Gaming Our Own Asses


   A wicked vibe rattles the mental furniture in men's minds these days. Against the dreadful normality of American life - the morning traffic on I-495, the mayhem awaiting in some school cafeteria or motor vehicle office, the household awakenings to a new dawn of foreclosure here, there, and everywhere - all this ceremony of the familiar is like a stage backdrop that conceals the awful crush of history. Things are swaying and crashing outside the magic theater of the normal, where we act out our tragicomedy of "Waiting for Recovery."
     I have never lived in a time when so many false narratives competed for supremacy of the collective mind-space. Omnipresent as it is, reality seems to elude us, and certainly its supposed interlocutors - figures such as presidents, his highest appointed officials, their voluble, strutting opponents in the other party, the glamorpusses behind the Cable TV news desks, poor dim Bill Keller at The New York Times, and, of course, the necromancers of economics on campuses from Cambridge to Palo Alto.
     A more primitive radar would conclude that the planet Earth is angrier than usual this year. Japan is still in a radioactive daze from the seventeen inch shove it suffered and lots of people in Carolina are surely shaking their heads over this weekend's visitation of wrath. Is it possible that climate change and Jesus are one and the same? Let them figure that out in the little cinderblock roadside chapels next Sunday before they all trundle over to the Nascar track.
     It was heartening at least to see a few signs of life "out there" in the karmic interstices. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan sent a memo to the Attorney General of the US - viz: something has been going on in Wall Street that merits your attention. As in most seemingly crucial turnings lately, echo answered. Can someone please check to see if Eric Holder over in the Department of Justice is leaking sawdust? He must be stuffed something. Styrofoam would just make him look lumpy. Could he be a computer graphic? Or is he just a simple slab of cardboard with a photo glued on. Perhaps Senator Levin's next memo might be in the form of a subpoena to Mr. Holder, requesting his testimony as to how many trillions of dollars were snookered, swindled, and Ponzied out of the US public for the benefit of about a thousand guys in and around lower Manhattan (with branch offices in suburban Connecticut and New Jersey). (Cue: sound of Timberwolves howling.)
     Gretchen Morganson and Louise Story over at The New York Times put out a related query last week, asking how come nobody went to jail for misdeeds in the banking sector after several years of incidental revelation through things such as senate hearings, Web journalism, and a few vagrant strolls down the Maiden Lanes of the Federal Reserve's balance sheets. How did "the newspaper of record" come to wait so long to ask that question? Not even the Times's Op-Ed viziers have essayed to ask why Lloyd Blankfein is not parked in a court of law instead of a limo. Morganson and Story appeared to conclude that the web of turpitude in finance was too complex for anybody in a disciplinary role to understand, and that was that. Run up the white flag. We give up.
     Last week, Eliot Spitzer called out the US attorney general, the alphabet agency regulators, and the secretary of the treasury on Anderson Cooper's nightly CNN slot. Spitzer, you will recall, the New York attorney general, then briefly governor, was discovered to have had relations with a prostitute. How unfortunate. But consider this: it was at least an honest commercial transaction. Of all the complaints lodged in the matter, none involved any failure to pay the required fees. Spitzer now has his own TV show - which is truly one of the miracles of our time (and I mean that it's a good thing). He was joined on Cooper's slot by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, who has done the bravest and most truthful reporting by far on our national clusterfuck. Taibbi reported last week - one of a now-long string of pithy, revalatory articles going back a couple of years - that two bimbo wives of Morgan Stanley executives set up a hedge fund with $14 million in "walking around" money from their hubbies, and parlayed it (no doubt with help) into a $200 million-plus TALF bailout drop. Now that the story is out, will any regulators or prosecutors have a look? Nobody in the public arena has even suggested it.
     Of course, I continue to marvel that the Hamptons have not been burned down by an angry mob of "99ers" marching down the Sunrise Highway. Perhaps that kind of action is yet-to-come during the summer when the Federal Reserve will have to decide to either destroy American currency, or watch the S & P sink to 200... when various sun struck nations around the Mediterranean move to stiff the banks of northern Europe... when the Tea Party ventures to prang the operations of the US government over the debt ceiling sometime in July. Meanwhile, consider how many people will get shot in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other places around the center of the World's oil production capacity. Business may be down at Walt Disney World this coming vacation season.
     To me, the outcome of all this was clear a while ago: a world made by hand. Incidentally, watch Japan lead the way, as they give up on the industrial meth trip and return to a traditional society. Readers think I'm kidding about this. We're heading there, too. The signs are unmistakable. It's not as bad you think, either. We'll become reacquainted with that fugitive experience, reality. Disillusion is not the worst thing that can happen to people. We can re-direct all the effort that we put into gaming our own asses and cast off the awful weight of pretending to be what we no longer are.
     Barack Obama has waited a bit too long to change the national storyline using the authority of his high office. It's not about "growth" and "recovery." It's about managing contraction and becoming a different sort of American society. Observers of the scene have made a mistake about Obama. He's not "eloquent." He's merely respectable. Being able to speak in grammatical sentences is not the same as having anything to say. It will be a sorrowful day when he is replaced by a genuine idiot like Michele Bachman, but it will happen because he wasn't able to set the tone for his times with something like a straight story, or a memo to his chief law enforcement officer.
________________________
     My books are available at all the usual places.


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717 Comments

As this “long emergency” continues to advance, we see ever more signs of imminent demise. But the politics of the end game have only just begun. Enjoy this week’s offering from kulturCritic!

http://wp.me/P1lJ1g-5v

second!

It is endless fascinating to contemplate the irony of the US's managed economy today that is far more fantastical and based on top-down lies, when you think about the years we fought the Cold War against Communism, whose biggest sin (we were told) was its regulated, top-down economic system doomed to fail. It did. Our turn, next.

The race to recovery this year shows clearly how human beings in our culture are unable to maintain a mindset oriented toward their own futures. Jared Diamond and Ronald Wright will also be proven right when we collectively eat our future's seed corn, and our young, to maintain the unsustainable.

The systems of laws and respect for citizens has been upended in the US. In a grad course I teach, we read the 1956 organizational sociology article from 1956, Organizational Adaptation and Precarious Values by Burton Clark. "Democracy becomes a precarious value when, as a symbol, it is emptied of well understood behavior maxims. It totalitarianism were to come to America in the name of democracy, we would have to say that democratic values have been rendered precarious by lack of specification of appropriate behavior."

So we agree we have shared values, and they are precarious. But even with the globally available social superpowers of facebook and twitter, do we have anything like the ability to specify appropriate behavior?

Great piece again James. A "world made by hand"... that is what we are living in. An artifice, a movie set of old an old western - Western Civilization. Or as Derrick Jensen has called it, "a culture of make-believe." In either case, the signified is the same. We are products of and beholden to a spectacle that we desperately want to believe in. And, in the process, we treat every action, whether in Libya or Wall Street, as part of that production, for our distraction and our merriment, but not for anything remotely requiring a change.

Hallucinations are powerful things. Our entire financial system has been built on them.

The saddest aspect of it all, for me anyway, is that after 2008, many hard-working chumps finally figured out they must pay down their personal debt and rediscover a thing called "thrift," a discarded American value. If only we'd stuck to it...but that's going to be the verdict of history.

Paid-for cars and homes will do consumers marginal good in The Long Emergency, when the debt collections will stop, anyhow.

Then I would not mind joining the march on the Hamptons.

I have always believed that if you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you have always gotten. The logical conclusion to this is that if you are unsatisfied with what you have then in order to change that you need to do something different. This is easy to say but can be extremely difficult to put into practice.

more on this at
Wandering Sage Wisdom

The Saudis recently announced that they will not increase oil production, saying that there is too much on the market. I think this is their way of saying that the fields are going dry, or, rather, producing more and more of the pressurizing water and not crude. Nice of them to keep the calm and not admit it. I hope everyone is stocking up on hand tools and getting ready to rip up a 50 by 100 square foot section of their yards for veggies. Oh, and don't forget that pellet gun to control the bunnies. The turning point will be $6 a gallon gas nationwide.

The Saudis recently announced that they will not increase oil production, saying that there is too much on the market. I think this is their way of saying that the fields are going dry, or, rather, producing more and more of the pressurizing water and not crude. Nice of them to keep the calm and not admit it. I hope everyone is stocking up on hand tools and getting ready to rip up a 50 by 100 square foot section of their yards for veggies. Oh, and don't forget that pellet gun to control the bunnies. The turning point will be $6 a gallon gas nationwide.

humanity is still in its infancy

"Is it possible that climate change and Jesus are one and the same? Let them figure that out in the little cinderblock roadside chapels next Sunday before they all trundle over to the Nascar track."

Is it possible that you are FUCKTARD and you are a regionalist hate-monger? We'll let you figure that out.

Great post, JHK.
Very existential as one realizes the insane contorto disorto we've been creating while foisting our financial and military hegemony around the world.
Global neoliberal monetarism never worked, so crazy gyrations have to take place in order to make it look like it works, but sooner or later the reality of real world mechanisms begin to break down the illusions.
Doesn't stop people from telling others not to believe their lying eyes, but when they get hit with the punitive austerity they'll be rejecting the cant.
My guess is that Obama, who is only partially progressive, mainly believes the Chicago School of business memes, desperately tried to keep this thing going and things warped out ever more bizarrely than before the crash. The stimulus package was entirely mismanaged and the money never reached main St. Now we understand where it went.
Taibbi has been fantastic at taking us step by step in the last 2 years at what has been going on behind the scenes and it would be of interest to anyone breathing to read his works.
Now a movie depicting Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is due to come out. We will see who are the parasites and who aren't and it's not what she thought!

A happy sign I've witnessed recently is a growing number of people I meet socially who in conversation are revealing an accurate grasp on post American Empire reality.

So I'm betting they are just a small sampling of a large number who behind the delusional scripts that rule the mainstream, are quietly getting their minds wrapped around a distinctly different future; one of material scarcity.

A truer jeremiad (and funny, too) was never spoken. Headpiece filled with straw - alas.
-Phut

It's clear that the political elite - and it does not matter what party they belong to or whether they are tagged as conservative or liberal - will continue to pretend that the status quo can be saved. It has become increasingly clear that it not the case. Life as we know it in the United States, and probably globally, is coming to an end. Whether that end is a "world made by hand" or a global depressionary holocaust I don't know. I wish I had those kind of predictive powers.

It's fascinating (and stomach-turning) how much the progressive voices have been physically ignored by the mainstream. The NYT can't even bring itself to have a respectable article about it. As Amy Goodman notes, the Progressive Caucus in Congress is the LARGEST one organized, and its proposals barely ever see the light of day. What gives on that? Doesn't anyone ever THINK anymore, or even ALLOW rational discussion?

being smothered in its crib...

Eric Holder is stuck in a holding pattern. He has done nothing of importance for two years except gather documents. It is time he get off his ass and prosecute using those financial scamming documents that have L.Blankfein's name all over them!!

Plus, he needs to go after PA Governor Tom Corbett, who as PA attorney general failed to prosecute a PA waste water hauler who dumped Fracking water and other chemicals into the watershed for 3 years. Corbett had the data but failed to go after this criminal because he was in the pocket of the Marcellus Shale industry predators, who were supporting his bid for PA governor. Corbett probably colluded with the MS industry to keep this criminal out of the papers. Now, his own attorney general is going after this criminal.

For Obama--talk is cheap and that is all we have heard from him since he became president. Can this guy come out into the light and fight those he should have slammed up against the boards over the last two years? Doubtful.

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

And good morning to you too, filth-mouth.

Obama got his reputation for "eloquence" from the speech he made at the last minus one Democrat convention. Even I have to admit, it was a pretty good speech. Since then he has been unable, unlike Reagan, to use his talents to rally the American people to anything at all. Too bad, because it would be nice to have someone explain everything in a way that made sense. Of course, I probably wouldn't like what he'd be saying.

What a relief to see some notice of the puppet, Eric Holder. However, I don't think he's a puppet by accident, but by design. I was disheartened to see that you give Obama props for the ability to put together a coherent sentence. (When? All I ever hear is the gibberish and platitudes. Who on earth decided this man is "brilliant"? I hear so much balderdash about his superb intelligence, but with nothing to back it up. Did he or did he not attend Columbia? Apparently not.) It seems that progressives are assumed to be "brilliant" simply by the fact that they are progressives. And yet another slap at the white South. Why do you care so much that they like NASCAR? I've never been to a race and don't want to go, but I don't care that they do. Obama wastes much more fuel jetting off on yet another vacation or bogus political junket. You're engaging in classism in a big way, and it's not honorable. Why and in what way is Michelle Bachmann an idiot? Is it because she's on the wrong side? Why is Hillary brilliant? Because she's on your side??? Although I must admit I'd much rather have Hillary as our president. In fact, I voted for her. I'd much rather have a NASCAR loving hunter as a friend than John Kerry. The left, and the media, have formed some type of pact with the devil that demands that all progressives be considered as highly intelligent by virtue of their political stance, and that all conservatives are moronic because of theirs. This doesn't work in the real world, you know.

Holding on for a bumpy ride ahead. This juggernaut is so gargantuan that TLE will take longer than Jim thinks to grind to a halt, or a whimper. The grifters do not surprise me; but the expose on Greg Mortenson last night on 60 Minutes was startling, another loss of faith.

Don't encourage the bottom-feeders, please.

Hi Jim and all the gang,

Great article Jim, but don't despair, plenty of truth is leaking out, ya just gotta dig for it.

It has been reported on 4/15/2011 in IceNews that Iceland's former prime minister Geir H Haarde will face charges of negligence for his actions during the financial crisis and if convicted would face jail time. Erice Holder needs to go to Iceland for hints on what JUSTICE really means.

Greece continues to have open chaos and rebellion as the people there realize they have nothing to lose. So they might as well raise hell and do something to shove their govt towards the inevitable default. " Ignoration" the populace is simply not going to pay- as reported in the 4/15/2011 issue of Dail News and Economic Review.

Some really frightening truth comes out as Reuters reports on 4/15/2011 that Morgan Stanley has defaulted on a 3.3 billion dollar real estate note on a building in Tokyo. They just handed over the keys and said sayonara. So the evacuation of Tokyo continues as the govt in Japan is busily denying PM Kan's statement over the weekend that evacuees from the Fukushima prefecture around the nuke plants wouldn't be allowed back for 20 years. Truth is they will never be allowed back.

So plenty of truth out there, just gotta look. On another note Obama is back in his campaign mode. Making those oh so elegant populist speeches that have proven to be worth far less than a really useful pile of cowshit. Almost time for gardening season!

take care gang,
Loveday

Right on Jim.i am getting a little impatient that this "party" is a little slow getting into full swing-its like a very slow death-i like it better like in a nascar race when 15 cars get in a wreck and crap is flying all over the place-buy gold and silver,food and guns-heehaw!

Michelle Bachman has earned the title of idiot by misrepresenting history on several occasions, so if whe's such a patriot, why doesn't she know American history?

She makes crazy irrational statements while enjoying govt.subsidies. Me thinks she's earned that title all by herself!

see:
http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/1209/Antisocialist_Bachmann_got_250k_in_federal_farm_subsidies.html

-
* Anti-socialist Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies

Main Content
Anti-socialist Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies - On Congress: Anti-socialist Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies
December 22, 2009
Categories:
House Republicans

Anti-socialist Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) — so fond of accusing the Obama administration of foisting socialism on an unwilling America — has apparently been the recipient of about a quarter of million bucks in government handouts.

"I have always believed that if you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you have always gotten."

I wrote and recorded a song on this theme. Listen to it on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIsVNw7NmYs

I am in Las Vegas right now. No sign of acknowledgment. People are having "fun".
Aimlow Joe was here
Http://www.Aimlow.com

"As Amy Goodman notes, the Progressive Caucus in Congress is the LARGEST one organized, and its proposals barely ever see the light of day."

That is because they are MORONS. They have brought us to the very brink. And if you get at the end of their line and follow them you will find yourself in a free fall.

obama has not been able to rally americans to anything because it is a totally different country than it was 30 years ago. no dominant culture makes it difficult to form a consensus on the simplest matters, much less the more complex problems we now face.

Pretty good, but needs more energy, ala

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

BLOW. ME

Nice post and a good point. Why aren't there any charges pending ? Hmmmmm.....follow the money ! If I were a politician and re-election was the plan,the last thing I would do is piss off my most generous contributors. Just good business sense, probably learned at Occidental ! As for his potential replacement....that looks like a battle of the loon's queing up. Picture these if you dare: Trump/Palin, Paul/Ventura, Bachman/Pawlenty ? I could go on but I'm sure this will surfice. How does Franken/Frank sound ?

No matter how you look at it things are not getting better. It might be a good point to consider,just what are the inbred's going to do when NASCAR shuts down due to high fuel prices and low attendence ? The price of Cheeze Doodles and Little Debbie's sky rockets along with tobacco products and even Wally World jacks up the price of their designer flowered houscoats ! And when they go to march on the Hamptons they'll find the only bridge blown in place by the rearguard Blackwater operatives who were hired to protect the fine folks out on the southfork. Will they swim the Shinnecock Canal under withering fire from Blackwater ? Or will they go back down home and pout ? And while all this happy horse shiy goes down LLoyd and the gang will be living off their hard earned wealth in places like Geneva or any one of the secure gated and remote areas set aside for only the richest of us. Here in Michigan we have an area known as the HURON MOUNTAIN CLUB. Armed security people 24/7 and roving patrols. Don't get caught inside the wire or yo is in deep shit.

Get ready to learn those old skills, like gardening and fixing what ever breaks. Think Amish. Get fit and Be Prepared !

Jim you expected a lot from Obama. Me, I had him pegged from the start and knew it would be a disaster. What I think concerns Obama the most these days is his disbelief that he is really President of the US, and maintaining his status as WORLD HISTORICAL FIGURE.

PoC, to pick up a thread from last week, yes, the South has produced the many great writers, poets and soldiers that I mentioned, but all Jim seems to see are NASCAR rednecks and crystal meth addicts. I don't know why. But you should know its a typical attitude up here in the northeast and especially in New England. In that way Jim is just reflecting the prevailing NE zeitgeist. That, and we are going to need scapegoats for all that's gone wrong. Why not blame whitey down south?

-Marlin
CFNation YD Post 1
New England Chapter

Obama either has rallied Americans enough to implement his agenda or he doesn't need to. This is a wildly successful president. He has continued to wage the “Bush” wars and start two of his own with virtually no domestic opposition. He faces little criticism for going to war against Libya without even touching bases with the U.S. Congress, but rather with his brethren at the U.N. He has bailed out the banks and has had his health care program passed into law. His polling numbers are down, but that will change when we see what clown they run against him. He can implement “his' agenda. Unfortunately his agenda is not ours. Nothing to do with his ability to “rally.”

"Disillusion is not the worst thing that can happen to people. We can re-direct all the effort that we put into gaming our own asses and cast off the awful weight of pretending to be what we no longer are." -JHK


Thanks so much for that, Jim.
Wonderful analysis of where we currently stand.

In so many of the comments here, an immediate and purposeful "changing of the subject" ensues. Self-deception has become a gawd-damned lifestyle, and if it has to end "the hard way", then so be it.
For me, running away from reality is becoming a trickier and trickier pursuit, and the rewards of doing so, punier and punier...

(I hope folks here would notice that the pointed focus on Jeebus providing for true believers by providential fiat is part of this deception and [IMHO] the reason JHK mentions it. Big 'pitcher' folks; a little forward thinking is all it takes.)

Yeah the Liberals are getting what they wanted - multiculturalism. Guess someone forgot to tell the geniuses that that means no real Nation...So stupid that they don't even think we need a national language - or defended borders!

Of course the really Big Boys from whom they take their cues did have an idea: undermine Nations in order to create Regions and then unite the Regions to create World Goverment. Luckily it's going to fall apart too fast for that. As a real Nation, we might have been able to survive during the The Long Emergency. But as an undermined "country" waiting to be subsumed - we're toast.

Obama came into an impossible situation left to him by the ultimate stooge, George W. Bush. The only people dumber than Bush were all those who voted for him-twice.

Having said that, Obama didn't do those of us who voted for him any good as he sought to appease the status quo of Wall St. and the lunacy of Republicans. WTF!!!

For almost 40 years, it hasn't mattered who THE PEOPLE voted for. Left, right, independent, it didn't matter. They all tow the line of Wall St., the wealthy and our transnational corporations (especially the defense contractors). While the Republicans started going off the deep end during the Nixon Administration, the Democrats mostly went along for the ride, with only a few notable exceptions.

We are fucked in every conceivable way. There is no way out in the short term, and as Jim puts it, our Clusterfuck is so large there's no way we can push it off into the future for our grandkids. One of two things is going to happen: over this decade we will grow poorer so that by 2020 we won't recognize the lives we're living today, or, another big, and I mean big shock is coming (ie. real war) that will plunge us into a literal life and death struggle.

All this shit about gold and going off into a shack in the mountains will be the survival stories of those who manage by luck and pluck to escape a host of difficult circumstances.

Maybe at some point in the near future by some quirk, smart, hopeful, realistic and tough leadership will emerge around the country, ready to honestly face these tough times and challenge the people of this country.

That's an awful lot to ask and hope for.

A happy sign I've witnessed recently is a growing number of people I meet socially who in conversation are revealing an accurate grasp on post American Empire reality. - Unconventional

If you want an accurate grasp on reality first understand that this "American Empire" is fictional. It does not exist and it never did. People think it exists because so many people talk about it but everybody parrots what everyone else says. Kind of like "house prices always go up". Everyone "knew" this. Right?

I think for some a hatred of this delusional empire gives texture and meaning to their lives whether they are a hip campus progressive or a ranting Iranian imam.

Talking about the American Empire gives a young person a look of world weary, knowing cynicism. A sign of a deep thinking intellect. You know, because you've seen it, that people want to be part of the "in" group. From what I've seen American Empire-talk is a fashionable pose and not much more.

OMG, Republicans have become feral and are eating their own, Sen. Paul Ryan (The Grinch who Stole Medicare) is proposing to drop medicare in favor vouchers to save the Bush Tax Cuts, maybe he forgot that most republican voters are medicare geezers. Now that a weekend of debris dodging is over here in North Carolina I guess it's back to watching dare devils drive around in circles at Nascar. Maybe we could make the races more fun if we could load the back of the cars with 50 gallons of moonshine. Right.

It was said long ago by a President whose wisdom and stature our current President seeks in vain to emulate:

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." - Abraham Lincoln

Most Americans are evidently too self-absorbed to care about their future, let alone the future of their progeny. For those who might want to consider a departure from the status quo, grab a copy of "Ops Populi: Inception" (read the first chapter at http://www.op-usa.org). This is America's last, best hope for salvaging its future...

Been getting the itch to buy a bunch of "real" stuff, as my faith in the $DOLLAR$ fades more and more by the day... What go to items would you spend your paper on? Or do you prefer spending digital money?

2010 was our first small garden...

This past weekend we borrowed a tiller and tilled 7 new gardens.

How about electric bikes? Anybody got into electric bikes yet?

Cheers Clusterfuckers!

- Solar Guy

S&P finally slightly manned up this morning and cut the US long term debt outlook from stable to negative. S&P stating the obvious is the reason given for the sharp drop in the stock market early this trading day.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/18/us-ratings-usa-sp-idUSTRE73H2JT20110418

S&P, Standard and Poors, and Moodys were all so far behind the curve in the ratings of sub-prime mortgages that junk debt was rated AAA. I expect that in the case of downgrading the outlook for US long term debt S&P agonized over the decision before deciding upon the obvious.

The rating agencies must find Atty. Gen. Eric Holder's unwillingness to take action based upon obvious facts inspiring.

Greyghost05 said: "Why aren't there any charges pending ? Hmmmmm.....follow the money !"

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

For a long list of criminal prosecutions of executives of failed banks, please see this:

http://www.jonesday.com/criminal-actions-against-failed-bank-executives-04-14-2011/

It doesn't seem fair that Eric Holder is getting a lot of criticism on CFN that he is doing nothing ... when so many prosecutions are underway.

Long post - sorry in advance. Perhaps it's been the grey April weather, but I've been feeling a little despondent as well. Yes, we’re preping for TLE. I'm even weaning my two young sons (slowly) off Wii, and introducing them to the business end of a hoe (the gardening type, not the ones discussed on evening TV). We're getting ready for reality at home and doing our best.

But, I'm still feeling off. Today during my lunch hour I've read your post, Jim, (enjoyable as usual). I also read Chris Hedges' latest condemnation of Capitalism, the Huff Post's headlines about America's obscene tax laws, and am realizing that as a high school teacher, I have a duty to re-examine some of the curriculum I teach. (The school board'll probably not be happy with me, but given that I will become a 'free agent' when the board disappears at around $160.00/bbl anyway - fuck 'em!)

You are right in that we have a lot to learn. Mostly, we have to start learning how to live together - not merely co-habituating on the same street. We've lost a lot of that social cement that can hold small communities together: with enough padding to put up with irritating idiosyncrasies, while retaining the bonds of compassion to really help each other in the ways that count. I’ll start with me ‘cause being 40 and as fully immersed in modern civilization as everyone else, I’ve got a lot to catch up on.

I think start this weekend with a field trip down to the local foodbank with my kids. I'll let you know how it goes.

Markets plunge as US rating reduced

Monday, 18 April 2011


World markets plunged today after a key ratings agency shocked traders with a downgrade to its outlook for US government debt.

Standard & Poor's cut its outlook for sovereign debt in America to negative from stable due to risks from the country's growing deficit.

S&P warned that while the US has a high-income, diversified and flexible economy, the country's ballooning deficit could offset these positives over the next two years.

The move, a serious blow to President Barack Obama's administration, sparked declines on London's FTSE 100 Index, which dropped more than 2%, as well as Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell nearly 2%.

S&P is one of three main credit rating agencies which offer an informed opinion on the credit-worthiness of a company or government. Moody's and Fitch are its main competitors.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/markets-plunge-as-us-rating-reduced-2269547.html

That's how the "thousand guys in lower Manhattan" view rural Whites. Every G.I who fought in the last century or this one has fought to create this monstrousity and to put these people into power. We were wrong. About everything. Lindbergh Sr and Jr were right. Our soldiers have died for nothing and nonsense. The South is simple the region that has fought the hardest for autonomy - they didn't stop fighting until the 1950's. Now they don't believe in themselves and are a dying people. The Mexicans and the Blacks will determine the future. Just heard the other day: more Hispanics in Atlanta than Blacks.

On a recent visit to New England, Michele Bachmann praised the locals, saying "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors." Unfortunately she was in New Hampshire, not Massachusetts.

Happy Patriots Day from Massachusetts.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/245628/bachmann-confuses-nh-mass-concords

"It doesn't seem fair that Eric Holder is getting a lot of criticism on CFN that he is doing nothing ..."

Doing nothing? Ignoring Black Panthers who intimidated voters and trying to bring battlefield enemies to trial in mid-town, is not doing nothing. Holder's been busy. Very busy. That is unfortunate for our country.

Erice Holder needs to go to Iceland for hints on what JUSTICE really means. - Loveday

No chance. What happens when you get prosecutors on the case? Every single microscopic filament of evidence has to be accounted for, every single, last duck has to be in line and quacking because, if not, the investigators sigh and shake their heads and say it can't be proved in a court of law. Can't be proved? Bullshit. Won't be proved. Won't even try.

You say "Carolina," but actually there are two of us—North Carolina and South Carolina. If you're talking about both of us, please use both our names. With respect from a fan in _ _ _ _ _ Carolina.

It began long ago: rulers learned it easier and cheaper to keep local puppets in power and let them take the shit while they just collect the profits. The Anglo Americans took this to the next step when they gave up even direct political conquest in favor of economic conquest. The result is the same but it's much easier and people dont' even realize that it's happened. High end Capitalism is getting them more ground faster than Communism ever did. Of course it means giving former colonials a big stake in the outcome - but it's worth it. If their plan works, am amazingly small number of people will control the world and a slightly larger number will own everything. That's all Communism was ever about - destroy Nations and Aristocracies so an Economic Elite could have a free hand.

Big deal. Candidates make mistakes on the stump. Obama credited the U.S. with having 57 states.

The MSM wants to paint Bachmann as being stupid. Why? She is conservative. You may or may not like her stand on issues but she is not stupid. She holds an L.L.M. degree in tax law from William and Mary law school. Stupid? No.

Marlin,

LOL! " Why not blame whitey down south?" Yes I agree a scapegoat will be needed by the TPTB miscreants to distract an angry population from using their pitchforks and torches where they would do the most good.

Consultant,

Yes Obama inherited a bad situation. That being said he immediately capitulates in any important policy battle with the repugs. So quit making excuses for the at best incompetent, at worst thoroughly corrupt president. I'm really tired of hearing that when people are really suffering in this country and around the world. The least he can do is put up a credible fight for what he believes in. Instead we see him and the little wife off for another vacation.
loveday

I have never lived in a time when so many false narratives competed for supremacy of the collective mind-space.
You did a good job of cataloging them, but you forgot one false narrative that was topical this weekend, Objectivism. Not only does Ayn Rand's half-baked system of beliefs serve as justification for a lot of the bad behavior of casino capitalists and their enablers (ask Matt Taibbi; he's spilled lots of ink over the subject), it was the subject of a movie that came out over the weekend, one that seems to be bombing. In 'Atlas Shrugged' gets the reviews and box office it deserves (Part I of a series), I join the critics who throw rotten tomatoes at it and the ideas it represents.

Speaking of Matt Taibbi, I'm glad to read you write something nice about a journalist in your blog. The last time was when you briefly eulogized Joe Bageant. As for the other journalists I remember you praising, I think many people would find it edifying and entertaining to watch you, Taibbi, Eliot Spitzer, and Dylan Ratigan together.

Finally, I don't think tags work the way you have them. Try separating the terms with commas instead of plus signs.

Yeah, Michelle Bachman has said some crazy stuff, mixing up Mass. and New Hampshire like that. What an idiot!

Now how about Shiela Jackson Lee, D.Texas, has she said anything crazy lately? Or wouldn't it be PC to point it out?

-Marlin

This is something I just listened to:

What is high frequency trading?
A lot of people think that the stock market trade is done by specialists, the guys we see in the movie.
They do not longer exist.
70% of the trade is done electronically.
But it is bigger than that.
It is done by Computers algorithmic software, systems set up by PHDs, computers scientists.
It comes to what is called "alternative trading systems" or "dark pool of liquidity".
Of course with no transparency, no information for the public.
The biggest player of course is Goldman Sachs, they own one of these and they also own an electronic exchange.
They make 100 million dollars a day.
THEY NEVER HAVE A LOOSING DAY.
How do they do it?
They spot trades before the other investors.
They put orders in milliseconds.
They send out sniffing orders, then they buy the stock before the investors and sell to them with profit.
And they do this over and over.
This is illegal, this is criminal and would be called insider trading, and you would be put in prison, not them.

Jim,
Why are you still listening to Obama? He has had nothing worthwhile to say since becoming President.

Michele Bachmann not knowing where Lexington and Concord are is not a fine point of New England geography. It is about the first battle of the American Revolution, which is such an important point of reference for the Tea Party.

And speaking of Farming and Subsidies check out this handy website for Farm Subsidy info : www.ewg.org. I've used this information on a couple of occasions to quiet down a couple of my farmer buddies who were busting my balls about my UAW/GM pay scale.....Hmmmmm these good ole boys have put over 1/2 million each in their whitetrash republican pockets. But that doesn't stop them from ripping on unemployment and anyother social help progroam.

Well Helen, the pissant seems to be in an especially bad mood today. My guess is that somebody showed up at his job & slapped the cock out of his mouth.

A fine review of recent events, Jim, but I thought you let your presidential pick off the hook a bit too easy.

Sending Eric Holder a memo to "Close the barn door now that the horse has gotten loose" is the least of his sins of omission. What about Obama's signing off on bailing out Wall St. for their criminal misdeed in the first place?

What about QE2(should be called MoneyPrinting2), which further screws the American general public, while helping Wall St. profit?

What about another undeclared, pointless war we can't afford to go with the two Obama inherited and didn't have the guts to end?

No, Jim, you are much too kind to Mr. Obama.

Of course, in defense of Mr. O, he is wise enough to know what will happen to him if he strays from the path his handlers have laid out for him. JFK had the courage to try to do the right thing and we see what happened to him.

Tar and feathers

OEO said: "Ignoring Black Panthers who intimidated voters..."

=========

The government did not misbehave in the case:

In the fifteen days following Megyn Kelly's June 30, 2010, interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, six Fox News shows devoted 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime to the phony New Black Panthers scandal. By contrast, those shows have devoted a total of two segments and 88 seconds to the Justice Department's release of the results of an internal investigation clearing DOJ officials of any wrongdoing or misconduct in that case.

Fair and balanced?

"My guess is that somebody showed up at his job & slapped the cock out of his mouth."

Hmmmm. This coming from an expert on "cocks in mouth"? Sounds like it to me. You rule cap'n. You da boss.

JHK said : "It's not about "growth" and "recovery." It's about managing contraction and becoming a different sort of American society"

Yes it is. Exactly that.

I am going to plant a garden on raised beds. Where the beds are off the ground. so gophers can't get them. It's the best I can do.

The cost is so high at the stores, I mean plant plant plant it's a no brainer. Like I said right now I live in an apt. where there is a friggin' lawn, should be a veggie garden, ya think ?

NO COMMON SENSE HERE.

The time is HERE NOW. I feel like we are in Freefall.

TSGHTF before the year's up. I feel it and see it more and more.


Here are the cute little pathers with their cute little night sticks. You gonna believe the shills or your own lying eyes?

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

Bush's marks at Yale were as good as John Kerry's and maybe better. Bush got fewer D's. Yet we have this Bush is an idiot narrative. I don't think he's an idiot. Spoiled, entitled, a piss tank, someone with a really light CV, not remotely qualified to be president.

So who really thinks Obama was qualified? The presidency is IMO the world's hardest executive job. Yet what executive accomplishments did Obama bring from either inside or outside of govt? None? The presidency is also the world's hardest when it comes to leadership. The pres has the bully pulpit. But he has to contend with a fractious legislature and regionally divided country. So what relevant expertise and experience did Obama bring to the table. None? What imprint did Obama leave from his stint as a senator?

I pegged Obama as an empty suit at best during the campaign. Hope? Change? Bullshit. Most of my countrymen up here were in the panty-throwing pro Obama contingent. They thought he would be our friend. Why? I have no idea. Obama couldn't even be bothered to get off the plane when he came to visit. He is not our friend. When we tried for a seat on the UN security council we got zero help from Obama or his minions. No cheerleading, no lobbying, no arm twisting, nothing. We've piddled away hundreds of dead and wounded in Afghanistan and many billions of dollars and for what? Not even a good word from our "friend". I have to say that Bush was a better friend to us. At least he knew what street we live on.

Well James, I think we are heading into your new time where 'Used is the New, New'. It's Gorilla solar time where we rip the 12 volt stuff out of our neighbors SUV so we can set up lighting in the living room because somebody stole three miles of copper wire to our community.
And those old wood burning stoves you couldn't give away? At a premium. Craig's list will be the new Walmart until the net expires in a energy hickup.
With housing still tanking how is it that a houses replacement cost goes double and triple as its 'street' value is halved. This is truly wacky times.
Meanwhile back here La La land Central California,
they want to put a $200,000,000 sewer project in my community of 17,000 that will drive out 100% of the low income populous, mostly single moms. In a total irony ,The California Fish and Game Dept. says that they can only destroy 15 endangered snails building the sewer though. Nice to know who they are looking out for.

Let's lay off the moronic left/right diatribes that lower the IQ of this blog. Forget Obama and the GOP. Our economists and managers are as dumb, or at least as blinded, as anyone on Capitol Hill.

Case in point: Listening to Chris Rupkey at Bloomberg saying "the US is too big to fail," after the S&P downgrade in our debt rating from AAA neutral to AAA negative. Sorry for a long link:

http://noir.bloomberg.com/avp/avp.htm?N=av&T=Chris%20Rupkey%20Says%20U.S.%20Is%20%60Truly%20Too%20Big%20to%20Fail%27&clipSRC=mms://media2.bloomberg.com/cache/vdE5bI2H4DQk.asf

What a rube. Someone, somewhere, tell these talking heads that our global economy is based on cheap oil and transferring illusions. The former is getting scarcer and the latter is, well, just an illusion.

Bad as it may seem from the Northern regions, get on your knees and thank the Lord you are not an Israeli. You think he shunned Canada? Israel is toast.

Reply to Bossier22 at 11:31
Multi-cultural is a grand idea, and works as long as times are good and the money flows. And when it doesn't - think the Balkans. European countries are already showing signs of lightening the lifeboat, or at least trying to stanch the flow of immigrants, especially those from radically different cultures. I'm thinking that part of going local is also about regaining local culture and rejecting what isn't. It's happening in Iceland right now. They've decided not to submit to the banksters and they know that means they really do live on an island. It means going back to some version of traditional ways just to survive.

Profits and greed have steered the world to this apex, and for those who have benefited - are all that's necessary to "steer" the world into the future.

Meanwhile, some of those at the back of the bus seem to be reading road maps that differ significantly from those who are telling us we're heading for "growth and recovery."

So which is worse? Knowing you're going to crash and not being able to do anything about it; or knowing that those who are "steering" the bus will get to bail out and not feel any of the effects of the crash.

I kind of feel like shooting those "leaders" who are steering us into the crash.

Here's the simplest way of describing the mess we are in. There have always been takers and givers. As the number of takers swell past the point of sustainability, the system implodes and the givers begin taking care of themselves, hence, a "world made by hand." Not such a bad prospect, given the alternative. I am preparing.

"Being able to speak in grammatical sentences is not the same as having anything to say."

There is much to like in today's piece, but this is just so simple and true. On the heels of Bush, Obama "sounded" like a genius. Give him a drawl and a penchant for malapropisms and the differences quickly dissolve.

As to Holder? Just one more six foot tall clue that this administration is in the pocket of the corporate cabal. Like so many others in DC, he will put in his time, then cash out.

As to the Standard and Poor's decision of today? Politically motivated. An attempt to cut Obama's lets out from under him, just as it "seemed" the economy might get some legs of its own -- and just as he starts his reelection campaign. Nice move by The Men With The Money.

Pilt

"I kind of feel like shooting those "leaders" who are steering us into the crash."

Bud, you may want to keep such thoughts in check. This is the type of statement that has "officials" showing up at your front door.

I think you are wrong Jim, Holder isn't asleep at the wheel, he has his hands full going after the "big fish" (yeah right). I guess Assange isn't a campaign contributor so he is fair game.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/06/wikileaks-cables-founder-julian-assange

It is amazing that there is not a single rally point for people - other than the faceless online rants and replies (which, sadly, I contribute to). This morning on my way to work, I could not believe how bankrupt our institutions had become, our grand ideas, our ideologies. None of it (see film maker Adam Curtis for a great overview in any of his documentaries). So, we rally about a vague "do something" which, perhaps is the best point we have to gather about. I learn a little, however, I think we have reached a wall - we can continue to rant about the craxy about us... however, we have few solutions as to what we, that is, more than me and my one doomster friend, should do about our lives, and at least try to leave a record to the future generations that we may have failed, but we tried to change things....
Keep thinking and talking.
I'll keep ranting:
http://schwerpunkter.wordpress.com/

As to the Standard and Poor's decision of today? Politically motivated."

Are you even remotely suggesting that the long term credit rating of the U.S. should NOT be given a negative status? Politics my ass. Our country's credit has gone to shit. That is a fact.

Eric Holder has not prosecuted anyone because Obama needs to shake down the Wall Street fat cats for his re-election campaign first.

Those that don't contribute enough had better watch out. Nice little shakedown.

"I have never lived in a time when so many false narratives competed for supremacy of the collective mind-space." JHK says.

Yer livin' in one now !

Helluva sentence. Love it.

Looked over the list of banks being investigated and noticed all of them are basically "little" banks. The big Banksters, like Countrywide, got off scott free by paying a lousy $73 million dollar fine. Angelo Mozillo should be sitting in prison right next to Bernie Madoff but he bought his way out. And so did all those other Big Banks like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs which paid fines but weren't criminally prosecuted for their toxic mortgages. Only Spitzer was going after them and when the Banks found out, suddenly his little daliance with the call girl came to light. Sadly it looks like Congress, the judges and even the academics really are on the take.

On top of that, the Tea Baggers seem hell bent on their own destruction. The Paul Ryan plan called Path to Prosperity will kill Medicare and replace it with vouchers. How many old people will be able to buy health care insurance with vouchers? And Ryan's plan is to privatize Social Security. Another stock market crash will destitute hundreds of thousands of seniors. And this is what the Tea Baggers are screaming for. Their own end. Apparently watching Fox News is not good for you.

