The Song of Spring


     This is a nervous country. I'm not sure that hanging Osama Bin Laden on the White House wall like a coonskin really helps that much. Already, a familiar darkness sets back in, a loss of purpose of the kind that Lindsay Lohan must feel when she gets out of rehab. This is exactly the situation that empty rhetoric was designed for, so we got a week of talk about "bringing our nation together" when the truth is that Fox News would like to send Team Six into the oval office with guns blazing and helmet cams on "record."
     We have no idea what we're going to do as a people and absolutely no credible thought on this emanates from the upper echelons. Leadership is more than telling people what they want to hear. In the middle ranks of society, a sullen docility rules, no matter how many affronts to reality we witness. You ride this wreck until the wheels come off and think of what to do next when you're sitting in the drainage ditch by the side of the road. There's no period in US history that matches this for lassitude.
     I had a strange experience, driving north about fifty miles along Route 22 in eastern upstate New York, from Canaan to Cambridge, a very rural stretch that roughly parallels the Massachusetts and Vermont lines. Aside from a few convenience stores serving up gasoline, slim-jims, and pepsi, there was no visible economic activity in any of the towns along the way. The little town of Berlin, NY, was especially striking. A "for sale" sign stood  forlornly in the parking lot of the lumber yard, the inventory sheds plainly empty of stock. The Seagroatt wholesale flower company - where, years ago, I picked up roses as the delivery guy for a Saratoga retailer - was shut down, with rows of empty greenhouses standing vacantly in the late day spring sunshine. The little downtown on a street one hundred feet off the highway was not only empty of  businesses, but the old wooden buildings themselves had gone lopsided from a lack of regular caretaking, while the paint was all but gone. A number of old houses were still occupied - cars in the driveways - but they looked battered and worn, one bad winter from roof failure, and often with front yards strewn with plastic detritus.
     One thing you didn't see a lot of along Route 22 was farming. Columbia, Rensselaer, and Washington Counties used to be all about farming. For much of the 20th century, it was dairy farming after electric milking machines and bulk refrigeration came in, and you could run larger herds. That's done now, since the giant factory farms in the Midwest and California started up, where the business model is you jam hundreds of cows into a giant steel shed where they stand hock deep in their own wastes all day long, with their necks locked into a stanchion, and it's "economic" to truck their milk back east. Who needs pastures with grass growing in them? Who needs a happy cow? That will change, by the way, yet it is one of the many things we're not having a conversation about in this demoralized land.
I saw teenagers here and there along the way, wherever a convenience store exerted its magnetic pull of sweet and salty snacks, the boys all wearing black outfits, those dumb-looking calf-length baby pants, and death-metal T-shirts. This must be the longest period of history for a particular teen fashion - going on two decades now?  When even teenagers lack the enterprise to think up a new look (that is, to make a fresh statement about who they are), you know you're in a moribund society. I saw some young adults, too. You could tell more or less because they had young women and babies with them, and they were stopping for gas or groceries (if you call a sack full of Froot Loops, jerky, Mountain Dew, and Pringles  "groceries"). Their costume innovation du jour is the cholo hat, a super-deluxe edition of a baseball cap with special embroidered emblems and a completely flat brim -presenting a look of equal parts idiocy and homicidal danger. The day was warm enough for "wife-beater" shirts, all the better for displaying  tattoos, which are now universal among a working class that has no work and no expectation of work, ever. I tried to think of them as the descendants of men who had marched off to Cold Harbor, Virginia, and those who built the great engine that the American economy once was - but it was no go.
     Up the highway, I passed through the classic Main Street town of Hoosick Falls, just outside of which were the haunts of "Grandma" Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses), the painter of rural scenes. Try as you will to find them, there are no characters in her paintings wearing cholo hats and no indication of tattoos under the stiff frock coats and bodices. The little burg's downtown has a quirky main street that doglegs twice in an interesting way that you rarely see in this country. It contained some wonderful old buildings that radiated confidence and noble aspiration from a time that is bygone. We couldn't reproduce one correctly now to save our lives. I don't think there was any business besides a pizza joint and a consignment shop along the whole length of the main street. All was vacancy and desolation in Hometown USA. The victory of the national chain stores is now complete. I hope our citizens are happy with the result. 
     The time will come when that disposition of things will change of course. If that time is at hand, few are aware of it. Perhaps they get an inkling in the moment when they realize that they have no money to spend in the chain store, even if they could buy enough gas to get there. The chain store executives must sense something themselves in those dark moments after closing when they have to send the day's report to Bentonville, Arkansas.
     These are the spring sights one encounters in the background of a time in history when a society slides toward change nobody wants to believe in. Not believing is easy, especially when you don't pay attention. Meanwhile, somewhere off in a European bank, an executive reads a computer screen and gags on his lunch. In Shanghai, a Chinese government banking official wonders what it means when he lends money to an army general to buy an enterprise owned by the government. Down in the heart of Dixieland, Memphis drowns and New Orleans once more looks anxiously to the levees. Who was Osama Bin Laden, anyway?
________________________
     My books are available at all the usual places.


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764 Comments

Well James –

The media-circus-of-clowns-cum-political-theatre surrounding this week’s assassination of Osama (the man and the myth) can only serve to put an exclamation point on how desperate the hegemony has become to consolidate its power domestically and inflame tempers among the unwashed hordes far across the seas. The empire is teetering. Get ready!! See my post this week. As always, the kulturCritic!!

http://wp.me/P1lJ1g-an

Second!

James, this is my second comment and continued introduction to your page. Amazing how your book The Geography of Nowhere is even more relevant today than it was years ago when I read it. I must tell you (just between you and me) I once laughed so hard reading your book that I fell off the chair. I know you are dead serious but you hit my nervous funny bone so hard I could not help it.
Yes I too am nervous about the future. Not for myself – I had a dark (Nazism, World War II, Communism, Budapest’s war with the Red Army, and my escape from communist Hungary across the Iron Curtain in 1956) but otherwise good run and I am still around in good health. I have a smile on my face – I survived Hitler, Stalin and the communist madness I grew up in. Looking to the future is what puts a serious frown on my face.
I did not fall off the chair reading The Long Emergency, but it sure helped focus my thoughts like nothing else. That book should be on everyone’s nightstand and we should read pages every night before going to sleep and act on it the next day and every day. Most of us are not acting and that is why we are in deep sh•#. Almost forgot – your “hallucinated economy” still makes me chuckle only I don’t know if I am laughing or crying.
Anyway, this is the most 3D blog on the very World Wide Web – makes me remember the past, puts a laser sharp focus on the present and makes me sick thinking about the future, but also makes me work clear-headed harder. Thanks James.

"Fox News would like to send Team Six into the oval office with guns blazing and helmet cams on "record."

Sure they would. Especially the "Southern" Fox affiliates.

"Aside from a few convenience stores serving up gasoline, slim-jims, and pepsi..."

No cheese doodles or salad shooters? Talk about deprivation!

"The day was warm enough for "wife-beater" shirts, all the better for displaying tattoos..."

Of course its been at least a week since tatoos were mentioned.

The abandoned towns of Upstate New York give me great hope. They were left for dead and were not subject to the environmental degradation that more populated areas went through. The fallow farmland will be ready when it is needed once again and there won't be endless miles of parking lots and strip malls to tear down are cart off. For the price of Levitt House on Long Island you can have a decent house and plenty of land in the ghost towns of Upstate. As long as you get there before the zombies start showing up looking for shelter and food.

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

James, I wish you'd said "I saw some young adult males, too." Otherwise the young women with children are not, in that sentence, adults. Or is that what you meant??

They used to manufacture mowing, binding and reaping equipment in Hoosick Falls. Had a nice local, viable, agricultural based economy manufacturing quality equipment... *sigh*

Your story reminds me of a line from Shelly: " I wandered through the wreck of days departed".

"Down in the heart of Dixieland, Memphis drowns and New Orleans once more looks anxiously to the levees."

I'm guessing this is good news? Last time I checked these cities were located in the South. (You know, NASCAR-land.)

Urban detrius culture has spread to upstate NY, enjoy, think Detroit with trees.

"a time in history when a society slides toward change nobody wants to believe in."

Well, not nobody. There are the few of us who are reading your blog and The Archdruid Report and watching Peak Moment on YouTube. But I guess we don't count for much yet.

By the way, the New York Times ran a review of a bunch of Manhattan designers trying to make over Levittown into a "future surubia." From the perspective of both the reviewer and myself, they generally failed. As I wrote in The New York Times explains how to completely avoid the real problems of suburbia:

Ms. Arieff shows that she has a good eye for the real problems of suburbia. In fact, her list of problems, including her observation that the U.S. has become wedded to sururbia as the American Dream, makes her seem as if she's watched "The End of Suburbia," in which exactly the issues she mentions plus suburbia as the American Dream, are major topics, along with peak oil. Too bad the designers seem not to have watched the movie.
There is a link to the New York Times article at the blog entry.

As for people in the "middle ranks of society" displaying lassitude, I'm seeing a lot of desperate energy both online, where I'm an officer of Coffee Party USA, and on the ground here in metro Detroit. As I've said repeatedly on Crazy Eddie's Motie News, metro Detroit is the largest urban area that realizes it are in the business of managing contraction. Whatever solutions we Detroiters devise here will be exported to the rest of the continent. This includes the bad ones.

Speaking of bad ideas, what do you think of Bloomberg's suggestion that all legal immigrants come to Detroit? That might be one way to restrict legal immigration, something you've advocated.

Jim,

I've been following this website for some time and I often find myself in agreement with you. I am saddened to read of your observations of disenchanted and disenfranchised youth. Opportunities for a future are all the more dismal for our nation's younger generation. I would love to have you come down here to Philadelphia and knock that concept into the heads of the city's Public School District. I am a high school science teacher and I have been witness to far too many boon-doggle and lamed-brain initiatives, all of which are politician friendly and media "cute" but absolutely worthless in preparing our youth for a declining standard of living. Besides that, our superintendent has no clue what a job desert Philadelphia has become in the past 40 years. Yet she assures the "children" that their future is bright because she came in on a white horse to the tune of $350,000 dollars a year to raise test scores and dismantle what has been a dysfunctional district for years. The politicians of this town and state are clueless and their manifesto is to keep their constituent base intact and in line to receive "walking money" to vote for the party's slate of candidates.

OK, Osama’s been taken out. Why it’s enough to make you want to join a political party that’s so patriotic the members advocate worshiping billionaire oligarchs and replacing the government with an answering machine!

So what is the Constitution anyway?

http://www.gwabert.com/

Funny you mention, JHK.

I was through Hoosic Falls about a year ago, noticed a building for rent and looked to inquire but no one was on Main St, deserted. I walked into fuel oil dealer's office next door and talked to the woman working the desk. She listened politely, told me what she knew of the building but as she did so developed such a shy and retreating, almost painful look on her face when discussing new business potential for the town. She didn't want to be negative I could tell but was far too honest a person to lie to my face, even that of a stranger.
I figured someone handling oil heat accounts for the area probably was the EXACT right person to ask.

BTW, my wife just told me she read of a new, hip restaurant that opened there. Maybe they are already out of business.

"Not believing is easy, especially when you don't pay attention."

I think I'll have that one framed.

Last week there were 762 comments and 700 were from "turkle." So so far this is a good week in the USA, no matter what Jim says.

Detroit has plenty of trees, newworld. I'm sitting under a grove of them right now.

It's early, the blog squatters show up later.
JHK could charge rent.

Hi Jim
I missed commenting last week as the megacorp who specializes in communication services couldn't seem to be able to ensure the proper hook ups for a very simple office. Pretty typical today, and a sure sign of the decay that continues slow motion in the world these days.
I followed the OBL story last week with extreme cynicism rounded out with an urge for uncontrolled hysterical cackling. It boggles the mind that these people can be so out of touch with reality that they can't even see how dumb the big story was. Please!?- no pics cause they are being culturally sensitive- hahahahahaha. DNA confirmation of the target in 12 hours- talk to a reputable geneticist about that- then some more with the hahahahaha. The story also strangely was changed as the week went on, which was equally baffling, I mean nobody knows what went on over there, so why bother changing the original " legend"? Oh well, the band plays on and the beat is getting very erratic.

Can there be any doubt this was the kick off to the presidential election season?

Meanwhile the deafening silence about the most serious nuclear accident continues, with no one even peeping about the least serious consequence of this accident, that being a huge economic blow to a staggering global economy. We probably will see that "fallout" appear in June/July with another massive economic slowdown resulting from lack of Japanese parts around the world- and that results in manufacturing plants shutting down and the workers joining the millions of other unemployed folks. Long hot summer anyone?

"The beginning of the end looks a lot like the middle when you're living through it."

Read that somewhere last week.

"Meanwhile, somewhere off in a European bank, an executive reads a computer screen and gags on his lunch."

Greece is going to be the first one out of the EU. And the euro is going to crash and burn. And EU investors are going to get a Yul Brynner style haircut.

Helen if PM Harper is so bad how is it that he has eviscerated the grits and destroyed the Bloc on the way to the first elected majority government in almost a decade? 167 out of 308 in the House, some people must agree with what he is doing and how he is handling things. Just saying.

JHK: "Who was Osama Bin Laden, anyway?"

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

Who was Osama Bin Laden? He was the guy who bankrupted America society. He was the guy who made today's post possible.

Osama Bin Laden was the guy who suckered Bush into spending TRILLIONS of dollars on giant government bureaucracy (TSA, DoD, etc.) ... in a stupid "global war on terror" the USA could not afford ... as Bush failed for seven years and finally shut down the effort to get OBL saying he really didn't think about Bin Laden that much, instead of engaging in a targeted small unit law enforcement type action to bring OBL to justice, like Obama could have done, if Obama had ordered a capture, and a trial, instead of an extra-juidicial assassination of an unarmed man.

Don't fear.........Here comes Marcellus Shale Drilling to parts of New York........there will be huge profits for the gas companies and you will see many workers on those quiet streets wearing Texas and Oklahoma tee-shirts. The landscape will be filled with drill rigs, trucks, noise, and pollution.
A lot of folks will be standing and admiring the FRAK ponds full of carcinogens. The livestock will be going blind from drinking the waste water and the Republicans will be sellling T. Boonne Pickens and Bush family water to replace the water they polluted!
Watch the award winning documentry DVD "GASLAND" by Josh Fox.
Drill Baby Drill..........BTW the gas leases are bundled and sold to countries overseas......we'll never see the gas only the pollution!
Have a nice day........

Hi Helen,

Well the teflon PM pulled off another bid for political survival. I am very interested to hear what folks up there think Harper's game plan will be, I mean besides corporate sucking up.

I was pretty surprised to hear he had made it back in, so what's in the tea leaves?

Depressing but well written. Reminds me of driving back up to northern Ontario to relive the glory days at Northwoods Camp [defunct] and Camp Keewaydin [the new, improved non-profit version] and discovering that Lake Temagami seems smaller, has no surviving industries, and has been reduced to a tourist trap for wealthy cottagers from Toronto. In other words you couldn't move there to live unless you're retired and have private means. At least the local camp-ground workers haven't elected to cover themselves in tatoos from head to foot.

The erosion of appreciating things that take time and energy is inbread in this culture of time is money. We who have worked with our hands and mind have been looked down upon in this country. It always amazed me , the people who keep things together and repair the infrastructure are treated like morons.

That look of teens that Jim mentions might be the increasingly popular "wastelander" look that is part of a play culture of apocolyptic skills practice. Dark durable clothes, knife, thick hat, boots. It's kinda the punk look of the era, and I think it is a response to the lack of opportunity and obvious looming crisis on the horizon. Up here the kids don't imagine themselves ever driving and so they skip drivers ed, and play WOW via free wifi under the bridge by the library. They are practicing.

...those who built the great engine that the American economy once was...

That great engine has always been hollow at the heart. Americans hate work. We hate the people who do the real work of the world. Listen to our movies, our advertisements, our stories, our songs. We always want to be the folks telling working fools what to do. We've never been about building a civilization. We're about making money. Have been. Day one.

Are we lethargic? Stay away from the roads, man. We may not know where we're going or why, but we're by God going and don't get in the way!

It's like we're hypnotised. Over the decades we've seen so many signs of improvement, of prosperity, better living through chemistry and machinery. More folks driving Lexus' and Porsches, working in offices. The countryside, small towns, poor neighborhoods are crumbling, but we don't care. We want to be in the 'burbs anyway.

What you're talking about, Mr. K., involves real work. Forget you!

Mr. Kuntsler,

As always, you have a powerful way with words.

Quite simply: Please travel to China. And please comment on what you see there.

So sad, such strange times. I'm surrounded by international finance guys that grew up in the west, do biz everywhere and yet can't quite believe we've trashed our own economy.

I closed my IT company inSeattle last year, all the jobs had gone to India and China and flying back wouldn't have helped my marketing efforts. And like everything else we've off-shored, those jobs aint coming back.

I haven't been back to the States, back 'home' for 3 yrs but don't doubt your descriptions are apt on the east coast.

Europe is doing 'alright', contrary to what you say, Italy doesn't owe a dime to the global banks, everyone owns their own home, two if they live north of Rome. N

Germany is doing fine, France, alright, Holland, where I live appears do to be doing just fine....if a couple of countries fall out, so what, the euro will hold up....but the dollar, thanks to Goldman Sachs and 30 separate invasions since WWII, well, as Dr. Paul Craig Robert, the father of Reaganomics said, 'it's going to crash unless you close those 700 bases...."

The same issue with Hudson river towns. Catskill, NY has been taken by Walmart and Lowes and Home Depot and main street is dead again. People can say things change and we need to deal with it, however, the loss of farm land and local employ is hard on the human an natural landscape. More fields turn over to fallow brush or worse, a mini storage unit (see intersection of rt 9 & rt 23) where storing shit is our last industrial activity.

New World says: "Urban detrius culture has spread to upstate NY, enjoy, think Detroit with trees."

Jeezus, I am sick of ignorant people using Detroit as a shorthand for "post-apocalyptic." The situation in Detroit is very complex, and the conditions there and in the inner-ring suburbs is an incredible mix.

Please visit, and you will understand -- not only Detroit, but how much of the country will also lurch into the future, thriving in some places, decaying in others. Until then, CUT IT OUT.

I've been a fan of yours for a long time, having read your books and watched the documentaries. I connected with you mostly because I already realized the situation and can see what's coming in the future, and enjoy connecting with people who are willing to stand up and speak the truth about it, and you sure tell it like it is. No sugar-coating here. I'm one of the compromised middle-class whose turning into lower class due to economic conditions. At age 50 I have few resources available to get me through my "golden years" which may not turn out to be so golden after all: no pension, retirement account, 401-K, savings, or anything else. I live a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle and the only thing I can do to improve the outlook of my future is to stockpile non-perishable foodstuffs and seeds, while the getting is good. Can't afford to invest in gold or silver, but pasta and potatoes and rice and beans last forever, and a 50 pound bag of oats or corn costs very little. So I fill up my big house with a comfortable well-tended stockpile, and that's the only thing that makes me feel wealthy. I read your blog first thing every Monday morning because it confirms my own pessimistic outlook on the future of the world. For some reason, it makes me feel better. So thank you for that.

Wow--you describe my rural neighborhood too closely. Those teens in black denim, skull and bones accessories and chains dripping over tattoos always depresses me--sometimes I can't tell the parent from the teen, except for the worn out face of the former.

Our rural town got a grocery store in 2005--folks moved from CA to open it--it closed last month after chasing food stamps and cigarette and liquor sales to stay alive. A Casey's gas and "food" station (aka Walmart) had expanded two years before much to the village board's delight. Now our grocer works there for minimum wage.

We grow our own food, btw.

The Liberal Party and their followers with their anti-Western bigotry, their policies of national self-hate and societal suicide are hopefully not long for this world. Good riddance.

As of 2007 Federal law in Canada bans corporations from making political donations.

For a long time now the Conservative Party and their Reform predecessors have been dependent on individual contributions. Conservative fundraising from ordinary joes far outpaces that of their Liberal party rivals. Corporate funding was always been sparse for them. It was the Liberal party that relied on corporate funding.

As it is now parties receive federal funding from tax coffers. Harper has promised to cut off this funding.

Why? To destroy the Liberal Party. Why? Because Harper hates the Liberal Party (and liberals) worse than Jews hate Nazis (ok maybe not that much).

Why? Read this comment posted online to a national newspaper from a reader (Toronto Star:

"the west isn't worth it: ... We won majority after majority when we ignored the west.... It is not worth trying to win over the gopher roping gun nuts on the Prairies if we lose our base. Screw the West - We'll win the rest. It worked before and it can work again."

Great nation building stuff published by the great media bastion of liberal moderation and tolerance. - "screw the West, gopher roping gun nuts". Typical shit from liberals/Liberals.

So this is ths crap we get from one of our screaming Left Wing Lie Machines. This view is common among oh so hip Toronto liberals. One of the last acceptable bigotries up here. We've been listening to it for a generation now. I'm sick of it.

Ah, Jim
Osama was our proxy fighter against the Russians managed by the CIA in those heady days of the Afghan-Russian war. Who knows what he was doing or whether he still worked for us. Just as easily he could have turned on us with the prodding of al-Zawahiri.--I wonder whether we'll ever know. But whatever you can say, we are our own worst enemy and by the way, who needs Al Quaeda to do damage when we allow our infrastructure to go to seed.

What I can say with certainty is that our politicians are keeping OBL alive by scaring us about all new plots and plans. They can't wait to make our lives more miserable than ever, now that we have found the mother of all informational treasure troves of terrorist planning. Hey, I know How about a no ride list for train travel. ___And that comes out of the mind of our of our NY Democratic Senator, Chuck Schumer. Just bolstering the military security complex, ya know.

Well thanks, JHK as always for traveling and reporting your observations of the bleak landscape that is now the USA. Speaking of former farmland in upstate NY, as far back as 1967, I remember looking out of a bus window on my way to a summer camp, observing rotting farm houses and abandoned farms, that must have been the time that we traded in small local enterprise for giant corporate farming.

NYC still has a boomtown feeling to it. This is where the money is and they are making sure the environment remains pretty and all for the elite. Businesses close, but new ones take their place. This is eclipsed by quiet desperation expressed among the populous as many say they can't afford living here anymore. Someone in my building who is contemplating a move out west says he is finding it harder to afford this city. He has a number of friends in their mid-fifties who have been under-employed or out of work for longer than this recession. When the mergers and acquisitions phased in during the Reagan era, people began losing their jobs. At that point there were new businesses being formed, so people found new employment, but thanks to globalism, this is no longer the case.
Now it would be a good moment to read Charles Hugh Smith of Two Minds today. He pretty much covers what I've been saying about the monetarists and monopoly capitalism.

Funny today after Morning Joe, they said that businesses may be moving off-shore business back to the USA.....We shall see.

Thanks, James, for affirming my impressions on the local "economy." I'm glad it's not just me.

I just moved back to the upper Hudson Valley after 20 years in the DC-based rat race. When I was growing up, and when I left 20 years ago, there were farms galore and the no-money Astors clung to their riverfront property while their house rotted away.

Now that I'm back, most of the farms are gone, and it seems the no-money Astors are, too (the riverfront property's all fixed up and I suspect a hedge fund manager). There's really nothing to do in my home town but drink; yet the main bar & restaurant locations can't seem to stay in business. Who can afford cocktails, after all? The local college, however, somehow keeps managing to raise city-people donations and runs its shuttle bus from their Gehry eyesore to the local pizza joints and back.

I work in my cubicle and walk home through the park, plotting the day when I will be able to buy one of the beautiful but run-down brownstones in my neighborhood for a song, and hire my mother's husband, a master carpenter, to fix it up for me. By hand. At least the mountains stay as beautiful as ever...if we run out of money, they'll be safe from razing by loggers and developers. Right?

"but pasta and potatoes and rice and beans last forever..."

Except they don't. The oil in rice becomes rancid in time. I'm guessing pasta has a shelf life as well. Take a little time and read up on proper food storage and preservation. I think you'll find that some of those invincible foodstuffs are anything but.

where on earth did helen highwater's posts go?

"One of the last acceptable bigotries up here. We've been listening to it for a generation now. I'm sick of it."

Kind of like some people on this site constantly taking cheap shots on the "South". Stupid and bigoted. But for some reason, acceptable.

JHK's material this week is once again wonderful. His prose encapsulates and projects the imagery and mood of the times. Almost stream of consciousness, but with a more evident central theme. Excellent.
That said, I do have one small suggestion. JHK uses the term "citizens" regarding the victory of the giant chain big box stores. We don't have many "citizens" in these parts anymore. Perhaps "residents" would work better. The term is functionally more accurate, but is not up to scratch with JHK's style.

The last line of engineers over at the Army Corps reflected American society as it blasted away the levies flooding good farmland with Mississippi waste water - to save just another dying city.

Yes, ryebeachbum, unfortunately a lot of people do agree with what Harper is doing. Or at least with what he is promising. He promises corporate tax cuts, endless growth, reduction in crime (more prisons), a stronger military (billions of dollars for new fighter jets from Lockheed-Martin), lots of oil and gas drilling (regardless of its effects on the environment or the climate), etc. All the same stuff that the US government is promising. Meanwhile we have a big deficit, an 8% unemployment rate, and food banks are running out of food. And he got his majority without even getting a majority of the votes. 60% of the eligible voters went out to vote, and only 40% of them voted for the Conservatives. The 60% of voters who didn't vote Conservative split their vote among 4 "not-Conservative" parties. The Conservatives got a majority because of an electoral system that was designed in the 1800s for a two-party system, and does not reflect what the voters really want. However, most people don't seem to understand how dysfunctional a system it is. Look at what just happened in the UK - people voted not to change the same kind of electoral system that we have in Canada.

How can we denigrate White kids who sport tatoos? We have glorified Non-Western Tribal Cultures and spat on our own. So the kids are just trying to emulate the new ideal. If we didn't want savagery we should have thrown the sellers of savagery off the air and out of office. Too late now though. Sucks to be us.

"The Conservatives got a majority because of an electoral system that was designed in the 1800s for a two-party system, and does not reflect what the voters really want."

OF course if the Progressives won, THAT would signify that the voters really wanted them to win. Uh huh. You betcha'

Cash
Thanks for your reply. I really am curious about what is up in the Great White North, you guys sure have a complicated political thing going on. Don't get me wrong I'm not lib or cons, dem or repub, I might be better described as populist oriented. That being said I feel that means politics should not be career track so politicians of whatever stripe can feed off the trough. Public service should mean just that.

But I see the polarization and bitter rhetoric ratcheting up in a country widely renowned for civility and reasonableness and it makes me say "mmmmm".

Isn't one of Harpers stated platforms abolishing public monies for political parties? If that is the case where will the cash come from? My understanding is that most Canadians are having a hard time now making ends meet, maybe not as bad as in the US but similar. It just seems a prelude to okaying corporate donations similar to what the supremes did in the good old banana republic US.

Harper also plans to cut corporate taxes pretty drastically doesn't he? Or would that measure largely be moot because your tax laws(loops) allow multibillion dollar corps to avoid taxes almost completely, as we see here in banana central.
Also, how firm do you think his stand on supporting national health care really is?

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

"Who was Osama Bin Laden, anyway?"

The more relevant question is: "Who was Obama?"

As a kid back in the late '50s I used to stay at my grandparent's house in the country during the summer. It was hot and they had no air conditioning. Just a few fans in the bedrooms. During the day it would get very hot, so sometimes at noon I would stay indoors and watch TV for a couple of hours until the sun passed its zenith. Mostly I would watch movies. These were moves that were made in the '40s and '50s. Those that weren't war movies (WWII was being relived over and over again) usually involved characters who had no visible means of support. I mean, the plot and the script generally did not include any reference to how these characters supported themselves. And they were generally very well off too! I mean, for example, the typically Cary Grant film. You know, the kind of movie where the central character gets picked up at the train station in southern Connecticut by the wife in a station wagon ferried back to a veritable mansion. I remember thinking to myself, how come they don't really have to work? Nobody I knew lived that way - nor did I know anyone with a phony British accent! So fast forward 50, 60 years to today. Now we have hoards of hedge fund managers who live the 2011 equivalent of those characters in the '50s movies. Exactly what do hedge fund managers do to deserve their pay? What about the rest of us? From my vantage point, it seems that we have created a world to match a celluloid reverie, only to discover that it is not sustainable.

"James, I wish you'd said "I saw some young adult males, too." Otherwise the young women with children are not, in that sentence, adults. Or is that what you meant??"

Oh, Jesus. Jim doesn't reply to questions from the audience.

Do you not remember that from being here every week or are you just the most annoying person ever?

We as average citizens have allowed the predatory class to take over and kill small town America, as well as our larger communities. No one really cares enough to stand up in mass to push back. It is probably too late now.

Bin Laden once said he will kill America's economy. He did with the help of George W. Bush and his crony capitalistic predators.

More and more Americans are too dumb to realize how bad their lives are and are too lazy to get off the Lazy Boy recliner and put down the Cheez Curls to push back against the predatory class.

Bada Bing Bernanke is all about those predators and creating economic bubbles that will increase their overall wealth before the bottom falls from the newest bubble. The real economy suffers. No real GDP growth except from the predatory class.

Bin Laden is now gone, but when you relocate squirrels, new ones move in and take over where the relocated ones had once "bin"---- laden.

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

You sound a bit sad Jim, but then that's what you get for actually looking at America. You need to hunker down in front of the idiot box with some Pringles and a remote. Dancing with the Stars will cheer you up!

Nice observation Ese

Jim,

While I enjoy your column (not sure whether I believe it, or just really, really want to believe it) you certainly have not seen a "state of the art" dairy operation. While I'm not a proponent of such operations, they are generally spotless and the cows spend very little time in stanchions. (And also very little time in the fresh air.) If you haven't seen a modern dairy in operation check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9Qyizlh1ik The cows enter a rotating carousel, get cleaned, milked and back out to the packed shed in a matter of minutes.


My big beef with the industry is their labor practices that often amount to indentured servitude. Immigrant labor, here on temporary visas spending 12 hour shifts on the back end of a cow. Housing is often on site, far out in the countryside so once their shift is done they have nowhere to go. After 5 years of this they get to go back home. Hopefully not too much of their minimum wage has been taken out of their checks for housing and the "company store". These are literally shit jobs that you have no Americans are desperate enough (yet)to take. I imagine the workers who do come have very little idea what they are in for.

The large dairies even go to the Univ. in Mexico City to recruit veterinarians.

you might want to look at the actual numbers conservatives received... 39.6% -
very far below a majority.

