floating.

Having said that--and I don’t mean to be a “rude bastard-- I do hope you develop a “root”. Because you’re very intuitive and very bright. And when you can just simply sit, and count your breath to the number ten, without an “I Love Philosophy” thought cloud infiltrating the sky of pure, undistributed being, you’ll be a mighty Oak indeed.

Here's a request for help from all you car experts.

My husband's car died 2 weeks ago, so he took mine, telling me that I can drive my truck.

I never drive my truck unless I have to haul stuff, because it's a gas guzzler, and I don't believe in wasting oil.

So the battery is always dead, and we always have to jump it. Usually, after I get to the farm, or whatever, it's got enough juice to start again to get me home.

But now I drive it to work - 2.3 miles. Not enough to recharge the battery fully.

So I have a couple of seconds of juice in which to restart the truck after 8 hours.

This is a 94 Dodge Ram pickup. (Like Jesus would drive).

So, in the old days, when I had a car that was slow to start, I would pump the gas pedal a couple of times, wait, and then press and hold the pedal while turning the key.

That doesn't work on this truck. What would? I need to get it started before the battery dies.

Put in a new battery from Sears, Wagelaborer. Be sure to trade in the old one and get 5 bucks. Wait for a sale ... you could probably get one for $55. It will last years.

I'll be honest, I am highly skeptical that Asoka is Black ... or even male.
=============

...and if male, straight.

Wow, that's a trip.

This morning they made me go to a 6:30am meeting, in which the bigshots informed us that we were going to have a major restructuring, and we would go along with it, or get fired, and our input was welcomed.

I work the swing shift- 3p to 11:30p. I get home close to midnight, and rarely go to bed before 1am.

I was assigned the 6:30am meeting. The paper said if I couldn't make it, to talk to my boss.

So I told her that I was not awake at 6am. Ever. And I couldn't make the meeting.

Ha! They didn't really mean the whole "if you can't make it, let us know" thing. I was told that I had to show up.

At the meeting they asked if any of us knew co-workers who were incompetent. Raise our hands!

Two people raised their hands. Assholes! The rest of us just sat there. As if I'm going to align myself with management in the purging.

Ooooh, that manager is going to get wrinkles in her face if she keeps pursing her lips like that. And she called the rest of us liars!

How much do these people get paid to spew this bullshit? And then they tell us that they don't have enough money to pay us.

Thanks, marlin, but I'm so sure that once I start driving it more often, the battery will stay charged.

Or so I hope.

Hey, Cash.

Have you ever visited my blog? And seen what is supposed to be a picture of me?

That's actually Harriet, my sheep. I asked my son to take a picture of her, thinking for herself, and he did.

It wasn't hard. She always thinks for herself.

In the upper left hand corner of the picture, you can see the hooves of the rest of the flock.

She's not following.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CAmIMXpGLnQ/TPVtfvXDcGI/AAAAAAAAABE/K3qL0hQ_LtY/S220-h/photo.JPG

Here's a request for help from all you car experts.
==============

Suggestions:

. Check the alternator

. Junk the '94 pickup and pedal the 2.3 miles to/from work on a bike.

There's a tricky thing to balance: self respect vs financial self preservation. So you swallow barrels of shit for the sake of supporting your family or yourself. Why didn't you tell them to fuck their hats and walk out? You need the money. Been there, done that. I've swallowed more than my share. And I retired young because, no matter what, you never get used to it.

What you saw when they asked for names of incompetent employees was pure corporate psychopathy. How do I properly express my contempt? I can't.

If they as managers don't yet know who isn't doing their job, wtf are they doing in their own positions? It's the job of MANAGEMENT to know and assess employees. The fact that they're asking YOU is a good indication of jaw dropping incompetence on their part.

But I'm pretty sure that the point of the exercise was to spread fear, to set employees against one another. If they had wanted to create a poisonous, dysfunctional work environment that was one great way to do it.

Either way, these managers themselves demonstrated howling incompetence. The sad part is that, based on what I've seen, they are pretty typical. Nothing I hear surprises me anymore.

But sometimes there is justice. The people swinging the sword are just as likely themselves to get scythed down if it's any consolation.

Good for Harriet. We should all be like her.

At the meeting they asked if any of us knew co-workers who were incompetent. Raise our hands!

Two people raised their hands. Assholes
============

I laughed my ass off at this whole post. That hospital you work in is Kafkaesque.

I must say though, you seem to have a death wish ... the way you talk to your boss. Even I who was probably the most sarcastic bastard in the whole company knew enough not to talk to my boss the way you do.

Speaking of death wishes ... I once sent a rant email to a Director in Human Resources telling him if he wanted to know what it was like dealing with HR he should read The Trial by Franz Kafka.

It gives me a chill when I think of some of the shit I used to say.

Wagelaborer;

Qkshtik says "Check the alternator" ... that's good advice.

Riding your bike is good advice, too, unless you work at nite.

Usually a battery is good for only about 4 years, 5 years tops.

I'm a gearhead from way back. Not really, but everybody around me was, and some of it rubbed off.

Week after week I come here and take note of Jim's apparent compartmentalization of political reality, (or is that denial?) that the USA has more secret intelligence organizations/agencies than any other country in history and they are all paid for by the very people they seek to surveil (in part) and control. These agencies work supranationally to foment political unrest when directed to do so. This isn't "conspiracy-theory" since the very term is a total misnomer. The only "theory" out there regarding our police state's political assassinations is the "lone nut theory" with which we are only too familiar. There will be no sudden or total collapse of countries or economies. Greece passed. Ireland passed. Did they collapse? Who can tell, right? Both countries are still there. The other countries said to be "next" haven't changed one itoa. Spain default? Missed that one. Portugal default? Missed that one too. Weren't they the very next "dominoes" in line? What happened? Nothing. Bit by bit, page by page, little by little collapses and crises are managed so that there is never any real panic or sudden change.

Wagelaborer, when you get to the hospital, shut off your headlights! Works everytime for me! :o) haha I am just being an (_*_) that would be an asshole. Your battery is probably sulphated. Sometimes a really slow( 24- 48) hour charge at low amperage will bring it up to snuff. Although, The first thing I would try would be giving all terminals a good cleaning and tightening. and always carry jumper cables and know how to use them. I try to jump strange women several times a year! They love my extra long cables! I am like the freakin' bunny with the drum! HAHA

I had a nice jeep wrangler, yellow, I bought new in 2002. I loved that thing. It only had 20,000 miles on it in 2008. For my property here I had a Ford Ranger I bought new in 1993 and that had only 65,000 miles on it in 08. What happened is that my little grandson came along and i would just load him in the car seat in the front of either vehicle and we'd be out doing stuff for the day. Then my stepdaughter and wife started freaking out all the time saying that these vehicles were unsafe, I was a child murderer, if anything happened (meaning an accident) I would have blood on my hands ... much female melodrama ... so one day in the summer of 08 I went to the local dealer and bought a big Silverado ... traded in my jeep AND my Ranger ... surprised everybody ... no more bitching! ... I know many people here don't like Silverados ... $42,000 I got it for $28,000 ... off road package, tow package ... big ass 8 cylinder ... I know all about peak oil but its not my job to save the goddam world ... loaded ... you name it! ... 2 weeks later the dealership went out of business ... after 80 years in town ... then GM itself went toes up ... I can't win.

Lucky for me and the world oil supply I have this old British Army motorcycle, one cylinder ... C1944 ... that I ride around on all summer spring and fall 85 miles per gallon at least.

This article is very relevant to this week's topic: http://www.voltairenet.org/article168381.html

This article is very relevant to this week's post. http://www.voltairenet.org/article168381.html

I swear to God, the HR Director really is a black winged demon.

You should have seen the performance by the rah rah boys and girls in HR when they announced cuts to our benefit plan. They were all decked out in their cheer leader regalia (ok maybe I hallucinated that). They had the infernal gall to portray the cuts as "changes" and we now have more "choice". You'd swear from their demeanor and body language that it was all good news. Where do such people come from? Are they born or created?

This was just before I retired.

Just after the announced cuts I got an email from HR telling me that I had to take an online course on sexual harrassment. The thing is if I didn't do the course I would be put on report and my boss would get an email. I didn't do the course just to see what would happen.

Before my boss got the email an HR gal stopped by to ask why I didn't do the course. I told her I was here for just a few more weeks and I had a lot of things to tie up and I had no time for nonsense. Well, she said, my boss would get an email. Fine I said.

Two days later my boss stopped by to ask why I didn't take the course. I just looked at him. He sighed deeply and asked in his most Jewish way, why am I making his life so hard. He's from Israel and when he got mad his Hebrew accent really came out. Great expressiveness, very Mediterranean, operatic, almost Italian. Then he stomped off to talk to the HR gal. He got me off the hook. He told her I was retiring and didn't have the time.

I think that was one of the few times I was able to buck those HR fascists.

I made a good living off it but, man, the corporate world blows. Do I ever not miss working.

Jeeze, Wage, What a mess with your job! Rest assured that the bitches who raised their hands at that meeting will get theirs. In my own career, I worked for private companies - large and small, an S & L (do they still exist?),the government, and for myself. Those fools who wanted to identify the "incompetents" will eventually be walking out of the place with their possessions in cardboard boxes. There are many ways in which you can "help" a fellow employee slice his or her throat - I could write a book about it!
A little story about my days working as a manager (small time S & L) in Boston, many moons ago. I was assigned an "assistant manager", against my desire, who, I discovered, reported EVERYTHING I did to my superior - (we're talking toilet breaks, lunch time errands, the works). She was much younger than I (imagine that!), and thought the "old broad boss" (me) could be tossed out like yesterday's garbage! As soon as I found out she was spying on me, I decided to (figuratively) slice open her throat. It didn't take much time to plot her demise without leaving any "prints".
She would routinely get a call from my superior each afternoon around 12:30 (my usual lunch hour). I made plans to "swap" lunch hours with "Sheila" so that I could be in the branch to take the call. Very professionally, I answered the call and asked the supervisor to "please hold the line" - knowing that "Sheila" was still on lunch break and out of the office. "Sheila" returned about 5 minutes later, cheeseburger and fries in hand. Meanwhile, my supervisor is FUMING for being left on hold for 10 minutes! I got back on the phone after putting said supervisor MaryELLEN Walsh (her real name) on "hold" for what was now over 15 minutes). When "Sheila" returned to the office, I cheerfully told her that "MaryBETH Walsh" was holding on line 4, and would she please take the call. Like a fool, she picked up the phone and replied "Hi, MaryBETH!". After a second of awkward silence, she CORRECTED herself and said, sheepishly, "Oh, I'm sorry, MaryELLEN!". Women get annoyed at these little slights, and my efforts were richly rewarded when I got to escort the little bitch out of the bank a few weeks later, cardboard box in hand!

LOadin' says, "“We may in fact have hit peak fish at the same time we are hitting peak oil.”"

Is that ever true.

Yesterday I met a guy who enthusiastically showed me pictures of his various fish tanks. As he showed me tank after tank I absorbed the various indicator phrases:

"This is illegal to impofrt but I've got them."

"These plants are invasive but you can find them in a lot of states now."

"This fish is worth $20,000." (Also, $150, $500, $1,500, $5,000 fishes)

"This tank is for a guy who wanted it built into his house. The builder said, basically a swimming pool with windows?"

"This fish is extinct in the wild."

"A guy I know traveled to Africa to get this one."

"This one is worth $300 per fish, from coral reefs in the South Pacific."

The worst example was a picture of a dark fish, with several yellow-ish spots on the body, a Cichlid. "This one came from a remote mountain lake in South America. It has never even been named. I got the directions first. Its worth (obscene amount of money). "

Then he had picture after picture of impressive tanks from a convention in Singapore.

The thought that came to my mind was, if the first world buys fish for these kinds of prices, nothing is going to stop people in the third world going into sensitive areas and taking as much wildlife as they can.

The dynamic of humanity's relationship with the rest of the biological world is this: the price tag outwieghs everything else- even their existence. As a species becomes rarer, it becomes more valuable.

This is how we end up where we are, on the brink of collapse. Because everyone in the world economy pretty much holds that money is the most important value; and that animal's lives are not in themselves worth anything.

When I mentioned the other week that we have to stop patronizing animals, it means that we have to adopt some sort of reverence for their existence that supersedes monetary valuation. Animals cannot be reducible to something interesting to look at. That pretty much obviates zoos and aquariums.

What we now have is tiny specks of biodiversity- Zoos and aquariums, which are not sustainable. Outside, we have the vast majority of the land-base in a severely degraded crisis state.

What we are faced with is a mind-boggling problem of vast proportion- as JHK describes, the "inertia of prior investment"- these investments are investments not just in monetary terms, but in non-corporeal terms- valuation, ethics, morals, habits, lifestyles, vocations.

All these, expressed in mundane choices and decisions, add up to personalities that are, in themselves, unsustainable. I believe the values that got us to this clusterfuck were pre-existing.

Anthropologists tell us that we are exactly the same kind of people that existed 2,000 years ago or older. The more I learn, the more I realize that it is true. The roots of the present human condition are rooted in the fact that, as human technology has progressed, some very basic instincts and behaviors have not. Peak oil and resource crises are just inevitable symptoms of a pre-existing suite of maladaptive traits.

If there is such a thing as a truly "Adaptive" technology, it is not evident in the mainstream of the current dominating culture.

The anthropological record and first-hand accounts of the exploration of North America bears testimony to a plethora of cultures. There were so many, so atomized across the continent that there was none of the homogenization that followed. There were cerebral tribes, savage tribes, degenerate tribes, and evolved tribes. Their natural tendencies toward sustainability, whether in terms of social or environmental application, were surely in the process of playing out when the Columbus made landfall in 1492.

It was not superior firepower or genes that allowed this dominant, homogenized culture to ascend, but dumb fucking luck. It appropriated the easily-stolen mantle of "most fit" because History has a bias- the winners make the rules. In more recent centuries, biologic dogma, simplified and taught in primary schools, merely reinforced this simple fallacy- that survivors are the "fittest", the best, the most worthy. It checked any impulse to ask the question, "How are we deficient?" instead allowing us to sidestep any kind of critical thinking.

Biologic dogma merely followed political and social dogmas. Preceding all of that, religious dogma. These degenerate thoughtways are the reason we are heading off the cliff- and why I say "there is no future" to toot's dismay.

Since the inertia of poor reasoning and ill wisdom is dependent more on simple carbohydrates, it will probably continue to infect humanity with its poison memes long after gasoline goes past $10/gal.

But for now, a person is well advised to stick to simple, happy thoughts, and cultivate social networks based on groovy feelings and avoidance of troubling ideas. The reality of the world should be avoided or coped with as long as possible. One should not covet the beauty of the natural world too much because it is in a process of being turned to dust and ashes- this is in fact the original religious dogma.

Thanks for the tips on the battery. I do plan to ride my bike when oil goes up enough to keep the assholes off the road at 11:30pm. Unless I get fired first.

I don't know what sulphated is, but my mechanic had told me to buy a charger and keep it plugged in, since I rarely drove the truck.
I didn't want to waste electricity (burning coal), so I didn't do it.

My last two managers were co-workers who were promoted, and I was used to talking to them as equals.

I did get hauled into the office for a "verbal warning" when I said something flippant to my current (hired from ???) manager when she got in my way while I was trying to get a patient to surgery.

So much for the "patient centered care" we peons heard all about this morning, huh?

Although they are firing people like crazy, they seem to prefer written warnings first. That way, they don't have to pay unemployment benefits. Cause, you know, you were fired for "cause".

I wonder what the real unemployment rate is. I know a boatload of people who have been fired or laid off, and they have been denied unemployment benefits, after paying into them for years.

And the PTB base the official rate of unemployment on people getting benefits?

"Um, remember after Katrina?

When the government announced that it wouldn't provide for its citizens? That we were all on our own? That everyone should have at least a week's supply of food and water?" -Wage
==============

I shore do remember. I was freakin' STEAMED!
So, until I see evidence that the Gov't. is stocking up to supply enough to feed the "little people" in case of catastrophe, you'll have to put me in the no faith/no confidence column, period. (Or, at least that circle of the ol' Venn diagram.)

Sad story.

In Ecuador, the constitution now gives rights to Nature. Plants and animals.

And there is a call to leave the fossil fuels in the ground.

Unless we all adopt that philosophy, our ecosystem is doomed.

Wagelaborer said: "This morning they made me go to a 6:30am meeting . . ."
==========================
Sorry you had to endure that kind of psychological abuse. Unfortunately, this kind of crap is common in many work environments anymore.

I've heard stories about European firms to the effect that management has become more aggressive with workers; I guess they are no longer afraid of antagonizing their workers now that there are no longer Soviet tank armies near their national borders. Amazing how the proximity of a well-armed "competing system" motivated the capitalists to spread the wealth a bit so that everyone was more inclined to support the establishment.

Cheers

Hey, thanks for the link.

I had just posted a cynical take on Egypt on my blog, but this will make a nice link to add to it.

http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/

"jhk sees the rot in world finance and thinks: the dow will be cut in half, then cut in half again. but since when has reality driven the market? as they say, you can't fight the fed." -NocturnalHunter

Another old saw:
"The Market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent."

"If there is such a thing as a truly "Adaptive" technology, it is not evident in the mainstream of the current dominating culture."

The "technology" you are looking for is overlooked because people have been given to believe it is a religion {and therefore man-made} instead of spiritual technology. When the Law is written on our hearts {new software} we become like Christ Jesus and learn to live and walk as he lived and walked.

The only way to verify this is to do it. Trying to logically debate it, disprove it or find fault with it will only result in more ignorance of working, self-regulating input from a higher source of insight than any natural human has access to. Rather than arguing about details of doctrine and commandments of men {political, economic or religious}, peel away all the crap that men have added to the word, burn all your idols, and be set free.

Your redemption is drawing near as the ridiculous laws of men and the counter-productive, soul-destroying false ideas of self-serving infidels {some claiming to be angels of light} come to fruition.

Our guns had nothing to do with our conquest of North America? Oh come on. Just "dumb luck"? You're not using your intellect Bustin - luck so called is just a measure of ignorance. We conquered because of our guns, our diseases, and our farming which supported a much greater population than the Indians could. Luck had nothing to do with it. I think you're conflating morality with what really happened. They're two separate questions: trying to put them together like this just insures that babble will result.

The downfall of the Indian can be mourned - but not while we are enjoying the benefits of the conquest. In any case, they have had many prophecies to the effect that our reign would be brief. In that they may well be right. So rejoice at our coming destruction if you like. But in the meantime, enjoy the fruits of our mighty ancestors who conquered this continent for themselves and their progeny.

WWJD? Let Me Be Clear!

Jesus does not nor would he ever drive "...a 94 Dodge Ram pickup. (Like Jesus would drive)."

He drives a Hemi Cuda.

All powerful, Sign of the Fish.

I Know, I'm R Sox

He's pretty freaking HOT, if ya ask me! (Tripp, I mean...after all, Weismeiller is long gone!) ;0

Jesus would drive a 1965 Ford Ranchero, powder blue, V-8, double-barreled carb, four on the floor, fuzzy dice hanging from rearview mirror. Long hair blowing in the wind, arm (tatooed w/ merikan flag) resting out of driver's side window.

"Lucky for me and the world oil supply I have this old British Army motorcycle, one cylinder ... C1944 ... that I ride around on all summer spring and fall 85 miles per gallon at least." -M554

Then I shall see you at the Brit Jam Motorcycle Show at the Haddam Neck fairgrounds in Sept.! Over 5,000 attended last year. Good sun, good time, nice venue.
Ride on....

Ah, a great book. Raspail has thought of writing a sequel with a happy ending but fears fines and imprisonment. Certainly he couldn't have written "Camp of the Saints" after 1985 or so without negative consequences. So much for "The Free World". Remember that?

It's been a while - I don't remember the swimming pool incident. Overall, I found it strangely written - very French and very modern. But the ideas were classical, timeless... So even though I found it a difficult read, I found it very rewarding with certain passages attaining a brilliant clarity. An unforgetable book that will never leave me. Apparently it made quite a splash when it was first written. But the Elite didn't listen and much of what he wrote is coming true before our eyes.

Also fascinating is how he came to write it: just went down to the beach one morning and he "saw" the millions of brown people on the beach. In other words, he had a vision. Thus some of us consider him not just a novelist but a Prophet.

I've often asked myself the same question: where do such people come from? They are completely unreal, no soul whatsoever; all efficiencey, smiles, bustle, firm handshakes; all means without real ends. They are the reptiles and they tend to gain power in decadent, highly structured societies. Why? Because even though reptiles, they are very good at mamillian politics. That's because they don't really feel anything and thus can play the game with a master's hand. They feel one thing: the insatiable desire for power over others. They know they aren't like others, so they learn to hide what they are very early in life. And they learn to imitate real emotion and morality. But in truth, they find morality puzzling or even humorous. Some say that they can recognize each other and actually cooperate for mutual benefit.

14 hours of sleep and 10 hours of zoning out - is that the highest vision of life you are capable of? That's just human failure, Old Man. Reverting to an infantile state via technology. Btw, the yogis and monks of India and S.E Asia would not appove of this either. Their trance states are subjectively fully conscious. They do not value unconsciousness or drugged out semi-consciousness.