Hi CASH. hope alls' well with you and yours.

:)

Culture is transmitted via the family process. Memes follow genes even if genes aren't the direct cause - a belief which I contest btw. - Vlad

Vlad, you posted this last week I think in response to one of mine. I'll give some real life examples to counter your point. Me and my wife for starters are two sterling examples of assimilation and acculturation. I'll give another: I worked for a few years with a woman, born here of Indian Sikh origin. She was/is married to a man of Iraqi origin (actually he is a Chaldean Christian). They both are unbearably hip (unlike me) progressives that speak flawless locally accented English. Liberal voters, liberal in their scorn for toothless hicks out west. They drank the local bathwater IOW. I got to know her well as we worked together quite a bit. Also, she had an Anglo surname which I at first assumed was her married name. Nope, it was her maiden name. Her family had adopted the name in India from a British colonel.

Another example: my employer contracted with one of the big accounting firms for some advice on a complex financial issue. Now, these firms are as white bread as they come, they ruthlessly enforce an image of middle class conformity. I worked with one of the firm's employees for a long time over the phone and by email. He had an Anglo-white bread name and sounded like a mild mannered WASP accountant. I finally met the guy in person after a few weeks of correspondence. He was/is a dark skinned man of mixed black and Indian descent from the Caribbean.

The point is that assimilation works. If you push multiculturalism then assimilation doesn't work. The family isn't the only mechanism for the transmission of culture as I can personally testify. The schoolyard is a merciless assimilator and so is the workplace.

Hi to you Jackieblue. I hope you're well also.

TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT!

Could anything possibly be more perfect? He's already said the Arabs will "feel our wrath" if they monkey with our oil. It's sheer poetry! A lyrical swan song for American Empire.

Can you see it? The Donald turns the stinking deserts of the ME into glowing glass. The American Empire comes to a shuddering, gear-grinding halt for lack of fuel. The supermarket shelves suddenly empty save for the corpulent corpses of those trampled under foot for the last bag of nacho flavored cattle feed. Then it REALLY goes to hell.

World made by hand? Try world destroyed by hand.

"The Paul Ryan plan called Path to Prosperity will kill Medicare and replace it with vouchers. How many old people will be able to buy health care insurance with vouchers?"

What's the problem with that? Are you aware that Medicare's refusal for medical procedures is twice as high as the private insurance sector's?

There is plenty of Thorium we just need to build 12,000 reactors at 500MW each over the next 20 years. This will provide 1,000,000 jobs in construction and when done 1,000,000 jobs in maintenance and operation. We have 100 years of know reserves of Thorium. A liquid Thorium salt reactor does not used pressurized water the way current reactors do so no need of a big expensive pressure vessel. They will be quick and easy to build. It is just a question of which nation will own the future who will have the disciple to invest now for a bright future tomorrow. My guess China. At least one of my three sons speaks Chinese. :)

"If you steal $25, you’re a thief. If you steal $250,000, you’re an embezzler. If you steal $2,500,000, you’re a financier."

- Unknown Roaring twenties journalist.

I agree in that I don't see much brilliance in Obama. Unfortunately the bar has been set so low by George W. Bush and now Sarah Palin, that it is easy to look intelligent by comparison.

Glad to hear you're starting a garden Jackie. I just got back from the store, and I spent $200. Yikes, prices are going up. Didn't buy any soda, crackers, cookies or junk food. I'm grilling portabella mushrooms for dinner tonight! Bought gorgeous artichokes, asparagas, blueberries and high quality, fresh chicken. Splurged on a bottle of Absolut Mandarin Vodka because it was on sale!

Gas for my minivan was $4.25 a gallon. Jeez.

Jen

"TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT!"

Hardly. The blowhard won't even run. He has said so many contradictory things that he could not withstand 30 seconds of scrutiny.

The morons in the MSM are merely being sucked in by the Donald. Once he has furthered his franchise to his liking he will disappear until the next time he needs to raise a buck.

I agree. Michele Bachmann isn't stupid, just mendacious.

"Unfortunately the bar has been set so low by George W. Bush and now Sarah Palin..."

Wrong. Obama's bar is so low that if you are going to limbo at one of his luas you must first dig a ditch.

The question was posed by President Reagan re President Carter. "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

Are we better off now than we were two years ago? If you feel we are not than Obama could not possibly be a better President than Bush.

sometimes paradigms just run out of steam. they work well until they don't. the shear numbers are as big a factor as the amount of diversity. china and india can sell us(and the world) their products until the cows come home and there will still be people living in third world poverty. there is just too many of them. continuing population growth with ever more diversity is bringing those conditions here.

And by the way, pick any and I mean ANY category, foreign or domestic. I can not think of a single area where we as a nation are in a better position than we were a mere two years ago. We have fallen that fast in that amount of time. It is absolutely breathtaking how clueless our current administration truly is.

Like I've suggested, one may or may not agree with Bachmann's policies but I'm not familiar with her being accused of lying. Could you cite a few examples?

It is absolutely breathtaking how many of your accounts have been banned from this site, larrymoecurly/oneEyeOpen/zsazsa/tomtomclub.

I guess you must really like it here for some reason, or perhaps kunstler.com is the only forum on the internet where your IP address hasn't been perma-banned.

Regarding "that fugitive experience, reality," this is from and article by Catherine Austin Fitts (former Housing Secretary under Bush the First), entitled "We Are Victims of a Financial Coup d'Etat":

I am reminded of a story from Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter in his book The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill

“In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend - but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’”

"there is just too many of them."

Given that America use 25% of the world's energy resource pie each year, have you considered the idea that there are too many of "us" as well?

"It is amazing that there is not a single rally point for people - other than the faceless online rants and replies..."

They may not be your cup of tea (sorry) but the Tea Party was such a rallying point. They changed the entire direction of the political landscape and will be a force in 2012.

"Given that America use 25% of the world's energy resource pie each year, have you considered the idea that there are too many of "us" as well?"

I have. Now help us put and kill yourself. (Pretty please.)

The economy was far better under Clinton than GW Bush, so, following your own logic, will you admit Clinton was a better president?

I'm expecting you to bleat "9/11, 9/11, 9/11" like a good little dittohead.

Encouraging other people to commit suicide over the internet...classy. Happy Monday to you, too, mon friere. Now there is work to do (heard of it?). I'll find you later if you're not banned by the end of the day.

http://www.wanttoknow.info/

This is a very rich and informative website, especially because it is not anonymous. Several of its principals are very well known in their fields: Peter Phillips, the long-time director of Project Censored, and theologian David Ray Griffin.

The site offers courses in the harsh reality we would prefer not to look at and support for dealing with the grief and pain this information (this "reality") engenders.

What does some unnamed, pinheaded aide have to do with the Bush Presidency? This was this twits opinion as to his impact on history. Who cares? We don't even know who this imbecile is. And yet we are to ascribe some sort of connection to Bush's policies? Be my guest.

"Now there is work to do.."

Well one can wish that would be your preparation for your suicide.

You brought up our overpopulation situation. I merely suggested one small (and I mean very, very small) solution:>}

Ayn Rand had a very idealized view of Capitalism in Atlas Shrugged and in general. But to her credit, she lauded people who actually created useful or beautiful things - not the financial hucksters. Of course she may not have seen the danger clearly enough. That's why many on the far right use the term "free enterprise" as opposed to Capitalism. But how many free enterprisers would give up the chance to become one of the Capitalists themselves if they could? There's a profound moral question here that is almost never addressed since America is all about getting as much money as possible.

There are viable alternatives Thorium and Solar Power Satellites.

Could it be that the people who run the politicians want a die-off? So the pols are instructed to ignore the solutions.

"I'm expecting you to bleat "9/11, 9/11, 9/11" like a good little dittohead."

I'm expecting you to completely ignore it. Or better yet ascribe to it a false flag, operative status. What a moronic, shitto-head.

Too fucking funny:

"The Obama administration moved swiftly Monday to downplay ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgrade of its U.S. credit outlook, calling the decision a political judgment that should not be taken too seriously.'

Naw, Obammy. Its not serious. Honest. Just politics.

Full comedy here:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/42645647

Jimbo...thanks for the callout of our local Minnesota idiot near the end of today's rant. I'm reminded of a great bumper sticker I saw recently:

Palin/Bachmann in 2012...it's a no brainer.

What's a necromancer?

Cash..What is goin on in ICELAND?

Turk....prior to Gatt/Nafta the USA made most finished goods on the planet...which may justify
'carbon gluttony'
Now Turk, which of the 2 parties was in
zee White House for the signing of GATT?

The sadness is that Palin/Bachmann, with full frontal lobotomies, could do no worse. I mean what could they possibly fuck up in a worse way? What?

And if you steal more you are a Billionaire
Like Maddof

"which may justify
'carbon gluttony'"

Please. No facts when addressing Turk. It will make his head hurt.

The first Billion Dollar Prez Campaign?

I'm sorry life hasn't gotten any better for you lately. Perhaps if you spent your time doing something more productive than trolling the internet like a degenerate, then things would improve for you. Here's to hoping.

so be it!!!!

Raising spirits of the dead to foretell the future. That's about the simplest definition. Wikipedia has quit an extensive entry.

Shes great, I got a kick out of her tale of
Narco Crime in her home area..rural tennessess.

Jesus Christ, pissant's back and Jim's organizing another march on Lloyd Blankfein's gold-plated cappuccino machine. I think I'll just go move the sprinkler to the other end of the blueberry patch. You guys have fun.

Regarding 'growh' vs. 'contraction': Much of our consumer-centric economics has to do with post-WW2 pecking order. In 1945, just about every other major powers have become devastated and the US alone pretty much had half of the world's GNP. With that amount of clout, it is not difficult to imagine how things will pan out. But the problem is not so much consumerism on its own, but the fact that US economic policy has not made substantial adjustments since then. You are not going to stay at that privileged level for ever, as others get back to their feet plus the rise of upstart powers. In the '60s, our share of world's GNP has shrunk to roughly a quarter, but no corresponding changes in economic policy. In particular, we have not substantially made changes to deal with a world in which the era of dirt cheap gas is over. Instead, we are just beginning to experience having to make changes forced upon us, and even then, there is a lack of more focused national debate. Lacking such a focus, the powers-that-be must be looking for something else to bubble, if they insist on the illusion of 'economic growth'. But what should be bubbled this time around? Cannot go back to real estate and the dot-com. Another bout of oil speculation? But they will need something more than that, something that can be played out for a sustained period of time. Hehe ....

"I'm sorry life hasn't gotten any better for you lately."

Sorry. Life is pretty damn jake. I thought you had some big things to do, working guy.

asia,

It is primarily because Americans have many big cars, and they drive them a lot. Japan has (or had) a lot of factories, too, and their energy use per capita is much lower than ours, primarly because every other person doesn't drive a Murano 30 miles to work each way every morning.

The very poor people on this planet tend to be subsistence farmers, who do not have even close to the energy footprint of an average American.

But go ahead and point at the "Third Worlders" if it makes you feel better about yourself.

"What's a necromancer?"

Google down?

Hey asia, Turk's work must be finished. I guess his mom's basement doesn't take all that long to sweep.

"Life is pretty damn jake."

Right...you're not fooling anyone.

Indeed I do have some thing to work on, so I should be going. Bye now.

Well firstly, Corporate Culture isn't indigenous Culture - and is increasingly hostile to it. Always banning Christmas but playing generic Christmas music right after Thanksgiving. Always in favor of Affirmative Action etc. Yes a few minorities can fit into THAT - but typically they maintain their real culture at home. Hopefully for them anyway because Corporate Culture is a wasteland - as you yourself know. These are the creme to la creme in terms of IQ - they open the door and hold it open for their low IQ poor relations.

The schoolyard? Your foot is in your mouth there. Minority immigrants terrorize White Kids all over the Western World. Whites are forbidden to stand together while Minorites are allowed to. So even if a White Kid can fight he is outnumbered. Same in prison - until Whites began to fight together. That's the tragedy - that Criminals are the only Whites who do what must be done.

As far as I know, only in Northern Ireland were the locals as tough and as together as the incomers. In the Democratic Republic of Ireland - the people are sheep ready for the shearing. If this is what Democracy and Prosperity does to people then to hell with it. We need to ressurect the MEOW principle of William James: the Moral Equivalent of War. Kids can't be allowed to grow up soft and self indulgent. The more prosperous the Nation, the more necessary it is to harden them, to deny them. That's the negative. On the positive side, they must be filled with the knowledge and pride of our ancient culture. At the High School Level, once the foundation has been laid, our failures and contradictions can begin to be addressed. By that point, say age 16 - most kids will already be out of school and working. They don't need to know about things they wont be able to think thru. Rule number one: don't confuse the simple. They need to believe in good things and they should be given good things to believe. Not lies but myths - like George Washington, a good but not perfect man. His flaws can and should be analyzed at the higher level.

"But go ahead and point at the "Third Worlders" if it makes you feel better about yourself."

Nah, thats OK. We will instead let you constantly run down the USA because it makes YOU feel so much better about yourself. (Although that is very odd since you continue to live here. Whatever.)

see: FIRE ANDREA MITCHELL.COM
56 days of golf!

"Indeed I do have some thing to work on, so I should be going. Bye now"

Of course you do. Now its time to clean your mommy's toilets. Buh-bye.

1965 immigration act has increased
US population 50% [?]

tell that to the Greens.
you support multiculturalism

Don't forget the student who "disrupted" an illegal oil lease giveaway, Tim DeChristopher.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/9/naomi_klein_tim_dechristopher_guilty_verdict

The rich can "leverage buy-out" with no money, and "naked short sell" with no money, but a poor person holds up a paddle at a giveaway to oil companies?

His ass is in the slammer!

One fallacy of thinking may be the notion that the intelligence of a president has any impact on policy. If the job is to market the agenda rather than create the agenda, intelligence may be beside the point. Obama does a better job of marketing the policies than Bush, but the policies are nearly identical. Any differences have more to do with style and rhetoric.

ccm989 said:

"The Paul Ryan plan called Path to Prosperity will kill Medicare and replace it with vouchers. How many old people will be able to buy health care insurance with vouchers?"

Bill Maher said: "You can spend $15,000 in vouchers in five months of assisted living nursing home. Then what do you do when the vouchers run out?

Michael Cain (former RNC head) replied: "Then you are SOL ... (shit out of luck).

That is what the Republicans and the Tea Party want to do: shrink the government, make the rich richer by cutting their taxes, and leave you on your own, shit out of luck.

First they are coming after Medicare. Next up: eliminate Social Security. You all better hope and pray Obama gets re-elected.

And not Trump/Bachman in 2012. I prefer Obama.

We're just told that Obama is brilliant, Gus. And, hysterically, that he's good looking.

I can't stand to hear him anymore than I could stand to hear Bush.

It's like we're told that "we all loved Reagan".

This is pure propaganda, repeated until you believe it, or, at least, believe that everyone else believes it.

"It is primarily because Americans have many big cars, and they drive them a lot. Japan has (or had) a lot of factories, too, and their energy use per capita is much lower than ours, primarly because every other person doesn't drive a Murano 30 miles to work each way every morning."

You know I never thought about it but if those nasty Japanese would quit making those damn Muranos we wouldn't be ABLE to drive them to work. Thanks turk, now I have the Japanese to blame.

Also, how does one " drive a Murano 30 miles to work each way every morning"? Is that even possible? (You're really messin' with our heads turk...you little scamp.)

"Obama does a better job of marketing the policies than Bush..."

Really? Is that what that little 2010 election was all about?

The comedy and tragedy Jim, great entry!

The comments section is good to about the 100 post mark....or until the blogsquatters weasel into the act and take over responding to each other, lol. Time to get out.

OEO said: "Is that what that little 2010 election was all about?"

========

2010 was about positioning the Republicans with enough power they would have to govern.

The Republicans chose to blow themselves up for 2012, by unanimous vote, to abolish Medicare as a guaranteed government health benefit.

The Congressional Republicans seem to have forgotten there are a lot of Republicans on Medicare who just got pushed over to the D column with the Ryan voucher legislation the oblivious Republicans voted on and passed in the House.

So far, the only thing that's made the long emergency tolerable is that the worse things get, the funnier JHK gets.

Seems odd to accuse Jim of being over-optimistic about anything, but I'm afraid he's been too trusting in the masses eventually awakening to their situation (especially who's responsible for it), and their willingness to do anything about it if they did. In other words, I don't foresee torches flaming down the Sunrise Highway anytime soon.

No great fan of conspiracy theories myself, I am however amazed at how everything redounds to the benefit of the super rich in this country, from the decline of public education and hence, any sense of history, to the lulling and narcoticizing effects of both internet and tube.

Add to it the poisoning of politics by big money and, most importantly, the realization by the ultra-wealthy that the smartest thing they could do with their cash is to build the most extensive right-wing propaganda machine the world has ever seen, and, well…I frankly flirt with despair for our future.

"That is what the Republicans and the Tea Party want to do: shrink the government..."

Correct. And when government shrinks taxes decrease. And it benefits ALL who pay taxes (not just the rich). But here is the rub, 43% pay NO income tax. They are not poor, as 43% of U.S. citizens are not poor. The true number of poor (2008 figure) is 14.3%.

That means that roughly 30% of people who are not poor, pay NO income tax. And why is that? Votes. And which party benefits from all the untaxed benefits? Tell us asoka-herself. Which party benefits?

"The Republicans chose to blow themselves up for 2012..."

Sure they did. The election is over before it is held? In asoka-herself's widdle head.

They've got it. It's us. Since we no longer manufacture much, our biggest industry is "health care." And we are the raw material for the "health care industry." Big Pharma saw that coming 30 years ago.

Read all about it HERE http://www.wanttoknow.info/healthcoverupE

OEO said: "30% of people who are not poor, pay NO income tax."

========

But they pay taxes, often more than the rich who manage to pay no taxes at all. The top 1 percent of wage earners paid 38 percent of the federal income taxes in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available). But people forget that the income tax is less than half of federal taxes and only one-fifth of taxes at all levels of government.

Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes (known as payroll taxes) are paid mostly by the bottom 90 percent of wage earners. That’s because, once you reach $106,800 of income, you pay no more for Social Security, though the much smaller Medicare tax applies to all wages. Warren Buffett pays the exact same amount of Social Security taxes as someone who earns $106,800.

Why don't people revolt? Why, we have democracy!

_______________________

And now from the window of a four-wheeled cab the Queen of Babylon beheld the wonders of London....

'But how badly you keep your slaves. How wretched and poor and neglected they seem,' she said, as the cab rattled along the Mile End Road.

'They aren't slaves; they're working-people,' said Jane.

'Of course they're working. That's what slaves are. Don't you tell me. Do you suppose I don't know a slave's face when I see it?

Why don't their masters see that they're better fed and better clothed? Tell me in three words.'

No one answered. The wage-system of modern England is a little difficult to explain in three words even if you understand it--which the children didn't.

'You'll have a revolt of your slaves if you're not careful,' said the Queen.

'Oh, no,' said Cyril; 'you see they have votes--that makes them safe not to revolt. It makes all the difference. Father told me so.'

'What is this vote?' asked the Queen. 'Is it a charm? What do they do with it?'

'I don't know,' said the harassed Cyril; 'it's just a vote, that's all! They don't do anything particular with it.'

'I see,' said the Queen; 'a sort of plaything.

-Written a long time ago by Edith Nesbit (a 19th century socialist)

Also, we (still) have cheap Chinese Stuff, Cheez-Doodles, and 99 cent Burgers.

It will likely happen, eventually. It's a ways in the future, unless the Tea Party gang stirs something up, or when the social safety net becomes destroyed to the point where people are actually desperate.

that was my point turk. and its only getting worse. changing our ways is easier said than done though. i would love to be at my football playing weight but i'm not going to bet the farm it is going to happen easy.

Go sweep the basement again - you missed a few spots. You miss alot of things. Btw, do Black Africans have the right to have their own Nations? Only Khadaffi is fighting for them now.

Death magic.

(I wrote this up earlier in the
morning... noted it was really
off topic... but, here it is anyway)


Someone we will all probably recognize said, 'until you change the way money works you change nothing.'

So, do you know how money works? I didn't until I found Damon Vrabels videos titled “Debunking Money.” It was his second series, the first being Renaissance 2.0. Unfortunately, he took those down, probable because of increasing threats. I have managed to find 3 of them on youtube so if you're really interested you'll be able to find them too.

It was by far the best explanation of our monetary system I have ever seen – and confirms our friends view about real change. Don't look for any leadership in Washington, Wall Street or any mainstream source. This battle will be won on the local level over many decades. It is the only battle worth fighting and will be, as Damon has said, the human rights issue of the 21st century.

You'll need to know where to focus your efforts if you're going to make a difference. Learn the truth about money... you may disagree with me about our best response but at least learn the truth about the monetary system that has sold most of us into servitude.

Jim, I was going to write a snappy note here but it's not worth the aggravation. Just once, I'd love to read a focused piece that doesn't shit on "redneck Southerners" or some member of the opposition. Grow the fuck up and quit pissing on your cereal before you consume it on Monday mornings...

"It has often been said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on the Earth, some other species will take over the running. In the sense of developing intelligence this is not correct. We have or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only."

- Fred Hoyle, 1964

"We have 100 years of know reserves of Thorium."

And after that we enter The Second Stone Age - which will last until the sun burns out. Olduvai Theory:

http://www.oilempire.us/olduvai.html

"a focused piece that doesn't shit on "redneck Southerners"

That is the conundrum that is Jim. It just doesn't make any sense. It's the pinheads of academia, government and the big banks, living in the oh-so-wonderful, big cities (mostly east coast) that have screwed the pooch. Yet James singles out cheese doodles and NASCAR for our nations downfall. And he is supposed to be some sort of big thinker. Go figure.

Nope. The South is lucky Mr. K. has other fish to fry. There's enough fucked up down here he could spend full time just on us. Everything about the south, its religion, its politics, is poisonous and needs to be amputated from the body politic.

"But they pay taxes, often more than the rich who manage to pay no taxes at all. The top 1 percent of wage earners paid 38 percent of the federal income taxes..."

Look, fucktard, you have got to stop LYING. Right now. That is the number one problem with elected officials and many in positions of power. And it is utterly ruining any credibility of any institution within out borders. The faith of the average U.S.citizen in ANY institution is at an all time low. And that is due to the BIG LIE that our government has become.

If the rich (top 1% of wage earners) pay " 38 percent of the federal income taxes" than you can not make the statement " the rich who manage to pay no taxes at all." The rich are either paying 38% of all federal income taxes or they are not. It so happens that they are. So quit the silly, fucking lie that the rich pay no taxes. Capiche? And while you are at it quite being a douche, in general. You are a bore as well as an idiot. Go get a fucking job and pay some fucking taxes. Kay?

But there isn't in the fucking north? You know, that region of the country where most of the fucked up decisions that impact the entire country spring forth? Please.

Don't dispair too much, my friend. I teach teens as my day job and I think the future'll be OK. Despite the sewage gurgling through the internet and TV they are generally a lot sharper, moar moral, and judicious than most give them credit. They care about society, the environment, and justice. The teens I teach can see the emperor's bare arse and are quite ticked off with the BS ideas being to them. It'll be fun in our old age to watch the teen of today try and hang the barons of finance who helped destroy our society!

If the 2008 Democratic Party primary had been about qualifications, Bill Richardson would have gotten some traction. As a sitting governor and former high-level diplomat, he was the most qualified Democratic candidate and as qualified as any GOP candidate. The fact that Hillary, Obama and Edwards got the most traction and Richardson got none speaks volumes about the mentality of the Democratic base.

I voted for Obama in both the primary and the general election. By the time of the Pennsylvania primary Richardson was long out of the running; Obama won my primary vote a day or two before the election, when Hillary joined McCain's craven, shortsighted call for a gas tax holiday and Obama didn't. By the time of the general election, I really believed that he had a better temperament for the office than McCain. I didn't like the shallowness of Obama's hope-and-change rhetoric and the Pavlovian response that it elicited from naive youngsters, and I noticed media hacks flogging the meme about Obama's cool temperament ad nauseam, but the simplistic narrative about McCain being unhinged and Obama being in control was consistent with my independent observations.

At this point, I feel duped. Obama either had an inexplicable change of heart or told a bunch of bald-faced lies during the campaign; probably the latter more than the former. He deserves to be impeached for usurping Constitutional authorities of Congress and for deprivations of due process, just as Bush did.

It really disturbs me that someone who appeared so thoroughly decent on the surface is showing himself to be a vicious incipient tyrant. During the campaign and early in his presidency, I didn't get the sense that Obama was a sociopath. Now, especially in the midst of the Bradley Manning torture scandal, I get the feeling that he's one of the smoothest, most deceptive sociopaths that we've ever had in high office. I'm not easily conned by politicians, but I think Obama successfully conned me. He may be a more effective liar than Bill Clinton ever was, and that's saying a lot.

I love space exploration & Sci-Fi - stop depressing me with your logic!

JHK's opus this week is a work of art. Great style. It conveys the utter abjectness of our current situation and our collective response to it.

To say he lied presupposes that he believes anything to begin with. Oh well - he probably has some beliefs - like Asoka's I imagine: Whites bad, Non Whites good. West bad, everything Third World good. Franz Fanonish and therefore eminently acceptable to Marxists. What they don't get is that he had to kiss alot of White and Jewish Ass to get elected. He owes alof of favors. He gets to do a bit of his own thing a la Eric Holder, but mostly he's just payin' back.

When he went back on his word about not taking private contributions - that should have been your warning. And then you should have checked into who those contributors actually were. It was there for all to see.

How do you figure? Jim sez the following:

"Observers of the scene have made a mistake about Obama. He's not "eloquent." He's merely respectable."

How is Obama, who heads a justice department that seeks no justice and lies about EVERYTHING, respectable? In what fucking way?

It would be fun to read Jim's rant on Atlas Shrugged Part I. I saw it yesterday. It's worth seeing, but it is what it is, a propaganda flick like Birth of a Nation or Triumph of the Will.


Re: AS, Part I...

I quit reading a review of it after they mentioned gas was $39/gallon. I did try to read those books 20 or 30 years ago, but they seemed largely unreadable.

I'm with Jim on the climate change/Jesus connection. We Catholics are supposed to "wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ," but I have to admit that I await his return with great fear. It's hard not to be scared by some of the changes prophesied for Jesus' second coming (as good a reason as any to pray for mercy, not justice). It has certainly occurred to me that maybe the apocalypse is being hastened by climate change and that climate change may be part of the apocalypse. The ramifications of peak oil, likewise. Things seem to be getting unusually unsettled, in any event.

Where I part company with the better known Millennialist factions is that I don't support endeavors to hasten the end times. Stirring up trouble and suffering in order to hasten Jesus' return is stupid and evil in my book.

So I'm glad that Jim takes on some of the more notorious strands of Southern piety. He may pick on the South a bit much and he paints with a broader brush than I'd use, but he's spot on about many of the serious problems in Southern culture, both secular and religious.

A lot of stupid crap adopted by hip, faux-country Yankees has Southern origins. To wit, NASCAR, a wasteful, demented pot of shit if ever there was one. (I don't approve of Formula One or any other car racing, either.) Nationalistic Southern Baptist theology is another one. The nationalistic factions of the SBC are totally batshit crazy. Since they're also powerful and influential, that makes them very dangerous.

I don't want a job. I paid all my life and got my money's worth of wars and roads and clean water and safe food and all the other benefits of BIG GOVERNMENT. I gladly paid my taxes as the cost of living in a civilized society. Tax rates should go up on the rich.

Some corporations (who are now "persons" according to the Supreme Court) pay no taxes at all. Some get big refunds, like GE.

You are a sneaky one. You are speaking of "income taxes" but the income tax is less than half of federal taxes and only one-fifth of taxes at all levels of government.

Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes (known as payroll taxes) are paid mostly by the bottom 90 percent of wage earners.

I lived in the South for almost 10 years and I met a lot of strange folks. Particularly the new neighbors who breathlessly ask what church you go to, and boy it better be the right one! But on the whole, minus a few quirks I noticed in the general populous, they were pretty decent people. I have found northeasterners to be kinda cold and distant. Southerners would smile and "visit with you" for quite awhile even if you were just trying to get your groceries or whatever. One thing that did stand out was the tribal nature of their society, the very thing that may take us through this long emergency. Find a group of people and stick with them. The world is surely going to get smaller and we'll need every friend we can get.

As for the apocalypse according to Wikipedia it means " lifting the veil" or "revelation", completely the opposite of what Jim was writing about this week in his essay. Well as I wrote earlier I think we are seeing plenty of truth. You just have to look for it. So don't fear an apocalypse, the truth is supposed to be a good thing, right?
take care

You're right, I didn't do my due diligence as a voter in 2008. There was a part of me that wanted to believe in Obama, not as badly and reflexively as some of my peers but still with unreasonable idealism.

All the same, I wouldn't have had that temptation if the GOP candidates hadn't been such disasters. I liked Sarah Palin for the first week or so, before her laziness and trailer park abuses of authority in Alaska came to light nationally, and before she turned into an incoherent walking train wreck. It reflected very badly on McCain that he chose her as his running mate, and he did almost nothing late in the campaign to win me over. As far as I was concerned, it wasn't hard to be the lesser of two evils when the opposition was an erratic old guy with a history of melanoma and a flake who had fired her director of public safety for being impartial in one of her family disputes.

One vice that I don't think Obama demonstrates is racism. His association with that clown Jeremiah Wright looked like political opportunism to me. That's why he moved to Chicago in the first place; he knew that it was a great place for ambitious black politicians. An implicit hatred of Whitey was just another political tool in his belt. Meanwhile, he had countless white associates whom he treated as friends and equals.

So what beliefs does Obama really hold? Good question. I no longer presume to know.

What's in a word?

Kochbama

Vlad says, ... "there are more Mexicans in Atlanta than blacks".

Could that possibly be true?

Then we'll have to start calling it Nueva Atlanta, not simply Atlanta.

Kind of like when the Muslims took over Constantinople and made it there own, calling it Istanbul.

-Marlin

Good news about Atlanta! La reconquista sigue en pie.

MORE PROOF SOCIALISM WORKS

So many people moaned about the "government takeover" of General Motors two years ago. Well now we have the results of the "socialist" takeover:

Chevrolet is starting its centennial year with record-breaking sales, according to General Motors Co. officials. The Detroit automaker this morning reported it sold 1.1 million Chevrolet vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2011, a 15-percent increase over the first quarter of 2010 and the brand’s best first-quarter results ever.

It is time we in the north admit the south was right. We hate each other and would both be happier separate. Let's start down the path to a better tomorrow and divide into two nations along the Mason-Dixon line.

Ayn Rand was on welfare while she wrote Atlas Shrugged.

Would love to see a country by country breakdown of the sales increases. Would that growth be in China?

Wow! Nothing has changed around here. But at least you see remnants of good posters from the past, dickweeds from the past (pissant types) still baiting, and good posters who have taken over as the "regulars" who haven't got bored yet, or are hanging on and waiting for the great unraveling. Always worth the visit to hear Jim's latest however.

The sex scene in Atlas Shrugged seemed more like a rape scene to me. I found that odd for a female author.

The ivy league boys provide the finances for running the real economy into the ground. Dumbshit southerners provide the ideological backbone of racism, reaction and hatred that power today's publicans and tea-partiers. Dick suckers, not suckees, granted.

Vlad and Peanut Boy making fun of other people for not working or having menial jobs...now that's ironic!

Sci Fi is the modern day equivalent of ancient myths and fairy tales. There are a lot of good stories and metaphors in that genre but the realities of things like space travel are unfortunately bounded by strict physical limitations.

Anything that a presidential candidate says while campaigning, I toss out the window when they are elected. I figure they have to make some wild promises across the board to please all the various constituencies, and I don't hold it against them.

Like GW Bush said we should get involved with the internal affairs of other countries and had kind of an isolationist bent. You can see what happened there.

And then Bush the elder said something about "Read my lips..." though I don't remember if that was during office or while on the stump. He kinda had his feet held to the fire on that one when he ended up raising taxes.

Similarly, I don't get all bent out of shape over Obamie's "Hope and Change" or lack thereof.

Given the huge squishy pile that he inherited from his predecessor, I'd give him like a B or B++.

Pleasing and cow-towwing to the Wall St interests is just a given for any president. The financiers are the ones really running the big show.

I'm pretty much just happy to have someone for POTUS who speaks in complete grammatical English sentences and doesn't make up nicknames for his advisors like some kind of junior high wrestling coach.

GW Bush said we "shouldn't get involved"...oops.

I found that Atlas Shrugged did not agree with common sense. Inventors and creators in society do not simply stop creating if they don't reap all or even much of the monetary rewards of their endeavors. In the academic sciences where a lot of the cutting edge research occurs, much of it is conducted by low paid graduate students or post-docs. Then, for instance, a drug company can take that research and make scads of dough from a medication that came out of the public domain.

There was a good TED talk that argued paying people exorbitant monetary bonuses actually affected their performance adversely.

Fermi's Paradox: Given that there are trillions of stars in a galaxy and there are trillions of galaxies in the Universe, providing ample opportunity for life and intelligence on other worlds, why have we detected no signs whatsoever of intelligent lifeforms ? (not even a radio blip). Chances are the intelligent species on other worlds made the same mistakes we are making now, destroying the possibility for an advanced civilization. That might be depressing, but it might be Reality. As Jim is fond of saying, Reality doesn't give a rats ass about the human race.

catman, where do you get this information?

Ayn Rand was distinctly not on welfare while she worked on Atlas Shrugged, as her earlier novels, most of all The Fountainhead, had been very successful and made her fairly wealthy; and had enabled her to purchase the Van Sternberg house in Chatsworth, CA.

While she was a young, struggling scriptwriter in her early years in this country, she and her husband accepted charity from a friend, who helped pay her apartment rent. She surely did not show sufficient gratitude for this assistance, but she was not at any time a government welfare recipient.

Folks: I address all of you in the Kunstler Blog-sphere as a friend:

As we all seem to read Jim's blog, I'll assume that means that regardless of views, we all at least find it interesting. Based on that, I'd like to humbly ask all of us to refrain from Troll behaviour and protect this blog in the interest of the greater good. Profanity? Fuckin’ A- love it: excellent way of emphasising points. Witty repartee? We need more as it raises the general gloom as well as the discussion. Dagger thrusts of logic straight through your opponent’s argument? Beautiful: bring it on, baby!

...But the low brow racism and inane “am not! - are too” argument threads that I see starting to pollute these comments? WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT!

Let’s keep this place a clean discussion zone at least until we have to go out & clip off that old copper line for it’s scrap value! After that, who knows - maybe we’ll be able to keep comms open by pigeon! Debate me if you dare;-)

"WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT!"

Speak for yourself...

New,

Space is exceptionally large, so any other intelligent species might simply be separated from us by a huge amount of space, like thousands of light years (or more). The closest star is over a light year away, and even that is practically an unfathomably large distance on the human scale. Also, radio signals and similar EM communications attenuate rather quickly. So even if we did receive some electrons from a Grey alien communique, it would likely not be recognizable as such.

I second the motion. Nothing wrong with a dialectic, but it should be civilized.

Blow you??? You want Helen to floss her teeth with your little gherkin dick?

Sorry tootsie... women are only interested in blowing REAL men... not unimaginative, foul mouthed, "guys" who comment like they are fourteen, and who don't have the faintest idea what a real man is, or how to become one (hint... it involves more than a penis)

Well, this is hope... but I like to think that maybe somewhere, indeed somewhen, maybe someone’s due to avoided Fermi’s downer. I’m quite confidant that reality’s about to land on us real hard, but I still play Lotto Max! Wha’d’ya at? I’m at hughculliton@sympatico.ca & always like to know a friend from the Rock.

I think you meant to reply to "The Poster formerly known as larrymoecurley", because I'm sure JHK banned him again. It is becoming kind of a ritual on Monday mornings.

I don't think Fermi's Paradox is one at all. It could be explained by the amount of, uh, space involved.

Though I like Hawkin's similar question about time travel. If it is possible, where are all the Time Traveling tourists?

You're all invited!

While the world spins out of control, and uncertainty fills our thoughts of the future, I'm putting together a chicken pie tonight, made from our own chicken cooked over the campfire, pork sausage from a local organic hog; the crust is made from lard we rendered from the same hog, the butter I just made 20 minutes before the crust, from the cream riding on top of yesterday's raw Jersey milk; the filling is all veggies from our (way beyond) organic garden - spinach, chard, Tuscan kale, dandelion greens, spring onions and young garlic, winter savory, thyme, and Italian parsley. Oh, and a little grating of fresh nutmeg in a cream sauce, also from our cow. Nutmeg not included.

By this time next year the flour will be from my own stock too. Be ready within the hour...

Monday is something I really look forward to. Reading this post is really fun and interesting and yes I do have a life other than cyberspace. The comments are usually well thought out and most have knowledge of the state of the world. It would be interesting if Mr. Kunstler had some place in his blog where we all could actually participate in doing something constructive together although I do doubt if anything can be done now. To late. It may be to late and yet the people here I know can come up with actions to change some things. Let the juices flow and as Sandy Krolick says "let the feral beast loose" Not sure he said exactually that but it fits.

My mother thinks "Atlas Shrugged" is one of the best books ever written. :0 Of course the "Book of Mormon" is her #1 favorite. Talking to my mother about religion and politics is pure torture.

Kinda worried about what the stock market will do in the next week.

Jen

I have to agree that the trolls are making it harder every week to enjoy the column itself as well as the more intelligent comments and discussions that could be found following it.

It always amazes me that people who hate the writer's and posters' opinions stick around to be as obnoxious as possible. Why don't they just go away and stick with their own kind, or maybe their own kind aren't savvy enough to get a blog going.

Good post though, as always. I'm just having trouble remembering it very clearly after sorting through all that chaff to get to the wheat.

Well, here I speak! To the point at hand, and in defence of 'da Newfie while we should never undertestimate a social system's ability to manage it's affairs with sheer, utter incompetence, (ours on Earth or Beyond the Stars), perhaps someone, somewhere has figured out a better plan then self destruction, somewhere in the mind-blowing vastness of space!! Damn...My better half & kids are calling & I have to go be responsible for a while. It's been fun guys, stay in touch!

Sorry... I can't blow my cover. I work in the oil patch. I have to keep my day job for now...

From Blacklisted News :

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming
April 15, 2011

By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer

The Canadian Military has voted in favour of The Long Emergency:

"The planet is running out of oil and heading toward a future that could trap Canada in a violent spiral of decline in the economy and the environment" - a special research unit within the Canadian military.

http://peakoil.com/enviroment/oil-shortages-and-environmental-decline-could-create-global-quagmire-military-report/

I don't know, JHK. You have certainly done more than your share of "South Bashing" in your days - including last weeks Skeleton Dance piece.

But this week, not a word of it. And you take nice jabs at Manhattan, Connecticut, and your favorite piece of demographically demented geography - The Hamptons.

In fact and in all honesty, you bash those goddamn Hampton dwellers far more often than you bash the South.

Yet you let one little reference to a little oval track racing and Church creep in for the week:

"Is it possible that climate change and Jesus are one and the same? Let them figure that out in the little cinderblock roadside chapels next Sunday before they all trundle over to the Nascar track."
-JHK-
And some of your loyal posters begin going nuts, yet again, on both sides of the Mason Dixon line.
=========
NASCAR is a silly "sport," all right.
But it is no more Southern than any of those hyperengineered NASCAR "cars" going around those ovals are "stock."

Here's a demographic analysis. "NASCAR fans live in regions that mirror the U.S. population, as they are within 2 percentage points of the U.S. population in every region."
http://www.toyotaspeedwayatirwindale.com/NASCAR_demo.pdf

I'm not sure posters are understanding that.
I'm not sure you are either, Mr. Kunstler.

Oh well, nice weeks work, anyway - even if some of it is being misinterpreted by some of your loyal posters.
Thanks for the blog and the comment thread, as always.

No worries, I understand. I did 12 years in MARCOM & have family in Corner Brook. But if you're ever by Belleville ON & need a hot & a cot,let us know.

"It always amazes me that people who hate the writer's and posters' opinions stick around to be as obnoxious as possible." - G.O.G.
*****************************

So, Mr. Kunstler writes a piece about the stubborn refusal of the denizens of the Rupublic[kers] of Dumbfuckistan to give up their cherished "beliefs" (fantasies) in the face of looming realities, which incites rabid fuckwits [who just happen to be denizens of Dumbfuckistan] to spew their bilious "beliefs" into the public domain of Mr. Kunstler's very own blog... thus providing dead-bang examples of the blindingly stupid "ideas" that aforesaid fuckwits refuse to loosen their death-grip upon!
LOL (Have a laugh; it's all we're gettin'.)