Your comment is a good example of what I mean about people not understanding, or caring, what a dysfunctional system electoral we have. Instead of any kind of thoughful analysis, you just offer mud-slinging and sarcasm about "Progressives". Canada, the US and the UK are about the only countries left in the world that still have the first-past-the-post electoral system, instead of something that actually reflects how the voters voted. Maybe 40% of the population didn't go out to vote because they didn't think their vote would count anyway. But Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada did become our first Green Member of Parliament. And the Official Opposition is the Socialist New Democratic Party. So it should be an interesting four years, even with a Prime Minister who thinks corporate tax cuts and new prisons are job-creation programs.

Yeah acceptable except it ain't. The people that do this stuff are usually the same people that think they're so bright and educated and informed and intellectual. So if they're so damn smart why don't they know better? Why can't they see the the slippery slope between shouting and shooting?

I have a difference of opinion with some posters here that decry the shrieking right wing lie machine. I think the acid rhetoric dripping from the left in the USA from supposed centres of enightenement and learning is no less corrosive. They say the right wing screamers started it. Maybe they did but for my part these culture wars seem to go back and back and back.

Who threw the first stones? I have no earthly idea. Was it conservative segregationists railing against rights for blacks and "race music" that was allegedly going to bring us African music then African culture then African work habits then African living standards? Was it the loons conducting anti communist witch hunts? Was it the other side of the spectrum serving as useful idiots for the "communist madness" as Nicholas Frank termed it earlier today in his post?

I think that both sides in this thing need to cease and desist. Obama gave Trump a well deserved kick in the balls with his "sideshow and carnival barker" characterization. Obama's a citizen. Now give it a rest.

Just out of curiosity, whereabouts do you live. Are you a Canuck? If you don't want to say that's ok by me. I like keeping some anoymity myself.

"Watch the award winning documentry DVD "GASLAND" by Josh Fox.
Drill Baby Drill..........BTW the gas leases are bundled and sold to countries overseas......we'll never see the gas only the pollution!
Have a nice day........" -army

Very important things to remember; and a wake-up documentary from a rank amateur who's never known how to pull a punch (thankfully, for us).

Don't forget to drop your gloves when they come for your "commodities" (resources). You'll get absolutely nowhere with voting and legislation. Fucker and fuckee can always be reversed when facing the rock and the hard place.
Remember that these corporate entities ARE trying to kill you by poisoning (slow, but sure). While they may be truly unaware of it, the response should fit the actuality.

Thanks for another fine poke of the cattle-prod James.
I'm hoping that you're getting more readership as BAU gets more questionable. An endorsement of reality is always a fine thing, whether "timely" or no...

The more relevant question is: "Who was Obama?"

=======

Obama is the guy who had the SEALs put a bullet through the heads of the Somali pirates, then had the SEALs put a bullet through the head of Osama Bin Laden.

"you might want to look at the actual numbers conservatives received... 39.6% -
very far below a majority."

Just so the Libs lose. That's all that matters.

"Remember that these corporate entities ARE trying to kill you by poisoning..."

Right, genius. So, they can sell all of their product to dead people?

Iraq just announced that they are lowering their forecasts for oil production by 2019 from 12B BPY to 6.5B. Despite the supposed cakewalk to taking him out, Gaddaffi appears to be winning against the rebels in Libya, and it is very likely that at some point some country (China, imho) will decide that it makes more sense to back Gaddaffi than it does to try to oust him, if only for newly negotiated oil terms. Mexico's production has dropped by 35% in the last three years, and while there may be a slight increase this year, this is coming only after what remaining environmental regulations on Pemex have been scrapped.

Oil volatility is becoming more rampant as well - last Friday saw a drop in oil price from $110 a barrel to $97 a barrel; the last time a drop that big occurred in one day was in 1975, and yet, by today WTI was trading for $100 a barrel and it looks likely that the drop may not last the week.

Detroit will likely rise from the ashes - Caterpillar just announced that they are moving a significant part of their new production there, for instance - but Detroit's central problems ultimately came down to too much invested infrastructure limiting the ability of the city to change as the industries they were built on faded. It has access to ports, has a gateway to a trading partner (Canada) and ironically is well positioned to survive climate change and even, ironically, peak oil.

However, it will be a smaller town as more of its suburbs revert back to wilderness. Cities are systems - reduce the energy, and eventually the city itself will adapt by having the unnecessary parts go fallow. This is what's happening in the Northeast. Here in Maryland, you see the remnants of ancient towns all the time, communities that were starved for oxygen and withered away to become ruins.

The tattooed youth will go elsewhere by necessity due to the lack of local opportunity, the young families will relocate because hungry young mouths are no respecter of tradition. One or two communities will be designated as the token "antiquesville", where every second store is a market for selling the detritus of another time, while the others will fade away as those who are too old or too poor to move die off.

America by 2050 will look a lot more like America in 1950 than America in 2000. Urban complexes surrounded not by sprawling megalopoli but forest, desert, mountains or swampland. Americans will not be masters of the universe, but nor will they be denizens of some Mel Gibson-esque wasteland. It's not that Americans don't like work - hell, they're addicted to it - but when things become untenable, they are remarkably more adept at adapting than most countries on the planet.

This has long been true, but its easy when a temporary plateau of metastability has been reached to believe that things don't change. Yet they are changing now, and kids that are growing up today are growing up with change as a given. A way of life is dying. Good riddance. Perhaps those kids will do better than we're doing.

WHO WAS OBAMA ? Prior to being elected, a bad guy!

There was a guy in Trader Joe's yesterday with tattoos galore. On one of his calves was a quite well done tattoo of Mexican General Emiliano Zapata. "I would rather die on my feet than continue to live on my knees". I was tempted to make a wisecrack as to why he had Sr. Zapata tattooed below his knee. Seemed disrespectful to General Zapata to have him tattooed below his own knee. The guy looked more depressed than dangerous. I ended up saying nothing.

The large dairies even go to the Univ. in Mexico City to recruit veterinarians.
Oh the blunders of Immigration and work visas, blame Bill Gates and his friends.

Helen,

Cool, I hadn't heard that May had finally been elected to Parliament on the Green platform. It's about time! Almost takes a sting out of another Harper win, even if it's still a plurality government.

Is that an endorsement of Obama's extrajudicial assassinations of Somali pirates and OBL?

"He was [ "our" ] guy who bankrupted America society. He was [ "our" ] guy who made today's post possible. Osama Bin Laden was [ "our" ] guy who suckered [ provided cover for ] Bush into spending TRILLIONS of dollars on giant government bureaucracy (TSA, DoD, etc.) ..."

fixed it for ya...

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Sky-News-Archive/Article/200806412758358

http://www.rense.com/general14/bushsformer.htm

http://tvnewslies.org/html/bin_laden_ties.html

I can't figure out about teen reluctance about driving either. My daughter is 16 and is happy to be driven around by me. Even if she did get her license, under California law, she can't drive her friends around for a year. I'm not pushing her to drive, we already pay dearly for car insurance because my teenage son drives.

As for teenage fashion. It's very dark at my kid's highschool. Lots of black and grey shirts.
Everyone wears blue jeans. They are forbidden to wear red (Norteno gang color), or blue (Surano gang) or any sport team clothing. SF Fortyniner's gear is worn by Nortenos. Ironically, the school's colors are red, white and blue. If it's a spirit day, you can wear the colors.

My daughter likes to wear shorts, skirts and flip flops. My son has worn Levi 514s and t-shirts everyday of his high school career. He's graduating in June.

Fashion was a lot more varied and colorful when I attended school back in the 1970's. I wore Puka shells and Candie's shoes! I was always in high heels or platforms. My mom wouldn't let me wear jeans to school.

Jen

Mr Kunstler, this is one of your two best pieces so far, the other one being your entry on Los Angeles, posted in August 2009, which touched my heart and that I read again every so often.

I'd call these entries beautiful if they did not so evocatively describe depressing stuff that is actually happening, but perhaps they are beautiful regardless, and therein lies part of the priceless contribution made by heroes like you, Dmitry Orlov and Max Keiser: bringing some light and reason to many people who know, in their heart of hearts, that they must let go of their former hopes and dreams and develop a new vision for the future. A painful and disconcerting process to go through.

I liked this bit:

"In the middle ranks of society, a sullen docility rules"

It sure does. Barely docile. I thought of JHK today as I waited patiently and people-watched at the DMV,hoping a vehicle title.

Then, the finely computerized system for assigning us to a clerk hiccuped. Suddenly a bunch of us has been assigned to the same service window.

All around me, people in clownish "gangsta" garb or wannabe office-clone getups (think Brooks Brothers a la Steinmart worn by gum-snapping rednecks) got testy.

They are stressed economically and don't see much of a future as disposable "human resources." Give them the right prod--a fuel crisis, more layoffs--and it'll become the mob scene from the end of West's The Day of the Locust, a sadly forgotten book about the nightmare of California suburbia from the 1930s.

The blood given to the mob, when Osama lost the top of his head, will only sate them for a while.

It was a dark moment in the DMV, until an adult sorted us all out. I fled into the daylight and, yes, saw a man in an actual clown outfit seated and waiting.

Outside was, no kidding, a clown car. I guess they need driver's licenses too.

Public service should mean just that - Loveday

I agree but the fact is that members of parliament, including Quebec separatists, get a rich pension after serving x years. Greed rules.

Re: polarization and bitter rhetoric in a country widely renowned for civility and reasonableness - Loveday

The reality has long been different. What the West has long been subject to from the oh so hip and enlightened Liberals is a torrent of jeers, taunts and accusations of bigotry, racism, intolerance, xenophobia, rightwing extremism etc. Divisive, nauseating and depressing stuff. So one consequence is that the word "Liberal" is poison on the Prairies.

Isn't one of Harpers stated platforms abolishing public monies for political parties? If that is the case where will the cash come from? - Loveday

The money will come from individual political contributions. Corporations and unions are banned by law from making political donations. The Conservative grassroots are eager contributors (individuals are limited to $1,100 yearly donations). The Liberal base donates little and this will cripple the Liberal Party even further. American election campaigns go on for months. Ours last 6 weeks so they're cheaper for political parties to run.

Re tax cuts: The Liberal party already did much of the cutting while they were in power starting in 2000. Personally I do not agree with corporate tax cuts. Corporations use the country's infrastructure to their benefit and so should pay a share.

Re health care: this is in provincial jurisdiction. The Feds provide some dough but the provinces don't have to give an accounting for how it's spent. Provinces have their own taxing powers and are free to tax and spend as they see fit. This is an area the Feds will not much encroach on because Quebec is extremely jealous of its power here as are most provinces. So it doesn't much matter what Harper says or thinks.


Half of the population of Detroit can't read. There is no future there unlesss those people are moved out or at least sequestered in their own quarter. Not all poor people are created equal. Some are poor but genetically rich. Most of the people of Detroit are poor in both senses. But hey, some of them might survive when others don't. I read an article about one of them had begin coon hunting in the wilds of central Detroit.

Hi James,
Had an eye opening experience this weekend. On your assertion that the future world more things will be made by hand. Well as they say, that future is now. In China at Foxconn, labor is cheaper than machines. So anything that can be made by hand, is.

That's 10 & 12 yr olds hand winding wire, assembling your iPhone, iPad and about 50% of every electronic device in your house. Foxconn has 450,000 people working in serf conditions, cameras on them 24/7 building our USA life by hand.

Here's to a future that is NOT built by hand.

I suspect that in the case of OBL, the preferred scenario would have been to capture rather than kill him, but in a firefight situation like that, soldiers are going to shoot first if they believe they are under attack. A similar case can be made for the Somali pirates, who were in fact holding hostages at the time.

Was it illegal? That's a hard question. As CIC of the Armed Forces, the POTUS, like many nations' leaders, has the authorization to use that force, and by extension has, within fairly circumscribed limits, the authority to kill, an authorization which he then delegates to members of the armed forces.

I'm not a huge Obama fan, but I do believe that in this particular case, he was well within his constitutional authority to give a shoot to kill order. That holds true for any president. The US has been at war with OBL's organization, something which has been approved by both houses of Congress and both parties. Most other countries have placed OBL on most wanted lists.

Is it morally or ethically right? I don't know. However, I would be hard pressed to see it as being even "extra-legal".

A few more years and White kids wont be able to go out in public at all without chaperones. You are behind enemy lines and you have just admitted it. The incremental nature of the invasion and war have decieved you - just as the proverbial frog doesn't know that he is being cooked since the water doesn't boil at once. And of course as a Liberal, you would rather die than admit your Tribe and Religion has been wrong.

Yup the Kids are alright. They Know in their bones that we have failed them and Apocalypse looms. If you are a parent, go with it and don't try to fight it. It's Evolution. Buy them a gun and get one yourself. The Family that practices together stays together.

"fixed it for ya..."

==========

Thank you, MD.

You are correct about Osama Bin Laden being "our guy," and you are correct about the God you have created being "your God"

However, I would be hard pressed to see it as being even "extra-legal".

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

Far as I know, it has always been illegal for one country to mount a military operation within the sovereign borders of another country without any type of knowledge or permission having been given by the country being violated.

Let some other country do a SEAL-type operation within USA borders (without knowledge of permission of the USA government, twin-towers style) and see how people react in that situation.

Such violations are neither forgotten nor forgiven ... because such actions, whether committed by "them" or "us," are illegal and offensive. It may be months or years from now, but the operation in Pakistan will be retaliated.

I enjoy your posts most of the time - but am a little uncomfortable about this one, and your observations about the descriptions of the teenagers and their lack of fashion evolution. I understand the observation 'cause one sees this all over.

But your presentation and description of this kind of reeks of "I'm better than them" smugness - sort of a Classist approach. John, your not inconsiderable income and class level is showing.....

Hmm, Iranian politics are taking an interesting turn.

Iran's powerful clerics have accused associates of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of witchcraft, including summoning genies, amid an increasingly bitter rift between Ahmadinejad and the country's supreme religious leader.

from http://abcnews.go.com/International/iranian-president-ahmadinejad-allies-charged-black-magic-summoning/story?id=13561870

Cheers

Somehow I don't hear a lot of whining about our dysfunctional system when Liberals win. Even with far less than a majority.

Here are some facts:

yr 2004: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 36.7
yr 2000: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 40.8
yr 1997: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 38.5
yr 1993: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 41.3
yr 1980: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 44.3
yr 1974: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 43.2
yr 1972: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 38.5
yr 1968: Winners: Liberal. % of pop. vote 45.5

Source:
http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/1867-2004.html

Here are facts per Statistics Canada: the rate of violent crime in this country was 5 times higher in 2007 than it was in 1962.

You don't want prisons? OK we'll let our criminals roam free. Cost too much to keep them locked up? OK how much does it cost to let them run rampant? What did it cost when that shopkeeper in Chinatown got killed by a stray bullet from gangbangers having a shootout?

I'll bet all the perps had records as long as their arm. But somehow our dimwitted, delusional judiciary insists that incarceration doesn't work, that it does not deter, that rehabilitation is the key. How about this: rehabilitation is nonsense. Once you pull a gun or knife on your fellow citizen in the commission of a crime you are human garbage, unfixable and fit only for a prison camp.

I guess years of law school hinders clear thinking. So how about this: while you are incarcerated you are detered. A thirty year sentence keeps you out of circulation and off the streets for thirty years. Too expensive? Is the alternative cheaper?

But maybe without mayhem on the streets our cops and judges and social workers and lawyers and probation officers would be out of work and maybe they all have an interest in the status quo?

We've had two generations or more of fooling around. Build prisons, lock-em-up, do it now.

Witchcraft? Hilarious.

Loveday, on Stephen Harper I expect he will believe he now has the mandate to build all his fancy new prisons for the criminals responsible for what his deputy said was "unreported crime". That came in response to the fact that crime in Canada has been steadily dropping for the last 20 years. But we won't know that much longer because he killed the long form census that collected so much info that his own government needs to plan properly.

He will continue to de-fund all those nasty organizations who disagree with him and his fundamentalist supporters. In an amazing co-incidence with the Bush years he's gone after Planned Parenthood recently, after killing off women's rights groups, church based foreign aid groups and immigrant settlement programs in cities. That's only a partial list.

It's going to be a rough ride for most of us. What's worse, in Ontario, with 40% of the entire population of the country, we're having a provincial election this fall that is predicted to see the junior version of Harper take power. Between Tim Hudak, the junior Tory, and Harper, what is left of this country will look more and more like the desolation described in the USA. Some parts of Canada are already there.

It's a good time to take up serious drinking.

Asoka, violating national sovereignty is illegal for countries who are signatories to the UN Charter, which prohibits aggression violating national sovereignty. It does not apply to OBL or non-state actors.

Cash: Witchcraft? Hilarious.
---------
Maybe they caught him watching reruns of I dream of Jeannie, heh

Cheers

Cash
Thanks for your thoughts, but I'm still left in the dark about what the actual Harper policies are.
It has been said in the Canadian press that he has a vision for the future. Supposedly less nanny state, which if true would be good. Govts are becoming arrogantly intrusive into the private lives of citizens all over the western so-called democracies. Case in point in NY State- daycamps in the small villages and towns may not be able to open because some state agency has declared kickball, dodgeball, and various other types of child's play to be "high" risk activities- the effect of this policy being that these small and vital services may be made too expensive ( insurance policies for injuries ) leaving parents and kids with too few options for the summer. Also leaving us with kids we are condemning to the couch for the summer cause man they might get hurt! No wonder the kids wear black- no kids games for them! If I understand correctly this will be the type of thing Harper will at the very least discourage.

If reduction of the Nanny state is in the works congrats to cons, but if it is just another scam by politicians on the take, that would really be another "change we can believe in " moment.

Take care and enjoy the spring, summer looks to be sizzlin hot with discontent.

I drove up 22 and 7 in Vermont to Burlington, Vermont. Lots of poverty on the way. Burlington with its government sponsored hospitals and government sponsored colleges is a boom town. Likewise I was in Syracuse, New York and dead town except for the pharmaceutical factory, massive hospitals complex and the state college.

The only employer left is the government. The jobs are education, medical and security. Security includes town police, county police, state police (a major industry in New York state), federal police of numerous types, army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard, NSA, CIA, NRO, DIA, etc.

Not clear what any of these jobs produces that oil exporting nations would want to trade for.

Obama continued the policies of George Walker Bush in this and many other areas. There are few if any differences between Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Conservatism - just different marketing strategies to different target populations.

Is there really a gang problem in San Jose or is it just an outbreak of hysteria over kids playing make-believe? I don't admire gangster fashion, but there's a difference between dressing like a gangbanger and actually being one. Actions speak louder than poses.

Or maybe I'm just unable to get into the heads of hysterical people who have absolutely no street smarts. Which describes entirely too many school administrators. A lot of public schools in the US are run by sniveling, tyrannical dolts who wouldn't be able to keep order in a classroom if their lives depended on it. When things get rowdy at lunch or a student assembly, their leadership style resembles Ceaucescu in late 1989. School administrators are more or less the first people I'd expect to respond to a bit of faux-gang noise and posturing as though their students had just set Watts on fire.

Incidentally, this is why Steve Poizner would make a horrendous school administrator. I have little doubt that had he pursued teaching as a career instead of a brief sideline he would have ended up in administration, the better to use his delusional perceptions of violence and decay as bases to make policy.

Since you live in San Jose and have an ear to the ground, can you say whether the media are under- or overreporting violence and gang activity there? Most crime statistics that I've seen indicate that San Jose is quite safe (rape is a major exception). I find it hard to believe that things could have gone to hell in a handbasket without my hearing a word about it in the media at a time when the rising tide of street crime and police misconduct in San Francisco routinely makes the national wires.

One thing is for sure: if your cops can't tell the difference between gangsters and wannabes, you need new cops.

Cash, stop spreading Western Canadian inferiority complex based b.s. to our American friends. When you use a single comment to a Toronto newspaper to claim all Ontario residents look down on and dismiss Westerners, you betray your own emotional immaturity.

Besides, it's the NDP you have to worry about now, the Liberals are down and out without even official opposition status. Bet you'll have plenty to say about the New Democrats too.

You only like Harper and the Conservatives because they love Big Oil, and that's what much of Western Canada is all about. Tar sands, anyone? The Conservatives think they are just fine and give them big tax breaks.

"Govts are becoming arrogantly intrusive into the private lives of citizens all over the western so-called democracies."

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

Yes, here we have nanny state governments wanting to make women get medically-unnecessary sonograms and a nanny-government-scripted text must then be read to the woman by a doctor (whether the doctor agrees or not) and then the nanny government makes the woman wait before she can choose what to do about her pregnancy.

This nanny government intrusion into the most private aspects of womenfolk's lives (and the doctor-patient relationship) is being supported by conservatives and Republicans.

http://www.americanindependent.com/168829/physicians-oppose-pre-abortion-sonogram-bill-in-texas-senate-hearing

JHK,

I have posted here for several years now intermittently without making a single derogatory comment about other contributors or yourself, indeed all my comments have been in agreement with the important message you bring. I have read and admired your books, particularly The Long Emergency.

Your weekly blog is one of the few things that I bother to read on the internet on a weekly basis.

I posted earlier this afternoon to compliment you on what I considered to be a particularly well written piece. While my opinion may not be valid I do not think that it warranted removal from your blog and do not understand why you chose to delete it.

I think that this shows, at the very least, a considerable lack of grace, which I did not expect from you.

You seem to know more about Canadian politics than many Canadians. They're too busy watching American Idol and Survivor to care, just like in the USA.

You got Harper's agenda covered. With health care, the threat is what's called "two tier" medicine, where doctors can extra bill patients beyond what the health care system pays them, Specialists like that and it's already common, kind of through the back door. Government knows it happens but fail to stop it even though they have the authority to do so. For the middle class, who get health benefits for the extras through work and never imagine they will lose their jobs, it doesn't matter so they don't care.

Hospitals are already so under funded that they've been encouraged by government to shed so called non-essential services like physiotherapy and diabetes clinics in favour of what's called community based services. Unfortunately, many of these are private so people who need physio have to pay now. Many can't of course so they do without. I know this to be true because it happened at our local hospital a year ago. They even acknowledged knowing it would hurt low income people the most, but said it was just too bad.

Health care is a complicated funding mess in Canada, with the federal govt. providing the funds, but the provinces managing them. The funding agreement between the feds. and provinces ends in 2014 and that's when Harper will get out his axe and chop.

Cash, you're doing it again. The federal government has the right to with-hold health funding from any province that breaks the rules of the Canada Health Act. Just because they haven't done it to provinces like Alberta (in the West) who allow doctors to charge extra costs to their patients, doesn't mean they don't have the power.

Oddly enough, the Conservative you love so much have been publically musing about cancelling the Act and letting provinces loose. So much for portecting universal health care.

And please stop going on about separatists. They just got decimated by the New Democrats in Quebec and are yesterday's news. Quebec has made peace with Canada, it's time you recognised it. It must be hard dividing your hatred between Ontario liberals and Quebec "separatists" anyway. Now you can concentrate on hating the liberals.

"Not clear what any of these jobs produces that oil exporting nations would want to trade for."

I'll take a stab. One product is righteous fear in the hearts of petrodictators who don't want to find themselves at the end of a rope in Baghdad. We figured that History/Resistance/Liberty/Glory/Revolution might surrender in order not to have his head on a pike in Benghazi. No such luck, though.

If we were traders by temperament, we wouldn't be a party to an ongoing civil war in Libya, we wouldn't have corrupt protectorates in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we wouldn't be trying to hold together the Iran sandwich. We'd be trading with the lot of them, especially the ones with oil. Our businesses might withdraw in the event of a serious crazy spell, but then they'd just wait for the leaders to simmer down and stop beggaring their nations for political gain.

We're not looking to trade with these nations in the normal sense of the term. If we were, we wouldn't threaten to overthrow their governments and pulverize their cities. Doing so is bad for business. It's good for pillaging, though.

Welcome to Rome.

Now for some facts:

The long form questionaire wasn't killed. It was made voluntary. And given that one in five households had to fill it out previously it wasn't a census, it was a survey. Now, the National Household Survey, as it is called will be sent out to one in three households.

Source: Statistics Canada

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/survey-enquete/household-menages/5178-eng.htm

Why the change? Simply, and from a common sense perspective, because it is unjust to ask intrusive, detailed and personal questions and then threaten you with sanctions if you don't want to answer them.

About crime:

Source: Statstics Canada

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2008007/article/10658-eng.htm

Look at the second chart. The rate of violent crime in 1962 was about 200 incidents per 100,000 population. The rate peaked at about 1,100 incidents around 1992 and as of 2007 was around 1,000 incidents per 100,000 population.

Given that the rate was and likely still is 5 times higher than 50 years ago I would say that we have a PROBLEM notwithstanding claims to the contrary.

The same report (1st chart) says that total crime rates (excluding traffic) went from around 3000 incidents per 100,000 population in 1962 to a peak of over 10,000 in the early 1990s to just under 8,000 in 2007.

Next look at the heading "Youth Crime". Look at the chart captioned "Youth Accused of Violent Crime (12 to 17 Years)". It show a steady increase from 1987 of 800 incidents per 100,000 youth to 1600 in 2007. Again I would say we have a PROBLEM.

You can take up drinking if you want. But first look at some facts provided as a courtesy, free of charge as an aid to rational, evidence based discussion.

Ahh so there's the fly in the ointment the funding issue in 2014. No doubt it will be necessary to reduce funding for public care, cause, you know the cons want those nifty F 35 jets. No doubt some politician some where will make nice little pile for him or herself off of that deal or some other equally lucrative boondoggle.

But to be fair libs/cons, repubs/ dems I honestly can't see all that much difference. But one thing is sure, as many here have already pointed out, govt intrusion and control of the population are on the rise, using the slimmest of excuses. Whether it be health care or the denial of said health care, women's care, deluging the population with laws that criminalize practically everything( all those opportunities for making money in the prison system can't be wasted) or just over regulating child care.

Thanks for all the great interaction and comments, as always a real pleasure to exchange views with people who at least care enough to search for what's really happening in the world.
Better sign off now, gotta punch in for daily dime.

I don't give a damn about the separatists and never did. The simple fact is that Francophone Quebecers turned their back on this country. But after a 20 year snit they want a dignified re-entry. But holy smokes are they ever still mad. So they elect the NDP. This has been going on for ten generations and is beyond tiresome.

Yes, the feds have the right to withhold funding. But if the provinces don't want to abide by the terms of the Canada Health Act they don't have to. They have the ability to tax and fund their own programs. They already do.

This was always the goal. And ACME includes Corporations or should I say the Corporations have incorporated the Federal and State Goverment. Break eggs on the small side or the big. Different key words elicit the proper response from different target groups. If one set of words doesn't work, the other probably will. As for the small group who don't salivate - there are ways of dealing with them.

Cash, stop spreading Western Canadian inferiority complex based b.s. to our American friends - Grouchy

Um, Westerners don't think they're inferior. Torontonians and the eastern elite think Westerners are inferior.

I've heard a torrent of similar insulting comments about the West for 20-25 years. So don't pretend this comment is just a one off. It's par for the course.

And the latest insult? Torontonians ask how come Naheed the wise, Naheed the Harvard scholar, Naheed the Muslim is Calgary's mayor instead of Toronto's? Calgary after all is the preserve of uneducated rednecks and bigots after all. Everyone knows this. Right? Whereas Toronto is the sophisticated, cosmopolitan capital of multicultural cool. Right?

And I'm a Torontonian and have been for decades. It's Torontonian, Liberal/liberal superiority I can't abide. I've seen precious little evidence to justify this attitude.

Must be those macho Cajuns ruining things and then blaming it minorities just like in New Orleans.

Holy Mackrel!!! Tornados and Floods are taking out the American heartland!

Oh yeah, here goes Crude Oil racing past $103 again...Taking out the US economy!!!

Oh yeah, here goes Crude Oil racing past $103 again...Taking out the US economy!!!

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

And the sky is falling!

Actually, Cabra1080, "Crude Oil" is not all the same.

For example, light, sweet crude for June delivery settled up $5.37, or 5.5%, to $102.55 a barrel (that was on the New York Mercantile Exchange).

On the other hand, Brent crude (on the ICE futures exchange) settled up $6.77, or 6.2%, to $115.90 a barrel.

Oil prices going up is a good thing, as it is the only kind of incentive that works for people to drive less, use mass transit, car pool, walk, bicycle, etc.

Let's hope crude oil goes up to $180 or above. Then we will see positive behavior changes with regard to fuel consumption and lifestyle choices.

Howdy Cupid,

Probably no need to take umbrage with the apparent randomness of a failure to post. I attempted to post a CFN New Years day present, one of my favorite recipes this past December, to no avail. Pissed me off until I noticed other posters complaining of apparently random non-posting events. I believe it was Progressor who suggested writing in Word or another such word processor and copying it to the comments section to preclude loss of thought train.

SNAFU

My college daughter is already planning not to
buy her own car until she is totally finished
with college and has a fulltime job.
And even then possibly not if she moves to
Brooklyn as she is considering where a car is
not required.
Although a car is still a necessity in today's
suburban teenage existence, for the most part it is
no longer the big status symbol since due to the
great Recession, kids are not getting their own
cars anyway but driving their parents.
The younger generation does not quite understand how auto addiction fits into the bigger picture of
Peak Oil and Climate Change. But most are
fully cognizant of Climate Change as a given
( sorta like gay rights are taken for granted now)
and not aware of Peak Oil per se but well aware
of likely future resource constraints.

'coon hunting' !!!!
You have been doing that here for 2 damn years!

I live off Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica..one of the busiest streets [in the country?]...
We have Raccoons here, but no coyote.


I tried to take a lazy stroll above Malibu last week, at the end of a dirt road where the fire trails start, the place was overrun by Kenneth Branagh[?] n film crew working on his next film.

NO!
but to misqoute you...'viva his conquista'.

Hey TQ, what was your address again? I'll sive ya a silver american eagle for a 50 pound bag of corn!

Lifestyle changes (i.e. bicycling, carpooling, etc.) may not help much at this late stage of the game. There is too much carbon in the air and the permafrost is melting.

We are vegetarians, have solar power and do vegetable gardening and many others across the land are taking up "greener" lifestyles.

However, the main core of society is not doing so and apparently has no intention to change, at least not voluntarily.

The number and intensity of severe storms and the sheer amount of damage to the built environment in recent years is astonishing.

The sky may really be falling, this time...

'Now for some facts':

sometimes facts get in the way of opinions and[ahem] agendas.

The picture that sticks with me is where the E-5 tornado stripped two feet of soil right out of the ground. Unbelievable!

Relax ... or not. It tics me off, too. If you got the message that it was being held for review, it disappeared into cyberspace. Apparently, it's a little glitch in the blog software.

Perhaps to be corrected in the next "version." Gotta save something for those pricey upgrades! There are all kinds of theories floating around on why it happens. But it just seems pretty random.

It's happened to us all, at one time or another. Every time I hit the "submit" button, there's a little hesitation and I hold my breath.