One can criticize the total extroverted bias of the West. Indeed, often I've wished for a soft divan instead of hard, Irish style bar furniture. But Old's is not the answer. The only way to Sattwa (sanskrit) or the higher life is through rajas or the ego life of sweat, work, and stress. Then one has earned one's reward and the blessed rest. To rest before this is to sink back into tamas or the unconsciousness of the animal life. Ken Wilber called this the pre/trans fallacy: to confuse pre-egoic states with trans-egoic states just because neither was the egoic state. Of course Freud muddied the waters with his talking about the oceanic bliss of the infant as being the same state as that of the mystic. The infant may well have a kind of bliss, but it's bodily based not "oceanic". Or look at how happy a happy dog is as it rolls around on the freshly cut grass. Same thing. Btw, this kind of bodily bliss can be reappropriated on the way "up" in spiritual life. It's nice but certainly not the point. Apparently it is important in some of the Tantric paths - but only as a means not the end. To use it as an end is to become a libertine - a great danger on the left handed paths.

Very attractive. Nice haunches. White too.

Disagree. I've met a couple of Blacks like Asoka - high IQ and half crazy. They believe passionately in Black Liberation but they have nothing in common with other Blacks. So they ending up hanging out with Whites even though they have never have anything good to say about Whites or Western Culture. Being a high IQ person in a low IQ culture is very difficult - especially for Blacks since nothing can ever be done about it - it is innate. Irish and Italian kids from anti-intellectual cultures can go on to great success. But Blacks will always be crippled by and large by their genetic liability. I feel for the plight of these individuals but they always try to blame us for the situation so what's the point of even saying so? They identify with a group that doesn't suit them and then want revenge for their unhappiness.

"resources are infinite"

Money is, indeed, theoretically infinite, though as it approaches infinity its value drops close to zero. That's called hyperinflation.

But resources? Uh, not so much. There's this classic little thought exercise. Take a look at a photo of the earth from outer space. Do we agree that it is a sphere? Now, can we also agree that spheres are finite volumes? Therefore, this finite volume cannot possibly contain an infinite amount of resources, now can it?

M'k?

I've met a couple whites like you, low IQ and 100% crazy.

"The downfall of the Indian can be mourned - but not while we are enjoying the benefits of the conquest."

Why?

I hear you on driving in CA. It is like people think that if they tailgate you, you will either speed up, somehow magically going through the cars in front. Or you will get out of their way, though that's kind of difficult on a 1 lane road or a clogged freeway.

Though I have noticed in the Bay Area it is only about 10-15% of the drivers who are really aggressive. Most people are just kind of going with the flow. Could be different in SoCal.

"I've heard stories about European firms to the effect that management has become more aggressive with workers; I guess they are no longer afraid of antagonizing their workers now that there are no longer Soviet tank armies near their national borders."

I don't think that's the case. It is probably because they know there is so much slack in the job market, and people are easily replaced if they don't toe the line.

Chalmers Johnson has argued that military Keynesianism was part of what made America uncompetitive (and bankrupt for that matter).

Here....

http://mondediplo.com/2008/02/05military

It makes sense to me, and I don't see any big flaws in his model.

Why would I have guessed that you'd be attracted to a sheep...

Wage,
Good to have you back. Where you been keepin' yourself, Darlin'?

- On batteries - I am responsible for far more 12 volt batteries than is a reasonable number for any one individual. Troubled vehicles seem to flock to me in the same way that troubled relatives flock to others.

And the battery advice on this thread is quite good. Marlin is correct that 4-5 years is about the best that a good quality battery will do.

Your mechanic is correct, Wage, that your battery will last much longer if you keep it fully charged using that charger - especially up there in the frozen North where you live. Just realize that the few lumps of coal that that charger will use in electricity - is a lot less consumption of resources than required by premature replacement of a battery because you didn't keep it charged.

And rippedthunder, he of the nice (_*_) also makes some salient points:

"I try to jump strange women several times a year! They love my extra long cables! I am like the freakin' bunny with the drum! HAHA"
-rt-
*********
Ah, yes, the poor little Energizer Bunny.
Did y'all hear that the poor thing died?

OH NO!

Yes, he died. Sad story, he died of sexual exhaustion.
********
OH NO, What happened to him??
********
Somebody put his batteries in backwards and he just kept coming and coming and coming.

LOL, you all!

I have heard these work well for seldom used vehicles. you must park in the sun though
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200422045_200422045

Just out of curiosity - are your managers nurses, or do they have any practical medical experience at all.

"At the meeting they asked if any of us knew co-workers who were incompetent. Raise our hands!"
-wage-

That is an amazing management tactic. I've probably seen worse, but not by much. If your managers are not "hands-on" medical types - it may be that they are intimidated trying to manage a bunch of experienced nurses. So what comes across as management stupidity - may really have more of a basis in reptilian brain fear - maybe?

Doesn't necessarily help your situation a whole lot; but at least it gives you the right to feel morally superior to these particular management jackasses.

Turkle,
good article I couldn't agree more. I'm figuring you commented to me specifically because I said I am informed in my thinking by Keynesian economics. What Chalmers is referring to is a bit out of context since we're really not in that model anymore. We are a supply side, war-for corporate-profits sort of model.

What made WWII so beneficial to our economy was that it was coming out of the depression and there was skin in the game for everyone. Wives took their husband's place in factories, there were war bonds and the whole country was mobilized.

Now we are just bleeding wealth due to outsourcing, transnationals creating unfair trade for their own bottom line and no involvement with our military adventures for corporate interests.
Say what you want about the Neoconservatives and their Democratization of the ME, the irony is that the price of oil is going to skyrocket and we'll be back in a recession in no time flat!

Looking forward to more stress and strains as commodity prices inflate.

Orionoir, that wasn't very funny was it?

Vlad bespoken; "Our guns had nothing to do with our conquest of North America? Oh come on. Just "dumb luck"? You're not using your intellect Bustin - luck so called is just a measure of ignorance. We conquered because of our guns, our diseases, and our farming which supported a much greater population than the Indians could. Luck had nothing to do with it."

Jared Diamond's theory still stands. But in terms of whose genes survive- that is luck. A given set of genes cannot be judged by the deficiency of one system.

I am merely stating that the maxim "survival of the fittest"- is really a fallacy. Someone survives- it doesn't mean he was the fittest. This happens every day. A woman meets a man. She has believed since childhood that she will meet "Mr. Right" "some day" . Now, Mr. Right is not a real person, and "some day" is not any specific time in the future. In other words, it is a fantasy.

Then, after years of psychological reinforcement, she meets a man who "intuition" tells her is "the right one". Endowing this man with the expectation is a mirror image of the fallacy of the survival of the fittest.

The problem here is that "Mr. Right" is an overlay on reality, and eventually reality turns out to be different. But how does one romanticize the truth? When I claim women are ruled by their biology moreso than men, this is an example of what I mean. I think most men are less inclined to view their relationships as the product of divine guidance. They see them for what they are- a hunting situation, where evidence leads to the prey. What crosses your path is luck, where you bend the situation to your advantage as much as possible. So you hunt at the bars or taverns. Now, the women believe that Mr. Right "just appeared"- an "intuitive" concept. Women are primed to believe the bullshit. It is an efficient way of limiting one's choices and options (to the benefit of the genes, ostensibly: bitch, we need to reproduce- BONK!)

Societies are also primed to believe their own bullshit. When cultures and societies are running off the track- which seems to be a regular thing going back millenia- it seems the same kind of blindsidedness is occurring. Rationality does not destroy a society or cripple it. It is the irrationality that does it. Failure to prepare for the inevitability of bad luck is one aspect.

In terms of the dominant culture, fitness seems a misnomer if the dominant culture is on a critical, terminal pathway, taking everything else with it. I think it is a mistake to describe our culture as "the greatest" for this reason. Because it looks like this culture will fail and take the rest of humanity with it, as crazy as it sounds, is no reason to say humanity couldn't have been any other way. There were other ways.

With the Americas example I was trying to illustrate that there were examples of cultures of better "real" fitness, undoubtedly, because of the full spectrum of cultures.

How many cultures ever existed? If we were to graph that visually, it would look like a pyramid. Today, there are only a limited number of cultures, the selection is narrow. Going back 80,000 years, the selection becomes very wide. Among those a large percentage would never have made it because of their valuation or evaluation of their material position. For example, my hypothesis says Easter Island's culture was fatally compromised before that manifested into a compromise of their total environment. Diamond suggests this culture is Easter Island writ large. By suggesting this, he is saying, in effect, that somehow the Papua New Guineans are more successful in a basic, existential sense. They are simply unlucky in that their ultimate fate is likely not in their hands.

Some cultures, that did not survive, were probably more capable of evolving a sustainable relationship with their environment. Who were they? I can't say, but the Americas example, with its array of different cultures, or the all-time example, with its even wider array of possibilities, makes it plausible that some culture at some time probably had a sustainable set of values- which by the ultimate definition of survivability generally equating to sustainability would suggest a better quality of "Fitness" in terms of superiority.

Since that culture is gone, I am arguing that its ghost afflicts the general maxim that "the fittest survive", in a biological sense. I think luck does have a lot to do with it.

The coming of the white man and the ascendancy of the dominant culture was bad luck. You can claim it ascended because of its inherent virtues but I think that is only part of the story. Our good luck had a lot to do with others' bad luck.

The probability of ecological collapse destroying all chance of a viable human existence on Earth drops every day, believe it or not. That is bad luck for us because, as individuals we are powerless to do much except accelerate the process.

"I think you're conflating morality with what really happened. They're two separate questions: trying to put them together like this just insures that babble will result."

I think there is a moral dimension, it should be obvious, and I haven't discussed it. It doesn't matter. I am more interested in exposing the simple fallacy of believing that kill or strength or some virtue is the sole evidence of the concept of 'fitness'.

"The downfall of the Indian can be mourned - but not while we are enjoying the benefits of the conquest."

I don't know what benefits there are. Living in a terminal society, surrounded by alienated nutcases and morons? The Indians of those times would barely recognize the landscape, its changed so much. We live in a severely degraded environment- I don't care where you are in North America, or the rest of the world. It is only a trick of temporal perception that it does not appear to be fully depleted of vitality. This is why the warnings of scientists have no effect. People walk outside and think they see abundance and conclude these white-robed priests are trying to trick them. Herein lies another perceptual bias, among the many flaws human beings are afflicted with.

'In any case, they have had many prophecies to the effect that our reign would be brief. In that they may well be right. So rejoice at our coming destruction if you like.'

Who rejoices? I mourn. Their prophesies were wise, of course. But eminently reasonable. The people conquering their lands were brain-dead savages. We might imagine Zombies failing to have prosperous careers. The dominant culture simply clings to whatever mythology flatters them. That picture is never true or accurate. Doesn't have to be.

"But in the meantime, enjoy the fruits of our mighty ancestors who conquered this continent for themselves and their progeny."

Like this piece of mythology. Human beings, as I look around, rarely place the prerogatives of their progeny above themselves. This is obvious, just look around. There is no future. We are staring at "No future" and doing absolutely nothing about it. People lost, along the way, any kind of cohesion with future generations. Probably accelerated with the atomization of families and the rise of the nuclear family. Successive generations under the same roof became the exception to the rule.

Our "mighty ancestors" were a gout and flea infested horde of illiterate refugees. People worshiping cruel gods and carrying around texts and stories of apocalyptic horror and strife. It is routine to ascribe the "successes" and comforts of the present to simple parameters like oil availability. More luck- industrial development in America, a desperateness for survival and competition- the first big oil finds. All just luck. I think the mass of humanity now is simply an undifferentiated, homogeneous mass. All dependent on the same basic system, all playing out their objectives with no realization of what they're doing or hope of controlling the future. Homo sapiens, as such, is not built for foresight. We are afflicted with illogic and ill wisdom.

I'm afraid the best we can hope for, for continuance, is some group or groups of people to wipe the rest of us out. Then, some intense effort to accelerate by technological means, the evolution of the human animal to the point where we attain something like the best imaginative outcomes, like Star Trek, focused on actually coexisting with everything else on the planet as opposed to leaving in a spaceship.

As I said before, obviously this is a morose conclusion to the human story. Well, too fucking bad. I have a good relationship with reality. It requires being a grown-up about things like facts.

Unlike Trip, I don't think we will have a power-down situation where we will forestall eco-collapse by the fatal attempt to continue technological evolution. Like JHK, I believe we will mount a worldwide attempt to sustain the unsustainable. I believe that we will blow through CO2 barriers, and find it impossible to reverse things. All systems go backward in terms of survivability- for everything. Everybody goes back to thrashing and kicking for survival. A great spiralling will occur where people can't plan ahead for the next week, next month, or next season. We won't have options, we'll have luck, and all the odds will be very long.

Chemical and geologic feedbacks will simply revert the planet to a Jurrasic state. Nobody ultimately survives a situation like this. All expectations are that there is simply nowhere to go and nothing to do about it. 200 years out, the human population is zero, even if there were humans, they wouldn't have a goddamn thing to eat and have to wear a spacesuit to walk around at mid-day.

Correction: "The probability of ecological collapse destroying all chance of a viable human existence on Earth drops every day, believe it or not. "

The probability rises; survivability drops.

As a 30 year teacher, who is not teaching at the moment, I can tell you that I hope the unions across the country loose their power. I for one could never stand that I "had to give dues" to the union and join no matter how I felt about joining. As a result my dues went to supporting whomever the union thought was on their side. I had no say in the matter. Conflict of interest. When I left my district after 25 years and needed health insurance I called Albany NY to find out if I could join a pool of teachers so I could pay into a health policy and save money. They said they didn't offer it, but "it was a good idea." I can't stand the union. And another thing, the president of the AFT and NYSTU are all gay. How in God's name are they for the "family" values. That is way the Gay Agenda is now being funded by the Govt. and districts are making money by this garbage propaganda of "bullying" that the GAY AGENDA is funding and attaching itself to.

Obama now thinks it is more important that GAY marriage is more important than solving other problems that are threatening our way of life. What a mess!!!!

Gas is over $4.00 a gallon now in Hollywood, California. $4.19 at the station next door to where I work, at Mobil. This is surpassing '08 already. Gee, big surprise....

UMMM, okay..., (sigh) You are a teacher? Let's see, now. Who among our CF classroom can pay attention long enough to see the gross mistakes in your grammar (Q! PUT YOUR HAND DOWN, dammit!) Shall I quote you?

"...I hope the unions across the country loose their power...."

Umm, I think that would be, "LOSE their power".

Ahem, one more thing...

"...my dues went to supporting whomever..."

Um, again, I hate to have to correct a TEACHER; that is, one who is PAID to teach our children correct GRAMMAR, but I believe it should be:

"...my dues went to supporting whoever..."

I found several other errors in your posting, as well as its flawed (READ = LACK OF) logic, but I am an old woman, and your simple-minded rantings (AS WELL AS HAVING TO MENTALLY CORRECT THEM) tire me out. Hope your ASS isn't close to tenure, cause you're a sorry excuse for a "teacher" (or maybe that's one of the reasons we're in the mess we find ourselves in, Dearie!)

Oh, and I LOVE the fact that you resort to calling people who disagree with you as "gay"! What are you, like twelve? You can't possibly be this stupid and still be breathing. PLUS! You're teaching our students? WTF, Bitch?

Okay, I checked. "whomever" is correct. Apologies. You did, however, end a sentence with a preposition:
"...the GAY AGENDA is funding and attaching itself to."

Now, in my day I would have had my ass kicked by more than a few brass-knuckled nuns for making that error. I'm told, by hubby, that TODAY it's no BIG DEAL to end a sentence with a preposition. The story of my life! Getting my ass kicked by old fashioned rules that no longer apply in the modern world. "My bad", as the grandkids would say.

"

I'll be honest, I am highly skeptical that Asoka is Black ... or even male.
=============

...and if male, straight."


Translation: Asoka, come back!!!

bucky - believe what you want. lie to yourself...good luck getting your retirement money out of the gov as it isnt there.....

if you want me to prove to you that the money is gone...i think you are already f*cked. find out for yourself or just go hide under a rock...

better yet, let me tell you...little bucky, all your money is there waiting for you when you retire. now here is some candy and run along....

"Oh, I don't know...I might be 100% wrong, or 100% right. I don't know...

"I might be on planet Earth, but I might be 100% wrong. I might be 100% dumbass."

I don't know, anonymouse,

"bucky - believe what you want. lie to yourself...good luck getting your retirement money out of the gov as it isnt there....."
-anon-

In an uncertain world - I'm very sure that - as long as there is a US government, that some version of SS payments will be sent to the over 62/65/67/? retiree set.

Whether those payments will be worth much of anything is a completely different question. Some day - if they have not already - the US govt. will force direct deposit on retirees and will no longer mail SS checks.

This is unfortunate, because I can envision a day where the paper check and envelope is worth more than the, inflation adjusted, Social Security payment itself. And I can envision a day when actually seeing a mailman could be the highlight of some rural retiree's ENTIRE MONTH.

But the SS money will come.

The fact that the money will be a paltry shrunken memory of the 12% plus - that retirees actually contributed - throughout long 40 year careers - that is another question altogether.

But I'm personally planning to get something of value out of the US government at age 67, because I've certainly paid enough - even if I have to walk up to New Jersey - take a row boat out to Liberty Island - and bring back a section of Lady Liberty's copper shoulder - to sell for scrap to the Chinese.

It doesn't pay to mess around with p*ssed off old people.

PoC

Q said: I'll be honest, I am highly skeptical that Asoka is Black ... or even male. ...and if male, straight.


Buck Stud said: Translation: Asoka, come back!!!

Thanks for the accurate translation, Buck Stud.

I'm here and I am enjoying ALL the posts immensely.

I am not inspired to add anything new and relevant to the comments this week, so I am remaining silent, following Dale's suggestion to look within, and to notice that silent gap between the in-breath and the out-breath, an exercise which I am also enjoying immensely.

Book recommendation:

12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today / edited by Gregory S. Parks

http://amzn.to/iccSms

Note to JHK: White is NOT the new Black!

You have no idea what it is to be Black in America... though 12 Angry Men may provide some insight.

@ Insufferable.

White is the new black. Up is down and left is right. Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. But this is what you get when wicked men rule. I don't know why they call it the New World Order, because there's nothing new about evil.

CORRECTION:

Note to JHK:

White is NOT the new Black!

You have no idea what it is to be Black in America... though reading the book, 12 Angry Men, may provide some insight.

http://amzn.to/iccSms

@turkle and welles

Know why Jesus said "don't cast your pearls before swine"? because "they will turn again and tear you."

Americans used to be able to have conversations without resorting to putting words in someone's mouth or calling people names. I won't have a conversation with anyone like that myself.

Now I read in a book about SUV's that they are the most unsafe vehichles on the road as a rule.
Major exception was Jeep Cherokee, this book was written a few years ago. JC rates the safest thing on the road for all concerned, according to this book.

It has to do with the Unibody construction vs. putting a truck on a car chassis. And the height and wheel base. etc. excellent book. of course can't remember the title. could find if anyone asked.

Was a very impressive book. These huge things might feel safe, but they are NOT, not for those inside or those they may 'hit.' Yes they are comfy.
And it seems like the most aggressive drivers' are driving these or White Ford 150's. Trucks anyway. They are seriously going to hurt others' when they hit them from tailgaiting.
They do not C A R E . Pisses me off.

Cherokees are safest for either the hitter or the hittee. Reminds me : I witnessed a Horrid accident, guy in Cherokee was doing 70 on a two lane hiway (1) cal coast, he passes us, picking up speed, going down a hill about 1/4 mile to bottom where a small toyota was stopped in front of a Truck, he didn't see it, okay so this mr. cool (I talked with him afterwards) flying down the road passes us, then pulls out again, at which point I freaked, cuz I KNEW, I could see the big pic from up on the hill,
he pulls in front of us, then out again cuz he sees shit another car on the road in front of him, pulls out again still flying it's 50 he's going 70, then he sees the big old pickup, but can't see the small car in front of that, so he pulls out AGAIN to go flying past pickup and yep the toyota turns left,
he SLAMS into it, bounces off, and the Jeep remained intact, he got out holding coffee in his hand??? never did figure that one out. The 2 kids in the car, were alive, a freaking miracle,
the CHP couldnot believe it. I saw it and could not believe it, I know what I saw. One was seriously internally injured, other seemed ok and was concious.
I was afraid to look and didn't until the Officer did. No blood. But everything not good.

I went over to the guy and pretended like I gave a shit if he was ok, he stood there and said "I bet you're gonna say it was my fault". WTF ? I just walked away. My husband is a first responder and he took over. They guy didn't smell of alcohol, etc. whatever. He probably was in shock, but he was cool. He didn't think it was his fault. I explained to the CHP what I saw and he said yes the evidence prooves exactly that. Mr. Cool tho, he was innocent. The guy rubbed me the wrong way. He was driving so wrecklessly I was Mad.

Most Fords big ones ARE comfy. Especially the 500's car series. Rangers are comfy.