'Tis a thing of beauty, and a joy to behold!
;o)

I think a simpler explanation for Obama's behavior is that, although initially sincere, once elected it was made very clear to him exactly what his role would be. I'm sure this was done in a most convincing way by the same array of oil/corporate/pharma/nuclear/defense influences that effectively took over this country in the Coup d'Etat of 1963.

So he has settled for the position of an elequent and ineffectual spokesmodel for the mild and moderate supposedly progressive point of view, trying to just hold the BAU together long enough that it doesn't blow up on his watch.

As for Jim's focus on the South I think it should be understood as the standin for the doodle munching faith based anti-intellectuals found everywhere. Personally, I do resent the goobers paying to watch shiny fuelwasters go round in circles again, and again, and again. And the gas they are burning up on their way to their hypocritical houses of superstition - hell I could use that to rototill the garden.

According to some unreliable resources my robot reporter informs me that Tinker Bell is considering turning in the magic wand for a shovel in order to build a new casino bunker.
Stay tuned and we'll be right back after this important message from a diseased factory farm.

Thanks! I might look up when I visit Toronto this fall on a guitar hunting spree. I live in SJ. I'm actually from "Scova Notia".

I see the Canadian military has now got peak oil religion and is forecasting a gloomy future for humanity:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/shortages+environmental+decline+could+create+global+quagmire+military/4630846/story.html

Hey Grouchy -
I have two trolls that I vow never to respond to directly - ever again.

One is Tootsie/LingLing/LarryMoeCurley in all of his many presently banned, or soon to be banned, incarnations. He can be recognized by his use of insults when he runs out of ideas - and by the use of a favorite pejorative, "fucktard."

The other is Asoka.

Trolls will always be with us, on a generally unmoderated webspace such as this one. It is OK to talk "about" the trolls to another poster. If you respond directly "to" the trolls, however - it encourages them.

CaptainSpaulding has been the Troll Abatement Officer for CFN for the past several weeks. HughCulliton may take over for the Captain - in case of emergency.

Direct your troll concerns and troll comments to one of those two gentlemen, if you please.

Thinking about the extremes of the global economy which cannot be sustained, Richard Heinberg and his site is worth delving into:
[Specialization and Globalization: Genies at Our Command
Posted Apr 14, 2011 by Richard Heinberg
This article is the final excerpt from Chapter 4 of Richard Heinberg's new book 'The End of Growth', which is set for publication by New Society Publishers in September 2011. This chapter explores the possibilities of innovation, substitution and efficiency to maintain economic growth.]

check www.postcarbon.org for article. Sorry this site did not let me post the url.

Kunstler again demonstrates that although he has a sharp and vicious wit, he's still one of the most clueless alternative commentators around.

Although we've all now had the chance to observe Mr. Obama in action, Kunstler persists in curling up next to his Lil' Pink Princess telephone, waiting for the call from Obama to tell the naively faithful that he's finally going to live up to all of his grandiose rhetoric, and that he's really-for-real going to stand up to the true Lords and Masters of this economic fairy tale gone bad.

Trapped as he is by the "oh-like-so-progressive" philosophies you find dripping out all over the smarmily hypocritical Northeast and other "like really hip" places excreted around the country, he just doesn't get it that his '60's vintage battle with a caricatured conservatism is long over, and was irrelevant from the gitgo.

Kunstler just does not understand, nor will he, that the Left and Right are two hands of the puppetmeister that gleefully mesmerizes dupes like Kunstler into getting all hyped up over a BS story of an epic battle between the forces of evil reactionary conservatism found in ordinary people living in southern regions, who may have simple tastes for beer, NASCAR and religion - and those enlightened forces of the northern coastal regions at both ends, who gather together to smirk and sip their latte's, as they contemplate their supreme superiority over lesser intellects who just don't understand that all hypocrisy is justified if the rhetoric is right, as Obama demonstrates with wars beyond count in the Mideast and beyond. The PTB chose well in selecting Obama to justify the unjustifiable to the factually oblivious.

While useful dolts like Kunstler do yeoman's work for the PTB in distracting the public, they proceed with the utter ransacking of the nation's wealth and a general demolition of the Constitutional constructs that this nation was built upon and which it prospered under. It's not "us" gaming our own asses, but a fairly obvious set of owners of this government (i.e., the Fed and IT'S owners), who are glaringly evident once one weans themselves from a pathetically dated and cliched view of American governance.

I was thinking that one of the most pernicious falsitudes perpetuated by Sci Fi is this idea that every difficulty we face or create is a "problem" that can be "solved." I have seriously had Trekkies tell me about how we will be exploring space within several hundred years. Similarly, many seem to feel that these overarching problems like Peak Oil and Climate Change can be "fixed" by the scientists waving their magic invention wands.

The recent nuclear reactor fiascos have me thinking that perhaps technology is a double-edged weapon that is equally able to cause CFs as well as (sometimes) unfsk them.

I just saw a presentation on the nuclear program in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (gotta love that Orewelliam Doublespeak name). If you think the Japanese or Russian reactors were poorly designed, you should see what they've got going in NK. When the meltdown occurs, there will be lines of bandanna wearing NKers passing buckets to throw on the never-ending fires.

The time has come, say the French, for a Tale of Two Cities, of Two Civilizations. It is time for Madame deFarge to break out her knitting and for the spectacle of the harvest to begin. The french really have a knack for "elminating excess" and making a public display of it. Why not Wall Street executives? They can be dragged kicking and screaming out of their Greenwich mansions, thrown into a NYC precint lockup and held for the mornings entertainment while their families run for the nearest country that isn't the US.

Obama and Chu are all over alt.energy. They have been putting billions into that sector, both in direct research and funneling money to venture capitalists. The money going into solar/batteries alone is probably 10x what it was under Bush. So say what you want about our harried commander in chief, this is one area where he's at least trying to make a difference. In particular, Chu is an expert in Global Warming (aka Climate Change) science, and if he could wave a magic wand to make everything different in terms of how we use energy, I'm sure he would do it. But, really, the ball is not in the court of the Executive Branch. The oil and car industries are private enterprises, both with huge influence. Regardless of what Obama and Chu say and do, people really are interested in business as usual. There is really a limited amount that the government can do to change the way most Americans do business in terms of energy/resource usage. Most people just want them to bring gas prices down (somehow).

From Food Crisis article...

""one third of the world's cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes"."

Surely, it is worse than this (?). Topsoil forms at the rate of inches over hundreds of years and depletes far more quickly than this, so I can't imagine that almost any farmland is truly "sustainable" (though correct me if I'm wrong).

Michael Cain (former RNC head) replied: "Then you are SOL ...

I just finished watching that broadcast. It was Michael Steele who, when asked what the elderly do after the $15K runs out, replied, "I don't know".

They haven't all thought through the ramifications of the voucher plan. I give them credit for at least coming up with some ideas. As I understand, total gov't liabilities to cover all the 70M baby boomers throughout their retirements is in the $40 trillion range. The giant elephant in the room.

Is that math something like 70 million times $500k a pop?

Just curious...

Yeah, you're really close. 1 million retirees drawing $1M during their retirement (not out of the question for medicare/medicaid & SS) is $1 trillion. So, 70 million times $500K is $35 trillion.

I think it is time to revisit the "Eating Fossil Fuels" article by Pfeiffer. We were discussing this a bit last week.

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100303_eating_oil.html

That's a good read, and by good I mean freaking horrifying.

I hope I didn't come across as bashing the elderly last week, but I think you are on board with me about making these retirement programs need based. I said last week that the elderly have the greatest per capita equity and the highest rates of health insurance coverage compared with other age categories.

I mentioned a few months ago about how well off my parents are, and they are sucking on the Feds for $$six figs worth of joint replacements & open heart surgeries. My Mother collects $1K/month SS. My father thinks he's "entitled" to all this largess as he "paid into the system his whole life". Sure he did. That's why all of us face a $14T deficit; roughly $200K liability per family. What he paid into has already been spent on previous retirees, wars, subsidies, etc.

$15k in medical expenses is like...nothing. That's one semi-major hospital visit. End of life expenses alone are average of $500k. My buddy had someone hit-and-run him (pure no fault accident) on his motorbike and the bills were like $200k.

The problem with using private insurance to cover the elderly is that...it doesn't work. The premiums would have to be unaffordably high for it to make economic sense in terms of a private insurer just breaking even. That's why Medicare was created in the first place, so the elderly could all get medical coverage. Because under a system of purely private medical insurance, most would not be able to afford it. Their bills are far too high to make it a for-profit system.

Anywho, I'm not too worried about the Baby Boomers and their mass retirement and impending die off (ahehe). That problem will pass. I'm more worried about Peak Oil, Climate Change, resource exhaustion, overpopulation, etc. which will all only tend to get worse over time.

I mean, the government is never going to not be able to pay. It invents the money out of thin air, so that's an impossibility. But our currency is headed for more inflation, hopefully not of the hyper variety.

Good comments. To show how some still don't get it, I was disappointed, but not surprised, that one of the two so called conservatives on "The McLaughlin Group", Rich Lowry of "The National Review", predicted that the Feds would give us a gas tax holiday this year.

How convenient. No brain, no pain.

I've skimmed Eating Fossil Fuels a couple of times. I didn't try to verify the numbers but it sounds plausible. Pfeiffer says world population must be "reduced" by 2/3 to be sustainable without oil. "Reduced". Heh heh. I think the troubles will start soon. Within 2-3 years. High oil prices will cause high food prices and then riots will break out in some places. Pakistan is a prime candidate (and they got nukes which will make social/political instability very "interesting"). And climate change might trigger a massive drought or floods here and there, and suddenly, there won't be quite enough food. Pleasant dreams...

There ARE things we COULD do. With a modest amount of money and some actual Leadership.

Lighting consumes about 20% of all our electricity. The new LED bulbs use 90% less power, contain no toxic materials and produce high quality light. They also produce 90% less heat, affecting:

Air conditioning, which consumes another 15-20%. A new AC technology (Coolerado) uses 90% less power and uses no CFCs.

Cars are available today that can double or triple the average gas mileage.

But it would take strong leadership that doesn't mind stepping on some big toes and the development of a consensus for change willing to shape taxation policies. The feeble leaders of today and the ones in the pipeline for tomorrow are more likely to do nothing or go in the wrong direction.

Reportedly the wise ancient Chinese had topsoil
that got richer, so good were they to their land.

I tried to post all of article but twas blocked.

Thats REALLY funneee....have you posted here before?
come again!

Did you see 'ANGELAS ASHES'....
the scene where the neighbor calls for her children
'Lucy come get potatoes and buttery gravey'?

while the authors family is starvin?

Hello PoC. I never address the pissant directly, and in fact would be glad to avoid acknowledging his existence at all, but to my disappointment, he is able to get people to respond to him no matter how juvenile he gets. I have always known that the way to deal with little bitches like him is to ignore them. Unfortunately, somebody always bites and answers him, which of course only encourages him, since negative attention is better than no attention at all. I would like to suggest to the other contributors to this blog, that you act intelligently and refuse to bite at his bait. Every time you answer him, you show yourself to be the fool. I propose a covenant in which all participants agree to not respond to the pissant regardless of his provocations. You know that you would not allow him to hang out with you in the real world, it's just that here he can insinuate himself into things & provoke responses. In the real world, he'd be slapped up like the little bitch he is. Just be thankful you don't have to life his pathetic little life. Just imagine, no friends, never getting laid, and not being particularly intelligent. Respond to the covenant, or give yourself to the pissant forever.

We can create topsoil much faster than 1" every 500 years, I've freely offered that knowledge many times, but it's not a "solution" to the topsoil problem. It requires that we conduct our business differently. We can build gardens that don't need fertilizers or pesticides with some 101 knowledge of Carbon:Nitrogen ratios, and ecology. Most of us could live without ever needing to tap the aquifers for water supply if we'd just pay attention to what we're doing. And we could build houses that stand up to seismic quaking, with thick earthen walls strengthened by simple wheat straw. Beautiful houses that would feel right to us on a cellular level. We don't need engineers and reinforced concrete to accomplish this task.

But most of us refuse to make such simple changes because they are not glamorous. We pine for glamorous solutions to the problems that glamorous living created for us. All the while ignoring the forgotten beauty of real life.

Where did David Matthews run off to? The mausoleum's air has grown abnormally stale.

Heya, tripp. You'd know such things better than me. But the statement in the article was referring to "natural" topsoil replenishment, which is quite slow, not human-aided. North Africa and the ME (and Africa) in general are all examples of what happens when land is over-cultivated. It turns into desert. There's a lot more of it in our future.

Yeah, you're probably right.

I don't understand why someone hasn't IP banned him yet. He has like 15 banned typepad accounts. That's more than anyone I know.

I sometimes address Asoka directly. But even talking about him in the third person seems to encourage him. Asoka responds to pissant in the mistaken belief that bad information should be countered with good information. Pissant is an apologist for the rich. Asoka is an apologist for Obama. A pox on both their houses.

I will try to always refer to Asoka in the third person or just ignore him ... that is PoC's tactic and Capt. Spaulding's tactic. Maybe it will make Asoka go away, though he does sometimes post something of interest.

Until now Asoka seems interested in posting each week, but who knows? Perhaps within 3 or 4 more Friedman units he might get bored and go away. One can always hope. No, wait, that hope thing is Obama's ... oh never mind.

I want to be just as juvenile as PoC and CaptSpaulding, so I will refer to Asoka in the third person.

That's the way to live. You lucky.
Very lucky AND smart.

by the time you wake up and read this the price of gas will be even higher !

Ah, Trolls. As with the poor, they are always with us.

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS! A simple rule to live by.

I still think that Mr. Kunstler, perhaps, lets them run wild here so that we realize what kind of people are out there. You brush up against them every day and don't realize what lies beneath the surface. For warned is for armed. When the SHTF, you may know who to put down in the street like a rabid dog. Or, at least steer clear of.

In the meantime, if you tire of this corner of the Wild and Woolley Web, if you just need a break, check out some of the moderated blogs. Such as... our very own Tripp

www.smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/

Or, Michael Greer's blogs .. www.greenwizards.org

or www.thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com

And, there are many more.

There are some "Southerners" on here whose feefees were hurt by less than complimentary comments about NASCAR which apparently exhibit some sort of "regional" prejudice. Boo hoo. Here's an example of why it is difficult to love southerners. Gov. Perry of Texas just a few short months ago lectured the rest of the country about how evil the Federal gummint is, and hence, how evil the rest of the country is. He said that Texas ought to secede. Now, he is asking for a federal emergency to be declared so that the rest of the country can help his sorry ass. I say, secede already, asshole. The rest of us don't feel like sending our tax dollars to an ungrateful and hateful Texas. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out the door, asshole.

"The signs are unmistakable. It's not as bad you think, either."

No it's not as bad--it's worse. The mood at Walmart these days is rather gloomy. A head of lettuce has gone from $.99 to $1.44. An increase of around 44% in one month. And we haven't even defaulted on the debt yet. Six months ago Lindsey Williams predicted every headline I've read in the last 5 days. Geithner warning of default, Obama saying we could become a third world nation, the BRICS agreeing not to use USD's for trade, revolt across the Middle East, and the demise of the EURO. Whoa! It's all the Republicans fault, don't you know. GAME OVER.

The easiest and simplest way to improve the economic welfare of almost everyone in the USA, EU and JAPAN is to let the prices of homes and rents go as far down as possible. This would automatically increase the value of work as opposed to property owners and banks simply sponging off the weaker classes that are forced to pay to live in a place.

If rents became 400 dollars a month instead of 1,000 in the US, EU and JAPAN that would be equivalent to getting a 600 dollar a month raise. If homes cost only their real value of construction, not more than about 100,000 dollars, then mortgages would be just as cheap, etc.

But there is a deep reason why this doesn't happen: BECAUSE WORK TODAY IS WORTHLESS, NOT NEEDED, NOT IMPORTANT, NOT NECESSARY, A DOG AND PONY SHOW, IRRELEVANT, AUTOMATED AND OPTIMIZED AWAY, IS JUST A POWER RELATIONSHIP, STATUS RELATIONSHIP.

What counts is who can force who to pay what for what basic necessity: therefore expect health care to keep on costing more, housing to keep on costing more, water and food eventually to keep on costing more, etc.

Now go on, tell me that there is a "common good"; tell me that the economists and political scientists are researching how to improve society, how to make society a better place. What a bunch of BS.

Also, the US debt is 10 trillion dollars, that would be equivalent to 1 billion future jobs paying 10,000 dollars a year. Is there that work available ? Is there that amount of labor necessary in any possible productive endeavor ? NO, NOT A CHANCE IN HELL, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM IS TOTALLY HELL BENT ON AUTOMATING, OPTIMIZING AWAY AS MUCH WORK AS POSSIBLE, INCREASING "PRODUCTIVITY" (WHICH MEANS KILLING AS MANY JOBS AS POSSIBLE BY LETTING ONE GUY DO THE WORK OF AS MANY AS POSSIBLE), COMPETITION, INNOVATION (WHICH MEANS FINDING WAYS TO GET MORE PRODUCT AND MORE RESULTS WITH LESS EFFORT, THERE GOES OTHER THOUSANDS JOBS OUT OF THE WINDOW!).

We need huge public-private projects such as millions of skyscrapers, rockets to mars, high speed trains, you name it and Free Salaries and Cheap Rents and Hobby Factories having Free Work. Or, alternatively, get rid of all computers and get millions of people back to doing everything by hand, writing all the contents of computers and databases by hand, by pen and paper, A huge paper based internet, kill automation and get people working.


Check out:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174961

"Now, go on, say that we have overpopulation, peak oil, debts, etc. We don't, all of these scares are not even a blip on the radar in the greater scheme of things. There is plenty of oil still left and there are and will be many work arounds for this. Why is the life style of people much better in Manhattan, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people compared to the small town in Kansas having only 2,000 people ? Because more people is a resource, means more exchanges, means more wealth, more diversity, more possibilities, etc. There are not too many people, there are too few, the earth can host thousands of trillions, but the population will probably peak at about 15 to 20 billion which is nothing at all. If there were all of these important debts, then half the world would be in an all out depression, but the economy of the world is growing by 4 % a year, so there are no debts, only a bunch of lies and make believe constrictions and interdictions everyone buys into so the rich and capitalists can keep on hogging as much money as possible while taking away as much from the weaker classes, like laying off teachers, increasing the age of pensions, etc. All of this is totally useless and just serves a purpose for the ruling classes.

And most of all, we have millions of people idle, kept from work, bored frustrated people that would like to exercise their will power by simulating a winning game by attaching the wheels to cars in hobby factories. With all the millions of idle people worldwide, we could build all the cars in the world and a skyscraper to the moon in a day with only hobby factories and they could express their will power and satisfy their need to win this detached simulation, all for free, as in free work, no need to pay, they would pay you to spend an hour or two in a hobby factory.

Therefore, Free Salaries, Cheap Rents, and Hobby Factories having Free Work."


This also demonstrates how the system creates debt: because it can create free wealth automatically, it is a huge excess capacity system, generates wealth and production with very little labor input. It can generate debts, consumption, but it can't generate jobs, at least not real productive jobs.

And that is the contradiction the economy is in, and people can't see this, all of the economists can't see through this, we no longer live in a simple cause and effect system, of linear labor, so much input so much output. False, the system is totally non linear, with huge amplifications, economies of scale, with automation, robots, optimizations, etc. Work can no longer be produced in this system but wealth and products of all kinds from all productive endeavors (even services) can be produced in ever more quantities with fewer and fewer workers.

And people just can't wrap their heads around this, just can't believe it, just can't accept a simple non linearity: we get products but we don't need labor, end of story. This is the result of a Technological Economy.

So the mathematical solution to this is simple: Free Salaries and Cheap Rents. But since no one can accept this because of some moralistic - religious stance against a "free lunch", all the wealth, in the form of trillions of dollars is hogged up by the rich and capitalists that have been choking and vomiting on it for years now. And they have been accumulating trillions upon trillions for decades now, it is unbelievable! And they will keep on choking and vomiting on more and more trillions as everyone continues in the "punishment mode" against the weaker classes: demanding that ever more workers be layed off because they are not "productive", raising the retirement age of people "so they can work more" (we need young people working, not old people!), hike up the prices of colleges in the UK (pure punishment mode), etc.

Well done Kulturcritic - nice website as well!

Yes, the cold war turned out to be nothing more than an exercise in semantics. Can you imagine if we had spent all that money on developing the human race instead of making a few greedy fuckwits rich?

...and how about the spoilt vote? How else do we tell these "leaders" of ours that they are on the wrong track?


Jim can sure summarize a thorny dilemma in
a few words like these from this week's CFN
Chronicle:

"I have never lived in a time when so many false
narratives competed for supremacy of the collective
mind-space."

Exactly. You have gibberish on both sides but
the outcome is predestined ... the common man
is going to be screwed up every orifice he has
here and in many parts of Europe.

Let's not engage in happy talk here.

E.

JHK, as do most here and in general, has a particular Large Scale Economic model he thinks is operating: one where oil is the dominating resource that conditions all of the others and all productive endeavors, where this resource is finishing or limited and where the society and economy is destined to become a "World Made by Hand", as if history has a precise predetermined path (just like Marx used to think that history will end up necessarily in Communism, or just like the Globalization gurus think that history will end up with a United States of the world, all countries just like New Jersey).

JHK doesn't understand technology. Most here do not understand the real Large Scale Economic Model that is operating: this model is the Technological Economy that is constantly optimizing and becoming more efficient at producing all kinds of products, real or perceived (services, IPADS) in all possible productive endeavors.

Technology, just like work, labor, corporations, manufacturing is not a fixed entity: it is always adapting, changing, it is a process in continuous evolution and interaction. People also adapt in all kinds of ways, change, solve problems. etc. So even if oil finishes, you can be sure that there are many other solutions even if partial at hand, and they will be used, if minerals, land, food "finishes", there are other solutions and processes at hand, cars can be recycled, food created with genetic engineering, etc. Obviously the processes are complex, difficult to follow, each sector is specialized, there are all kinds of experiments and research being done. So people are mostly unaware of all of this.

So the system will continue just as it is now, only will become richer and richer, more product more services but with one very important exception: LESS REAL PRODUCTIVE WORK AND LESS LABOR NEEDED.

And this is exactly what is creating all the problems on wall street, the subprime bubble, all kinds of bubbles, all kinds of instabilities, conflicts, etc. I could care less who robs what, who broke the rules, etc. Punishing them or changing the rules won't do anything for anybody. It is all really irrelevant, the system just creates huge chunks of free cash that is hanging around and people try to get some.

The system creates wealth with less and less labor needed, there is more and more money in the hands of banks and rich people, this money needs to find a return on investment and creates bubbles and chaos.

The real large scale problem that is facing us is not resource limitation, or overpopulation or debts: it is how to channel the money to more and more people, even if there is no real productive labor needed and necessary anymore.

This is the problem, the solution is, as I have repeated many times, Free Salaries, Cheap Rents, Hobby Factories with Free Work, Large Public - Private projects hiring millions by letting them build millions of Skyscrapers, Rockets to Mars, High Speed Trains etc. so that all the excess capacity the Technological Economy generates does not suffocate the rich with trillions and does not degenerate in wars and fights and conflicts of everyone against everyone, in a fight amongst the poor.

On the fact of "competing narratives":

Check out:


http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=174890

and

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174897

"The chant of the moment is "cut costs", layoff workers in all sectors, cut medicare, cut pensions, austerity, cut consumption, contract the economy as much as possible, there are too many debts, etc. In the meanwhile they also say the economy has "to grow" in order to generate jobs, this cut costing will create growth. How on earth is it possible that supposedly smart people can say these 2 things at the same time ? This goes to show the exact value of all of those college degrees, namely ZERO, no wonder no one wants to hire them anymore, they all hugely suck, they have a zero brain.

Aside from the fact that even if they didn't cut costs and increased consumption and expanded the consumption part of the economy as much as possible, this would generate very few new jobs, because there is no longer any relationship between a growing economy in terms of consumption and the creation of jobs simply because this cause and effect is no longer valid in a globalized, technological economy with large economy of scales, non-linearities and automation. By the way this elimination of real work has been going on since the 1960s (the hippies knew this, and that is why they said they could live for free as they did, and today it is more true than ever) and the amount of wealth and productive capacity available today is many times greater than the 1960s, when in only 8 years they sent a man to the moon with a much smaller population a more primitive technology, and much less technological and scientific knowledge than today (we could do miracles today if it were really desired).

But surely, giving less money and cutting costs will just make everyone poorer without achieving absolutely anything at all: this economy is almost completely based on discretionary spending, on optional fluff activities that are assigned values arbitrarily, but by making everyone poorer and especially feel poorer, there goes any new jobs creation. Aside from the fact that jobs and labor in general are no longer needed and necessary anyways, work has been eliminated in many sectors by the technological economy.

Granted there are still millions who have to work a lot and heavily but this is simply because the system is designed to concentrate as much work as possible towards as few people as possible while keeping other millions completely idle. This is the profit from labor principle, but generally speaking, the era of work and labor is over and will increasingly be so. No matter what, the real productive jobs that are necessary are always those few tens of activities that have always been needed and these are constantly being streamlined and optimized and will increasingly be so no matter what. Most other jobs are simply dog and pony shows of make believe fluff that simply serve to transfer some of the huge amount of money the rich and capitalists are choking on towards more people.

And about resource scarcity and peak oil, just by letting people not have to drive back and forth to dog and pony show jobs and therefore saving gas, you could already save a lot of oil. So resource scarcity has many solutions, both technological and organizational - social.

But if real work is no longer needed why is everyone against Free Salaries ? Why are they so scandalized by this simple concept ? because, psychologically, they (service sector workers, but others also) have to believe that their imaginary labor is useful, has value, that what they do is important, that they are achieving and working hard: nothing further from the truth, their labor is worth zero, not needed, is just a dog and pony show, is just another expression of excess capacity, they can't wrap their heads around the idea that 18th century manufacturing factories and organization of labor is no longer applicable, is obsolete.

Now, their value should no longer be based on what they do, which is valueless anyways (unless they can dig out some real mega-profits for some capitalists, but the capitalists don't need it anyways, they are choking on cash) but only on the value that they can self assign themselves as having independently from their "work".

The rich and capitalists are choking on cash, they have so much it isn't even funny, they would do anything to get rid of large chunks of billons of dollars. They are so stuffed with money they have to vomit it out every now and then in the form of speculations, subprime loans, bubbles, etc. They really want to get rid of it but can't.

And in fact, the real problem today is to find a way, a circuit, a system where all this cash the capitalists are choking on can flow to the lower classes, can finally get distributed throughout society, so as to increase consumption and progress. But the very people that would benefit from this, the workers and lower classes and unemployed are the very ones that have this moralistic, religious, calvinistic idea that Free Salaries are not allowed, that you have to deserve it, that you have to "work hard" for it: while there is nothing further from the truth, and the capitalists are desperate, would love to get rid of all of this cash that is choking them and making them vomit.

And you have the environmentalists that are against more consumption because this kills nature (who cares that people need these Free Salaries to live, given that jobs will no longer be created, as they are now no longer needed), you have all kinds of right wing thugs against any distribution of money, they hate on all workers for any reason, on unions, welfare queens, unemployed, pensions, you name it. And you have the left that has another infinite list of reasons against what is really needed and namely Free Salaries and Cheap Rents."

Spider posted:

***Technology, just like work, labor, corporations, manufacturing is not a fixed entity: it is always adapting, changing, it is a process in continuous evolution and interaction. People also adapt in all kinds of ways, change, solve problems. etc. So even if oil finishes, you can be sure that there are many other solutions even if partial at hand, and they will be used, if minerals, land, food "finishes", there are other solutions and processes at hand, cars can be recycled, food created with genetic engineering, etc. Obviously the processes are complex, difficult to follow, each sector is specialized, there are all kinds of experiments and research being done.***

You make the change to other types of energy sources appear much too easy, as if it were a minor inconvenience. There is at present no other known energy source that can deliver as much as oil. (If there were, we should have expected it to be as popular as oil.) Even if tomorrow a new, miraculous energy source could be discovered which can deliver as much as oil (fat hope), the infrastructure of modern society is already so heavily based on oil that to dismantle this infrastructure and then rebuild it on the basis of the new energy source, it has been estimated, would take decades and trillions of dollars -- and it's not clear if we have that much time and money.

With all due respect, I think you put too much faith in our ability to come up with solutions. When this resource finishes, we'll just switch to another, etc. Optimism is all very well, but only within bounds of reason. Do you seriously think we can continue in an exponential rate of consumption of the planet's resources without hitting a ceiling at some point? Do you seriously think there are INFINITE resources (and that we just need to look for them)?

"There is at present no other known energy source that can deliver as much as oil. (If there were, we should have expected it to be as popular as oil.) Even if tomorrow a new, miraculous energy source could be discovered which can deliver as much as oil (fat hope), the infrastructure of modern society is already so heavily based on oil that to dismantle this infrastructure and then rebuild it on the basis of the new energy source, it has been estimated, would take decades and trillions of dollars -- and it's not clear if we have that much time and money"

1) It doesn't have to be "one" energy source, there are already many, like wind, solar, bioethanol, weeds, nuclear, geothermal, you name it, there are many. The process is gradual, and has already been going on worldwide for some years now. So you don't have to dismantle the infrastructure, but adapt it, and more new infrastructure is being put in place every day like solar and wind. Money doesn't exist (therefore not fixed entity that runs out), it is a make believe entity, it is just a proxy for human relationships, human interactions, human behavior and symbolizes potential future human activity as in choices, behaviors, interactions, etc.

"Do you seriously think we can continue in an exponential rate of consumption of the planet's resources without hitting a ceiling at some point? Do you seriously think there are INFINITE resources (and that we just need to look for them)?"

2) There is no exponential rate of consumption, this is a lie, they sold 40 million cars worldwide in 1980 and 70 million in 2010, that is not exponential, it is gradual. There will never be this overshoot, or great growth everyone expects, it is a lie. The middle class worldwide has probably peaked, or is close to it, I don't expect many more millions having such a high standard of living in the future.

And even if it does grow then, yes, we can do everything and will do everything. With thousands of trillions of new people, robots, computers, MIND OVER MATTER, we will colonize the solar system and galaxy and harness energy from the sun, by splitting it, just like we split atoms.

Anyways, population on earth will probably peak at about 15 to 20 billion at most. That is nothing at all, that is almost invisible for the earth, in the greater scheme of things. Remember the earth has an underground of room of hundreds of miles, imagine what underground skyscrapers and energy you could get by going under, like in huge groundscrapers. Cool.

And, it is much easier and faster to kill people, or that they get killed in a jiffy by accident, war, disease, etc., then it is to conceive and grow a person, that takes 9 months, wealth, good environment, etc. And this is why population will never exceed a tiny limit of 20 billion. It is too easy to die and way harder to live. You can die in an instant like the JAPAN earthquake shows, but living is a wild guess everyday.

Therefore there is no population explosion.

Been going over some of these posts. I think, right now, the following is apropo:

I wish I was in the land of Cotten
Old times their are not forgotten
(altogether now, CFNers)
Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land ...

You know the rest.

-Marlin
CFNation TD Post 1
New England Chapter

And, Old6699 or whatever you're calling yourself now, For Christ Sake, give it up already.

Nice job, though, guesting on Coast-to-Coast, detailing the alien abduction and all, the intergalactic travel and the skyscrapers on Jupiter, and splitting the sun etc. ...

-Marlin

Thanks for that response to the old spider; nice and compact too! ;o)

However, you must know that although spidey's posts contain some interesting and rational observations, they nearly always end up to be looooong rambling sci-fi diatribes on the wonders of the planet "Cornucopia". Consistently (or, maddeningly, whichever you prefer).

2 important stories:There really is a difference between right and left culturally and politically, though both sides of the aisle are owned by the banks and transnationals.

Meet David Barton
This is the "historian" that Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachman and others on the religious right use for "facts".

Last night on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell was a segment that will illustrate just what is wrong with the politicized religious right in this country. They do not live in the world of facts, but in fact are pushing a distorted agenda to achieve the goal of turning a country based on the separation of church and state into a theocracy.
Truly chilling. The problem with this is that every time the Repugnacants win an election, they think they have a mandate to move ahead with this, as if the whole country wants for this to happen.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/42653890#42653890

The other story we should be watching out for is the Rep. govs of specific states who are trying to do away with elected democracy.
Thom Hartmann covered this yesterday while discussing what's been happening in Wisconsin and Michigan:
[The first victim of Governor Snyder - is the city of Benton Harbor. As of Friday - the powers of city boards and commissions of Benton Harbor have been usurped by a "Financial Manager" appointed by Governor Rick Snyder. That Financial Manager - although not elected by the people of Benton Harbor - now has authority over all the elected city officials of Benton Harbor and can break up union contracts - cut city services - and sell-off large chunks of the city to private corporations without any oversight.]--(That's neoliberalism at work, my friends-LB)

[Welcome to Republican rule in America - much closer to the ideals of Napoleon than the ideals of Jefferson.]

Spider posted:

***It doesn't have to be "one" energy source, there are already many, like wind, solar, bioethanol, weeds, nuclear, geothermal, you name it, there are many. The process is gradual, and has already been going on worldwide for some years now. So you don't have to dismantle the infrastructure, but adapt it, and more new infrastructure is being put in place every day like solar and wind.***

From what I read, even the sum total of all these energy sources can't hold a candle up to oil in terms of the sheer amount delivered -- unless, that is, you can capture say up to at least say 10% of all the sunshine that reaches planet Earth and channel it to human use. Well, maybe it can be done (shrugs), but assuming that, can it be done IN TIME, before the oil runs out? Can research produce the knowhow for accomplishing this IN TIME?

And VEHICLES make up a very substantial portion of the industrial infrastructure of the world at present. And virtually all of them use oil. Just how do you propose that all these cars, ships, trucks, planes etc -- all the MILLIONS of them -- can be 'sdapted', so they'll run on solar or wind, or whatever?

***There is no exponential rate of consumption, this is a lie***

There has been an exponential rate of growth in the world's human population since the Industrial Revolution. Don't think you can say THAT's a lie. So assuming we humans have all been consuming the world's resources at a FLAT, CONSTANT rate (which I doubt), the net result will still be an exponential growth in the consumption of the world's resources.

***And even if it does grow then, yes, we can do everything and will do everything. With thousands of trillions of new people, robots, computers, MIND OVER MATTER, we will colonize the solar system and galaxy and harness energy from the sun, by splitting it, just like we split atoms***

Sure. Right. I'm speechless. :)

You remind me of a certain gentleman named Julian Simon. He seriously proclaimed that if we needed to, we could just haul in another star from elsewhere in our galaxy for our use (read: consumption). Sure, but care to suggest how? By MAGIC, perhaps?

Believe in the human spirit is all very well, but only within bounds of reason. Your proposals, if you don't mind me saying, basically amount to saying that there's such a thing as MAGIC. Create entire galaxies with a snap of the fingers, let quadrillions of humans proliferate on the countless worlds contained in them. Wow. Love it. :)

Thanks for the compliment. :)

Ibendet;

Say what you want, but it seems to me that the Republicans are at least attempting to deal with the massive debt that has accrued at all levels of Govt. during the last few decades, $14 trillion, with $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities waiting in the wings to bring us down for good. Somebody has to deal with it sooner than later. Maybe the time is now.

-Marlin

MarlinFive54... Your point about calling Atlanta Nueva Atlanta (or some such) is humorous and does make a point. However, your parallel to Istanbul is quite incorrect. Constantinople was called Istanbul or Stambool by the locals well before the loss of the city to the Turks. Istanbul (and Stambool) simply means "The City" (as some people now call New York, incidentally). Further, the derivation of the name Istanbul is Greek, not Turkish. From what I can deduce, the Turks preferred the appelation Istanbul as more cosmopolitan. The name Constantinople was likely considered too parochial a term.

Marlin, my friend

We are not discussing the same subject. If you're ok with the politicization of religion, revisionist history and the firing at will of elected officials by unelected appointed officials in different states than good for you, cause that's what's taking place.
Deficits:
First of all. The deficit is caused by the lowering of taxes, fighting 2 wars+ and borrowing from the Chinese, as we gave them our manufacturing jobs, which leads to the next reason, the destruction of middle class wages and jobs and unbridled flow of illegal aliens.
Other problems are that in doing away with the public sector, privatized govt contractors charge more. Even Ron Paul, said yesterday on Dylan Ratigan that the govt contractors should be taxed!!--Because they are living on our taxes. These are not people that make money in the private sector therefore they should be paying taxes.Get it?
The Ayn Rand acolyte, Alan Greenspan said on Sunday on "Meet the Press" that we have to raise taxes to the level of Clinton's era, cause we are in big trouble.
You don't take the social safety net away because a small group of people have been syphoning $trillions out of our economy, either just sitting on it, putting it back into the giant global casino or investing in the BRIC countries.

Essentially we are fighting the graft of war contractors and transnationals & Insurance, banks, medical industry,etc. with subsidies for our medicare and ss.
S&P said that we may be downgraded because we are at politcal loggerheads and cannot come up with sound principles and a consensus. We are being questioned because of the political climate in the face of deficits.

on Nueva Atlanta -

Vlad's way off on his figures. Atlanta proper is roughly 55% black, 38% white, and 5% Hispanic of all types. There is a lot of "infill" going on with younger whites moving into the city, and paying higher rents. (My younger son fits this demographic, btw.)

This is an interesting line, from Wiki:
"Although the majority of the (Atlanta) Hispanic population is made up of Mexicans, it has been declining due to an increase in deportation and the population of other Hispanic groups"

=========
It may be that native Southerners - those who actually go outdoors in the summer - have an intuitive sense - in advance of the rest of the country - that if/when the power goes out and the food trucks stop running during one hot summer week -

there will be hell (Hell?) to pay.

Point well taken, Al Klein. I stand corrected on that.

PoC, so Vlad was engaging in a little hyperbole. His statement on Mexicans being a majority in Atlanta didn't really ring true. That's why I questioned it.

-Marlin

Once again, Ibendet, very clearly and succintly summarized!

But it almost seems hopeless to tackle the forces of capital and power that you describe. What makes it even more so is that they have law enforcement and state power on their side. Who's on our side?

-Marlin

"...do we have anything like the ability to specify appropriate behavior?"

Yes, but it is misidentified as a religion rather than a form of government {a kingdom} and most refuse it and "do that which is right in their own eyes" which is a prescription for babel {chaos}.

"Blessed is he, whosoever is not offended in me."

Another excellent posting. Except maybe for the 'bimbo' put-down. Not necessary.

Now about that line 'the world made by hand.' It doesn't compute. Neither evolution nor economy ever moves backwards, though one may see a locally dynamic process. Globally however, the economic system cannot regress to a more primitive system, unless of course there's a mass extinction event(s), which is not out of the question by any means.

However, we'll probably see a continuing trend toward a world made by robots. A long term view of economic and technological history, like Gideon's Mechanization Takes Command, shows that as technology becomes more efficient, human labor is devalued, as it should.

The problem is an old one, but in our time it was cryptically put by John Cage as 'We must make the world safe for poverty" and humorously put by Allen Ginsberg as "When am I going to be able to go into the supermarket and get what I need with my good looks?"

In other words, how do we value (human) life apart from its value in the economy? When will we be free from wage slavery? When slavery is not necessary. This is not a utopian or religious vision, it is a fundamental problem facing the planet, and it must be (re)solved.

Nor is it impossible. As a species, we reinvented our cultures, our economies even managed profound genetic changes when we 'adopted' agriculture - which led to the advent of slavery almost immediately. It also led to the behavioral habit of accumulation, which is the central aspect of capitalism and greed itself. We can reinvent ourselves again.

Or should I say we can go through this reinvention again. People used to think that the Earth was the center of the universe. We still think that humanity is the central location of consciousness and the driver of all action, rather than it being one self-conscious operator in a dynamic environment of self-consciousness.

The problem is not that everyone needs a job, the problem is one can't live properly without one. We should be able to fix that.

"Blow you???"

I'm sorry suburban, lick me instead.

"Taibbi has been fantastic at taking us step by step in the last 2 years at what has been going on behind the scenes and it would be of interest to anyone breathing to read his works."

The same can be said about Martin Armstrong, except for much longer.

www.martinarmstrong.org

"(though correct me if I'm wrong)."

You're wrong. About most everything.