Cash -
Give it a rest, bub. It's a nice day in the north country today. Take a walk. Smell the flowers. Above all, get off line. It'll do you good.
I mean, you're retired, right? I worry about you...
CR

I have successfully defeated the "being held for approval" message by chopping my message into bite size pieces, eliminating any hyperlinks to URLs, and then re-posting. This has only happened two or three times, but each time I was able to break up a larger post and post three small messages with identical content (minus any hyperlinks).

Hope that helps. Don't take it personally.

Do you need land to farm / garden?

SHAREDEARTH.COM


Gardeners / Farmers
Get free access to land and grow what you love, share some of the produce with the land owner and keep the rest.

Land owners get to make more efficient use of their land. Gardeners and farmers get access to land. Our community is built on the premise that we can create a greener, more organic and efficient world one garden at a time. So let's get started!!!!

I worry about Cash, too.

He seems to have an agenda and is a bit blinded by his dedication to his mission (anti-communist, anti-liberal, etc.). His tendencies toward generalization (based upon an anecdote) are also worrisome.

However, I do not believe in psychoanalysis based upon anonymous internet postings, so I do not want to say too much about Cash. Just that I worry about him.

Everyone thinks that the group(s) to which they belong are the best, Cash, except the Irish, who have a deep-seated inferiority complex.

"I do not believe in psychoanalysis based upon anonymous internet postings"

Why not? It is so much fun.

What about Groucho Marx?

'I would refuse to belong to a club that would have someone like me for a member.'

Whatever.

I used to live in the Bay Area. I still have many relatives and friends in the Bay Area. Some of them worked closely with Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies, mostly custody staff at the jail but also patrol officers. They had mostly positive, if not glowing, things to say about the deputies they knew. They also had mostly good experiences with the SJPD and other municipal agencies in Santa Clara County.

These agencies have historically had some of the best recruitment and command structures on the face of the earth, and as far as I know they still do. It shows in the quality of their officers, who stand head and shoulders above the assholes who get hired in some parts of the state.

I wasn't arguing that the SJPD or any other agency in Santa Clara County is staffed by paranoid tyrants or NOPD-grade thugs. Every indication that I've seen is to the opposite effect. To rephrase my real point, if recruiting and command standards fall and assholes with no street smarts end up on patrol in San Jose, they ought to be drummed out of the force. Vigilance is essential, but as far as I know police oversight remains vigilant in Santa Clara County.

Until you start making comments about Santa Clara County that are rooted in discernible reality, I am going to assume that you know jack shit about my former home. Feel free to prove me wrong, but so far you're giving Steve Poizner a run for his funny money.

Vlad sure does know a lot about places he doesn't live and presumably has never visited or last went to 20 years ago. Just ask him...he'll tell you.

Ha, San Jose. It is a bit boring compared with SF, but it is pretty safe. I don't think I've ever seen a homeless bum there, whereas in SF there's at least one on every corner. The cops pretty much take over the downtown area during the weekends. It is not advisable to act like a loud drunken douche there, or you'll end up spending the night in the drunk tank. The city has a "tough on crime" policy which makes it one of the safest cities in California, if not the whole country. Of course, they pay a lot for all those officers, and there is talk of a budget bloodbath that would furlough or lay off a bunch of police and fire.

Overall, it is a sleepy bedroom community. I'm not sure where Vlad gets this image of Norteno and Sureno gansters battling it out every night. A more fitting image would be crickets chirping.

Asia - Have you ever considered moving away from LA? That place scares me. The most fossil fuel dependant place on the planet.

While LA gives a good run for the money, I'd go with Phoenix or some other sprawly desert hellhole.

asia likes living in LA because it gives him an excuse for complaining endlessly about his life. ;)

Hey, what do you all think of Ahmadinejad's peace plan?

http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=240258

Too commie for ya?

Bin brainwashed by the advertising.

I lived in LA (Lost Angeles :-) ) For a few years in the early 70s. Mostly in Orange County and Long Beach. I was there for the gas crunch in '73. The lines, the odd / even days. The things I saw in those gas lines ...

At that point, I decided "I've got to get the hell out of this place before something REALLY serious happens.

So, I moved back to my hometown of Portland, Oregon. A place that has such a good transit system that I didn't even have to own a car for the three years I was there. If I HAD to live in a city again, it would be Portland.

the american billionairs way of life is non negotiable - dick

Nice weeks work, JHK. A good look back at what we once had, everywhere, as a Nation. And a look ahead into - - -

I don't know - it's just hard to picture things ever changing, ever again. Wal-Mart and the big boxes have KILLED main street, except for those infernal boutiques, nail salons, and tanning stores.

Why doesn't Wal-Mart do tanning, anyway?
Has anyone ever seen a Wally World with tanning beds? I have not.

============
Best JHK lines of the week -
"This must be the longest period of history for a particular teen fashion - going on two decades now? When even teenagers lack the enterprise to think up a new look (that is, to make a fresh statement about who they are), you know you're in a moribund society."
-jhk-

Well analyzed.

Thank you fellow cluster fuckers for your explanations as to why my perfectly civil and complimentary comments might have disappeared.

Being hopelessly dyslexic I have to do the type into word, cut and paste thing, otherwise I would not be able to make any comment at all. Also it was plain text with no clever links. I did see that it had been posted and appeared for a period of time.

I fail to understand how my comment was deleted unless it was by human hand, rather than a computer glitch, or perhaps some other cunning stunt.

I am grown up enough not to allow this to interfere with my sleep and hope that others do not have the same difficulty.

San Jose, of all places, is behind enemy lines in a race war? Holy shit that's crazy.

I'll back you up if you argue that parts of Oakland meet that description. I won't agree with the irredeemable black savage gloss that you'll inevitably put on the matter, but I don't believe in pretending that there isn't a serious racial angle to the violence that plagues Oakland.

Neither, for that matter, did Chauncey Bailey. So it isn't just Whitey who gives a damn about the damage done by black criminals. If that were the case, you, not Chauncey Bailey, would have been assassinated by Your Black Muslim Bakery.

As far as the Latino war on white Anglos that you've inferred, it's worth remembering that the Nortenos and Surenos started as rival NorCal and SoCal Latino prison gangs. They're the products of a cross-state rivalry that turned hellish in the hands of hardened criminals with nothing better to do. Their real beef is with fellow Mexicans from the wrong part of the state. The other major Latino gang, MS-13, is basically a drug gang on steroids.

Only in your imagination do these gangs form a unified KKK of the Reconquista. Their racial bigotry is largely incidental. And only in your imagination does the average California Latino not despise them more viscerally than you do. To you, these gangs are bad in theory because they're dirty Mexican criminals. To law-abiding barrio residents, they're scum of the earth who terrorize their neighborhoods and need to be in prison.

Comment on AMR's description of the lameness of public school administrators: Having taught for 7 years including four in the Cleveland ghetto, I can only endorse your perceptions about school administrators. The fact that they are petrified with fear at rebellious poses and in fact allow such issues to consume their every waking thought with nary a wink to real academic questions proves that they are engaged not in academics, but mere crowd control.

I recently read a description of a young teacher's first year in Harlem as a NYC public school teacher [in the online version of Newsweek] and the emotional problems she was forced to deal with attempting to overcome the chaotic atmosphere in her classroom likewise proves that she was primarily engaged in the business of babysitting.

If all anyone wants to do is control these kids then why don't we simply turn all the public schools into military academies? Better yet Maritime Academies because then we could actually isolate them aboard a training vessel which is assigned a box in Lake Superior to patrol endlessly and pointlessly.

Yet people continue to insist that something is actually going on in these schools. I'm not buying it. So long as I continue to believe that babysitting is all that we're getting I'll continue to vote "no" on every school levy. As pointed out so convincingly by Jim in "The Long Emergency" this make believe activity called public school will be suspended once there is no more money to waste on that exercise in futility and most people are once again engaged full time in low-tech. food production to stave off hunger pains.

The decline WK mentions along Rt. 22 in upstate NY parallels that in the rest of NY state; I don't know about the rest of the country. In the part of upstate NY I lived in, the decline was underway when I moved there in the early 70's, and it was a slow downhill slide, punctuated by a few downward spikes. But the local leaders, and our Congressman, kept up the 'good times are just around the corner' sales pitch. After all, what else could they have done?

The state of NY created various enterprise programs, designed to attract new businesses to the region, but we saw very little progress; some of us noticed that 'entrepreneurs' from NYCity came in, got the tax breaks and incentive money, and then in a couple years, pulled out and shut down.

It's hard for me to believe that this 'upstate NY' scenario might be playing all across the country, but I'm sorry if it is, for I know how it was in upstate NY: very slow economy, lowering prosperity, but on a downward slope that was just above the threshold of 'oh my god.' This was the crazy part---change downward was just slow enough to keep people hoping, and staying. After 15 years, I left, having lived that slow boat to decline long enough.

So, I don't know what to say, other than, watch out for the governmental 'be happy' propaganda---instead, drive around and look at your local area, read the local business and financial press, then make up your own mind.

The truth is, America incents business to move overseas. One way it does so is to allow cheap Chinese or Latin American labor to make shirts for America where the labor costs are 50 cents a day, but we pay $50 per shirt for those goods. No tariffs. No regard for American labor or American local companies. So, unless this changes, we will continue to see wage arbitrage, lower incomes, and higher prices for all things.

And we've given the farm to banks and Wall Street.

Americans are letting America down by not fighting for better. We elect the same clowns who have sold the country out. Any time a mom and dad WATCH their 6 yo daughter being fondled by TSA and do nothing other than post a youtube video of the situation to get 'opinions from others' shows me how passive we've become. Our passivity will trump hope.

Good Luck.

SJPD didn't always crack down on the rowdies and the homeless. In the seventies and eighties they basically let the homeless do whatever they wanted as long as they weren't violent or a danger to themselves.

There was one demented old bum who used to get arrested on pretexts when it rained; he did all right when it was dry, but he became a hypothermic wreck in the rain, so the beat cops did what it took to get him three hots and a cot until the weather cleared. There was another bum who used to moon San Jose cops with impunity and got into a righteous lather when some Menlo Park cops arrested her for dropping her pants.

The last time I was in San Jose was a weeknight when there wasn't much of a police presence. I got solicited by a streetwalker while I waited for the midnight Amtrak bus to Santa Barbara. I figure the downtown cops probably knew about her, but I can't say for sure. She didn't seem worried about them in any event.

You're right about police and fire pay schedules in San Jose. They're extremely generous, and I'm not surprised that the city is overextended. It's probably a good idea for the SJPD to hire only reserves until the union is willing to negotiate pay and bennies downward. Public sector employee contracts have bankrupted or made insolvent a number of municipalities in recent years, and even a city as wealthy as San Jose can't live in a bubble forever.

It's hard for me to believe that this 'upstate NY' scenario might be playing all across the country

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

It is not playing out that way here in the Southwest. We have more new people arriving all the time with new ideas and energy for change. Solutions oriented people who are not into complaining 24/7.

And we welcome the immigrants from Mexico because they want to be here, obey the laws so as not to be deported, and they work hard, and have family values.

Things are good in this part of the USA.

I don't doubt there will be a "winnoing out" process, but in its course (especially in the early stages) there will be lots of confused rage on the part of about 62% of the population, seeking easy targets at which to aim that rage for instant and momentary psychological relief (at least that's the growing concensus among behavioral science researchers).

That percentage is the more compliant/docile set within any population, formulated in that ratio by evolution to preserve tribal cohesiveness proved necessary for survival. This is not the critical thinking set, but the set which quickly mobilizes into mobs or defensive parameters when a threat (symbollic or real) is felt.

In our world in which symbolic threats are media manufactured and crafted as ongoing distration from the "real", things can get really shitty when calorie needs outstrip pscyhological pacifier needs.

At some point all the intellectualizing of issues will be pushed aside by tribal warrior face paint patterns -- if you can't immediately sign as "one of us" then you get killed as "one of them". You see it today in traditional religious garb no less than in the past. We're going to get back to basics really fast.

I'm looking for a cave wall to paint on.

Layaway, you say "Just so the Libs lose, that's all that matters." As long as the party you don't like loses, then everything is just hunky-dory, right? As long as somebody identifies as a "Lib" then in your mind they are a bad person, regardless of whether you know anything at all about them.

It seems to me that if we are ever going to start to straighten out the mess we are in, we will have to stop dwelling so much on "us" versus "them" or "your party" versus "my party" or "the Democrats" versus "the Republicans" and learn to cooperate and work together to do what is best for the people and the planet and all the other species that live on it. Perhaps the whole party system needs to go, so that individuals are elected because they are honourable, intelligent people who have a deep understanding of the issues facing us and a good amount of sanity, rather than because they belong to one party or another, or can collect the most money in campaign contributions. It would be better if those who are elected can vote for what they really believe in instead of voting along the "party line", which is based on partisan rhetoric and hatred of the other party. A lot of people who run for a particular party don't even believe in everything that party says it stands for, but when they vote they have to follow the party line (at least they do here in Canada where we have what's called a "whip". A majority government with 167 members in the House of Commons out of a total of 308 representatives can do whatever it wants to do, in spite of the fact that 141 members of the elected and their constituents don't agree with it. So just because the "ruling party" has 26 more representatives, they can do whatever they want to do. This means that when a decision is made, nearly half the country disagrees with it, but they still have to go along with it because it is made law. How can this be a good thing? And we in Canada have an appointed Senate, not an elected one, which can override any vote of the House of Commons. Our Prime Minister recently appointed a whole bunch of Conservative Senators. So now the House and the Senate are both Conservative. And Harper is going to be able to appoint a bunch of new Supreme Court justices to replace those who are retiring. There are no checks and balances. It looks more like a dictatorship to me, not a democracy.

Gang on gang murder is on the rise in San Jose. They tend to wack each other off in neighborhoods on the east side. But generally, crime is low in my neighborhood. We have more than enough cops.

I don't think their are any real gang members at the high school. Wannabees, yes....thus the rules about clothing. The administrators at the school are very uptight.

That being said, I'm always uptight about my daughter's safety. I really don't like her outside walking alone...even if it's daytime. I prefer she have a friend along. Some moms think I'm too uptight, but because my sister was raped at knifepoint by a stranger when she was 17, I have my reasons for being vigilent and cautious.

Jen

You've quite handily missed the point (as most delusionistas and purposeful subject-changers do).
Have fun in your "BAU World of Wonder" (tm Disney)!

Hey Helen, Cash and all
Checking in on a break to see how the gang is doing. Such good comments and sharp commentary, I don't think much of the population in North America is lazy or doesn't realize something pretty bad is happenin, sorry Jim, just don't buy it.

I think a key point that is being missed by all the fairly politically oriented people here is the old divide and conquer game plan. The political life of most of the western world as far as I can see has been highjacked by really rich types( think Koch brothers and tea party funding) in order to stage the old as the hills divide and conquer strategy. Old but effective. We as a whole population need to unite, see where we can help each other. Not hopelessly get mired in the political paradigm that is being staged for us by folks that are making several million every few months. They obviously live in a different universe from most of us stiffs that have to worry about- can we retire?, maybe if we're really lucky at 69 or 70?

So take it easy on Cash and Helen and everyone here. Cause we are all in the same boat. Unless some of you have several million "put back" for your golden years. This humble "consumer" doesn't, and I highly doubt any current political party will stand up for us working stiffs and even think of basic livin for the elderly or poor, after all we aren't gonna cough up many campaign bucks.

Until next week gang

Hey, great idea: Reboot history to rectify all perceived injustices!

How far back should we go, back to the genocide that probably wiped out the Neanderthal? No, I guess that’s too far back; too complicated attempting to unravel the human genome to determine how to “justly” distribute land and resources.

Uh,…how about back to the age of the Romans? Oh, that too might prove cumbersome considering all the dispossessions and enslavements that occurred across Europe and the Near East. Messy, messy, messy.

Well then, should we try rebooting back only to Ghingus Khan. No, I guess not; he not being Caucasian or European just wouldn’t satisfy today’s PC sensibilities – skewed as they are toward bias that only “white folk” commit atrocities.

OK, OK, I got it, maybe back only to Christopher Columbus? Yeah, that has a nice pacifying ring to it. However, we’d certainly need to gloss over the clutter of internecine wars among the Native American tribes before the arrival of Europeans.

Damn, this sure gets puzzling! Oh,….now I have it! Let’s all just join hands and sing cum-ba-yah. Forget about national sovereignty, borders, representative precincts and all the government structure of democracy. Sure, everybody will willingly give up traditional and religious dress, habits, beliefs, etc. -- all the trappings that serve to distinguish us apart. We’ll all be instantly 21st century Unitarian, embracing an appreciation that the earth is finite and that God’s plan really didn’t call for every egg delivered down a woman’s fallopian tube be fertilized and brought to fruition. Yea!!!

...if Obama had ordered a capture, and a trial, instead of an extra-juidicial assassination of an unarmed man

So exclaim the Monday morning quarterbacks from the comfort of their chairs as they type.

Sorry, but with the extreme risk of the situation, and being shot at & having a helicopter fail, it was not worth it to attempt a live capture. Given the incredible skill levels of Team Navy Seal #6 veterans, I'm satisfied with their decisions.

I would take one of these #6 guys over 5 ordinary Americans any day. I honor these guys, even though I want mil spending cut in half.

I'm glad you're so even tempered. It drives me bat-shit. Stuff like this happens all the time in cyberspace. There's never any explanation, no one is ever responsible. The best you can do is que up Leonard Nimoy .... "The Mysteries of .... Cyberspace!"

Technology is wonderful ... when it works :-) .

"We are vegetarians, have solar power and do vegetable gardening and many others across the land are taking up "greener" lifestyles.

However, the main core of society is not doing so and apparently has no intention to change, at least not voluntarily."
-cabra 1080-

Laudable things, all, Cabra. If you enjoy them, keep doing them. If you think that these things are preparing you for life, post-peak oil collapse, then keep doing them.

But otherwise, conservation serves no purpose for US residents, because of increases in population of the United States.

Are you aware that almost 100,000 LEGAL immigrants are allowed into the US every single month? The US can not "conserve" its way out of the crisis of increasing populations and increasing consumption of resources by US residents.

The only solution is to reduce the population growth rate where we can - and that is inside the US.

Join FAIR.
http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer

"Reboot history to rectify all perceived injustices!"

Nothing new. Just considered impractical by the brainsoiled.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/living-economies/532

"We have no idea what we're going to do as a people and absolutely no credible thought on this emanates from the upper echelons."

The proverbs state that without a vision the people perish. Worse than having no credible thought, the upper echelons seek to constantly divide the people. It's as if they exalt in the decay of the hinterlands. I think they're waiting for all of us to just die politely. If that doesn't happen, the war freaks will solve the problem for us. Long Live the War on Terror!

Loveday, I totally agree with you that we have to give up the "divide and conquer" mentality and unite to do what is needed to get us out of the terrible mess we are in. I voted in our recent election here in Canada, but I voted for a party I don't like because I thought they had a chance of beating the party I like even less, whereas the party I really like didn't stand a chance. What a crazy system. And no matter which party "wins", it always seems to be just more of the same old same old.

"Who was Osama Bin Laden, anyway?"

The most convenient patsy available at the time?

"And EU investors are going to get a Yul Brynner style haircut."

Yul Brynner was cool. That's who I'd want to be if I didn't have any hair. And after the EURO is gone the USD will have a very short life span.

Gracie, anyone who's been alive longer than 30 years has been able to denote the gradual growing hopelessness of the youth as demonstrated by their grunginess. Many say this is due mainly to the economic situation. What many fail to note is that along with the economic decay has come a parallel moral decay, and knowing which came first will unveil the cause and effect of why this is all happening.

"You sound a bit sad Jim, but then that's what you get for actually looking at America. You need to hunker down in front of the idiot box with some Pringles and a remote. Dancing with the Stars will cheer you up!"

LOL, best laugh all day! But if Jim did that what would he blog about? DWTS reviews? "such a stunning outfit!" "Did you see that pirouette!"
I'm sure there are already 1000's of those blogs.

What are you talking about JHK? The American people and the press are ready to face reality-peak everything,climate change, the mafia style run government and business( it looked cooler when Al Pacino did it). Read the number 2 story on CNN

http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2011/05/09/jvm.royal.scandal.hln&hpt=P1&iref=NS1

MY Western NY City is fine, deaths in home from co poisoning, family could not afford the RGE gas and electric bill,more job lost,decay, even the suburb food banks critical low,but our one newspaper tow,n Gannett will make sure eveything is fine. In our burb the Reps face another election unopposed. The Dems just gave up. Back to planting more trees, oh well.

Cabra1080, PorC regularly gives IMMIGRATION statistics here, but never gives EMIGRATION statistics here.

There are two sides to the story. People are arriving and people are leaving the USA.

Hundreds of thousands have left for places like Panama and Mexico and other countries where life (with USA dollars) can be better than the picture JHK paints about life in the USA. Those EMIGRANTS who are "seniors" take their retirement monies with them and live very well.

http://www.ngiweb.com/emigration.htm

Al Klein: From my vantage point, it seems that we have created a world to match a celluloid reverie, only to discover that it is not sustainable.

Al, I may have posted this before, but it won't hurt to do it again:

Between Disney, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue, postwar America didn't have a chance at forming a reality-based national consensus.

The chickens of this decades-long distraction and propaganda have come home to roost.

Cheers

A Letter from Out Here ... Rural Western Washington, half-way between Portland and Seattle.

OK. I bit and checked out the "Royal Scandal" link, above. The most startling thing about it was the 15 second ad lead in to the "story."
A warm, teddy bear of a geologist for Exxon telling us all how wonderful it was that we found all this gas, "Right under our feet!" in shale. The word fracking was not uttered.

I really don't understand commodities and have not direct connection to those markets. But this was an interesting article about the plunge in oil prices. It was those darned old computer algorithms, again.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_financial_oil_rout

More interesting, to me, was the fact that silver was down 30% in one week. Someone actually uttered the words "Metals Bubble." I have a coin store a couple of doors down. For months, people(mostly senior citizens) have been running in and out of there bearing heavy little boxes and bags. The coin dealer was not observed on the sidewalk, either slashing his wrists or blowing out his brains. A nice guy, but a sharpey. No matter which way the wind blows, I'm sure he'll do fine.

I've taken a few bits and pieces of sterling to auction, along with all the other crap I'm cleaning out. Unfortunately, it hasn't hit the block yet, so I suppose it won't bring as much as a week ago. But, in unloading all this stuff, my mantra has been: "What it sells for is what it's worth."

I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember ... About 20 years ago, there was a big silver bubble. Turned out, two Texas Oil brothers, the Hunts, were trying to corner and manipulate the silver market. I was working in an antique mall, then. Guys would show up with little scales, weighing up sterling pieces. A lot of arty little pieces were turned into little bars.

Talked to the guy today that is key to my moving out to the country. Together we estimate it has about a 50 - 50 chance of actually coming to reality. That little loop road has had farmsteads along it (mostly gone) since the 20s. I wonder if there are any fruit or nut trees about that might need a gleaning.

Made a trip out to the store, tonight. It's warm and clear here. Smells like spring. A woman in front of me at check-out was having a meltdown as her favorite snack cracker was not on sale as supposed. The one's in the red box were on sale. Not the blue box. She was clearly off her meds. Won't do well in the long emergency.

The roving gangs of young men are out and about, howling in the streets. Their philosophy is "I'm bored, let's break something." They stay at home if it rains. I won't be making any more trips out at night. So it goes from...

CFN Post 5, Western Cascadian Division Lew, out.


JHK, I Liked this one a lot. My take on it is that the USA and in a different way and a more subtle extent, the EU and JAPAN are all being "Decommissioned", are all slowly but gradually being taken apart, are all slowly decaying into "has beens": their era of glory, the USA winning WWII, their model of consumer - capitalist economy being exported to and adapted to much of the EU and JAPAN (and world), who like little brothers to the USA are destined to follow the destiny of the USA whether they like it or not, the young families, the "baby booms", the optimism, hippies and counterculture, the experimentation, the faith in PROGRESS, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, THE MIND and the FUTURE, the reconstruction, the technology of the era allowing people to raise families with stable jobs, all the technology that had to still be applied and discovered, and so many other social, economical and most of all cultural - psychological elements etc. are all ENDING.

And they are ending BIG TIME, but slowly, like a frog that boils, no one notices. Close a plant here, outsource there, automate over there, lay off a few slobs there, hire some others here (so as it being barely noticeable), and so on.

My large scale theory and narrative of all of this is simply the Technological Economy applying all of its know how and power and technology and science to all productive endeavors, killing a lot of work, and destined to kill a lot more in the future: I honestly, no matter how hard I try, cannot see what and where and what kinds of jobs can compensate all of those that are and will be lost. The entire idea of 8 hours a day in a place, constantly doing some kinds of manipulations, informational or physical seems to be more and more remote, and especially someone paying for it, and paying a living wage, I just can't see how.

You say it is oil that is the single point of failure, that external hard core limitation that will kill the our entire civilization. Well, I don't know. I tend to think sometimes that you may be right, but really, cannot know and don't think many can know, no matter what, the world is just to large, the way corporations, governments and other entities operate to extract oil is just to complex and vast to predict. And then my take on it is that somehow, no matter what, alternative energy systems will be implemented, will be forced, all kinds of alternatives will be attempted, even social organizational.

One thing is for sure, the USA, EU and JAPAN are slowly decaying like old men, no doubt about that, probably some hope is in the vast areas of the developing world, Latin America, parts of India and China, Indonesia, etc.

If Hoosick Falls gets you down you can take Route 9 east for 90 minutes and visit a normal town called Brattleboro. It's kind of cheap to blame citizens for Walmart. The good news is that Walmart, as you observe, is on the cusp of their own destruction. There are still communities in the US, and many in less developed countries, that are operating in a manageable scale. I live in a former farming community where today my neighbor calls the cops if he hears my dogs bark. The dogs will have the last laugh.

"Cabra1080, PorC regularly gives IMMIGRATION statistics here, but never gives EMIGRATION statistics here.

There are two sides to the story. People are arriving and people are leaving the USA."
-asoka, to Cabra1080-

Cabra, the environmental costs are immense - regardless of direction of migration.

No one leaves the US, deliberately, to grow corn and carry it to market on his back in a Mexican village, for example.

Very few leave the US to live a sustainable life elsewhere - oh, NO - American expat's want to go elsewhere to stretch their pension dollars into a new version of the "non-negotiable" American lifestyle - except with maids and gardeners.

My wife and I, at the suggestion of one of her Thai teaching friends, actually looked into living in Thailand and working as English teachers for a couple of years - and banking the money for a Mexican retirement lifestyle - as asoka suggests.

The environmental costs were HUGE - with plane flights home at least twice/year to playcate the female half of the relationship. "If Momma ain't happy - ain't nobody happy."

Our final conclusion was that it was illogical and unsustainable. We decided to stay home to help our families and help our local community/state.

If everyone would do this - the world might have a better chance. Part of the reason some "third world hellholes" are hellholes, is that their best and brightest keep leaving for the US and other places - and never go back home.

Discouraging immigration into the US is one important way, I have found, of being a good steward of global resources.

Join FAIR, or a similar organization - there are several good ones -


Beautiful essay, Jim, with your elegiac, evocative picture of upper New England and New York State, past and present. Clearly places without hope for a future, and with no knowledge of what has been lost.

Don't be too hard on the people you see there. These are the type of folk I myself come from. They just don't have a clue as to what has happened to themselves, their families, their towns, their country.

It was interesting that you mentioned Cold Harbor, that bloody battle outside Petersburg, Va. in June, 1864, where 10,000 Union infantrymen were shot down by Robert E. Lees 'Army of Northern Virginia' in 15 minutes. I recently read an essay about a New York Regiment from your area that fought there, the "Orange Blossoms", yielding hundreds of casualties in mass suicide attacks ordered by Grant and Meade. It also talked about the distinguished post-Civil War careers of many of the members of this regiment.

On a happier note, El Toro Farm, "LaCasa de la Dolce' Tomatinos", of the Farmington Valley, CT, is in business with the planting of several hundred Tomato Plants. Now that was a lot of work.

Ibendet, I finished 'Griftopia'. Taobbi answered many of my questions about the events of 2007-2008 in the financial markets. I found it interesting, however, that in his chapter about oil he did not mention the peal oil theory but blamed high prices soley on speculators and their activities in the commodity markets. Taobbi seems to think there is plenty of oil to go around now and forever, which is counter to the premise of this site.

He also is hard on the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, as if they had any real power or influence to affect events 4 years ago or even now. On the real estate collapse he did not even mention the day Jesse Jackson and AG Janet Reno held that news conference outside the Justice Dept., talking about red-lining, that is, banks not making enough mortgage loans in minority communities, and menacingly suggesting they'd better get to it or face the full force of discrimination law. I distinctly remember thinking, "What's going to happen when these loans don't get payed back?"

Now I know.

Marlin
El Toro Farm
"LaCasa de la Dulce Tomatines"

Spider,
Good post, but I think that you are observing the de-evolution without tackling the reason why. There are various moving parts to the ideology of neoliberalism, meaning free markets without regulation or government oversight.

Of course these entities love government when it comes to helping their efforst and bailing them out. Its called global corporate communism. Your tax dollars should not come back to you in any way.

The first stage was supply-side economics through Reagan's administration. Sherman anti-trust laws were sidelined while companies bought smaller companies, laying people off. Then came NAFTA where our tax laws were made to help off-shoring of jobs, first to Mexico and then to China and India.

The idea here is that we are falling into disintegration, but that doesn't mean they can't sell or "rent" these towns to foreign investment sovereign funds who may want to turn a profit by re-building the areas. The idea is to not have enough revenues so that we will be forced to sell our public domain to the lowest bidder.
Why those disintegrating towns could be turned into expensive money making ventures for the global elite, for all we know, becoming too expensive for the US population.

You need to understand the vision thing, Spider if you want to make sense of the global sausage-making enterprise. It's not about nationality anymore. That is just a quaint notion in the minds of the elite.
___________

On silver and gold. There is a drop in price, but if you listen to Max Keiser on the subject, it should be seen as currency. There's a reason why China and India, etc. are trying to get as much as they can. Who knows really what the next currency will be based on. Gold wasn't going to allow for the kind of play we've seen in the past few decades, so it may have to be based on some abstraction. Countering that idea, maybe by the time this whole enterprise goes down, the various power players in the world will decide they had enough of this phony baloney and we are back to precious metals.

And, oh yea, Ripthunder, will be headed to range for another session tomorrow with a friend of my son, a big fan of Alex Jones.

I have a different take on some of these kids than Jim does. Many of them are aware that the future is pretty bleak, 'specially in the former working class, and adopt an "I don't give a f--k" attitude. This frees them up to criticize everybody and everything, and not to take any s--t from anybody, such as those in authority trying to bullshit them about their bright future if only they would buckle down. They know its alot of bullshit.