Another thing that Bothers me about most if not all truck drivers. Say you are at a stop sign, and then they pull up next to you and block your fucking view. My husband does NOT do that. He is an excellent driver. Only one I've seen be considerate of others in that way.

I oughta join a drivers' blog but I would work myself into a frenzy, so won't.
But this can apply to Peak Oil, in a roundabout way !
I will be all to glad to live someplace I didn't have to drive anymore. Or so much. I hope I figure that one out.

Driving issues push my buttons in case you couldn't tell.

Jesus wouldn't drive period there you go ! He'd be flying I suppose. Not in an airplane either ! Just flying around. Now THAT would be cool.

posted this earlier, didn't get through...

Part I

Like to report on a Northern California road trip we took recently.

One sign of progress, almost every tiny town has an espresso sign and a natural food store in it.
Pleasant people trying to do something real in the wilderness.

Eureka, California. Once a fishing and lumber industry based town. Now?
Nice little section of old town along the harbor with about 1/5 the commercial sites in old charming buildings sitting empty. Great used bookstores, restaurants and a few elegant mansions in a small area. Well worth seeing once you are there.
Hardly anyone about in the winter sunshine. The Tsunami Zone warning signs are kind of a bummer though.
A few blocks inland, a great neat restored Carnegie library converted to an art gallery. Therein a free jazz trio concert with incredible talent playing for about 20 people. Some bum busily and noisily reading the NYT in the middle of the guitar solo to the annoyance of the people sitting around him.
The wide one way streets in a waffle grid full of nothing. Whole blocks of Mid 1960's enthusiasm for lease. The old Downtown Motel, a shattered weatherbeaten ruin with it's vast asphalt growing a crop of weeds and trash. Mean nasty adolescent girls on bikes like something out of a horror movie riding around the empty streets.
Twice removed from any expectations of anything better?
Arcata and Humboldt University nearby. Lovely old Victorians, Edwardians and lumber baron mansions. A hip veneer overlaying the for lease signs. Decent architectures makes a town, as well as steeper hills looking down on the landfill of decaying 1970 ranch homes in the Tsunami zone below. Lots of out of state plates, students no doubt at the school of forestry and natural resources up the hill and across the freeway. These stand in marked contrast to the Forty Year Old+ students that never left congregating about the town square with the new bum status symbol, a dog. Guess something will still love you and listen to you.
One one side of the square, a liquor store and then four old bars in a row, an elegant looking 1900 hotel, the other quadrant, a cafe, and a T-shirt shop selling lots of Humboldt State togs all made in Sri Lanka or other foreign slave pits. Another side of the square has another coffee joint and then the ubiquitous Asian mysticism shop run by an alternative woman selling all kinds of mysterious geegaws and dark trinkets in an atmosphere of sandalwood? so thick it knocks you down when you enter. Further down, a used record store, Italian restaurant, another bar, then a an ancient building that looks like a seismic death trap with varous wooden levels and empty shops. Sitting in the front is an aging woman brushing her hair and looking in a mirror.
Do local people under the age of 20 refuse to bathe? The skateboard shop, the smokeshop and the number of bars are merging into a kind of quasi tribalism. Expect to see 60 year old bums with rastafarian rats nests and no teeth rolling up to what's left of the social security offices one of these days. Every university town has this residue hanging about I guess

Westcoast said:

Expect to see 60 year old bums with rastafarian rats nests and no teeth rolling up to what's left of the social security offices one of these days.

Ummm, I don't think so. Social Security retirement benefits are not based on need but rather on income earned during your earning life.

The Social Security Administration keeps a record of earnings over your working life (which for "bums," with "rastafarian rats nests," may be zilch).

Social Security pays benefits that are based on the average amount earned, provided a minimum number of work credits have been accumulated. (And only income on which Social Security tax is paid is considered in calculating these work credits, and bumming doesn't qualify, since bums often prefer to be moochers asking for and getting by for free, like panhandlers and parasites).

To be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, you must have accumulated at least 40 quarters of work in "covered employment"

That is ten years of work... and most rastafarian bums will not be eligible for benefits...

Cash - Nice post, but so many sections that it will make for difficult discussion -

"this is craziness, amend the 2nd Amendment."
- cash -

Not happening, Brother. We're too ossified down here in the States concerning gun control. Our left only loses by trying to restrict firearms. Our right only wins by opposing the left on this issue.

"Anthropogenic Global Warming, er, Climate Change. The science is settled and irrefutable and must NOT be questioned."
-cash-

Cash, science deserves numbers. I said last week that I consider AGW settled science within a certainty of 85%. BeanTownBill argued 90% last week. I've been looking at the actual research - I think 85-95% is about right for the certainty of the science behind AGW.

Humans ARE increasing CO2.
Increased CO2 DOES increase global atmospheric heat retention.

And these numbers delineate actionable science. We, all of humanity, should be doing something about the CO2 trends TODAY, based on the science of AGW.
(Parenthetically, of course, we should be doing something about reducing fossil fuel use for MANY real practical reasons - including AGW.)

You, Cash, could try to argue the certainty surrounding AGW down to 70% - fine. But it's still science that demands action, TODAY.

If you try to argue the science concerning AGW down under 60% or lower - then you start to look like a shill for ExxonMobile or BP, instead of someone interested in objective examination of research and/or facts - in my carefully considered opinion.

And then, you mention the theory of evolution, Cash. Remember I'm a biologist.

"...so called Theory of Evolution, a sorry assed shambolic mess of a non theory if there ever was one."
-cash-

I'm not sure where you want to go with this.
Evolution is THE theory that underpins biology, genetics, medicine - all the sciences that impact human life, generally for the better, on a day to day basis.

Evolutionary Theory is settled science with a certainty of 99% or greater. I don't understand why there is a public benefit to arguing otherwise. Especially for science education that receives public moneys.

Regards,
PoC

This is a lot of stuff, Cash.
Pick a topic, pick my brain, and we'll go off to the races - as far as you want to run.

Very true, we do discuss things other than peak oil, like money and religion. And yes we don't discuss sex. hmmm.....
Interesting in real life people don't discuss money, I know people with tons of it that act like they are broke and never discuss it.
But they talk will talk about sex and religion.
Not their money tho.

I think it's off topic from peak oil, more so than money or religion. Because money and religion are worldly political topics, and they are the cause of alot of conflict in the world, and oil is part of it all.

I think we don't talk about sex cuz of fear of cyber stalking ? As a woman that is.

But yes really interesting to note that observation. Probably inappropriate for safety reasons. I don't know.

We need to find a connection between Peak Oil and Sex then we could discuss it if we wanted.

I had to edit this forever, before I decided to post, left the funny stuff out. Sorry. Don't want to be asked to leave here or be kicked off, I like it here.

Floozies' have more fun !?
It could be fun once in awhile I suppose to dress way up like that. But a pain if you always had to.

JEN I always wonder about those women with the long nails also, like you I like to garden and use my hands, massage therapist etc.
I wonder who the fuck wipes their asses, for real. How do they do it ? don't tell me. I could never be like that. Takes all kinds tho.

Also JEN if they think you use a special cream for your nice skin, you oughta start buying something cheap, and sell it to them for big bucks, tell them it's the best !

We need a CFN store.
Tank tops for women.
Nice V necks.
Coffee Cups.
Hats.
Books.
etc.
bumper stickers.
I get 20% for the idea.

hey before I read this, which is just now I posted a long story about a T bone wreck I saw down south to you on hiway 1. I posted it this eve.

I love up there ! I know the area you speak of. And thanks for the heads up on the Radar. Yes driving fast is very dangerous.
Also driving too slow is actually more dangerous.
But if you wreck it's not as bad. One probably causes MORE wrecks driving too slow, but worst wreck when speed is involved.

Redwood Forest Rocks ! Heaven On Earth. Eternal.
Peace and Quiet. Timeless. Love it.

Turkle said: "I don't think that's the case. It is probably because they know there is so much slack in the job market, and people are easily replaced if they don't toe the line."
=============================
Turkle, part of the slack employment market in western Europe is being driven by firms that have moved their operations to the east because labor was less expensive there. That is one direct outcome of the Soviet departure from eastern Europe, and it was the decision of German and other capitalists to do so, the impact on their home labor markets be damned. Those same capitalists were scared stiff during the Cold War at the prospect of swinging on the end of a Soviet rope, and were more circumspect in how they handled their relations with labor.

I don't contend that the nearness of the Soviet armies was the sole reason for more reasonable management approaches to labor, but it influenced the behavior of western capitalists. I can't speak for all of Europe, but Germany used to focus a lot more on good relations between management and labor ... now, the workers are told the money simply isn't there, but, uh, the management are getting their raises and bonuses. Something changed -- and IIRC, wasn't the fall of the USSR at about the same time that many of the big firms in the USA had formerly provided pension plans decided that 401K's were the way to go?

The connections here may not be 100% firm, but I'd say that in the West the relations with labor were handled with more finesse when a competing system existed. Gee, this situation even sounds like one of the notions of western economics: an environment with little real competition turns out a shoddy product. I guess the difference now is that we're not using the product; the product is using us.

Cheers

"We need to find a connection between Peak Oil and Sex then we could discuss it if we wanted.

I had to edit this forever, before I decided to post, left the funny stuff out. Sorry. Don't want to be asked to leave here or be kicked off, I like it here"
JackieBlue2

===========
I think that part of the reason for the train wreck status of Modern American Life is the unexamined connection between Peak Oil and human sexuality. How's that for a connection, Jackie?

So, now, would you please include all the "funny stuff" that you left out? Pretty please??

I really don't think they can kick us off a website called Cluster Fuck Nation, for talking about sex. That would not make sense, now would it?

And I still contend that that magnificent word, f*ck, is WAY overused as invective. And that it is definitely under appreciated for its many positive connotations.

12:27 on the East Coast.
Gotta crash.
Night, Ms. Jackie.

You got that right! before I read your second post I was going to ask you what do you think ?
See I never could play by those rules. I didn't even know what they were. I had other things to work on. Hard to explain. right now anyway.

I am somewhat of a non traditionalist.
And couldn't be inside all day like that sitting down or otherwise.
I was always outside working in a garden or running up and down the beach and swimming in the ocean. this is when younger. Also when I shoulda had a real steady job.

Now I swim in the 90* pool, yeah ! not the 55* ocean !
In the health care profession, not a doctor tho.
Also P/T reflexology. Foot Massage. Masseuse.
Straight. not sex.
anyway I like the way you think and write.

I have been on here a long time tonite and my brain is tired, but I started to read a post from you about white and black, then the page went to the top like it does after you post something. I didn't get to finish it, but will soon, and respond cuz it brought up something for me.

I scrolled for lotsa minutes and still couldn't find it again, and now I NEED a hot bath, too cold outside for the pool tonite. Well can't swim after dark, them's the rules. apartment living.
by the sea tho. homebythesea. with lotsa trees.
goodnight.

:)


{I'll be honest, I am highly skeptical that Asoka is Black ... or even male...

...and if male, straight.}

-----------
hear now a modest proposal for the clusterfuck nation; resolved, exeunt, flourish...

* since honesty is the best policy, each frequent poster must provide a link to a picture of him or herself nekkid;

* nekd pictures of jhk, including a delightful bear rug classic, are available upon request;

* se*ual orientation is of paramount importance! thus, if you are straight, you must provide photographic evidence (in jpeg format) of gender-appropriate behavior. activities may include: fishing, hunting, primping, crying, veins popping out of your neck in rage, pouting, shopping, or sticking half your body under the hood of a car or truck. note to vlad: while sheep and other farm animals technically do qualify as the opposite sects, care should be taken to document mutual consent;

* lbendet, we'd like to see something on the humorous side... many intellectual-type females enjoy wearing funny hats during interc0urse;

more notes benes to the fairer commenters here:

* myrtle, if you are not a blonde bombshell, feel free to substitute a picture of marilyn monroe;

* jackieblue2u, show us those eyes!

* wagerlaborer, you do realize just how er0tic surgical scrubs can be? faded lavender is best;

* jen from san dog, run those agricultural nails down this here back, i b slave 2 u for life...

* now i realize there's no way i can recall the entire set of female posters here; so let's move on to the beefers...

* procon, you know the drill, grease & flex!

* vlad, remember, it's just as easy to love a white girl as it is to love a sheep;

* marlin, just why do they call you marlin?

* qschtik, what do you want, good grammar or good sects?

* i'm tired of the listmaking... but here now, the link to me showing off what god gave me... err, with a little cautionary note, eg, i'm also showing off my "stoma" which is, like, umm, it's like the stub on an intestine that's been hired as an assh0le. hey, what can i say, life ain't pretty, death even less so.

(somewhere in my blog i prattle on re the blow to my self esteem, having my bowel hacked out... but really, my blog bores even me. i'm just doing it because my publisher insists.)

http://orionoir.blogspot.com/2011/02/toad.html


LBendet said:

The world would be a dreary place without beauty and as someone who earned a BFA in painting I embrace it. Happily I still produce art and that is really where I live. Funny that you thought I was an academic.
***********************************************

I'm curious if you've ever taken any of those
personality tests out there (all flawed but
all fun) like the Myers-Briggs or, better, the
Enneagram type indicator. Just curious.

Your unusual but innovative slants on issues
and your lack of a doctrinaire spirit seem very
much like an artist to me. What I've always
liked about the artistic temperament are those
moments when it has an intellectual cast about
it. Then, the observations seem stunningly
original.

Of course, even in the Enneagram, the type 4
(Artist) with a type 5 wing (Scientist) is a
most infrequent type but when it exists it
produces folks like Thomas Merton, Franz Kafka,
and Soren Kierkegaard. I regard all of these
people as great geniuses ... all in ways which
have NO overlap with each other!!

Cheers,

E.

Christ! You just couldn't let sleeping Pollyanna lay. It had been such a PLEASANT week, so far.


Read the link. When I referred to "Arabia"
I really meant the entire Islamic part of
OPEC i.e., the Middle East and North Africa.
Libya is the 8th largest OPEC contributor.

Long term, I think the energy situation is
dire in the extreme but I think the reaction
is overdone in the short term. It should have
spiked a few bucks but I think the longs might
get their speculative pants handed to them if
they chase it at these prices.

Sure, it might spike to $105 but it might just
go back to $90 when any semblance of order is
restored ... by whomever. :-) :-)

Sure is weird that most of the earth's oil
is where all of the psychotic shitholes are.


E.

Great post! That's what I want to read. What it's like out there. Eye witness, on the ground reports.

Thanks, prog.

My internet went down for over a week. Finally, in desperation, I called my IT guy. (Although he gets mad when I call him that. He prefers "son").

Anyway, I told him that my internet was down, and he agreed to troubleshoot. He said, "Turn your computer on, Mom." And I did. And the internet worked.

The kid is a genius!

And, after asking for advice on my truck, I went out today and the thing started right up!

And it started right up after work, too.

So, thanks, guys.

"Sure is weird that most of the earth's oil
is where all of the psychotic shitholes are."

Did you ever ask yourself why "all of the psychotic shitholes are" is where there is the oil that the Americans want?
For example China buys from Russia and PAYS the right price, without the need to make wars or to send its "intelligence" to overthrown governments, and the Russians do not behave like "psychotic shitholes" but just like normal business men.
I have the idea that if US behaved it wouldn´t have to deal with "psychotic shitholes".


Lewis said: "Christ! You just couldn't let sleeping Pollyanna lay. It had been such a PLEASANT week, so far."

I was enjoying the week, too, until you started with the name-calling.

BTW, Social Security law says you have to work 40 quarters (paying into the system) to qualify for benefits ... what's Pollyanna about providing factual information?

Well you see there is supposed to be a relationship between your ideals and your actions. If you feel bad about what Whites did to the Indians, then you are morally bound to put your ideals into action. In this case it means going back to Europe as the Mexican Mestizos (who fancy themselves Aztecs) have told us to do. Not to do this is to be what in Philosophy is called "inauthentic" or in bad faith. In the vernacular it's called being a hypocrite.

You may or may not be a Negro Professional but you are definetly a Professional Negro.

Vlad, the thing is nobody knows the trouble I've seen (but Jesus) and sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down, sometimes I'm almost to the ground. Although you see me going 'long so, I have my trials here below. Vlad, if you get there before I do, tell all-a my friends I'm coming too.

Remember Whites have developed modern science to its present heights - in other posts and even in this one farther down, you put alot of value on it. Pretty good for a bunch of Zombified, flea ridden, brain dead savages. Look, Whites are by far the most objective people. It's only natural that we would have pioneered science. You yourself epitomize this objectivity, but to an unhealthy degree. Now you tell me, have you ever heard any individual of another race run down that race they way you have just run down your own people? It's an evolutionary flaw to be sure. So in a strange way, you strengthen your own argument. Biteing your nose to spite your face.

As for the luck thing: I think it something of deep personal significance for you but not something that is objective or subject to shared, rational discourse. But with Jared Diamond you get back on track. Yes, I think Whites need to relearn the art of graceful and harmonious relationship with our natural environment if we wish to survive and prosper. But as Diamond points out: other races have failed at this too. Being technologically primitive is no guarantee of being in harmony either. The Indians of North America hunted several species to extinction. The harmony which some of the tribes seemed to display may have been hard won wisdom of the centuries. And the Indians of Central America were worse with whole cities dependant on cannibalism for protein such was their overpopulation. Very similar in some ways to the hubris of the ancient Middle East with their constant inter-city wars and oppresive theology.

But I question whether we will find all our meaning in just being in harmony with our environment. I mean cockroaches and ants found in amber are almost unchanged after hundreds of millions of years such is the perfection of their adaptation. But can that be the limit of Man's aspiration? Necessary? Yes. Sufficient? No.

In a traditonal hierarchical society, intellectuals are revered because real learning and this kind of ability are rare. In our society, the counterfeit has obscured the genuine in this realm and in every realm. You should be deeply respected as the old school masters of Germany were. But instead you are shouldered aside by hucksters and thugs. The type of society you are adapted for no longer exists. Women being ever compliant, conformist and PRACTICAL go after the new stars totally oblivious to the way things once were and will be again. What did that movie call it? Koyaniquatsi - life out of balance. An extreme example: hundreds of White Women have written to Mumia Abu Jamal with offers of sex and marriage. This is the kind of person the media has exalted and women obey accordingly.

And finally, yes many of the Tribes we unbalanced or destroyed will be more adpated to what is coming. And the earlier pioneer versions of our own as well would be much better. I think that because we have risen above the animal instincts we can make really, really bad decisons. You have to be really smart to be really dumb. The more brilliant a man is, the more he can live in his own mind and not even see the physical world at all. Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were the last to know how evil the old Soviet Union was. Those facts didn't fit into their Platonic Ideas about Communism so they were kept out of mind. Not very adaptable to say the least. Intellectuals are often very specialized - big heads, thick glasses, and small muscles. Not always of course - a man should strive not to be limited if he can help it. Jean Paul was a fighter in the French Resistance. He just couldn't stay out of his Platonic Paradise after the war.

All of life is just essentially talking to oneself, there are no roots. All we see and do and hear, everything is just manipulation of information, is just an action against a reaction in a runaway chain reaction. All of our "knowledge" and science is just a sequence of symbols that are supposed to give us some kind of "control" over reality. The symbols may be words, or mathematical equations (good luck with that, we can't even solve the 3 body problem because that is the essential limit of science to which there will never be any solution, unless you make believe there is, but we always essentially make believe a lot of things, or was that invent or create ?), behaviors, a sequence of emotions tied up to actions, tied up to other people, to their "other Free Will", etc.

There is nothing deeper, there will never be anything deeper, we only have our memory to guide us, another sequence of symbols, another wacky configuration of bits, that are supposed to guide us. Even memories don't really exist, they are signs of past interactions, that are forever lost, that were a one time quirk, a one time instantaneous interaction of a delimited piece of Mass - Energy colliding with another delimited piece of Mass - Energy. Good luck with trying to find roots or meaning or anything that can possibly last more than a picosecond with that. The essence is, we really do not even exist, that is the real root, we don't exist at all, you will find out in time. Where were you, by the way 200 years ago, do you "remember" ?

The real mystery is Free Will, not consciousness. What part is "free" and what part is constrained by the "laws of physics" ? Is it a trick ? And even if we could know it all, we would have to use the knowledge to manipulate it then, to do something with the knowledge of how our Free Will works, to achieve something better. And exactly what would be better ? Do we know ? Just pour Wild Chemicals in the ball of meat that is the brain - mind, connect wild electronic signals inside the "neural networks" of our mind. Sounds like 1967 again doesn't it...


With regards to :

turkle: "But resources? Uh, not so much. There's this classic little thought exercise. Take a look at a photo of the earth from outer space. Do we agree that it is a sphere? Now, can we also agree that spheres are finite volumes? Therefore, this finite volume cannot possibly contain an infinite amount of resources, now can it?"

Mine the solar system, or create a solid state civilization where everyone is connected to supercomputers creating a completely controllable virtual reality. That way, trillions of people are completely still, occupy only a few square meters. There are other solutions, but that will suffice for now.

Just a box of 1,000 km long, wide and underground could host 10^17 Free wills (that is 1 with 17 zeros after it, and you guys are worried about a puny 10 or 100 billion ?)