Marlin,
I'm afraid we have only ourselves. But there are many of us and less of them, if we could get past the smokescreen of lies, we could demand real campaign finance reform laws, try and undo the damage made by the corportist SCOTUS decision to make the corporations uber-citizens and keep an eye on where our money's going.
Everyone should have read the "Shock Doctrine, the rise of Disaster Capitalism, Griftopia and many more books that describe perfectly logically what happened. They say the finacialization of the mortgages etc was too hard for the feds to follow, but one guy could do the math and saw that Madoff was statistically impossible.
The other bit of good news is that there are wealthy people who are not neoliberal, care about what's happening to this country and are actually calling out in a letter to Obama that they wish to pay more taxes.
on O'Reilly factor was guest Jeffery Gural:

JEFFREY GURAL, MEMBER, PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRES: Well, I think that we have got a mess on our hands that both sides are responsible for, and in order to get out of it I think all Americans have to help. And, frankly, if it means that I have got to pay more taxes, I'm prepared to do that. I think it's unfair to put the burden just on middle income and poor people. Having said that, I have no desire to see the government piss away this money, and I think we all agree that we have got to cut spending dramatically. I think we have got to cut taxes on small business. They create the most jobs. But having said that, I think it's only fair to ask the wealthiest Americans to do their share and I certainly -- just before I came here, as a matter of fact, I wrote a check for $850,000 for my April 15th tax payment.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/transcript/patriotic-millionaires-push-pay-higher-taxes#ixzz1Jyp5FvDz


SuburbanEmpire

DO NOT RESPOND to troll LarryMoeCurley!

Direct all necessary comments to CaptainSpaulding, troll abatement officer, for CFN.

That is all.

" End of life expenses alone are average of $500k."

You are a moron that has not a clue about a farthing of what you write.

"From 1992 to 1996, mean annual medical expenditures (1996 dollars) for persons aged 65 and older were $37,581 during the last year of life versus $7,365 for nonterminal years."

Source below:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1464043/

Now shut your yapping hole.

They do not live in the world of facts - Lbendet

Neither does the Left.

"Anywho, I'm not too worried about the Baby Boomers and their mass retirement and impending die off (ahehe). That problem will pass."

No, of course you aren't worried. After all you say the "problem" will pass. Its merely a "die off" (he, he). And you are merely an asshole. (HE HE).

"...he is able to get people to respond to him no matter how juvenile he gets. I have always known that the way to deal with little bitches like him is to ignore them. "

Of course the "big, grown-up, strapping he-man that is "CAPTSPAUDLING" resorts to language such as "little bitches" and is what? An adult? Sure he am. And a sweet one at that.

"SuburbanEmpire

DO NOT RESPOND to troll LarryMoeCurley!"

OK PROGRESS. Your little minions will comply. (Fucking moron.)

Agreed that this is so warped out they are all afraid of the truth, you should hear an interview with Celente on 4/13 about societal collapse.
That said, there are different degrees of lying and in the case of the politicize theocracy, they will revise history to get their way. It's revanchism and if I say it, it makes it so...
most unfortunate for us all.

To present Vlad with the math is to miss the point. Not unlike a hypochondriac, Vlad's crops the little brown or black "disease" in the far corner of the picture and transforms into the entire picture. Such is the tendency of the compulsive-obsessive mind, and like a magnet, attaches and projects its own disease on that which it fears.

My remedy: a magic carpet ride with eleven Nubian nymphs,feeding him grapes in his moments of repose.

I planted apple trees this weekend, Stayman Winesap, Norspy, Golden grimes, Zestar, some cherry, pear, and peach trees, as well. The trees I planted 10 years ago are just starting to produce big time and these news ones will come to fruition just as I am at a proper age and the economy will no longer support my working abilities. Is anyone actually planning to avoid Hell on Earth, as me?

Of course you are not kidding.

Also, those thorny blackberries helps keep the riffraff off the property, under windows, along fences. Imagine a would-be thief hoping over the fence into 3 feet thick of loving thorns in wait! I would highly recommend these plantings, before, H gets to E.

Actually did hear that - glad I'm wrong. Not that I'm wrong about Mexcians pouring into the South in general - or that Whites will be a minority in their own Nations within two generations. Of course the Asokas and the Bucks think that's great. No question. The question is how someone like you feels. We can't stop this without people like you - and you folks either don't care or haven't made up your minds yet.

It was a Christian name so they changed it - just like they turned the Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. You can sympathize with all that right? Christianity is exploding in Israel - four percent of the population - many of them Jewish converts. What are we going to do? How can this be stopped?

I think Southerners should not be too upset at
Mr. K's interpetation of Southern culture.
His is a common view of life in the South and we Southerners should be glad of it. Those of us who live here are happy to keep up the numbers of those who don't want to move here.
I laugh at his painting us all as God fearing NASCAR rednecks. That's all right, he is a Yankee
and can't help himself.
This week's blog was right on the money. His take on Spitzer surprised me but thats' why I read CFN.

It's all relative Dude - from my point of view you're a troll. A horrible Liberal Troll with silly, vicious attitudes about other Whites and minorites. These are so ingrained in you that you don't even bother saying them - they just ooze out of you like pus.

Your posts about your life in Washington and the bookstore are good.

279th!!!

Good - I want to be checked: if wrong to be put right and if right than to be acknowledged as such. Kudos to AMR for owning up to not checking into Obama. That's the kind of honesty we need. Now check into Black/White crime figures and tell the group what you find.

Anywho, I'm not too worried about the Baby Boomers and their mass retirement and impending die off (ahehe). That problem will pass. - Turk

My understanding is that most boomers were born in the 1950s which means most boomers are somewhere between the ages of 50 and 60.

I think that most of us boomers will be dead and buried within the next twenty five years and most of the rest shortly thereafter. The problem is that it will take another 25 years for this demographic problem to pass. That's a long time.

The other problem is that a greater proportion of the elderly vote than the young (at least up here and I assume the same problem holds true in the US). So in the debate about where to spend public money the elders' interests will carry disproportionate weight.

It's no secret that people tend to be stuck in the past, in the time of their youth and tend to constantly re-fight the old wars (I'm guilty as charged). Elderly boomers will still be fighting the "establishment", replaying old videos of Woodstock, reliving the glory years. Women tend to outlive men by a substantial margin so the elder population will have a large proportion of boomer women. So I think what you'll have is a large voting female demographic whose mindset is 1960/70s. I think the problems that elderly boomer women faced in their youth will be problems whose time has passed. So we'll have to move on but there could be this cultural inertia. As you say, there will be pressing issues that need urgent attention like those you mentioned, peak oil, etc that we know about and probably others that we don't as yet.

"Spitzer, you will recall, the New York attorney general, then briefly governor, was discovered to have had relations with a prostitute. How unfortunate. But consider this: it was at least an honest commercial transaction. Of all the complaints lodged in the matter, none involved any failure to pay the required fees. Spitzer now has his own TV show - which is truly one of the miracles of our time (and I mean that it's a good thing)."

Spitzer is and was and always will be a creep. He was the Atty. Gen, of N.Y. and as such went after prostitution rings with a vengeance. And all the while, he did so while enjoying the services of prostitutes. But according to Jimmy, its OK because he paid his bill.

WTF kind of warped logic ascribes to this type of thinking? And of course, Spitzer should have his own TV show, I mean "its a good thing." In a pig's fucking eye.


Future Predictions you can use:

http://xkcd.com/887/

From 1992 to 1996, mean annual medical expenditures (1996 dollars)...

First, you provide data that is old... medical expenses have increased in the last five to ten years.

Second, you talk of "average" costs. Terminal illnesses require greater than "average" costs.

"The only people dumber than Bush were all those who voted for him-twice."

Well, no. That would be those that vote for Obama- twice. Now, please deny that any will, or that any will even get the chance.

"Ayn Rand was on welfare while she wrote Atlas Shrugged."

==========

Ayn Rand ignore government health warnings about smoking. Then we she had lung cancer she ignored her own "objectivist" philosophy and arranged it through a social worker, under a different name, to receive both Medicare and Social Security payments from the government. Lung cancer can be expensive. Ayn Rand is a big hypocrite. Thank God big government was there to help her out at the end of her life.

"Just heard the other day: more Hispanics in Atlanta than Blacks."

deja vu - just heard the other day, more mexicans in Oklahoma than Indians.

Hey Dimwit,

I was responding to the principal idiot of this site who stated that the AVERAGE end of life cost is 500,000.00. It is not. The figures I used were the latest I could find. I can assure you the costs have not increased from 37,000 to 500,000 since 1996.

Brilliant essay as usual, Jim. Nobody calls bull on the royal scam better than you.

"There is plenty of Thorium we just need to build 12,000 reactors at 500MW each over the next 20 years."

We need to decentralize and build small 5 or 10kw reactors and make them available to put one in each home or small business. Tear down all the lines and poles, along with the corporate mentality.

-on thorium reactors-

MD, I totally concur that we need decentralized power production - and most everything else.

However, you and edpell are being *optimistic?* about future supplies of thorium. Someone upthread (edpell?) mentioned a 100 year supply of thorium like that was a long time.

We've got a 200 year supply of coal, for what that's worth.

What is needed is reduction in demand, reduction of US population growth, and stewardship of all of Earth's resources for the future.

and MD, regarding voting for Obama a second time -

I keep debating - if the election were held again today - Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin -

I might not be able to vote for the eccentric old POW and his pick for one heartbeat away from taking his place.

Why did he pick Palin - instead of Liberman, or another centrist democrat.
===========
Of course it doesn't matter who I'm gonna vote for.
Electoral College vote in GA will go for the Republican candidate no matter how inept or scary.

Abolish the Electoral College and abolish the 2 party system - maybe the Nation could get back on track.

OH, wait - the corporations that fund the whole thing won't let those two things happen.

What a slow motion train wreck we have.

Oops, $500k is more like total life expenses. My bad. End of life care is around $36k average. Where does the 30 trillion number originate? Is that using everyone's estimated lifetime benefits?

"We've got a 200 year supply of coal, for what that's worth."

If by "we" you mean the US, I think your numbers are off. Or at least it is very hard to say with any degree of accuracy that there is that much left. For instance, the economically recoverable reserves may be a small fraction of the total.

"I paid all my life and got my money's worth of wars and roads and clean water and safe food and all the other benefits of BIG GOVERNMENT."

You are the only person I could expect to hear this from, without any sense of sarcasm.

trippticket's got the right life going, just create your own garden, catch some rainwater, make a bit of your own food, you'll start 'dropping' out of the system without much realizing it and poof! you've clawed back some freedom.

kill off the parasitic gov't by ignoring/withdrawing from it

3,000 gladiolus/peacock orchid bulbs going into the soil this weekend, just a little way to beautify the ground & sell a few here and there as well.

total cost = $0, total enjoyment=unlimited

peace

"Oops, $500k is more like total life expenses. My bad. "

Your bad, in-fucking-deed. You constantly spew this type of clap trap and your fellow fucktards take it as gospel and never bother to call you on it. You are a moron. I've caught you on your bullshit "facts" numerous times. Why not just STFU and go the fuck away?

To the statement: "We've got a 200 year supply of coal, for what that's worth."

Turk, the fucktard, replied:

" If by "we" you mean the US, I think your numbers are off."

Now here are some facts:

"The United States produces over 1 billion tons or about 35% of the world’s coal supply – second only to that of China.

Coal generates more than half of the electricity used in the United States.

U.S. coal deposits contain more energy than that of all the world’s oil reserves.

The United States has more than a 250-year supply of coal if it continues using coal at the same rate at which it uses coal today."

Once again, Turk shoots off his big, fucking mouth not knowing what the fuck she is talking about. What a surprise!

Theoretically speaking, imagine that Obama, before his election, had no idea how deep the rabbit hole went, and thought it was only a foot deep, that he saw in there and was ok with it.

After he was elected though, suppose it was as probably happened with Clinton: The powers behind the curtain met with Obama and as in "The Matrix," showed Obama that it wasn't Kansas anymore. Obama silently has a massive freak out moment, thinks 'oh my fraking god,' and proceeds to go along, since he suddenly realizes that he can either be in the protective care of his lords, with all the money and safety he needs, OR get to spend eternity in a machine built and fed cocoon with tubes coming into and out of him and the same for his family.

He goes along.

Just writing theoretically.

Vlad writes incessantly about the ethnic groups he reviles, magnifying the deleterious impact--or so one might presume-- these groups have on his “peace of mind ”. So, either Vlad is a masochist , or he is sacrificing his own potentially tranquil days on earth to alert fellow white travelers and future generations of the “dark peril ”. In other words, taking one for the “White” team. Which brings up another pathology: the grandiose delusions of the inflated megalomaniac.

Anyway you slice it, Vlad craves his racial obsession; it gives his life purpose on some level. But before you slice it, form the most convoluted piece of metal-knife imaginable. It’s the only shape that will slice such an incoherent arc.

Lets take it to the next level. Lets pretend there is a higher power consisting of heaven and hell. So, Obama can go along to get along as you suggest, knowing full well that he is screwing an entire country. Think eternal damnation is a good pay day?

I've been thinking about the "racism" charges flying back-and-forth on this site. As it is only words in writing, and I haven't met any of you, I'm not sure how prejudicial or discriminatory anybody would behave in person.

Here's a term I thought applies to many: favoritest

As described on urbandictionary.com:
1. a. Liked or preferred above all others; regarded with special favor.
b. Most favorite of all forementioned or aforementioned or even those not mentioned but purely existing in thoughts alone.

So, can Racial Favoritest be a moniker? Just asking, not advocating.

Too deep for me, Anti -

Eternal Damnation meets Conspiracy Theory -
"OR get to spend eternity in a machine built and fed cocoon with tubes coming into and out of him and the same for his family."
-antimatter on Obama's fate-

So the fear of being killed, like some suggest happened to JFK, is not enough to keep politicians in line any more - -

Now Eternal Torment for them and their families is required, instead.

All just so Dick Cheney, the Sam Walton family, the CFR, and their ilk can make more money and control the world?

I get off the fantasy bus, before this stop is reached.

Does anybody actually read the "moeandcurly" guy (or girl)or are we all just scrolling by his or her posts. It's a shame because without the vulgarities and crazy imagery, he (or she) may actually have something to say...but we'll never know.

Nice essay. It is very easy to find evidence among any racial group on Earth of travesties committed. So, I don't take from some this evidence on faith in order to support a preconceived notion or apply it across a full spectrum of humans.

Extremist thinking relies on distortions, prejudice, negative life experiences, half-truths and statistics (playing with numbers that don't reveal the full picture). How one perceives events in their lives has a great deal to do with how they want to see things. If one expects some ethnic group to act a certain way, one will pick up on any that act that way to reinforce their thinking and ignore the cases in which there is conflict.

The US supposedly has had a 250 year supply of coal since the early 1970's. Funny how that estimate has magically stayed the same, kind of like the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Better estimates of total US coal supply are around 100 years or less.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/21/business/21coal.html

The US may technically have 200 years of coal under the ground, but removing it without extreme environmental damage would be next to impossible. It also may not be technically or economically viable.

Well, kinda timely for me. I started reading Griftopia last week. I have to say, I can not disagree with anything you have to say this week. The stuff about Eric Holder is spot on. Obama being respectable as opposed to "eloquent" - I have thought this myself. In fact, my husband and I talked about this recently. But the best line, by far, was the "...could climate change and jesus be the same....let them figure it out." Amazing. Thanks for a good read. be well! -Wren

I'm not sure why Obama wouldn't be considered an eloquent speaker. Who or what is the standard of comparison? I'd actually flip those two around. Judging by his approval numbers, at least half the country doesn't really consider him too respectable. And then there's the 20-25% of people online who seem to take issue with his very existence. In other words, if he were respectable, shouldn't more people respect him?

This is fantastic that I get my own fact checker for free. Usually you have to get an intern to do this, but I guess larry here has ample time on his hands to read all of my posts and verify them. If I screw something up, please feel free to post corrections. And here I had you pegged as just another internet troglodyte, but you're actually trying to help me out and make sure I get everything right. Thanks, bud. What would I do without you?

I thought the same when I saw that news item. Most folks believe the "market glut" and "speculative prices" fib. When I asked a friend what he thinks the motives are behind the "price speculation", he admitted that there is probably a long-term trend at work.

But I disagree that $6/gallon will be a tipping point. People will drive less, carpool more and generally plan their trips more efficiently - as in Europe where the price is already way past that mark. Goods inflation will increase due to rising transportation costs, and for many that will be a painful aspect - but $6/gallon won't bite hard enough to take down the distribution grid.

I think the tipping point will be at either (i) a much higher price point like $12-$15/gallon (ii) lineups at the pumps. Note that (i) will offset (ii) so that we may see lineups followed by higher prices.

"The US supposedly has had a 250 year supply of coal since the early 1970's. Funny how that estimate has magically stayed the same, kind of like the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia."

I forget who started it, one of the "think tanks" I think that says, "We have 200 to 1000 years of coal equal to our total present energy consumption." Of course they don't even give the fine print disclaimer that says, "we can't produce it at the rates we presently consume energy so it might as well be a million year supply."

forgot to say who i was replying to.

"So, can Racial Favoritest be a moniker?"

Racialist may be the term you seek. Not despising another {hate}, but recognition that you love {phileo} some more than you do others.

The key question to ask is how much of the coal under the ground is recoverable. The early estimates used 25%, which turned out to be too high. Oil supply esimates were too low, because engineers tended to be conservative. It turns out that enhanced recovery techniques like steam or gas injection can increase the amount of recoverable oil in older wells. But the same does not apply to coal. There is no real magic bullet aside from strip mining, which is okay if you like Russian Roulette. Even in the case that this is technically and economically feasible for a given area, it may not be environmentally or politically acceptable.

I have little doubt that we will be pragmatic when it comes to environmental concerns about energy production. Whenever I hear someone parrot a think tanks, "they" won't let us drill or it's because of environmentalists I always say, don't worry, a time will come when no one cares about the environment.

Turk, you're absolutely right about the ages of time required for natural soil formation, of course. To get to my point, however, you have to include my ideas of a mass return of the people to food production, where we can effect rapid soil-building processes on a human scale, with the appropriate knowledge, in order to feed ourselves without fossil inputs.

There are ways to do it on a broadacre scale too. In fact our primary stated goal on this 300 acre family farm is to achieve a mean increase of +3% organic matter content in the soil across the full acreage. Most likely that'll be 5-6% in more intensively managed areas (permaculture zones 1,2, & 3), and 1-2% in unmanaged areas (permaculture zones 4 & 5).

To give some idea of the significance of this goal to the ecologically-challenged (not you, just in general), a 3% uptick in soil OC across 300 acres represents about 22,000 tons of atmospheric CO2 sequestered and put to useful work, and an improvement in water-holding capacity of about 90 million gallons across the farm.

Think about the resources we WON'T have to use once goals like this are achieved. But you're right, there's no way to keep doing what we're doing as a culture and come out OK. That's almost always the point of my posts here - that we can do this if we radically change the way we behave. There is no other option in my opinion. Fortunately, these trends are already under way.

"a time will come when no one cares about the environment."

That's where we are now, and we have reached the limits of our ability to increase our damage, excepting nuclear means. I call it "peak exploitation," and it's the real silver lining of energy descent.

The insurance industry predicts that, at the current rate of increase, the cost of natural disaster relief will equal the world's total GDP by 2060. Obviously such statistics are absurd, and will never come about. Natural systems have breaking points, and I'd wager that we hit that one about 52 years ahead of parity.

Lucky us!

Thank you Jackie, Lew, and Welles for the kind words and promotion!

Welles, you're one of the few people on this site that challenges my energy use by his example...

Lew, I owe you an email. Got to post to Small Batch somewhere in there too.

Tripp out.

No one seems to care... The great rip-off will continue until our TVs are metered and taxed, then we will have rioting. We are a bunch of fucking geniuses.

"it's because of environmentalists"

The impediments to exploitation of natural resources are also from local interests that do not want to give up private property or want their area despoiled. Coal mining, in particular, is very dirty and invasive and permanently changes the landscape in drastic ways. It can require removing the tops of mountains. It doesn't take a conspiracy of tree-huggers to be against this kind of practice, just locals concerned about the state of their living environment.

"don't worry, a time will come when no one cares about the environment"

Perhaps you meant this ironically, but don't you think it is a cause to worry if no one cares about "the environment," by which you mean no one takes into accounting the harm done to the planet by our activities. That attitude, writ large, seems to me the major issue we face as well as a path to our own extinction if we don't change it.

"we have reached the limits of our ability to increase our damage"

Never underestimate our ability to f*** things up even more.

"Perhaps that kind of action is yet-to-come during the summer when the Federal Reserve will have to decide to either destroy American currency, or watch the S & P sink to 200... "

Mr. K,

Did you know ahead of time that the S&P was going to announce today that the US government's credit rating will drop if we don't raise the debt ceiling?

I know I'm splitting hairs here, but aren't they the same group that said all those trash mortgages were A-OK, that the responsible American always pays his debts? Well, imo, foreclosures is a fad more than a necessity for "poor betrayed consumers."

Will the decline in world oil supply be fast or slow?
Very pertinent to our discussions here is The Oil Drum, today. Well worth reading.

Gail Tverberg, "the actuary" responds to a post directed at the oil drum.
[Dear Oil Drum Editors,
I have been reading quite a bit about peak oil recently. I get the impression (not based on data) that at some point there will be a quite steep decline in oil production/supply, and therefore we will see dramatic changes in how the world runs. However, when I look at oil depletion rates and oil production declines based on the Hubbert Curve, it seems to suggest a rather smooth decline. How is that some people expect a serious energy crunch in about two or three years, then? Many thanks! --Curious Reader

The point is that the curve we all are familiar with is based on geology and the faster curve the writer of the query was referring to is the combination of human factors. ie the economy, etc.

Over the weekend, I finished reading John Perkins' book, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man", an excellent book.

In the book, Perkins recounts his life experiences leading up to his recruitment in the 1960s to work for an ostensibly private consulting company called "Chas. T. Main, Inc." ("MAIN"). With only an MBA from Boston University and a lack lustre background in statistics, Perkins is recruited to to be MAIN's Chief Economist and to produce bogus econometric models for various countries which U.S governmental, financial and corporate interests target. Perkins' task is to produce fake economic forecasts for target countries to justify huge loans which these target countries can never hope to repay. Once they default, the U.S. "Corporatacracy" (Perkins' term) then demands its "pound of flesh" from these countries in the form of political subservience and/or resource grabs, usually oil concessions.

Perkins claims that he was originally recruited by a mysterious blonde female American case officer who frankly described his future job as an "Economic Hit Man" whose job was to dupe third world countries into taking out huge loans that they can never hope to repay. Upon default, they, in effect, become client states in the U.S. global empire. The loan proceeds usually go to U.S. corporations (typically construction companies like Bechtel and Halliburton, etc.).

The crown jewel of Perkins' career was Saudi Arabia. According to Perkins, Kissinger reached a deal with the House of Saud whereby the U.S. agreed to develop Saudi Arabia economically (no more using goats for garbage collection) and to protect it militarily in exchange for an agreement from Saudi Arabia to boost oil production every time other OPEC countries cut back oil output. (In effect, breaking OPEC.) According to Perkins, Sadaam Hussein's downfall was due to Sadaam's unwillingness to agree to a similar arrangement with the U.S.

Perkins characterizes the U.S. political poltiical systems as a "Corporatacracy", in which U.S. government, U.S. colleges and universities, banking, and corporate interests are intertwined. Perkins describes a 3-pronged strategy to U.S. foreign policy: First, bring in the Economic Hit Men to create economic and policital dependence in the form of debt which the client states can never repay; In this doesn't work, then bring in the "Jackels", i.e. political assissins; If the Jackels can't do the job, then invade militarily.

Perkins says that the U.S. Corporatacracy no longer recruits Economic Hit Men, rather the Economic Hit Men are now part of the system, an organic part of the Corporatacracy. In fact, I think that Perkins might argue that we are all economically, and culturally part of the Corporatacracy.

"Did you know ahead of time that the S&P was going to announce today that the US government's credit rating will drop if we don't raise the debt ceiling?"

I think he is referring to the end of QE2 in June. Speculation is that the FED will either raise interest rates to get sufficient buyers of U.S. Treasury debt. Raising rates will probably tank the S&P. Don't know about 200 though lol. Other speculation is they will launch QE3 and continue to buy Treasury debt themselves, further trashing the dollar in the process.

"...no one takes into accounting the harm done to the planet by our activities. That attitude, writ large, seems to me the major issue we face as well as a path to our own extinction...."

Dayy-umnn (damn!), turkle - take a cigar and two lumps of coal out of petty cash! That is the nub of the problem that may kill off the human life support system.
=================

JonathanSS - maybe we do need a better and more nuanced vocabulary for addressing racial issues. The one we have now - I'm a racist, he's a racist, everybody's a racist!! - that one breaks down pretty quickly and is of no use to solving big population and migration problems.

And join FAIR, if you care about the effect of the population of the US on the planet.
http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer

============
Tripp and the rest of the CFN agriculture gang - I sprouted some quinoa yesterday. That stuff sprouts like a mo'fo! Right out of the sack from the health food store - apparently seed quality quinoa.
Who knew??

Quinoa is a complete protein, I believe. And it's high in fiber. Cost's $5.00/pound and ONE plant is supposed to produce 6 ounces of edible grain at harvest - under optimum conditions.

And I planted garlic from the grocery store - it's growing.
Peanuts from the grocery store - they're sprouting.
I may plant opium poppy seeds from the grocery store if the DEA thinks it's OK. Still researching that one.

Now is the time for experimenting and research.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

"Perhaps you meant this ironically, but don't you think it is a cause to worry if no one cares about "the environment," by which you mean no one takes into accounting the harm done to the planet by our activities. That attitude, writ large, seems to me the major issue we face as well as a path to our own extinction if we don't change it."

I worry about the environment although I have never considered myself an, "environmentalist". I think most people believe that environmentalists are some powerful force preventing us from drilling when in reality practically anything worth drilling is drilled with the exception of a few places. Have you ever wondered why so many people believe such an obvious untruth?

Another reality is that environmentalists are powerless in the real scheme of things. When the time comes that the environment needs to be trashed in plain sight it will. I think most people that complain about environmentalists are thinking of environments other than their own. My Uncle Joe complains about environmentalists but he has three wells drilled on his property. If he wasn't raking in royalties and $30,000 for each drill pad he would be squawking about the environment like everyone else in the area not profiting from it.

Landscape, Turk, landscape. Stay on the horse. We can fuck things up worse at the local level, and I'm sure we will, but the net trajectory of destruction is now in a contractionary pattern, just like every other facet of the global economy, following global energy peak. People aren't building as much, not spending as much, not consuming as much plastic junk. And that equals a net decline in global systems impact. The folks reporting on the patterns are stuck in a growth rut that just isn't supported anymore. They simply assume that it must be so, because it always has been, that and their job quite likely depends on it staying that way.

Peak exploitation. (Minus the nuclear threat of course.) Should be a good thing for people who really care about the planet and human happiness. Brought me a lot of peace when it dawned on me that that's what peak oil really meant.

'The Canadian Military has voted in favour of The Long Emergency:

"The planet is running out of oil and heading toward a future that could trap Canada in a violent spiral of decline in the economy and the environment" - a special research unit within the Canadian military.' Newfie

Interesting to see the fact that the Canadian Forces are doing some preliminary planning for The Long Emergency surface in this article. Similar revelations came out of the British military establishment last year. In a former life I was involved in such planning exercises with my own Joint Forces command.

It seems military planning around the globe is beginning to factor in concepts that 20 years ago would have been dismissed as 'left wing lunacy', and for very good reason. The destabilising effects of declining energy and changing climate on food security have already begun to cause unrest and revolution in vulnerable countries. The risk that this will spread must be estimated as at least moderate with potentially catastrophic consequences. Any government agency charged with the security of a country would be shirking its responsibilities if it did not have plans to address the worst outcomes.
It is interesting to watch from outside and pick up hints such as those in Newfie's article, as I set up my permaculture farm. I realise how starved the general public is for information about TLE now I am no longer privy to the inner workings of national security. Believe me, a scenario quite similar is taken quite seriously from within.

Racialist

I like it! That's what I had in mind. I wasn't familiar with this usage. Thanks for broadening my knowledge.

There is no bang for the buck like we get from petroleum...therefore when petrol peaks, energy use peaks. Seems like a simple concept to me. We can't run chainsaw on coal, can't run logging trucks on bell curves, and can't run 1/4 of the global economy on solar power (that has a far lower EROI than oil). When energy use peaks, our destructive tendencies get checked. Period.

This has nothing to do with Ayn Rand.

On 1/21/11 @ 9:05pm you wrote:

If our grammar and spelling and punctuation is suddenly allowed to continue with errors, I wonder if Mrs. Q. will give us the bad news.

How come we haven't heard from Qshtik in awhile? I apologize for mocking his obsessiveness over typos.

You never responded to my question about whether or not you're still an Obama cheerleader. Maybe my weak attempt at being a cunning linguist or use of humor turned you off. I was serious. I liked how you found positives within the current administration and stood up to all the doom and gloom pessimists.

Q responded a few hours after Asoka's pondering:

So as not to leave you guys in the lurch with no one correcting your posting errors and wondering what ever happened to that pain-in-the-ass Q, I will leave full instructions for my wife attached to the faux pool table where she couldn't possibly miss it, how to log into CFN and give you the grim news.

I think (hope?) this makes me feel more confident.

Tripp, your wise words are always an inspiration.
I hope you don't mind if I use your concept of 'peak exploitation' elsewhere on the www.
It does bring a certain peace to one's outlook, although with 40 years backlog of effects from the carbon dumping humanity has done into the very air we breathe, I wonder if the peak in energy (and therefore exploitation) has not come a little late.

I have another dumb ass question:

Michael Steele is a brother (like no other - stolen from "Undercover Brother"), but is he your "friend"?

How funny was that movie?:
"You mess with the fro,
you've got to go"

Thanks for the inside scoop, Madcat! I've heard rumblings about the military deposing our leadership in Washington before they run the ship fully aground, even from within the hallowed halls of West Point. Any truth to this?

Oh sure, Madcat, use the term peak exploitation. Not even sure it's original to me. No copyright anyway. I think it's a very powerful term and a meme we should definitely spread.

As for timing, anyone's guess I suppose. You're doing the right things to try to turn the ship though. Keep it up.

I thought that if an "Undercover Brother" remake or stage presentation was made, we could insert Vlad into the role of "the Man". VK would love to be the one to spike "The Generals" fried chicken in order to control the black population.

'After he was elected though, suppose it was as probably happened with Clinton: The powers behind the curtain met with Obama and as in "The Matrix," showed Obama that it wasn't Kansas anymore.' (Antimatter)

I think your description is a good metaphor for exactly what happened. The security briefings he received after inauguration may well have been at a way different level to those he received as a junior senator.

You are welcome.

Hey are you a day tripper or what ?

haha.

i am so easily amused.

:)

Before my moniker was 'trippticket' it was 'datrip'. I guess you could read it like da Tripp, the Tripp, da man, which was fine, but I meant it as day tripper. I used to really like hallucinogens back in the day. Might again one day too, when things settle down a bit. Right now it seems like there's too much important work to be done. And so the journey evolves. Your trippticket, madame, if you please. Woot! Woot!

"You never responded to my question about whether or not you're still an Obama cheerleader."

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

Yes, I am an Obama cheerleader on domestic policy. I am a critic of Obama on his foreign policy.

Trump/Palin 2012! (please, God, let it be!)

'I've heard rumblings about the military deposing our leadership in Washington before they run the ship fully aground' Tripp

I haven't heard anything like that, and would doubt it could come to that (it's much easier to organise that type of event in other nations than your own). That said, I'm several years out of touch these days - more into permaculture planning than strategic planning :)

I think continued US military presence in the vicinity of the world's largest oil reserves gives some clue as to where the Pentagon is heading. Notice the delays that always occur, and the new actions that are committed to, just as we hit a previously declared withdrawal date? It's not in the USA's long term interest to draw down forces in that region. The pieces are positioned for the 'end game'

Seriously - no. I am a reluctant hater. I used to use the term racialist but a) no one cared to listen to the distinction since they enjoyed using the R word too much and consequently b) it's empowering just to accept a label and make it a source of pride. We are the new niggers. Try it the next time a Black calls you that and expects to see you squirm. He has nothing on you then - you're free.

Typical rhetoric from the lunatic Right.
Kay

On overpopulation, population explosion etc. this myth is not only a complete and total lie, it is totally logically inconsistent. If the population keeps on growing that means that there are those resources available to sustain it. If there wasn't enough "water" or "food" or any other basic, the baby couldn't survive even week more, but these people survive, and thrive, at such a point that they are actually fat, in most of the third world people are becoming fat. Go figure.

And the average life expectancy is increasing worldwide, at the point that the lowest possible life expectancy in the poorest country is 42 years old in Mozambique. Which is an enormous number all considered. Especially since real productive work and labor is the only real resource scarcity the world faces.

But population will always limit itself automatically because you have a million chances and a million different ways to die in a lifetime, everyday is a wild guess, everyday is a miracle that you are sill alive (although everyone takes this for granted), and only one very slim chance to be born. The forces against life, limiting life, and killing people therefore limiting population either by war, crime, disease, suicide, accidents, you name it, greatly outnumber, by a very large margin the forces increasing population.

And in fact, it is the contradiction between a growing population and a contracting necessity for real productive labor that will not only limit population, but will trigger all kinds of conflicts and wars and fights anyways. Just this shows how the system has more than enough resources, from the outset, to support more people, since it can SUPPORT SO MANY PEOPLE BARELY WORKING, BARELY PRODUCING ANYTHING, BARELY HAVING ANY KIND OF REAL PRODUCTIVE WORK. Hint, hint, maybe they are all getting a "free lunch".

And when real resources are no longer enough (which will be never because we live in an infinite resource society) the population will go down automatically, will contract anyways. Aside from the fact that the real contraction of population is due to societies becoming richer, consuming more, women deciding to have fewer children, etc.

This population explosion scare is a proxy to pass another very convenient message: "There is not Enough for Everyone". This is convenient because it justifies hogging up money and resources by a few, by using this excuse, this lie, it justifies, hiking up the prices of basic necessities like housing and health care and water, because there are always "way too many people". It is a total lie, it is false, and everyone absolutely believes it, buys into it, they love this so simple cause and effect, this so simple and comforting linearity, it is astonishing. Even the smartest of economists, sociologists all chant this so simple arithmetic, "there are too many people", there is not enough for everyone, therefore, punish people, hike up the prices of basics like health care, water, houses (all those mexican welfare queens coming in the emergency rooms and we have to pay for them, since our doctor's precious time costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and the insurance companies large number of employees all need to get paid, when they are totally not necessary and just a huge burden and parasites on the system, they are the burden, not the welfare queens at the emergency room).

For example, with housing the idea of "location, location, location" determining the value of a house is another provoked problem, is another false association that comes to be because everyone wants the house in that particular location. There is no reason for such an idiotic contention of everyone fighting for the same spot, but the companies all end up setting up their offices in the hot spots (who can guess why ?, so as to increase the cost of living and housing there as much as possible), same with the "best schools", etc. In an age of internet, where anyone can work from anywhere, and location should have become more and more independent (by telecommuting), it became even more important, and housing prices went even higher in the hot spots.

The 2 independent variables of the economy:

Housing: prices of houses and rents go as high as possible, and everyone is happy;

Work and Labor: the salaries can go as low as possible and everyone is happy.

No one ever connects these 2 variables, I wonder why? Because they are all brainwashed not to think and buy into the huge pile of crap they are fed everyday.

The fact is that people are being taken for a ride. Like the huge nuclear energy scare. I am not going into a debate on this because it is too technical anyways, everyone can say anything and the contrary forever, but one thing that is really absurd is this idea that there is no place to put the expired fuel. That is a lie, a lie that is fabricated so others can maybe make a lot of money by simulating a false problem. Just look at Libya: just 100 km from a small town called maradah you are in a complete desert, just build a large underground building there, maybe a few hundred meters deep and bury it all there. Problem solved, who cares. Same for trash and all kinds of excess waste, build large underground buildings in the desert, far from any place, and problem solved. Or just send rockets with all kinds of waste into the Sun, problem solved. And you could hire people building thousands of rockets.

Ah, no, you can't do this, you can't do that, there is this other "put any imagined, false, or provoked problem, or make believe excuse you want" reason that you can't do it, etc.

The truth is everything could be done, but everything is conflict and lie based, as soon as a solution is found, a problem is generated, a conflict provoked, found and fought out, executed, the crappy "democratic process", where all and any opposition to all and any logical solutions to problems will always block any kind of progress.

Like health care always inventing new tests, and new sicknesses, and new cures and pills and other worries and other impossible models that people should be. That creates work and activity by inventing and creating ever new problems you never knew you had, or targets that you would have never imagined you needed to reach, and tests, pills, operations and who knows.


Now for some philosophy:

From:

On will power: another mental circuit we have always operating is the necessity to be present in the minds of others, this abstraction, this need to be judged , this need for affirmation, etc., This is another odd, irrational, quirky, idiosyncratic denotation and symbol we depend on. And we depend on the need to judge others just as much, in a synchronized dance of judging and being judged, measuring and being measured, defining and being defined, and all of this constantly changing sometimes with great frequency sometimes very slowly, etc. and all tied up into sometimes intense emotions and feelings and sometimes indifference.

We are essentially totally dependent on and totally tied up to something we cannot see or touch or control, but only guess, and even if you guess right, you can never be 100 % sure that you guessed right, or even that it has any value whatsoever, aside from the value this judgment of you that other peoples mind contains may have in provoking pain/pleasure by punishment or gifts.

This is another subtle circuit, a kind of always present judge, interiorized, but also exteriorized in any and all people, or maybe in just one or a few, according to how the neural networks in our mind is programmed.

Just like the need for a god, always watching and judging, we substitute this need or confuse it with other people's mind judging you. But these minds are all inside our own, in a never ending recursion and array of minds judging other minds, behaviors, actions, intentions, and confronting, measuring and conflicting will powers both within and outside of you.

But other people's mind doesn't exist, this is just a hidden make believe layer of reality, just like the brain in a vat, it is a trick of the mind, there are no other minds judging you, only your own mind judging you and playing tricks on you.

Now for some philosophy:

From:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174961

On will power: another mental circuit we have always operating is the necessity to be present in the minds of others, this abstraction, this need to be judged , this need for affirmation, etc., This is another odd, irrational, quirky, idiosyncratic denotation and symbol we depend on. And we depend on the need to judge others just as much, in a synchronized dance of judging and being judged, measuring and being measured, defining and being defined, and all of this constantly changing sometimes with great frequency sometimes very slowly, etc. and all tied up into sometimes intense emotions and feelings and sometimes indifference.

We are essentially totally dependent on and totally tied up to something we cannot see or touch or control, but only guess, and even if you guess right, you can never be 100 % sure that you guessed right, or even that it has any value whatsoever, aside from the value this judgment of you that other peoples mind contains may have in provoking pain/pleasure by punishment or gifts.

This is another subtle circuit, a kind of always present judge, interiorized, but also exteriorized in any and all people, or maybe in just one or a few, according to how the neural networks in our mind is programmed.

Just like the need for a god, always watching and judging, we substitute this need or confuse it with other people's mind judging you. But these minds are all inside our own, in a never ending recursion and array of minds judging other minds, behaviors, actions, intentions, and confronting, measuring and conflicting will powers both within and outside of you.

But other people's mind doesn't exist, this is just a hidden make believe layer of reality, just like the brain in a vat, it is a trick of the mind, there are no other minds judging you, only your own mind judging you and playing tricks on you.

Oh, double post.

Oh well, this is an example of excess capacity, there is no limitation in memory as you can see, technology creates an infinite resource society, you see, and just like you can keep on writing forever on the internet because it has virtually infinite memory, so is the rest of our resources, infinite, even though you all don't believe it or can't believe it...

Reply to Tripp & Madcat; I've noticed that the military of several nations seem to get climate change / peak oil. The U.S., the Germans, the Brits and now the Canadians. I find it interesting. Interesting in that I don't know if it's a good thing, or a bad thing.

A good thing, maybe, in that some agency with a little clout is taking climate change / peak oil seriously. Never mind that the US House just voted that climate change "isn't real."

Uneasy because .. I've been staring at this screen for 5 minutes and just can't articulate my unease. Fear of living under a military dictatorship? Fear of the pockets of rabid Fundamentalism that surface every once in awhile, here and there in the military? The Air Force Academy was a recent example.

Don't know. Can't quit put my finger on it.


Check out:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172411

"Why can't we see and hear many other alien civilizations assumed to exist ?

Any extra terrestrial civilization or intelligence would have a very narrow window of time to be interested in other civilizations, interest in the outside world, in communicating with other imagined civilizations on other planets before starting to manipulate their own brains, minds, putting chips in their brains and creating an essentially solid state civilization.

In fact the number of universes that a said civilization could explore by self manipulating itself and communicating only with in a limited area of mass - energy, is greatly larger than any number of alien civilizations. And the manipulations of mass - energy interacting with itself (that is what the Technological Singularity is essentially when brains change themselves and start manipulating themselves and talking to themselves) would be similar in any other area of the universe, hence the curiosity for other alien civilizations would not be sufficient: nothing really new could be discovered compared to mass - energy self manipulating itself.