Will be bringing several Russian Mosin Nagants, a Winchester 94, and of course a Marlin.

-Marlin

Marlin,
Interesting points about Taibbi's take on the oil situation. I think though that his point is valid for the moment. There is (oil) capacity presently and many agree with him that when the Roosevelt law, the Commodity Exchange Act was brushed aside, it made it possible to drive up prices as if the investor was functionally buying oil for processing when in fact they are doing nothing but acting as buyers for price bidding. So that's where we are right now. There is not an oil shortage that is driving up price at this point in time. There may not be enough in strategic reserves to keep the enterprise going if there's a hiccup in the system, though.
But Taibbi did not address that.--Hey nobody's perfect...

One more thing, Marlin
If you really want to know the world we are living in, I still highly recommend Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine and the Rise of Disaster Capitalism."

Greetings Jen, When I was in school back in the last century, 1960's, we were not allowed to wear jeans or tee shirts. These were all public schools. I remember in High school, they would have a jeans day once a year and the students were allowed to wear jeans. I still call them dungarees and the young folk don't even know what I'm talking about. The only people with tattoos were old sailors.

Vis a vis the decline of small town America everyone should try reading "The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America" by William Kleinknecht. This book explains how the Reagan administration's deregulation of the transportation industry directly led to the decline of the viability of the small town in this country.

Have you been paying attention to James Kunstler and what Peak Oil theorists have been saying?
We are halfway through the oil left on the planet
and consuming it at record rates. The oil that is left is increasing expensive to extract lying 1 mile below the ocean as in the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster or requiring energy expensive highly polluting extraction as in the Canadian tar sands.
This of course fundamentally impacts the rate of supply of oil, the expense of supplying it and in turn the price irregardless of speculators.
Yes, speculators will take advantage of any chance to make a short-term buck and undoubtedly led to
an overshoot of oil prices in 2008 to $147 per barrel. Which then led to the financial collapse and roller coaster drop in oil prices way below
their true levels in the months after July, 2008.
But the delusionists of both the right and left
seem unwilling to accept the reality that as oil
runs out and has hit the most that can be produced per day/week/month that unless demand is
drastically cut via cutting Wars and autos, prices
will continue to rise.
Eventually prices will rise until demand falls just because people can no longer afford to drive, fly etc.
A major increase in public transit could be done very quickly if it was really made a priority.
I just watched an interview (cannot remember exact link) in which it was pointed out that after
the US got into WWII it stopped selling new cars,
rationed gasoline and tires and tripled public transit ridership in months.
Of course in the '40's the US still had most of
its trolley and Rail systems available and functioning.
But it shows you what is possible.
In the meantime gas prices will rise until the economy crashes again unless we stop Wars and
auto addiction.
It is not something to wave a magic wand or just
blame on evil speculators....

Don't know if everyone's seen this:
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3201781.htm
Excellent reporting from overseas, natch. You can tell it's from abroad - no requisite interviews with oil industry executives who assure us that everything's fine and we have enough shale and tar sands for a thousand years, etc. etc., and no sugar-coated happy ending.

In other news, as reported by the BBC:
Shale gas drilling contaminates drinking water.

You totally misunderstand me. I'm discussing the moment in time, not the bigger picture. If you want to discuss why the oil prices have been shooting up recently is what I'm addressing. I'm totally with this blog about peak oil as well as Energy Bulletin and The Oil Drum among other sites I visit daily.
I'm strictly sticking with an economic paradigm that is counter-intuitive to making economies work, is all.

I enjoy your writing and generally agree with your assessment of our impending economic, social and political decline - disagreeing perhaps with the severity of the decline. However, you continue to depreciate your message with idiotic, baseless attacks on conservative media, politicians and apparently anyone who doesn't see the world as you do. Your statement "the truth is that Fox News would like to send Team Six into the oval office with guns blazing and helmet cams on 'record.'" is baseless. If a conservative blogger wrote something like that (substituting ABC news for FOX) it would be branded as hate speech by liberals such as yourself. And, of course, you get the less astute readers of your work aping your comments and taking them at face value. All of us who read your work know you're a (apparently far left) liberal. You diminish your message with these attacks.

Well, we have less astute citizens supporting every political level & they cling to messages from a wide range of media. Too bad for those that can't appreciate hyperbola, use of humor and a well turned phrase. The weekly JHK essay is intended to be entertaining. Our host would be disingenuous if he wasn't true to his leanings and world view.

hyperbole (sp)

Wholly Schickelgruber, Marlin!
Hundreds of tomahto plants? Wow, got canning jars? Very ambitious. Keep that bull outta the 'mater patch...
Crap, that's what I forgot to get s'more of (jars) down in the flatlands yesterday. Now, if I can get the wife off the dime to purchase those "lifetime" jar tops, we'll be better set for future. I have a slim hope for the coming years; hers is even slimmer. ;o)

I think (through a drenching fog, blearily) you had asked if I'd read any Burroughs as yet. I fergitted to order it! The lie-berry will be open tomorrow from 3 to 6 (woo-hoo!), so I'll have to hie me hence and get their gear going for a borrowing from the lenders.

On yet 'nother note, check this.
Hours for the bar down the way:
M - closed; T - closed; W - 3 to 9; Thur - 3 to 9; Fri - 12 to 9; Sun - 12 to 8

Think times ain't a bit "squeaky"? There's your indicator, when the bar bidness (fer cry-eye) has to cut back hours 'cause people can't find the do-re-mi to pay the markup on beers 'n' liquor for to pour down their necks. (No sense paying the lights and feeding the stoves for no ROI.)

Regarding young'uns; met another doing the retail clerking [with one more year of "paid edu" left], who is well aware that THAT particular "vocation" is OVER, babies. And, he knows the resources for all the useless crap, and the commodification of damn-near-everything will be ending very soon. So, it seems they're quietly "getting their minds right", as we might say.

Anyhoo, good comments; good luck with the patch; and happy shootin'.

Good "adjustment" back to the real; thanks for the focus. (We do tend to lose that by the constant "hot-buttoning" getting thrown around.)

"For those who haven’t read Orwell’s classic prediction of our time, Big Brother, the government, could tell the “citizens” any lie and it was accepted unquestioningly. As a perceptive reader pointed out to me, we Americans, with our “free press,” are at this point today: “What is really alarming is the increasingly arrogant sloppiness of these lies, as though the government has become so profoundly confident of its ability to deceive people that they make virtually no effort to even appear credible.”

A people as gullible as Americans have no future." -PCR

Ahhhh; spring is here and the country's getting nervous. No wonder.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28062.htm

As we slide slowly but inexorably toward chaos...

The plan for immigration reform Obama is hatching for America follows along the line of industrial farming practices. You see, value of citizenship has been reduced down to consumer of commodities. Translated; cram into available space as many as possible. To hell with quality of life issues that can’t be tabbed to sales receipts. Soon we’ll be drinking our own piss and standing in our own shit. Welcome to a future of standing in food distribution lines or free lancing in the local trash dump as is practiced in India.

...except the Irish, who have a deep-seated inferiority complex. - MH

Really? I'm surprised. Why do you say this?

...but I'm still left in the dark about what the actual Harper policies are. - LD

Your guess is as good as mine. I could show you their election platform ie eliminate the deficit by 2015, strengthen the military blah, blah. But IMO they'll be overtaken by crises and events and they'll make things up on the fly.

Cash said: "...eliminate the deficit by 2015, strengthen the military..."

======

I guess nobody learns from the USA experience that strengthening the military creates the deficit. The USA has spent TRILLIONS of dollars on the military and now has a deficit of TRILLIONS of dollars. THE MILITARY PRODUCES NOTHING. MILITARY SPENDING HAS NO MULTIPLIER EFFECT LIKE SPENDING IN THE CIVILIAN SECTOR HAS. THE MILITARY EXISTS TO DESTROY INFRASTRUCTURE AND KILL PEOPLE.

Jim

After reading your spring Upstate travelog, i'm wondering if the Clusterflock might want to quietly repopulate one of these crumbling towns and its hinterland. Some have a "walkable downtown", potential for local power generation, nearby farmland, maybe even a rail line, and enough remaining infrastructure to be viable post collapse. Despite your observation, i think the locals are generally worthy folk. If a critical mass chose one area to "flock" to, it might fare better than other areas. Just an idea, don't know if there would be enough interest for it to work out.

jfsabastian:

Kunstler's views are anything but those of the establishment left.

I do think once in a while his views show a bit of confusion, such as when he praises big government programs, despite his clear understanding that our debt ridden centralized system of governance is a path to oblivion.

But clearly he heaps a lot of criticism on the establishment of the Democratic as well as Reblican parties, so a partisan hack he is anything but.

Yes he can be hyperbolic discussing Fox News or tea partiers, but he does not hesitate to likewise bash imbecilic icons of the left such as Paul Krugman.

Based on what you've seen and heard and your own gut feel what do you figure is the true story with OBL? Died 10 yrs ago? Is he in a Pakistani refuge under ISI protection?

No matter what the real story is with the SEAL raid, secrets nowadays are impossible to keep. Sooner or later someone will blab. Govts may sprinkle out their own brand of pixie dust to counter the truth-tellers. But I think that pretty soon, unless OBL resurfaces, thumbs his nose and says nah, nah, yah missed me, yah missed me, the world is going to move on. When was the last time you heard the name Yasser Arafat?

I think OBL is probably dead. Given that there's no honour among thieves, I think he was ratted out. I heard that OBL neighbours are telling the press that the Pakistani Army were telling them to keep their lights out and were cordoning off the area shortly before the raid. Maybe the Pakistanis were getting sick of this Arab pain-in-the-ass in their midst and served him up. The guy also had a multi-million dollar bounty on his head. Really tempting for some that might like to bulk up their Swiss bank accounts. I wonder if any money changed hands.

Interesting times..... I talk to a wide variety of people, from young to old and from well-off to working class. EVERYONE I talk to seems to be feeling at least a “pinch”, many more seem to be feeling a serious “squeeze”. This includes doctors who, despite the widespread perception otherwise, have had the insurance companies and hospitals mauling them pretty good the last few years. Many are fighting to pay overhead which still seems to rise in the face of flat or declining revenue. Just up the street from me lives a Harvard grad Hedge Fund Manager. His house is starting to look pretty shabby, and has for a couple of years; I don't see any effort to do the necessary maintenance.

Friend of mine is sending his kid to a “3D” technology school in Canada in the fall, in spite of the high cost. The hope is he will learn skills necessary to enter the movie or video game “industry”. The fear is, if he doesn't get a job on graduation (1 year intensive), his skills will be obsolete very quickly. In Santa Barbara, where my friend lives, post-grad 20 something unemployment is running over 20%.

Another friend is renting a beautiful, well maintained, 4,000 sf older home/office conversion, very conveniently located, (which use to hold a title company) for $2,000 a month after it set idle for 18 months. I would guess that building would have sold for about $1,100,000 four years ago. Do the math on that one you MBA's. I see commercial space, especially office, setting idle all over town. The only “growth industry” seems to be the local university. While there is retail space downtown available at any time, it certainly isn't a ghost town.

In spite of all this, the restaurants seem to be swamped at night, especially on any weekend night, and prices are noticeably higher than a couple years ago. Young people make up a significant portion of this traffic. Many of them have “fashion accessories” which would likely have made them unemployable five years ago.

Once again, this shows the difficulty of meaningful forecasting in complex systems. I personally would never have thought the retail and restaurant industry would hold up as well as they have. I would have guessed they would be the first to go; not so.

What will happen next would be nothing but a guess on my part. While you will never hear me making the kind of foolish, chest pounding forecasts JHK just loves to make, I am not optimistic in the near to mid-term. Long-term (20 years)?? don't make me laugh....to say you know is to admit to “delusions of grandeur”.

BTW....the shelf life of most grains held at household temperature is 9-12 years.

Young people filling restaurants isn't this what happened in Japan where young women with jobs were the ones with money to spend. It makes sense the young are no longer trying to form families, they live at home with their parents, and they have a job. Their only expenses are food and clothes. They can afford to eat out on the weekend. It is the high point of their week/life.

The fact is the federal government takes in about 1.8 trillion and spends about 3.2 trillion (social security is off-budget having it's own tax base). There are only four big budget items 1) military at 1000 billion, health care at 800 billion, interest at 400 billion and ag subsidies at 400 billion. If we cut each of these by 50% we would be close to a balanced budget. That works for me.

Osama Bin Laden is actually living on a remote island along with Elvis, Biggie, and Tu Pac.

Elvis does his grocery shopping at Lunardi's in San Jose. I've been shopping there for 20 years and have spotted him 6-7 times. Last time I saw him he was picking up a box of donuts. White suit, pork chop sideburns, the whole get-up. Last week I was busy selecting an avocado and I heard one of the checkers make the announcement, "Elvis has left the building."

Jen

ProCon said: "...their best and brightest keep leaving for the US..."

Thanks for that, ProCon. This is my point. It has been so for centuries.

Our nation is the leader of the global economy in part because of the steady stream of hardworking and talented people who have come to our country in search of a better life for themselves and their families.

It is the American way to welcome immigrants with open arms, as true Americans have always done.

Jim, this week you had me thinking of a Hopper painting with it's sad, lonely buildings, but also with a scene of tattooed gangsta-thugs and Lady-Gaga types staring zombie like into a store window filled with "tap-out" and 'affliction" clothing.

Is it America's only fate now to tap, snap or nap?

I think we could get out of our wars and cut our military budget by 4-500 billion dollars without any loss of security to our nation. I don't know very much about ag subsidies, living in a large metro area as I do, so I can't comment on that. In order to cut health care by 50% we would need a major overhaul of our health care system, and I don't think that's politically feasible.

We can't decrease our interest payments by 50%unless we buy down our national debt by 50%, and the feds have no money to take out of their savings account to do so. To buy down the debt by 50% would require a $7 trillion tax increase or a de facto dollar devaluation of 50%, both of which aren't really feasible.

And don't forget, what has been happening for a long time is a sneaky kind of dollar devaluation: The US Treasury has been been creating an overabundance of paper debt instruments to pay its bills and run its operations. The Federal Reserve has been creating dollars to give to the Treasury in exchange for most of these debt instruments.

The big increase in the supply of dollars has resulted in low interest rates (according to supply and demand). The dollar is presently perceived by the world to be a better investment than other currencies, whether or not this is true. As soon as any major US trading partner decides it wants payment for its goods and services in anything other than dollars, then the US must entice these countries to continue to accept dollar payments by giving them higher interest rates. Higher rates = higher debt service = higher US debt and/or increase in the dollar supply = higher inflation.

Current US interest rates are effectively at zero and can't be significantly lowered. This means our present situation is as good as it gets. Wait and see what happens to our country's financials in a few years when our debt service goes much higher. As much as I would like to see our deficit halved and have a balanced budget, it's too late already for that without massive suffering.

Jim may not want to hear this but in Oregon, where a lot of people ride bikes, have gardens, and know their neighbors, most people under the age of 35 are tattooed. I don't live back east, but out here the only mindfull people are tattooed. Usually heavily and beautifully I will add. We all have our prejudices, I guess. I see a man in a suit and I run the other way! They all look like thiefs and criminals to me in their white collars.

Please, don't you see the theater behind all this? OBL was a trump card held to be placed when the greatest political capital was to be gained. Com'mon, the average Pakistani in the streets is being played by his/her government just like the US citizens are being played. We're all being played for chumps by stage dressings to obscure the reality of who's running the show and to what purpose. Problem is, we just keep purchasing the tickets and applauding for more.

Too bad you have no real evidence to support your idea except a "hunch."

Doesn't the US government do enough questionable things without you having to invent outlandish conspiracy theories?

"This means our present situation is as good as it gets. "

===========

Cut, cut, cut. Reduce spending, sacrifice, etc. etc.

The Republican/Conservative brainwashing has been so thorough that no one even mentions taxing the rich... even though the last time we had a balanced budget, and created 22 million jobs, was when the marginal tax rates were much higher.

Think of it like a family budget. If you have no money, it makes no sense to say "well, cut out eating" as that leads to death. Instead, it makes more sense to say: "get a job" or "grow a garden" as that increases revenues.

If we cut the military budget, closed the 700 bases around the world, and INCREASE TAXES ON THE RICH, then we can balance the budget, as we did under Clinton.

Our present situation is NOT as good as it gets. It can get much much better.

Good luck getting those tax increases on the rich when they own the political system lock, stock, & barrel.

To give you some idea of how lopsided the wealth distribution has become, I read a factoid that the top 400 wealthiest families in the US have more wealth than the bottom 50%.

Third World America, here we come.

"We're all being played for chumps by stage dressings to obscure the reality of who's running the show and to what purpose. Problem is, we just keep purchasing the tickets and applauding for more."

Washington (CNN) – Democratic Sen. John Kerry said it is time to stop questioning the exact occurrences in Osama bin Laden’s house before his death in Abbottabad, Pakistan, at the hand of U.S. Navy SEALs.

“I thinks those SEALs did exactly what they should have done,” the senator from Massachusetts and 2004 presidential nominee said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And we need to shut up and move on about, you know, the realities of what happened in that building.”

Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the information gleaned from bin Laden’s compound underscores his active role in the terrorist network.

“He was, in fact, the center,” Kerry said.

He also praised the Obama administration’s handling of the situation, despite errors in initial information disseminated by the White House, something he said is “the nature of the beast.”

“Letting these folks know that we have this information is actually a way of deterring certain activities from taking place,” Kerry said. “So I think they’re (al Qaeda) on the defensive, significantly so. And I think strategically the administration has done very, very well.”

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/08/shut-up-and-move-on-kerry-says/?hpt=Sbin

Nothing to see here, move along...

"It is the American way to welcome immigrants with open arms, as true Americans have always done."

When they get to their reservation, they have time to think better about it.

"OBL is actually living on a remote island along with Elvis, Biggie, and Tu Pac."

Don't forget Michael...

No, the true Americans welcomed the pilgrims.

http://bit.ly/ir5ZiY

That’s the ingeniousness of it. Governments have learned that Irregularities and inconsistencies in official statements and explanations actually are useful means -- in this age of the internet -- of keeping the public unable to coalesce into a unified body of revolt.

Lacking credible explanation of policies and actions we all disperse along the proliferating strings of diverse conspiracy theories on the internet, each searching for his/her own personal sense of “knowing”. By the time any consensus begins to build another staged event or topic is brought to the fore.

Consider; how many times did change the Administration’s account of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound and the circumstances of his death? Followed, predictably, by a media circus of partisan justification or condemnation of whatever was the latest changing news feed from the Obama Administration.

Get it, we’re being systematically screwed out of national sovereignty and the worth of citizenship in directing national destiny.

I second the recommendation of Disaster Capitalism (the book, not the system).

It seems that the US is undergoing its own set of crises that have been exploited to ram certain ideologies down own throats.

De-regulation. Check.

Privatization. Check.

Cutting social services. Check.

The warm-up was Chile and Argentina and other "Southern Cone" countries. Now the chickens come home to roost.

"Who needs a happy cow? That will change, by the way, yet it is one of the many things we're not having a conversation about in this demoralized land."

I've tried. Too many jagoffs around here think that grabbing the occasional gallon of milk from a free-ranging cow (with no calf to feed), on more acreage than she could ever exploit, equals bilious, hateful oppression. When will we wake up from THAT tired conversation??

I'm sure that Elvis and Biggie get along famously, but how do you guys think the King and Pac make out?

"This must be the longest period of history for a particular teen fashion - going on two decades now?"

Trim out the stochastic noise and it just looks like a peaking plateau to me...and bad timing.

Bottom line is that the wealthy loot the treasury with the aid of the politicians. There is no revolving door. The movers and shakers on Wall St. are the same people who then end up in government making policy to benefit themselves and their bottom lines. There is plenty of evidence of this. (There was an excellent Matt Taibbi article on this phenomenom which I'll try to dig up and post in a bit.)

Do you really need to go all the way to La La Land and make outlandish suggestions regarding OBL's death? Doesn't this just muddy the waters?

This....

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216

I'd quote some juicy bits, but you all should read the whole thing. It'll make you nauseous.

Is there any book that traces the financial misdeeds of the elite from, say, early Reagan years up to now? I'm thinking of S&L Crisis, BCCI, etc. There is a lot of precident for what has occurred over the last couple years. Has anyone connected the dots? Some of the same people (literally) have been involved.

"grabbing the occasional gallon of milk"

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

Well put. Grabbing.

Exploitation without permission from the animal.

At a time when the human population is approaching seven billion, is it realistic to expect to continue feeding ourselves on animal flesh, milk and eggs? Or do we need to make preparations for a future where there simply aren't sufficient resources to support the inefficient methods of animal-based food production?

For those who seek a way to avoid exploitation and cruelty, the choice doesn't have to be between factory-farmed and free-range.

There is another option, veganism, a truly ethical alternative that does not require us to sacrifice our moral standards for the satisfaction of our appetites and our taste buds.

Oh, yeah, CEO pay was up 11% last year over the previous. If you're in the 1% of the 1%, give yourself a big fat pat on the back and a generous pay raise and bonus for being so awesome.

"Exploitation without permission from the animal."

Well, how would that work?! Pigs, cows, and chickens can't talk!

Did an hour long PowerPoint presentation to a dozen, count them, a dozen half-dozey, half-interested, semi-serious gardeners and farmers this morning. Although I think I had some of them up to 3/4 interested by the time I finished! Actually several of them requested my card and a site visit;)

This is hard-core agronomics reform, folks! I dropped more than one blatant hint that BAU was over, and that we needed to radically rethink food production, sans oil, in this country. A move that requires a lot more thought and attention than grabbing a handful of 10-10-10.

The poppies are so strong. Especially down here in the Bible belt. But we must keep plugging. There is no such thing as a solo victory in this contest.

"Why do I try?"

========

A naive faith that Asoka is reachable?

The original immigrants (from Europe), especially the Quakers, respected Native Americans and the two groups got along well.

So, your assertion "fighting terrorism since 1492" is not quite accurate. The really bloody fighting happened in the 1800s when there was a massive forced relocation and movement of Native American nations to reservations.

"At a time when the human population is approaching seven billion, is it realistic to expect to continue feeding ourselves on animal flesh, milk and eggs? Or do we need to make preparations for a future where there simply aren't sufficient resources to support the inefficient methods of animal-based food production?"

You understand that a departure from animal foods means the extermination of those animals, right? Not their liberation into Eden. They eat too, and if they are competing for resources with an increasing human population they lose. A better way is to let them eat the things we can't eat and then for us to eat them. I'm never going to eat grass, no matter how rough things get, but Anna loves it. Cows, chickens, pigs, et al, are successful as species because of their alliance with humans. Nature only cares about species. You seem to only care about individuals. Talk about aberrant, unnatural behavior.

And thanks for proving my point about the inability to have a rational discussion on this topic. There you go, Jim! Asoka to the rescue!

I've admitted that feeding animals grain that would feed more people is a bad situation, and an unsustainable expense. Of course, this isn't the kind of meat I'm ever referring to, and Asoka knows it. His religion just blinds him to logic, unfortunately. It's less energetically expensive to eat animals that utilize foodstuffs that are unpalatable to humans than it is to convert that acreage to human crops. Not the same equation as a feed lot at all.

Oh I agree. I think you misunderstand me. I know about theatre. One of our party leaders (the socialist NDP) was found in an Asian massage parlour during a police raid in 1996 (he was given a warning but not charged). Two days before the election on May 2 the story found its way into the media probably by way of a Liberal Party fixer.

What I said is that the truth about OBL will eventually come out. Having said that I think he's likely dead.

Was the wheat in the Pyramids edible 1000's of years later?

WHAT ABOUT WILD PIGS?

And if those species disappear to end their unbelievable torment in factory farms so be it!
You know the pollution from those 'farms'...the red tide, the pig farms in Carolina.

'as true Americans have always done.'

a lie, as history proves.

Have you read[oh] Sowell or Buchanan on what
'civil rights' organizations did with their lawsuits against the boy-scouts?

all for their agendas [leftism, gay 'rights']

How much plainer can I say that I AM NOT REFERRING TO FACTORY FARMS!! I'm talking about integrated grass-based systems. Not even remotely the same thing.

LA LA land? How did we get from a 40 minute firefight participated in by an armed OBL himself to....now pay attention....no resistance (armed or otherwise) and the only shots fired were those in executing OBL? Hmmmm,.....these "changes" in the story took up a week of newscasts with blogs gone wild with speculation (conspiracies?)and partisan argument exchanges justifying or condemming whatever was the momentary version of the raid description reported.

How different is that compared to the death of Cpl. Pat Tillman and the "rescue" of Pvt. Jessica Lynch?

asoka only a handful of people are emigrating from the u.s. compared to the numbers entering. what a deliberately misleading hoax of a comparison.

The words of Jackson Brown's brilliant 1978 hit Running On Empty come to mind whenever I read one of JHK's blogs or listen to world events on the evening news:

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In 65 I was 17 and running up 01
I don't know where I'm running now I'm just running on
Running on Running on Empty

We are at a very weird place in our history. The collective nostalgia for our recent past prevents us from taking a long, hard look at where we are and where we're going. Outdated living arrangements and the false expectation that the future will be much like the present blind us to the hard choices we face individually and collectively as we enter the Long Emergency. Bravo JHK for a remarkably insightful observation. We have no national purpose, no collective national identity and our obsession with "getting something for nothing" has been revealed as a giant hoax. I think this is the ideal time for a new, reality-based political party to take over Washington.

'The fear is, if he doesn't get a job on graduation (1 year intensive), his skills will be obsolete very quickl.'....Yes but if he can learn 2011 3D
he can learn most softwares.

The problem with Education, now that the loans are at a Trillion outstanding is the For Profit Schools, with their 'factories' [as a student at Art institute told me], loans and GI Bill.
Ive posted here before about that.

How can someone in Arizona repay 100k for their Culinary degree if they are making 400$ a week?

Arent Cows, Sheep and Horses what destroyed the grasslands of the west?
And I am referring to the animals and their lives.
If the species is dependent on humans, maybe let it go the way of the dinosaur.
Now whos incapable of rational discussion?
me? asoka? or you?

Every year about 100,000 leave the USA.
Its averaging 2 million a year moving here?
and the fact is Mexicans and Muslims breed like rats, which is why they must seek 'greener pastures', they ruin everywhere they go!
Even Spain now has Mexican gangs, they allowed Mexicans to move there.

If shes in NYC she doesnt need a car.
What school does she go to?

from what I see near UCLA and other schools the young are more car dependent than ever!

Glad to see I'm not the only one whose frustration leads to the use of CAPITAL LETTERS.

LOL!

Look, Tripp, we disagree here, but not on the basis of "religion" as you charge. I am talking science. Grass-fed beef is bad for the environment, is not safe, is not good for your health, and is not a viable alternative to factory farming.

Grass-fed beef is bad for the environment because raising animals for food, especially cattle, is one of the leading causes of global climate change.

Grass-fed beef is not safer. If you eat meat, you are increasing your risk of developing E. Coli.

There is no evidence to suggest that grass-fed beef has a lower risk of contamination than factory-farmed meat. E. Coli is transmitted through contact with fecal matter and all meat has fecal matter contamination. Some prominent supporters of grass-fed beef have said that the stomachs of cows who eat grass are more resistant to E. Coli, which is a claim that has never been backed up by facts.

Grass-fed beef is not good for your health because it is still full of saturated-fat, cholesterol and, usually, growth hormones. It may be true that beef from cattle who are fed grass is somewhat better for your health than meat from animals who live their entire lives confined on feed-lots. However, eating a plant-based diet is even better for your health. We've known for years that beef consumption is linked to the major killers: cancer and heart-attack.

If everyone ate grass-fed beef factory-farming would not end. Eating grass-fed beef does not challenge factory-farming, because it is not a viable alternative.

It is expensive and there is not nearly enough grassland in America to raise that many cattle.

Every year in the United States, over 10 billion land animals are raised and killed for human consumption. There is a reason why factory-farming persists: Americans continue to eat meat.

There simply is not enough grassland to raise that many animals on pastures. Plus, ordinary people cannot afford the high price-tag of grass-fed beef.

This just appeared on Yahoo, as Illinois pushes on the Nite mare of the Dream Act...
Gawd is this depot a monster:

In search of Hispanic votes and an immigration overhaul, President Barack Obama on Tuesday stood at the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time since winning the White House and declared it more secure than ever.

He mocked Republican lawmakers for blocking immigration over border security alone,
saying they won't be happy until they get a moat with alligators along the border.

"They'll never be satisfied," he said.

Stymied by both chambers of Congress, the president ditched lawmakers in favor of voters who might pressure them, making an appeal to the public ............blablabl

"How did we get from a 40 minute firefight participated in by an armed OBL himself to....now pay attention....no resistance (armed or otherwise) and the only shots fired were those in executing OBL?"

Media speculation, reporters talking to different "off the record" sources, indecision among the top brass as to what details should be revealed, a priori cloak of secrecy relating to black ops, or (most likely) reluctance to reveal that the true mission was killing Bin Laden and his associates no matter what rather than capturing them.

This was an assassination mission from the get go, but the administration muddied the waters in order to make it seem like it was capture or kill, which it most likely was not.

Or was all this differing information the result of ....a vast government conspiracy? A media psyop?

--

(Reuters) - The U.S. special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill the al Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a U.S. national security official told Reuters.

"This was a kill operation," the official said, making clear there was no desire to try to capture bin Laden alive in Pakistan. (Reporting by Mark Hosenball, writing by Matt Spetalnick)

"declared it more secure than ever"

It IS more secure than ever. Border crossings are down to 1/3 from the peak of a few years ago (sorry misplaced the source on that but it is approximately right).

There are thousands more border agents now (Obama added 1200 in one go as I recall), a lot more resources, and a lot more awareness of the issue. Many new sections of fence have been added. Seismic sensors are being used to track groups that enter illegally.

Is it a perfect, vacuum sealed, hermetic barrier? Of course not. You'd have to implement The Berlin Wall Part II to make it so, and even then people got across that all the time. It simply isn't practical.

Put up a fence you say...hm, well, I'll just bring my trusty ladder or a shovel to tunnel underneath. Or I'll hop in a boat. Or I'll find a nice long drainage tunnel. There's many options for getting here illegally.

The idea that tough immigration policy rests mainly on having a hard shell on the outside is a canard. The punishment for knowingly hiring illegals needs to be made much more severe, and hiring procedures need to verify citizenship or legal right to work to effectively feret out illegals in the interior. The same could be said for renting out apartments.

Because defending the border is largely like whack-o-mole. If you stop them in one place, they'll go someplace else, especially when there are more than a thousand miles of potential crossing points. But if the internal environment is not condusive to them living here, they won't bother coming or will go home.