With regards to :

vlad krandz:"But Old's is not the answer. "

Do you really think that there are answers ?

The dog isn't happy, don't project your imagined emotions on animals, we have no idea what he "feels", I would guess he is more "indifferent" and just ready for another instantaneous reaction to some instantaneous stimulus.


Back on topic, maybe the system we really live in is just a Technological Economy, not even Capitalist in essence. A system where energy and technology allows continuous production of all items almost for nothing and for free. But we superimpose a capitalistic system on top of it, to make believe that there are scarcities, to make believe that it really isn't a something for nothing system, when it really is.

West Coast;

Great post on Northern Cal.! Very descriptive! Seems like you summed everything up nicely and painted a clear picture in just a few paragraphs.

Appears as though the towns in Northern California aren't in much better shape than the towns in northern New England ... ragged around the edges and rotting from the center outward ... still, with some fine old buildings, and caring people, that offers some hope for the future. Nice job. I love reading stuff like that in CFN.

Asoka, regarding Social Security ... it's true that you need 40 quarters (10 years) of employment to collect benefits at age 62. (in some cases earlier) That's for law abiding Americans, that is, suckers. Because there is a way to get around this! There is also a program called SSI, which was originally for people who become disabled, but was expanded at some point for older people who haven't worked enough quarters at retirement age. Here's how the scam works in reality. I got this from good authority. Many, many Pakistanis and Indians (not Sioux or Apache, but the kind in pajamas and dots) have moved here. They own all the package stores, convenience stores and medical clinics now. They move into a house, just a couple with kids. Right away a half dozen older people show up and move in ... grandparents, aunts, cousins and uncles from central and south asia. You see them on the street in those pajama like outfits. They're old, they're not from here, but they have no income so right away those blue enveloped SSI checks begin rolling in, 5 or 6 to the household. Its a bonanza! Next thing you know a coupla of shiny Mercedes and BMW are parked in the driveway.

Orionoir;

Origin of the handle 'Marlin". Simple. I love Marlin Rifles. I don't know why. I just love them. For years they were made just down the road. Traditional lever action, the quarter cut walnut stocks, the milled steel receivers, the deep bluing on the barrels, the microgroove rifling ... for me they take on a mystical quality ... the highest form of industrial art ever produced by man. That's a Marlin.

I like Winchesters, too.

Yeah, West Coast, some nice lyricism in that post ... little bit of Jack London, little bit of Jack Kerouac.

Anybody seen the price of crude this morning? Over $100.

With all that's going on its good to see Obama and Halder finally addressing the Defense of Marriage Act. This is a good time to do it ... not much else to worry about right now.


Hi E.

Not a big believer in tests since I think of those measurements as quantitative and not qualitative.

I grew up in a family that talked about all kinds of things from politics to economics and history and I loved to read. I mentioned in an earlier post that my dad was an economics major at NYU. His most inspirational teacher had been a student of Thorstein Veblen.

But, here's an interesting story. When I changed fields from picture research at TIME to graphic design and retouching, things were moving into the digital realm. Timing is everything which is how I was able to jump in and build a career as quickly as I did. It was a new field and I was in on the ground floor..

I had no background in what I was doing, but I while taking a magazine design course, I told my teacher that I had no design experience, but was an artist. He said, that was why my work was so interesting. I wasn't stuck in convention.

I think that may be what you are responding to. I don't have an academic background in economics, but I do read and listen and watch---trying to understand all the moving parts of this moment.
____________

Speaking of the moment. I was watching Ratigan yesterday and they were discussing the commodity bubble.
Prices get distorted when the buyers want to stock-up quickly on something that they think will inflate and the sellers want to hold on so they can make more when the price goes up.
That explains the jump in the price of oil, since the capacity is still there.--speculation 101 plain and simple. If there are no disruptions, I agree that the price will go down, esp. since our paltry gain in the economy will dissipate quickly if it doesn't.

Unfortunately, the price of food is going up globally as well and that was the last straw that sparked the Democracy movement in the ME. According to a guest on Ratigan, the group think of our Fed doesn't see the correlation between QEs and the global price of food--don't think I agree. What are they supposed to say, We don't give a rats ass?

"Sure is weird that most of the earth's oil is where all of the psychotic shitholes are."

Yeah, well we barrel-assed through our own, like there was no tomorrow.
---L 


"With all that's going on its good to see Obama and Halder finally addressing the Defense of Marriage Act. This is a good time to do it ... not much else to worry about right now." -M554

Yes, perfect timing.
My paranoia makes some laughable connections sometimes, and this be one of 'em.

Seems like the Admin. wants to appease the gay "folks", so they don't join everyone else out in the streets making mischief and creating headaches for authorities. Pretty silly, eh?

Of course, THAT thought would be reinforced by the fact that the Saudi royals started throwing lavish benefits out the windows of their Bentleys for the express purpose of keeping their particular rabble from getting unsettled. Did they figure this out on their own, or did Bush Inc. (and their present front-men/women) give them a hint? Interesting times. I laugh and laugh.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011223105328424268.html

"Sure is weird that most of the earth's oil
is where all of the psychotic shitholes are." -E.

I find it decidedly appropriate in all respects. All that [Koran-ically unexpected] wealth sure puts the ol' time religious convictions to the test, eh?

We ain't seen nothin' [of upheaval and radical change] yet; be certain of that.

Near the Last!

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/02/22/general-eu-greece-i-won-apos-t-pay_8319424.html

“I WON’T PAY” MOVEMENT GRIPS DEBT-RIDDEN GREECE

By ELENA BECATOROS , 02.22.11, 07:41 AM EST

ATHENS, Greece — They blockade highway toll booths to give drivers free passage. They cover subway ticket machines with plastic bags so commuters can’t pay. Even doctors are joining in, preventing patients from paying fees at state hospitals.

Some call it civil disobedience. Others a freeloading spirit. Either way, Greece’s “I Won’t Pay” movement has sparked heated debate in a nation reeling from a debt crisis that’s forced the government to take drastic austerity measures – including higher taxes, wage and pension cuts, and price spikes in public services.

What started as a small pressure group of residents outside Athens angered by higher highway tolls has grown into a movement affecting ever more sectors of society – one that many say is being hijacked by left-wing parties keen to ride popular discontent.

A rash of political scandals in recent years, including a dubious land swap deal with a rich monastery and alleged bribes in state contracts – has fueled the rebellious mood.

At dawn last Friday, about 100 bleary-eyed activists from a Communist Party-backed labor union covered ticket machines with plastic bags at Athens metro stations, preventing passengers from paying their fares, to protest public transport ticket price hikes.

Other activists have taped up ticket machines on buses and trams. And thousands of people simply don’t bother validating their public transport tickets when they take the subway or the bus.

“The people have paid already through their taxes, so they should be able to travel for free,” said Konstantinos Thimianos, 36, an activist standing at the metro picket line in central Syntagma Square.

In one of their frequent occupations of the toll booths on the northern outskirts of Athens recently, protesters wore brightly colored vests with “total disobedience” emblazoned across their backs, and chanted: “We won’t pay for their crisis!”

The tactic has cropped up in the health sector, with some state hospital doctors staging a blockade in front of pay counters to prevent patients from paying their euro5 flat fee for consultations.

Critics deride the protests as yet another example of a freeloading mentality that helped lead the country into its financial mess.

“The course from initial lawlessness to final wanton irresponsibility is like a spreading cancer,” Dionysis Gousetis said in a recent column in the respected daily broadsheet Kathimerini.

“Now, with the crisis as an alibi … the freeloaders don’t hide. They appear publicly and proudly and act like heroes of civil disobedience. Something like Rosa Parks or Mahatma Gandhi,” Gousetis wrote. “They’re not satisfied with not paying themselves. They are forcing others to follow them.”

Many accuse left-wing parties and labor unions of usurping a grassroots movement with legitimate grievances for their own political ends.

“You think that lawlessness is something revolutionary, which helps the Greek people,” Prime Minister George Papandreou said recently, lashing out in Parliament at Coalition of the Left party head Alexis Tsipras. “It is the lawlessness which we have in our country that the Greek people are paying for today.”

But there is something about the “I Won’t Pay” movement that speaks to something deeper within Greek society: a propensity to bend the rules, to rebel against authority, particularly that of the state.

It is so ingrained that many Greeks barely notice the myriad small, daily transgressions – the motorcycle driving on the sidewalk, the car running the red light, the blatant disregard of yet another government attempt to ban smoking in restaurants and bars.

Less innocuous is persistent and widespread tax avoidance despite increasingly desperate government measures.

“There is a general culture of lawlessness, starting from the most basic thing, tax evasion or tax avoidance, which is something that Greeks have been exercising since their state was created,” said social commentator Nikos Dimou.

But many see the “I Won’t Pay” movement as something much simpler: the people’s refusal to pay for the mistakes of a series of governments accused of squandering the nation’s future through corruption and cronyism.

“I don’t think it’s part of the Greek character. Greeks, when they see that the law is being applied in general, they will implement it too,” said Nikos Louvros, the 55-year-old chain-smoking owner of an Athens bar that openly flouts the smoking ban.

“But when it isn’t being applied to some, such as when there are ministers who have been stealing, … Well, if the laws aren’t implemented at the top, others won’t implement them.”

Maybe a little "I won't Play" could change the monopoly game.

I guess that it is the real way to make a "legal" revolution.
Let´s hope it doesn´t stop.
In this way they are beginning a fight that will go a long way in Europe.
In every revolution what you need is a good and widespread beginning, because people are so enraged and exasperated by the fact that justice is an opinion and usually the opinion of the rich and powerful, that they will just follow.
What people usually do not understand is the power they have.
If you look at the pyramid you can easily see how the bottom is enormously more powerful than the top.
A few thousand against millions.
When people realize the power they have they win.

Where were you, by the way 200 years ago, do you "remember" ?

Yes, I do. My feet were stuck unmovable in the wet, bloody sand of the beach; there were swords,horses and screams everywhere, closing in. I awoke from this, still remembering--a vivid energetic emanation. And so, like Asoka, I sit and attempt to cultivate the moment of the in-between. A beautiful moment, or perhaps even a "place". I think I was there, or least for a while--maybe a few centuries--but here I am now.

I just finished reading "The confessions of an economic hit man" of John Perkins.
I found it very interesting.

{I love Marlin Rifles. I don't know why. I just love them. For years they were made just down the road. Traditional lever action, the quarter cut walnut stocks, the milled steel receivers, the deep bluing on the barrels, the microgroove rifling ... for me they take on a mystical quality ... the highest form of industrial art ever produced by man. That's a Marlin.}


-----
marlin, i know the mechanical infatuation of which you speak, i suppose many men here, perhaps a few women, feel as we do. there are devices in this world that bespeak love pure and simple -- sure, they come at a price, perhaps what the market will bear, but the money is almost incidental.

i hung out many summers in new hampshire, there was a local boot-crafter by the name of peter limmer, i believe, had a waiting list into the year 2027. a guy from our crew took a header off a cliff, we knew he was insane: he left his limmers behind.

-----
at the hole in the wall, the guy for whom i ended up working was a serious-ass statistical anomaly, not loved by many, but awesome nevertheless. champion marksman and dart-thrower, his eyes confirmed his cherokee-hungarian heritage. he was also a gifted machinist (the list of his giftedness would crash this computer,) and so produced precision-made nut-wood dart cases as well as sniper-class rifles. everything to the micron.

christ, what a weird friendship we had. he, uneducated; i, a failure: each had precisely what the other lacked.

----
once, walking into our apartment, the third floor of a long house, he said, see that chick?

it was a newspaper clipping of my mom, on a corkboard a hundred feet of open air away. she was cutting a ribbon somewhere. he placed a dart between her eyes, just like that.

-----
in my humble experience, things become worthless. i own a few nice things, most of all a big emerald from my mother's dad, one-time rhode island textile king. it's a pretty stone. my wife tried to convice me to wear it, because she knew of the places i was prone to go, because she figured someone might spare my life is i had it to exchange. but i'm nasty with my hands, i scuff up gold like so much american dross.

so it sits in a box. what do i own? what pretty machine? this box on which i type, it's slower than my youngest's penguin club machine. takes fourteen years to load photoshop. oh well.

"Yes, I do. My feet were stuck unmovable in the wet, bloody sand of the beach; there were swords,horses and screams everywhere, closing in.."
-buck stud-

I also find a belief in reincarnation to be the most *useful?* - and most Believable - of the religious belief systems. What better way to encourage humans, with our pains, hungers, and fixations on the immediate present - to take a longer view of a world that we are doomed to revisit again and again.

Follow this logic to its opposite end and we have the two great dueling Monotheisms excusing all sorts of degradations and violence in the present - in hopes of Streets of Goldbricks populated by ridiculously unmanageable numbers of virgin females.

You can't beat people's basic unexamined belief systems for weirdness - and for roots of explanation of the present human condition.

Hi Pro,

Re: Evolution

I'm not a scientist but here goes. What this Theory of Evolution seems to consist of is a few vague notions more than anything remotely logical or complete or testable or falsifiable.

You hear about natural selection as a driving force of the evolutionary process. But how is this logical or complete? The way I understand it, natural selection is exactly that, selection of competing forms by means of natural forces. Organisms within a species (ie those that can interbreed and produce fertile and viable offspring) vary by different measures among themselves. Unless I'm missing something here what natural selection does is to kill off those less fit but what natural selection DOES NOT do is to create the variation in the first place.

I read somewhere that modern whales evolved from wolf like creatures that hunted or scavenged along seashores several tens of millions of years ago. And the fossil record shows these creatures changing from land based to totally aquatic animals. The thing is that the process from land based to competely acquatic happened in a blink of an eye ie 150,000 years. Paleontologists say it's extemely lucky to have so complete a fossil record over such a short time period from such a long time ago.

So how does the Theory of Evolution explain such a massive change in a population giving rise to whales over such a short time? I would submit that it does not. There is the idea of random mutations but these occur far too slowly to account for such a fast change in a group of organisms.

Here's the thing Pro. IMO evolution is a process that occurs by means of mechanisms that science is still clueless about. IMO it might involve the interaction between the collective DNA contained within a species and the environment that the species finds itself in. By "environment" I mean other species that compete for food supplies, species that are predator or prey, the everchanging climate of the Earth, the effect of such cosmic factors as radiation from the galactic environment etc. You would know these better than me. Plus an asteroid or two.

But what exactly are these mechanisms? They might involve processes within the DNA molecule that possibly act to generate variation from one generation to the next, or processes like those talked about in epigenetics where environmental factors act on how DNA expresses intself in an organism. How is the actual DNA contained in a population affected by the physical environment? What are these processes? There are probably ideas out there being worked on. But does anyone yet know with any degree of certainty? I doubt it. I think such questions are as yet on the cutting edge of biochemical research.

Hve you heard of the Great Leap Forward? I read how modern humans arose in east Africa circa 200,000 years ago, pretty much modern in physique and brain size but technologically and behaviourally very much like their Neanderthal contemporaries in Eurasia. Then roughly 50,000 years ago there occurred a remarkable change in behaviour among modern sapiens. There was a flowering of technological innovation, something never before seen in previous human species, a flowering of art forms. But what drove this seemingly sudden change? It seems to me that the Theory of Evolution is pretty much mute on this question. I think nobody has any real idea and likely nobody ever will.

The basis for modern science is evidence. But it seems to me that a lot of the evidence that underpins the Theory is like what I talked of earlier: old, very old. Tens of thousands or tens of millions or hundreds of millions of years old. Even if you have an abundance of mineral based skeletal or hard remains, there is not much else ie very little in the way of organic remains. The evidence is old, old, old and fragmentary and sparse. What scientists can do is come up with a very shaky story-line about what MIGHT have happened. What they cannot do with any reasonable certainty is to say what actually DID happen.

How do you come up with a complete repertoire of environmental factors that drove the Great Leap Forward? How do you recreate with anything resembling completeness the individual humans or their tribal groups or their DNA? Too much time has passed. You can't.

I'm hearing nowadays that geneticists are probing avian DNA to get an idea of how birds evolved from dinosaurian ancestors ie how they lost teeth, tail, digits etc and how different switches might be turned on and off within an chicken embryo DNA to grow more vertebrae etc. But this research looks like it's still in its infancy.

So yes, evolution happened. There is no reasonable doubt that we humans and multitudes of other organsisms changed, sometimes radically, over time. But it seems to me that the theory that seeks to explain these changes is residing in nowheresville as yet. It doesn't yet enjoy the benefit of logical consistency or completeness. A lot of the evidence it relies on is old and sparse. So when a scientist sneers at a "creationist" I get upset. It seems to me the arrogance and superiority are unwarranted. The theory explaining evolution looks to me as yet really flimsy.

At least that's how I look at this as a layman.

there are devices in this world that bespeak love pure and simple -- sure, they come at a price, perhaps what the market will bear, but the money is almost incidental.
============

I think of Vincent's reaction when Fast Eddie gave him his Balabushka in the Color of Money.

"in my humble experience, things become worthless."
-orion-

That's absolute truth, to which I give conditional agreement. haha

I have bullets and cannonball fragments -found in the woods and fields around my parent's old house - from the War in which most of my great (or gg) grandfathers served, and one was killed.

They have no real intrinsic value, except for the few dollars they would fetch at the present time as scrap metal for the Chinese.

Yet I hope to never part with them - and to slowly parcel them out into the future - in hopes that some mystical understanding of something important will be attached.
===============
And I have some scattered parcels of Georgia real estate. I also hope to slowly parcel them out into the future, with the same mystical hope attached.

Not sure exactly where I was planning to go with this post - It's floating as incomplete idea right now. I've got to clear off of CFN for the rest of the day.

I should delete the post - but that darn "Submit" button is calling my mouse finger.

Oops -

"And I still contend that that magnificent word, f*ck, is WAY overused as invective. And that it is definitely under appreciated for its many positive connotations."

ProCon, Have you ever watched the HBO series "The Wire"? One of the greatest scenes ever, takes place with McNaulty and Bunk investigating a crime scene for a month old murder during which the only syllables which fall from their lips are "fuck" or some variation of. Laughed till the tears ran down my face. Subsequent to watching the series via netflix I went to my favorite most gettin place, ebay, and procured the 5 year series on 23 DVD's for about $2 per disk. Been trying to wipe the smile off my face every since.

SNAFU

Nice post, Cash.
If you see the times, it crossed with my post to orion and I almost missed it.

I can give you the *pure evolutionary science* answer, but it will take a while. Maybe I can conjure up BeanTownBill to do it for me.
- - - HELLO! - - BEANTOWNBILL - - HELLO!!- -

But I don't mind saying that I don't have a great big problem mixing a teeny bit of creationism in with a huge mass of evolutionary theory.

And I don't mind defending this mixing to any pure atheistic scientists on here. As long as they will try to be *gentle?* with me. hah!

I'll try to do a more thorough job of this idea later this evening.

Orionoir;

Some things does lose their value, other things keep theirs and can be passed on to future generations.

I have a Winchester 1894 manufactured in 1897. It still shoots pretty good after more than a century. I plan on giving it to my grandson when he graduates (from Kingswood) in a few years. (that's if his mother doesn't raise to much hell about it)

I'm intrigued by your familial links to Textile. If you are in Ashford, and your family was in Textile, you have to be living in your home area. New England Textile 1794-1980, Rest in Peace. I was in Willimantic at ECSU when American Thread went down in 1980 ... the last man standing. Too bad.

Maybe when you get some time you could write a little bit about your grandfathers company and what you know about textile out there in Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut. I'd be interested in hearing what you had to say.

Ozone;

That British Motorcycle rally at Haddam Neck ... I didn't even know about it. Sounds like fun. I rarely take my bike out of the Valley, though. But I think it would make it. I couldn't take Rte. 9 because the thing tops out at about 55 mph. I'd be holding up traffic and people would be passing by me giving me the finger. Plus being almost 70 years old it breaks down sometimes. If you see some middle age guy wearing a plain white t shirt broken on the side of the road with an old olive drab British Army motorcycle, stop and render some aid, won't you?

Hey I am an animal lover. True also an emotional wreck, that maybe imagines connections between my pets and me that aren't really there. But if I / we are not really here, guess it doesn't matter ?

I think that some if not most dogs are Happy. Depends on their Humans. Just thinking here outloud.

Suzanne Somers said something once I never forgot, I forget damn near everything, but I remember she said don't waste affection on animals, humans are more important. Or something to that effect.

Animals Do help people. In many different ways.

I like what you write, but I wonder, and I just wonder, I don't know, do you have feelings ? It feels like you do but it reads like maybe you don't. Like Spock. Any thoughts on feelings ?
Empathy ? I'm not saying you don't have it, just asking you about their importance in your opinion.

But as an animal lover maybe we just are very different. Me being the dumber one, really.

You sound very intelligent, it Doesn't take one to know one !

It's a matter of people trying to make order out of chaos. But there is cause and effect.
And a certain amount of Free Will.

Marlin54, YES I saw that, or rather heard it on TV about the price of oil. Guess I'll find out in awhile as car needs some.