Mass - Energy self manipulating itself would be similar in any other point of the universe, nothing new to discover."


Brains that self manipulate can create all kinds of new informational relationships within themselves: you can imagine, within a cubic meter, trillions of transistors, neural circuits, optic circuits that are exploring simply the combination of Mass - Energy self evolving and expressing itself. Some parts of the cube can evolve at extremely fast and different rates, so as to be creating essentially "alien civilizations" only a few centimeters apart, and interacting, communicating, and exploring all the same.

"So what would be found in a small volume of Mass - Energy self manipulating and evolving and interacting with all kinds of combinations and dependent and independent parts, Free Willoniums, Computroniums, etc. is equivalent to what would be found by civilizations that evolved millions of light years away, independently: ONLY THE INFORMATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND INTERACTIONS, ALONG WITH, EMOTIONS, LOGIC, NEW BRAIN CIRCUITS, NEW ORGANIZATIONS OF MEMORY, LOGIC, INVENTED LAWS OF PHYSICS really count, the rest is redundant."

Only the "experience" of the encounter with another civilization matters, not how you got to that experience, not the path or manipulations you had to take to reach that target of civilization A encountering civilization B.

So fire up your Virtual Realities in the computers and create your own close encounter of the "third" type.

Let's all be honest here: who on earth can really say what will happen, what the "real" narrative of the situation is, what determines what, how much oil is in the ground, how much food possible, how much population, when all of these issues are so completely tied up to so many contrasting agendas, so many conflicts, everyone wants to make a statement that reality somehow will follow what they think is the "model", when all of these depend on the random will powers and choices of so many other completely independent actors, etc. ?

It is all a kind of command language, in the sense that if I say that there is peak oil, that ends up kind of commanding everyone to believe and act on it, that there is this peak oil. Or that there are all of these debts, and that subtly commands everyone to act and behave and make choices accordingly. At what point does the language turn around from a being description to an order - command ?

Anyways, just to give an idea, JHK says get rid of cars, good, so this is simple: create 10 story high apartments and gardens and swimming pools around them and parks, and public transit in the form of buses that can take you to larger parks, gardens, areas, work and malls, etc. This would cut down the use of oil by so much. No need to go back to the dark ages and a world Made by Hand.

And tootsie - tzatza - motleycrew or whatever, keep on insulting them all, it is all good, I appreciate it, even though you seem to be a "Right Wing Thug" for me, I enjoy your comments a lot and think they are often correct.

I will probably be banned yet again, as usual, but you will not because people appreciate your comments and those secret agents of CIA, FBI, MK, and who knows who banning me want to censor my comments.

Tripp;

I've been reading your interesting posts here about farming and politics. I don't think we have anything to worry about concerning a military coup in the US. I know JHK has broached the subject in the past few weeks ... I think he's simply engaging in a little hyperbole and a chance to stir things up. The last time that danger existed was in 1862, worse times than these, when Gen. McClellan threatened to take his union army into Washington and depose Lincoln.

Tripp, your scientific approach to farming ... While realizing it is necessary to survive and thrive, do you think in the long run it would lead to the huge factory farms that we see in the mid west and west? All those big farms must have started small too, and the ones that grew and bought out others must have been the farms that used the most up-to-date and latest scientific methods. I recently read an article by a small livestock farmer in England and she commented, to stay in business, there was this tremendous pressure to grow and get bigger, that it was the only way to survive.

Just curious about that.

Multiple shootings in New Haven last nite. And New Haven, home of Yale University, stills bills itself as the cultural center of southern New England. Something is not right in New Haven.

OLD/Spider6699, did you stay up all night thinking that shit up? And typing it? You're going to be mighty tired at work today.

Qshtik was pretty old. He might have dropped out ... for good!

-Marlin
CFNation YD Post 1
New England Chapter

For Marlin
Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven
Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice
Blood in my love in the terrible summer
Bloody red sun of Phantastic L.A.

THE DOORS, Peace Frog

Pucker,
Confessions is a great book. Glad you read it. It's the Milton Friedman model of Neoliberalism and Globalism, or as I call it rejiggered Inverted Communism for the top 2% of the world.
How you described the book is exactly what we've been doing for years.

We broke with Keynes where we built up Europe through the Marshall Plan and somewhere in the early 70's with the Nixon White House, Milton Friedman was orchestrating the financial end of the coup in Chile.

Since Friedman advised that you never speak his name, because people would go nuts if they knew, you will now recognize what this is. The Chicago School of Business is where the ideology was formed and it has been adopted everywhere else.

Now that you finished Confessions... you have to read "Shock Doctrine". It will all come together for you!

It's been going on here for over 30 years and we are seeing the next stages of the destruction of the commons on uber-drive.

Oh, I imagine new shoe will drop to justify their next move...

And then there is this. (heard on Jesse James movie last night)

"I am a good old rebel"

Oh, I'm a good old Rebel
Now that's just what I am
For this Yankee Nation
I don't give a damn

I'm glad I fought against her
I only wish we'd won
I ain't asked any pardon
For anything I done.

I rode with Robert E. Lee
For three years thereabouts
Got wounded in 4 places
And starved at Point Lookout.

More later.

-Marlin

Ripthunder, if you're still there.

Picked up this books that talks about the Farmington Canal. Do you know anything about this? It went from New Haven, thru Farmington here, to Southwick where you are at, all the way to North Hampton. Now get this, it was dug out BY HAND, with pick and shovel, in 1825. Think about that. I wonder if any of it is left around here?

Jim in TLE says we'll be digging canals again in the future, probably once again by hand. After the oil runs out.

-Marlin

Yeah, I stayed up all night thinking sh*t up, I like to make all kinds of things up, I like cool sounding blocks of text with the word "machine" in it, like "Constant Target Machine", or "Infinite Recursion Machine" as applied to my description of the Mind.

I like how the modern economy, the "Information Economy", the "Services Economy", the one that finally did away with most real labor and work associated to real necessities like Manufacturing and Agriculture has freed so many people up to make up all kinds of sh*t. This is "Science and Technology Applied to the Economy", as applied to all productive endeavors, goods and services freeing man to do as he pleases.

This is excess capacity, too many people having too much time on their hands, this is what creates "Financial Products" like subprime loans, the engineers and mathematics don't work towards sending Rockets to Mars, but how to swindle cash out of an Infinite Resource society by "high frequency trading", etc.

This is what create the "Housing Bubble", too many houses built, too few people to occupy them as in the USA having 15 million empty homes and Europe from Lisbon to Moscow having maybe 20 million empty homes.

This is what creates that huge mega klusterPh?^?*Ch called "Health Care" where you have hundreds of thousands of workers working in insurance companies to find a way to extract money from people in pain.

And especially this is the economy that creates as many problems as possible, to then turn around and create jobs to solve them, in a never ending growing cycle of problem creation, confusion creation and problem solving like new sicknesses, psychological sicknesses, pills, new rules, hire and fire, new special blood tests needed, new sicknesses that are described and then people start believing they have them, and then they do end up having them, as in a language becoming a subtle command language from a description language (but really subtly suggesting "get this sickness, get this problem, it is cool, I will sell you the cure") like the "autistic child", or "attention difficiency", or "insomnia" or "impotency" or "being too fat", a constant new target to reach, a constant imaginary model of perfection and happiness that will never and can never be met, that you never imagined that you could have, that you never even paid attention too, that you never even knew existed or you needed, because the problems are all false, don't exist, exist only in people's brainwashed heads by too much information, too many choices, too many TV channels, too many options to choose from, too many blogs, forums, youtube pages, facebook entries, you name it, because there is no model to aspire to, there is no perfection, only normal crappy slob lives as people have been living them for hundreds of years.

And this is the economy that lets JHK make a living by writing about and scaring everyone about an imaginary resource scarcity doomsday scenario. And NASCAR and the Southern Man.

About the "Economic Hit Man" talked about above: he came home to the USA and Hit the USA. He hit himself in the end.


OLD6699/Spider;

Here's what's a little scary: You're beginning to make sense to me. Aaaagghh!

-Marlin

"If the population keeps on growing that means that there are those resources available to sustain it."

Howdy Spider, Agreed. In your next sentence you allude to death by starvation, the Earth's negative feedback mechanism with which she has controlled the populations of her critters for aeons. When humans discovered agriculture they believed they had discovered nirvana and would want nevermore. Unfortunately lust, ambition, cruelty, revenge and especially avarice were not only not contained with the invention of agriculture they were inordinately compounded. Yet the Earth was able to control the human population reasonably well for the next 8-10,000 years until the next savior of humanity leaped onto the stage, the industrial revolution. Whereas the mass of human protoplasm surged from less than a hundred million to half a billion world wide in about 5,000 years; it went from a half billion to a billion in about 300 years. Now began the real fun. Changes in human population density exploded with the discovery that oil could be extracted from the Earth directly rather than rendering the rapidly dwindling whale stocks. In roughly 200 years the species, which considers itself humane, added another 6 billion to its ranks and is now decimating every other species on the planet to satisfy it's insatiable hunger for everything that the Earth can offer up.

The population of fucking humans will keep on expanding until it can expand no more. Then what?

You have blathered on incessantly about terraforming Mars, etc.; however, having a modicum of knowledge about rocketry and space travel I am of the opinion that an attempt by humans to colonize another planet utilizing the pitiful space exploratory/travel capabilities we currently are in possession of represents a vanishingly small possibility, even when the outlay of significant percentages of worldwide GDP are thrown into the considerations (a very unlikely consideration in today's marketplace).

Agree with those who propose that the likelihood that what is happening here on the Earth has transpired uncountable time in the vastness of the universe within which we find ourselves located and perhaps in uncountable universes we have no current way of determining the existence or non-existence of. As uncountable is a relatively large number I further propose that the possibility of numerous instances exist in the universe we inhabit wherein intelligent primate type critters whom fully understood the meaning of socialized existence could have survived the test which we are obviously on the cusp of failing. Additionally the possibility that colony type insects might have been the intelligence winners on numerous planets whom carried their cast systems forward with their self controlled population restraints.

If you were a member of any one of these cultures would you have any desire to make contact with us? Not me! Keep an eye on them? Hell yes!

SNAFU

Olde Spider -
That's the first time I believe you, personally, have mentioned being banned.

Why do you think your screenname banishment keeps happening?

You really contribute some good ideas, occasionally.

I'd hate to see your IP address banned permanently.

Of course there are an "infinite" number of work-arounds to IP banishment, also.

As I suspect you already know.

Just write shorter posts.
And don't double-post!
It's not rocket surgery, man.

Just refresh your browser and give your previous post a few seconds to hit.

"...my unease. Fear of living under a military dictatorship? Fear of the pockets of rabid Fundamentalism that surface every once in awhile, here and there in the military..."
-LLB-

Yeah, I'm uneasy, too. My concern is that the whole system is going to *ossify?*, for lack of a better word. And at that point, further change will become impossible. We'll all be stuck where we are, unable to move - socially, economically, geographically.

I know human societies have been in this position before. The Dark Age in Europe comes to mind as an example.

So there are worse fates. But coming off the possibility of freedom of the US in the '60's and going to THAT level of stasis - - ugh.

If human freedom was the goal of the US.
We could have done a better job.

Speaking of peanut seeds, quinoa seeds, and garlic bulbs.

I look, from time to time, at those packs of hermetically sealed seeds that they sell on the internet. The concept is OK. You buy one pack of them and start gardening. You buy another pack and save it for when and/if TS encroaches upon the food supply chain end of TF.

Any of y'all have any experience with those seed packs I'm referencing?

'Cause to me, the problem is that they are probably not climate adapted to where you live. And it probably takes a year or two to learn how to get the best out of the best species in the pack. And if the average frantic, hungry suburban, wannabe gardener cracked open a pack under stress -
Expecting to suddenly feed himself with the enclosed seeds

He would likely make his last soup of the seed packs and die of fungicide poisoning - or something like that.

-----------
Other problem is that these seed packs - the ones that I've seen commonly advertised - don't include peanuts, quinoa, sometimes don't even include wheat.

And is it even possible to start potatoes from seed? 'Cause they don't include potatoes either.

It is fine to have a bunch of veggies growing. But we humans need CALORIES to survive, too. And that means peanuts, potatoes, and grains.

Any input from anyone?

U.S. military spending has almost doubled since 2001. The U.S. spent an astounding $698 billion on the military last year, an 81% increase over the last decade.

U.S. spending on the military last year far exceeded any other country. We spent six times more than China — the second largest spender.

In a sense, with the military dictating a large percentage of the federal budget, we live in a kind of military dictatorship. Budgets reflect priorities: ours reflects a mistaken belief that violence can solve problems.

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/555216/u.s._military_spending_has_almost_doubled_since_2001/

"I forget who started it, one of the "think tanks" I think that says, "We have 200 to 1000 years of coal equal to our total present energy consumption." Of course they don't even give the fine print disclaimer that says, "we can't produce it at the rates we presently consume energy so it might as well be a million year supply." -scott
**************

Ha! That's a very important point we would do well to remember, Scott.

The outlet of the firehose of crap "information" and skewed "stats" has everything to do with intended psychological "results". It's rare we get actual, sterile facts that we can apply critical thinking to anymore.

(And your point is well taken! ;o)

Here's a new plan to 'spur homebuilding' put forth yesterday by HUD; bulldoze all current vacant, foreclosed, and abandoned houses. The hope is that when prices firm up new houses will have to be built.

I'm not kidding. They're talking about it right now on CNBC.

Speaking of CNBC, JHK will be on that network at 10 tonite in a new series about energy depletion. It looks to be interesting.

Dow up 200!

-Marlin

The discussion between yourself and Scott is of massive import, IMHO.
Thanks for havin' it!

Awesome quote, Anne. The more things change,........

"I recently read an article by a small livestock farmer in England and she commented, to stay in business, there was this tremendous pressure to grow and get bigger, that it was the only way to survive." -Marlin
******************

I hope I'm not being rude by interjecting here, as the query was not addressed to me.

I found this point interesting as an entrenched paradigm that must be overcome if we are to survive. BUSINESS and GROWTH are overt indicators of the commodification of everything, where all is subverted to profit as the ultimate goal. Does "staying in business" take precedence over survival?

(Ask the question again if the answer comes as a quick 'yes', or even as 'equal weight', and try also ask why that 'yes' seemed to come as an almost automatic response. This is dangerous conditioning, purposefully engaged in by those who do not value human life.)

Sorry for the interruption! Back to your regularly scheduled "programming". ;o)

As a tie-in to that, JHK sez:

"I have never lived in a time when so many false narratives competed for supremacy of the collective mind-space."

Reminds me of the old saw:

"If you can't blind 'em with brilliance; baffle 'em with bullshit."

The struggle for the minds of men and women has now reached a critical juncture.

"Jim in TLE says we'll be digging canals again in the future, probably once again by hand. After the oil runs out."

-Marlin
****************

One last thang, then I'll shad'dap. ;o)
This is the cause of most of my pissed-off-edness; the waste of such a valuable, portable energy source! Why not re-dig these canals (energy production for manufactories and movement of trade goods) while we still have the cheap oil to run the heavy equipment??? This "mis-allocation of resources" (tm JHK) is what made me lose faith in this country's "institutions" to begin with... and I certainly don't see any attempt to curb it. Wonder why I'm cynical? Wonder no more.

When peasants are forced off the land and into factories, they are close enough to the old ways to see the ridiculousness of "labor-saving" devices being used to throw people out of work, making the remainder work harder.

I think that that is why in Europe and the US in the 19th century, we had strong revolutionary movements. We didn't get a rational system of work sharing and product sharing, but we did get a certain amount of bones thrown to us.

Latin America and Asia went through it in the 20th century.

Now, in the US, we are so far removed from our cooperative past that we worship our corporations as gods, just as much as any ignorant peasant worshiped in the Dark Ages.

We are willing to sacrifice our children, our environment, our tax money, anything, in the hopes that corporations will bestow jobs upon us.

And they just laugh, collect the money and move elsewhere, where newly evicted peasants collect to work for peanuts.

And we turn upon each other, screaming about pensions and Social Security. What? Keep the last remnants of a decent society?

Never!

And it seems resistance will not do us any good in a world made by hand... join the discussion!!

http://kulturcritic.wordpress.com/posts/resistance-as-commodity-america-medicated-and-enslaved/

The Baby Boomers are the people born between 1946 and 1964. That's a long time.

The first ones turned 65 this year. The last ones won't turn 65 until 2019, and presumably will be working and contributing to the Social Security surplus until then.

This is a manufactured "crisis". It was first brought up and used by Alan Greenspan in 1986 to raise the payroll taxes on all lower paid workers, to create a "trust fund", in which to store money to pay those baby boomers, when they retired.

OK. So, since then, all lower paid workers have been contributing more than needed into the fund.

Now, when the trust fund will be needed, supposedly in 2 years, the corporate media starts screaming that the money is not there!

And people fall for it! Unbelievable!

Ozone, feel free to chime in any time. You always have interesting things to say, man.

As soon as the sun peeks out and the temp. rises at least to 70d.F, if that ever happens, I'll be making that trip on my MC to Roosterville (I love that name) to buy you that promised beer.

-Marlin

Thanks; I'll try to keep it to a dull roar. ;o)

See yez when the weather quits being "Washingtonian" (like that rainy state-place).

The money is spent Wage. The US govt borrowed it and spent it. Pilfered it, if you want to look at it that way, to buy what? What is the US govt's biggest expense? Defence you say? So the trust fund money went to the defence establishment? Are you in the least surprised?

My understanding is what the US govt gave the fund in return are IOUs. Now, if the US govt makes good on the IOUs then all will be well. And if they don't make good on the IOUs then there will be a whole lotta pissed off people. You can trust your govt if you want. But IMO it is bought and paid for by Wall Street and corporate interests.

As sure as we're sitting here Wage, the average joe and jane will get screwed. They will get social security cheques no doubt. Will the money be worth anything? Govt statistical agencies put out farcically fraudulent inflation numbers. You can believe them if you want.

Same type of situation up here. There was a lot of noise in the 1990s about the Canada Pension Plan being underfunded and unsustainable. So the Finance Minister of the day, Paul Martin, increased conribution rates by workers and companies. The Chief Actuary in charge of the fund publicly squawked that the measures being taken wouldn't solve the problem. So Paul Martin fired him. So who do I believe, the politician Paul Martin? Or the civil servant who paid for his honesty with his job?

I trust politicians as far as I can throw them. All the money me and my wife paid into the Canada Pension Plan for all those decades is money pissed into the wind. I hope you get luckier.

Johnny Reb,

Seems that the War Between the States is not that far out of living memory. The last veterans of the war died in the 1950s and I'll bet there were a bunch of people that were too young to fight but still were around and remembered the war that died a good while later. I read that there were child brides of old veterans that were collecting Civil War pensions in the 2000s. The last died in 2003 and 2004 according to this:

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0908934.html

Nope, I read them all and he never has anything worthwhile to say.

Except the correction on end of life expenses. That is the most expensive time of life, especially the last 1/2 hour.

http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/02/futile-resusitation.html

Just found a source that says that as of 2007 there were three children of Civil War veterans still drawing VA benefits:

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004623.html

My Facebook friend posted this and pointed out that in the US, the people would be arrested-

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

So are his off-shore oil drilling, increased tax money for nuclear energy, mountain-top removal and privatizing Social Security policies foreign policy?

Cash;

It wasn't uncommon even into the 1900's for young women, north and south, to marry aging, even elderly Civil War Veterans in order to get benefits.

Here's some more lyrics, sung by Ry Cooder, in the Legend of Jesse James.

"I hate the Yankee Nation
and everything they do
I hate the declaration of Independence, too.

I hates the glorious Union
Just dripping with our blood
I hates the striped banner
and fought it all I could

300,000 Yankees
Is stiff in Southern dust,
We got 300,000 before
they conquered us.

They died of Southern fever
And Southern steel and shot
I wish it were 3 million,
Instead of what we got.

I can't pick up my musket
And fight 'em down no more
But I ain't gonna love 'em either
Now that is certain sure.

There is still more.

-Marlin

Thanks for the reasoned response. I meant my post it in the lampooning nature of the movie.

I may not agree with you, but I've come to respect your inputs. I would fiercely defend your right to associate with whomever you desire and to practice your beliefs without interference.

I know a woman who tried to live off the land years ago, Prog.

She said that wheat was just too much work.

That's probably why it used to take a village to harvest the grain.

That's why I chose potatoes. I figure if the Irish could live off of them, so could I.

However, I have now found out that potatoes don't grow well here. (This ain't Idaho, or Washington). I've been told that sweet potatoes do better. But I don't like them.

I'm guessing that down there, it's also sweet potatoes.

I read a comparison of healthy diets one time. We have all been told that the Mediterranean Diet is the best. (Probably helping to the destruction of fish stocks in the ocean.)

But this study said that the healthiest diet was the Southern diet! Not the fried chicken/french fry diet of today, but the black-eyed peas, collard greens, sweet potato diet of the old days.

Well. That may be something to shoot for. I planted collards yesterday.

Corporate culture is to some extent artifical ie it's a top down culture. But it reflects social thinking outside the corporation. What is it that a company wants to project in terms of image? Competence, dependability. So company employees are told to dress and behave certain ways. And if you are competing in the job market what do you want to project to present and future employers? Competence, dependability. So you dress and act accordingly.

But what about culture outside the corporation? Look at the average middle class neighbourhood with the shiny washed cars, nicely painted houses and neatly trimmed lawns. So what image do people want to project to their neighbours? Similar to what they want to project to their employers, what their employers want to project to their clients etc. So I would argue that corporate culture doesn't exist in a vacuum. It influences and is influenced by outside culture.

I don't know about the US but 80% of people here are white. And there's a lot of racial intermarriage which I know you see as evil but I see as a good thing. And I think that giving the human genome a vigourous inter-racial churning is good. In-breeding is unhealthy.

For all my ranting against the idiocy of multiculturalism what I'm seeing is mostly assimilation and integration ie newcomers' kids adopt prevailing ways. Older newcomers are a harder nut to crack. What I want is that people see each other as fellow countrymen, fellow citizens. The lunacy of multi-culturalism is that it works against that, it encourages competeing and contending tribes within our national borders.

I understand what you're saying about pride in ancient culture. At the same time it can't be fossilized. New things come along. Are we going to exclude them? There was a time when Shakespeare was brand spanking new. And Coleridge and Beethoven etc.

Let's not forget also that sometimes other cultures do have good ideas. Also let's not forget that English is an amalgamation of Anglo Saxon, French, Latin and other languages. It gives English depth and nuance. We have the word "ask" in English. The word for "ask" in French is "demand". But English adopted the word "demand" and gave it a new level of meaning.

I read the same thing. I read about a teenaged girl that married a really old Civil War vet. She said he was really old but she was really, really poor and he had that pension.

The US government did indeed spend that money, Cash. What you call IOUs are called Treasury Bonds down here.

The US government would NEVER suggest that it wouldn't pay back the bonds sold to Saudi Arabia, or China. They only pull that nonsense on the brain-washed masses.

The US just manufactures dollars, anyway. All they have to do is put new numbers in their computers and there are new dollars.

Consider this, however.

In 1965, every single Baby Boomer was born and consuming, but most were not yet working.

Yet American workers paid for them AND the retired. There were 95 dependents for every 100 workers.

There is no where near that discrepancy forecast for the Baby Boomers retirement. And we are way more productive today than in 1965.

So just go back to the pay-as-you-go system that we had until 1986. Write off all those trillions taken from us. It was worth it, to kill Nicaraguans and Iraqis, and pay off all those bankers, right?

The US worker has increased productivity, but wages have fallen.

Where does the excess money go? Well, the rich spend it on luxury, lend it back to the workers at usurious rates, invest in factories in China, stash it (1.5 trillion dollars at this point), and, last, but certainly not least, use it fund right wing think tanks that convince the gullible that this is the best of all possible systems, except for the greedy poor.

Back in 1965, attacking Social Security would have been unthinkable, but decades of right wing propaganda have done their duty. Those TV shows that have convinced you that the US government doesn't owe the money it took from the workers? Who do you think funded them?

Eisenhower, a Republican in the 50s, believed that US workers would never be stupid enough to fall for capitalist propaganda so crude.

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

But unlimited money for propaganda has made many more people stupid.

I agree with your comments on military spending.

Barney Frank said in an interview: "We can save at least $150 billion a year"... We don't need to be in Western Europe anymore.... cut way back on nuclear arsenal...

In response to a comment that politicians seem unwilling to cut defense because they are afraid they'll seem weak: "My one big criticism of Obama is that he has bought into that".

If many of us acknowledge the situation, how do we impact change? I don't want to just sit here and type away.

The interview segments were taken from the May 2011 issue of Playboy.

Note to self: "Always reference your sources".

Further to your post: I read an account of General Douglas MacArthur that said he married a southern belle. The account said that his bride's brothers refused to attend the wedding because MacArthur was a Yankee. Not even for the sake of their sister or family peace did these guys put aside the war. I'm not judging these guys because I don't know what their family suffered during the war. But the bitterness was evidently hard to shake.

And up here we're busy playing with fire. Quebec keeps threatening to secede. The east of the country loves to insult westerners on top of the economic insult they hit them with in the 1980s. So now, predictably enough, we have the New West Partnership between BC, Albert and Saskatchewan.

These three have a combined population of around 9 million and a GDP of over 500 billion. Is it viable as a country on its own? You bet it is. Are these the seeds of a new separate country? Who knows? I've heard people say and you have posters saying on this blog well good riddance. OK, but think this through. What happened down south 150 years ago? Don't we learn from history? Apparently not. How many national breakups happened without a bloodbath? The USSR wasn't a terribly violent breakup if you don't include Chechnya but Yugoslavia, India/Pakistan, Pakistan/Bangladesh, Nigeria/Biafra were horror shows.

http://www.newwestpartnership.ca/

By itself it's nothing. But given the acrimony of the past 30 years to my eyes this does not bode well.

Canada is the largest source of oil for the USA. Until now Canada is willingly giving the USA oil.

If Canada begins to become unstable and breaks up, the USA military empire might have to intervene to guarantee access to oil.

I hope it does not come to that, as I like Canadians, but I can imagine war situation room scenarios in which no country with oil is untouchable, including Canada.

Those TV shows that have convinced you that the US government doesn't owe the money it took from the workers? _ Wage

They convinced me of no such thing. I never said the US govt didn't owe the workers. I said the US govt would SCREW the workers.

From:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=174981

Time Travel Solved

With reference to:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172411

With reference to the Fermi Paradox Solved, only the experience of time travel matters, not the tools used or trajectory of manipulations that reached the target of the "time travel" experience.

Since this experience of time travel is only an information relationship, an information transaction of Mass - Energy with itself, an information exchange of chunks of Mass - Energy with other chunks of Mass - Energy, the same system of modifying information relationships that create the experience of a close encounter with an alien civilization can be used to create information relationships that create the experience of time travel in any direction, both in the future or past. Acutally time travel would be just a particular combination in the cube of mass - energy self manipulating.

Therefore no stretching of space or black hole travels are necessary to travel in time, only the creation of the equivalent information relationships. It is just as real, as real isn't defined, real is just how much you are convinced that it is real and since you can never be convinced 100 % of something and not even 0 %, the variable C (convinced) is a number greater than zero and less than 100, then any number is equivalent and equally true.

So time travel is also like a simulation, of course you have to have a memory of how 1950 was to compare, and then you have the exact same experience. So both alien encounters and time travel are particular cases of the more general situation of combinations of Mass - Energy exchanging information and interacting with itself.

So this is also the Grand Unified Theory of physics achieved, the Theory of Everything, the scientists can all go home and become redundant like many other workers, excess capacity once again.

Do not believe you need fancy math and equations to express the grand unified theory, only text based concepts are necessary, it is more similar to pure philosophy.

So now, give me the nobel prize.

If many of us acknowledge the situation, how do we impact change? I don't want to just sit here and type away. - JonathanSS

How about bending your congressman's ear? Or your Senator. Send emails. Send petitions. It may do no good. But if they're going to give you grief you might as well try and give some in return. Live by the belief that it's better to give ulcers than to get them.

Cash..What is goin on in ICELAND?

It's not that icy. Unusually cold though.

OK, I just sent an email to CA Sen. Dianne Feinstein & referenced Barney Frank's comments.

That's the spirit.

I guess I misinterpreted your comments.

OK, I can agree that the plan is to screw the workers.

But the propaganda push to legitimize it should be ignored. Or recognized as propaganda.

Can you tell your landlord that you can't pay the rent because you spent it on something else? Not bloody likely.

So why should people just shrug and accept the US government announcing that it spent their money and won't pay it back?

"Now that you finished Confessions... you have to read "Shock Doctrine". It will all come together for you!"


To quote the character Max Cady (played by Robert DeNiro) as he's getting out of prison at the start of the movie "Cape Fear":

"Anyone come'n to meet ya Cady?"

"Nope."

"What about ya books?"

"Already read 'em."

Oh, it do rain here in Washington! State motto? "Won't Rust." How do you know someone is from "away?" They carry an umbrella. I haven't heard it used much lately, but they used to refer to the western part of the state as the Wet Side and the East, the Dry Side.
You may remember Tripp opted out of siting his permaculture extravaganza in Eastern Washington due to the low rainfall.

If state boundaries made more sense, Western Oregon and Washington would be one state. Eastern Washington and Oregon would be another.

Time for another "Letter from Out Here" again, I guess. The local paper just arrived. Our official unemployment rate is 14.9%. As we all know, the actual is probably a lot higher.

Interesting changes in the neighborhood. Here in Centralia, Washington. There's a new tattoo parlor on the corner. That's the 4th or so in a town of 17,000. An indoor grow store just opened up around the corner. My, I didn't realize so many people were into growing houseplants. A couple of weeks ago, I was driving home late at night and noticed a new business. "Natural Medicine." It took the City two weeks to figure out that our first marijuana outlet had flown in under the radar.

Me, I'm putting together another load to take to the auction, tomorrow. I think I've taken 40 boxes, or so, in the last two months. We're supposed to have a nice day tomorrow, so I can take a larger load (no canopy on the back of my short bed) and even some small pieces of furniture. I'm beginning to see floor, here and there. It still seems pretty overwhelming. I'm being ruthless in getting rid of stuff. There's always a couple of things in every load that hurt a bit to tare loose of.

Think I'll have a 50% off sale in the bookstore this week-end. Fri to Mon. The lease is up on this place next January. My entitlement starts in July. A year from now I won't be here. Where I'll be is a mystery.

But I'm not stressed about that. As I have discovered, options present themselves and way will open. Life careens off in strange and weird directions. I'm up to 4 or 5 options so far and was presented with another one, the other day.

And old friend of mine stopped by. I think I've been asked to join a tribe or clan. SE of the next town over (Chehalis), out of town, but not too far out of town, is a road that his family has lived on since the 1920s. There's my buddy and his wife who is a soon to retire nurse. His 90 something year old mother. Bachelor farmer brother who is a mechanical genius. And 2 or 3 long time hermits scattered around. My little piece of heaven would be a thrashed single-wide with a garden spot. Practically no rent and utilities.

I like these people. They are around to offer advice when I need it, but also have a sense of privacy. Think I'll do a drive by on my way to the auction, tomorrow. See how it feels. If it's meant to be, things will fall into place.

"Does anybody actually read the "moeandcurly" guy (or girl)or are we all just scrolling by his or her posts. It's a shame because without the vulgarities and crazy imagery, he (or she) may actually have something to say...but we'll never know."

Obviously Jersey does (MORON) or Jersey wouldn't know there are "vulgarities and crazy imagery." What a fucking putz.

"What would I do without you?"

You would continue to post you usual LIES and people might believe some of them. Not to worry, I'm on (and always have been) to your simple shit. I'll keep calling you a liar and shining a light on your lies. And you are quite welcome for your thanks.

"The key question to ask is how much of the coal under the ground is recoverable."

Nah. the key question is why, when Turkey-Lurkey is called on his non-factual lie, does he just continue to spin and lie more and dig a deeper hole? That is the "key question".

"Yes, I am an Obama cheerleader on domestic policy."

Holy shit This guy has flow an entire country into an economic cliff and you are a fan? What a FUCKTARD.

"Canada is the largest source of oil for the USA. Until now Canada is willingly giving the USA oil."

Wrong (again). Canadian oil companies (not Canada) are SELLING (not giving) oil to U.S companies. (You really don't have the slightest grasp of capitalism do you asoka-herself?)

"Holy shit This guy has flow an entire country into an economic cliff and you are a fan?"

========

Mr. Bush was in office in 2008 when the country went off the cliff.

Mr. Obama has steadily brought the country back.

Look at the bikini graph of unemployment:

http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/04/01/the-bikini-graph-is-back/

The red lines are the Republican administration of Bush. The blue lines are the Democratic administration of Obama.

Who drove the country off the cliff economically is very clear.

BTW, the bikini graph linked to is for PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYMENT which suffered terribly under Bush and is doing better with Obama.

This bikini graph:

http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/04/01/the-bikini-graph-is-back/

shows monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction – red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.

Birther Donald Trump is doing well in Republican candidate polls, even though Trump is a business failure. Trump had three bankruptcies in six years while being paid $2 million dollars as Chairman of the Board of the companies that went bust.

Trump is the new mainstream Republican, not Palin, not Christie, not Jeb Bush.

Corn, Peanuts, Greens, Nuts...
Potatoes 'Sealed the Irish Doom'..Figure out why.

Wage,

Love your 1:01 post. You really nailed it! Not only do the people buy into the narrative of the empire, but they are becoming mean-spirited to boot! --Just like the old memes of blaming the victims first! Yesterday, I became incensed when Jack Cafferty had on his comments:
Should States Require Drug Tests for Public Assistance?

[Twenty-seven U.S. states, as red as Arizona and Georgia and as blue as New York and California, may soon be adding another requirement for those applying for aid such as unemployment or welfare: Being clean.

More than half the states in this country are considering legislation that would require recipients of public assistance to pass a drug test before getting their handout from the government.]

Imagine the madness of being laid off your job through no fault of your own, all the time you worked you paid along with the employer for unemployment insurance and when you loose the job you have to be put through the indignity of undergoing a drug test for eligibility for the benefits you paid toward throughout your time at the job.
Because you are collecting unemployment insurance you are now being lumped together with drug addicts and welfare recipients, or in some way there is a new stigma put on those who lost their jobs when the taxpayers bailed out the banks, only for the banks not to lend to small businesses.
The recession hit, and millions lost their jobs. The atmosphere for job creation does not exist, as we all understand, thanks to globalism and world wide low wage workers, so getting a new full time well paying staff job is not so easy, is it, now.
Now the worker who lost their job through the vagaries of the banksters in public enemy #1!--Well we'll just have to put you through the wringer...
Well you should have read the comments. They didn't allow mine to go through, but they sure let the sheeple play out the mean-spirited persecution of the unemployed -whew
___________

Pucker, glad to hear you read the Shock Doctrine, but education never ends there's much to read out there. You won't hear about it on TV
_______

One more thing--speaking of propaganda. The Koch Bros. it seems have been telling their employees who they must vote for in all elections. They are taking full advantage of their "free speech" the Supreme court gave them and are telling their workers that in order to save the business and thus their jobs, they have to do their best to get the right people in office. They also tell their employees that reducing their wages is a good thing!
See Dylan Ratigan today if you want to hear the details.
---guess they better vote the right way or they too will be subjected to drug tests....

Apple Record March Quarter Drives 83 Percent Revenue Growth, 95 Percent Profit Growth/Record iPhone Sales Grow 113 Percent

Terrible economy? WRONG.

Asoka,
You've gotta be kidding me. Of course some corporations are doing very well, indeed.
We also have new billionaires and millionaires thanks to the glorious tax cuts for the wealthy, but not a great economy is made by putting profits into few hands.

Don't focus on "some corporations" doing well.

Look at the implication of millions of people purchasing non-essential goods (and Apple goods are not cheap) ... that is an indication that the economic situation in general is not that dire. If we have 8.8% unemployment, that means we have 91.2% employment. If things were really bad people would have no money, tapped out credit cards, and would not even be able to buy expensive gadgets. But things are not that bad. As much as CFN wants to refuse to believe it, there is an economy recovery underway in private sector employment, housing starts, consumer confidence, etc. etc. there are dozens of positive indicators.

A.,
I guess that it comes down to who you are. I would not take the 8.8% as the real number.
There are more people than before who are suffering in this economy and many are taking jobs with lower salaries and rates.

That doesn't mean there is no longer a middle class, but it's not as good as you say and it's not as bad as I put it.

We'll just have to see where it's going to go, but I would say we don't have a good financial foundation and the oil prices may take the wind out of the sails of recovery.


Hi Marlin, regarding the Farmington Canal. it beacame a railroad bed and is now fast becoming a bike trail. It is quite a nice ride. There is a side spur under construction which heads over to Collinsville.http://www.fvgreenway.org/pages/default.asp

Did you look at the bikini graph for private sector employment? Consistent positive advance...

http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/04/01/the-bikini-graph-is-back/

Obama had to help the country climb out of a deep hole left by Bush's mismanagement. Obama is succeeding in creating employment in all sectors, including manufacturing. Did you see what I posted about General Motors 100-year record profits? Historically high manufacturing profits. Now. Thanks to Obama taking over GM and running it well (though he did not nationalize GM as a true socialist would have; Obama is a capitalist)

A,
I have no problem with Obama taking General Motors in hand temporarily--we absolutely had to do it, but the overall trends are way beyond his control.
The recovery is still described as a jobless one, Wall st. is doing well thanks to lots of rigging and oil is going up.
S&P is warning of a new financial meltdown with a possible $5 trillion bailout. S&P considers this scenario to be worse than 2008....hey maybe they're wrong who knows.....
Maybe you ought to write to them and tell them your theories..

"Maybe you ought to write to them and tell them your theories.."

=========

I am not talking theories. I am talking hard numbers. Did you look at the bikini graph? Nothing theoretical there. Just 20 months of consistent positive data.

Lew, since this is basically the same email you sent me offline, can I just answer it here?

I think this is a great opportunity. It's not glamorous, but then you know how I feel about that sort of stuff. I took my family into the ghetto of a strange city over 2000 miles away, against my tribe's wishes, wife 6 months pregnant, summer coming on (I mean southeastern armpit kind of summer, bona fide summer, not what you folks call summer on the left coast), young blond daughter, only white folks for blocks, onto a quarter acre, with a very sorry excuse for a "house" for shelter. No front door, broken windows, graffiti on the walls, drugs stashed in the ceiling of what would become my bedroom, $3000 kind of house. It was where low-rent hookers gave low-rent johns bjs for 10 bucks, and then left a little note on the wall for posterity. "I had my first anal sex here with so-and-so"...in my daughter's bedroom.

A shabby trailer with a nice garden spot, some friends, plenty of rain, and a whole lot of freedom sounds pretty cherry to me. It'll be whatever you make of it. Just shoot me an address so I can send you a house-warming gift.

Wage, maybe this is a dumb question, but being from the south myself it seems relevant. Have you ever tried sweet potatoes just baked, like a Russet, with butter, salt, and pepper?

I didn't like them much before I had them like that. Now I plant more of them every year. One of the most nutritious "vegetables" available. Changed the history of Polynesia. And where I live you can perennialize them too...even better.

I was LOLOTF when Bill Maher mocked The Donald for trying to appeal to the religious right by saying he (Trump) was a church goer. Bill says, imitating Trump, "my relationship with Jesus is HUUUGGGEE!"

Homemade, baked sweet potato fries with EVOO, salt & pepper are fantastic. I'm not sure why sweet potatoes are not more popular.

Hey tzatza, jimjim etc. We're all wise to you and your indecent use of English.

Asoka, you know I'm not a pessimist. I don't believe we're doomed like many on this site think. We will end up ok. We both know we will never suffer permanent energy shortages.

But that doesn't mean that everything is rosily going along. Unemployment figures are bogus. When people's benefits run out, they are not counted as unemployed. Many formerly well-paid people trained in some fields are now employed in low-paying jobs out of their fields - they are underemployed. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the purchasing power of the typical American worker has been going down since 1973. Most of consumer purchasing was made by going into debt to obtain goods.

Real estate has been a disaster. According to the NAR, February was the worst month ever recorded. Many people, including those I know, have lost thousands of dollars of their equity, particularly when life dictates they have to sell their homes. New housing starts did go up - by only .1%, and only for a month. That's not a trend, it's a small statistical blip.

Clinton balanced the budget - but only because he borrowed Social Security funds, which he really wasn't supposed to do. Obama did inherit a mess from Bush, who was a disaster. But IMO Obama has done very poorly, too. The law of Conservation of Matter and Energy is a basic, known law of the universe. It seems to me that spending more money than one takes in without investing for future gain, violates this law. This has to come back to bite America in the ass.