Me, I think it is cruel that we ruin their domestic agricultural economy with cheap ass American export crops and then complain when they want to leave their crappy country and come here. What do you expect? The neo-liberals/conservatives fell all over themselves to get Mexico to rip down its barriers to exports, and this is what we have gotten from that policy, a neighbor country with a collapsed economy.

Because it turns out (golly gee) that open, free markets actually don't necessarily lead to prosperity for undeveloped, Third World economies but actually, in many cases, quite the opposite.

And I agree with you on one point. The demographics are screwed. There was a recent Foreign Policy article about the lack of family planning or indeed opposition to it, being a huge foreign policy blunder. I'd say so.

Alex Jones is always talking about how the elites are pro-population control and I'm like, "The problem being?" If we don't solve that little "problem" then Mother Nature will solve it for us, in its most dramatic and unpalatable fashion.

The First World investor class all want access to the economies of the less developed countries. "Let us in!" they say. The rich want to be able to buy property and companies in poorer countries. They want the poor countries to "open up" their economies, float their currencies, and balance their budgets after undergoing IMF and World Bank "austerity" measures, designed to benefit the wealthy First World elite. This is so the rich can loot and pillage from the poor countries and make quick returns on their investments in places where environmental and labor laws are sketchy or non-existant. When Third World countries are forced to sell off state assets under these programs, who do you think buys them, the locals? Nope, usually it is the wealthy First Worlders who get to acquire state telecom, mining, and petroleum interests (among others) for pennies on the dollar.

But God forbid a poor person from one of those countries wants to come to the US. We charge them $5000 for their Green Card (and what Third World peasant has that kind of dough?) and make achieving legal citizenship pretty arduous.

Still we cry, "Let us in!" We need to make MONEY from your country.

But FU if you want to come here. "Keep them out!"

No argument with your analysis of global market shock troops and resource manipulator misdeeds. To suggest though that the US citizenry must suffer a restitution of surrendered sovereignty and loss of sole entitlement for determining national destiny is not acceptable. I've argued here before that the citizenry are victims no less than others for having had their government highjacked by economic privateers -- at great cost too, not just in terms of betrayal but in national wealth and blood.

Whatever judgements and aspersions you might wish to put on the US citzenry, arguing that grandios acts of pennance such as opening our borders will not save the world. Overpopulation has already baked into the cake a vast die off across much of the globe. Our own margin of survival is tenuous at best with our current population. Even if we invoke a moretoreum today on immigration sustaining semblence of life quality known here today is dubious. Personally, life without wilderness experience, places of solitude, wildlife habitat, species diversity and even the experience wood fireplaces is life unacceptable.

As pointed out in "The Shooting Party" by James Mason's character to John Gielgud's character, who was protesting a pheasant shoot as cruely to animals, the birds wouldn't exist in the first place if the lord of the manor had not gone to the bother of breeding them for the purpose of the hunt. Mason's character went to the trouble of speaking with the picketer because he wanted to find out who his printer was since he admired the workmanship evident in the printed tracts distributed for the edification of the bird "murderers".

In a similar vein, if no one hired the illegal aliens they wouldn't be here in the first place, would they?

And then finally, it should be evident to even the most casual observer that the U.S. armed forces are still quite bloated from the cold war and this in spite of the fact that there is no credible threat of invasion from anyone save perhaps space aliens who are being kept secret so that we don't become unduly upset and stop playing our various roles in society. For that matter, was there any credible threat of invasion even from the Soviet Union? How about Nazi Germany? If Hitler couldn't even make it across the English channel how was he ever going to make it to the east coast of the United States? The answer of course is that he wasn't ever going to, and course in the event did not. We are a bunch of nervous nellies is the only plausible conclusion.

...breed like rats,...

Be cautious of the use of extremist rhetoric. This is similar to a Nazi metaphor.

Hey, cave. Not sure that I was advocating the throwing open of US doors to all comers. I just find it hypocritical of us to demand that other countries open up to us economically even while we complain about "them" coming over "here."

Ok, so you have a pretty good idea about the neoliberal agenda, but as I keep saying, as we start going downhill, we will be fodder for the same type of foreign investor that we have been in third world countries. Think Sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi....

When I said this is as good as it gets, I meant that under the way we do things now politically, it can't get any better.

Just cutting the Pentagon budget and taxing the rich more won't stop the US from going into decline. We need to pay off our national debt, too. Otherwise, when interest rates go up eventually, as they must, our budget expenses go up, too.

Wow.

Before there were 500 hp quad track John Deer tractors and 60 foot corn planters, and us white folk around here, there were millions of grass fed buffalo on which the early settlers survived.

The vegetarian diet, as it were, is supplemented by eating the oil based fertilizers that feed the crop, because the grass fed animals are no longer there to cycle the nutrients.

It will be so again.

Your reply is so full of...um...holes, that I won't waste any more of my time trying to straighten you out. Suffice to say that MIG livestock grazing represents the ONLY real and rapid carbon sequestration activity being conducted on Earth today. And delivers an appropriate human food that is nothing like the garbage you describe in your "rebuttal."

Keep enjoying your petroleum tofu. I won't bore you with the 25 ways soybeans are deleterious to human health. Not just boring, but bad for you.

Like JD said, Wow.

Just to shorten the inevitable argument, let me qualify that last statement as unfermented>/i> soybeans.

Appropriate, sustainable food systems include animals. Period. You don't necessarily have to eat them, but they'll at least have to be there eventually. Just like the bacteria, and the fungi, and the protists...Nature doesn't work on segregated terms.

Veganism is segregation of the highest order. And it is completely and utterly underwritten by the petroleum subsidy.

"Pucker --

I went to El Paso, Texas, today to lay out a plan to do something big: fix America's broken immigration system.

It's an issue that affects you, whether you live in a border town like El Paso or not. Our immigration system reflects how we define ourselves as Americans -- who we are, who we will be -- and continued inaction poses serious costs for everyone.

Those costs are human, felt by millions of people here and abroad who endure years of separation or deferred dreams -- and millions more hardworking families whose wages are depressed when employers wrongly exploit a cheap source of labor. That's why immigration reform is also an economic imperative -- an essential step needed to strengthen our middle class, create new industries and new jobs, and make sure America remains competitive in the global economy.

Because this is such a tough problem -- one that politicians in Washington have been either exploiting or dodging, depending on the politics -- this change has to be driven by people like you.

Washington won't act unless you lead.

So if you're willing to do something about this critical issue, join our call for immigration reform now. Those who do will be part of our campaign to educate people on this issue and build the critical mass needed to make Washington act:

http://my.barackobama.com/Immigration-Reform

In recent years, concerns about whether border security and enforcement were tough enough were among the greatest impediments to comprehensive reform. They are legitimate issues that needed to be addressed -- and over the past two years, we have made great strides in enhancing security and enforcement.

We have more boots on the ground working to secure our southwest border than at any time in our history. We're going after employers who knowingly break the law. And we are deporting those who are here illegally. I know the increase in deportations has been a source of controversy, but I want to emphasize that we are focusing our limited resources on violent offenders and people convicted of crimes -- not families or people looking to scrape together an income.

So we've addressed the concerns raised by those who have stood in the way of progress in the past. And now that we have, it's time to build an immigration system that meets our 21st-century economic needs and reflects our values both as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Today, we provide students from around the world with visas to get engineering and computer science degrees at our top universities. But then our laws discourage them from using those skills to start a business or a new industry here in the United States. That just doesn't make sense.

We also need to stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents -- and pass the DREAM Act so they can pursue higher education or become military service members in the country they know as home. We already know enormous economic benefits from the steady stream of talented and hardworking people coming to America. More than a century and a half ago, U.S. Steel's Andrew Carnegie was a 13-year-old brought here from Scotland by his family in search of a better life. And in 1979, a Russian family seeking freedom from Communism brought a young Sergey Brin to America -- where he would become a co-founder of Google.

Through immigration, we've become an engine of the global economy and a beacon of hope, ingenuity and entrepreneurship. We should make it easier for the best and brightest not only to study here, but also to start businesses and create jobs here. That's how we'll win the future.

Immigration is a complex issue that raises strong feelings. And as we push for long-overdue action, we're going to hear the same sort of ugly rhetoric that has delayed reform for years -- despite long and widespread recognition that our current system fails us all and hurts our economy.

So you and I need to be the ones talking about this issue in the language of hope, not fear -- in terms of how we are made stronger by our differences, and can be made stronger still.

Take a moment now to watch my El Paso speech and join this campaign for change:

http://my.barackobama.com/Immigration-Reform

Thank you,

Barack"

I believe these pro immigration creeps are deliberately trying to destroy their own country, how could anybody look at twenty percent unemployment, (the real figure) and think we need more cheap labor? Or that the unpatriotic jerks who hire them are entitled to it? What part of citizenship don't these people understand.

Pucker,

BO has proven abilities as a public speaker.
He has proven that he will say almost anything in service to the growth at all cost/Wall Street overlords of the US.

His presentation, today at the border, fits a pattern.

JDFarmer and Tripp -

Extremely well done, gentlemen.

We can't run this place (Earth) without animals who live and give their lives - to some large extent - in the service of humanity.

Asoka is trolling, as he usually does.
Asia, on the other hand, is a genuine vegan/vegetarian.

Vegetarianism/veganism becomes a sort of religion or religion substitute for the followers.

I often agree with asia, despite his truncated and misspelled posts.

But on this issue, he's wrong.

Veganism truly will not work for the Earth's huge human populations without oil based fertilizers and oil based farming practices.

"I went to El Paso, Texas, today to lay out a plan to do something big: fix America's broken immigration system."


Obama uses such "Big Words"....

"But FU if you want to come here. "Keep them out!""
-memoryhole-

Pretty nice posts, memory.
And nice handle, too.

Most (maybe almost all!?) of the US based globalists who want the free flow of capital and open markets to exploit ALSO want high immigration into the US.

The more consumers and producers in the US - the more money to be creamed off by the US/global elites who live here.

That we're ruining other countries - as well as our own - does not seem to hit them as something to be concerned about, in their own little lifetimes.

They think they will always be on top.

Maybe they are right.

"He who dies with the most toys - Wins."
-mantra of US and global elites-

"We need to pay off our national debt, too."

"We", as in you and me, don't have a national debt. Well, I shouldn't speak for you. You may have authorized them to go fouteen trilliuon plus into hock, but I didn't.

The other problem with your idea: you can't pay off a debt with another debt {FRN}. The debt is unpayable. It is fraud. It will never be payed off. Jubilee. Look it up.

Tripp, I don't eat tofu. I don't like soybeans.

Every time we discuss this you bring up the fake soybean bugaboo argument as a way of avoiding the real argument related to meat consumption: land and water use for a global population.

It takes 22 times the acres of land to meet the food energy needs of one person eating meat than it does for one person eating potatoes.

It takes more than 13 times the water to produce one day's food supply for an omnivore than it does for a vegan.

According to a UN FAO report, "in all, livestock production amounts to 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the land surface of this planet."

The USDA says growing crops for animals takes up 80 percent of the agricultural land in the USA and animals raised for food in the USA consume 90 percent of the soy crop, 80 percent of the corn and 70 percent of its grain.

Yeah, I know, Tripp, you are not engaged in the industrial agricultural model, so you don't think any of these statistics apply to you.

"Grass-fed beef is not good for your health because it is still full of saturated-fat, cholesterol and, usually, growth hormones... We've known for years that beef consumption is linked to the major killers: cancer and heart-attack."

We've been lied to for years.

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/228076-You-Have-Been-Lied-to-About-Cholesterol-and-Fats

Dale,
I looked at the latest 'TIME' today after I posted..well well well..
A nice piece on 'FOR PROFIT SCHOOLS'...
I DIDNT KNOW WASH. POST INC OWNS KAPLAN
AND WELL WELL WELL....60% OF WASH POST INC REVENUE IS FROM KAPLAN...

The WP is subsidized by govt student loans, 40%?of which from those who go to for profits are unpaid / delinquent....well well well

thanks to all who replied to my usual about US immigration.

"asoka only a handful of people are emigrating from the u.s. compared to the numbers entering. what a deliberately misleading hoax of a comparison."
-bossier22-

Nice call, bossier.

"It is the American way to welcome immigrants with open arms, as true Americans have always done."
-asoka-

"Something that can not be sustained - won't be."
-PoC-

"The time will come when that disposition of things will change of course."

In the meantime let's take a look at how the Federal Government is managing its program for high speed rail - at the local level. The excerpt below - I think - shows it as more of a PR and window dressing effort than a real project to make rail transit viable in this country.

From today's Seattle Times (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015008320_rail10m.html):

The federal government on Monday decided not to give high-speed rail stimulus money to reduce mudslides that often cancel Amtrak and Sound Transit trains north of Seattle.

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) asked for $10 million to study and design mudslide-control projects, as part of a $120 million grant application.

But federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood opted to spend nearly all of the available money on construction and manufacturing — in other words, what used to be called "shovel-ready" projects. Several states vied for a share of $2 billion in rail aid that Florida Gov. Rick Scott spurned in February.

...

Trains arrived on time on only two-thirds of trips as of 2009, and the DOT seeks to improve performance to over 90 percent.

Meanwhile, mudslides onto the BNSF Railway tracks along Puget Sound in Snohomish County were unusually severe this winter. In all of Western Washington, there were 90 Amtrak cancellations. Officials launched the modern passenger-rail effort in the mid-1990s, yet haven't tackled a problem that forces customers to take charter or transit buses, or to drive.

Washington state applied for aid twice before under other federal programs but was turned down.

One problem is that there is not a full "environmental assessment" yet to begin construction, state DOT spokeswoman Vickie Sheehan said in February.

That probably explains why Washington missed out this time.

LaHood boasted that "nearly 100 percent of the $2.02 billion announced today will go directly to construction of rail projects."

News and opinion articles have blasted the federal government for spreading dollars too thinly on projects that weren't truly high-speed, or on design work that doesn't offer short-term improvement.

Washington state's $120 million application included a request, also denied, for $49 million toward a $69 million project in Tacoma to design and replace a century-old trestle used by Sounder commuter trains as well as Amtrak.

Overall though, the state has fared well in winning rail stimulus aid, receiving $590 million in the first round, and a $162 million share of funds rejected by Wisconsin and Ohio.

The money goes toward several projects, including bypass tracks, station improvements and trains.

Some of the stimulus-funded rail projects here will begin construction this year, and all must be done by 2017.

I respect you and your right to your ideas...
I have to say I see meat eating as corn eating which is 'eating oil'...[to misquote TLE/JHK!]

'Veganism is segregation of the highest order. And it is completely and utterly underwritten by the petroleum subsidy'

Yes even Tahitians ate fish [and maybe people]!!
And yes no Country ever 'did' veganism for all...
at least not voluntarily.

Disprove this...the 3 billion in Chindia [and most 'old' style societies] have eaten a diet that is 90% plant foods.
The US diet now is 100x heavier in Chicken than it was even 70 years ago..
Consumption of eggs and dairy has skyrocketed..
Read Michio Kushi...Ive met him..hes a genius.

THE US ANIMAL DIET IS A PETROL DIET...FROM FACTORY FARM TO TABLE.

YR SAYING THERES ENOUGH BEEFALO/BUFFALO TO FEED 300 MILLION???

MD....I have a BA in HS and practically a PHD in Nutrition.
There are 'good fats and bad fats'...
and no 'one size fits all'....
the reason cholestrol has been demonized is
BECAUSE THEY CAN SELL MEDS TO LOWER IT!!!!....
its not a disease...
But theres also exogenous and endogenous Cholesterol.

I hear Fox news is really big on saying Obama wasn't born in the US, that he's a Muslim, and other denigrating remarks about him personally and about his presidency. So I think Jim is probably right when he says some of the right-wingers would "take him out" if they could figure out a way to get away with it.

"Disprove this...the 3 billion in Chindia [and most 'old' style societies] have eaten a diet that is 90% plant foods"
-asia-

Asia, there would not BE anywhere NEAR 3 billion people in "Chindia" without the Green Revolution, and heavy petroleum and fertilizer inputs.

That's the problem.

----------
And it's not that individual people need meat to live. It is that humanity needs animals to cycle nutrients and low quality plant materials - in the absence of oil and oil-derived fertilizers.

Hi Ozone - are there really such things as "lifetime" canning jar lids? If there aren't, there should be! Now there's something someone should invent, if they haven't already. I googled it but couldn't find anything about them. I really hate having to buy new lids every year for my canning jars. They're expensive, not recyclable, and I wonder how I will can when I can't get them anymore.

The paradigm of welcoming immigrants with open arms is dead or our nation is as dead as Osama.

Something I found really interesting about Canada's recent election - the leader of the Liberal party was reviled by Conservatives because he lived in the US for a number of years, and because he's an "intellectual" - taught at Harvard I believe. I think this is the first Canadian election in which such vicious attack ads were used. People really worked up a hate-on for Ignatieff and the Liberals because of these attack ads, which I think demonstrates the fact that Conservatives hate the US, and revile anybody with half a brain in their head. Maybe they watch too much Fox News. In fact, a new right-wing broadcaster, Sun News, apparently modeled after Fox News has just set up in Canada. Thanks goodness I don't have TV.

"The USDA says growing crops for animals takes up 80 percent of the agricultural land in the USA and animals raised for food in the USA consume 90 percent of the soy crop, 80 percent of the corn and 70 percent of its grain."

Wait for it...

"Yeah, I know, Tripp, you are not engaged in the industrial agricultural model, so you don't think any of these statistics apply to you."

There it is. I have never once advocated growing one single agricultural crop for any animal utilized in a sustainable food production system, therefore your cut and paste stats are completely irrelevant to the conversation. You're railing against the same industry I've dedicated my life to outperforming in real terms. You just got stuck at 'vegetables cause a lower impact.' And guess what? You're right! When compared to feed lot animals. When the oil starts to run short, the CAFO meat will go first, but the vegan diet will be next because it doesn't work without cheap abundant oil or animal symbionts.

You need animals to grow the veggies. Like Nature does. Allow your understanding to keep evolving. Don't latch onto a doctrine that, for its mainstream applications, is true, but that also blinds you to the next phase of wisdom. I've ever and always been honest about the future requiring radical behavioral innovation from us. That applies to you too, just as it does to me. And if it ever gets confusing just sit down and watch how Nature does it for a while with an open mind. You'll never see productive systems in nature that don't include animals.

And if it still doesn't make sense to you, don't worry about it too much; we need about 13 out of 14 people to disappear anyway. So by all means, pay no attention to the systems ecologists out there trying to help you down the mountain for god knows what reason. Or do we not gather here each week to help each other out?

Helen, look up Tattler canning products.

Re shelf life of grains being 9 - 12 years at household temperatures - I don't think that is really true. Google "shelf life of brown rice" and you'll see that most website give it as 6 months if unrefrigerated. Wheat will last a long time, but not if it is ground into flour. There's lots of info on the Internet about proper ways to do long-term food storage. You can't just stick it in a room and expect it to last for 10 years or more.

"And it's not that individual people need meat to live. It is that humanity needs animals to cycle nutrients and low quality plant materials - in the absence of oil and oil-derived fertilizers."

Very well said. I'm not advocating that every person needs to eat meat. Far from it. I'm just saying that in the absence of cheap abundant fossil energy, animals are required to make things grow. So an integrated, forage-based food production system that includes plants, animals, fungi, and the rest, is a lower energy system than an all-veggie one. Grazing ungulates are particularly appropriate in the North American landscape. If you wanted to get real picky we would have to limit the vegetable matter eaten on this continent to what, a handful of berries, squash, and nuts? Have fun with that. But beef, now beef fits this landscape. Not so everywhere. Lucky us;)

ctemple,

Food for thought:

Why must concern for others stop at your national border?

Are all the people in "your" country inherently more important than the people from "other" countries?

Do you consider yourself a world citizen? Or do you not believe in this concept?

Hey trippticket, I recently did two 4-hour PowerPoint presentations on how to grow for market. 25 people came to each presentation and paid me $50 a head. And none of them fell asleep! Of course it remains to be seen how many of them will actually become market gardeners, but even if a couple of them do I'll count it a success. 50 people turned out to a movie night that I put on on Permaculture and Food Security. So don't get discouraged, your time will come.

Hi, boss.

Your predictions of national death from immigration are overblown. Just look at countries like China and India, with far fewer natural resources than the US and higher populations. I'm not advocating for this. Personally I like the relative spaciousness here. But to say that if the US adds more millions in population through immigration or other means, it will necessarily destroy itself, is Chicken Little thinking.

Hell, the US could absorb the entire country of Mexico and still have far lower population density than Japan, China, India, take your pick.

Asoka wouldnt simply having fewer people make land use and diet more of a personal choice. Over population is the number one cause of climate change, food insecurity and other quality of life issues. Why pick on cows and horses. They will be essential in the long emergency.

"The US diet now is 100x heavier in Chicken than it was even 70 years ago..
Consumption of eggs and dairy has skyrocketed..
Read Michio Kushi...Ive met him..hes a genius.

THE US ANIMAL DIET IS A PETROL DIET...FROM FACTORY FARM TO TABLE."

Asia, you're absolutely right...and this has absolutely nothing to do with my point. "A chicken in every pot" was a recipe for systems failure. Chickens are completely inappropriate, high energy animals in a temperate climate like ours. We'll probably see a lot less of them in the future - shockingly, since they seem to be the first "self-reliance" animal people go to. That trend alone should tell us something. People don't usually make the good decisions first.

tripp/helen, where are you all from, if you don't mind sharing?

Fascinating stuff and thanks for sharing.

What is possible and what makes sense is two different things. I've never been to china or India but my general impression is that for the vast majority it is a s---hole in both countries. Why should we repeat their mistakes. It is already getting that way here for way too many. The troops in The me would be of better use deployed on the border.

...planted another 113 gladiolus in the last 4 days, my earlier ones are shooting up, about an inch tall now.

back in the states after being in brazil, can't abide this wretched soulless country anymore tho', take me back to 1970 and earlier and i'll stay.

so will be exiting left again in a fortnight.

adieu

MH, I was born and grew up in Georgia, USA, but have spent my adult lifetime pretty evenly divided between Washington state and Florida.

How 'bout you?

You say "Veganism truly will not work for the Earth's huge human populations without oil based fertilizers and oil based farming practices." I've been reading "Eating Fossil Fuels - Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture" by Dale Allen Pfeiffer. I don't think meat-eating is going to work either. Soilent Green anyone?

Hi trippticket - You still have to buy new rubber rings every year for the Tattler canning lids. Still better than having the buy the metal part as well, I guess. The really old-style ones had a glass top but you still had to buy new rubber rings for them every year. Tattler's are plastic, I don't know how long they would last. They do say a "lifetime" whatever that is.

+1

And from what Ive read of China, it got to a Billion people w/o fossil fertilizers.

HH, you might read 'MAD COWBOY' by Lyman..
he says the west was green till the cowboys showed up!

Tripp, thanks for the info on Chickens.

boss,

I was responding to your initial statement that America would keel over and die because of (presumably) overpopulation from immigration. But it probably isn't the case. Would "quality of life" decrease if/when we add another 100 million? Most certainly, and I'm not advocating for it. But realistically speaking it can and probably will happen without the United States dissolving into dust.

I wasn't arguing that China or India are great places to live. If you get a chance, you should go there, if only to backup your presumptions with firsthand experience.

There is the issue of Posse Comitatus when you suggest deploying troops on the border, though I sympathize because it seems like a logical thing to do. Under current jurisprudence the tradition is that the military is only deployed in special circumstances domestically, like national emergencies or disasters, not used as a full time border patrol.

I live on beautiful Vancouver Island, British Columbia, east side.

"Are all the people in "your" country inherently more important than the people from "other" countries?"
-memoryhole, to ctemple-

Memoryhole - - DING, DING, DING -
Ring the bell and give Mr. MemoryHole a Gold Star!

Yes, memory - like it or not - people in the US are more important that people from "other" countries.
(They also burn a hell of a lot more petrol, too.)

As soon as an immigrant manages to make it into the US - legal or otherwise - he becomes more important. I don't know if that's human nature, or just something about the humanitarian nature of the US. (along with medicaid, afdc, etc - but let's stay on the subject.)

That's why the US has the ability to destroy most of the rest of the world, as a place fit for human habitation - if 313,000,000 is allowed to turn into 500,000,000 - or more.

===========
I mean - most of the globe seems to think Americans are using their military in a crazy game of global domination - simply over OIL.

Wait 'till we have FOOD shortages - in the US - if you want to see us go really CRAZY over global domination.

Think it wouldn't happen - -
You've never felt hunger, then.

You think people in the US are more important than people from other countries? Oh, I guess that's the famous "American exceptionalism" I keep hearing about.

"And from what Ive read of China, it got to a Billion people w/o fossil fertilizers."
-asia, to helen-

Helen and asia,
We're tapdancing around THE important question.

What is the carrying capacity of Earth, for humans, absent fossil fuels?

Asia, I'd have to get corroboration on your statement about China. I understand that one of the big checks on human reproduction is lactation by the mother. Societies without dairy animals were always held in check by this one factor.

My knowledge of China is limited. IF, however (IF) they got to 1,000,000,000 without fossil fuels, fertilizers, herbicides, etc - they did it as a homogeneous society, with a 2000+ year tradition of social stratification and/or cooperation.

Do we see ANYTHING like a tradition of cooperation in these US?

Lowered population growth is our only hope.
Join this outfit, or find a better one:
http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer

> "Memoryhole - - DING, DING, DING -
> Ring the bell and give Mr. MemoryHole a Gold
> Star!"

It was a question that I was asking, not an assertion about Americans, who I think are generally full of themselves (you being a case in point). ;)

> Yes, memory - like it or not - people in the US > are more important that people from "other"
> countries. (They also burn a hell of a lot
> more petrol, too.)

What exactly is this supposed to mean? Someone from America is "more important" than a German or French person? In what way? Do you know how asinine and close-minded that sounds? BTW, burning more petrol is becoming a liability, not something to flaunt or a reason to feel exceptional.

>As soon as an immigrant manages to make it into >the US - legal or otherwise - he becomes more >important.

Well that's just a silly statement which is completely unprovable. You're saying that the minute Pedro steps across the Rio Grande into Texas, he instantaneously becomes more important. What if Pedro was Chief of Police in a Mexican town and is now looking for swing shifts at Applebee's? He's still more important here?

> I don't know if that's human nature, or just
> something about the humanitarian nature of the > US. (along with medicaid, afdc, etc - but let's > stay on the subject.)

Just ask the people of Iraq and Afghanistan about our "humanitarian" nature, which apparently includes copious helpings of cluster bombs and depleted uranium.

America does have social programs, but most rich first world countries have better ones. You pat yourself on the back too much.

> That's why the US has the ability to destroy . > most of the rest of the world, as a place fit
> for human habitation - if 313,000,000 is
> allowed to turn into 500,000,000 - or more.

You're suggesting that the U.S. would destroy the planet because of (mild) domestic overpopulation. That's a very odd mind you've got there, not to mention that this would be highly counter-productive.

> I mean - most of the globe seems to think
> Americans are using their military in a crazy
> game of global domination - simply over OIL.

They KNOW we're doing this, Bubba. This isn't just an opinion. It is the stated goal of our national security policy ala Dick Cheney's "Energy Task Force."

> Wait 'till we have FOOD shortages - in the US - > if you want to see us go really CRAZY over
> global domination.

If the U.S. has severe food shortages, given its abundant domestic resources, then most of the rest of the world will have already gone Mad Max. So what globe would we be dominating and why?

> Think it wouldn't happen - -
> You've never felt hunger, then.

Food scarcity/shortages are happening as we speak, throughout the planet. This is more likely to lead to domestic upheaval (Egypt anyone?) than some kind of nuclear holocaust.

Anyways, I suggest you go abroad and/or meet some people from different countries. Your Amero-centric way of thinking is a bit weird and leads you to strange conclusions.

"You think people in the US are more important than people from other countries? Oh, I guess that's the famous "American exceptionalism" I keep hearing about."
-HH-

Helen,
Reread my post for nuance, if you would.

I think it is human nature to make the people of ANY society more important than those outside of that society.

If the bongo tribe of Papua, New Guinea had had the ability that Europeans had to colonize - and the military might of the US, plus nuclear weapons - then we'd all be speaking the bongo dialect of Papua.

Humor above, darlin' - don't over analyze, please.

=================
So yeah, despite all analysis, the solution is fewer US citizens/residents in North America.

There was a string of forts in south Texas in the19th century. There ruins are tourist attractions now. How was that done legally in those days. It would be interesting to know. Btw i dont blame people for wanting to come here.

MemoryHole -
Nice post back to me at 12:07.
I went out on a limb and you and Helen sawed it off for me!

Nice job, seriously.

Again, to the both of you - read my post for nuance - and tell me why the population of the US shouldn't max out at the lowest possible number.

That's really all I was trying to get at, here.
==========
I shall now crawl off my limb and hug the tree trunk for the rest of the night, if you please.

Regards, you two,
PoC

China's population reached 1 billion in 1980. They must have had fossil fuel fertilizers by then.

Posse Comitatus was passed in 1875 as a result of the South being occupied by Northern troops in the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. So presumably the forts date from before then. But it has been ignored as presidents see fit, as there is some language about using troops in extraordinary circumstances. For instance, Eisenhower used the Army to round up illegal immigrants. But, in general, permanent stationing of troops for domestic law enforcement is frowned upon, if not illegal.

Hiya, tree limb hugger. I have an urge to share an internet beer with you and shoot the shiz about this topic, because I just kinda picked apart your post rather than actually stating my views. You'd probably be surprised at how much we agree on population issues. I just think that overpopulation is a global problem (really THE global problem), not something easily solved or dealt with by the US shutting down its borders. That would only delay the inevitable if the entire world doesn't get its act together.

Hell, I scare people sometimes with the policies I advocate. We spay and neuter cats and dogs for "humanitarian" (caninitarian?) purposes, but people that make $1 a day can churn out 10, 12 kids, no problem-o. But that's freedom for you. It is hella messy, and people are allowed to make poor choices, like breeding uncontrollably.

I just think that if we don't get fairly extreme with our own policies globally, then Nature will open up a can of whoop ass on us farther down the line. Unfortunately, this looks like one of those tilting at windmill type of problems, as no one seems too serious about it. The US should at least be pushing very hard for family planning, birth control, etc. in the poorer countries.

I don't plan on having a family myself, which won't be a problem if my love life continues as it has lately.

The population question is an interesting one, because many people benefit from having continuous growth in the number of inhabitants on the globe. For one, it makes for a very employer-friendly labor market.

Don't like your job? Well, screw you, we've got 106 people from China or India lined up for it who will take 1/10 the pay.