You said a lot Vlad which makes me think you've spent time in such an environment. You don't have to say yea or nay this being an anonymous forum. I like the anonymity too and reveal as much about myself as I figure is necessary to make my arguments and air my beefs.

To paraphrase Tolkien: their minds seem clacking, whirling assemblages of metal and wheels, barely human sometimes.

I'm old enough to remember women fighting to be accepted into the corporate environment. And by and large they have been. But I wish I had a buck for every time I heard a woman colleague say to me she wishes she could stay home with the kids. By the time I started hearing such things I wanted to say to them sell everything you have to to accomplish this because at the end of this ordeal what have you got? Stock options? So what?

But your kids are flesh and blood and why oh why would you trust strangers to raise them? Or deprive yourself of the experience of watching them grow? Is your damned "career" worth it? You say you're a "professional", you carry a brief case. Who cares? Downsize your house, tell your hubby you're staying home, dump the second car, tell your credit card company to go fuck themselves and do what you have to do to not miss all this.

But you can't say these things to people, you can just nod sympathetically and stew in your own misery.

And they learn to imitate real emotion and morality. But in truth, they find morality puzzling or even humorous. - Vlad

No shit. How many times have I seen this?

They are completely unreal, no soul whatsoever - Vlad

Amen. A while back I used to eat lunch in my office with the door shut for about 15 minutes and listen to a radio program of late 19th century, early 20th century music. One day they had a special program in tribute to Yves Montand who had just died. My boss came in over something he thought I wanted to know right away and he heard one of Montand's songs playing. He stopped short and asked what is that weird shit. And it got around that I listened to weird shit. The same time we had a contractor who was working in a spare office. One day I had to talk to him and I went in. He was listening to the radio and they were playing something by Grappelli and we had a brief chat about the guy. That day we went for lunch and the contractor said something to me about Grappelli in the presence of our other colleagues who had already heard I listened to "weird shit". Then he compounded the error and said something about Puccini. So more "weird shit" to get all smirky over.

I don't generally listen to classical or French singers. But sometimes you want a change. And so I got caught out listening to "weird shit" and I kept hearing about it. As you said Vlad: no soul.

I certainly hope that you are including Texas oilmen in your psychotic shithole scenario. Because as origins of chaos, murder and environmental destruction go, those guys have spread all over the world.

Perhaps the problem is plain old greed, not necessarily black gold.

Pity the people who live on top of fossil fuel deposits.

Woah ! That comment is a 10.
Except for one part I disagree with this part :

"When adults tell children "Appearances don't matter" or even the old canard, "Be yourself", it is of course, a lie, even if its best intentions are transmitted, the implication is that the adult world is a world of untruths and moral failure."

Not even that I disagree just thinking about this.
Appearances Matter but a false image is another thing. Pretentiousness, can't stand it.

It's important to be yourself AND appear within the 'norm' IF you want to play by the corporate rules. And be successful in that way. Fit into the mainstream. I'm thinking most of us on this page don't fit the mainstream. A few do. Me not one tho.

"The implication is that the adult world is a world of untruths and moral failure." you say that like it isn't. It does seem like it's not working to me anyway. And much of it is Lies.

Anyway a Great Post, if I do say so myself.

oh I thought of 2 songs of course SOCIETY'S CHILD by JANIS IAN. or "I learned the truth at 17, that Love was meant for Beauty Queens."

and Johnny Rivers SWEET SMILING CHILDREN. Youtube.
Listen to the Lyrics.

The Eagles : Lyin' Eyes. also You Never Cry Like A Lover.

I really never did 'get' to play the femme fatale for long, partly cuz I stopped, but did for awhile, and yes women DO have Power over Men. Most do not know how to use it, actually BOTH sides get used and abused most of the time. With these types, IMO and experience.

Okay now I've typed long enough. and further more.....STOP ME.

I think you are onto something there.
You are a great thinker. Have a great mind.

Patrizza con't :

Maybe we are The Bullies dealing with Psychopaths.
I actually heard that line on Law and Order SVU last night. Elliot said it, and he said it's that is a ticking time bomb.

I remembered it. Makes sense and then you wrote this.

It was a great show about Bullies' and Psychopaths' in the workplace. Excellent episode.

A good friend of mine puts it this way :

FIRST THEY TAKE IT AWAY, THEN THEY SELL IT BACK.

I think that sums our Consumer Society Up.
That and the Johnny Rivers' song.
Sweet Smiling Children.

I actually just took a 1/2 hour long personality test. It said I am AN EXPLORER and A NEGOTIATOR.
I have alot of Empathy and I like Adventure. This is true. Also true it said I come across as wishy washy, I think that is because I checked Agree too often instead of Completely Agree, I didn't want to come across as too aggressive, even tho I completely agreed. I DO come across as spacey. Seems I can't help it or change it.
I don't try to, but I need to try hard to not come across that way. If I want.

It was on chemistry.com. I just took the test, I didn't join, I am married. The test was cool I thought. and accurate.

I am listening.
Need a passport.

It's gonna be a one way trip for me. If I do it.

THX

PoC;

Those Civil War relics from you parents house ... which battlefield would that be? Chickamauga?

-Marlin

Con't.

Also what I was trying to say, is that some hide behind and USE their Titles, Position, like doctor, lawyer, cop, uniforms, and act like bullies' and get away with it because of their titles and protection by the sick system.

I got libeled by doctors and abused by CHP.
Major bullies. Too tired to fight back within the system.

Yes I know that you have to play Roles and their is a definite hierarchy. oh that reminds me I got fired once because :

I started a new job as a 'checker' at a local grocery store, I was probably 35ish. lasted one week because their was a new manager about 22, and she was training me, in a way that made no sense (I knew a better way), really,and I tried to break it to her gently, didn't matter, I stepped over the 'line' and well I said I am going home before they could fire me.

Actually when ever I started a new job I took LOTS of notes and more than once the boss said can I use those as a manual ? I guess that was my strong point but missed that boat also.

There is another boat coming tho. pretty sure.

2 other employees were watching her train me said "oh no, she did it the same way with us."
She was making it harder than it had to be. I HAD to say something to help. got me nowhere. It was a horrible place to work anyway. You get the gist of why I am not successful in a financial way. and what other way is there in this society.

I answer to your comment about evolution with a simple example.
There is always the need to create new "antibiotics" because the abused ones are not effective any more, bacteria get resistant to them.
In reality it happens in a different way.
It looks like they do not develop "tolerance" to the antibiotic, but that in every species there are usually a few individuals genetically different.
Those are the ones that survive the specific antibiotic.
Then the big number of bacteria is killed and the survivors are the only ones to multiply.
After a few years the population will count mostly or exclusively the genetically resistants and the antibiotic won´t b effective anymore.
Evolution is a matter of having the best resources to adapt to the new environment.

I think of Orionior as ORION the Star Constellation. Or something French because or the ior on the end. May never know what it means or what it is or how it is pronounced.
I enjoy her posts tho.

Your screen name goes with your writing. Can't explain why but it does.

Your writing is unique. It reminds me of past times when people and life felt more "real" if you know what I mean.

No matter how old you are I think you don't really change from when you're 18. The outside changes but not the inside.

Cash said: "Amen. A while back I used to eat lunch in my office with the door shut for about 15 minutes and listen to a radio program of late 19th century, early 20th century music."
================================
Heh. When the office chatter gets too loud, sometimes I'll put on earphones and listen to Gregorian chants. Very old and very relaxing.

Cheers

jackieblue2u stated: "Also what I was trying to say, is that some hide behind and USE their Titles, Position, like doctor, lawyer, cop, uniforms, and act like bullies' and get away with it because of their titles and protection by the sick system."
=========
Authority figures seemed to be beloved, don't they? One thing about American policemen I very much don't care for is their use of military rank insignia -- almost like they're wannabe soldiers or something. Especially the chiefs wearing the general's stars -- always struck me as weird and un-American (in the old idealistic sense of what America was supposed to be).
Hierarchy means so much -- this has to has something to do with our animal heritage. Too bad more people won't simply think about it and at least try to view things without the instinct filters firmly in place.

Cheers

But what is the mechansm that creates the variability or the changes within the population or organisms that make them resistant?

WRT homo sapiens, what was it that changed us physically from people with heavy brow ridges and thick bones and skulls to people with small faces and prominent chins and relatively light bones?

What was it that changed us mentally from a species that was like every other species of human ie one that appeared on this earth with a technology or tool kit that never varied? Now we innovate like crazy, we produce visual art and music etc.

If evolution is a scientific theory more than just a few flimsy ideas is should either predict or post-dict events. It seems to me that at this point that it can do neither.

Montsegur;

Did you ever see the Chief of Police from Miami, Fla. in full dress uniform? He's got more stars on his shoulders and medals on his chest than an Admiral in Idi Amin's Navy.

MarlinFive54 -- I suppose you mean this guy: http://www.miami-police.org/docs%5Cbio_Chief%20Miguel%20Exposito.pdf

His bio states he is in charge of about 1,500 personnel. Well, that is a lot. But if he wants to copy military procedure, for that many people under his charge, he should wear a colonel's eagle as his rank insignia.

Better yet, why doesn't the chief of a large city simply go around in a nice suit? As well known as he has to be, why even wear a uniform?

I guess I should go to sleep. I'm asking difficult questions again, I know.

Cheers

"...and for roots of explanation of the present human condition."

The key to the gate is time. Our souls and bodies are locked in it. Our spirits are not. With our spirits we can see what God sees. He can move through time to any point and contemplate it for infinity. We do this, but only in moments. So naturally our perspective is limited.

Lack of awareness is the fence around our pasture. If there were no fence all the grass would be greener because all the roots would go deep into fertile loam.

You get the gist of why I am not successful in a financial way. and what other way is there in this society. - Jackie

Hard question. Does financial success bring happiness? Money can make your life easier. It can also make your life harder. Trying to get money can make your life hell. Do you know any wealthy people that are happy? I don't.

I think you get to live your life for the sake of your own happiness. So you do whatever gets you there.

People, me included, live their lives in 5 minute slices. How many of those slices felt good? How many didn't? How many felt good for you Jackie?

In 2009 my wife had a bad health problem that was eventually resolved. But for two months I thought she might die. For me, two months of pure fear. Recently the doctors found a lump on her liver in an ultrasound test for something else. It took six weeks for tests to take place to rule out cancer. Again, for me, more bone shaking fear.

I would have happily given every penny I have plus all my major appendages and vital organs if it would make her ok. I learned some lessons about what makes you happy.


"I like what you write, but I wonder, and I just wonder, I don't know, do you have feelings ? It feels like you do but it reads like maybe you don't. Like Spock. Any thoughts on feelings ?
Empathy ? I'm not saying you don't have it, just asking you about their importance in your opinion."

Excellent observation. I think I have seen Old before; maybe you have too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hCczioWiZk

So a couple of weeks ago, it snowed here in Illinois, and the City of New Orleans Amtrak train was stuck here for two days.

What I want to know is - if Russia could run trains across Siberia in the 1920s, why can't the US run trains to Chicago in 2011?

It appears thet Jim is proving correct that this is "...a helluva week."

It seems to be shaping up that way, and there's still 2.5 days left in the week.

Someone posted about 'Oil being 100$ but Obamas talking Marriage Act'
Obama is a Politician, not a Leader in the real sense of the term.
He has no interest in Sustainablity becuase most in US dont have that interest, YET.
However Hes interested in votes!

Actually, Cash, they've figured out how much money it takes to make people happy.

I forget the sums, but below a certain point, people are unhappy, due to the hardships that lack of income puts upon people.

Above that sum, so amount makes people any happier.

I think it's about $60,000/year here in the US.

But I'm hoping that Asoka does the hard googling work of finding out the actual sum.

Geez, I'm too lazy to Google AND proofread.

It snowed here in Southern Illinois. That's more unusual than snow in say, Chicago.

And NO amount above the basic income makes people any happier.

I think I'll take a break now.

See my post above

Actually, Cash, they've figured out how much money it takes to make people happy. - Wage

Interesting. Intuitively it makes sense. Let me ask you: do you know any wealthy people? Are they happy? I'm betting they're as miserable as can be.

When bank CEO compensation is being arranged they should keep this study in mind.

Geez, JHK, don't you know we're exceptional? And you can't peck these out at 140 characters at a time? So old-school....

onion-head says, "bustin, you state a point of view well, but you seem oblivious to the existence of any other pov, a failing which i find unforgivable when writing about gender, race & class.

as an instructor of writing i used to tell my kids..."

First of all, you teach writing? You use no capital letters. I assume you are of the bell hooks school of postmodern pablum production?

Second, as to your standards regarding the acknowledgement of the "other pov": why limit this dictum to discussions of gender, race, and class? Why not apply it to discussions of the weather, opinions about sports figures, politics, and peak oil? For myself I would rather a brain eating parasite wrap around my dangling ganglia than handicap my own volition with another's McTheory of Reality. I am a constant gardener, pruning the neurons, encouraging the wild growths, inviting any disease to test my defenses. So far, so good.

I smell a great deal of crappy postmodern analysis of the Foucault variety behind your words. An institutional outgrowth, probably. I drown post-structuralism and dump its body in the river. I am rationalist, I believe in empiricism underlain with propositional logic and scientific proof. The only adornment I endorse is the poetic and artistic license, through which the emotional spectrum or reality is best represented. With facts in one hand and the blazing sword of satire in the other, I sally forth to liberate Columbia from ubiquitous zombies in meme-thrall. I think the best treatment for this culture of ignorance is an acid bath followed with a sand blast to allow the substrates of reason to take hold and grow.

I consume points of view as readily as anyone else. If those points of view are cogent, accurate, or valuable, they may add to my considerable experience. Platonically speaking, no one owns the "Truth", and that is all I am interested in. As far as my responsibility to public discourse, in this, the Internet's "Gift" economy, I provide the public service of my point of view, as is only what reasonably can be expected.

If I generalize it is in deference to the major aspects of a subject. The exceptions speak well for themselves. As for yourself, I'd recommend keeping your "cum-slurping librarians" and associated degrading portrayals to yourself or else entreat such entities to advocate on their own behalf in this hallowed column. Unless, of course, you would like to write "as if", or in the service of such a portrayal, in an alliterative or satirical sense, in the manner of trans-textual fetishism. That is always welcome as the Internet is but one huge masquerade ball where no one can see your lacy underpants.

Life is the arena. Some people think it is their personal playpen and when things get rough, and their heads end up decorating a pike, their expression is frozen in surprise. My advice is, lead a conventional life. Wear sensible sweaters and never the leave the house. Limit yourself to Oprah.com.

Eleuthero,

What enneagram point are you? I would guess a 5.

I'm a 9. My mother is a 1 who watches Fox news too much. Sometimes it's hard to deal with her because she truly believes she is right about everything.

If I remember correctly, you are retiring in March. Are you headed to Asheville,NC?

Jen

Wage,

I did a lot of writing to answer you and got the "owner is holding you message for approval" "thank you" notice. So I guess my answer was too long.

I must confess I had to chuckle last night when I heard that Obama has decided to not pursue DOMA. Let's see, the Middle East if falling apart at the seams, Gadaffi has ordered his mercenaries to kill off his OWN people, and all Obama can do is throw a chicken wing to the Gay folks? Seriously, is THIS all he has? Lord knows we don't need a revolution amongst our nation's drag queens! (My dear, you have NO idea on how this spike in cotton is going to affect my summer wardrobe at Fire Island this year!) White the new black! Even our dear Asoka could smell that from a mile away...and Ole Asoka is pretty darn good at detecting bull...meaning he can dish it out as well as uncover it.

I'll try it in shorter pieces...

Wage said: "But I'm hoping that Asoka does the hard googling work of finding out the actual sum."

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

First of all, Wage, you are right that there is a common empirical finding in many countries that substantial increases in real per capita income do not correspond to equivalent increases of individual happiness.

These findings have puzzled many economists that some have called the “paradox of happiness”. There have been a number of explanations regarding this paradox.

So far, so good... part 2 of 3 ... or 4?

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

It seems that there are some basic human needs which must be satisfied before non-basic needs come into the picture. Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs? The hierarchical structure of needs implies that the satisfaction of basic needs provides substantial increases to individual happiness compared to the subsequent satisfaction of secondary needs.

So, empirical findings do show a positive relationship between income and happiness up to certain level of income. But it gets more complicated than that.

OK, I'm goin' for it: part 3 of 4.

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

Most of the "happiness studies" rely on GDP per capita as the measure of wealth, but that is a poor measure of a people’s well-being. It is heavily and increasingly skewed; it does not account for effort. Using instead measures of household income, male income, and average wages the paradox is not as striking.

Several recent studies have shown that in developed countries, reported levels of happiness do not increase in line with income levels, and people are experiencing more and more time pressure. (I think we can relate to that kind of stress in the USA) It makes sense: families are working longer hours, and there are (occasionally sharp) trade-offs between work hours and assorted sources of well-being.

Part 4 of 5 ...

===========

There are so many variables, but together these findings suggest that people do not maximize happiness by earning more money — they would be better off if they worked less and had more leisure time.

Then there are the questions of relationship and civil status and personality. Married altruists are more likely to report themselves very happy than people with other personality dispositions.

Explanations for the paradox may have to do with "habituation": people adjust quickly to changes in living standards. Another reason why more money does not automatically make everybody happier is that people tend to compare their lot with that of others. Media consumption (TV, etc.) may play a role. There are so many variables.

{onion-head says,}


-----
wow, bustin, i'm speechless. dumbstruck, crestfallen, flabbergasted. flabbergast, flabbergast, flabbergast: i am flabbergasted.

it's cool to provoke such a response, but it doesn't really make sense to me. and you know me, i'm an aficionado of all that which makes no sense.

it did occur to me, many hours after i posted my reply to you, that it was laughable for me to portray myself as an instructor of writing. still, it's true, i know the rudiments, even as i ignore them.

as for (your central point?)

{If I generalize it is in deference to the major aspects of a subject}

i'm willing to accept it at face value, although i still have my reservations re black & white analysis, esp in this age of fox. surely you are aware you are speaking in the company of men and women whose experience of gender is beyond your ken, as, of course, it's beyond mine.

-------
mostly, though, my reaction to you is as it is to others who kick serious rhetorical butt here: if you're so smart, why aren't you in charge? because i suspect you're not. i suspect you're just like me, another bright guy sitting on the sidelines, taking himself way too seriously.

Therefore, I can't provide you with a citation to a dollar figure where happiness begins to decrease (and divorces and substance abuse begin to increase!) because there are just too many variables (not to mention that a person''s lifetime happiness often follows a “U” shape).

I am large. I contain multitudes, but I am not an ivy-leaguer. As a product of public education, I recognize my limits when it comes to analyzing so many variables.

Your figure of $60 to $70 thousand sounds about right to me.

That's a pretty good summary of Eureka and Arcata.

Arcata is by far my favorite town in Humboldt County: less tweaked out and infested with bad cops than Eureka, much better suburban planning than McKinleyville, fewer hardcore grungy bums than Garberville (although you seem to have encountered some), a lot more going on than in the smallest towns (e.g., Trinidad, a city of 311), and none of the creepy Mayberry vibe to which Fortuna ostentatiously subjects the rest of the county (I get really sick of the "Friendly City" commercials constantly aired by the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce; they make Fortuna sound like every bit as much a Twilight Zone village as any other place in Humboldt, just with a different flavor).

You're absolutely right about Arcata being infested with hippie bums, though. The same goes for Eureka, which hordes of both tweaker and stoner bums. It's pretty pathetic.

I live a few blocks from the Downtownwer Motel, and what an awful eyesore it is. It was ugly from the start, and it's worse now that it's been slowly going to ruin for years. According to the North Coast Journal, the owner is promptly paying quarterly nuisance property fees to the city and is generally being about as responsible as he can be without a loan or grant to demolish the property. Given the oversupply of real estate in Eureka, I don't think a loan would be prudent, but grants aren't abundant, either.

One of the amazing things about Eureka is that I hardly notice the Downtowner because so much of the city is a wreck. Within a block of the Downtowner across E Street, for example, there's an overgrown property with an abandoned van in the driveway. That's the kind of thing I'd expect to see in Klamath or the hills between Laytonville and Willits, but not on the edge of downtown in a city that is the largest for 150 miles in any direction.

Broadway, which serves as 101 on the west side of town, is worse yet, and by a long shot. A family friend said it well: "if all anyone from out of town saw of Eureka was Broadway, no one would ever come back." At least we practice truth in advertising. Everyone driving into Old Town from the Bay Area is directed past some of the seediest, most repulsive single room occupancy motels I've ever seen. And sadly, that neighborhood isn't particularly extreme by Eureka's degraded standards.

What no one with influence around here will admit is that our economy is hollowed out. Some average Joes and Janes recognize this, but the official line is that we're economically viable. The hell we are. Our forests and fisheries are pretty well shot, and the Sacramento salmon runs are on the brink of extinction. Our land base is too limited, geographically and climatically, to support more than a small fraction of the current population through farming and ranching. Permaculture or gardening might get us somewhere, but not if we remain populated by tweakers and dready mamas who expect to make a fortune trimming bud one month a year.