Obama has prosecuted two wars for over two years, more than half of his 1st term, which to me, is inexcusable when he promised us otherwise as he did when he ran for election. Given that killing people not in self-defense is murder, and given that murdering thousands of people is considered a crime against humanity, and given that the president is the commander-in-chief, should not Obama be tried for this crime?

I'm not worried about the future - we'll be ok. But there will be some bad hairy times before we reach that point.

Beantown said:

Given that killing people not in self-defense is murder, and given that murdering thousands of people is considered a crime against humanity, and given that the president is the commander-in-chief, should not Obama be tried for this crime?

Yes, he is a war criminal and I have called for his prosecution in an international criminal court for killing civilians (e.g., drone bombings) in countries we are not at war with (e.g., Yemen).

I also think there is an inherent contradiction in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who holds the title of Commander in Chief of national armed forces.

Thank you for you other comments on domestic economics. You make good points.

"do you think in the long run it would lead to the huge factory farms that we see in the mid west and west? All those big farms must have started small too, and the ones that grew and bought out others must have been the farms that used the most up-to-date and latest scientific methods."

Marlin, you just asked the right question. Thanks for the springboard.

One thing that people routinely miss, IMO, is the idea that humans, being just another biological population, and completely beholden to energetic laws like any other, will behave exactly how their environment tells them to behave. In an era of rising energy availability, consolidation and growth by gigantism were simply the normal order of business. Earl Butz's "get big or get out" was legitimately adaptive to that reality. That sort of growth requires massive energy subsidies, and that has been the norm for the last 180 years or so.

In a contractionary world, however, the long food chains, long supply chains, supported by abundant cheap energy, that such organization depends utterly upon, will just not be available. Or not accessible maybe. We will do things in lower energy ways, more local ways, not because of some altruistic tendency, but because that will be the only way to get it done, and that will demand smaller systems and shorter food chains.

We will have successful ideas, from a contractionary perspective, and they will grow of course, but this time by cellular reproduction, not by gigantism. It just requires too much energy to get huge. You like what I'm doing at Small Batch in south Georgia, so you copy it and modify it to fit your little patch of New England. Small Batch, after all, is just a site-specific modification of successful models elsewhere, plus my tendency to conduct research. There's no way to make it very big because the energy required to make Small Batch work the way it does is design-intensive and demands human power and flexibility, not the sheer brawn and monolithic doctrine of the industrial system. Which has a palpable life span on it at this point.

It's my intention for Small Batch to feed far more than just my 4; I hope we are employing 50-100 people in 20 years, full time, but it will never be 1000 acres of corn or potatoes. What makes a system like that work, (abundant cheap energy), is entirely different than what makes a permaculture system function. Under the industrial model our 300 acres would've never supported more than a couple of farmers, if that, a product of gigantism, supported (and condemned) by cheap energy. In a permacultural future, the work here will be done by humans, at human pace and scale, and the output will be highly diversified and optimized for quality not quantity, or shelf life, and so 300 acres will support many, many more people than it would today. That, and our ideas of what a normal income are will adjust to the new realities as well.

The only real difference between Small Batch and any other energy descent farm will be that we saw the trends earlier and got a head start. Our perennial (lower energy) structures were in place sooner, are therefore more mature and debugged, and our descent will be more comfortable.

Wage said: "So are his off-shore oil drilling, increased tax money for nuclear energy, mountain-top removal and privatizing Social Security policies foreign policy?"

=========

No. And I have seen no evidence that Obama is in favor of mountain-top removal or privatizing Social Security.

I have seen evidence that he favors off-shore drilling and nuclear energy and I understand his position on those issues.

I have been gardening in the back yard for the last two or three years, tomatoes and sweet corn mostly, but I have had trouble with small animals coming and eating things. Groundhogs and raccoons that seem to be living under barns and sheds have been a problem, any suggestions about this? Good luck with your farm this year.

Wage, the White House has consistently spoken against privatization of Social Security. http://noticios.com/p/26374

Wage, Bush eased restrictions on mountain top mining. Under the Obama administration, the EPA has taken steps to limit mountaintop removal mining.

Greetings JHK and all:

Our western New York decaying city will be cutting more fire and police,so prepare yourselves for longer response time. The Red Cross has great EMS programs all sorts of first aid and cpr, and do not forget they also have dog & cat first aid courses OR if you still have a volunteer fire and ems left, join tons of free training and real life experience,of course be warned NOT everyone in those uniforms are "decent",but great training and way to meet and spread the word. Get to work!!


Leave it to Asoka to find "green shoots"
in dung heaps. Private sector hiring
means nothing if salaries are falling
because the consumer is 70% of the
economy.

Of the tranch of 200,000 new jobs in the
last reporting period, 82% of them had
a salary under the national median.

This is called ... A FALLING STANDARD OF
LIVING. Asoka might as well be Larry
Kudlow for the way he sounds. Larry Kudlow
is a classic "I've got mine" Republican so
he, personally, doesn't care what the "median"
is or isn't.

This is an economy where pundits, as JHK so
aptly put it, from Cambridge to Palo Alto
are trying to put lipstick and make-up on
this pig trying to make it look like Sharon
Stone.


E.

"Of the tranch of 200,000 new jobs in the
last reporting period, 82% of them had
a salary under the national median."
-E-

And don't forget that +/- 100,000 LEGAL immigrants enter the US every single month. That's 300,000 legal immigrants per one of your reporting periods (one quarter, right?).

No telling how many illegal immigrants during the same period.

So it stands to reason that 82% of new jobs pay less than national median wage.
==============
Bill of Bean Town - You're an optimist. I like that. When you project that "we will always have power," how far into the future do you project.

If something can replace coal/oil/nat gas/nuclear - why haven't we been working on it consistently since 1980?

===========
ctemple - I can't imagine running any sort of sustainable farming operation in a rural area without an appropriately sized dog being given some guard duties, occasionally.

Same thing with a cat or two for your mice and smaller rodents.

The only work-arounds to these tactics involve the less sustainable techniques of secure enclosures, electric fences, and/or pesticides.

-or staying awake 24/7, watching things yourself-

IMO.

Just like our mind searches out opposition to will power, our mind gravitates towards, is naturally attracted to, even without wanting to, even against its own will power, searches out situations where it can get emotionally involved. It searches out situations and is attracted to, or assigns and defines, or creates imaginary targets associated to items outside of it, where it gets emotionally involved and amplifies feelings. And all of this within the need to judge and be judged by others, all of this being a slave of the god of other people's will power in the form of their judgment of you, that you can never really know but only guess, and be sure you will always guess wrong no matter what, because their judgment will always be beyond your model or logic.

Case in point, the economy is generating few jobs, so you start to read information about it, you take a certain position on it or a certain explanation about it, you check out to see if this position is reinforced or ignored, or if the laws or decisions you would like being taken are actually being taken, and if not you get mad, uneasy, you get emotionally involved and activate feelings about it.

Same with other people's behavior or judgment or activities or whatever, or your interaction with others, do they follow the same path you expected, is there confirmation or conflict on certain aspects, etc. Is your model or hope affirmed or contradicted etc.

And our mind ends up being an "Emotional Search Machine", a "Feelings Search Machine", always looking for something to charge it up, or getting charged up on some goal, some model, some target, some desire or behavior or interaction we want or hope or guess will happen.

So information is always being filtered through all of these emotional and feelings circuits, is the information on my side, against my side, as I would like, in contrast to what I would like, and more information just creates more games, more guessing games, more anxiety, more feelings, emotions, angers, defeats, games won and games lost.

But all of this has the single goal of eliminating boredom, of eliminating indifference, because that should be the true, real, natural state of 99 % of our lives, simple total indifference with no feelings or emotionally involved with any items of information, as they are all ghosts in our mind, all not necessary, and not important and not needed, all a temporary reference system needed to make us feel alive and involved.

As in Reverse Engineering the Mind. Armchair Communist. The Communist Manifesto 2.0

That was from:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174961

This is from:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=174981


Hello ? What do you do when you watch TV ? Suspension of disbelief, and you have an experience equivalent or similar to what the actors on the TV are having. What do you do when you play video games ? Similar, a simulation, a make believe, where you are immersed inside the game, the activity, the information relationships. Now, Suspension of Disbelief is just the variable C (degree of being convinced of the reality of something) going from a lower number to a higher number, like from 5 % to 70 %, but you still know it is fake, you are aware of the box you are in, like the brain in a vat is aware that it is in a simulation.

Our normal life always has a degree of being convinced, a degree of "reality affirmed" of C = 90 %, but if you program and hard wire this C to 90 % from the outset, then the mind experiencing the movie, the close encounter, or the time travel becomes 100 % convinced that it is real. And it is, even from the outset and logically, as there is no "external reality", there is no "space" and "time", these are all just mathematical devices the mind uses to organize its experiences: what really matters is the Information Relationship associated to the experience, not some imaginary model of moving things in space and going back in an "external time" and "world" on some metaphysical stage.

So, in essence, a person immersed in a perfect Simulation - Virtual Reality (at least perfect enough for C to get up to 90 %) that lets them experience going back to 1950 or 1970 where all of their memories, emotions, feelings, are exactly equivalent to what they would expect and imagine if this were true and real according to the false "metaphysical model of an external, independent reality" (when reality is just Information Relationships, Information exchanges, transactions, interactions, and single point like events of Mass - Energy changing and measuring and perceiving a constantly new configuration in the state space - combinational space), is equivalent 100 % to really going back in time and traveling in time.

Also, don't be fooled by all of the fancy mathematical symbols and equations in physics, this is just mostly a show, to make it look mysterious, hard, something too remote to understand for normal souls: nothing further from the truth, most mathematical results and models have given all they can give in theoretical physics, most of that mathematics is just a little game being played with symbols and concepts, and the really bottom line is that the large scale partial differential equations describing most physical phenomena have no analytical solution at all. This alone, as part of the structure of the universe and reality, is telling us, that further understanding of the Grand Unified Theory of Everything can only come from philosophical analysis.

And this philosophical analysis has concluded that the Universe and Reality is only Information Relationships and Point Like Events and Interactions of Mass - Energy with itself. And that there is no Metaphysical - External reality corresponding to space and time and matter, only information transactions and exchanges.

Now, give me the nobel prize.

Asoka, I have been under the impression that the president, currently Obama, is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces only during wartime. Of course we have muddled the picture in the past 60 years with many armed conflicts that are not wars in the strict definition (i.e declaration of war by congress). That said, unless we are still in a technical state of war with one of the WWII combatant nations, I do not think that Obama is truly Commander-in-Chief.

Riiiiiight. And Black is not black, white is not white and you are not an imbecile.

Al Klein, I am following the Constitution. The United States Constitution, in Article 2 Section 2, states:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States...

From day one, whether or not we are at war or in a "police action" or nation building or whatever they call it these days.

Did you also doubt Bush was Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces?

Obama is operating under the same legal authority and the same Constitutional authority Bush had.

Tripp, we bake them in a covered pyrex dish plain with no seasoning. They come out naturally sweet. 45 minutes or so depending on the size of the potato at 400 degrees F (at least with our oven). We get them from Chinatown for .39/pound or in NoFrills grocery stores for .97/pound. I agree with JontathanSS. Should be more popular.

Also, you referred to the sweet potato changing the history of Polynesia. I read somewhere that the word Polynesians use for sweet potato is pretty much the same as that used by indigenous Indians in Peru. So Polynesians made it to South America. I also read that there is some DNA evidence in South American Indians of Polynesian presence and some bits of evidence in Polynesians of South American Indian DNA. Now consider that Polynesians made it across the Pacific with double hulled canoes. Bloody amazing. Or maybe, but probably less likely, South American Indians got on boats and went out into the Pacific. I wonder if there's any evidence of past sea faring exploits of South American Indians.

E., you have previously cited the U6 as a more accurate representation of unemployment because U6 includes people with part-time jobs who want to work full time and discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work.

The good news is that U6 also fell to 15.9 percent. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 64.2 percent, the employment-population ratio at 58.4 percent. The number of Americans who have been unemployed for six months or more fell from 6.2 million to 6 million.

Under Bush seven million jobs were lost (2007-2008) and U6 was 17.5 percent. Obama has managed to bring down U6. And the jobs being added are not government jobs... they are private sector.

Anyway you look at it the number of jobless is DECREASING not increasing. I celebrate that data.

Obama's economic policies have been successful compared to the previous Republican Bush administration.

Tripp, thanx for the thoughtful response. My question to you was a bit rhetorical, hoping to prompt you to post a little more about your operation down there.

Ripthunder, The Farmington Canal, after a little research yesterday, and some field work, I found remnants of the 'original ditch' in Fischer Meadow park in Avon. It is remarkably well preserved for several hundred yards, about 20 ft wide and 3 or 4 ft. deep. Here in New England not much from the distant past remains, unlike, say, in Europe. In this case just a trench thru a meadow. That'll have to do.

Vlad, I've been going over your posts specifically. Tell me if I'm wrong; you have a classical education, and have been trained in Polemics.

My only thought right now; a lighter touch, and a sense of humor, would go a long way in bringing people 'round to your way of thinking.

-Marlin
CFNation YD Post 1
New England Chapter

Wrong (again). Canadian oil companies (not Canada) are SELLING (not giving) oil to U.S companies. - LMC

Thankyou. No matter how many times I make the same point it doesn't seem to sink in.

But there's not only Canuck money in them thar tar sands (to use the hip, lefty pejorative) though. Chinese based investment also, Yank and other countries too.

Now before y'all get hysterical, Canucks have 250 billion $C dollars invested in the US at Dec 2010 (Loonie is trading above par with the Greenback), Yanks have about 306 billion invested in Canada. Yes, we have evil capitalist bastards up here exploiting Americans, this is not an exclusively American preserve. Profits flow both ways across the border.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110415/t110415a1-eng.htm

Canucks have roughly 617 billion invested abroad vs 562 billion invested by foreigners in Canada.

Now take with a grain of salt as this is a Canuck govt statistical agency. But I'm not sure what advantage can be gained by twisting around these investment numbers.

Here goes again: AMERICANS BUY THE OIL.

There is this mindset that the US is an empire. And I keep asking if the US is an empire why are we up here not conquered. Why are we not a dispossessed, disenfranchised, oppressed minority with one foot in a mass grave?

The answer is very simple. The US is not an empire. If it was an empire the first thing it would do is conquer the world's richest land mass and arguably the most strategically important country on the planet: Canada. Just a stone's throw away and bursting with energy, fresh water, wide open spaces, fertile land, minerals.

We have up here the 2nd largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia. If you include all the oil and not just oil that's economically feasible at current prices and with current technology we have 1.8 trillion barrels. If the US were an empire it's surely worth conquering? Especially as it would take only a few hours?

Govt of Alberta website for basic info (or propaganda if you like):

http://www.energy.alberta.ca/OilSands/791.asp


Dung heap is right. Cross border comparisons of calamitous employment, debt and other numbers only highlight which is maybe the healthier horse in the financial glue factory.

The US economy blows? When do self disciplined German taxpayers who actually go to work in the morning and pay taxes start demanding a stop to pissing away money on idiot regimes and the return of the mighty D-Mark? American household debt sucks the big one? Canadian household debt sucks worse.

There's nothing to be happy about. The Fed (and other central banks too) is trying to rig financial markets by artificially suppressing interest rates. I heard a couple days ago that the Fed bought 70% of all recently issued treasury bills and bought them with printed money. Can you imagine if the Fed stopped buying T bills and the US govt had to go to market for the whole magilla? Where would interest rates be then? Somewhere between here and Saturn?

The question for holders of greenbacks and T bills or greenback denominated securities is becoming at which point do they realize that their investment is a sunk cost and irretrievable. Then what? A panic driven dump?

IMO we're staring Armageddon in the face again. Our central banks and financial regulators didn't learn. They kept printing money so we're again into wild inflation of food costs. The last go-round with millions of starving people and food riots wasn't enough. They want to poke that hornet's nest again.

Can you imagine if the Fed stopped buying T bills and the US govt had to go to market for the whole magilla? Where would interest rates be then? Somewhere between here and Saturn?

Short wait ahead here Cash, Fed stops buying Treasuies end of June 2011 when QE2 ends (total purchase $600Billion or about half the annual borrowing USA federal govt)

Cash said: "There's nothing to be happy about. The Fed ... blah blah blah"

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

I've been following this blog for nearly ten years and I have tried to share exactly what there is to be happy about.

I have read all the predictions of massive economic collapse, banking crisis, Dow at 4,000, etc. and yet the end of the world does not come and the predicted revolution with pitchforks in the Hamptons does not happen. Why not? Because things are much better than they are painted on this blog.

NEW YORK, April 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent in March after rising 1 percent in February, the Conference Board said Thursday.

The Leading Economic Index reached 114.1 in the month with a strong showing in housing permits issued

FOR THE NINTH MONTH IN A ROW POSITIVE NEWS ON THE LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS: OBAMA SUCCESS.

Given the global disruptions going on, the unrest in the Middle East, rising oil prices and the Japan earthquake, it is AMAZING how competently Obama is leading.

USA! USA! I must be the only one in CFN who is unabashedly willing to cheerlead for Obama based on hard data. I am happy that the USA is advancing and it is a foregone conclusion that Obama will be re-elected. His strongest opponent would be former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who just entered the race today... and that's not saying much.


I gave ASOKA the title of Cheerleader a long time ago and generally scroll past his idiotic blatherings, but his repeated bleating about how things are improving came to mind when I read Charles Hugh Smith's latest entry this morning at his website "Of Two Minds."

http://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

It's called Our "Let's Pretend" Economy

There are two economies--the real one, which is in decline, and the "let's pretend" one touted by the State and corporate propaganda machines.

Children love to play "let's pretend."
Let's pretend the economy is "recovering."
Why does this "recovery" remind me of an addict who's conning his caseworker? (Yes, I'm really in recovery--those aren't tracks, they're insect bites....)

He looks at the supposed recovery through several topics (with graphs and real numbers) including:

Let's play pretend that jobs are really really coming back.

Also ignore that Big U.S. Firms Are Shifting Hiring Abroad.

Let's pretend that households, corporations and government are reducing their debt.

Let's pretend we're deleveraging.

Excuse me but that cute little debt monkey on your back is actually an 800-pound gorilla.

Let's pretend that wages are rising. Except they aren't.

Let's pretend your purchasing power isn't in a free-fall.

Let's pretend unemployment is falling.

Let's pretend corporate profits are the most important metric of our financial well-being.

Let's pretend those great profits trickle down to the greater good. Only they don't.

How much longer are we willing to play "let's pretend"?

Eventually we'll have to return to the grown-up world and deal with reality.

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

On the way back to reality watch for ASOKA -- he'll be the one pissing on someone's shoes and trying to convince them it's raining.


It's easier to live in a pretend world. Up here we have some really serious assholes running the economy, our central bank and our financial institutions. I remember prosperous times in the 1950s and 1960s. What we have now is nothing like those times.

I project we'll have energy indefinitely into the future. The issue is the time interval betweeen now to when we mostly use alternative energy sources. How do we cope in the meantime with declining oil? Our survival depends on us getting through this keyhole period. But I'm an optimist, so I think we will end up ok.

To answer your question to me, I think we have been working consistently on developing new energy sources, but not hard enough. We've been working on developing hydrogen fusion, but haven't been successful yet. But every time we fail, we learn something. Remember reading about how Edison developed the light bulb after 10,000 failed experiments?

We've already learned about how to build thorium-based nuclear power plants. All we need to do is bring our engineering knowledge up to par. We could start building power plants in a few years to as long as 20 years.

I think you already know the answer to your question. It's not in the best interest of certain PTB to mandate large-scale R & D of new energy sources until our oil, coal and gas are almost completely depleted. That's too bad.

One other thing. In the 20th century we had wars of ethnic affirmation. What about this century?There are 7 billion aggressive, resource hungry people in this world. And a lot of those are literally hungry. Our central bankers want inflation. But they are inflicting inflation in food costs and it's causing a lot of people real misery. Things will be really ugly. Events in the middle east are just a preview.

Puzzler;

Let me ask you this. Today crude is back up to $112 per barrel.

But on the way to go fishing today I had Bloomberg radio tuned in. Commentator after commentator announced nothing but good economic news. Everybody is 'bullish', whatever the hell that means. They say there is growth on all fronts and sky is the limit. You're the Puzzler, but for me all this conflicting economic information is puzzling. I took only a few Economics courses in college and that was only to fill requirements to graduate. I wish I'd taken more.

And despite the high fuel prices it doesn't seem like anything is any different around here anyway. People are out driving around doing the same stuff.

JHK will be on CNBC once again tonite 10PM. Last night it was about suburbia. Tonite will be the program about energy depletion.

-Marlin

Went to the CNBC website and the link isn't "live." One of the few. Even from the show last night. Oh, I suppose Mr. Kunstler will post a link, sooner or later.

Organic zuchinni was 5 freaking 99 a lb. at the local store.

things are really really already expensive.

hard to see so many people not getting it.
i get it but still have no land for garden and that is frustrating. really working on that one.
maybe a friend with a yard. need to brainstorm and get a garden going in their yard, this could be done. i can do it.

A pretend world. that is what people do. exactly.
I guess I better start learning to do that.

maybe be happier.

I think 'we' down here will be conquered before we conquer you canucks.

just a feeling. a strong one tho.

things really feel like they are falling apart, not just my life. I mean really. and people living in a pretend reality. but the stress of driving is getting worse. people are Tense. worse than ever.

I know in the long run that we need to contract and change, but people aren't even knowing that or trying to do it. well a few are. but so many aren't that it just will be very hard. and we have fertile soil here. Meditteranean climate etc.

unbelievable. Gardens instead of lawns, simple.
IF you have any land at all around you. It should be the law.

anyway, no common sense. watcha / we gonna do.

Cash said: "Things will be really ugly."

========

This is the quintessential CFN statement formulated over and over again in different ways for the last ten years. Always in the future tense, maybe in one Friedman unit.

Meanwhile, it is necessary to ignore or deny the current economic reality: nine consecutive months of positive advance in the leading economic indicators. I do not not ignore that reality: I celebrate it. I am happy for my country and happy for my President. I am a patriot who is proud of the progress President Obama has fostered, and I give him all the credit he deserves because it hasn't been easy in the face of constant attacks maintaining that he is evil incarnate.

You do what you gotta do.
(Young girls marrying for pension.)

I think that times were harder on women 'back' then. especially financially.

It'll be like "what environment".

Their won't be one. or it'll look like Saudi Arabia. no trees, no green just desert.


Big box store parking lots full. Shelves full. Highways full. Rest areas are clean and have freaking toilet paper! We are a million miles away from societal breakdown. Sorry, doomers.

"another mental circuit we have always operating is the necessity to be present in the minds of others"
I think that is narcissism.

Wow you are out there and I like it. You give lots of Food for thought.

Bet you are sleepin' it off now !

Puzzler said: "I gave ASOKA the title of Cheerleader a long time ago..."

=========

And I don't think I ever gave you proper thanks.

I am appreciative of your gift. I have worn it well and have found it useful.

"Big box store parking lots full. Shelves full. Highways full. Rest areas are clean and have freaking toilet paper! We are a million miles away from societal breakdown. Sorry, doomers."

What a maroon! What are you smoking? I'm seeing a lot of former "big box stores" sitting completely empty. I have seen the state close a number of rest areas. The only reason there remains some semblance of order is because of the desperate propping up of much of which remains rotten.

We have still not come to terms with the devaluation of housing prices. The banks are still carrying these devalued homes on their books at their pre-crash values. Ditto commercial properties.

The credit rating of the US was just lowered. S&P stated: "Because the U.S. has, relative to its 'AAA' peers, what we consider to be very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revised our outlook on the long-term rating,"

On the state and local level things are bleak as well. And guess what? They are going to get worse before they get better. The reason? Property taxes. Properties have LOST value. This means the taxes collected on lower valued properties will be LESS. Municipalities are already stretched because of defaults and a higher percentage of unemployed. Yet the reassessing reflecting lower valued homes has not yet taken place in most areas. That lovely exercise and its consequences lies ahead.

"Cash said: "Things will be really ugly."

========

This is the quintessential CFN statement formulated over and over again in different ways for the last ten years. Always in the future tense...

You're right. How's this? Things ARE ugly. They are really, really fucked up. We are at a much worse standing globally, nationally and on a local level than we have been since the great depression. Having said that, in the future, (until we grow the fuck up) things will be uglier. Hows that, asoka-herself?

I wish you were right. but where I live things don't look like this. and from talking to people things are already really difficult if not impossible for them to even afford food.

you must have major bucks and just be oblivious to life down here. more power to you.

The solution is bigger government.

Instead of having a plethora of town and county governments, regional intergovernmental organizations can promote cooperation and leverage the synergies that can come from intergovernmental cooperation.

By looking beyond borders, and making government bigger and more efficient, we can achieve big savings.

Consolidation of services eliminates costly duplication. For example, joining together to buy equipment, or fuel for government vehicles, can save money through volume discounts.

Creative solutions can be found. We are not fucked.

Patriot Asoka ... Semper Fi!

"you must have major bucks..."

========

LOL! Thanks for that laugh. I worked all my life, but because I lived outside the USA many years and did not contribute to social security, I live on a small fixed income. The only way you can survive on a small fixed income is to embrace voluntary simplicity, cultivate community, friends, and cooperation, and, in my case, don't eat much (I fast 19 hours every day and don't miss the two meals a day I no longer eat... I think it may actually be healthier. I also don't do drugs whether they be legal prescription drugs, over the counter legal drugs, or illegal drugs. As Nancy Reagan said: "Just say no!")

[QUOTE]Big box store parking lots full. Shelves full. Highways full. Rest areas are clean and have freaking toilet paper! We are a million miles away from societal breakdown. Sorry, doomers.[/QUOTE]

[B]Obvious Troll is Obvious[/B]



Big box store parking lots full. Shelves full. Highways full. Rest areas are clean and have freaking toilet paper! We are a million miles away from societal breakdown. Sorry, doomers.

Obvious Troll is Obvious

YES!
At Santa Monica Farmers markets..Zuc..2$ a pound..
fancy stuff 4$ and up a pound.
OIL aint cheap!
Beer is cheap!

This country may not be creating good paying jobs but there always seems to be loads of money for the three kinds of people who seem to be the most important:

1. Sports, NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, cities that are cutting back on the police department can always afford a hundred million for a quarterback. They'll apparently keep the stadiums going when there aren't even police left to patrol the parking lots.

3. The famous/ wealthy in general, the sky is the limit for these types, reality stars, American Idol, Hollywood actors, Don Trump, we may not be able to afford heating oil subsidies for Grandma but we sure have seventy five million for some dummy to be in a movie.

4. Politicians, and the military, once a war gets going it's entitled to endless and unlimited funding, Medicare needs cut, not three wars, or two hundred overseas military bases.

Yes!
And India adds 120 to 180 [have read both figures]
Million a decade.
but Time/Newsweek says
'dont worry, yr next job will be from Asia'!

I kid you not..read that very recently in one of those 2 mags.
And there are so many Indians around SoCal..
news says coyotes bring em across the border.

Last year here someone called him
'Mr cut and paste'.

Yes, that "Mr Cut & Paste" title for Asoka was mine also.

Asoka is one of the reasons I don't participate here much any more -- my scrolling muscles get worn out. Between Asoka and the racists it's a lot of work getting to the useful bits.

Putting a positive outlook on things is their job. Bloomberg, CNBC, Money magazine, WSJ, etc (the whole mainstream financial media world) and throw in ABC, NBC, CBS, newspapers, cable news. They are all bought and paid for by the financial service / banking industry. Their jobs depend on churning up plenty of business for the ones paying the bills.

The only time one should watch them is for the entertainment value of watching them spin bullshit into wishful thinking.

Hey Pucker,
If you hadn't discussed the Of Two Minds post today, I would have. Charles Hugh Smith is one of the regular sites I visit. Really spot on today.
------------
Couple of other recommendations for today.
Listened to Thom Hartmann today and he was discussing similar issue of job creation as Dylan Ratigan. Ratigan was especially concentrating on the China monetary value and the tarrifs that are undermining our ability to compete. He describes Caterpillar and other US transnationals who are trying to keep the unbalance to fill their own coffers.
Hartmann was discussing a similar point but was discussing the almost traitorous behavior of our companies creating jobs everywhere but here to the tune of 2.4 million workers overseas.
[According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal - corporate giants: General Electric - Caterpillar - Microsoft - Wal-Mart - Chevron - Cisco - Intel - Stanley Works - Merck - United Technologies - and Oracle...all American corporations - have fired 2.9 million American workers since 2001 - then hired more than 2.4 million workers overseas.

This isn't a coincidence - these guys actually have an annual conference about how to outsource American jobs more efficiently. Like in 2009 - when American corporations gathered together for the 2009 Strategic Outsourcing Conference - where 57% of executives there bragged that since the Great Bush Recession - they've increased the number of American jobs they're shipping overseas. So here we have so-called American corporations - that are paying hardly any American taxes - and hiring hardly any American workers.]

Documentaries of note discussed on Hartmann was a movie called Billionaire's tea party.All about the Koch Bros.:
http://www.facebook.com/billionairesteaparty

and Gas Hole
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-court/gas-hole-documentary_b_849088.html

"Last year here someone called him 'Mr cut and paste'."

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

Many folks cannot deal with hard facts like those represented in the bikini graph, the U6 jobless numbers, leading economic indicators, etc.

They then resort to name calling. This is called ad hominem attack.

If you can't deal with the message, attack the messenger to try to discredit the message.

American companies hiring workers in other countries is the Free Market at work. Dare you question its magical and sancrosanct inner workings?

Don't forget the invisible hand. That hand must know what it is doing, as the capitalist apologists used to say.

Oh, right, "pure free markets" don't exist.

Then the damn hand is not just invisible, it has no ontological reality.

You and trippticket are showing us the way to downsizing. Because you're a contrarian, according to the Laws of CFN, you seem to infuriate a large number of people. Your writing displays cockiness, which many despise.

The time I thought you let yourself down was when you were baited by ignorant racialists into documenting all the carnage Caucasians have caused in history. What race is pure in that regard? All humans have emotions that can cause them to be violent.

Oh, I don't agree with open borders, but that's OK, I respect your opinion.

Many folks cannot deal with hard facts like those represented in the bikini graph, the U6 jobless numbers, leading economic indicators, etc.

They then resort to name calling. This is called ad hominem attack.

If you can't deal with the message, attack the messenger to try to discredit the message.

U6 job numbers? Yesterday you posted something about since there is only 8.8% unemployment that means their is 91.2% employment which is not true. Your posts are continuously laced with BS just like that. Jobless numbers do not include those who have used all their benefits and still haven't found work. When you are drawing unemployment you are supposed to keep a record of all of your work searches and applications. Do you think the government is keeping up with that? If they did there would be a lot of people in trouble. They probably could, but they don't. They only keep up with who is on the UE rolls as unemployed.

Yeah, the nerve of me..what right do I have to question the giant differential these guys are getting using cheap labor!!
I'm afraid that's where some of our stimulus money went too, since the Chamber of Commerce stepped in to say that those funds couldn't just be used for the American market...remember that?
---When they drive our wages down enough, I imagine the next stage will be an onslaught of foreign transnationals setting up shop her to hire cheap American labor.
Oh, BTW, some of our right wingers are suggesting we should turn back the child labor laws! The future with these extremists looks like it's going to be a real joy ride...!

Wages are always last to keep up with government created inflation. Throw in Globalization and an almost limitless supply of cheap labor and it gets even harder to keep up with monetary inflation. Commodities go up first then retail prices then eventually wages. Our government and their multinational corporate handlers are clearly going the inflation route, the cruelest tax ever. Them thats closest to the geyser of out of thin air money can keep up with inflation, those dependant on wages far away from the money creation cannot.

Entitlements and other social programs will be inflated away. Cost of living adjustments for SSI have already been deferred to the Medicare side this year while even the governments numbers show the highest increases in prices for food and energy since they began keeping records.

If you think your weekly deductions for SSI and Medicare from your paycheck are going in a trust fund you better think again. China is in a better position to collect on the Treasury bonds they buy every week than the ones that are bought weekly with your payroll deductions. At least the Chinese can sell their bonds and lock in long futures contracts for Crude oil and other things to protect themselves from the obvious inflate away the debt ploy.

Are We So F'd?
What people in the USA describe as a WSF'd event is not reasonable by the living standard average of most of the ROW:

*inflation worries? - try having no money. Plant a Victory Garden, if possible.
*deflating house prices got you down? - try living under a bridge, instead, and we'll see who becomes more depressed.
*rising gas prices? - you mean you can afford a car? Didn't people in earlier centuries ride horses?
*Housing energy costs got you down? Have you sealed the envelope? You mean you dry clothes in a big energy wasting dryer? Previous generations used line drying.
*Gov't debt? - we can't mutually sacrifice and pull ourselves out like the generation did during The Great Depression?
*Worried about Medicare solvency? Does the gov't need to pay for everybody's electric scooters and every medical procedure under the Sun?
*SS? You thought SS was supposed to cover more than just a part of retirement?
*Defense spending excessive? We can't defend ourselves on the defense spending of the 90's?

We most likely can't maintain an unsustainable living standard and the next generation probably won't be better off (financially; but they could still have similar life quality) than the previous. Get back to me when any on this site are really sacrificing. You have food, clothing and shelter? Then, you've got more than 1 billion on this planet.

By the way, before you flame me, I have real sympathy for those in poverty and want to extend a helping hand. But if that means a single wide, thrift store clothing and a no-frills diet, that might have to suffice.

When they drive our wages down enough, I imagine the next stage will be an onslaught of foreign transnationals setting up shop here to hire cheap American labor.

Good post! It's already happening. Check out BMW, N.C. Honda, Nissan and Toyota also have factories.

*inflation worries? - try having no money. Plant a Victory Garden, if possible.
Don't worry, inflation will eventually eat our money away to nothing.
*deflating house prices got you down? - try living under a bridge, instead, and we'll see who becomes more depressed.
People who live under bridges want to live under bridges. I've known people who live under bridges.
*rising gas prices? - you mean you can afford a car? Didn't people in earlier centuries ride horses?
The era of everyone having their own personal transportation device is over and will steadily extend to more and more wage earners.
*Housing energy costs got you down? Have you sealed the envelope? You mean you dry clothes in a big energy wasting dryer? Previous generations used line drying.
Electric cars for the rich plugged into our aging grids will price many out of using electricity all together.
*Gov't debt? - we can't mutually sacrifice and pull ourselves out like the generation did during The Great Depression?
No, "the fundamentals were different then. The U.S. was leading exporter of nearly every commodity including crude oil. Now it is worlds leading importer of almost every commodity. The U.S. was leading creditor nation, now it is leading debtor nation, by a wide margin.
*Worried about Medicare solvency? Does the gov't need to pay for everybody's electric scooters and every medical procedure under the Sun?
When U.S. dollar hegemony ends so will endless dollars flowing through U.S. hospitals.
*SS? You thought SS was supposed to cover more than just a part of retirement?
Nope, I've always known that SSI wouldn't be there when the time comes. Got in on the Ponzi scheme too late. You have to get into Ponzi schemes early to make anything otherwise you are a donator.
*Defense spending excessive? We can't defend ourselves on the defense spending of the 90's?

They will cut defense spending when U.S. dollar hegemony ends because then there will be nothing to defend.

Alrighty then!
I've got some pretty sore ribs from laughing at the Big A's self-contradictory distractionary "stuff" that pretends to be "real stats" contained in a giant weather balloon of happy-talkin' helium. ("This is your voice... this is your voice after inhaling helium." OOOooooo, I is mysteriously impressed!)

It's all over, A.! It really is; the paycheck from the mind-benders will soon be as illusory as your "facts". Sorry; other lines of work beckon (yes, there's loads of false hope to go 'round; mebbe revival/revile-able, tent show preacher could be remunerative).

Here's what's actually goin' on, and why my bets differ oh-so SLIGHTLY from his...

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/

Scroll down past all the happygoodnews from FuckIsureamahhhh (quite instructive as well), and you'll find a tidbit that I find a little more reflective of the side of the line upon which you might wish to lay your lucre...

Scott said: "I've always known that SSI wouldn't be there when the time comes. Got in on the Ponzi scheme too late."
===================

Scott, SSI is an entitlement program, not a Ponzi scheme. People get burned in Ponzi schemes; they lose their money. You cannot point to anyone who has not received what they are entitled to through SSI. Millions of checks arrive punctually or deposits are made electronically. NOBODY HAS LOST THE MONEY THEY CONTRIBUTED TO SSI.

Thanks Scott!

There are so many homeless around LA [including illegals], I feel for them.

Collapse is neither reasonable nor neat.

2 guys were just on KPFK..talking Biodiesel.
Im unconvinced [topsoil going, folks goin hungry as corn etc increase in price].

Ozone;

Re: Automatic Earth

Good tip, Ozone. Lots of intel there to ponder, almost too much.

-Marlin

"NOBODY HAS LOST THE MONEY THEY CONTRIBUTED TO SSI."

Every dime that comes out of my paycheck for SSI is lost SSI money. A ponzi scheme or inverted pyramid requires a constant influx of new investors to pay older ones. SSI is no different, all of my payroll deductions for SSI are going towards paying for existing SSI collectors. When it comes time for me to collect SSI my payments will be paid by future workers that in many cases do not even exist yet.

The bottom line is that debt cannot be extrapolated indefinitely into the future. Inflating it away will likely be the path of least resistance. If the government does give me a return on my "investment" it will likely be in dollars worth far less than the ones I have paid in.

"I may plant opium poppy seeds from the grocery store if the DEA thinks it's OK."

If you're successful at sprouting some, please pass along a handful of seedlings. All of my potatoes, garlic, and quinoa are from the grocery. For my part, since marijuana was still illegal last I checked, I transplanted some nice starts of valerian, skullcap, blessed thistle, selfheal, rue, catnip, calendula, and echinacea today. Get my hops and damiana going soon, and I'll be somewhat covered until the regulating agencies lose enough clout that they can't outlaw a bloody plant anymore. Most ridiculous thing ever, and totally dependent on abundant cheap energy. That or a busybody holy-rolling community.

Wait. What? Damn. I've moved to the wrong place again...

Scott, you've some righteous words of wisdom for us all. Keep rolling, bro.

McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD - News) forecast higher prices for beef, dairy and other items and said it would cautiously raise prices to keep attracting diners, who are grappling with higher grocery and gas bills.

Shares fell 1.5 percent after the world's biggest hamburger chain said it planned to offset some, but not all, of its higher food costs, with small price increases throughout the year.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/McDonalds-warns-of-higher-rb-2533920012.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

Scott said: "When it comes time for me to collect SSI my payments will be paid by future workers..."

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

That is how it works, Scott, and nobody has lost their money if they were entitled (they worked 40 quarters).

You are using economic terrorism again by saying SSI is a Ponzi scheme. In a Ponzi scheme people lose their money. You cannot point to anyone who was entitled to SSI money who did not receive it.

Therefore, your use of the word "Ponzi" is false and alarmist.

..."But this study said that the healthiest diet was the Southern diet! Not the fried chicken/french fry diet of today, but the black-eyed peas, collard greens, sweet potato diet of the old days."
-wage-

I don't know, Wage. Collards are an acquired taste, and I've never acquired it - despite half a century of effort. (Slather them in hot pepper sauce and I can choke them down on New Years Day pretty well, though.)

We've got a WallyMart in town, and one small locally owned grocery store. And thank God (god) for the little store. I do not know where all of the "good" quality Wal-Mart meat goes, but it ain't to my Southern town.

And our little store gets GOOD meat and pretty good produce. They are dialed into the local chicken processors; lots of good chicken pieces at good prices. And, boy, do they get pork. You could reassemble 10 hogs a day - from the pigs feet, to the chit'lins, up to the tenderloins - "high on the hog."

Most of the older locals must cook with lard and bacon drippings, I reckon - they sure do not sell much olive oil at this store; anyway.

===================
My take is that the Mediterranean diet works best for a man who is chasing goats up and down the hillside and bushhooking a vineyard all day.

Traditional Southern diets - and almost any other high fat diet - will work OK for a physically active population.

No diet works well for the sedentary - OK, the tofu and fruit diet, maybe.

================
Wage, potatoes will grow there - you just have to find the right variety and figure out how to grow them. Some of the local boys in N. GA sell some really good potatoes at the local farmers market in the summer. I'll be talking to them in a couple of months. Especially if my potatoes don't do right for me.

Hang in there, girlfrien'!

thx tripp, trying to correlate all of the sockpuppets here. Can't remember what yours used to be off the top of my head. Asoka has kept his the same for a long time, thats why I think he is a troll. He has posted here off and on for what 6 years? He is more than thoroughly familiar with the subject matter that has been discussed here over the years yet posts comments as if he had never heard of PO.