"saying they won't be happy until they get a moat with alligators along the border."

It won't work unless we also throw the Dems & Reps in too.

C'mon people! How hard is it to stop ILLEGAL immigration?

1. NO freebies for non-citizens.
2. NO jobs for non-citizens.

Problem solved.

People, please; release the moral high horse to academic pasturage, ‘cause that’s the only place it might net you some credit.

The combined uncoiling of climate change and overpopulation feedback loops is building to whip-lash velocity. Get it, that’s what this site is all about!

Mother Nature’s calculus is unsentimental – making no concessions to anthropomorphic notions of balanced scales of justice. So, no matter how long you wish to debate the supposed right and wrong of the past (who’s gained and who’s lost, who has been the exploited or the exploiter) human survival is soon to become very spotty. Our chances here are going to be “iffy” at best, so get a grip.

In terms of how we should be banking our future; adding population is not economic in any sense, regardless of how eloquent Obama’s speechifying about selling national sovereignty if the “price is right”. That’s paraphrasing his position stated in El Paso today: essentially, let our immigration laws default to however many foreign nationals choose to come because it will drive economic growth.

That represents further indulgence in the myth of American exceptionalism. Yes, the same arrogance that resulted in most of our national foolhardiness that so many of you decry and plead national sacrificial repentance of.

OK, memory -
I saw one branch on a new tree upon which I had not yet climbed -

- go ahead and start sawing,if you so desire -
-you and HelenHighWater-
============

"> That's why the US has the ability to destroy . > most of the rest of the world, as a place fit
> for human habitation - if 313,000,000 is
> allowed to turn into 500,000,000 - or more."
-PoC, to memoryhole-

"You're suggesting that the U.S. would destroy the planet because of (mild) domestic overpopulation. That's a very odd mind you've got there, not to mention that this would be highly counter-productive."
-memoryhole, back to PoC-
===============
NO, no, no, -memory, I'm not saying that the US would DELIBERATELY destroy the world.

Maybe you missed, "as a fit place for human habitation," which was a clue to the nuance.

What I'm suggesting is that the US may well destroy the world accidentally, though.

=============
Don't we consume 25% of the world's fossil fuels, with less than 5% of the world's population?

Already?

Do you think that will get better? With 400,000,000 US citizen/residents??

================
WE CAN'T STOP!! Don't you understand??
Doesn't anyone understand???

Every piece of infrastructure
Every subdivision
Every airport
Every road

Every damn thing - that has been built in the US since 1946 - is predicated on burning oil.

We can't quit - OR - we won't quit -
doesn't matter

The more US citizens - the worse we will be for the Globe.
Global warming and ecosystem collapse can goddamn well be goddamned to hell -

We're stuck in a bad place -
Only when our population reduces -
Will we cease to dominate the Globe.

So push immigration into the US
If you wanna die.

I could say more. But I'm stopping for now.

-----------
And understand that I'm a ZPG greenie since 1970-something.

But I know my country.
And I know human nature.

Starve the beast, please.
Reduce immigration into the US.
Before it is too late - for the whole Planet.

I went to San Jose to work a couple of years after I moved here, and I mentioned to a co-worker that I was going to go to San Francisco to go to a burrito place in the Mission that I liked.

Oh,no, he said, you can't go there anymore. You'll get shot if you wear the wrong colors. (This was an African American telling me this).

So I asked my relative, who teaches in a San Jose school, and he scoffed.

Nope, he said, you have to have the colors and an attitude.

Well, of course. I should have known that, as an ER nurse. We joke about the assault victims who were "just walking along minding my own business" when they are viciously attacked for no reason.

Usually, after about 2 minutes of dealing with them, you realize why they were beaten up. And it's not because they were wearing the wrong colors.

Hey, don't worry about the health care budget.

It's been taken care of. $500 billion cut from Medicare this year, (and sent to the FIRE sector), with $500 billion more next year in Obama's budget.

That's a trillion dollars less for health care.

Let me tell you how it is on the ground. Today, for the first time in 17 years, I saw my co-worker in tears. Everyone is living in fear. Management is "writing people up" for bullshit stuff, the better to fire them with.

I got written up for looking like I didn't approve of the changes, while at a staff meeting. (Seven people told me that they didn't see me making faces).

They are firing people for trivial things. People are snitching on others, to get them fired.

Here's the thing. Nobody gets what is happening. They blame the managers, or the new policies, or whatever.

The other day I pointed out that when you remove $500 billion dollars from a system, there will be changes made.

My Republican co-worker scoffed. "I can make up that money easy. Just refuse to see bullshit poor people with their trivial complaints".

How can anyone think that you can make up for losing $500 billion dollars by refusing care to more people? This doesn't make sense. Is he suddenly a "penny saved is a penny earned" person? Cause that's not really true when it comes to ending government subsidies.

My husband pointed out that he probably doesn't realize that the way hospitals will make up for the trillion dollar loss is by firing people, and reducing labor costs.

Ha, ha.

As if the US would go along with something like that.

Found this earlier this week...amazing..
At my local JC there are 1000+ illegals and they help them...but if yr a down and out citizen...WATCH OUT!!!

Norwalk: Conn. woman arrested over son's school enrollment - News ...
Norwalk: Conn. woman arrested over son's school enrollment. - A homeless 33-year-old woman is scheduled ...

FOR 'MANY' SUBSTITUTE 'A FEW'

Exactly.

They're tossing glitter into the air, lots of glitter, and everyone focuses on part of it.

"That's my story and I'm sticking to it".

No way. That doesn't work. One story can be investigated and exposed.

Throw out multiple stories. Make it look like you don't know what you're doing. Keep people focused on trivial discrepancies.

But the Big Story. The one that is so very implausible. That gets lost as the spin swirls around the glitter and the inconsistencies.

I HAVE TRAVELED ASIA [INDIA etc] BUT NOT CHINA.
China is dirt poor...India is now reeling from the recent 'green' revolution.
I say modern medicine is the cause of population bloom in those countries.
Also lack of wars in last 40 years.
Prove me wrong.

You've got the economics down, that's for sure.

But to causally call for increased surveillance on citizenship is to allow for increased repression on the domestic population of the US, in order to catch the immigrants.

Rather like 9-11 was used to increase repression on the domestic population, what with the Patriot Act, the wiretapping, the ID requirements to travel.

Note that the so-called assassination of Bin Laden is being used to call for increased "security" on Amtrak and bus lines.

Seriously? This is absurd. You don't need to carry a bomb onto a train to cause harm, and any person with an average IQ, or lower, should be able to see this.

But we have Chuck Schumer using the "plans" "discovered" in the house that Osama supposedly lived in to call for increased repression on Amtrak riders.

One of the reasons I take Amtrak, instead of flying, is that I object to the prison-like shakedowns of airline passengers.

Now they want to use this assassination as an excuse to broaden the oppression of Americans who want to travel.

And they want to use the immigration issue as a way to broaden the oppression of Americans who want to work.

Don't fall for it.

Oh, yeah. I had a 25 pound bag of rice in a metal can, to keep the mice out, you know. It was to feed me when TSHTF.

I opened it the other day, and, Yuk, it was moldy.

There are other things on this planet that eat rice besides mice.

OCSE, World Bank, FED, European Bank whatever, their formula for Portugal, Greece, etc. is "liberalization" of the economy, "privatization", etc. More "free market", that is supposed to generate "growth". Nothing further from the truth, there is no imaginary cause and effect between these two items, in fact they never specify what should become privatized (probably only the profits), they say university must be paid more, private water so you pay more, freer "labor market" (there has never been a time in Europe where the labor market has been so free, easy fire, peanut salaries, etc.) everything is a one way street: hose the poor.

And especially this won't create growth, but further contraction as in people getting poorer because they have to pay the "private" hands more money for everything, but the robot economists all chant the same prayer, what total idiots, these economists deserve so many punches in the face.

Growth is over in the USA, EU and JAPAN, AND HAS BEEN OVER FOR DECADES ! A country grows when it goes from poor to middle class, when everyone buys their first car, TV, their first furniture, etc. After the market saturates, growth ends naturally, there is nothing you can do about it,the only thing that grows is private profits and unemployment because the application of technology kills more and more jobs.

And don't give me the example of the USSR or the communist countries, their experience was one of a kind, with a given technology and environment, the success of capitalism against them was mostly the success of consumerism and more application of technology to increase productivity in the west as compared to the former east: so stop talking about private is better, state run is bad, and so on, it no longer applies and is all false. Just because the USSR failed doesn't mean any of the modern Right Wing Thug theories are correct in any possible way, they are all total lies helping the rich choke on ever more trillions.

The chant is always cut taxes, more "free market", more privatizations, liberalizations, etc. But no one really ever say what "cut taxes" really means, it means cutting jobs, especially public jobs, cutting ever more jobs, because taxes serve to pay people. And then, pray, tell me, what jobs will all of those fired do, especially since the economic system structurally creates less and less work? How is that supposed to "help the economy", especially help the "economy grow": what idiots, it is all a lie, cutting taxes will just fire ever more people, and make the economy contract as fewer people have salaries, fewer people can buy things, less consumption, etc.

But for some reason, everybody has been brainwashed that it is important to "cut taxes": this is really just saying "it is important to fire as many people as possible", that way "the economy can finally grow". Doesn't anyone see through all of this BS ? All of that money that went to pay people through taxes will just be hogged up by the capitalists and rich, as if they already are not drowning and suffocating in trillions of dollars, that money "saved" by paying less taxes will just end up in the hands of the rich, it is not going to do anything better, it is not going anywhere better.

And then this BS of privatizing and liberalizing the economies of Portugal Greece just serves to do the same; kill jobs, put more money in the hands of the rich, since by "liberalizing" the economy you make it more "efficient" which always means more job cuts, by privatizing the private hands can now fire ever more people, since they don't want to pay them and they don't need to anymore, etc. This will just create less and less jobs, economic contraction, etc.

We need more taxes, more jobs created by the government by the millions. More taxes, ever more: and don't give me the excuse of the ex-communist countries demonstrating that state run is not good: a state run entity can be even more efficient than any private one if it is run by good managers. This is just a huge Right Wing Thug ideology that has been brainwashing everyone for decades that "private" is good, "public" is bad, "private run is better", "public run is bad": nothing further from the truth, private run just means ever more job cuts and ever more concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich capitalists. And all of this while the system is structurally killing jobs automatically worldwide by the millions, with no end in sight.

Some people can focus on the real story, not the glitter.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28062.htm

And in fact all of those that want tax cuts, that want to fire the public workers because they "don't deserve it", their "performance is not good", they are "not efficient", is just a right wing trick to make people think they "deserve" more than others, they are "better" or "superior" to others: this is all false, there is no longer any relationship between capability - merit and jobs, and the necessity of jobs in a Technological Economy that is doing away with all kinds of jobs. Just look at how many engineers and other professionals can be fired and laid off in the blink of an eye. So don't fall for it, everyone against everyone else, asking for tax cuts: we need more taxes, the government must hire millions of people and cheap rents, 200 dollars a month rents.

The Right Wing Thug ideology and mentality has completely brainwashed everyone on earth on all of these myths that it is not even funny anymore, "productivity", "competition", "meritocracy", "you have to deserve it", "cut taxes", "everyone is a lazy slob", "there are jobs but you have the wrong skill set", "we need more research, innovation, education", "too many debts", "state run is bad, private run is good", "resource scarcity" and so on, an infinite list of excuses and thought patterns that have been inserted in everyone's mind to cut jobs, fire people, pay them less, all in punishment mode, everyone wanting to punish everyone else, etc.

All of the economists, journalists, all of the opinions worldwide converge in the same way and say the same things, no matter what. This is that gigantic ideological construction that the capitalists have so successfully inserted in everyone's brains, there is no way to deprogram people anymore.

A funny thing especially is when they say workers are lazy, they must be fired, they are not productive, etc. This makes it seem like everyone is lazy, but it is structural, the economic system no longer needs work, so many appear lazy and everyone criticizes everyone else without seeing through the system: the computers, software, communications, optimizations are killing all kinds of necessary activities and not substituting them with anything at all, everyone appears to become lazier and lazier, in all truth it is structural, the Technological Economy needs work like a hole in the head and it will just become worse and worse.

On the debts myth, remember money is a place holder, is a proxy for human relationships, there are no debts and there is no such thing as money, money can't run out just like human relationships can't run out, that is why they can "restructure the debts" aka "we can invent and do anything we want", etc.

Most of the entire discipline of engineering is based on how to do more with less, how to produce more with fewer manipulations, less material and energy inputs, more economies of scale, use the same parts across more products and most of all less labor inputs. But, somehow we always need "more engineers", ultimately to decrease the need of labor one way or another because even if you just decrease the use of energy or materials or manipulations either directly or indirectly that will translate in "less cost" and less cost always means somewhere down the line, somewhere in the world a job or more jobs are axed.

The tech guys have been taught to not connect the local to the global, engineering never touches "sociology", the local optimization there just happens to have a large scale "social effect", but engineers are not taught to think in terms of global effects, and especially social effects, but in local details and optimizations.

Maybe I live in a global hypocrisy, everyone knows that many jobs are fake or not needed, could be axed and probably will be axed, but everyone just plays along, just pretends, and I think I am telling them something they already knew (but never dare to say it bluntly): shame on me for being so naive.

That begs the question, how many "fake jobs" can the system invent (I am amazed that 100 million people still work in the USA, still have jobs, but maybe I am wrong), after all the military expenditure could be 700 billion a year enough for 70 million cheap salaries of 10,000 a year and the military doesn't produce anything but is set up to destroy things, the opposite of production, but especially consumes weapons, so indirectly "produces" weapons. Another result of EXCESS CAPACITY, but no one notices it, or pretends to not notice that the system creates so much wealth that it can maintain such a military budget with so many unemployed.

The JAPANESE may have 5 million fake jobs of people working in their skyscrapers and offices, where the job consists of mostly waiting for the boss to go home at 10 at night, since the status relationship is the job, the "ritual" is the job (wondering how many jobs are just "rituals"). They already produce way more than enough, flooding the world with their products, they need more real production like a hole in the head. After all their unemployment figures are always around 5 % while most 1st world countries hover around 8 to 10 % (and surely much higher, since these numbers are fudged up a lot), so how do they do it ? what makes them special ? They just keep a lot of people in fake jobs where they wait for time to pass (but they are not the only ones, I phantom,worldwide we are in the tens of millions).

Notice how important "time at work, the more time, the more productive you are, but especially the higher chance of a raise you may have" is even in the USA: the more important this is in a work environment, you can be sure the less real production and less real work is being performed, unless they loaded all the work on just a few workaholics who see the world as so full of work.

reply to comment posted earlier by "memoryhole": I think we probably ARE [in the process of] absorbing the entire population of Mexico.

James

Great commentary on the passing parade - as per usual. Would you care to comment on figure 14 (page 24) of the DOE Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (link below). The DOE apparently does not support the concept of peak oil.......would you agree?

World Petroleum consumption - 2035

Helen,
Here ya go; but I warn you, cheap, they ain't!
Try to find someone to split a large order with, and it won't be quite so painful...

http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/

Kinda surprised about the bad fit of chickens to USA {all?}. What about some of the game birds/pigeons/waterfowl? Might they be a better fit?

"Mother Nature’s calculus is unsentimental – making no concessions to anthropomorphic notions of balanced scales of justice. So, no matter how long you wish to debate the supposed right and wrong of the past (who’s gained and who’s lost, who has been the exploited or the exploiter) human survival is soon to become very spotty. Our chances here are going to be “iffy” at best, so get a grip." -CP

Nicely put (the entire post, BTW).

Meanwhile, "CON"gress smugly congratulated itself on making the FUSA a baby-makin' paradise. Wonder how many of these non-representatives are working on outlawing condoms and birth-control pills? (Wait, if these shitheels ARE representing their constituencies... ah-boy...)

The absurdity is about half-past dangerous, and a quarter to the final destination. (Let's just face the fact that a giant majority doesn't get it, and most certainly, doesn't want to.) "Thinking's hard, Buffy. Let's ask Mr. French if we can increase our teevee viewing time." -Jodie

Ha!
I linked that one too, Wage.
Suspicious minds think alike. (To twist a phrase... ;o)

Chickens are apparently naturalizing in Hawaii, which suggests that they would be a low energy food option there. Perhaps southern Florida? Any temperate climate will mean a lot of grain to support chickens. It takes 1000 s.f. of grain to feed one chicken for one year. Seems unsustainable to me.

Other birds would probably more in line with our climate - the natives like ducks, geese, and turkeys for sure. Every time I plant I set out forage for turkeys to add down the road. We weren't ready for the one that was given to us earlier this year. But with a couple years of planting muscadine grapes, sawtooth oaks, nutsedges, perennial peanut, and so forth, I think we can bring imported feed down to a minimum.

For the moment my ducks and geese are feed hogs, but I think I can cut them back to mostly forage as they mature. At least they are growing like crazy to mirror the inputs. Maybe bugs, snails, and herbs will do for maintenance once they're full grown. We'll see. I'm sure I'll write about it down the road.

Aha! Found it...

"Based on what you've seen and heard and your own gut feel what do you figure is the true story with OBL? Died 10 yrs ago? Is he in a Pakistani refuge under ISI protection?" -Cash
***

Not sure why you'd want to ask my opinion on that; I don't trust anything anymore. ;o) Since you ask; I'd go with the "died 10 yrs. ago" deal; if just for the medical problems of constant dialysis. (Kept "alive" as a convenient bogeyman by those of evil intent. Notice the blossoming Stasi-state in the FUSA. ...And thus the distractional lie of the FUSA being a world-shakin', policy-makin' behemoth. That's why we need us some safe-keepin', don'cha know; them terr'ists is out to knock down the biggest, baddest boy on the block.)
***

"No matter what the real story is with the SEAL raid, secrets nowadays are impossible to keep. Sooner or later someone will blab." -Cash
***

Now, this little item? I'd surely have to disagree. Very common argument; and since it's so often parroted by gov't. officials and conspiracy squashers, I therefor disbelieve it. Take a little look at those who've worked for the vaunted CIA. Don't hear too much from them, do you? I'd guess that some programming goes very, very deep. (Especially "patriotic" myths/paradigms.)

Reality Strikes!
Love your 1:58 post about the Republican health care workers who thought those budget cuts were not going to effect them.

They have not been observing the patterns of the last 35 years where employees are seen as a deficit against the gains of the wealthy ceo's so here's a taste of what cuts in budgets looks like. Oh, they really think they are going to keep their jobs taking care of less people?--Really?

Sad situation for you and you have my sympathy. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Yeah...I use to live in Portland, it certainly is covered in ink. If you see extensive tattoos as beautiful or not is strictly a matter of opinion, of course. From a heath POV, its hard to imagine that forcing that much ink into one of your organs is really demonstrating "mindfulness" (or good sense) by any definition of the word. But then, most people think that their POV is objectively correct, rather than just their opinion. It seems that might be a POV that you and JHK share.

Don't be surprised if in a few more years some study shows that extensive tattoos are a health risk. I'd be surprised if it isn't, just being "mindful" and all.

"Young people filling restaurants isn't this what happened in Japan where young women with jobs were the ones with money to spend."
======================================
Donno, but sounds plausible.

"The problem with Education, now that the loans are at a Trillion outstanding is the For Profit Schools, with their 'factories' [as a student at Art institute told me], loans and GI Bill.
Ive posted here before about that.

How can someone in Arizona repay 100k for their Culinary degree if they are making 400$ a week?"
======================================
It had to happen, sooner of later you would say something I agree with. Clearly that's why current times are such a boom period for education. No jobs, everyone stays in school and hopes for the best.

I'm not so sure you are right about his "3D skills" however, things in that field are changing at mach speed, and are so specialized that instant obsolescence is a real threat. The kid is the one who brought it up.....he knows better than you or I.

Back to OBL once again..

A great article in Asia Times Online will throw some light on the matter. US-Pakistani understanding of US surgical strikes in Pakistan with Pakistan getting the credit for them, for political reasons, they have to prove their sovereignty, but the understand was there.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/ME12Df02.html

"Re shelf life of grains being 9 - 12 years at household temperatures - I don't think that is really true. Google "shelf life of brown rice" and you'll see that most website give it as 6 months if unrefrigerated."
==========================================
True enough about "brown rice", that is why I said "most grains". Frankly, I always found brown rice unpalatable anyway, and when I read the nutritional breakdown of the difference between it and white rice I was not impressed with the alledged superior values of BR. It's slightly higher in B vitamins, otherwise pretty much a push.

If you are talking about survival foods then it's hard to beat white rice and beans and they will last for 9-12 years if preserved properly (dry, room temperature). Dried fruit and jerky ain't bad either.

But my favorite "apocalypse food" is vodka, lots of vodka, easy to store, lots of calories, and boy will people want that if the T.V. blacks out! The ultimate trade good.

I think this is the first Canadian election in which such vicious attack ads were used.- HH

Nonsense. You selectively forget the torrent firehosed at Manning and Harper and company by the Liberals.

Remember this Liberal ad?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMsqEph7a8I

"Stephen Harper actually announced he wants to increase military presence in our cities. Canadian cities. Soldiers with guns. In our cities. In Canada. We did not make this up." Accompanied by pounding war drums.

I have to give the Liberals one thing, they managed to slander our military AND slur Harper all in 30 seconds. All over a plan to deploy 100 regular force and 400 reservists in major cities to help with humanitarian and disaster relief.

Imagine the scream-fest coming from Liberals if it had been Harper that spent 30 years of his life out of the country, calling the United States "my country", calling our flag a "passing imitation of a beer label".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0sl3NzBw_k

Imagine the screams of outrage if Harper had spoken these words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE-9Vuidn6Q&feature=related

The fact is that Iggy really doesn't know this country or understand it. He disqualified himself from leading this place by spending his adult life outside of it.

Regarding half a brain: the Liberals are down to 34 seats. Self explanatory.

"But my favorite "apocalypse food" is vodka, lots of vodka, easy to store, lots of calories, and boy will people want that if the T.V. blacks out! The ultimate trade good."

Indeed. Better still if you could grow the ingredients and distill it yourself. Talk about being untouchable.

I understand your distrust. To me sometimes things are pretty much like they appear. But other times I can't help hearing wheels within wheels whirring away. I would agree about the CIA if it had been a nasty, back alley rub-out of some al Qaeda nobody.

But this OBL thing IMO is different. The US govt is shouting it from the rooftops and practically begging to get outed. I can't help but think that given the animosity towards Obama and the Dems that someone won't oblige. Maybe a motivated Repub version of Bradley Manning?

Then there's the Pakistanis. Their wide eyed "who me" act makes me laugh. They don't know nuttin' 'bout nuttin'. My sense is that their shitty regime is not long for this world and will be heading for the exits with their stolen loot. I don't think the successor (maybe the Taliban or some variant thereof) will feel the need to play along. And who knows, maybe the beards running Iran would have been happy to see OBL rotting in his grave so who knows what they know or whether they were involved in hiding, funding or eventually pulling the plug on OBL. I think that someone in the middle eastern rat's nest of conspiracies and plots will eventually spill.

They understand "citizenship". But they so hate the country they're living in that they're committed to doing what they can to undermine it. You don't understand it? Neither do I. It's like some of the passengers on a boat called the USA doing their gleeful damndest to blow holes in the hull and sink the ship all the while thinking that everyone else will drown but not them. Futile to point out that they'll be at the bottom in a watery grave with the rest. They just don't believe it. The rules of physics applies to everyone else but not them.

There was one allegedly Black poster here who happily welcomed the reconquest of the US by hispanics. OK but if I was Black I would be concerned about how Black people are treated in the Hispanic home countries. Because the Hispanic newcomers are likely to bring with them a cartload of cultural baggage including the prevailing home-country attitude towards Black people. So he might want to do a bit of research before putting on the party hat and celebrating the demise of the regime. Will the new regime be any better? Or will it be worse?

With very little massaging of the arguments for amnesty to illegal aliens and the Dream Act for their children, the American citizenry can be said to have acquired obligation to now compensate those who’ve not gained advantage of fleeing their Third World nation by illegal entry into our First World nation.

To rectify this imbalance of advantage gained by the illegal aliens and their children through absorbing the services and opportunity not prevailing for those yet back in the countries of origin, don’t we as a nation (we citizenry of the US) now owe dedicating all our resources and effort toward correcting this great “inequality”?

The framing of debate as “anti immigrant” rather than as “anti illegal immigration” precludes mention of the fact that with each deported illegal alien goes whatever advantage accrued while either living or having life start in our First World nation. Taken back to the nations of origin constitutes a great gift (or theft – however you choose to view it) from the American citizenry.

Now really, isn’t “advantage” implicit to this invasion of illegal aliens? To put a different face on it we could as well say that deportation amounts to a great bequeath of benefit by the American citizenry to the nations of origin -- a kind of Peace Corps in reverse.

Yeah, yeah, yeah; I hear the usual bemoaning of American policy perceived (from today’s elevated throne of higher PC sensibility) as errant in the past, and too the subsequent call for restitution of scale to balance accounts of “justice”.

Too bad, because Mother Nature has just posted notice that our account of overpopulation is “past due”! She’s not in the mood to further underwrite our indulgence of American exceptionalism – which in this case fosters belief that America can wishfully think itself around the reality of finite resources.

The message (getting louder with each record drought, shift in weather patterns, etc.) is that we might yet avoid here being foreclosed off the premises, but contingent upon giving up our vaunted illusion of being able to save the rest of the world by continuing (and for now even considering raising) our immigration ceiling -- which, but the way, has been greater for decades over that of all other developed countries combined.

You're right. American foreign policy is so great.

We'll make your country undergo vicious austerity measures, sell off its state owned assets to foreign vultures, suck out your resources and in return provide worthless paper, devaluate/inflate the currency, wreck the economy, trash the environment, send millions into poverty, sell your government all kinds of weapons for domestic suppression, coopt your elite, and train secret police to oppress democratic and populist movements, among other chestnuts of American foreign policy.

Hey, that's not Politically Correct. It's reality. You want some references?

And that's our right as 'Mericans. It's a Free Market, ain't it? After all, we own the world. (Jesus sez so.)

But don't you dare try to leave the country that we wrecked and come over here. That would be totally wrong and would sink our American ship.

I can dig it.

Obviously you must have been fortunate to live in one of the wealthier neighborhoods during your time in Brazil and not in one of the countless "favelas" where the majority are forced to live in inhuman conditions. You must have been chauffer-driven around Brazil because I can't imagine you'd risk your life on Brazil's crime-ridden mass transit system. Any obviously you've never given it a second thought that without huge loans for the American banks, Brazil would never have joined the 20th century. America is 'soul-less' you say? Have you ever been to Detroit's Arts, Beats and Eats in your life?

Hey, we don't need loans because we print our own currency. Neat trick, huh?

Loans from American banks....ahahaha....yes, loans where the money that is "given" was conjured out of thin air. Neat trick, that.

I feel that it's a good thing that you people are discussing Canadian politics on here, the U.S media gives zero coverage to politics in other countries, and most of the U.S is so myopic and self centered that they understand little about the rest of the planet; for all of the American government's constant meddling.

I like to hear news from Canadia as well. We're just too busy watching Dancing with the Stars and American Idol to bother with that boring crap. Maybe if Steven Harper and Rosie O'Donnell did the tango, the ratings for C-Span Northern Edition would improve.

These whiny Third Worlders need to thank us for bringing them McDonald's and Coca Cola and stop complaining about bad things that happened in the distant past, like 1989. Hell, as a typical American, I can't even remember anything past last Tuesday, much less eons ago during the 80's and 90's. All these people want to do is talk about America's destructive and malicious foreign policy but that's just so boring compared to whatever reality TV show is on right now.

I have to reiterate Jim's experience of small towns - a recent trip for photography through New Mexico I saw similar scenes - tiny towns of abandoned tilted buildings, closed up shops, and eerily no people to be seen anywhere, though their cars were there. Folsom, Vaughn, Duran, Las Vegas (NM) - I call these places ghost towns in-the-making, almost gone but not quite. And of course the stench-filled oil 'n gas Carlsbad, a real cesspool of a town with no sense of land-planning or smart development - at least Roswell has trees planted along their main street. But aside from man's impact on the land, NM is still a beautiful, big land big vista state.

So, where is Harper stationing the military? In the cities or the back country? And if what the liberals said turned out to be true, can what the liberals said be called slander?

In the five years Harper's Conservative government has been in power, the Canadian Forces have added 7,754 people to their regular forces and reserves. That’s an expansion of 8.7 per cent, bringing the total to 96,675 people at the end of the 2009-2010 fiscal year. I'm sure there must be increased military presence in Canadian cities, just as the liberals predicted.

I totally agree about the world's population being far too high for the planet's carrying capacity. But the people living on $1 a day who churn out 10 or 12 children are not the ones using up most of the world's resources. How could you consume much on a dollar a day? A child born in the developed countries uses many times more resources than a child born in a poor country, so it's our own countries that need to lead the way in population control. But of course corporations don't want smaller populations, because that would mean less consumers for all the useless crap they want us to buy.

modern medicine combined with modern agriculture.

Again, your observations are excellent for an academic discourse on what human behaviors, national policies, secular pseudo religious economics beliefs brought human kind to its current perdition, and I hope for continuence of human kind in the future so that lessons can be gleaned from such discussion. The "meanwhile" though is such as to disallow extravigant gestures of national pennance. Own the guilt if you will but don't embark our nation on a "guilt trip" that cancels its slim prospect of saving itself.

Because the Hispanic newcomers are likely to bring with them a cartload of cultural baggage including the prevailing home-country attitude towards Black people.

This is a problem with conservative thought. Conservatives want to believe attitudes are "conserved" and therefore believe that "as it was in the past, so shall it be in the future" And that just ain't the case.

There has been a rising black consciousness throughout Latin America. It is most evident in Brazil, where racism is banned by the Constitution and punishable by imprisonment.

Attitudes are changing and racism is dying. Affirmative action legislation has been implemented in Latin America, and people's attitudes towards blacks in Latin America is changing for the better.

So, the Black poster here (of whom we can speak, but not address directly) probably understands that "the times they are a changin'" ... and that is why he has no fear of 50 million immigrants from Latin America now living in the USA, and welcomes more, especially Mexicans and Muslims.

Yeah, Cash, but Stephen Harper did send troops and police with guns to the G20 in Toronto. Cost us taxpayers $1 billion.

It is even possible that a Black might be elected President, proof the times are a changin'

Someday we might even see a woman, or a lesbian, or Hispanic, or even an atheist, as president.