We can't expect to replace any of this with an industrial economy, either. Out-of-the-way places that have abandoned their only railroads and are threatening to abandon their port don't attract people with business sense. Those engaged in the non-bullshit sectors of the economy are too busy scouting out prospective factory sites in places like Vernon, San Bernardino and Sacramento. They'll gladly leave us to peddle hippie schlock, fly signs, and use our food stamps on pastries made in the LA Basin.

VK said, "Whites have developed modern science to its present heights - in other posts and even in this one farther down, you put alot of value on it. Pretty good for a bunch of Zombified, flea ridden, brain dead savages."

Well, I don't agree with your theory of racial superiority in any sense of the word. The concept is pretty much discredited. Race does influence life, in such a way it may superficially appear to be a factor. It is not readily demonstrable at a genetic level- this natural differential. Any human being is capable of going any number of directions in his or her intellectual development. I believe the differences between achievement are a product of environment and expectation. Eventually, scientific principles would have developed anywhere given the critical mass of tools, time, and brains. There are a few examples in history where the process was started, and then interrupted, crushed in its infancy. You could argue anywhere language and history evolved, there was a possibility. Then mathematics and logic. Science is just founded on universal truths so that lends itself to my theory. The Chinese, the Arabs, the greeks, the romans, the Egyptians all attained a level and then fell back.

It is not an impossibility that humanity will lose everything it has gained through science. Many intellectuals and organizations are aware of this and have issued warnings. They have deployed contingency arrangements, written up Rosetta stones, and so forth.

As for the flea-ridden savages, facts are facts. It was a general condition back then, of the vast majority. Ascendency to dominance occurred on the basis of advantages that had nothing to do with the inherent skills or abilities expressed in genetic predispositions. Recently a Jewish co-worker intimated that the differences in achievement among human groups is due to cultural factors only. I would tend to agree. The Jewish culture might be the object lesson of a culture using its power to maximum effect. All its efforts are going to be in vain, though, if the dominant global culture succeeds in its mission of self-destruction.

I'm not sure I believe in the possibility of a savior culture. I think cultures are the problem.

The Jewish culture, therefore, might do well to wipe the rest of us out. It seems as likely as anything else. And if it happens, it doesn't really matter, genetically. There will always be white people, or people of all kinds. Multiracial culture succeeds because it provides a way for genes to be conserved.

VK: "But I question whether we will find all our meaning in just being in harmony with our environment."

I think it is a prerequisite for the continuation of any development and of meaning itself. It has been commented elsewhere, on the meaningless of consumer lifestyles, modern life, etc. On a genetic level, the natural world is a giant gene bank. We are ultimately all of one specie, "Life". The natural world is something to live for. It is the horse that pulls the cart.

I don't ascribe to or endorse transcendental religion of any kind for this reason. It is quite simply a death-wish, a glorification of annihilation. Not surprisingly, all major official religions of the current dominator culture. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, all opposing the ostensibly sustainable cultures they replaced. The minor religions and societies fell before them and their apocalyptic visions. This is the alternative value scale. In this, there is ultimately no higher development of mankind- you are right about that.

I don't think any kind of reversion to paganism or animism or druidic religion is a prerequisite to a sustainable value-shift. There is much within science itself that provides the largess and profundity of religion. So, if that is a prerequisite, Science is well-situated to fulfill those drives. Its hard to imagine that people will overcome their base tendencies to gravitate toward convenient, comfortable self-flattering theories of reality, though. That is precisely the problem.

Childhood "development" is pivotal, because these tendencies are culturally programmed at that point in personal development. If there is to be a cultural evolution it is most favorably applied here. An ounce of prevention, as they say.

Of course, I think its too late. People have their miserable personal mythologies, I cannot change anyone's mind, I have no access to children. Kids today are at the complete mercy of their manifestly insane parents and culture at large. Nature, to most Kids, is a diffuse, malevolent force which must be protected against, bundled up from, sunscreened against, etc. In its place is a plastic industrial culture of make-believe. They will never see it, touch it, or know it. They are prepared for and inculcated to an existence in service of the transcendental cult. Its a sickening deception. Kids today, being prepared to expect a world that will not exist, a lifestyle they will never have. Its easy to imagine the rage of disillusionment to follow. Its more horrible to imagine the instructive aspect of it. Will they debauch themselves in an orgy of transcendental self-destruction or align themselves with newfound zeal toward an ecological paradigm. I imagine the former before the latter simply because of the inertia behind the fundamental anti-nature values of the dominant culture.

Oh, happy days.

"My Name Is Legion, For We Are Many." Luv, Satan

Well, that explains a lot....

Hi Ms. Myrtlemay,

I can't figure out Obama, even though I enthusiastically voted for him. I was hoping he would do the following:

1. Get us out of Afghanistan.
2. Kick some Wallstreet ass.

I don't think he had enough political experience when he was elected president. Hillary Clinton appears to have a lot more smarts than Obama.

Jen

Hi Lewis,

Thanks for the citation to Satan!

My advice is worth exactly what you paid for it: nothing.

Still, when considering an issue, I think recognizing the confounding variables and avoiding conclusions based on facile generalizations might eventually be worth something.

But I could be wrong.

As Myrtlemay says, and you all should know, I can dish it out. Caveat emptor.

Let's clear up a couple of defintions:

"Unless I'm missing something here what natural selection does is to kill off those less fit but what natural selection DOES NOT do is to create the variation in the first place."

Natural selection is ALL about reproductive fitness. It does not matter whether individual organisms live or die. What matters is how many offspring any one organism leaves behind and how many offspring those offspring leave behind - this then carried statistically through many, many generations.

You are correct that NS does not create variation - that comes from genetic mutations. Most mutations are harmful - the organism dies before reproducing.

A very rare mutation will be helpful. If the individual carrying a helpful mutation is successful in mating - and its offspring are successful in mating - then the helpful mutation will become incorporated in the gene pool of the population.

So, the piece of the puzzle you seem to be misunderstanding is that the genetic variability you ask about is ALREADY in the population - introduced by random mutations but then MAINTAINED in the population by natural selection.

Sickle cell trait is a classic example in humans.
A human with one copy (allele) for sickle cell trait will have immunity to malaria - and leave more offspring, statistically - IF, repeat IF - that individual is living in areas where malaria is chronically epidemic.

This is why sickle cell trait is common in sub-Saharan African populations.

This is about 1/2 of my answer to you. I keep hoping some atheistic evolutionary biologist will give a more elaborate answer than I just did.

Which would free me to concentrate on the parts of your question related to, "Why is there something, instead of nothing."

Or, put another way - "Is there a force (Force?) driving evolution - and even driving quantum mechanics - that is as yet unknown to the branch of human knowledge known as Science?"

My answer will be a qualified "Probably!" if any of you atheist types want to rumble! hah!

"And I still contend that that magnificent word, f*ck, is WAY overused as invective. And that it is definitely under appreciated for its many positive connotations."
-poc-

"ProCon, Have you ever watched the HBO series "The Wire"? One of the greatest scenes ever, takes place with McNaulty and Bunk investigating a crime scene for a month old murder during which the only syllables which fall from their lips are "fuck" or some variation..."
-snafu-

I had not seen that amazing piece of video. Thanks for flagging it to the attention of cFn!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQbsnSVM1zM

An extraordinarily versatile word, be "fuck."

"Those Civil War relics from you parents house ... which battlefield would that be? Chickamauga?"
-marlin-

Chickamauga was the first of the great battles in Georgia. Then came Resaca, then Kennesaw Mountain, then Atlanta.

The Battle of Atlanta ended, like the others, as numerically superior Northern forces executed a flanking move to the south.

Immediately following the Battle of Atlanta there was a three day melee in Clayton County (home of Tara - from the fictional Gone With the Wind)
This became known as the Battle of Jonesboro.
My parent's house was located close to the middle of this battle area.

I found a couple of bullets in my parent's yard as a little kid. The generation ahead of me acquired Korean War surplus metal detectors and LITERALLY filled basements with the war material they collected.

I scrimped and saved for a $59.00 Heathkit metal detector - which I built in one weekend at about age 14 - and carried to all the battle sites that my friends and I could locate.

I've had the experience of operating a metal detector at the edge of a lonely rifle pit - where from the quantity of spent rounds I found - it was obvious that no one had dug there or spent a whole lot of time there since the end of the Civil War - 110 years prior.

And I have made a couple of finds that were so obviously dropped by a soldier under stress that it made me feel a presence. I've heard more than one relic hunter say, "I looked around to see if the guy who dropped it was still there, nearby."

I've felt that.

And BTW, everything I ever found came off private land of one type or another. Now almost all of the old earthen forts, rifle pits, and trench lines that my friends and I used to prowl and dig are gone forever - lost under the bulldozers, streets, and subdivisions of South Metro Atlanta.

Sometimes I feel like a living history museum.
And I'm a young man, yet.

Versatility of the word "fuck" explained by the Indian mystic Osho. Fuck used in all its English forms: transitive, intransitive, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa6BzVwbAGY

Ratigan Brilliant again!!

This show is at such a bad time slot (4:00pm) that listening to it on streaming video is the way to go.

Another winner interview on Dylan Ratigan. Peter Morici, and Wilber Ross talking about the rigged trade between China and the US.

You gotta listen to these numbers and imagine what our employment landscape would look like:
Who's to blame?

Our transnationals who are lobbying against the American worker and balanced, fair trade with all their monetary gain. Also tax laws that don't address a VAT. Tax laws have to be changed:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/#41765307

AMR;

More on the ground reportage from Northern Cal. Good stuff!
From your description of Arcata and Eureka you could be talking about Brattleboro, Vermont ... same 45 year old hippies (with ponytales) on the streets, same counterculture junk stores. It's uncanny.

PoC; man after my own heart. Metal Detecting one of my hobbies, too! We never had any battles around here but this town was founded in 1645. I find all kinds of stuff. Yesterday in fact I ordered new Garret detector Ace 350. Hasn't arrived yet. Silver is up to $34.00 per ounce and I will have that thing paid for in no time. Only problem is the 3 feet of snow on the ground hard as granite. It will be a long time and many warm days before it melts.

And PoC, I had always thought those battlefield sites were protected by the State, the Feds, the Park Dept, by somebody. That's one place where Europe has it over the US: protection of historical sites. Here they are obliterated, a victim of sprawl. Well one good thing about TLE ... the era of sprawl is about over. But for many places its too late

Why would anyone want to protect a battlefield where ignorant cannon fodder of the same family shot at each other? Why protect a monument to human stupidity?

People complain about government taking their money, but willingly give their lives to the government ... Then they want a government monument to remind everyone of their ignorant service to government. Fucking incredible.

My son likes to hunt for arrowheads. He has learned to walk the rivers and creeks spotting camping sites and will look around and find them among the gravel. Not the elaborate works of modern flint knappers. Just functional, small sharp pieces of flint chipped into little triangles. You look at them and wonder how old they might be, and how many times they might have been used.

"...remind everyone of their ignorant service to government. Fucking incredible."
-asoka-

Big weekend coming. I've been looking for a good reason to check out of CFN for a while.

Do not believe I can top the proceeding.
Bye, y'all.

"People complain about government taking their money, but willingly give their lives to the government ... Then they want a government monument to remind everyone of their ignorant service to government. Fucking incredible."; Asoka

Touché

SNAFU

PorC said: "Do not believe I can top the proceeding.
Bye, y'all."

It was the desire of the South to keep humans enslaved for profit. Those Georgian soldiers were fighting to preserve enslavement of Black human beings?

Those racist southern soldiers who fought on those battlefields were immoral idiots and no money should be spent to maintain monuments to their violence and racism.

Have a nice weekend.

What seems to me really odd is that I think BOTH Procon and Asoka have good, valid points. I cannot come to a rational conclusion on this tonight, so I'll let it go for now.
Sooo, moving onto other points:
SF Mom (Jen),
I also voted for the big Kahoona, thinking he'd change the status quo in Washington (not an easy task, btw). I am also completely disappointed and discouraged. The man is an EMPTY SUIT (imo).
Now, about Hillary: She's almost (if not more) slick than her husband, Free Willy ("wherever i chose to put it, i shall") Clinton. She is nothing but a slave (paid very well by the Israelis) to maintain status quo. In other words, she's a high priced WHORE who will sacrifice our country's interests to serve foreign $$$. What a disappointment she SHOULD BE to the hippie generation (and others) who believed in her lies and deception. Personally, I can't stand to look at the bitch. Her most recent declarations against the injustices going on in the Middle East against the people, whilst a 72 year old VETERAN peaceably demonstrated by placing his back to her during her speech on "FREEDOM" was deplorable. The man was literally carried out of the auditorium and roughed up by some uniformed and non-uniformed THUGS. This resulted in me finally and completely turning away from this common, cold hearted, gold-digging BITCH. The protestor's parting words, as his 72 year old feet scarcely touched the ground as he was "escorted out", were: "So THIS IS AMERICA?" The BITCH never missed a step during this ruckus, cackeling on about "truth, justice, and the 'amerikan weigh'." If I ever wished there were a hell, this BITCH would be burning in it for eternity!

Obama Sighting: Wisconsin?

"And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I’ll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America.
Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner." Senator Obama 2007

Read "Finders Keepers" by Craig Childs, It puts a new light on archaeological plunder. I have picked up a few potsherds here and there, but never again! Who are we to disturb the past. We are just passin' through.

Marlin, one more thing, regarding:

"And PoC, I had always thought those battlefield sites were protected by the State, the Feds, the Park Dept, by somebody. That's one place where Europe has it over the US: protection of historical sites. Here they are obliterated, a victim of sprawl. Well one good thing about TLE ... the era of sprawl is about over. But for many places its too late"

There is actually no shortage of large and well planned monuments to the Civil War in Georgia. Of course war is folly, but a million dead deserve respect - they deserve remembering.
So when the Resident Impediment interjected himself into our conversation by saying:

"Why protect a monument to human stupidity?"
-asoka-

It really did break my concentration, and I reacted in anger before completing my thoughts to you. Because you and I, Marlin, are talking about small forgotten corners of battlegrounds around Jonesboro - that honestly could not possibly be protected. There are far too many of them to even consider protecting them all- three days of fighting around my home County left marks that only those with a keen eye for detail and terrain could ever really understand - and these marks were to be found almost everywhere until development wiped them out.

I know that Europe has many such places as well - - forgotten corners of fields where trenches slowly fill in - spots where the brutal business of war occurred, spots that are now unmarked and unknown.

The most haunting stories to me come out of Europe and especially out of the Pacific Theater, involving plane crash sites.

There was a P-38 found in a field in France roughly 5 years ago. It had apparently crashed at high velocity and disappeared under the soil. The pilot had been listed as missing all these years. His body had been inside his crushed plane all these years. Someone's father, husband, brother - lost forever.

These things must be confronted.
Only by seeing the past - can we see the future.

And Asoka - someone months ago christened you, "A cheerleader on meth."

I think what happened to the dialog between Marlin and me tonight explains why, "The Resident Impediment" remains an accurate description for you.

"Those racist southern soldiers who fought on those battlefields were immoral idiots..."
-asoka-

Your words were carefully chosen to inflame - and had nothing at all to do with the conversation that had been occurring. You just threw it out there - randomly - and it Impeded the dialog on the CFN thread - yet again.

Now, I really am done until Sunday. Probably.

ProCon said: "...the dialog between Marlin and me tonight..."

The dialog was offensive. I had to impede the dialog to stop the adoration of slaveholders.

Those from Georgia you want to "respect" and "remember" should be condemned.

I reserve my right to impede syrupy dialog and hero worship of those who owned other human beings.

I reserve my right to impede dialog about mass murder events referred to with quaint expressions like a "three day melee."

I reserve my right to impede emotional appeals to respect murderers referred to as "soldiers under stress"

Hey Pissant, aka JimJim, I have been reading your posts from the Jared Got a Gun thread, the world would be better off without you. I know exactly what you are, a spineless sniveling little junior high school petty moronic bully. Drop dead and go to hell. I would gladly deal with you in person.

You may be a paid shill. You may not.

Whatever you are, get lost and go drown yourself, you miserable excuse for a piece of shit.

Is any one else as pissed as me over our insane tax laws? I've been working on my return for the past 3 days and I'm nowhere near done.

The complexity is beyond belief because politicians write tax code to socially engineer every facet of our lives. If someone like Jay Leno were to read aloud the rules that apply to getting certain energy credits for installing the right kind of hot water heater or the right replacement roof shingles, to name but one example, his audience would roar with laughter at the absurdity of it.

I think it was in the NYT several days ago where someone speculated on what would happen if our politicians were required to prepare their own tax returns. I doubt that 1 in 50 could do it accurately. This might spur them to make the complete change that is needed.

When I think of the massive waste of brain power required to keep this monstrosity running - the accountants, the lawyers, the govt institutions - when those brains could be working on something useful, it sickens me. The whole industry of tax publications, books and software ... all so unnecessary. The colossal waste of man hours ... the stress.

The answer to this problem - which will never happen in any of our lifetimes - is to first shrink govt to its minimal legitimate functions. (There would certainly be zero foreign aid and zero crop supports to farmers.)

Then pay for those functions by, for example, one flat sales tax rate on every cent spent. No income tax, no corporate tax, no deductions, no credits, no carry forwards, no inheritance taxes, no breakes for religious institutions or charities, no special cigarette or alcohol tax, no withholding, no social security/medicare tax, no exemptions for dependants, no annual tax returns, no, no, no.

Earn all you want - wages, dividends, capital gains - and not be taxed until you spend it ... whether you buy a cup of coffee or a 100 ft yacht. Then split the take in some appropriate ratio with the states.

Wage,

That's a great question; "Priorities" would be my best guess.

When I was a kid I would accompany my grandfather to his work once in a while. He used to wok in this really big tower for the Union Pacific, pushing buttons that would set the course for trains hundreds of miles away. More or less the equivalent of a railroad traffic controller I suppose It was a solitary job, and he was sorta of busy in the morning hours but the afternoon was nap time followed by an hour or two reading of Field and Stream magazine.

But he did made a point of telling me it wasn't always so lax and lazy down at the train station. With the advent of WW2 following the Depression the railroad hub was a teeming hotbed of non-stop activity, twelve to fourteen hour days, six days a week.

Great book! Read it straight through over an evening and into the wee small hours. I think I liked his "House of Rain" even better. I liked that Childs often seems torn as far as seeing both sides of the issue. But he's firm in his own behavior.

Yeah, old stuff is cool. But I'm at the stage of my life where I'm getting rid of all kinds of cool old stuff.

Pollyanna attempt to cast shade. What an amateur.

attempts. Damned sticky "s." :-)

Apologies for the mangled mess up above--it's been a long day. Anyway, the equivalent of an air-traffic controller. I never asked specifically, just thought it was cool to flip some switches.

At any rate, he witnessed a full-circle of sorts: the blight of the Depression followed by an explosion of economic activity during the war and it's aftermath, followed the interstate highway boom.

Along that vein, I recall reading an opinion asserting that the interstate highways were paradoxically responsible for the wilderness preservation movement in America. All those families taking vacations in Yellowstone and Yosemite who otherwise might have never visited those places, set in motion a national sentiment for wilderness set-asides. Sounds plausible to me.

So no matter what you do, you are enslaving little innocent Asian peeps . . . oh, cry that you will, this is in effect what you DO . . . oh, our intelligent banter! Grins and leaves to do more productive shit :)

JK - "We (meaning the USA) do not run these foreign countries."

I agree; when we were in the US in the 80s, people were baffled that New Zealand had dollars, but they weren't US dollars. Not green, no George Washington. It bothered them at some deep level, they found it very hard to comprehend. The idea that the whole planet wasn't American was deeply unsettling to the Colorado middle classes.

While I feel your pain Q, a sales tax only is too volatile a source of revenue for governments. If you think income and property taxes vary a lot with the economic cycle, they are nothing compared with sales sax.

I don't understand why you're having so much trouble. Aren't you some kind of financial genius who used to be a rock star accountant? I guess we know if you're confused, then the thing is getting too complicated.

I also think a sales tax only could have strange unintended consequences. People could go outside the country to buy things from areas with much lower sales taxes and then import them. They'd also probably do a lot of saving of their money rather than spending, which for the US might not be a bad thing. But it doesn't "stimulate" the economy.

The income tax as first deployed was not so terrible, in that it relied heavily on the very wealthy and on corporations for most of the returns. It seems to me that having a gazillionaire pay about 30% on income, which doesn't BTW include trust funds, capital gains (how they make most of their money), etc., is not very harmful to them at all. They are still a gazillionaire with the exact same privileges as before.

But the middle class person with a 30% tax burden is really taking a dent in income they would spent on essentials, like child care, housing, food, travel, etc.

You have a libertarian bent, it seems. I guess I feel that this type of "every man for himself" system simply doesn't work in practice. Can you provide examples where it does? The most successful countries on the planet have strong governments; most of them are socialist. Two that come to mind are Canada and Germany. There's also Sweden. Yes, many of them are bankrupt.

I cannot think of places with weak, minimalistic government where I would want to live. Because other entities step into the void and seize power. Somalia is run by pirates. It doesn't have much of a central government. Ditto places like Afghanistan.