Tripp, you agree with Scott that SSI is a "Ponzi scheme" even though no one has ever not received money they were entitled to receive?

I'm dealing with reality here. The reality is SSI is one of the USA most successful programs and no one entitled has ever been defrauded of their money.

Polls show 84% of the American people don't want Social Security privatized -- and that include Tea Party, Independents, and Republicans.

This year’s report by the trustees who oversee the fund found that, if left alone, the Social Security system will continue to be able to pay its bills for at least the next 40 years — thanks in part to a $1.4 trillion nest egg of Treasury securities that has been stashed away over the past several decades. (A separate analysis by the Congressional Budget Office figures the fund is in good shape until 2052.)

Hardly a "Ponzi scheme"; hardly a "crisis" situation.

Get real, you guys. Nobody is being, nobody has been, and nobody will be defrauded. To use the word Ponzi scheme is extremely deceptive. It is a lie, because no one has lost any money who was entitled to benefits.

Suppose we go to a two tier economy. The top 50% are smart well educated and employed in productive work. The bottom 50% are below average intelligence, poorly educated and unemployed.

You point to the future; what "might" happen; what you think will happen, etc.

You ignore present reality.

Your penchant for doom is distorting your perception of reality.

Tripp,
I'll be a son of a gun - I've got opium poppy sprouts. Straight from the - $4.00, on sale, glass shaker jar at the Kroger - to a wet paper towel, to sprouts in 3 days.

Amazing! Not sure whether I'll grow them out or not - for legal reasons.

But damn, live opium poppy sprouts in 3 days!
From seeds from the spice aisle at the grocery store. There's even a picture of an opium poppy flower on the label of the Damn Jar!

What a strange set of drug laws we have in this country!

"Suppose we go to a two tier economy."
-edpell-

Ed,
I suppose we have had a two-tiered economy exactly as you describe -

Since 1984, or earlier.

Good response, thanks. I need to call you on this:

Electric cars for the rich plugged into our aging grids will price many out of using electricity all together.

You are assuming we can maintain roads and have enough resources for plastics, batteries, etc. If millions can transition to electrics, it won't be through approaches like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla's roadster or Model S. Maybe something more along the lines of a fully enclosed golf cart; not highway capable, but OK for commutes, picking up groceries and ferrying kids. The total electric demand could be zero sum, as it is not that hard for the average household to cut their electric consumption in half.

If I were to mock statements on CFN, I could say:

"The laws of physics work... until they don't"

"Up to now the laws of physics have worked, but we don't know about the future."

"The gub-mint might mess with the laws of physics, and lawdy, lawdy, we be in a world of hurt cause the gub-mint cain't do nothin' right"

Except send millions of SSI payments out like clockwork and NEVER fail: like the laws of physics.

To use the word Ponzi scheme is extremely deceptive. It is a lie, because no one has lost any money who was entitled to benefits.

All Ponzi schemes pay off until there are fewer people paying in that are collecting. The person that has collected the most from SSI like all Ponzi schemes is the very first recipient Ida May Fuller.

"Ida May Fuller worked for three years under the Social Security program. The accumulated taxes on her salary during those three years was a total of $24.75. Her initial monthly check was $22.54. During her lifetime she collected a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits."

http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html#idamay

You are assuming we can maintain roads and have enough resources for plastics, batteries, etc. If millions can transition to electrics, it won't be through approaches like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla's roadster or Model S. Maybe something more along the lines of a fully enclosed golf cart; not highway capable, but OK for commutes, picking up groceries and ferrying kids. The total electric demand could be zero sum, as it is not that hard for the average household to cut their electric consumption in half.

You are assuming that we are going to transition to something sustainable whereas the status quo is anything but. Maintaining the status quo of infinite growth will be what we do until we can't. Riding around in golf carts will be the last thing that will do any good at that point.

What I really have in mind for electrics is something along the lines of a design put out by Aptera, aptera.com, out of Carlsbad, just North of San Diego.

Every vehicle on the road right now is an aerodynamic joke, a 4-wheel brick, including the Prius. If one wants to drive using very little energy, one needs to mimic the shape nature has provided sea creatures, such as the dolphin. I'm not going to go into fluid dynamics, but the one thing to keep in mind is that the most aero shape for carrying 2 or more people is teardrop.

Electric cost per mile; estimated at 1-2 cents. So electricity at double or triple current costs is not a budget buster.

And in my previous post, if you don't think you can cut electrical demand in half, you aren't trying or are not making it a priority when upgrading appliances. And, it is not necessarily cost effective to implement all at once.

Scott said: "All Ponzi schemes pay off until there are fewer people paying in that are collecting."

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

Scare talk. The fund is solvent until 2052. There is no crisis. A minor adjustment in the next 40 years, like raising the cap above $106,800, will keep it solvent forever. There is no Ponzi scheme. Nobody has lost money. You are lying.

Beautiful retort, Scott. Asoka, my SSA letters that tell me what to expect when I retire also warn of their own department's insolvency by 2036. No real need to do any more research in my opinion. And I would assume that's a best-case scenario, based on things chugging along fairly swimmingly, like they always have. Stop being a dick.

Scott,
Asoka will keep going until this argument loses all touch with reality. And the mystery is how he maintains his CFN reputation for "politeness."

"You are lying."
-asoka, to scott-

Our government has the power of the printing press.
That is how money is created.
That causes inflation.

As long as the Post Office trucks will move - there will be Social Security checks.

Inflation will make them worth less -
finally, inflation will make them worthless.

My suggestions do not rely on growth or maintaining the status quo. I say that our current situation is not sustainable. I emphasize cutting energy use. I see no way that electric prices will skyrocket in the next 30 years, which, from your thinking, seems to be on the order of ten times current pricing or roughly $1.00 per Kw-hr.

If I thought enough people were in shape, I would say ride a bike. Or, live at or close to where you work.

Electric cost per mile; estimated at 1-2 cents. So electricity at double or triple current costs is not a budget buster.

Your argument loses credibility in my book when you calculate costs in dollars. Energy return on energy invested comparisons are what counts. We don't even need electric cars if we reduce the weights way down and make them accelerate sluggishly. Internal combustion engines have a better EROEI than battery cars once all imputs are calculated.

Tripp,
Thanks for trying to referee. Nobody can predict the future as there are too many variables, scenarios and changes that could, will or might happen between now and either 2036 or 2052.

Trying to argue ones prediction for the future is futile.

Inflation will make them worth less -
finally, inflation will make them worthless.

--------

Halelujah! ProCon has a crystal ball. He can foretell the future. Dark, scary, and anti-immigrant.

Even though undocumented immigrants contribute to SSI and never receive benefits. They contribute to our SSI even though they themselves will never be entitled to checks.

The future of the United States of America is bright. I have great faith in the American people.

Patriot Asoka. Semper Fi!

So Asoka, you accuse Scott of "using economic terrorism again by saying SSI is a Ponzi scheme."

Good thing Asoka isn't an agent for Homeland Security. Or maybe he is. Should Scott expect some of Asoka's jack-booted thugs from Homeland Security to come crashing through his front door some night? Because that's how people like Asoka ultimately behave when you disagree with him.

You are lying Asoka. Of course it's not a Ponzi scheme. When the government runs it they change the name -- Ponzi's heirs (quick, Asoka, Google it so you're an expert on who Ponzi was) made the government change the name to Social Security so it wouldn't insult Ponzi.

The Great Asoka -- his knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Internal combustion engines have a better EROEI than battery cars once all imputs are calculated.

Way to broad a statement. I doubt you are comparing state-of-the-art designs in both categories. Where is your data of wheel to well comparisons coming from?

"My suggestions do not rely on growth or maintaining the status quo."

I was trying to say that what we can do and what we will do is two different things. Yes we can build lightweight sluggish accelerating vehicles but that would be an admission by TPTB that the status quo is unsustainable. An admission by TPTB that our economic model is unsustainable would be the truth. Any truth talk by TPTB will setoff a series of unknown unknowns.

First of all, our economic model is and always has been predicated on debt. It is a debt based economic model. Everything, I mean everything that we do is riding on that debt being chased by more debt forever and ever amen. If there was wholesale admission that debt couldnt be chased anymore then we would be lost. There would be chaos, that is why we will keep doing what we are doing until we can't anymore.

Must be sad to live in your world where everything is a conspiracy by the government to steal from you. You are not a patriot. You do not gladly pay your taxes to support our great democracy.

Understand! We're on the same page. Great comments.

ProCon said: "Inflation will make them worth less -
finally, inflation will make them worthless."

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

Et tu, Brutus? Now you are going to start with the inflation boogey-man?

Inflation has gone up and down over the decades. NO REASON FOR FEAR.

Neither you, nor anyone else, can predict hyperinflation based on printing money.

HISTORICAL INFLATION RATES

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/

"another mental circuit we have always operating is the necessity to be present in the minds of others"
I think that is narcissism.

Wow you are out there and I like it. You give lots of Food for thought."
-jackie to oldspider-

Jackie - you hit two or three really good posts today! AND, AND - you read oldSpider's post closely enough that you saw the gem above - which I had skimmed and scanned and Missed.

Thanks for being here and commenting, JackieBlue.

==============
And OldSpider - would you please write shorter posts. Not everyone has the patience of our JackieBlue.

I hate to miss seeing your good ideas, Spider - just 'cause I give up and start scrolling on your long posts.

Asoka is stealing again. He steals other people's words and passes them off as his own -- plagiarism.

This year’s report by the trustees who oversee the fund found that, if left alone, the Social Security system will continue to be able to pay its bills for at least the next 40 years — thanks in part to a $1.4 trillion nest egg of Treasury securities that has been stashed away over the past several decades. (A separate analysis by the Congressional Budget Office figures the fund is in good shape until 2052.)

Copy and paste this entire paragraph into Google and you'll find is occurs 259 times. It apparently was first used by MSNBC and at least some users credit the source. But maybe some are like Asoka, stealing other's words.

Maybe Asoka thinks it makes him seem smart, but we know better, don't we boys and girls.

"Et tu, Brutus? Now you are going to start with the inflation boogey-man?"
-asoka to PoC, concerning Scott-

Inflation RATES may go up or down. The inflated VALUE of a paper based currency will NOT go down.
Therefore my grandmom's SS checks were worth less than those of my mom. My SS checks will be worth much less, still. My children's SS retirement checks will be, essentially, worthless.

Inflation is inevitable, for US currency. It has been inevitable since the end of Bretton-Woods, which occurred August 15, 1971.

===========
And it's clever, the way *energy* and *food* costs have been stripped out of Federal inflation adjustment formulas.

That made some sense, MAYBE, when energy costs bounced up and DOWN - taking food costs along for the ride.

Now, we've got this new day - where energy goes up and stays UP - but SS payments are not adjusted - 'cause there is no inflation, under the Government formula for calculation of inflation.

Cheerlead that.

my grandmom's SS checks were worth MORE - than were the SS checks of my mom

MUCH more

That's inflation.

(And I'll tell my grandkid that he should always take the SS check as paper and not as digits. At least you can get value out of paper by burning it - and it will be nice to see the Government mailman- on his horse, or on foot - every other week.)

Puzzler said: "Asoka is stealing again. He steals other people's words and passes them off as his own -- plagiarism."

===========

Thanks for the cite, Puzzler.

Must suck to be so pessimistic about the future.

I believe in America. I believe in your grandchildren. I believe their future will be bright. I believe in all the immigrants who have always and will continue to build this great country.

Patriot Asoka, USA, Semper Fi!

Asoka said: "Must be sad to live in your world where everything is a conspiracy by the government to steal from you."

Not everything -- there's also a conspiracy of Cheerleaders, Cut-and-Pasters, and Plagiarists to waste everyone's time on CFN.

Asoka said: "You are not a patriot. You do not gladly pay your taxes to support our great democracy."

What the Fuck? Where do you even get that from what I said?

If that's the standard of patriotism in Asoka-stan, I'll move. I pay taxes that support the waste of a flea circus that is government, but you want me to be GLAD about it?

So by your definition at least 45 percent of Americans are not patriots, because that's how many pay NO income tax.

Asoka, you've got your head up your own ass so far you might be able to spot the massive part of your brain that you're not using. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Thanks your expressing your personal opinion, Puzzler.

JonathanSS -
I liked the ideas you came up with, regarding the need for a better vocabulary to discuss racial issues.

And I like this:
"Trying to argue ones prediction for the future is futile." -jss-

True, JSS, in the main. But there are things that can be argued, because they involve projection of existing trends.

For example, automotive gasoline was a reliable $0.33/gallon throughout the early 1960's, when I was a kid.
It has slowly trended up to the present +/- $4.00/gallon.

Gas my go back to +/- $3.00/gallon - or it may not - but it is on its inevitable, inexorable way to +$5.00/gallon, and beyond.

So, I'll say with 100% confidence, that there is monetary inflation in our future.

Make your plans accordingly.

"Patriot Asoka, USA, Semper Fi!"
?
Lord o' Mercy, Captain.

"Internal combustion engines have a better EROEI than battery cars once all imputs are calculated."

And really the overarching point is that THERE IS NO BANG FOR THE BUCK LIKE WHAT WE GET FROM OIL. Anything else represents energy descent. Regardless of what we are or are not able to do with it. And contracting biological populations behave very differently from growing ones. All the rest of this discussion is just ball washing.

Even JonSS's supposed point about not being able to predict the future is just more ball washing. What goes up must come down. Basic physics. Not really going out on a limb here. Whether that is this time, or next time, or a thousand years from now on a world in the Alpha Centauri system, with that nightmare Old Aunty M as a sidekick, it still applies. And my whole reason for being here is to let people in on a little secret:

The lower energy option is better. It's not a consolation prize. I don't have a hidey-hole all prepared, stocked with MREs and ammo, for when TSHTF. I'm fully engaged with energy descent now, gradually disengaging from the formal economy every day, building my own low-energy local version, whatever else is going on, and it is better. That's not speculation. That's daily experience talking. We may not see it right away - almost everyone here misses it - but behaving in a manner consistent with natural law is supremely rewarding. Preferably now, while we have the luxury of making mistakes. I can't imagine go-time, whenever that might be, will be so leisurely and enjoyable.

Rough week, sick baby, and too much sun today, but my weekly post is finally ready at Small Batch for anyone interested:

http://smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/2011/04/most-important-part-of-home.html

Now it's way past time for bed.
Toodles, CFN.
Tripp out.

Social Security wasn't conceived as a Ponzi scheme. I know I'm splitting hairs here, but I think the idea was it should be a legitimate multi-level-marketing-type operation. It was the middle of the depression, and people needed hope for the future. If those lucky enough to work felt that they would be taken care of in their old age, then the national psyche could be uplifted immediately.

The premise of SS was based on an assumption of continual population and job growth in the right proportion, with the average life-span staying level. Using actuarial statistics, a benefits formula could then be derived that would allow SS to continue indefinitely.

We all know the assumptions haven't turned out as expected. Job growth and population increase isn't straight-line continual, and life spans have increased significantly. Still, the program has functioned for a long time because of higher than expected population increases, and price inflation. But with unscrupulous government
"borrowing" of SS funds, and population increasing faster than job creation, combined with rapidly increasing SS rolls, the future of the SS system is now very sketchy.

That's right...keep it up Mr. Republican. You go gurl. And you learned "imbecile" at your mother's breast?

Kay

ProCon said: "So, I'll say with 100% confidence, that there is monetary inflation in our future."

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

And I will say with 100% confidence that monetary inflation would be a good thing.

Say you convince yourself that prices are going to rise in the future. What would happen? You will stimulate the economy by spending in the present. After all, money that isn't spent right now will lose value. Monetary inflation, you know... 100% confidence!

But that is not all! Wait, there's more! People who have debts are going to love monetary inflation. Inflation erodes the real value of debts, so their debt burdens would shrink. Bright future ahead, I'd say, for those in debt.

Who's afraid of monetary inflation? Not me.

Two things: their model assumes infinite resources to sustain enless growth - the great fallacy. Secondly, it wont ever come to that limit since America was given an expiration date in 1913 with the passing of the Federal Reserve Act. Inflation will end us and soon. There will not be enough money for anything soon since the money is worth less and less. Silver is up 10 dollars in less than a month. All or nearly all from devaluation of the dollar.

Think of a fan. When they gave our money to private bankers, they unplugged America. The fan continued to spin for awhile, but fundamentally, America ended in 1913. All the wars, the blood, the idealism, the civil rights - all to serve these Leeches - to weaken the Nation and keep it weak so it couldn't throw them off. Also to facilitate their global empire by doing the same to every other European Nation and ultimately to every nation.

Thank you for your kind words. You are a Liberal in the old and real sense of the word - a free thinker. The old Liberals of the English Speaking World would be considered Conservatives today.

Not quite. I got some Philosophy classes but never finished my training. But I was pretty good at it. It's an incredible discipline to see the errors and false assumptions people are constantly making - and then turn the spotlight on yourself and see the same things. To try and change is the work of years. And then to try and change the flawed being that generates such errors takes one beyond the reach of contemporary Philosophy and back to the Ancients. So most of my ability comes from self imposed discipline.One of my Professors approached the ancient ideal and I think I got something from him.

I've read a few of the classics, but not enough. And the polemics are mostly self taught but I did debate in class and in the Philosophy Club.

"LOS ANGELES — President Barack Obama said Thursday that the Justice Department will try to "root out" cases of fraud or manipulation in oil markets, even as Attorney General Eric Holder suggested a variety of legal reasons may be behind gasoline's surge to $4 a gallon.

"We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," Obama said at a town-hall style meeting at a renewable energy plant in Reno, Nev."


From:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174961

The Armchair Communist speaks again:

Another interesting aspect is when you associate imaginary causes and effects, you invent them, you think that they are operating, that they correspond to reality: so the reason why unemployment is high is because of "low productivity", or the reason why person A fired me is because of B, and you probably have go it all wrong anyways, B has nothing to do with it, maybe person A was told to from person C, maybe you connected the wrong dots.

And in fact we are always imagining and connecting all kinds of wrong dots, or half way wrong, all kinds of imaginary causes and effects, all kinds of long sequences of imagined paths we think are operating, long sequences of imagined dots and causes and effects. We have way too many economists, politicians and theories about all kinds of dots being connected, the "contrasting narratives". Which to believe ? None of them, our minds are always wrong, there are no dots, only imagined worlds and causes and effects. Any model of the world is essentially worthless even because it can last only about at most 100 years, the time of a person being alive, since the model is only in the person's mind and when he dies the model is dead too.

And now imagine, many people connecting all kinds of wrong dots, associated with behaviors, activities, and all kinds of imagined causes and effects, that may even be partially true, but you can never be "100 % sure", and imagine the chaos, and false assumptions and conflicts both internally within the person and externally in a society or a (even small ?) group of people all of this creates.

And in fact, this is the Economy with "Too Much Information", "Too Many Possibilities", "Too Many Choices", "Too Many Possible behaviors", "Too Many Connections", "Too Much Communication". Way too many possible wrongs dots can be connected and false assumptions of people and their behavior can be made in this "Economy" (which is also strongly related to the social, cultural and psychological environment).

As in Reverse Engineering the Mind. Armchair Communist. The Communist Manifesto 2.0.

The Armchair Communist says that there is a conflict between Civilization and Instinct, or better said, between thoughts, social rules and basic irrational impulses. Of course a lot of this has probably already been described somewhat by psychoanalysis, freud whatever, but an interesting aspect of this is that the Information Economy, Services Economy, the Optional - Discretionary Spending - Fluff - Whims Economy is constantly feeding the "Constant Thoughts Generating Machine", constantly generating new rules, new possible social behaviors, new interactions, new "communications", "social networks" etc., needed to repress, model (or imagining a possible modeling) and interdict the channeling of the impulses.

This generates a lot of effort of the mind to filter the basic instincts and impulses through the rules and thoughts sections, the mind is constantly creating new configurations, new calculations on how to let out, how much to expose, what to communicate, and in what way, form, shape and intensity all the instincts and impulses that are present and fighting the mind's rational superstructure.

But by creating ever more options, and with the evaporation of activity from the basics (agriculture and manufacturing) to the optional, fluff, informational, the number of configurations available in the form of thoughts, possible rules, possible behaviors, possible choices becomes greater and greater. There are an ever larger number of options available to control and shape, carve out and channel through in ever more different ways, all the instincts and impulses the brain has boiling up inside, in the background, an ever constant hum, sometimes more audible, sometimes more silent, an ever constant new target and possible rules, and possible behaviors that can possibly let out some of the instincts, that can channel them through some particular, sometimes very complex and indirect expressions and filters. And this creates so many subtle conflicting internal targets and goals, so many subtle conflicting internal Will Powers, all present and all fighting each other.

The light weight materials like thoughts, information, options and communications becomes dominating as opposed to the heavy weight materials of real goods like manufacturing, etc. An economy that is evaporating into the abstract. This generates ever more subtle conflicts, changes of programs, ever more hire and fire, ever more attempts at finding some imaginary possible "return on investments". Consumerism is the real economy, discretionary and optional is the real economy, and it has been like this for the last 50 years and more probably. An Excess Capacity, Infinite Resource Society.

In the 1970s some stoned hippy told me I looked like a "Cool Left Wing Intellectual", but I didn't think I knew so much then, although I was in the area of counterculture, left wing, against the system. Now I have actually become one, against my own "will", automatically, but I never wanted to, I believed that technology and progress and computers and how capitalism with its start ups would overcome these things, we were headed towards the future.

But it was a lie, there are only conflicts, power relationships, people want to fight not progress.

It is as if the light weight part of the mind (software) can arbitrarily invent and design any rules and interactions and models possible (as man is the infinitely programmable machine even against and in contradiction to all and any instincts and impulses which can be totally eliminated and substituted with other inventions, any at all), but the heavy weight part of the mind consisting of the basic impulses and instincts is under constant stress by all the changes: maybe the mind - brain and civilization is happier and more stable with simple, constant never changing rules, behaviors and programs.

Who is "No One"?

"We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," Obama said at a town-hall style meeting at a renewable energy plant in Reno, Nev."

And I will say with 100% confidence that monetary inflation would be a good thing.

Say you convince yourself that prices are going to rise in the future. What would happen? You will stimulate the economy by spending in the present. After all, money that isn't spent right now will lose value. Monetary inflation, you know... 100% confidence!

But that is not all! Wait, there's more! People who have debts are going to love monetary inflation. Inflation erodes the real value of debts, so their debt burdens would shrink. Bright future ahead, I'd say, for those in debt.

Who's afraid of monetary inflation? Not me.

It would be very difficult to argue with monetary inflation for the past 150 years. Economic growth has been persistent over that time period. The past 150 years of persistent economic growth is an anomoly in contrast to the rest of human civilization. The key element that has allowed the amazing growth over the past 150 years is an abundance of high EROEI sources of energy such as crude oil, coal and NG.

Plateauing and declining sources of abundant and high EROEI energy represents a departure from the past 150 years of persistent economic growth and a reversion to the mean of the rest of human civilization.

The past 150 years, monetary inflation has been very helpful in creating excess capacity and keeping prices low for things beginning with food and energy. If there is no excess capacity left available to be generated, monetary inflation will not only fail to create excess capacity and lower prices.

The last 150 years of persistent economic growth is not attributable to our greater understanding of economics. The past 150 years of persistent economic growth is entirely attributable to I'm gonna be late for work dangit.


From:

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174961


The Armchair Communist has something to say.

Why do we need to communicate so much ? Why so many information transfers ? Communication from the outset is always in "problem solving mode", is always being done for a purpose. The communication is initiated by some need to manipulate and modify some present state and transform it into a future state. This must be done with and through other people, therefore, they need to talk to each other (a billion cell phones are sold worldwide in one year), they need to decide, discuss, and convince each other, but most of all, conflict, fight, even subtly, mostly contrasting each other and all of this for a given "purpose". Why are we so obsessed with having constant purposes, constant manipulations, constant transfers of information between people and groups of people ?

Probably, especially because we want to influence the Free Will of others, and the "Information Economy" needs to produce as many conflicts, contrasts, attempts at influencing the free wills of others as possible, and "conflicting narratives" that will generate even more information and conflicts, fights, and aggregations, etc. in a spiral of and infinite arrays of minds and thoughts as in "Infinite Recursion Machines" executing a form of "Information Generation Machines". Information that generates more information in a positive feedback loop.
This will also sell servers, ipads, iphones, routers, and fiber optics for networks and this is where the abstract economy touches the real economy of real goods and real machines needing real manufacturing.

And this also contributes to internal contrasting will powers: you wanted to do A, but you did B, and you don't know why you can't control this, or you start creating long imaginary causes and effects, paths associated to long sequences of actions, activities you performed, jobs, and that should aggregate into a product, solution, a conclusion instead you demolish it all in a jiffy, or it is demolished by others or events in a jiffy, or by an internal will power conflicting and deciding to conflict against you, and you are helpless, and you have to start over. Like when being laid off from a job after years, all of what you thought you "constructed" is demolished, worth zero, actually worth a negative number, you have been punished for all of your work.

But starting over is useless, just accept that everything is an instantaneous quirk, "wrong" decision, "probably always the worst you could make", that no plan or project or model will ever result in a result, but almost always in the opposite, or none at all.

We should just dump most communication, information and thoughts, feelings and emotions (all tied up to arbitrary targets (since man is an infinitely programmable machine), others, their judgments, our judgments, the games, win or lose, etc.) and live life as indifferently as possible.

Now, go on, go to your Facebook page and see what's happening.

The Armchair communist operates in cruise control, his mind just generates all of this automatically, against his will power, not even knowing how or why...

Last night Obama hosted a $38,000 per plate fundraiser and it seems every limousine liberal and hollywood scumbag in LA was in attendance, kissing ass and sucking up.

The whole f---g world is boiling up around us and this son-of -bitch is jetting around the country with his posse, yucking it up and feasting on delicacies in lalaland with George Clooney and Steven Spielberg.

For all you CFNers who are struggling and see your children and grandchildren struggling with unemployment and high fuel and food prices, how does this make you feel?

All you libs out there who foisted this f---er on us in 08, I hope you're happy now with your Messiah.

-Marlin
CFNation YD Post 1
New England Chapter

"...All you libs out there who foisted this f---er"
-marlin-

I'm not at all happy with Obama.
I thought (still think) that BushII was as dumb as a box of rocks - in important ways related to strategy and vision.

But I never called BushII a "son-of-bitch" or "fucker" in print or in person. Just a personal decision based on trying to confer respect to the office, not the man.

===========
And if McCain had won, we'd still be having the $38K/plate dinners. Only they would be attended by the ultra connected/ultra rich Koch brother wanna be's.

And Ms. Palin would be ever so attractively smacking her gum and saying "doncha know," all the time.

While primping herself for Mr. McCain to die in office - or else for her coronation in 2016.

She's another one that should not be accused of having great strategic intelligence.

Why, oh why, did McCain ever pick her for VP?

That looks to be the worst Republican decision of the new Century.

Obama loves to jet around in Air Force One at a HUGE cost to taxpayers. The Texas Air 747 must be a stab at GWB.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZJOb6OtLpQ

Marlin,

progressorconserve is right!
What do you think McCain would be doing right now, as he would be preparing for his re-election?

Why don't you take the whole picture in? Why don't you know after all is being said on this post that both parties are captured by the same system which is rotten to the core?

The Reps have no answers to any issues. They are ideologues and no, they are only on the side of the Kleptocrats.
Campaign finances, in and out of govt to private sector is a big problem, lobbyists making laws--a big problem. All these issues take place regardless of which party is in office and it's getting progressively worse!

You need to stop attacking the Dems as a separate entity from the Reps, as it's a ruined system and you'll see the same behavior from both parties.

The people who are making billions from this country as the rest of us fall, are the biggest traitors ever seen.

As we speak Warren Buffet is bad-mouthing the dollar abroad....after all the billions he has made in this country--what an AH!

Thanks, lbendet. Yes, drug tests are an assault upon our privacy. Why do people accept them? I bring this up at work, and people just shrug.

The ones that get me are the veterans. Although they are convinced (talk about brainwashing!) that they "protected our freedom", they have no problem with drug-testing or fingerprinting or any other indignities, because "when I was in the Army we had to do it all the time".

And they don't see the ridiculousness of their total subjugation while blathering on about freedoms and rights and other things long past.

And, many people who are fired don't even get unemployment! I ran into one of my former co-workers, and she said that the hospital sent a lawyer (twice!) to keep her from getting unemployment. And the state agreed with them. What a scam. I guess it saves the state money, so they go along with it. And even though she paid for years, she gets nothing.

And they base the unemployment numbers on people receiving benefits. Although they acknowledge that some people are still unemployed after their benefits run out, how many never get them to start with?

That's the only way I've ever had them, Tripp. I guess if I'm hungry enough, I'll eat them.

You understand his positions on nuclear energy and off-shore drilling?

What are they? Japan has a catastrophic melt-down. Germany takes all nuclear reactors off-line. Obama announces that tax money will still go to support corporations that build nuclear reactors. You understand that?

One year after a massive oil spill which is still contaminating our southern waters, Obama gives away more leases. You understand that?

I have just lived through two massive storms in one week, with another coming. I say - enough with the fossil fuel burning! Obama says, Americans have a right to cheap gas, and he will stop speculators from speculating on oil.

What a jerk! And you support him? I question your thinking.

The state of New York is broke and yet this kind of stuff happens. Read the comments. What is wrong with this country? This guy has several rape convictions.
http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Convicted-Rapist-Being-Evaluated-For-Heart-Transpl/-J91Gfh4rE-ckPbDo11jXw.cspx

As for Social Security, watch what he does, not what he says.

I remember him railing against insurance companies, as he pushed a bill to force people who can't afford health insurance to buy it anyway.

I do not believe that he was a good-hearted person who got shown the Kennedy assassination video AFTER he was elected.

I believe that he made a deal while he was a state senator here in Illinois, and the way was greased for him after that. He knew exactly what he was getting into.

I don't believe that Americans were so impressed by his 2004 speech that millions of people spontaneously gave him small donations, and turned out to work for his election in grassroots efforts.

I don't believe that he is so good-looking and so well-spoken that Americans all over the country looked to this one state senator as their savior.

Jeez. What a scam.

You are absolutely right. What's discouraging to me is that it seems the American public is so brainwashed that it can't get out of the two-party mindset. The public just doesn't see that it's the system that is dysfunctional. Now all the people will begin to expend a lot of energy on which politicians they want elected in 2012, as if it makes any difference.

Until people take action to change the system, we'll see the same old same old.

I didn't say the diet tasted good, I said it was good for you!

I got discouraged with my potatoes, but the first ones are now sprouting! Woo hoo. So I finished the first plot yesterday.

Hundred feet of wire fencing contains less than half of the first damn bag of potatoes!

I have to have my garden areas fenced off, because there is a lot of wildlife around here, and my own animals are no help.

The other day the goats got into my garden and ate some of my asparagus and a raspberry plant.

And my dog trampled my turnip seedlings yesterday.

The chickens scratch up everything they can get into, and they are very resourceful.

I built a compost pile out of pallets and concrete blocks, then started cabbage, broccoli, etc. in boxes on top of it, when the compost heats up. I cover it with an old window, and I can start seedlings in Feb.

Except that my seedlings all disappeared. Where the hell did they go? It was too cold for bugs.

Then I saw one of my hens hop up on the concrete blocks, jump on top of my hen-proof plastic fence and get into the compost pile. OK, then.

Well, I agree with you there, Asoka.

Anyone who calls Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" is ignorant.

A Ponzi scheme is a financial scam, a promise of infinite riches from an investment. Kind of like 401Ks, except that a Ponzi scheme actually pays out, at first.

401Ks "reinvest" to "build your nest egg". Yeah, right.

Social Security is a pact between generations. It is supposed to be a direct income transfer, with the promise that you will be taken care of when you are elderly.

The "trust fund" is a scam to increase taxes on the working class.

Anyone who resents paying a stipend to the elderly is hateful, in my opinion.

Especially when more than half the Federal budget goes to kill people in other countries.

And Obama refuses to discuss any reduction in the amount going to kill non-Americans, since he has increased the number of countries in which the US is killing people.

Well, of course they do, Tripp.

It's part of the propaganda push to make you think that it's OK to give up part of the safety net that has made life in the US so pleasant for the last 60 years.

It's OK to go back to child labor, and women marrying old veterans for their pensions, and people selling flowers and apples on street corners and sleeping on grates at night.

As long as the filthy rich can keep more than 60% of the wealth!

I can't believe that you would go along with this.

People are told that Americans have always had it good, and that we are bestowed with our good fortune from the rich.

Bullshit! Life was very tough in the US until the New Deal, and the ruling class would be very happy to see us go back to that. That's what the propaganda is about.

Stephen Foster's song about the 19th century reality of life in these United States-

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.
Chorus:
Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.
While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)
There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)
Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

Thanks for the comments. What I intended for my WTSHTF blather, was to get people thinking about exactly what "doomsday" means & I think it is a personal definition. If you're surviving in this changing environment, then there is still hope that you or I can make the changes necessary to continue surviving on this planet.

That is what I saw in the fictional "World Made by Hand". Those that could not adapt emotionally or mentally to the huge drop in living standards, were in despair, gave up and died.

I think all this Dem vs. Repub., conservative vs. liberal, class warfare talk, generational "storm" prognosticating, etc. is a distraction.

Our individual actions make the difference. Hand-wringing over the actions of politicians, whose main focus is getting reelected, is a waste of psychic energy. We can lead by example & force awareness in others of the need for change.

Have you read Brimelows Bestseller?
He talks about..in NYC they can find anyone who speaks Albanian to teach in the public schools!!

I call it Liberalism with a backdrop of the Prison/
Military/Corporate complex.

I dont remember where I read that Clinton did 300?
fundraisers in a year but had 2 cabinet meetings..
both in response to MonicaGate.

You've lost me here. I don't know what you feel are reasonable inflation levels, but it comes down to manageable levels of inflation. In order for people to have confidence in the future, they need some reassurance that things are not spinning out of control. Hyperinflation destroys confidence.

Here's the worst case scenario for the USA that I pulled off the internet, for an historical perspective:

The United States has avoided hyperinflation. It came close, however, during the Revolutionary War, when the revolutionary government churned out paper continentals to pay bills. The monthly inflation rate reached a peak of 47 percent in November 1779. A second close encounter occurred during the Civil War, when the Union government printed greenbacks to finance the war effort. Inflation peaked at a monthly rate of 40 percent in March 1864 (Bernholz 2003).

Change needs to be managed in order to prevent chaos.

You don't have to have continual population growth to fund Social Security, Beantown. That is another propaganda ploy, designed to make people support forced childbirth, and continued immigration.

The US worker is much more productive than before.

There are millions not working now who could be working, in a rational system.

The MOST babies ever born in the USA were born in 2007.

So, see, you've been told a lot of lies. We could easily support many old people with available workers, and there is NO shortage of future workers.

'I believe in all the immigrants who ...'

As I pointed out previously, yr sacred Immigrants
kill 2000 to 3000 people in the US every year..
year after year.

Dem vs Rep, Boomers vs Generation X and Y, conservative vs liberal - yep, distractions.

From the class warfare in which our class is losing!

Too bad you identify with the 1% now trying to grab public resources, public land and public reserves.

Yeah, it's all about the individual. Right.

No point in banding with others to make life better for all. Every person should scramble isolation to survive.

Sorry. Not interested in that right wing propaganda.

The Sheeple believe in Politicians...

They havent read "Out Of Gas' etc.

go back to child labor,
and women marrying old veterans for their pensions, and people selling flowers and apples on street and
sleeping on grates at night...

ISNT ALL OF THAT HAPPENING NOW?
WHATS THIS 'GO BACK TO'?

'Bullshit! Life was very tough in the US until the New Deal'
What changed is INVENTIONS...thats what made life easy or better. Oil,Cars,indoor plumbing.

'sorry but not interested in yr left wing propaganda'.

Read Irv Schiff if you will..'The Biggest Con'.

Prog, I brought this up before.

The McCain/Palin ticket was designed to get votes for Obama, the Wall Street favorite.

Those Republicans who admired McCain were appalled by Palin, and those who liked Palin couldn't stand McCain.

But the "worst" decision by the Republicans, if you believe that decisions are really made by the puppets, was putting up a black, right wing, crazy Christian, MARYLAND resident as the Republican "choice" to run against Obama in the Senate election of 2004.

Anyone who believes that the way to the Presidency wasn't greased should look into that choice.

And McCain would most likely be doing the same thing Obama is, since Presidents do what they are told.

But, remember, when Obama first talked about attacking Pakistan in 2004, both McCain and Clinton were appalled and against it.

Obama will get away with more than McCain would have. He already is presiding over the cutting back on Social Security benefits, as you pointed out. And he will be the one to preside over the privatization of Social Security, mark my words.

Sadly, even you will support this? Or, that's how I interpret your previous remarks.

Just shows the power of right wing propaganda, in my opinion.

Speaking of Pakistan, and propaganda.

How is it that Obama can attack Libya, using the excuse that Qhadaffi is "killing his own people", which at the SAME time the US is killing people in Pakistan, with the permission of the Pakistani government?

And, of course, killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan and Somalia and Sudan and Eritrea, etc.

But, what is the logic? Why is it OK to kill people without the consent of their government and OK to kill people with the consent of the their government, but not OK to kill your own people, unless you're Bahrain or Qatar, of course.

Shouldn't every American be scoffing at this bullshit? Why do people go along with it?

Yes, Bean

I hear the wheels of the circus drawing near. First tent is the birther assertions by Trump.

Welcome to the funhouse where all the distortions of our polity begin to look real. We'll have a choice between the theater of the absurd and the theater of cruelty.

Sorry you misinterpreted my comments about individual responsibility. I must not be a very clear writer.

Wage,
Don't you know war is peace?
O got the Nobel Peace Prize in lieu of his stepping up Afghanistan, even the Republicans had to laugh!
In reference to ongoing war, etc. you'll enjoy Celente today. In the face of the real number 22% unemployment and plummeting home prices. Gotas to have that war thing going....

http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/2011_04_22_archive.html

(i meant Gots)

Hey Wage, the problem is if you look at the charts 2007 just barely broke the record set in 1957 when there were far fewer people in the USA. Of course back then most people had a job and paid into SS. Today not so much. Seems like maybe 2/3's the people I scoop on the ambulance are on the dole.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pMscxxELHEg/S70PaHGUNTI/AAAAAAAAH_M/4b8f8e8ocLk/s1600/Birthsperyear.jpg

Pertaining to the link I posted a few minutes ago. Look at the spike from 1945- 1947. Those fightin' boys came home lookin' to get down wid it!

Well, if we can have most everyone fed and housed with so few people working, as well as provide medical care for the old and poor, why can't we do it with everyone working?

Why can't everyone have a job? Then everyone could work fewer hours.

That's what peasants can see, but most Americans nowadays can't.

See, to me the graph shows that there will be no shortage of workers in the future, since the birthrate since the 90s has been as high as the years in which the so-called Baby Boomers were born.

Remember that the first 90s babies are already of working age, while only the first year of Baby Boomers are of retirement age.

There is no reason to stop paying retired workers a stipend.

Read? As in pick up a book (or a Kindle. Hate the damn things. As I've said before, drop a book on the floor. Pick it up and your good to go. Try that with you're "reading" device. But that's a separate riff and I digress...)

To actually try, make the effort to be well informed? Hell, most people are too lazy to click on a link.

INVENTIONS. You're right. Which lead to a dramatic increase in productivity.

"That is how it works, Scott, and nobody has lost their money if they were entitled (they worked 40 quarters)."

Listen up, stupid fuck. You are right. To date no one has lost what they contributed to SSi. Not only that, but most receive out of the fund much more than they ever pay in. Now just guess what happens when people get MORE than they contribute at some point in the future?

"What do you think McCain would be doing right now, as he would be preparing for his re-election?"

Here is what he would not be doing:

Golfing (and obsessively so)
Lying (about every-fucking-thing)
Intentionally destroying the US economy, thereby creating an emergency, thereby justifying increased governmental interference in all aspects of our lives

Wage, sure the birth rate is almost what it was back in the late 50's but the population has almost doubled. Most people now have smaller families , although there are exceptions. Around these parts over the last few years we have had a huge influx of Russian immagrants. They have large families, 6 or 7 kids. Huge drain on the school system. They also bring their elderly relatives over from the old USSR. Many of them have a lot of health problems. It goes without saying that the health care system in the old country was not the best . They never paid a dime into our system and yet they receive excellent health benefits, housing, food stamps, etc, etc. I have nothing against the people just the system. It is broken and will never be fixed.

I saw that McCain was over in Libya asking that the US send in troops to whatever it is that they're doing, don't these psychos ever get enough? How many wars do they need?