Actually Harper just sent the military to Manitoba to assist with flood relief. The Assiniboine River has reached its highest level in recorded history. Oops, there goes a big whack of our farmland. But he doesn't think it has anything to do with the climate changing, it's just another one of those "unprecedented" events we seem to be having a lot of lately. And of course we are not involved in 2 wars, Afghanistan until 2014 (at least) and now Libya, where we are leading the NATO "mission". And he wants to buy billions of dollars (he won't tell us how many billions) worth of new fighter jets, so I guess he has plans to use them somewhere.

meant to say "now involved in two wars" instead of "not involved in two wars". Can't keep my fingers under control.

Thanks for the discussion Cave...

Will survival in TLE be on a nation-by-nation basis only? Must it be so? Are we not all inhabitants of the same big globe that, in reality, has no border lines? Or do you see each country as its own boat that must sink or float on its own? Don't the "solutions" need to encompass everyone that lives on this earth? Why not go even further and argue that all you need to worry about is yourself and your family, rather than any particular political group to which you belong?

The previous discussion was not necessarily suggesting any course of action or program of national penance. Notice that I didn't argue for reparations, debt forgiveness, or any number of concrete proposals I could have put forward, some more reasonable than others.

I just find it very interesting how selective Americans are with their historical memory. We'll remind you that, "We saved yer country's ass!" for which said country's denizens should apparently be eternally subservient and greatful.

But talk about the support for repressive and anti-democratic governments in South America during the 60's through the 80's (and beyond), and all you get from us is blank stares of non-recognition.

Helen, I don't know much about Canadian politics, but it sounds as if Harper and George W. Bush could be kissin' cousins.

And as long as your Canadian CEOs continue to sell/export your resources to our USA CEOs, you will not feel the wrath of the American military empire on your soil.

Canada is the best economic annex (richest in natural resources) one could hope for.

talk about the support for repressive and anti-democratic governments in South America during the 60's through the 80's (and beyond), and all you get from us is blank stares of non-recognition.

Many in the USA do not know USA troops are stationed at Colombian military bases today (2011) even though the Colombian Supreme Court ruled the USA military presence illegal.

The USA soldiers are carrying out military missions in Colombia under the guise of the "war on drugs" but actually they are counter-insurgency missions killing Colombians.

Indeed. Better still if you could grow the ingredients and distill it yourself. Talk about being untouchable.
================================
Now Tripp, isn't that still illegal down your way? "Douddle, I got you this time, Douddle."

2 points to anyone who recognizes the movie.

I stumbled upon my apocolypse remedy quite by accident. Cleaning my son's room, I happened upon his stash--I'm guessing about $200 bucks worth of pot. Not wanting to flush away money, I stuck it in the grass-catcher bag for our lawnmower figuring he couldn't sniff it out in there--and besides, I mow the lawn most of the time. There it stayed, in case of emergency.

So there it sat....until my husband decides he's going to mow the lawn. He dumps the clippings out in the street in front of our house, and out comes the big baggie! Oh Lord have mercy!

SJmom

"U.S. capital is ruthlessly exploiting labor, demanding more work for little to no additional pay. The underlying dynamic here is purely Marxist: capital encourages over-supply of labor, which then drives the value of labor down. Competition for the few jobs available makes desperate wage-earners willing to put up with exploitation and insecurity because the options of escaping the cycle of centralized Corporate value extraction are insecure and risky.

Global Corporate America fosters a surplus of labor in the U.S. via three mechanisms:

1. vast illegal immigration which keeps labor costs down in low-skill corporate workhouses such as slaughterhouses, fast-food outlets, etc.

2. H1-B visas for high-tech workers (now falling out of favor as those positions are better filled directly in India and China).

3. ship production, software coding and back-office functions to China, and to a lesser degree, to India and elsewhere in east Asia.

The unemployment rate among PhDs is roughly 50%. So much for "winning" by becoming ever more educated. The number of slots in academia is shrinking, and the total number of research positions is relatively inelastic."

http://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

i think we support repressive govt's in the 3rd world because like the old song says" meet the new boss, same as the old boss." there aren,t any good guys.

Very funny. Reminds me of when I had just graduated college in the '60's and got my 1st job in a very conservative company (white shirts only required, short hair, etc.). I was walking down the stairs with everyone else, going outside at the end of the day, and reached in my pocket for something, and out fell my stash in a baggy. Oops. I redeemed myself the next day, though, when I came back from taking out a client for lunch, stinkin' drunk. It was acceptable to be alcohol-stoned, but not weed-stoned. That was part of what the '60's were about.

Again and again, the US government and American business interests have promoted and supported anti-democratic forces in poor countries over the objections of the people there. This has been implemented by military and police repression as well as economic "shock therapy" (see The Shock Doctrine book for details).

The US does not like countries where the means of production are state-owned, which typically have socialist or semi-socialist economies that are protectionist. This is because there is no way for us to make a profit off these assets when there are barriers to entry. The profits from these enterprises return to the people, not foreign investors. This is the usual arrangement that most countries deploy when given the chance, democratically. For instance, there are the state oil companies of countries like Mexico and Sweden.

By contrast, US investors like it when these assets can are sold off so that Western interests can take control of them and make profits that primarily benefit outsiders or the domestic elite.

That's why, time and time again, the US has supported dictatorships that are willing to sell out their own people over socialistic and populist interests.

And there are "good guys." These are simply the people who would be elected democratically if we kept our noses out of other country's business. Salvador Allende was elected in Chile, but the US investor class didn't like this. So they had him deposed with the help of the CIA, and then austerity measures could be implemented to sell off state assets, open up the economy to foreign investment and manipulation, and cut social services. The US did the same thing in prior years to Mossadegh in Iran.

I've done my homework on this topic. Have you?

Dale, yes when theres high unemployment folks go to school more but this is WAY beyond that...its marketing. The Times piece has a picture of a young woman who was called for 2 weeks, day after day.

Our local JC is packed to overcapacity yet SMc continues to advertise iso more students...so can you think how much advertising for profit schools do?
last nite someone called me whose wife worked for
[not real name] LA Massage School..she had a nervous breakdown working there.
The story the hubby told was....
'they get all these kids to get loans and tell them they will make 50k a year doing massage!
and the kids cant speak English well...they are poor blacks...she had a breakdown teaching in this diploma mill'

Did Japanese in them 'good ol days' have Horses?
Mules? Goats? how did they farm with out them?
[with great labor no doubt]

I had 2 neighbors [not related] who worked for ECFMG? OF ELSEGUNDO CALI..
its a 'doctor testing' agency..
To get the Indian doctors legally working here..
everyone [they say] passes the test!!
Importing zillions of doctors, all of whom pass the test.
And im told after a day or 2 on tghe plane their hygiene was the worst. [I never want to be around an Indian again].

what country is left that the state dose not own the assets/means of production. what i am confounded by is the lengths we go to maintain the status quo. wether democratic or dictatorship those countries will be marketing their goods/resources. why should we care who we buy or sell to. i think our original intrusion into the world was about freedom of the seas. to me maintaing a good quality of life here is what is important otherwise i could care less if were number one in every category. we say this is the greatest country in the world a lot , and i believe it. but we need to say it less and prove it more.

i kinda think that the people of mexico would laugh at the notion that profits from state owned enterprises are returned to the people. i imagine the people of a lot of other countries would too. i'm not giving a pass to our big shots. they would steal their mama's rent money.

According to the Wikipedia, revenues from Pemex. the Mexican state-owned oil company, pay for 40% of the operating budget of Mexico. So how you gonna laugh at that?

By their very nature, the profits of state-owned enterprises are mostly returned to the government coffers, largely as very valuable and useful foreign exchange reserves (e.g. oil is sold in return for dollars/euros or similar transactions). The state owned oil company of Sweden is also highly profitable for the people there. Ditto Aramco in Saudi Arabia.

And as far as the state owning the means of production, this is certainly not the case in America, where the government only directly owns a few entities, though the government does bailout companies and banks, especially the ones that are "too big to fail." But that's something a little different than direct ownership, isn't it?

This is a really good primer on the US economic system.

http://mondediplo.com/2008/02/05military

The trend over the last 30 or so years has been to sell off state owned assets to private investors.

Why should "we" care about who owns the means of production in these countries? Well, it is pretty simple. When assets are state owned, the people of that country benefit from them and receive the profits, as the company's shares are usually owned by the government. By contrast, when these companies or resources are owned or controlled by private interests, the profits (can) go into the pockets of Western investors. It is pretty simple really, a love of money, profits, greed, whatever you want to call it.

That explains foreign policy fiascos like Iraq in a nutshell. We, as in the powerful American business class, want access to foreign markets where big profits can be made. When we get shut out of these markets, the profits instead go to the people in those countries. And we can't have that can we?

I don't buy the "greatest country in the world" rhetoric. It is mostly subjective. By many measures, there are other first world countries with far better quality of life (social services, health care, vacation time, etc.).

Now if you want to talk about raw military power, the US has everyone else beat.

boss, you crack me up. You're so cynical about everything. Me, too, actually. But sometimes it isn't accurate to paint everyone/everything with the same brush, ya know?

memory glad you got a laugh. i read the article and i buy most of it. it would be interesting and fun to see what would happen if we closed all but the most important overseas bases along with military money to foreign countries. maybe spend on domestic projects and education. i'm not talking about totally dismantling the military. you would not have to. you are right about the paint brush , hard not use it sometime.

Everything's still illegal down my way. Doesn't mean that it isn't happening regularly though...

We invented the gin run and NASCAR, the offshoot.

"Now if you want to talk about raw military power, the US has everyone else beat."

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

Except for little people wearing pajamas in Vietnam who defeated and drove out the USA; except the Taliban people in Afghanistan who haven't been defeated and are actually stronger now after eight years of confronting the USA military.

USA veterans' hospitals continue to fill up with soldiers maimed by IEDs, now dependent on big government for their life-long medical needs.

The USA is creating millions of veterans who will be demanding services (PTSD counseling, GI benefits, etc.) from a country that is bankrupt from fighting endless wars, wars the USA military is not able to win even after years of fighting, the longest wars in USA history that are draining the country of resources, resources desperately needed to invest in infrastructure, to avoid the kind of picture JHK paints this week of a dying country.

"... Las Vegas, New Mexico,- I call these places ghost towns in the making ..." ChemiCalgary

Ah, Las Vegas, New Mexico, where the ghosts of Billy the Kid and Pat Garret still ride, and if you listen closely enough you can hear the crack of the Kid's Whitney-Kennedy rifle and Colt double action revolver, and Pat Garrets' Frontier Six Shooter.

-Marlin

Asoka, you remind me of the some of the students I went to grad school with at Wesleyan University, PC Capitol of the world. You weren't that smarmy dude in the back of the room with a pony tail in my Contemp. American History class, were you, always hammering the United States, Whitey, Christians, the CIA, Republicans, the Marine Corps, Western Civ., you name it ...

You sound just like him. Watch 'Portlandia' and you will know what I'm talking about.

At the time they had a program for vets like me. Otherwise I wouldn't have set foot in a place like that.

-Marlin

Yes, he did and that is a fact. So the fact is that he should have had his nuts on the anvil over that waste. But he skated. Too bad. That was our money that got pissed away.

Conceptualizing a universal “extreme makeover”, instantly aligning all human kind away from accustomed myths, religious based beliefs and ingrained cultural behaviors, but instead to a 21st century scientific grasp of what’s confronting mankind and why it has devolved to be so; great idea, only I don’t believe it is achievable.

Hell, most of the world is already living at lower tiers of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and not even the techno-triumphalists aren't so extravagant in their optimism to believe that a mobilization can be mounted within scale and time.

Does one need to look any further than to our own society to see how obstinately can be held beliefs that conflict directly with even the most mundane of day-to-day object reality?

That’s the problem with feedback loops; the practices that build to the eventual uncoiling seem reinforcing up to that point.

To answer your question directly: In order to be enabled as a nation to help people elsewhere we first must stabilize to sustainability here, and that in itself is a humbling tall order.

Hey soka.

Can a country win a protracted war in this day and age of commercially available encrypted communications, cheap & fast transport, cheap and lethal automatic weapons, and readily available explosives?

Given these tools, a few hundred people can wage an insurgency that will keep an entire country's military busy for years.

I believe the answer is that one can win a war given limited objectives. For instance, the US drove Saddam out of Kuwait and destroyed his army. Mission accomplished. War won.

But given the objectives in places like Afghanistan, which seem to be stabilizing and (re)building an entire country from scratch, could ANY country or entity win that war without a 50 year occupation?

The US militarily STILL occupies Japan and Germany, two countries that we beat into pulp more than 60 years ago. Similarly, we fought the Korean War to a standstill but are still over there.

So I guess you can win the war, if you decide to stick around basially forever.

And, as you say, unintended costs and consequences abound.

I think my original point stands. The US has the most raw military power (biggest and most powerful nuclear stockpiles, largest and best navy, etc.).

Now as to the actual usefulness of said arsenal, that is another question. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Memoryhole

US Army troops and Marines landed in the Philippines on May 8, 1898.

We still haven't left yet, and we have no plans to, either.

-Marlin

Ah, The Flim Flam Man? but I'm just guessing.

"...the longest wars in USA history that are draining the country of resources..."

the plan:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_MYpPLYHK9dE/TE3g9yPHN5I/AAAAAAAABPw/XD9bs-JtyNo/s400/1934+trib-cartoon1.jpg

...and most of the U.S is so myopic and self centered that they understand little about the rest of the planet...- CT

C, don't sell yourself short. Americans have accumulated millions of man years of knowledge about other countries because of WW2 and the Cold War. Plus your enterprises do business in many countries and you cannot do business in those countries without knowledge of the locals. I know this because I was for many years an employee of a US multinational that did a lot of work here and in dozens of other countries. I had the pleasure of getting to know many colleagues in the US, Europe, Asia, S. America because of my time with this firm. And I learned things about the world that I otherwise would never have known.

You live in country sized states in a continent sized country. So how much are you guys supposed to know anyway? In my experience Americans are as knowledgeable about the planet as anyone. I hear the same thing around here, bandied about by Canucks that ought to know better, that you guys are ignorant of matters outside your own shores. Not so.

And if it still doesn't make sense to you, don't worry about it too much; we need about 13 out of 14 people to disappear anyway. So by all means, pay no attention to the systems ecologists out there trying to help you down the mountain for god knows what reason. Or do we not gather here each week to help each other out? - Tripp

Well said. Reality is a stubborn thing.

"In my experience Americans are as knowledgeable about the planet as anyone."

Which Americans are you hanging with Cash? I'm from there and let me tell you, there are a lot of Know Nothings. Europeans are generally far more knowledgable about world affairs, from my experience.

Shall we compare Britain's Economist magazine, a fantastic weekly synopsis of news the world round, with the shallow soft news peddled by American magazines, Time and Newsweek?

That's not to say all Americans are idiots about the world at large. Like you say, it is a big country.

But in terms of being worldly...um, no, not most people. We'll look at how many Americans have passports and how many languages they tend to speak for starters if you want to quantify this discussion.

Cash, it seems to me that part of the reason (many) Americans are relatively myopic about the rest of the world is precisely because they live in a gigantic country with many different states, which only has two neighbors. Without extensive travel, most Americans would have difficulty in experiencing other cultures in a physical sense (due to geographic distance).

And, sure, we know about Canada, but that's like the 51st state. ;)

Europeans are just naturally going to be more knowledgable about other countries, because they can hop on a train and be immersed in a completely different culture in about a half day.

Also, it isn't really justified to take the sample of people you met while working for a multi-national as indicative of typical Americans. It most certainly wasn't.

reply to Asoka: We already had an atheist as President, who of course was Thomas Jefferson. He rewrote the new testament removing all the miracles and flapdoodle to render it safely Unitarian, which is not to criticize Unitarianism, as if I had kids I might raise them in that church, since at least they'd be in less danger of converting to Catholicism as is common among disgruntled Episcopalians such as myself. Jefferson was probably the most intelligent president. He was raised as an Anglican and detested his tutor who was a clergyman in the established C of E.. Washington was another indifferent Episcopalian who has been trotted out by that bunch as an enthusiastic churchman when in reality he would take long smoke breaks during Morning Prayer and was reprimanded by the local rector for such laxity. Washington's response was to stay away from the communion railing thereafter. Having sufferred a baptist rant at work today from a senile customer I wish that more people could appreciate that the founding fathers were not particularly religious and in many cases were deists at the very most and complete rationalists in many cases as well. We are not going to win by fighting Islamic fundamentalism with the bone-headed Christian equivalent.

I have family and former colleagues in the US and many other countries. They tend to lay low but there are many Americans in this place including a friend and former colleague of mine. The world is full of know nothings, not just the US. I listen to them around here all the time.

Re: the issue of language. English is my second language. I learned it when I started school. Before that I spoke an Italian dialect and Quebecois French with playmates that moved to Ontario from Quebec (that lingo was very close to my native dialect). The thing is that English is the de facto world language. People learn it because, like other languages before it, it has come to dominate the world of business, science and politics. People need to learn it. Having said all this I know from personal experience that it's hard to learn another language. IMO the fact that many Americans haven't learnt another language speaks mostly to the lack of necessity for doing so. Also, don't ignore your large immigrant population.

"We are not going to win by fighting Islamic fundamentalism with the bone-headed Christian equivalent."

Seems like a classic strawman argument to me.

When {not if} an islamist realizes that Jesus is who He says He is, they convert without reservation. This is God's method of turning enemies into brothers. If we would busy ourselves with being Christ-like {and burning our idols}, all would be blessed.

"I wish that more people could appreciate that the founding fathers were not particularly religious and in many cases were deists at the very most and complete rationalists in many cases as well. We are not going to win by fighting Islamic fundamentalism with the bone-headed Christian equivalent."

Hear hear!

But then, both are agrarian religions, underwritten by expansion, and expansion is over.

Zeus bless America.

"Well said. Reality is a stubborn thing."

Thanks for the chuckle!

When the student is ready...I had another epiphany today, based on something I've known academically for over 2 years, and even taught to others in a professional setting. Most delightful!

I think it has something to do with the spring crops finishing up and being laid down to get ready for the next round. "The next round" is not something I've had the pleasure of in 3 years of permaculture practice. Three seasons, three different gardens.

I told my wife a few months back that I felt like my education in Nature had gone stagnant, and that perhaps that was because we were reliving our freshman year over and over. Sure enough, as soon as we start closing in on the second year in one place, Nature opens up her lesson plans and doles out a heaping helping of wisdom. My blog post this week will be an expansion of this epiphany (hopefully tomorrow?).

I love energy descent. Too many of you guys still fight for Team Cancer, thinking that that's the good stuff. It's unfortunate that I can't just talk you out of it.

Only when the student is ready...

Can you link your blog for us tripp...

Of course!

http://smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/

Cheers! Hopefully I'll have this new post up before the weekend.

...yes this country is soulless by and large, perhaps with the exception of detroit's arts beats and eats.

it's devolved into an empty strip mall crawling with grossly fat, ignorant semi-zombies, if you want true human warmth i find it in much greater abundance overseas, to include in many favelas, where i am immediately welcomed into familes and friendships without reservation and where people share what little they have with great joy.

i'll take a plate of rice and beans over a latte and an ipad any day of the week.

keep your american exceptionalism to yourself.

shalom

There was an article in Esquire about 30 years ago that said corporations would become like walled cities and people would be loyal to their corporation. About 15 years ago Lou Gerstner (then CEO of IBM) gave a speech saying much the same.

Today in China companies like SMIC provide housing, medical and private schools for employees and their family. The school offers classes in both Chinese and English (not language classes but all classes).

James Kunstler goes on about walkable communities maybe this is how they will come about as company towns (walled cities).

I was intrigued by JHK's comments about Berlin, NY. I am in the very beginning. planning stages of putting together a speciality nursery so I was quite interested in the greenhouses mentioned.

The property is listed for sale, at an asking price of $1,950,000! I also found 17 houses listed for sale, the least expensive of which goes for about $129,000, if I remember right.

Berlin is clearly going to remain depressed until someone gets real about land and housing prices.

The decaying, former undustrial cities, Utica, Syracuse and Rochester, may not seem like desirable places to live, but housing prices are low enough to allow creative, innovative people to set themselves up in their own businesses.

It is evolution in action. No one will unilaterally give up the use of resources or having children. Well at least those who will win in the evolutionary sense. Those who will loose may chose to not reproduce and not to use resources for themselves and their children.

welles, American exceptionalism is what makes it impossible for Americans to admit that life is better elsewhere. I have no doubt that you, and hundreds of thousands of American ex-pats, are living better lives in other countries. You expressed it very well:

i find it in much greater abundance overseas, to include in many favelas, where i am immediately welcomed into familes and friendships without reservation and where people share what little they have with great joy.

This was exactly my experience in South America, but I am the outcast in my own family: because I didn't stay put in the USA; because I chose to travel instead of saving, investing, and striving to have a suburban USA life; because I value South American hospitality over North American dreams of material wealth.

What really gets me is how everyone is so muddled in the old realities and old way of thinking.
At work, these chirpy, vapid women are always coming up and asking for donations for someone's baby shower gift, when I've worked with that person for all of 8 minutes.
I'm thinking what a relief, just what we needed; another resource-gobbling little crumbcruncher-consumer American hardwired-earth-destroyer.
Come back when you've planted 10 fruit trees and developed a greywater low-flow drip irrigation system for your acreage, then maybe I'll think about donating to your cause.

Most of the entire discipline of engineering is based on how to do more with less, how to produce more with fewer manipulations, less material and energy inputs, more economies of scale, use the same parts across more products and most of all less labor inputs. But, somehow we always need "more engineers", ultimately to decrease the need of labor one way or another because even if you just decrease the use of energy or materials or manipulations either directly or indirectly that will translate in "less cost" and less cost always means somewhere down the line, somewhere in the world a job or more jobs are axed.

The tech guys have been taught to not connect the local to the global, engineering never touches "sociology", the local optimization there just happens to have a large scale "social effect", but engineers are not taught to think in terms of global effects, and especially social effects, but in local details and optimizations.

Maybe I live in a global hypocrisy, everyone knows that many jobs are fake or not needed, could be axed and probably will be axed, but everyone just plays along, just pretends, and I think I am telling them something they already knew (but never dare to say it bluntly): shame on me for being so naive.

That begs the question, how many "fake jobs" can the system invent (I am amazed that 100 million people still work in the USA, still have jobs, but maybe I am wrong), after all the military expenditure could be 700 billion a year enough for 70 million cheap salaries of 10,000 a year and the military doesn't produce anything but is set up to destroy things, the opposite of production, but especially consumes weapons, so indirectly "produces" weapons. Another result of EXCESS CAPACITY, but no one notices it, or pretends to not notice that the system creates so much wealth that it can maintain such a military budget with so many unemployed.

The JAPANESE may have 5 million fake jobs of people working in their skyscrapers and offices, where the job consists of mostly waiting for the boss to go home at 10 at night, since the status relationship is the job, the "ritual" is the job (wondering how many jobs are just "rituals"). They already produce way more than enough, flooding the world with their products, they need more real production like a hole in the head. After all their unemployment figures are always around 5 % while most 1st world countries hover around 8 to 10 % (and surely much higher, since these numbers are fudged up a lot), so how do they do it ? what makes them special ? They just keep a lot of people in fake jobs where they wait for time to pass (but they are not the only ones, I phantom worldwide that these kinds of jobs number in the tens of millions, and parts of many other jobs just consist in waiting or making time pass, or idle, or "no operation" (like the computer instruction)).

Notice how important "time at work, the more time, the more productive you are, but especially the higher chance of a raise you may have" is even in the USA: the more important this is in a work environment, you can be sure the less real production and less real work is being performed, unless they loaded all the work on just a few workaholics who see the world as so full of work.

Just a recommendation for a book that caught my attention by Michael Chossudovsky: "The Globalisation of Poverty". In going through the table of contents I noticed he covers much of what Naomi Klein discussed in "Shock Doctrine" looks like a good read.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24710

[In this new and expanded edition of Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.]

Just a recommendation for a book that caught my attention by Michael Chossudovsky: "The Globalisation of Poverty". In going through the table of contents I noticed he covers much of what Naomi Klein discussed in "Shock Doctrine" looks like a good read.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24710

[In this new and expanded edition of Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.]

Speaking of "fake jobs": The mind reels at the extent of fake employment in a highly ritualized society. Traffic enforcement could be largely automated. Smoke alarms and other measures have largely eliminated fires in affluent areas. Motivated young adult GED students can duplicate the second half of their schooling in mere months, leading to the insight that perhaps kids largely could do with day-care then do their academic training in a fraction of the time once they've actually become motivated to learn as unemployed young adults. At any rate, adults who imagine that school is "work" for kids have little idea how unproductive school kids typically are. After all, if they can't be fired for not working then obviously they're mostly not working. And then finally we have the military which is totally unproductive, at least economically, or if kept in existence could at least largely be demobilized into reserve components, and so on. I'll never forget buying sport coats at the Gentry Shop in Cincinnati in '77 for student teaching and the salesman, a retired army sergeant, telling me I should join the army because being stationed in Germany was "like being a retired playboy". And then of course barbers spend half their lives sitting on their asses reading the paper or watching headline news on cable. Some jobs can't be made more efficient because they depend on the whims of the customers in terms of when they feel like doing what it is that's going on there.

"Ah, The Flim Flam Man? but I'm just guessing."
======================================
I guess you just can't cheat an "honest man". Good guess.

"It is evolution in action. No one will unilaterally give up the use of resources or having children. Well at least those who will win in the evolutionary sense. Those who will loose may chose to not reproduce and not to use resources for themselves and their children."

This is sometimes a hard concept to vocalize, but I'm glad you did, and I think you said it well. As my wife and I engaged our journey into energy descent, we realized along the way that the most natural thing a person can do is pass on their genes. There is no evolution without another generation, and, quite frankly, I'd like to see a few humans stick around to help clean up the mess we made. (And enjoy a potentially far more beautiful planet one day.) We weren't planning on having kids before that, and we were obnoxiously vocal about the need for other people to do the same. It was a bitter pill to swallow when we realized that not having children was actually as abnormal and out of touch with Nature as a person could get.

We have two little ones - a daughter who turned 3 today, and a son who is almost one. We replaced ourselves, but not quite, statistically. We've thought about trying for that 0.3 of a baby, but can't seem to work out the logistics. Admittedly, two is too many, and we probably should've stuck with one, but we are building a rural permaculture village, and the extra hands will come in, well, handy!

To lay it down like it really needs to be addressed, however, my family of four is now living on/generating only 20% of the total energy budget that the two of us were 4 years ago. And my goal is to reach carbon neutrality for the four of us before I die. Still have some work to do...

What is the real value of reading this blog? Is it “information”? At its best...yes. But in reality, what's posted here is very seldom informed.

Tripp actually posts “information” people here could really USE, if they shared his interest in small scale farming. He definitely has a point of view, but POV is not where he “lives”, so to speak.

Most posters here know either very little about the topic they are posting on, or are so biased in their view that they quit giving credence to any source that doesn't support their position a long time ago. That shouldn't be surprising I guess, since JHK himself is a close minded modern Luddite, with average intelligence and a gift for gab. It's only natural that his blog would attract others with a similar blinkered view.

For example, it's amazing to me how many people here would profess to being “non-religious”, but at the same time hold some view as “gospel truth”, that can at best be described as “one of many possibilities”. So you have the ironic situation of someone with a highly opinionated position, supportable but far from flawless, regarding it as an example of “mindfulness”. Where is the Zen master to slap these people across the face, as a means of bringing them to their senses?

Try using this blog as a way to evaluate your own open mindedness. Are you allowing information to “flow” through you, or are you more like a “filter”, screening out just the parts with which you already agree and regarding everything else as anomalous, or even worse, conspiratorial lies? Ask yourself, what is the meaning of the phrase “You don't have to believe everything you think”. Give some thought to the difference between the meaning of “Wisdom” and its dark dim-witted cousin “Cynicism”.

Sorry for the rant, but nothing makes me fear more for human survival than these seemingly minor disconnects of human understanding.

Nice rant, dale!

Where is the Zen master to slap these people across the face, as a means of bringing them to their senses?

I thought the purpose of this blog is to prepare ourselves for any eventual bitch slap reality gives us in the future. That is why I share about the voluntary simplicity movement, veganism, permaculture, the small house movement, adobe vault construction, war tax resistance, etc. ...

... while advocating an open attitude that welcomes the "Other" (Mexicans, Muslims, etc.) and admits the possibility that we are multitudes and can hold opposing views in our minds with ease.

Dale,

I have learned that God created Cheese-Doodles because he loves us and wants us to be happy!

May I buy your son's stash off you? I'm in Cupertino.

Humble Harv

Speaking of ritualistic jobs which entail little or no actual work "zen master" seems to fit the bill pretty nicely. After all, what if they built a buddhist shrine and forgot to invite the clerical parasites to preside over the rituals being performed [by them] which of course needn't be performed in the first place. And more to the point, who's in charge of telling the Roshi whose job ostensibly is to "check" the enlightenment of others that he's full of shit himself? If Japanese buddhists "know" what they're doing then why is it that they can never agree on anything and splintered into scores of little sects known as schools? And why is there one sect, Nicherin, which has been predominantly anti-clerical and now no longer employs monks? The fact is if you're enlightened then you shouldn't need some cranky little guy to certify you as such. In spite of all this I remain a fan of the late Suzuki Roshi of the San Francisco Zen Center so I also am self-contradicting and therefore full of shit.

"What is the real value of reading this blog?"

Wasting time at work!

"nothing makes me fear more for human survival than these seemingly minor disconnects of human understanding"

That's pretty weird. I would have thought war, pestilence, famine, the gigantic island of plastic in the Pacific would have rated higher than some minor misunderstandings on the internet.

You know, being open-minded is all well and good, but sometimes one side is right and the other is just plain wrong. Take the "debate" between creationists and those who believe in evolution. One side has mountains of evidence for it and the other is braindead idiocy based on a 2000 year-old holy book filled with nonsense. Should we all be open-minded to the idea that Jehovah created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th?

Or let's look at the global warming issue, another well-established scientific theory that has been turned into a "debate." Those who disbelieve the hypothesis go against years of climate data, not to mention visible occurences like fast receding glaciers.

You have a keen mind, and put some thought into your thought. The last thing we need, in my opinion is for people to spout the some old junk from the past.

Ever been to Tassajara Zen Center? An amazing place. Zen is too austere and ritualized for my tastes but there are some aspects I enjoy.

I am more open-mided to the idea that Jehovah created everything in six days, but that on the seventh he was arrested.

Speaking of fake jobs... today I am substitute teaching in a California high school. The lesson plan - show the kids 'Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'. It's embarrassing. At least I brought my laptop.

Here's a short column from a lib/left writer. This is a bit of lucid thinking (for a change and outstanding proof that the prospect of hanging focuses the mind) as to why poor people vote Conservative (ie right wing ideologues, extremists, nutcases, bigots).