So yeah I hear you on simplification but this "minimal government" idea is unrealistic, and it doesn't work in our current society. Maybe when 90% of the population lived on farms and were fairly self-sufficient and society was far simpler, a smaller government was adequate. But in highly urbanized, technical societies it is simply not feasible to have a weak central government.

The path that America has gone down was handing out the butter and the guns, without establishing an adequate tax base to pay for it all. But these are things that people want (hmmm butter), at least ostensibly. Medicare is a very popular program, for instance. Ask people how proud they are of our military.

Now where we might agree is on the military side of things. I believe the worldwide $1 trillion+ US military empire is a sham, and it is unnecessary. That's where you can make big savings with cuts. It could be cut in half, and still we'd be far outspending our top 6 or 7 rivals combined. So much of it is just epic boondoggle projects that we don't need, which are made to line the pockets of contractors. I guess it might put people out of work to start cutting down the size of the military, but that's where I'd look first before messing around too much with the rest of the discretionary budget or entitlements. Also, the myriad spy and law enforcement agencies (15?) could be cut way back. Do we need NSA, CIA, ONI, ... ? Do we need FBI, DEA, ATF, ... ?

The scientific R&D part of the government I actually view as essential. There are projects and technologies developed by the government which have had a huge effect on the current economy. GPS and the internet were both developed by government institutions. There need to be systems in place that do not function on solely the basis of quarterly earnings to determine whether something is "good" or "bad". There are good things going on in research today, including next generation xray imaging technology. The government also provides a lot of essential money for green tech.

I do think that part of the problem is a kind of moral hazard of risk. When the government agrees to pay for everything, some bad things can happen. For instance, people might build homes on flood plains without insurance, because they know FEMA will bail them out. They might not live a healthy life because, hey, hit 65 and they got Medicare.

On the other hand, there are systems like health care which are clearly better served by a public model. Other countries have proven this by providing better overall care with socialized medicine at a fraction of our costs. This is because government's actually can (but don't always) run very economically efficient systems, because they don't have to be profitable. Some people say back that world leaders come here for heart surgery, but those are outliers. How about getting everyone medical coverage?

I guess it kinda boils down to...what kind of world do you want to live in? One in which government is shrunk to fit in the bathtub might not actually turn out to be so great for the vast majority of people. If it is a dog eat dog world, basically you end up with the alpha dogs running everything. So much for the rest of the pack.

"I reserve my right to impede dialog about mass murder events referred to with quaint expressions like a "three day melee." "

The thing that concerns me about that, personally, as a southerner that weren't borned until 1969, is the FACT that I have never owned a negro . . . I find it offensive that I, as the "tag-along" generation, should even FEEL guilty in any way about this bullshit. Because it is bullshit, man.

Funny that JHK claims the US "doesn't run these countries" but many of the leaders of these protests came to the US and worked with groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, who taught them a lot about tactics. You would be mightily surprised what the US government does behind the scenes, and events that appear spontaneous eruptions are sometimes actually carefully orchestrated. The Engdahl article from a poster above does a good job of laying out all the think tanks and institutions with stated goals of bringing the Democratic Revolution to the Middle East (comrade!). There are a lot of them!

I actually prefer to see my money spent this way rather than on white phosphorus for dropping on children and women. Promotion of democracy, even surreptitiously, is not a bad thing. There is an element of foreign meddling to it, but ultimately it is the people of these countries who decide their own fate. Though I think we're not shy about pushing them in one direction or another.

Then there's Egypt, which is a US client state. Its military is trained and equipped by the US. The country receives billions in economic and military subsidies from the US. It toes our line on Israel. So to say, "We don't run these countries." is, I'd say, a tad bit naive. We certainly try and one could argue there have been varying degrees of success.

Saudi Arabia is, again, and American protectorate, with a military trained by us wielding American weapons. The Bush-Saudi connection was particularly strong.

Iraq...how's about 50,000 American troops still there.

Afghanistan...ongoing war.

Kuwait is an American client state.

Turkey is strongly tied to America, especially its military.

Iran is the wild card in the region right now, because the US completely lost control over it in 1980 when the Shah was overthrown. That's why there's all the booga-booga in the media around them. They are an actual free actor.

Then again, religious governments in this age of WMDs and extremism, do scare me quite a bit.

The Middle East never really went through an Enlightenment. Those countries just kind of rode into modern times on a tidal wave of oil, but they retain these stone age religious mindsets.

I also feel there's a bit of hypocrisy. On the one hand, America is blamed for meddling in internal affairs. On the other, many Middle Easterners cry for international (American) aid when their own rulers abuse them.

But I don't think that what America has done in the ME is the primary driver of how they developed as people. They were flung into the modern age rather quickly and have what you might call future shock. The disparities in wealth within their economies are functions of a kind of tribal culture.

You know, JHK is good on energy topics and hilarious comedy on America culture, but his grasp of how the world actually works politically is a bit weak. "We don't run these places." Er, um, yeah, Jim, some of them we do run.

When you fund, train, and equip a country's military, electioneer who become the leaders, and control most aspects of the economy with the IMF and World Bank, you've pretty much got the place on lock down.

Until the real revolution that is...

You compared the president of the United States to Momar Gadaffi, an insane tinpot dictator who calls his own people "cockroaches" and unleashes foreign mercenaries to kill his own people.

Then you get all huffy when someone dares to besmirch your reputation by calling you a name. You claim we can't have a civil discourse.

Irony much?

And now you're not going to participate in a dialog with me anymore. That's just too bad. I so wanted to hear more of your finely honed and researched political theories on how Gadaffi and Obama are birds of a feather. Oh, well, I guess that's my loss entirely.

Did you CFNers see? ... Big Motown party in the White house last nite ... all the motown luminaries from way back were in attendance ... and some new ones ... PBS filmed it for future broadcast ... photos of Michelle and Barak "getting down" on the dance floor ... it was a really good time that lasted into the wee hours ... a sumptuous dinner, too! ... and all this with a real unemployment rate of 17% and the world boiling up around us. I know I feel reassured, CFNers ... how about you?

@ Turkle

*When you fund, train, and equip a country's military, electioneer who become the leaders, and control most aspects of the economy with the IMF and World Bank, you've pretty much got the place on lock down. Until the real revolution that is*

Which has been brewing for ages, I like a documentary film maker called Nick Broomfield a lot, his film ‘Battle for Haditha’ – was brilliant in my book...

You can see the whole movie here, if you wish to understand something more, as it’s based on TRUTH.

http://videodepot.org/battle-for-haditha-2008/#movieslinks

(Click version#1 for the whole shebang)

What I learnt from watching this were most Arabs’ are simply human-beings first and foremost, (just like you and me), driven by the same basic needs and there impulses are much the same, and under optimum conditions we’re all friendly,
co-operative and amazingly nice....folk. When i was in Egypt myself in 2009 this was confirmed.

This critical movie lets you see fully too that the Jarheads are also ‘victims’ of this horrible mess – making it possible to grub around for very the last of the black stuff - so NASCAR/FOX/Hollywood/Cheesy-Doodles/WallMart/Target et al, and yep the fashion business can dandy, strut round - business as usual...

(But how f#cking a hollow ring is that?)

Here’s the kicker - once the (usable) oils all burnt, finito and gone into vapour - and it will be that way for the entire CFN’ers poster here and in my lifetime - no more than a few decades way... at most.

Then the real sh#t hits the fan, when these starving, climate-change crippled folk start to pick up sticks and migrate...

Which nirvanaic, utopia, hopeful place to settle will they be looking for?

(That’s the BIG question)

Where is this safe, abundant sanctuary heimatt for all souls... eh?

Be seeing you...

And, oh yeah, at that White House event all the 'celebrities' arrived by limo, even Cheryl Crow (why was she there?) Didn't Cheryl Crow once admonish us, in order to 'save the planet', to use only one sheet of toilet paper. That's for us, the little people. She herself, and her show biz friends, fly in private jets and arrive in chauffered limousines.

"but ultimately it is the people of these countries who decide their own fate."

I have a feeling that in this you are wrong.
And I also have the feeling that the Middle East would have been much better off without oil.
As everywhere, the richness of the country goes in the hands of the few, and the majority pays the price.
The losses are the only thing that really belongs to the mass.
What these people want, what all the people of this world want, is to live in a peaceful country that allows them to work to earn the means to have a decent life.
If in the 19Th somebody had told the people that in 21th century we would have had such a huge technological progress they would have imagined a life much different of the one most people live.
Whose fault is it?

{My son likes to hunt for arrowheads. He has learned to walk the rivers and creeks spotting camping sites and will look around and find them among the gravel. Not the elaborate works of modern flint knappers. Just functional, small sharp pieces of flint chipped into little triangles. You look at them and wonder how old they might be, and how many times they might have been used.}

----
md (and, you, marlin, if you're there,) my maternal grandfather, late king of rhode island woolen mills, was 55 when my mom was born, so he's truly a throwback to preceding centuries. anyhow, all i ever knew of my gfather was an angry old man with a spitoon next to his chair... you could look into it and see yourself looking back up. but his arrowhead collection lives on.

ocd is the most under-rated illness around, methinks. throughout his life he used to walk tilled fields, scramble behind earthmovers, tromp along streams. many of his arrowheads are in fact elaborate pieces of work. i cannot help but feel the word 'technology' on my lips as i paw through these stones now.

-----
somehow at some point he traded for two display cases of fly-fishing arrowheads from out west. i suppose 'fly-fishing' isn't quite accurate... they're dazzling semi-precious gems carved to wicked hooks and edges, meant for small arrows held taught just above the water's surface... the fish, mesmerized by the play of light, rise to the stone and thwap, it's sock-eye tonight.

perhaps this set (which he did not find; but which, as capitalist relics, are sweeter) is very valuable... i've seen none since. my ocd-ish maternal uncle inherited it, so like gf's name, the collection is daughtering out.

Orionoir;

Those arrowheads must be relics from the Narragansett, Mohican and Pequot Indians out there, no?

As an aside, Orionoir, do you remember Narragansett Beer? Those tall white cans served icy cold? That's what all the WW2 & WW1 vets used to sit around drinking when I was a kid listening to Red Sox games on the radio. Wait, come to think of it, there were a few cases of Ballentine Ale present, too xxx.

MessiahCrude;

Picking up those arrowheads ... in what State would that be?

-Marlin

All the cable networks this morning are suddenly worried about crude oil ... is there enough? How much will it cost? Where will it come from? CNN, Fox CNBC ... all worried.

They're talking like its a brand new issue just sprung on them this week, out of nowhere.

-Marlin

They're talking like its a brand new issue just sprung on them this week, out of nowhere.

Of course they have to pretend they never thought about this, because they have been utterly irresponsible about this issue up till now.
They will blame it on geopolitics and not geology, as they will be asked why they failed to bring such an issue to our attention before.

Only when they can't get away with sweeping this under the carpet, will you hear about it and it will not be in the real context.

Point is PO is bad for business and bad for globalism. Got to keep the consumers of last resort buying, ya know.

{do you remember Narragansett Beer?}


-------
yes, i remember, that is, when i remember to remember.

--------
i spent a year between college and college working first as an unpaid "intern" and then as a paid gopher for ralph nader's organizational grab-bag in wash dc; it was a cool time tb young and alive. this was the year hinckley took a shot at ron... the spot was on my bus-route.

i lived with a bunch of students not too far from the zoo. we used to gather in front of the tv to watch saturday night live; i try now to explain to my kids how television used to be, how it was such a big deal when there was something worth watching. now you can watch your phone.

me and a couple of the guys had a "bad beer" club, loosely modeled on snl's "heavy sarcasm" movie review. we competed to bring home the worst six on earth, agonizingly evaluating bouquet, attack & finish, etc.

anyone out there know iron city? the beer that made pittsburgh famous for something else.

----
footnote to history... my bff was and continues tb the biggest girl-catcher alive, even though, of course, he despises women. (six older sisters.) in high school he was boytoy to heiress x strohs brewing, she used to fly him in when she was of a mood. we could not get over it: all that money, such awful beer.

Lewis said: "Pollyanna attempt to cast shade. What an amateur."

==========

Hi Lewis,

Thank you for the compliment!

Amateur

French amateur "lover of",

Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover"

Marlin said: "She herself, and her show biz friends, fly in private jets and arrive in chauffered limousines."

==========

Meow

Actually what staggers me, is just how currently passive, flaccid and compliant you Americans have become?

What I can’t get, (no really I can’t), is way-back back then in those Hanoi Jane Fonda heady days of ole Vietnam times past, you Yankee folk collectively woke-up, got angry... and said NO MORE!!

And it’s no news, that the poor are the people that will always pay the real price in any conflict. Like the internal one going down in the USA today. And these guys featured in these clips aren’t actors - they're just fellow normal u’man beans that once fell for the BS that got them to buy into the ‘system’...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOqPBC3ZMn8&

And Vlad, this is why I hate RACIST attitudes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzYo-l81_20&NR=1

If you follow racist doctrine it allows you to do inhumane things to the ‘others’...

Think on that one, maybe? Or is savagery really our only new way forward?

Which it will I guess need to be if that the ole Anglo/imperialist dream is okay and right... so that we can all go on with the MTV sponsored consumerist dream...

The thing that concerns me about that, personally, as a southerner that weren't borned until 1969, is the FACT that I have never owned a negro . . . I find it offensive that I, as the "tag-along" generation, should even FEEL guilty in any way about this bullshit. Because it is bullshit, man. - TT

I agree, it is bullshit. Feeling guilt about what previous generations did is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere. You can't re-write history. Leave it to the generations who inflicted segregation to wallow in guilt.

Having said that, you are left with some practical problems. You live with the after-effects of what came before ie large portions of American Black society that are really screwed up. And now for some liberal hand-wringing: oh, what to do, what to do.

The US is not unique in having inflicted injustice or slavery or oppression. American Exceptionalism notwithstanding, America is not exceptional in this.

You can't wash your hands of what goes on in your country. So what are you going to do? Is there anything to be done? Maybe there isn't. While were at it let's not sweep one other big problem under the rug: American Indians.

So you know you're not alone, we have similar problems north of the border. Blacks were treated badly up here and so were Indians. And so we have some really severe and longstanding issues which nobody so far has had the ability to solve.

{[marlin] They're talking like its a brand new issue just sprung on them this week, out of nowhere.

Of course they have to pretend they never thought about this, because they have been utterly irresponsible about this issue up till now.
They will blame it on geopolitics and not geology, as they will be asked why they failed to bring such an issue to our attention before.}


-----
there's so much news these days, and it's so hard to find signal among the noise. from my pov, it's surprising that $100bbl oil gets such play now... after all, it's just a commondity, just another put on the us dollar.

when my mom was a kid, she thought that when the war was over there would be no more news. have you ever seen old newspapers from back then... every column inch was re the war. now we have at least two wars, yet they keeped getting bumped by charlie sheen and lindsay lohan.

i think you are right, oil will retreat back to the low nineties when cooler heads prevail. but, as always, white is the new black.

"As an aside, Orionoir, do you remember Narragansett Beer? Those tall white cans served icy cold?" -M554

'Tain't me, but I remember "Nasty-gansett" quite well (at least the first quart). Me and a buddy used to buy quarts, by the case. Ya think we may have been looking for a cheap buzz? Naaaaah...
The SOP was to drink the first quart as quickly as possible. This "innoculated" the taste buds and allowed following quarts to be described as "pretty good beer, man" as the buzzage took hold.

Ahhh, good times.... urp... burp... H-walp!!!
oh, that's better; who made that mess?? I think I see breakfast... uh, sorta...

Alexandra,

As I keep saying when you don't have skin in the game, you don't care.

If everyone had to join the military and we had all these adventures for profit and resources, there would have been way more anger.
We got lied into war by the last administration and you hear the smallest peep. Maybe Chris Matthews of former Peace Corps service is offended--
Now we have labor issues that's going to hit us all in some way and a media that's telling us that we all have to sacrifice because the crooks got away with gutting our wealth in a zillion different ways.
There's no discussion about the rich and the tax cuts that just get invest over seas--Oh, no that's completely off the table. If people aren't pissed off over that, I don't know what's going to do it...
Listening to a great interview with Michael Hudson on Norwegian TV. Worth a listen (btw stock market is oh so over:

http://michael-hudson.com/2011/02/hudson-in-norway/

(As told by Bobo Bolinski, the belated barfly, and world's #1 human zero!)

"Listening to a great interview with Michael Hudson on Norwegian TV. Worth a listen (btw stock market is oh so over:" -LBendet

Damn straight. The manipulation is becoming more blatant as the swings become more violent.
Notice everything bumps up a little on Fridays? I sure see NO reason for confidence this morning, but the Magic Market started right out gaining this morning.

(Thx for the link on Hudson)

Truthteller said: "as a southerner that weren't borned until 1969, is the FACT that I have never owned a negro "

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

If you are a true southerner, then your granpappy or great granpappy owned negros, and your family's wealth came from the work performed by Black slaves... under threat of violence.

It is a FACT you have never owned a negro. It is also a FACT that you have benefited from white privilege historically denied to Blacks.

You were able to attend ‘tax supported’ major American schools. Historically, Blacks were not. Ditto for getting financial loans, access to health care resources, etc. that you with your white privilege had, but historically was denied to Black slaves.

In any event, after slavery, the 100 year history of American governmental enforced racial apartheid certainly disabled most Black Americans, (Berea v Kentucky, Plessy v. Ferguson, to name two) while benefiting most whites.

No slave ownership involved in these instances but unearned white privilege prevailed. Racism is still alive and well in the 21st century as the recent arrest of a Black Louisiana city mayor by a white sheriff shows. http://www.louisianaweekly.com/news.php?viewStory=2569

I could go on ... But Ira Katznelson's book titled “When Affirmative Action was WHITE,” really sums up the duplicity of the system of racial oppression and its devastating effects on Blacks, while benefiting whites.

Again, Slave ownership was not the issue. Systematic institutional and governmental racial oppression against Black Americans was.

Ozone;

Did much the same back in the day only with Boones Farm ... buck a quart ... the girls then wouldn't drink pabst or shaeffer on hand but would go for the fruit flavored Boones Farm, did I mention buck a quart. Worst thing for me, in Conn., the day the drinking age dropped to 18, I turned 18. Ozone, enjoying the lovely weather, today?

Ibendet, I enlisted at 18 ... Viet Nam was still going on but they sent me to Guantanamo ... our ships mission was to track Soviet subs in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico ... they were all over the place ... also watch Soviet ships at Havana. I had a helluva a good time! Anybody who didn't enlist back then missed alot of fun. Little different for the sailors and soldiers now, though.

Asoka;

You and Vlad should get together, pick a place, and Duke it out.

May the best man (or woman) win

-Marlin

Marlin:

I have no desire to harm Vlad, nor do I wish him any harm.

I believe individuals can hold opposing views and still respect one another, without having to "duke it out"

--Asoka

BTW, NPR "economy experts" are puzzled and a tiny tad worried that the economy doesn't seem to be growing as fast as predicted, and we may fall back into mild recession.

Well, geeeeeeez, I thought "it's all good", back to good ol' consumer-time and unending joy!

Wait until these putzes lose THEIR jobs as propaganda organs, and maybe some reality will begin to appear to some of us lumpen grazers.

Nothing will be "returning to normal", despite bleatings, protestations, or talking-head blatherings to the contrary.

Marlin,
Sounds like you hit the lottery (in more ways than one) You were lucky to get that mission. My friends who went to Nam were not so happy about their time there.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating two out of every three new jobs in America. President Obama is helping small businesses succeed by making America the best place in the world to do business. He has signed into law 17 new tax cuts for small businesses.

President Obama also launched the National Wireless Initiative to help bring high-speed wireless Internet access to 98 percent of Americans.

President Obama also launched Startup America, an initiative to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.

President Obama believes if we out-innovate, out-educate and out-build our global competitors, the future is ours to win.

President Obama is the best Black preident the United States has ever had.

{enlisted at 18 ... Viet Nam was still going on but they sent me to Guantanamo ... our ships mission was to track Soviet subs in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico ... they were all over the place ... also watch Soviet ships at Havana. I had a helluva a good time!}


-------
c late 1960s we had two swedish exchange students (sounds like a b-movie concept; is) whose brothers were mercenaries re-upping in vietnam -- apparently they loved it -- you can't see who you're shooting, you just shoot.

through a paperwork snafu, bush the first wanted to send me to saudi to help keep airplanes straight. however, he soon realized his mistake and we parted as friends.

my dad, born lucky, got his education paid for by the navy; served in between korea and vietnam, floating around off baltimore. throughout his working life he did c a day a week at va hospitals... i hear people complain re the care at va, but methinks they have a few good docs in service.

orionoir said: "i hear people complain re the care at va, but methinks they have a few good docs in service."

======

The VA system is a government bureaucracy... and it is the best health care system in America.

The socialist VA system (government owned hospitals, government-paid doctors) sets the standard for best practices and cost reduction which the private sector has been unable to match because market forces work to lower quality and raise prices in the private healthcare sector.