In the Superman comic books, they used to have the Bizarro World, and Bizarro Superman No 1 used to wear a medallion around his neck to show who he was, I think McCain should wear a medallion around his neck that says Crank No 1, and then Leiberman can be Crank #2.

"Anyone who calls Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" is ignorant."

Of course it is a Ponzi scheme and don't give me that drivel about taking care of the elderly. The greedy old bastards have had the best this Ponzi scheme has had to offer and have left present and future generations holding the bag. The kind of economic growth that has made the elderly the wealthiest of Americans is impoverishing the next generations.

Entitlement programs have been the greatest enabler of out of control government growth and one of the reasons that we are in our present predicament. I realize this is a political blog and many posters are left wing ideologues but it is also a PO blog isn't it? I would think that an acknowledgement of PO and the contraction it implies would shed some light on the Ponzi like nature of all our economic dealings.

Don't forget about the 65 Trillion in unfunded liabilities for SSI and Medicare. We are not going to grow our way out of that debt. If you think SSI and Medicare is sustainable then, I don't know because like you say, I am ignorant but it seems to me that if SSI, Medicare and their 65T unfunded liabilities are sustainable then the whole thing is.

hi Scott, I believe that all income should be taxed by SS. Not just the first 106 g notes. Also there are lots of old folks worth tons of money and they still take their check because they " Payed into the system". Tough luck. If you have a large net worth consider it just another tax to pay. My kids are done with public schools and yet 80% of my local property taxes go to the school system. I live with it. Why does a millionaire get SS? Only in America!There are millions of elderly needing their SS. Their are also millions of elderly not needing the aid but still getting the checks. I would bet that Warren Buffet still gets a SS Check.

Before you begin blaming the geezers for our budgetary issues, know this. Below are the programs funded under social security:
-Federal Old-Age (Retirement), Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI)
-Unemployment benefits
-Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
-Health Insurance for Aged and Disabled (Medicare)
-Grants to States for Medical Assistance Programs (Medicaid)
-State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
-Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Of these, certainly OASDI & Medicare are the largest payout ($1.278T). The people, RETIRING with these programs today, paid into these programs for, at least, most of their lives. Much less than what some will receive, but at least they paid in. Of all recipients (59,764,000), 38,385,000 are over 65 & collecting old age benefits. 13,446,000 are under 65 and disabled and 7,933,000 are classified as ‘OTHER’. IF we paid only the geezers, the tab would be cut by $457B or 36%.

Welfare payouts, $700.2B, are payments that had no contribution made, at any time and are truly a give-away. Of the total proposed 2012 budget of $3.818T, these two programs, alone, represent 56% of the entire budget.
The remainder are Education is 3.4%, Defense (which happens to be the ONLY constitutionally authorized federal program) 25.3%, DEBT SERVICE 5.3%, Unemployment & Workers Comp 3.6%, Protection (police, fire, prisons, law courts) 1.6%, transportation 2.4%, ALL OTHER 4.1% (R&D Health, public health services, basic research, agriculture & forestry, fuel & energy, communication, pollution abatement, water supply, recreational and sporting services, protection of biodiversity & landscape, housing development, community development.) The last four are certainly suspect and total $70.2B or 2.1% of the budget.

Okay, start cutting!

LAST!!

"My kids are done with public schools and yet 80% of my local property taxes go to the school system. I live with it..."
-rt-

Yeah, RT, and do you have the property tax initiatives to exempt those over 65 from paying school tax and other property tax. We do - it gutted our tax digest to the point of serious pain. And those of us under 65 will be looking at a tax increase to make up for it.

Despite the fact that the over 65 crowd WENT to public school, have grandchildren in public school, and expect their streets to be paved, their fires to be fought, and a med unit and/or a cop to show up instantly when they call 911.

Sheesh!

The precursors to the baby boom generation are the most selfish and unthinking group of people, collectively, that have ever walked a planet.

When I turn 65, in about 10 years now, I am expecting a Senior Upcharge - to make up for 10-15 years of those selfish jackasses not paying.

I'm actually getting $868 a month direct deposited in a checking account from SSI. My ex-wife kicked the bucket so my 10 y/o son gets a survivor benefit until he is 18 I think. Doesn't matter, it's still a pyramid scheme.

Wage -

Regarding McCain - I just don't think TPTB forced him to nominate Palin to screw up his election and pave the way for Obama.

I actually think the corporate PTB would have preferred McCain. I suspect they are pleasantly surprised at how pliable and Corporate Shill Lite Obama is turning out to be for them.

The big deal about presidents is their SCOTUS picks. Those are worrisome, because the SC legislates from the bench - in both directions - consider Roberts.

================
And I'm not right wing brainwashed. I just don't see viable alternatives under the Dem/Repub two party system. We're going to get to vote for the devils that pander and placate that 10% of the lunatic, fringe "base" to get on the general election ballot.

Are you Greens working on abolishing the two party system? That's something that might make some sense.

We don't need a viable 3rd party as much as we need to do away with the whole political party mess.

moelarrycurley umm dude..he predicted this 3 years ago or more

I'll take it ! The single wide, and thrift store clothes. and no dessert.

Thanks ! Could I have at least 1 shade tree and room for a small garden ?

:)

Didn't you post previously that inflation is a big concern of yours? If inflation comes roaring back, then we can inflate away the SS liability simply by not increasing benefits as much as inflation shrinks purchasing power. It may not be politically acceptable, but who knows, maybe some future president will have the guts to do it.

Enjoy the holiday weekend fellow CFN'ers.

Stay off the crazy roads if you can. I am not driving anywhere.

Be safe.


Yes I have made posts about very high inflation in our near future. I have also made posts saying that SSI would be inflated away as you suggested except that we don't need a future President to do it. This years COLA for SSI has been deferred to the Medicare side. This years food and energy inflation rate is the highest ever recorded.

SSI benefits ARE being inflated away.

I meant Quality of Life....Litebulbs, hot water, radios, cars, refriges and washing machines...thats what made 1940 different than 1910, I guess.

Where are you? Are they Orthodox Jews?

And while in 1970 1 guy worked 40 hours to have a middle class life for 6 [2 adults, 4 children]
today 2 work X hours to support 4 [2+2]

.....you know the rest.

How is it that Obama can attack Libya?????

A Prez has never NOT been reelected during wartime..and...must have something to do with Oil? Yes?

If a military coup must happen in the US, I think the best branch to lead the coup would be the Navy. The Navy seems to be the least ideological branch of the armed forces, and it would be good to have more maritime-oriented people in government at a time when we have much seafaring and inland navigation in our near future.

I have mixed feelings about an Army coup. General Petraeus, who is often promoted as a latter-day Eisenhower, doesn't particularly scare me but doesn't inspire my confidence, either. He apparently suffered no punishment for failing to submit an exit plan for Iraq, as ordered by President Obama in his capacity as commander-in-chief.

This was a more serious, disturbing form of insubordination than General McChrystal's vulgar off-the-cuff remarks about his civilian superiors. There's a big difference in severity between being a hothead with no sense of tact and sneakily usurping civilian prerogatives to set military policy. Of course, the journalistic dolts who cover the Pentagon are too superficial and ignorant to recognize Petraeus' insubordination or to suggest that McChrystal be cut some slack for not shutting his mouth.

My main concern about a Marine coup would be getting some yahoo officer who thinks that he's the synthesis of John Wayne, Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover. That's a possibility with an officer from any service, but that sort of extremism seems more prevalent in the Marines. If there really is no worse enemy than a Marine, we do not want a Marine officer taking charge and deciding that some group of civilians are the enemy.

Geopolitically, the worst option is probably an Air Force coup. The Air Force has effectively been colonized by jingoistic Evangelicals. I can think of no more appropriate term for what Evangelicals have done at the Air Force Academy (and to the entire Colorado Springs metropolitan area). The Air Force officer corps is apparently swarming with officers who can't keep their politics separate from their theology and don't have any interest in separating the two.

These are exactly the sort of people we can expect to get us ensnared in every Middle Eastern sand trap with recoverable oil. They have God's favor and superior air power, after all. Some of them are probably even likelier than our current civilian leadership to piss away our treasure and the best of our youth in futile efforts to conquer unconquerable foreigners. We don't need more of that.

Then there's the Quiverfull folks of Evangelical Christians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull

No birth control at all. It's God's will, don't ya know.

My Dad has 17 brothers and sisters. All single births, all the same parents. People used to ask Dad if his family was Catholic or Mormon. "No, just over-sexed Protestants." Lutherans, in fact. Volga Germans. No wonder Dad left home at 14 to ride the rails and join the CCC. Interesting that other than one sister, all the kids had two or fewer children.

My grandmother, on the other hand, had a hysterectomy, right after delivering her fifth child. Arranged it with the Doc before birth. She said she "Didn't want to be used up and old before her time at 40." Grandpa wasn't too pleased, but got over it.

Everything is extremes, we want and like to think of the world as linear but we are non-linear, either you work 12 hours a day to the extreme or you are totally idle, either it is all or nothing in everything, there are no shades, middle ground, in betweens, linearity. And this is with almost everything. You want people to be either A or B and they (and we) act according to C, we can't accept something in the middle or some odd combination and act accordingly.

Like in labor - work, there is never any middle ground, either 8 hours (if you are lucky) or nothing, no one ever thinks about creating hobby factories, where you can work 1 or 2 hours.

Maybe we need extremes to distinguish things, to make a statement, we need big contrasts, since we can distinguish slight differences,slight contrasts.

Testing, one, two, three. Testing one, two three. The blog ate my homework.

Actually, Mis Blue, that may be exactly my future. Parts of it all ready are. We have a Visiting Nurses Thrift Shop, here. It supports Hospice, which is great. I get most of my clothes there. At least shirts and sweaters ($3). Coats ($5-8). Picked up a great Nordstrom leather jacket for $30.

My life will be very different in a year and I'm considering lots of options. My "Entitlement" kicks in, in July. (Claim the term, oldsters! Make it your own!)

I've been kind of asked to join a Tribe. A family that's been on a loop road out in the country (out, but not too far out) since the 1920s. I've known one of them for 20 years. There's a couple about my age (and, she's a nurse! A fringe benefit as far as I'm concerned.) A recently divorced son-in-law. Bachelor Farmer Brother (in his 60s. He has goats!) And, their 90 something Mom. Those are the households.

The son-in-law moved out of a single-wide where he, his wife and their three wild indians lived. So, it's kind of thrashed. I did a drive by the other day. I could only see the back of the trailer. To me, it looks huge. Twice the space I need. But, I guess part of it is a utility room. Garden space and shade trees.

Things that make me hesitate. A little (just a little) close together, for my taste. On the other hand, another option might end up being a shitty little apartment with people right on top of me. The aging population out there. I mean, even I'm getting long in tooth to head out and homestead. And, I can't say I have a lot of country knowledge and skills.

But, I'm adaptable (hell, I've been camping out in the back of my bookstore for 15 years) and open. They have the wisdom. The trailer is electric, but maybe I could put in a wood stove. I installed one in my last place. I've lived places before where I cooked on wood. I like splitting wood. Once you develop good wood splitting habits, so you don't cut your leg off, it's kind of Zen.

So, we'll see. I've got 9 months before I have to be out of here. Other options may present themselves. There's a couple of other options hanging. Options present themselves. Way will open. Life careens off in weird directions.

I do not know what is with the software of this blog. That last post was consigned to the hell of "Will be held for owner's approval." Which we all know is code for "You'll never see it again."

I backed up and re-submitted. Copied, signed out and cleared everything out, even shut down and re-started. Copy and pasted. No dice. Copied to document. Rinse wash repeat. No dice.

I finally just signed out, signed back in again and re-typed the whole damn thing from the document. This is nuts.

By the way, Tripp. Even though I signed up for your blog, Small Batch Garden, I was going to post something the other day and couldn't figure out how to do it. I know we're supposed to be all intuitive about these things, but I work a lot better with instructions. I'll be damned if I'm going to spend a couple of hours fiddling around pushing buttons until the damn thing works. I've got plants to re-pot, stuff to get ready for the auction and tons of books that still need to be processed for the final blow-out sale.

This is what I do to take a few minutes to unwind and distract myself. I do not need another whole hobby.

Spider,

You hit on a favorite topic of mine when you discuss the black and white extremes. I've seen it in my travels in other countries too.
I'll never forget a night on a packed train car with six other people traveling overnight in from Denmark to Paris. It was hot and stuffy so I opened the window one inch. My fellow travelers were complaining of being too hot or too cold.
Well wouldn't you know the whole night people were either opening it all the way or closing it all the way and I couldn't convince anyone of a middle ground. That was a hellish night for sure. I don't think anyone got any sleep.
Getting back to your subject of employment, Germany once again shows us the way.
For whatever reason Germany appears to be the only Western nation to exhibit brains and creativity in solving issues. In their climate, they are showing that solar energy works in individual homes ie.Their businesses hire people in shifts, so more people can make a living. Now do you really have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out?
We'll never do it here--the corporations are the royalty-you can't tell them anything. They only care about their personal profits and that culture is not going to change anytime soon.

I have an idea, Old Aunty M, why don't you set up a model based on your hobby factory idea. It makes sense, and I could see it catching on, but there has to be a model. I would totally take a job for 2 hours a day. It would keep me from having to play human pin cushion for the stable flies while I milk a meager living from my Jersey cow. But part of this idea has to include people actually coming to grips with the fact that there isn't enough work for everyone to make 50k and up a year.

Toby Hemenway had an interesting thing to say in his article "Apocalypse, Not". He suggests that industrial humans have basically mastered the problem of acquiring enough steady food, but are so conditioned to the idea of life being a struggle that they continue to work work work, and that causes a lot of unnecessary and very damaging consumption. Damaging in a lot of ways.

So the task to me seems a mental one (hence my constant war cry of behavioral innovation). Convince industrial humans that they don't need to work and spend so much to have a fine life. And that is the model we are establishing here. There's not a "real job" in this household, but we mix work and play seven days a week. No boss, no weekends, no commute, no labor projects to keep people busy, just a mindshift about what life actually requires of us. I roll in the grass with my children and sometimes work my tail off, especially during planting and harvest and preservation seasons.

But as an ecologist I can tell you this. Without the free ecosystem services provided by nature on planet Earth you will die. You really should consider modifying your philosophy accordingly. You lose a lot of credibility with statements like "kill nature," because you don't seem to understand that that means killing us too. Otherwise you have some thoughts worth reading.

Just extrapolate the fact that using hand sanitizers causes more problems than it solves. Killing the good bugs with the bad just makes it easier for the bad to come back in greater force. You can't fight one single nasty virus organism without your army of normal body flora - exterior and interior. If we could get our heads around that simple fact, and the tidal shift in the way we think about the rest of the biosphere that would follow, life would change for the better radically. We might even realize that a 2 hour a day job at a hobby factory and a garden makes the perfect life.

"As long as the filthy rich can keep more than 60% of the wealth!

I can't believe that you would go along with this."

Wage, I haven't a clue what this is referring to...

Howdy Lew, Your Dad's family only had 17 kids, What were they slackers? My father was from a family of 19 kids, all single births except for the last one , Twins! My Grandad said we better knock this off they are coming in twos now. True story! They were French-Canadian. Imagine the strain that kind of procreation puts on ol' Gaia! My Meme was pregnant for 13 1/2 years!

"And I will say with 100% confidence that monetary inflation would be a good thing."

I don't know who you're quoting Scott (and I don't want to know) but they were evidently not around during the inflation of the late 1960s/1970s and early 1980s. Nobody that I know/knew came out better after that burst of inflation. Everyone that I know had their real purchasing power eroded. Life was worse after than before.

Interest rates for a time were close to 20%. If you were in debt back then ie if your mortgage was renewing you were screwed. I saw a lot of people under severe financial stress because of high mortgage rates. Marriages blew up, there was a lot of mayhem. It kicked the crap out of the housing market where I was living at the time for more than ten years. And not only homeowners but small business owners like in construction, trucking etc that had loans to finance equipment purchases were in severe trouble.

Also, a lot of investors in stocks got screwed during that time. The Dow in 1982 was about the same as 1966. A lot of people's investments from the 1960s IOW were pretty much wiped out by inflation.

If you were/are someone who works in a unionized environment like the civil service you may have enough power to get your contracts inflation protected. Most people though were/are not unionized. A great many people do not have the power to demand wage increases to keep up with or exceed inflation. They get progressively screwed over time.

The person you quoted also is evidently ignoring what is happening in poorer countries where food inflation is starving people. We're not talking a few people here and there but hundreds of millions. Out of sight maybe and out of mind or maybe this person is willfully blind.

Whoever it is you quoted must be one of those "I got mine and fuck everyone else". Or maybe they just aren't thinking or maybe they are too young and haven't seen the real world effect of prolonged inflation.

You're right in one way that a bit of inflation provides the grease in an imperfectly firing economic engine. But there is such a thing as too much. I've seen up close the deleterious effects of a prolonged bout of monetary inflation and I don't want to go back there.

Goes back to Spider's point about the black and white extremes. 20% interest rates were no good overall, but good for people with savings accounts and money market accounts--but way too high for the economy. 0% interest is equally awful, forcing everyone to put money into the casino, known as Wall Street. It's a disaster for those on a fixed income.
Of course there' always gold and silver, but there is little that is safe out there for the middle class.
This trend toward super low interest rates for one purpose is a destruction of choice and illustrates the lopsided economy we have.
What's wrong with this picture?

Hi lbendet, I had a bit of money back then and thankfully no debt. But those 20% rates were on money owed. The rates I got on my cash deposits were nowhere close to that. My wife and I strove mightily to save but what we saved was whittled by inflation. The stock market was no haven either until the 1980s when inflation started to settle down.

What's wrong with this picture? I'll tell you, the Fed (and our central bank also) is trying to rig the game in favour of their bankster cronies. And I REFUSE to go into the Wall Street casino. It is a den of scum and villainy. I feel icky thinking about it. I know there's suckers galore out there and I could maybe get rich off them but I refuse to do it. People are like the proverbial turkeys that think the farmer has their best interests at heart because for 179 days straight he shows up with food and water. Then he arrives on the 180th day with a knife. Wall Street is that farmer, one day, poor turkey, you get gutted.

The boss of the Kansas City Fed called it the way I see it. He's decried in the past reckless and unfair Fed policies. I can bear some unfairness now and again in service of a greater cause. But there is no "greater cause" here. This is all about Wall Street bonuses and nothing more. And up here our central bank is aping the Fed.

My Dad's mother had 10 kids. One of the kids, a Mormon living in a small town in Utah, had 3. The rest had 2 or none. So from those 10 kids, she got 11 grandchildren. Which I think she was fine with.

My Mom's mother had 2 kids and 13 abortions. That side of the family wasn't big on reproducing.

It seemed that you were agreeing with Scott that the government shouldn't pay Social Security benefits.

He seems very hateful.

I couldn't believe that you would go along with it.

Wage, I gotta jump in here. The social safety net that kept everyone comfy financially depends on an economy that hasn't been gutted by offshoring. You know the drill. Inevitability is the plea, necessity is the argument, workers will move up the "value chain" as work goes to China is the bedtime story for the believers.

I'm not a believer. I've seen what offshoring has done to the economic prospects of ordinary people. The only way that the social safety net works is if ordinary people have decent paying jobs so they can pay into the programs. But, more and more, they don't have decent paying jobs anymore, they work for unstable companies, in crap jobs, for shit pay. People will get social security cheques. The question is how much will they buy.

I don't need to be a statistician, I can use my own eyes and what I hear from others to see what's going on. The worker has been promised x and y and z to maintain him/her when they're old but those promises won't be kept.

Necessity will be the plea. No money. And because all the income generating industries will be offshored, they will be right. But all the while there will be no lack of favours for Wall Street and again necessity will be the plea, gosh darn if we raise taxes on the rich they'll leave.

So what, who cares, after all the damage they've done? What good are they? Let them leave. Here's yer hats what's yer hurry. The best social program I can think of is one that pays for the rich to move to China where they'll be greeted by ever so polite Chinese leaders. They'll learn that behind those friendly smiles are faces as hard as wolves. They'll get eaten alive.

It seemed that you were agreeing with Scott that the government shouldn't pay Social Security benefits.

He seems very hateful.


I am not hateful really, it's just that I tend to view entitlements from an analytical perspective and you tend to internalize the subject from a humanistic one.

I think that the inflation was in the 70s, and the high interest rates were in the 80s.

That's how they combat high inflation, by raising interest rates.

And that was when third world countries really got screwed.

They were enticed into borrowing money (see John Perkins) at high interest rates, and then were unable to pay it back, leading to the IMF coming in and demanding that they dismantle their social projects, turn over their public assets and allow multi-national corporations to come in and rape their people and their national resources.

Well, I agree with you, Cash. I read your post after I posted the thing about the third world countries, most of whom are poorer now than they were before the World Bank loaned them money.

Actually, as John Perkins and David Korten point out (both were involved in the process), what happens is that the World Bank loans the rich money for construction, and the poor are made to pay for it.

And not just with money. Dams displace hundreds of thousands of people, and they are forced to the cities to provide cheap labor for multi-national corporations.

Airports, hotels and golf courses for rich tourists, flowers and food for export, all of it - displacing peasants and tribal peoples, and enriching the very few at the top.

Now it's our turn to be IMFd. (Or, IMF...D).

I just protest the submissive way that people accept it.

Really? That's it? Shrugging your shoulders and saying, I'm willing to be screwed, as long as Grandma gets it first?

I say that's hateful.

I think that the inflation was in the 70s, and the high interest rates were in the 80s.

That's how they combat high inflation, by raising interest rates.

And that was when third world countries really got screwed.

They were enticed into borrowing money (see John Perkins) at high interest rates, and then were unable to pay it back, leading to the IMF coming in and demanding that they dismantle their social projects, turn over their public assets and allow multi-national corporations to come in and rape their people and their national resources.

There is a difference between the 70's and now. In the 70's the U.S. was the worlds leading creditor nation. Raising interest rates is something that you can afford to do if you are a creditor.

Now, the U.S. is the worlds leading debtor nation. Bernanke would rather be drawn and quartered than raise interest rates. Oil is the real money in the world. Rising oil prices in dollar terms are a reflection of foreign exchange rebalancing with monetary inflation by the FED.

I got involved with larger investment properties back in the late '70's to the mid '80's. Mortgage rates hit 21.5% in Boston around 1979-1980. Investment property mortgage lenders were loaning out money at 10 points over the prime rate, or around 29%. Nobody seemed to mind. Home mortgages were 1.5-2.0% over prime, or the 21.5% I mentioned above. However, homes were selling for $50,000 - $75,000, whereas today they are selling for 300-400k.

Within one year after Reagan took office in January, 1981, rates had fallen 10%. Still too high, but not outrageous as before. Inflation had peaked at 14% under Carter.

During the arab oil embargo in 1973, I had to wait about 45 minutes in line when I needed to fill up my car, and that was on the days I was allowed to buy gas at all - we were on an odd-even system, according to the last digit on our license plates. Many gas stations ran out of fuel within 3 or 4 days after they got replenished by the gasoline distributors.

If we were very low on gas and had to be somewhere on our off-gas day, we'd switch license plates with friends who had our opposite number.

The Manager used to become unhinged when he walked by and saw us just standing around waiting for customers. He told our manager to have us pretend to be busy if there was nothing else to do - which I found degrading. Didn't he know that "they also serve who stand and wait"? Should the Eskimo waiting for a seal (customer) darn his socks too?

Was it Horace or Terrence who said that you can cast Nature out with a pitchfork, but it will return. Thank God. Even if we kill off most of the animals, some will remain: the genetic seed of a new Eden. Chernobyl is now a great wilderness - one of the few in Europe. A great radioactive petri dish of mutation. Radioactive boars chest high to a man rub shoulders with bears and red deer.

The whole thank goodness it's Friday mentality is corrupt. Work and Play should blend together into a seamless garment of Life. Work is Play and Play is Work. We should be very serious about having fun and very light hearted about Work. It's possible as long as starvation isn't imminent and you are your own man.

13 abortions? Give the lady a cigar! She was a Saint of Liberalism.

It's Lifeboat Ethics. She'd rather overload and sink the boat and have everyone drown than have some live and some die. Of course, rabid partisanship is blinding nearly everyone: there may be more room in the lifeboat than some think. Look at the Titanic: the boats were only half full but the women wouldn't come back for the men in the water. It was an ominous omen fortelling the rise of vicious "women and children" Feminism.

Really? That's it? Shrugging your shoulders and saying, I'm willing to be screwed, as long as Grandma gets it first?

I don't view it from a generational perspective as you say, sticking it to grandma. I view it as a group of citizens who have been getting more than they have had coming at the expense of others. Besides, the time for arguing about SSI is come and past. SSI is going away, just not through legislation. It is going away via inflation. There hasn't been a COLA for SSI recipients in three years. Do you believe the governments inflation figures?

Demography is Destiny. Since our Goverment betrayed us and refused to enforce our borders, it's now every ethne for themselves. We need to raise up many children to support us when we are old - yes the Third World model. After all, America will be a Third World Nation soon. And does anyone believe that Hispanics are going to support alot of Old Whites? They follow the Law of Life very closely as the motto of La Raza indicates: "For our Race Everything and for Other Races Nothing." Start reading Jack London and Rudyard Kipling and start forgetting all the liberal stuff and nonsense that clutters your head.

OK, to Scott and Vlad.

1/10 of 1% of the population controls 65% of the wealth.

And you argue that there isn't enough to go around?

We're fighting over 35%. Actually, 15% for the bottom 80% of us.

I don't think that everyone should have a private jet, or even a four-wheeler.

I think that we should conserve and share what is sustainable, with an eye toward leaving some for generations to come.

But to suggest that someone on SS is ripping off the rest of us!

While ignoring the ones with 7 mansions, 2 private jets and a submarine to get to their private islands!

Geez!

See, Vlad, Social Security removes the need to over-reproduce!

Don't you get that?

If you don't have to worry about your old age, you don't have to have a bunch of rug-rats.

I question your figures. The War Resistor's League comes up with 1/2 the Federal budget going to the war machine. Which you call defense and announce that the Constitution allows.

I don't think so. They were opposed to a standing army.

http://www.warresisters.org/federalpiechart


Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
— James Madison (Letters and Other Writings of James Madison)

The people at the top are always going to get theirs. The idea that big government somehow redistributes wealth is false. Can you not see that? notice how those at the top have managed to offshore jobs to China? Notice how the people at the top are able to keep overseas profits overseas? Have you noticed the trend of consumption going down in the U.S. while at the same time consumption is going up in China where those at the top have moved most of their manufacturing?

Those at the top no longer need us, we are being phased out and so is your ideas about redistributing wealth.

"It seemed that you were agreeing with Scott that the government shouldn't pay Social Security benefits."

Intentional or not, SS is a Ponzi scheme that only works as long as there is economic growth. Why do you think this energy descent thing is such a big deal? Our whole economy, every part of it, relies on growth. When growth stops, the entirety of the economy, especially things like Social Security, stop working. We will crush our currency trying to prop it all up until it all just disintegrates around us. May not happen altogether like Jim likes to fantasize about; in fact I highly doubt that it will. But at this point it's really just a matter of choosing our poison. How do we want to take down the good ship US Economy? Through unemployment and food stamps? Through Social Security? Through ag subsidies? Through endless war? The worst way I can think of is the route we seem to be taking - giving it all to the mega-wealthy banksters on the way out.

I would wager that support for Social Security has everything in the world to do with age bracket...

All I can keep coming back to is that we should use whatever time we have left to gently but steadily wean ourselves from the petro-teat, social security included. Because the other option sounds a lot more like chaos and starvation to me.

Cash,
One issue you didn't bring up was that although the interest rates on debt were high, before Reagan changed the tax code to make it "easier", we used to be able to deduct that interest!
They are going to screw with the tax code for "efficiency" to end deductions, so people like myself who are independent contractors and sub-contractors will not be able to offset their health-care costs and utilities costs against their profit.
My healthcare costs went up $118.50 per month. Screwed again--Obamacare works for no one but the insurance companies!!

I just read (but can't remember where) that all of the Federal income taxes actually paid to the Treasury are used by three things- the war machine, the banker bailout, and the past interest on the Federal debt.

The capitalist system is inherently unsustainable, since it relies on continuous growth.

Yep.

But taking care of the sick and elderly is a human thing to do.

People did that long before capitalism, and we can do it as long as there are people.

Tribal people and village people ( not the ones you're thinking of) made sure that everyone was fed.

This hatefulness of screwing Granny comes from our selfish social system.

Good article about the takeover off the Sierra Club by Communist hacks like Move On and Soros by a woman who was actually in the fight. Goldbaum explains that he's in favor of immigration becuase his family were immigrants - there you have it - nothing more need be said! He may actually believe it too, but if so he's obviously in denial about his own hatred of Whites.

If Whites survive the fall of the West, the Jews will no doubt claim that they warned us about massive immigration and tried to save us - just like they deny all culpability in the genesis of Russian Communism.

http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2011/04/the_sierra_club.php

What the Federal government collect in taxes is irrelevant. It would still function about the same if there were no taxes collected. The U.S. government is able to finance it's enormous debts because the dollar is the world reserve currency. Major commodities starting with crude oil are priced in dollars.

A time will come, probably within the next five years that there will be a crisis. When that next big financial crisis occurs, probably due to hyperinflation, the dollar will lose it's reserve currency status. When, not if the dollar loses it's reserve currency status, everyone will know what the steep decline scenario means.

Of course - but that's all water under the bridge now. A modified welfare state only works with a stable population and sealed borders. We had that and threw it away. Now it's every group for themselves.

There can be no excuse for 13 abortions. None. Your Granny must have been a VERY strange woman. Something unconscious and dark was going on there. Was she doing it to shock people? To make a point?

The US is but a colony

Last year around this time I started blogging here and what I discussed was that BP was treating us like a colony. What I meant by that was that BP insisted upon using Corexit to break up the oil. Our government said to hold off and BP went right ahead. They also got in the way of reportage by our news outlets interfering with our fourth estate. Such that it is, our news seems only to want to pump and grind to the tune of the Royal Wedding and the Kultcha red and blue color war which we call our politics today.

Well, my friends I'm reading Griftopia today. ___Did you ever see a grown woman cry?

In the chapter, "The Outsourced Highway" I saw everything I said was going to happen with this global neoliberalism but didn't know how far along it is.

Seems that with the bidding up of oil by GS in 2008, we started bankrupting the nation state and by the time the mortgage debacle took place and the banks didn't lend to small business, our revenues went dangerously low.
So Morgan Stanley started working with Sovereign Wealth funds and our politicians in desperate need of money started pushing the idea of 75-yr. leases of the commons to these funds. As usual, it wasn't transparent who was buying our infrastructure at low cost, but it seems it was Abu Dhabi and other not so friendly Arab states, made hugely wealthy by our dependence on oil.

Mayor Daley pushed this on the state legislature and they sold the rights to their parking meters to one such deal. Then afterward they found out that they could not close streets for fairs or holidays because they would have to pay prohibitive prices to do so. When they figured out what that would cost over 75 years they discovered they under sold by billions.
I guess Morgan Stanley cleaned up ok?

All you have to do now is ask yourself what will happen to all those homes under foreclosure and who will own those in the future...I'm scared!

State Capitalism also known as Communism is no better. Also committed to endless growth - have to keep up with the Capitalists. In fact, it actually has a worse record on environmental pollution.

Maybe it had an idea about stability once Capitalism was defeated - when the State would wither away long ago in a galaxy far away...As Fin McCool never knew, tomorrow never comes.

PLEASE REPOST THIS MONDAY, FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL....YOU SHOULD INVESTIGATE KCRW / RUTH SEYMORE

Does he mean 'medical' or spontaneous?

and cigars are for men and dykes...YOU KNOW THAT!!

Wage,
Ive read and often disagreed with yr posts....
Do you really think we have enuff beef and cars and oil for 3 million Chindians?[woops meant BILLION].

Have you read the first 120 pages of 'Last hours of Ancient Sunlight'?

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE LIMITS TO GROWTH?

Yes I have noticed.

And It's like if we conserve, and consume less others will just consume more. but maybe we will learn the lesson that must be learned. Live on less or die, sooner than later.

But if you believe in Peak Oil etc. (and I do), then sooner or later everyone is in trouble.

It's completely unsustainable.

Yes 'we' are "useless eaters" to the ones 'at the top'.

Have you heard the talks of C.A. Fitts?
The huge 'disinvestment' in US/Europe by the billionaires?
As an old guy I rememeber the horror folks had at cars being made in Mexico and sold here..
but Mexico was 'too expensive' even China is costly, compared to Vietnam and Saipan.

But according to Coulter [?] Stalin trumps Jews.
lotsa movies about the Holocaust but zip
about Stalin.

Once in the 70s I read an Issue of PLAYBOY..
a quiz on how 'sexy are you'?
The more abortions a woman had the more points / sexiness she had.
Some have noted Heffner gives $ to NOW and they take it. feminazi c*nts

I met "Thom" once - a good man, a real liberal. Against massive unregistered immigration - and not ashamed to write about it. How rare - and how tragic that liberalism became a hate cult.

He bent over backwards for them because of their contribution to the Revolution. Actually gave them the land to begin their own Nation in Siberia - but the Jews lost interest once Israel was founded. Stalin was deeply offended and began to see that Communism had merely been a vehicle for Jewish ethnic interests, not something they valued in and of itself. He didn't condemn all Jews, but he definitely lost trust in them as a group. That he was willing to give them their own Nation showed how great his previous esteem was. I mean the Soviet Union was supposed to be enough for anyone. He was in the business of breaking up Nations and liquidating whole peoples. For him to make an exception for the Jews was simply extraordinary. And this royal treatment had been true from the time of Lenin - Anti-Semitism was made a very serious crime with the possible penalty of death.

Jews stayed highly placed in some Agencies such as the Gulag system. If he had tried to purge all Jews it might have gone ill for him. All of this has been put down the memory hole. All we need to know is the Jews were persecuted by Communism - and that they may have been the main victim!

I know you bloggers aren't taking notice of the very frightening aspects of globalism you never heard about, but one more thing I think you should know.
A few months ago Donald Trump was being interviewed on trade and the economy. He does bring up the unfair trade and currency manipulation of China and the need to introduce tariffs. That's one point for him, but he also sings the praises of Abu Dhabi. Those are the guys with the Sovereign Wealth funds that are snapping up our infrastructure.
So is Trump just trying use China as a scapegoat while backing the super wealthy in the ME?
What does this guy represent, exactly?

I hear you. I don't mind shopping at thrift stores or buying at yard sales. never did. then got married and got credit cards, shopped at higher end stores, macys', paid to much, just charged it. my bad.

debt is a terrible thing.

living in a single wide could be ok IF you had land, space around you. some peace and quiet or good neighbors, (good luck!) but trailer parks can be very depressing, and usually are.

where i live a modular new costed 400K in 2005-07.
rediculous. ( in a trailer park ) now sell for 150K still rediculous. sad also for those who paid big bucks. well houses here are a joke. Old and very pricey. 600k. cuz on the coast. where it is cold. but a tourist area.

anyway just rambling. times are getting really difficult for those of us not at the top.
and the is a huge descrepancy now rich and poor. no in between, well we on here all know that.

i think living in back of a bookstore was common sense. just an alternate lifestyle. you do what you gotta do.

i don't have answers. just notice the changes happening.

i think i am becoming complacent and hope i snap out of it soon.

at least you have shade trees ! and room for a garden that is huge this day and age.

yes i hear that once you let go of things, then opportunities present themselves, i know that to be true. things you couldn't even imagine.
hey good things !

so let go and enjoy i suppose is the answer. if only i could. it's like when i was younger it was so easy. and alot less expensive to live.

it's all about money now, i was naive, well stupid as someone on here put it. they were right, i was both.

Mindless entertainment and kind of sick. A little Indie DVD from 2007.. "Blood Car."

"This gory satire of horrifying dimensions from director Alex Orr is set in a world where gas prices have reached $40 a gallon. Responding with good old-fashioned American ingenuity, a kindergarten teacher invents a car that consumes human blood. An absurdist take on the world's current addiction to oil, Orr's debut feature evokes both screams and shrieks -- followed by uncontrollable laughter."

What I do when I'm spending hours peeling old labels off books and wiping of the gluey residue with Goo Gone.

Everything is extremes, we want and like to think of the world as linear but we are non-linear, either you work 12 hours a day to the extreme or you are totally idle, either it is all or nothing in everything, there are no shades, middle ground, in betweens, linearity. And this is with almost everything. You want people to be either A or B and they (and we) act according to C, we can't accept something in the middle or some odd combination and act accordingly. We can't accept, maybe even perceive or appreciate, or even amplify slight shades, slight effects, or interactions.

Like in labor - work, there is never any middle ground, either 8 hours (if you are lucky) or nothing, no one ever thinks about creating hobby factories, where you can work 1 or 2 hours.

Maybe we need extremes to distinguish things, to make a statement, we need big contrasts, since we can't distinguish slight differences, slight contrasts, slight shades, or odd combinations, odd rules, any rules, no rules, and / or rules that are made and forgot in a jiffy. Everything should be forgotten and discovered all over again, or just forgotten forever, memory is hell, kill memory, no past, no future, no plans, just instants. Or invent any past any future and all plans as having been achieved since memory is killed and nothing can be verified, but verifying is always a lie, why compare anything to just a set of bits in your mind, the bits are just a quirk combination of usless information anyways.

When did matter decide to lie to itself ? Why did carbon molecules start to interact between each other and start lying to each other and disobey mathematical laws, even though they are part of the laws of physics, they started lying to each other and reality and Mass - Energy by evolving into cells and lifeforms and minds.

We need linearity, middle ground, all the points from 0 to 100 in all kinds of activities, endeavors, not just 10 or 80 as it is for most things now. We will program people's brains accordingly, it will be done, can be done right now, has been done.

"This hatefulness of screwing Granny comes from our selfish social system."

I have no interest in screwing Granny! Matter of fact, I've offered to take in my MIL, who I don't particularly like, when the time comes, because that's just how it should work. The energy that created a vast resource pool like SS is the same energy that made nursing home care acceptable. It's all the same problem really. In a lower energy future our children will live closer by, and their elders will once again have something of value to offer their descendants. If we are too busy to take time to personally nurture and teach our children, (and who in the modern world stays home with their children and educates them personally), then we deserve the lovely nursing home they stick us in.

Ideally, there should be no need for social security, and when cheap abundant energy is gone, it won't exist. Sorry that this issue happens to hit you so squarely in the nose. I mean no personal offense.

Just to set the record straight. Anti-semitism in Russia has been rampant since the middle ages.

Stalin hated the Jews, but devil that he was, he would utilize any Jew if it would advance his own agenda.

My father, who was born in Russia, used to tell me stories about the non-Jews in his village. When they were bored or for whatever reason, they rode into the Jewish ghetto and killed and raped and beat Jews. Apparently, my great-grandmother was the only Jew who owned land, so when word of a pogrom reached the Jews they ran out of the village and hid under my great-grandmother's farm house. My father told me this and many other stories from the time I was a young boy.

Re expatriating the Jews to a new country in Siberia: yeah, that would have lasted a long time.
Until Stalin changed his mind and massacred them out of existence. Easy pickings when they all lived in one place. Gee, Siberia was such a nice place to live that the Soviets built many tourist hotels there. I believe they called them Gulags.

Thank you Bill - you make my point again: Jews are always completely innocent a priori - of everything. One of the Tsars was on his way to granting Jews full rights - and they assasinated him. The Jews of Russia did not want equality - they wanted absolute power and Communism was their vehicle. Needless to say, true believers don't care for that attitude. Thus the Left has turned against the Jews and towards the Muslims. You have no one to blame but yourselves. Remember the Zionist slogan "A Land without a People for a People without a Land"? How can any idealistic person support Lies like that and the Liars who tell them? Remember the Jews were offered Madagascar or Uganda I believe as possible homelands. But oh no - it had to be Palestine. You sowed the wind now reap the whirlwind.

When I think of someone on social security, I don't think of some "granny". I think of someone who has a pension, everything paid for, 5 or 6 rundown rental properties and always complains about the young tenants. Of course the young tenants are facing constant downward pressure on their wages while typical entitled persons had nothing but upward movement in wages and benefits during their working lives.

The US is but a colony...The WORLD is but a colony!

Why arent the directors making movies about Stalin?
They have made a ton of $$$ off working the Holocaust?
I can only guess Red trumps Judaism.

And Jews were hated in Russia? why?
For good or bad reasons?

My understanding is Stalin killed 20M..
so I assume he killed lots of Jews.

Wage, I got the figures from the proposed 2012 US budget. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/budget_pie_gs.php SS recipients figures came from US gubment. http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/

I am in awe of Madison and the other brilliant men who conceived of this country. Especially because they warned us over 200yrs ago, of how the republic can crumble, if we allow it.

I'm so