If you want it done right, pay higher taxes and get big government to do it. (see Scandinavian countries for more examples)

"Did much the same back in the day only with Boones Farm ... buck a quart ... the girls then wouldn't drink pabst or shaeffer on hand but would go for the fruit flavored Boones Farm, did I mention buck a quart. Worst thing for me, in Conn., the day the drinking age dropped to 18, I turned 18. Ozone, enjoying the lovely weather, today?" -M554

Ha! Cheaply intoxicated wimmenz; what could be finer?
Hell of a thing, becoming legislated legal "by the numbers", eh?

Oh boy, slops and slush; better hope the temps stay up, or we'll be in an ice paradise!
(Flood watch for CT tonight or tomorrow? Stay outta the "flats" down in the Meadows!)

Orionoir;

Re; Va Care

My own dad was in the 793rd Combat Military Police in ETO during WW11. Got thru Ok but called back up for Korea. Dec. 1950 caught an artillery round from Chinese up north near Yalu River lost a leg and had a plate in his head. I gotta say the VA took good care of him throughout the years. I used to go with him sometime, Brooklyn and West Haven. You'll never hear me complain about the VA. Also when I was in college I had no Medical insurance and they accepted me as a patient ... treated me good.

Ozone; Bo Bolinsky, you mean the LA Angel who threw the no hitter in 1962? That Bo Bolinsky?

{I believe individuals can hold opposing views and still respect one another, without having to "duke it out"}


-----
in my heart i agree with you, asoka, but i'm an american boy: i can't resist a good fight when nothing's at stake.

relentless time and its inevitable humiliations teach me to step back from confrontations, to take a moment to consider if it's worth it. still, i be slave to impulse.


------
lately i've been driving a lot, almost a tank a day, and so there's the usual bs on the roads. like an old man, i yield, always (well, almost.)

this morning i was recalling a driving episode from years ago, back when i drove a massive kia minivan. (unlike most other mom-bombs, kia has a cast iron undercarriage... horrible gas mileage, but formidable inertia nonetheless.) anyhow, i was in farmington, ct (of all places) getting on i-84e from the left... very heavy traffic, my lane ending in a hundred yards, loud & proud squadron of motorcycles in the space i need. through no fault of my own, i break their stride.

one pissed-off guy finds his way in front of me, avenging the gang's honor, braking hard.

i don't know what was going on in my head, perhaps the kids were bickering in the back: i just wasn't in the mood to brake. driving a minivan is weird in many ways, but perhaps the most disconcerting of all is that you lose sight of objects close to your front bumper... in this way the biker disappeared from view.

if i were able to honestly recall that moment, i think my thinking was this: i outweigh him. perhaps his thinking was the same... he reappeared in my field of view on the shoulder, unharmed, cringing like a puppy.

Pro

This is a bit of a long post so I hope you have the patience to read it. Trust me, I made it reader friendly.

Yo Trip, you out there? You might want to add your .02.

the genetic variability you ask about is ALREADY in the population - introduced by random mutations but then MAINTAINED in the population by natural selection. - Pro

You're right, this is what I'm tripping over. I just have trouble with the idea of random mutations as the generator of evolution. It just seems too much to swallow that randomness ie errors in the replication process accounts for such phenom as the evolution of whales from terrestrial scavenger to fully acquatic mammal in such a short span of time.

I think the process for generating variability is more dynamic than that. I have no proof, I'm just a garden variety accountant. But my gut feel is that there may be something in the structure of the DNA molecule that is actually set up to generate variability, that there's an inherent "activeness" (for want of a better word) and not just randomness in the process. So then what is this process?

This is a question of balance ie hemoglobin can't be changed all that much without totally screwing it up and killing the organism. So horse hemoglobin doesn't vary much from that of human.

But there is the bald fact that the physical environment changes over time, continents drift along, the sun waxes and wanes in its intensity, Earth's rotation is slowing, the orbit of the moon changes over the eons etc. The Earth environment nowadays differs radically from the environment of half a billion or a billion or two billion years ago. And so DNA must have the capacity to generate adaptability or variability to cope with these changes.

There is something else: most species that have existed are extinct, some through the mass extinctions but also just through the everyday workings in the biosphere. So the process of culling also acts on entire species and not just on individuals. All DNA is not created equal, some species lose the ability to adapt and so die off. What is it in them that hindered the process of generating variability?

It seems from the fossil record that pre cambrian life went through a period of tumult when alternative body plans were generated through evolution and some made the cut and persist to this day and some didn't and either went extinct or were marginalized.

For instance, the set up that we have, essentially a symmetric body plan with feeding tube in the middle, with intake at one end, expulsion at the other and limbs to generate motion and a neural tube and cluster to run the whole thing won out over others like that of the jelly fish.

What happened way back then to generate such a frenzy of innovation? Was it a development in DNA that did it? Was it an accidental combination of the DNA of competing life forms that suddenly spurred it? We know that animals of different species can't interbreed. Maybe DNA back then wasn't so persnickety.

Another thing: I know that the Theory of Evolution is the emotional demarcation between the rationality of the modern scientific world and the irrationality of the religious. To question it is to risk ostracism from the world of Light. A wholesale questioning is to risk a return to the Dark Ages of the mind. But here's maybe something worse: how do we know that the DNA molecule is the sole mechanism for inheritance? This seems to be the Gibraltar of Settled Science so no researcher would dare to question it so nobody is looking for alternatives.

I'll give a fer instance: epigenetics. Until a few years ago nobody had a clue that methyl tags on the DNA molecule had such an effect on how genes expressed themselves in the organism. Nobody had a clue that the molecular environment surrounding genes could turn them on or shut them off and not only that. This molecular environment was affected by diet, the organism's physical environment. And this information was passed from generation to generation. Outside of DNA. Hello Lamarck.

Another fer instance: how the positioning of various portions of the DNA molecule within the nucleus of a cell would have such an effect on production of proteins. If a piece of DNA was positioned close to the walls there are mechanisms that suppress the production of proteins, elsewhere the DNA molecule finds itelf in the midst of a protein production "factory".

Another: how the winding of portions of the DNA molecule around structures called histones affected what parts of the DNA molecule were exposed to elements inside the nucleus and so affected how genes were expressed.

Point is I just think there's a whole lot of science here that isn't even remotely settled. There's tons and tons and decades of work to do here. It's my impression that nobody really understands how DNA works, how many mechanisms there are at work, how variability is generated and ultimately how evolution happens. That it happens is without doubt. HOW it happens is what I have no comfort with.

Thank you, asoka, I knew I could count on you.


I guess they know how DNA and RNA work, but they should know and will know more.
In principle DNA was discovered just a few years ago and a lot must still be done.
But it is for sure that once they will be able to actually read all what is in the DNA they will also know how life began and what is behind what we call evolution.
In our DNA is the memory of all our anchestors, every small experience of life.
That is what Jung call the universal unknown or something similar.
That is what tells us to fear emptiness or snakes.
That is the sum of what we call "instinct", the sum of all the notions we are born with.
I once bought a horse.
She was very young, always kept in close stables.
Once we were in the woods walking and she saw a chestnut case (closed).
With the foot crashed it and ate the chesnuts.
How could she know what was inside and that the chesnuts were good to eat?
Instinct is what mostly drives animals.
Also we, just born, can walk and then as we learn and experience the world, forget.
The more we learn, the less we rely on our instinct.
Recently I read interesting things about our brain, how we have two brains, one, the inner one, is where our instincts are stored.
A man who was blind didn´t see an object, but was able to say if it moved up or down, left or right.
It was the inner brain that received the stimulus from the blind eyes.
I guess that scientist´s name is something like Ramachandra, he studies the brain studing the behavior of impaired subjects and comes to very interesting conclusions.

"People complain about government taking their money, but willingly give their lives to the government ... Then they want a government monument to remind everyone of their ignorant service to government. Fucking incredible."

Oh, man, you nailed it!

And then, to top it off, the chief war-monger of us all complains about paying his taxes! Totally oblivious to how it makes him look!

I have to disagree with Prog that the conversations on this blog are private.

Even when you pointed out that I was wrong to think that people didn't read books, based on my experience as a book store owner.

Hey! Did you see that Borders is bankrupt?

This is because government's actually can (but don't always) run very economically efficient systems, because they don't have to be profitable.
=============

Turk, you have missed entirely the main thrust of my post. It is about the insane complexity of our tax code that results from the govt incentivizing or de-incentivizing certain behaviors through the use of tax law. Govt's gigantic size is a comparative side issue. It springs from a propensity of all govts to MEDDLE. If a certain kind of water heater is beneficial individuals are smart enough to figure this out on their own.

If you actually believe the sentence up top that I excerpted from your reply it proves that you and I are not merely poles apart, we are from different planets. The truth is precisely the opposite of what you stated.

Do you prepare your own tax return? If not, why? If yes, please describe the experience.

New topic: BAD BEER

I submit the long-defunct CAMDEN BEER as the worst. Name alone would conjur up that distinction.


@ lbendet... thx for link, at the mo in/out of Stavangers zone they’ve so much oil/gas left pumping out and with so few peeps to worry about nationally in there land of Trolls, I guess on mass there focus is elswhere....

But I myself am out of the ‘markets’, (apart from short burst in/out plays) and have been into commodities for the last 5 years...

I’ve (personally) given up every worrying about looking forward to my own state backed pension, an entitlement wish that is a complete waste of time...

@ Cash

This is a good place to see more about evolutionary changes...

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/gregory_stock_to_upgrade_is_human.html

I like this one also too.....

http://www.ted.com/talks/juan_enriquez_shares_mindboggling_new_science.html

And this one on why some peeps cheat....

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat.html

Yep, for many love is blind....!

{Do you prepare your own tax return? If not, why? If yes, please describe the experience.

New topic: BAD BEER}


----
hey, q, greetings from the land of 1040 schedule d. i agree with you completely re us tax law, but i don't see how that negates turkle's point. either way, i don't have a dog in the fight.

sad to hear CAMDEN BEER's gone under. to my taste, iron city's worse, if only for its cretinous sediment, suspended particulate & associated detritus. today's beers, christ, is it a race to the bottom or the top? every two-bit honky-tonk gin-mill juice-joint has its own microbrew, enough alcohol to floor a mule, more live yeast than a parisian hot-house cat-house hopped-up bored-out jive-ass motherfuckin, baby, baby, please baby baby please: give me another!

----------
krugman is quite different from jhk, but the two taken together are as apple pie & ice cream.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/opinion/25krugman.html?src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB

Great post.

Brings to mind something I read a long time ago about cognitive blindness. Apparently we aren't born with the ability to "see". Getting our neurological mechanisms to receive photons of light, transmit the information to the correct areas of the brain set up to process the data and then to interpret the data is a learning process.

They gave the example of a middle aged man, a masseur by trade who was afflicted with cataracts as a toddler and so had been blind for decades. As a grown man the cataracts were surgically removed so he could now "see". Except he couldn't. He had terrible problems discerning shapes, colours etc. Once he was brought to the zoo where there was a large statue of a gorilla that had resided there. He was asked what he "saw". He was baffled. He said he thought it was a man. Then he touched it. As a blind massuer he had developed a mental scheme of a human body via touch. And he said, why it isn't a man at all. This fellow was cognitively blind. His brain had been deprived of inputs when it was growing and he had never developed the capacity or neural mechanics to process sensory information via his eyes.

If I recall the story correctly the poor fellow couldn't cope. He started suffering from depression and he went back to functioning as a blind man, wearing dark glasses and using a white cane.

So it seems we are trained to "see" as infants. Which brings up another issue. This training must come partly from natural exploration of our environment via grabbing things and sticking them in our mouths or turning them over and over in our hands. But I wonder how much of our "seeing" is dependent upon social conditioning. So how much of our environment are we NOT perceiving because of social convention ie how much, like that massuer, are we cognitively blind to. Are there phenomena we may perceive as infants or toddlers that we first start to ignore and then not perceive at all simply because they no longer register with those around us?

{So it seems we are trained to "see" as infants.}


-----
cash, i am not current anything, but i do remember a video from psychology class, long time ago.

have you heard of the "visual cliff" experiments -- perhaps in the 1970s. they would put newborns (literally new born, i think) atop a table with a layer of glass atop it, with the glass extending out above seeming-empty space. they had a checkered table cloth going over edge of the table, in order to provide the visual clues for a "cliff," which of course wasn't really there, because the glass plate was above it.

anyhow, babies can be coaxed to crawl forward, but not over a "cliff." the experiment purports to manipulate only one variable, that is, the visual information of a checked table cloth going over an edge. if this is so, the conclusion has to be that humans emerge from the womb with some degree of cortical visual acuity, as well as ?knowledge pertaining to cliffs. who knows, perhaps life in the uterus is at least as rough & tumble as out here.

These visual cliff experiments ring a very slight bell. I just googled them. Fascinating stuff.

I always considered Narraganset to be 'good beer'.

Schlitz, now that's a different story.

-Marlin

Pedantic: "Marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning, especially its trivial aspects."

Thanks for the links.

Thanks for the links.

Thank you kindly for these.

{I always considered Narraganset to be 'good beer'.}

----
marl, i cannot recall narraganset beer, although i can picture their sailboat logo.

but don't they make *heffenreffer* malt liquor? a long long time ago, i can still remember how that beer used to make me smile. and i knew if i had my chance, that i could get drunk 'nough to dance and maybe i'd be happy for a little while.

the green monster?

but february made me shiver...

Lewis said: "Pedantic: "Marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning, especially its trivial aspects."

Hi Lewis!

Q has explained that his narrow focus on trivial aspects of grammar is his shtick. Personally, I don't think it worth criticizing Q, plus he has admitted to having OCD. Focusing attention on an illness is rude, in my opinion. I just take Q at his word and accept that is the way Q is.

Thanks for playing though.

Didn't you say that you are a parent?

Newborn babies can't crawl.

As for our brains being wired by our early experiences, I believe it is so. (Sorry, Vlad). Supposedly, the more experiences and sensory input you provide your infants, the more connections are made in their brains. I certainly took this to heart while nurturing my infants. It appalls me to see the infants of today, carried around only in plastic containers, now with cloth coverings which shut off visual stimulation. Is this a conspiracy to make Americans even stupider?

There are things we shut out as we learn. For instance, language. Babies all babble about the same, but by 2 years old, most are speaking the language of their parents.

Supposedly, babies exposed to 2 languages forever are capable of speaking both languages.

But I work with a Syrian who tried to expose his kids to English and Arabic.

He says that when they speak Arabic (because English is their primary language), they conjugate Arabic verbs in an English way.

Interesting, I thought.

Another thing I thought was interesting was when someone pointed out that while it may be fruitful to explore other planets for signs of life, including life without sunlight or oxygen, that we could also explore for life as we don't recognize it right here on Earth. We have places in which life as we know it cannot survive.

But life as we don't know it?

S.S. Tim Conway says, "I'll take a Slant Six (225 CID) over anything the bankers create. Steel has intrinsic value, and the Slant Six was as reliable a motor as ever found its' way under a car hood. (The GM 3800 isn't too shabby in that regard, either.)"

Let me understand your logic here. You are saying an archaic rod and piston chunk of cast iron, with a gross energy efficiency under 30%, which is designed to eventually sprout leaks and seize, which requires a massive cooling system, which generates 4 lbs. of CO2 pollution and assorting Nitrous oxides per gallon of gasoline, which is heading for $10/gallon, whose primary purpose is to carry your fat ass to the grocery store, where you can buy cheez doodles and beer, while blowing your hair around, is preferable to anything the bankers create?

I say, bravo to the bankers. Bravo for wrecking the economy. Bravo for causing the only reversal of fossil fuel use in a half-century. Bravo for stopping international shipping, air freight, the Cheez-doodle empire. Bravo for slashing corporate profits, hammering government revenue, and cutting social services. Bravo for causing the imminent collapse of the general theft and waste 'economy'. Bravo for introducing a concept of bankruptcy and debt beyond the theoretical. Bravo for reintroducing thrift.

The banksters are apparently more effective than any other measure in stopping the worldwide madness and insanity of capitalism. We can all sit around and Praise Jesus and make-believe in the integral self-interest of humankind, of a new enlightenment characterized by restraint and modesty- or we can have reality, where economic realities enforce norms of behavior- that is turning out to be the most effective option.

We had a half-century and all the energy we would ever need to to ascend to some respectable semblance of sustainability and virtue. Instead we blew our life savings because we are bad, selfish, stupid people, and God certainly despises us if he exists. So wrap your arms around the cold, useless hunk of Slant Six and enjoy your apocalypse! Maybe they will bury it with you!

"The world of things will reclaim our lives from the world of shadows and digits on screens. In what state we end up when the reclamation happens is the question to ponder."

Guess what? The world of things is a psychosis of hoarding psychopathology. The world of things deteriorates remorselessly. The world of things ate worlds of being and now- the world of rust and mold will eat the world of things.

The guy I mentioned earlier on this thread, the redneck, Vietnam vet, ex-rodeo worker, etc., that cares so deeply about what I wear, he still lives on the land that his great-granddaddy owned.

And his great-granddaddy had a slave, according to him.

The slave lived down the road, and showed up everyday to work for his great grand-daddy.

And this is in Illinois, supposedly a "free" state.

And here is an article from today's paper about "sundown towns", where African-Americans were harassed.

The town mentioned, Anna, is also known as "Ain't No Niggers Allowed". (Not mentioned in the article).

As I said before, Carbondale's band couldn't march in a local town, due to racists throwing things at them.

http://dailyegyptian.com/2011/02/24/currents-0225-bc/

So the past is not dead. It isn't even past.

"It appalls me to see the infants of today, carried around only in plastic containers, now with cloth coverings which shut off visual stimulation. Is this a conspiracy to make Americans even stupider?" -Wage

Hey now! Don't be harshin' on the stupidity. Those thinkers don't make good soldiers, as you know. Why do you think takin' the pot is agin the law? ;o)

Momma don't 'llow no thinkin' 'round hyar... (etc.)

I've got to say that I like you, Bustin, even if you despise me for my genitalia.

You've got a way with words, and I agree that the destruction of the economy may be the only way to save the ecosystem.

I also like Orionoir.

He's got a way with words, also.

Although, I don't think he did a lot of fathering of his children. At least not when they were babies.

Patrizia claims: "Instinct is what mostly drives animals.
Also we, just born, can walk and then as we learn and experience the world, forget."

I believe you are alluding to the observable facts that most animals learn to walk much sooner than humans, some prey species within minutes, and you assume that humans likewise are born knowing how to walk and then forget.

I'll be kind; RUBBISH!!!

The dearth of knowledge concerning biological and evolutionary mechanization exposed in the posts to this blog is astounding. My suspicion is that it is a manifestation of the abysmal lack of scientific and mathematical knowledge comprehended by the average U.S. citizen.

SNAFU

Ps. For those without first-hand experience, the takin' of the pot (Irish idiom) does change your perspective, thus making you think of everything in a new way. That's the reason for the giggling, "wow"-ing, and also for the paranoiac withdrawing, sometimes.

You're right, Ozone.

What was I thinkin'?

{Newborn babies can't crawl.}


------
well, i'm a dad, which is like being a parent :/

of my three babies, their early days are so foggy in my mind. as fathers go, i think i'm on the touchy-feely end of the spectrum; but, especially when children are very young, what good is a father?

my job was to bring the crying child to my wife, who could nurse without really waking up. when each was older, i was the one who could settle a crying baby back to sleep, you know, those infinite permutations of rocking and singing.

because i am bony, my heart beats through my chest; all three kids were soothed by this. i recall when our firstborn was sick with pneumonia, i checked into same hospital bed to provide a couple days familiar thunka-thunk thunking.

i had promised some guy in real estate i'd have a database app ready for him first thing monday; when i got to the office, i felt like i had just gotten out of the hospital, which, in a way, i had. i told him about my sick kid, how i'd rig an app by lunch his time. he said, i don't give a fuck about your kid.

"We had a half-century and all the energy we would ever need to to ascend to some respectable semblance of sustainability and virtue. Instead we blew our life savings because we are bad, selfish, stupid people, and God certainly despises us if he exists." -BustinItwithaJ

Great post, Bustin.
This excerpt is what really tweaks my twanger, as well. Just makes me want to spit.
Nicely put.

"What was I thinkin'?" -Wage

I dunno what you wuz thinkin', but you'd better cut it out; the war machine don't just run on 'puters, ya know. Gotta have them boots on the ground to get that black, gooey stuff out from under it. Warm bodies folks, that's the ticket, and thinkers need not apply! ;o)

Patrizia had a horse: "I once bought a horse.
She was very young, always kept in close stables.
Once we were in the woods walking and she saw a chestnut case (closed).
With the foot crashed it and ate the chesnuts."

Before people had a sense of themselves, of thoughts originating in their own minds, before they had a concept of "self", a concept that "I" think- or that they had a brain, where thoughts came from, they still had their original thoughts. But to them, they seemed to come out of nowhere. That voice, their voice, was not perceived as coming from them. It came from the Aether. So it probably is with animals.

"Apparently we aren't born with the ability to "see"."

Seeing is the function of a general input-processing system of the brain. Someone who "sees" could just as easily be blind, as long as some input system (taste, touch, smell) is available. Seeing with the eye is simply transforming the wave