It can serve as a template for electoral success anywhere, including the USA.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/989087--goar-why-the-poor-cast-votes-for-conservatives

According to Goar, the messages of the Conservatives up here regarding law and order and prosperity resonate with the poor because, Liberal/liberal sneering notwithstanding (my editorializing), crime is a big problem especially in poorer neighbourhoods and the people in those places want the gangs/drugs/guns brought under control. The other thing they want is a decent paying job. As the writer said, speak in "plain language" about issues that matter to people.

Some criticism: this "plain language" stuff makes me laugh. It's code. Liberals will understand it and smirk: speak to your inferiors in a way they'll understand, pretend to sympathize, pretend their worries are your worries.

Goes to show old habits die hard even after a disastrous election result. Can't keep the Liberal/liberal condescension under wraps even for one short column. The electorate handed them their balls and still the towering superiority comes out: talk the talk of the little people, not too many high falutin, multi-syllabic words.

We don't have a southern drawl up here but if we did by golly "plain language" would mean do like Hillary Clinton, find your good ole boy southern roots, make the word "yes" into three syllables and toss back a few. But people can spot a snob a mile away. If the Libs keep this up they'll be history.

do like Hillary Clinton, find your good ole boy southern roots, make the word "yes" into three syllables and toss back a few.

Hey, Hillary Clinton represented the entire state of New York, including the conservative upstate part that JHK speak of this week.

Hillary's approval ratings were up to 65 to 70% which cannot all be explained by the use of "plain language"

If, as you say, "people can spot a snob a mile away," then how do you explain Hillary high ratings in conservative upstate New York? Do conservatives *cough*William F. Buckley*cough* like snobs?

I can only use myself as an example. Being human I function with both emotion and intellect. I am one of the non-religious people, and yes, much of my beliefs and values are dogmatic - at least until someone can prove to me through critical thinking and evidentially-based facts that I am wrong.

One of my personal traits is to be impatient with people who habitually do not display critical thinking. I consider this a character flaw of mine, but I accept it as I am who I am. Lack of critical thinking, IMO, lies at the root of our issues.

I've been trained as a scientist. I think it's inaccurate to describe most people as either a technophile or a technophobe, although some people are either. Science is separate from technology. Technology is a tool used by humans as a result of scientific progress. You can't really criticize a tool, only its wielders.

I don't have it in me to be pessimistic about the future, but I am concerned about the liklihood of humanity to misuse or underutilize the technological tools and natural resources we do have available. I have been erroneously described as a techno-triumphalist. This is incorrect. Because our survival will be determined by the actions of human beings, not technology alone, there's a question of whether or not we will succeed in continuing our civilization.

But me being me, I am optimistic about our future. Being an optimist is just as valid as being a pessimist, so we shall see who wins out.

"Layaway, you say "Just so the Libs lose, that's all that matters.""

Yes. Three reasons: Barak Obama, Harry Reid. Nancy Pelosi. All three are simple, worthless, Lib fucks that are bankrupting our country and simultaneously flying it into a cliff. May all three rot in hell with you.

"He also is hard on the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, as if they had any real power or influence to affect events 4 years ago or even now."

Oh for fuck's sake, have you already forgotten the 2010 election? Talk about fucking alzheimer's!

To all the atheists on clusterfuck nation, an entrepreneurial opportunity-

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2015009181_rapturepet10.html?prmid=obinsite

"MILITARY SPENDING HAS NO MULTIPLIER EFFECT LIKE SPENDING IN THE CIVILIAN SECTOR HAS."

Oh for shit's sake, You who constantly call for the expansion of Big Gov are now going to trumpet the multiplier effect in the private sector? In a pig's fucking eye. You merely found a sector of gov you don't particularly care for. What a fucking douche.

That's pretty weird. I would have thought war, pestilence, famine, the gigantic island of plastic in the Pacific would have rated higher than some minor misunderstandings on the internet.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Not if you understand that the tecnology to end all of those exists, but the flaws of human understanding are what prevent proper action.....and the "pro" side is often little better than the "con".

Take the Kyoto treaty, lots of close minded types think its "bad" because it mean they may have to drive a smaller car. They don't mind telling you they don't believe in GW or anything else that interferes with their lifestyle.....sound familiar? Stupid right?

Now take the other side. Fact is, even if Kyoto was put in place today, it would have no effect on the course of GW in the next 50 years. That doesn't stop the supporters from thinking it's "righteous" and must be done.

Let me give you another take....if it won't fix anything, then why do it? "Unintended consequences" are a bitch, and I could think of a hundred which could arise from Kyoto, including war, pestilence and famine.

I'm not taking sides, hell....in this case both sides would likely make the problem worse! I'm saying real solutions in a complex world are very difficult and over simplifing the problem doesn't help.

It really comes down to developing a greater sense of moral responsibility, both in how we treat the environment and each other, and that takes place mostly between our ears.

Being "militant" about something like GW really misses the point. All the disparaging of people who won't choose up sides with you is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

I know that this is off message but there is a really interesting article in the Guardian reporting that
“ A top military intelligence official has said the discredited dossier on Iraq's weapons programme was drawn up "to make the case for war", flatly contradicting persistent claims to the contrary by the Blair government, and in particular by Alastair Campbell, the former prime minister's chief spin doctor.

In hitherto secret evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Major General Michael Laurie said: "We knew at the time that the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war, rather than setting out the available intelligence, and that to make the best out of sparse and inconclusive intelligence the wording was developed with care."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/12/iraq-dossier-case-for-war

Maybe we are one step closer to Tony Blair appearing in the Hague. He can of course be extradited from Holland, should he ever land there, under existing legal instruments but I assumed his flights are planned with sufficient care to avoid this possibility.

It was greatly comforting to see that he was not invited to the royal Wedding, which even his political opponents considered an outrageous slap in the face. It shows the extent of the Royal family’s displeasure at having our armed forces sent on two pointless wars, the Queen being the head of the armed forces. Even the Syrian ambassador received an invitation which was only rescinded at the last moment as the body count back home mounted. Well done Maam.

Cupid L Stunt MD (Cantab)

"Just so the Libs lose, that's all that matters."

Been drinking the Ann/Rush/Glenn koolaid, have we?

What matters is that the country survives, prospers and leads the rest of the world by example into energy descent.

Who's the douche now, what with your black/white, us vs. them thinking? I'm certain the Newt/Donald 2012 ticket will eliminate the Fed deficit and bring back $2/gal gas, right?

I'm talkin to you, dbag.

REAL NEWS FOR REAL PEOPLE

Troubled fashion designer Galliano facing defamation lawsuit ...after he was arrested by cops in Paris, France in February ... he racially abused a couple at a bar and praised Adolf Hitler. ...


SO MUCH FOR FREE SPEECH..........
'RACIALLY ABUSED' [their sorry French ass]!

Don't waste your breath, JSS.
La-la-ya-ya-wah-wah is just another incarnation of pud-pud the pissant (etc.) waiting on his ubiquitous banning. When you see "fucktard", you can yawn along with everyone else.
Only dale will find him interesting and worthy of an "unfiltered" douchetard grand audience.
"We are not amused."
......yawn.....

reply to query from Hsrvey Cohen: No, I've never been to Tassajara Mountain Zen Center but of course I've read about it. Used to live in Hawaii where there are many Buddhist temples. Have been on retreat at Anglican, Catholic & Greek Orthodox monasteries. Meditate sometimes at a Chinese lineage hybrid Pure Land & Chan temple, chan being Mandarin for Zen. Most of my buddhist influence comes from the lapsed Anglican priest Alan Watts, not so much from enthusiastic practitioners. Heavy practitioners tend not to approve of Watts who was really not a buddhist but an academic philosopher who preferred to unwind with cocktails instead of sitting on a zafu. I don't think I could hack living at a Zen monastery at this point but I can meditate for a couple of hours.

Tripp -
Interesting ideas about chickens as inappropriate for our temperate climate. And I see your point - but flocks of chickens are ingrained into country life -

You are correct - they are what people tend to turn to first when they think about increasing self-reliance.

Do you have a weblink where the case for and against chickens with regard to climate is discussed?

Does anyone in your area have Guinea fowl? They seem more adapted to wild foraging on insects and grain. When I was a kid, everyone had Guineas around to help keep the bugs down, I guess - and just to watch. Plus, they've got a great alarm screech for "intruders."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_B2lMEyBsk

I've eaten Guinea eggs. They taste good, although smaller than chicken eggs - and deucedly hard to find, as I recall - they nest wild, and I don't know if you can coop them up and make them lay or not. I never knew anyone who tried - chickens were so much easier.

I'll agree, ducks are great for meat and eggs - if you've got a pond or lake.

Dale,
I'm not sure I'm getting your point regarding GW/AGW and the Koyoto accords.

Are you opposed to the treaty, only?
It certainly has significant flaws.

Are you opposed to "militant" advocacy for the facts of AGW, only?

Do we all just sing along with Doris Day?
"Que sera, sera - whatever will be, will be!"

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

Read between the lines of your post and that's what you seem to be saying - to me.

===============
Speaking of strident advocacy - I've gone a little nuts lately over the need to reduce the population growth rate of the country that burns the most oil and may do the most "wide-ranging" environmental damage. No, no - not China or India - but my home ground, the US of A.

What do you think about that.
Que sera, sera, again?

Beantown, you say: "I've been trained as a scientist."

What I understand that to mean is that you can know nothing with certainty because science, however rigorous, implicitly recognizes that every explanation is provisional; there’s no finished version.

But, then again, I suppose that is the source of your optimism. Mine, too.

What do you think about that.

======

ProCon, I think dale is living in an epistemological netherworld. Given his Buddhist tendencies, he may even believe the whole shebang, including CFN, is just maya, an illusion, mind stuff, and therefore, why do we hold on so tightly to our beliefs, pro or con, when nothing is certain.

Then again, I could be completely misunderstanding him. I am not very smart or very intuitive. And I am a fundamentalist and dogmatic when it comes to certain questions, the efficacy of violence for example, and I don't "see both sides" ... it's just wrong to kill people. Period. For me there is no other side of the story. (apologies to Paul Harvey)

But in reality, what's posted here is very seldom informed. - Dale

Most posters here know either very little about
the topic they are posting on - Dale

So you're the self appointed arbiter on who gets a passing grade?

Nobody has perfect information. Life is not a physics lab. Even the best "informed" make do with only imperfect, old, fragmentary or sparse information.

In my OPINION that is. Based on what? A lifetime of experience in watching people and events. You do what you can in discerning the contours of reality. Another thing: I find a lot of the commenters here intelligent and "informed". You don't? That's fine. That's your opinion. If the commentary isn't up to snuff read something else.

Cash
(from your post re: lower middle class vote for conservatives.
Unfortunately it's all about form and not content.
The conservative middle class may not like the manner in which the Dems speak, but financially, the Dems are better for them.

When the conservatives manage to smash Roosevelt, and The Great Society, these people who voted for them won't be able to pay the prices.
The real price of privatization is far greater than taxation. The fees will be continue to go up because of the profit motivation.

They (Republicans who conflate mixed economies with Godless Communism) tell a hurting population, one that cannot afford their healthcare costs-- that they have a choice between godlessness(public sector) and Christianity. Welcome to the "Theater of Cruelty".

____ Cash I also agree with you on the Dale comment. Not too impressed with him, either.

This is absolutely neither here nor there, but note to whomever is administrating this site: on the homepage, "its" is misspelled as "it's" in the following headline:

JHK on Max Keiser's "On The Edge" show... largely about peak oil and it's implications... runs about a half hour.

Only mentioned because if I were administrator I'd want to know correct it, so no need to actually publish this comment

Many thanks,
SED

Unwillingness to examine one's own premises and assumptions for coherency? This from the person who thinks that Tibet is worth defending but not the West? Slap yourself O "Zen Master".

Don't know about guinea eggs, but we ate one recently. Despite the fact that he was 7 months old and a little tough, the meat was delicious. Probably dressed out at about 2 pounds, plenty for dinner for 4. Dark, rich, complex flavor, and he never bothered me much for feed. Great forager - "easy keeper" a horse person might call him. His wife was taken by br'er fox the night before we moved in. I guess that's what I get for trying to make my animals free and happy!

We ate the cock because he was protective of one of the laying hens, segregated her from the flock, and was mean to the others. And he made this god-awful CHI-CHI!! noise all the friggin' time! The female was worse, with her BUCKWHEAT! BUCKWHEAT! all the time. Noisy critters. But I grew up with them too, so I like seeing them around...I have a feeling that wasn't the last we'll see of guineas around here.

Dale is a fanatic (here) about not being a fanatic. At other times Dale is just a regular PC fanatic. The mind is a hall of mirrors at best and for most, a hall of trick mirrors. And the dogma of never being fanatical is one of the biggest of our day in the West. Some things are worth being fanatical about. The question is what and how. I say Race obviously. Overpopulation is a damn good one too.

Yes, all worthless. Put a dime in Maxon Crumb's bowl as he meditates on girl ass in San Francisco doorways. He works at doing nothing and deserves his wage.

That's hate, Asia. Just cuz I think Blacks tend to be dumb and violent and thus I want nothing to do with them doesn't mean I have anything against them.

Maybe I should make myself a coon skin cap for some reason though. Send me the furs and I will sew them together into some semblance of a hat. Call me Boone.

But once the basics of survival are solved, does it make people any happier? Not only does it not, but assuming it does keeps people sad.

Expanding into Space is not something that would make the average man happier but only the Prometheans. Just like real artists must create, the Prometheans must go forward. The quesition becomes a moral one: how do we justify the expense on all for the need of the fairly few? It would pay for itself eventually just as Apollo did (in research), but we don't have the great margin of wealth anymore. If we're going to go it will have to be private now - a return to Renaissance Patronage.

Other races imitate the Prometheanism of the White Man. But none can ever equal it. It is often not wise and combined with Religion and Socialism it becomes "Social Gospel" - a recipe for our destruction. Just as crazy as climbing the highest mountain in Alaska during the winter. Wouldn't the summer do? Can't we just give the Black Africans some rice and beans, do we have to give them our Streets and Daughters?

thank you for your phomility. killing bad people is ok sometimes. the scriptures say so. so there.

So if your primary concern about meat is the energy used to produce it, what say you about the bass and bluegills we caught from the farm pond and ate for birthday dinner tonight? Damn were they good!

My little Ella turned 3 today, and I gave her a little ultra-light rod and reel combo, a small tackle box, a cricket cage, and some bobbers and sinkers, and took her over to the farm owners' cypress pond for our first-ever father-daughter fishing evening. Won't be the last, she absolutely loved it. Caught all the fish actually. All I caught was a little maybe 1/2 lb bass on my rubber jig, but I caught it early enough that I thought I had a working lure, so I kept using it. Nothing else even sniffed at it. Meanwhile, she caught 3 bluegills and a bass that tipped the scales in excess of 1.5 lbs at least.

Not a whole lot of energy required to produce that protein, and when you pull a few out more automatically fill the resource niche. I could see wild fish being a steady dietary item for us in the future. What say you, oh great protector of the flesh?

I'll be posting a picture of Ella with her birthday fish at the end of this week's blog post, which I hope to have published before midnight, eastern time. The expression on her face is priceless. Check it out.

And if the fish wasn't blissful enough, my oyster mushrooms are running, and I cut up about a pound of them to fry with the fish. Heavenly. I saved them for last, besting even the bluegills and bass on my tastebuds, although I could hear them screaming in the deep fryer "stop! don't you know we're sentient beings?? We were just reclassified with you animals into the super-group 'Opisthokanta' recently, you know?! We are heterotrophs too, just like you!!" (Check it out; new taxonomy based on novel genome info is fascinating.)

Also had some of the season's first squash and zucchini to go with. No one misses out on those. All fried up in lard that we rendered in April. What was it you were saying about saturated fat again? The earliest death ever in my family was also the only vegetarian among us, at 56. The meat eaters usually live to around 100. OK, my great-grandfather died in 2004 at 92, my bad. But he ate a ton of vegetables!! See?

That is, I'll be posting before midnight if Blogger comes back up. Server maintenance has me hanging out at the Archdruid Report...

I love it when someone like John Michael Greer echoes precisely the point I've been trying to make around here for the last year or so (from today's post):

"More generally, it amazes me how many people seem to think they can downshift in a blink from a modern American lifestyle, with all its comforts and privileges, to the close-to-subsistence lifestyle most of us will be leading in the middle future. It’s reminiscent of those old-fashioned survivalists whose idea of being ready to feed themselves once the rubble stops bouncing is a nitrogen-packed tin of garden seeds, a random assortment of tools, and a manual on how to garden, which they read halfway through on a slow afternoon ten years ago. Those who adopted that approach have been very lucky that their doomsteads have never had to function as anything more serious than deer camps, because if they’d tried to feed themselves that way, death by starvation would have been the inevitable result. Growing food in an intensive organic garden is a skilled craft requiring several years of hard and careful work to master, and if you hope to rely on it for even a small part of your food, you need to get through the steep part of the learning curve as soon as possible."

More from Small Batch about "how to do it effectively" on the way, when Blogger comes back up...intensive organic gardening being something of a specialty of mine.

I probably shouldn't post another man's words without at least dropping a link to his blog...

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2011/05/hair-shirts-hypocrisy-and-wilkins.html

There you go.

"Who's the douche now..."

Ah, since you are asking? You are fucktard. You are.

'I find a lot of the commenters here intelligent and "informed'

Like attracts Like
Later seeks its own Level
The Lower doesn't know the Higher

I thought yd be more interested in my post from today, 5.36pm

"I'm certain the Newt/Donald 2012 ticket will eliminate the Fed deficit and bring back $2/gal gas, right?"

What a fucking MORON. Like either of these two idiots will appear on any ballet. Better kill the MS-LSD channel and get your head out of your ass douche-girl. Newt/Donald...BWA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Hey where the hell is Turkle Fuck-Fuck? Jimmy must have gotten sick of the whiney little puke trying to get anyone he didn't agree with banned from the site. Little creepy fuck.

After many consultations with his 3rd grade dictionary, Layaway stuttered:

"Hey where the hell is Turkle Fuck-Fuck? Jimmy must have gotten sick of the whiney little puke trying to get anyone he didn't agree with banned from the site. Little creepy fuck."

Sounds like our little, tiny Repuke friend again.

Vlad said: "Can't we just give the Black Africans some rice and beans?"

======

We already got to be the head of NASA and to occupy the office of the President of the United States, as well as many other executive positions ... but thanks for the offer of rice and beans.

hi larrymoecurly, I see you've got another new handle. You are such a jerk!

Tripp said: "what say you about the bass and bluegills we caught from the farm pond and ate for birthday dinner tonight? Damn were they good!"

======

I say "bon apetit!" or "¡buen provecho!"

Makes much more sense to eat lower on the food chain and fish are lower than cows in energy consumed to protein yield.

I am happy for you. But I am not you, and personally, I would not eat that fish.

Takes all kinds. Live and let live.

How come your husband dumps your grass clippings out in the street?? just wondering...

Gotta agree with you there. I lived in Tennessee for a number of years and when I told people I was from British Columbia most of them thought it was in South America.

Progressive said:

Do we all just sing along with Doris Day?
"Que sera, sera - whatever will be, will be!"
************************************

Yes, and Doris would love it! She's 86 and still in great shape, loving in Carmel, Ca, and doing great work on behalf of the animal kingdom.

http://www.dorisday.com

Liz Taylor was *not* the last movie star!

Kay

And don't forget that there is not one single word about God in the US Constitution.

They convert without reservation when the realize Jesus is who he said he is? wow! that's one of the weirdest things I've read today.

"They convert without reservation when the realize Jesus is who he said he is?"

Jewish?

I read this blog because it's a lot more fun than hanging out with the local rednecks.

MD is presenting what seems like a classic strawman argument to me.

When {not if} a Christian realizes that Mohammed is who He says He is, they convert without reservation. This is Allah's method of turning enemies into brothers. If we would busy ourselves with Absolute Submission to God {Allahu Akbar!}, all would be blessed.

Not having kids on a planet that already has nearly 7 billion people is NOT abnormal, just sane.

Thanks for the inside view of a racist's mind, Vlad.

I'm not saying it isn't needed, but it is unnatural. No doubt about that. Your evolutionary pathway is over. Fine'. You understand that a 3 billion year old chain of unreproduceable evolutionary events dies when you don't procreate, right? Commendable, to say the least, when you really understand what's at stake. You'll have to forgive me for not being so self-destructive...

Meanwhile, all the morons are having multiples. Frankly, I'd rather there were at least one of yours out there to teach the others how to not screw everything up so bad. My family of four uses 1/5 the resources my family of two did 4 year ago. See where I'm headed?

The objection to this line of logic seems to be to let the human race fail. Not really my thing either.

Three billion years of evolutionary success behind my genome, behind every genome reading this comment! From shallow water stromatolites to higher primates who control fire and agriculture. Takes balls to just let it all go. Or madness.

My family of four uses 1/5 the resources my family of two did 4 year ago. See where I'm headed?

=======

7 billion divided by .20 = 35,000,000,000

If everyone adopts your resource use level, and reproduces like you have, it looks like we are headed to a population of 35 Billion people.

to let the human race fail.

======

Rationalization alert!

Another trumped up fake fear.

I refuse to be afraid.

There is no way the human race is going to go extinct. Reproducing is unpaid labor and too much fun.

But then I got a vasectomy as a teenager to prevent my ever impregnating anyone.

So, I don't have to go to great lengths to justify having offspring that consumes resources and pollutes the environment, at 20% or 30% of past generations, or at whatever level of chosen lifestyle.

What about a carbon negative lifestyle? Wouldn't that be worth working on? You never seem to consider that option. You always just assume that a human must have a deleterious effect on its environment. Very Cartesian of you.

By the way, your population/energy equation is pure bollocks. In a contractionary world we will be required to use less energy per capita. My family is already doing it. If you have no need for imported energy, of any kind, then you are pretty resilient in the face of changing times. Those who cannot downshift will fail. Or kill people who are usurping energy they consider their right to use, which is more what we're seeing at this point on the timeline. If you live a life that puts net energy back into the system then you are no threat. In fact you're quite useful. Using twenty percent of the energy we were using four years ago with twice the people is just a waypoint, not a destination.

I was extrapolating HH's line of logic out into its inevitable conclusion. Not endorsing it. Then you had to go and make an ass of yourself. Surprising.

"So, I don't have to go to great lengths to justify having offspring that consumes resources and pollutes the environment, at 20% or 30% of past generations, or at whatever level of chosen lifestyle."

And so as a teenager you made a choice that didn't consider all the possibilities. Sounds just like the wisdom of a teenager.

What about a carbon negative lifestyle? Wouldn't that be worth working on? You never seem to consider that option. You always just assume that a human must have a deleterious effect on its environment.

If you can pull it off, more power to you (no pun intended), but my experience in the developing world (Asia and South America) and in the developed world (Europe and North America) says that is not going to happen.

You are more idealistic than me if you think your hard-earned experience with permaculture will be in any way generalized, so as to have a global population with a carbon negative lifestyle.

Sounds just like the wisdom of a teenager.

======

So now teenagers, who by Piaget's findings are capable of formal operational thinking, are being universally slammed as not being capable of exercising critical thought? The "wisdom of a teenager" is not capable of making decisions based upon an analysis of overpopulation and its relation to resource depletion and environmental degradation?

I would argue that some teenagers (not all) are so capable.

The Army Corps of Engineers isn't motivated by a disregard for farm production and a bias towards cities. Instead, it's stuck in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't mess. Flooding several million acres of farmland was the only practical alternative to risking the shifting of the Mississippi's main channel into the Atchafalaya's current channel. That would wipe Morgan City off the map and leave all the ports and refineries from New Orleans to points north of Baton Rouge high and dry. Even the emergency responses that the Corps is undertaking may not be enough to prevent a change of the Mississippi's course.

Salon had a great article on this:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/05/12/mississippi_flooding/index.html

Of course, the Corps has a really spotty track record. In the past, it has prevented a lot of damage in some cases and been epically incompetent in others.

The Corps' mission is one that is highly prone to unintended consequences. To take a disturbingly ironic example, effective flood control measures--levies, spillways, and so forth--along the Mississippi have caused the river to pick up speed and deposit sediment beyond the edge of the delta, in Gulf waters too deep to support mangrove swamps. Consequently, existing swamps have been eroding substantially, lessening their ability to absorb the force of hurricanes before they reach inland cities. Flood control was one of the reasons that New Orleans got flooded so badly during Hurricane Katrina.

Another unintended consequence of flood control, specifically channelization, is that the Mississippi has a much smaller, less flexible channel and floodplain than before, so that monster floods have nowhere to go but to choke points, where they have the potential to really wreak havoc. The Old River Control Structure, which controls flow of water from the main stem of the Mississippi into the Atchafalaya, is one of those choke points. We have yet to see whether it will hold.

You're right, though, that the intentional flooding of millions of acres of productive, and I should add nonirrigated, farmland is a serious matter. It should give us pause that such a drastic measure was needed to deal with a single flood.

On second thought, I take back the point about the land being nonirrigated. It's being irrigated for free this season.

"The lesson plan - show the kids 'Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'."

Cheer up Harv. It could've been "An Inconvenient Truth."

It's good to get an update from a credible person on the ground who doesn't live in a racial Twilight Zone. Thanks.

The east side was where Steve Poizner taught. In his memoir he made Mount Pleasant High out to be a war zone. Students and other teachers interviewed on This American Life disagreed as to whether he was delusional or a liar who used his teaching stint as a stepping stone to a political run, but they agreed that he exaggerated everything negative about the school and its students aside from their lack of educational ambition and achievement.

Maybe Poizner really did see the beginnings of a breakdown in public order. He still sounds sheltered and paranoid, but I find it hard to imagine that conditions conducive to gang murder could arise without warning in a healthy society. I have to assume that prior to the increase in gang violence things were worse in San Jose than the outside world was led to believe.

It takes balls for someone who isn't a lone psychopath or a loose cannon to commit homicide. Normal people, and especially impressionable junior gang members, need positive feedback from a social support network before they'll kill. That sort of positive feedback has a way of betraying itself., e.g. when third parties notice that really sick puppies aren't being ostracized by their peers for their antisocial attitudes. Good teachers have a sixth sense for that sort of thing.

The problem with taking people like Poizner (and Vlad) at their word on gang violence is that they're boys who cry wolf.

In Central and South America, White Kids don't even go to school with the Mestizos. No parent would ever impose such a thing on their child. This will become our norm in the near future. You are dreaming - imagining chaos, crime, and ethnic grievance to be "vibrancy" as Fr Groeschel calls it in typical Vatican 2 speak. Just look at the Tuscon battle over ethnic studies. The Communists and Mexicans want to continue to teach Mexican History in American Schools: that America belongs to them and that they have the right to kill Whites to take it. This is how wars begin. You will be among the last to relize what is happening. You just don't see the signs of the times. Saying Peace, Peace when there is no Peace. You might enjoy "The Kalahari Typing School for Men" - it's for White Suckers who have it BAD.

You actually think that man deserves to be Head of NASA? That he actually got that position by his own merit and not just the color of his skin? It's appropriate if the purpose of NASA is outreach to Muslims and pretending that they are our equals in science. A fraud to be the head of a fraudulent agency.

Right on, Tripp. I love animals . . . they are delicious! :) Hey dude, my 'maters are coming in NICE, I have eight plants, I'm in DFW, lots of amended raised beds, and they're all about three feet high now, and I bought them as very small plants from Lowes.

Problem is STILL my peppers . . . my squash and fordhook limas and cukes are looking GOOD too, but something is eating the SHIT out of my peppers, bells, 'penos, bananas, etc. WTF? Ozone gave me a recipe for pepper spray (that admittedly I haven't had time to mix, yet) but I unloaded some Dipel "plant-thrax" on 'em, and some Sluggo, and some insecticidal soap . . . now, I know this stuff, even though advertised as organic, probably is considered cheating, but I figgered plant bacteria in the dipel is better than sevin dust, and the sluggo is better than what the hell they were trying to sell me last week at lowes to kill 'em. So if you have any ideas, I'm all ears . . . what would eat the shit out of pepper plants, yet leave tomatoes of several varieties (roma, big boy, etc.) alone, and leave cukes and beans and squash alone too, at the same time? In North Texas? It's killin' me, dude! You have to help, T!

What do you mean by the word "racist"? One who loves their race? Is love bad? Can only Whites be racist? Do you think Whites should all be sterilized? Express yourself - I'm sure everyone will be amazed by your ignorance and mendacity.

One of the things that amazes me about San Francisco is that it is so deceptively violent. It has very few visibly decaying neighborhoods or pockets of gang swagger, but its government can't deter people from attacking each other on city buses and won't deal with the large population of incorrigibly violent illegal immigrants.

As a former Philadelphian, it used to blow me away that anyone would even think of committing a knife attack on a Muni bus. That sort of thing is unheard of on city buses in Philly. Hoodlums who want to cause trouble on SEPTA do so on the subway system, where the police presence is sporadic; they know that if they so much as jump fare on a bus or a trolley the driver will call the cops.

I've ridden SEPTA through neighborhoods that are incomparably worse than any I've seen in San Francisco, and I've never had trouble with hood rats on board. They behave themselves. One of the buses I rode most often was the 61, which follows Ridge Avenue through neighborhoods that look like postwar Dresden. One look at Brewerytown or Strawberry Mansion shows why a large sector of North Philly is known as the "Badlands." Even so, to get attacked on a bus you'd have to go to Baltimore, where the ghettos are in a class of their own.

Or, I'll be damned, to the Mission. If I remember correctly that's where at least one of the Muni assaults was committed.

The Muni bus attacks are a sign that San Francisco has taken its anything-goes ethos a few steps too far. So are the sanctuary city policy when applied to violent criminals and the normal state of affairs in the Tenderloin. It's one thing to let bums trade crack for blowjobs in the UN Plaza fountains; it's another thing entirely to allow menacing, assault, rape and murder to go essentially unpunished and undeterred. Live-and-let-live doesn't work when there's a marauding criminal underclass that won't let others live.

By the way, that marauding criminal underclass of late includes more than a few of San Francisco's finest. Jeff Godown has some serious housecleaning on his plate, and he knows it.

Tripp, my granny is 97 years old, still lives in her own place not far from Montgomery, Alabama (although she does have a lady that stays with her most all the time for her safety). She has always been a little plump, but not obese. She has eaten greens, beans, peas, squash, pork, fish, and occasional beef when afforded, all her life, along with fruit in season (peaches, strawberries, apples, pears, etc.) In her youth, she helped her mama raise the other 12 kids, went to school when she could, and picked cotton the rest of the time.

She's eaten home-grown southern food pulled right out of the Alabama red dirt, most of her life, and she's 97 today. She didnt' go to the gym and do squats and curls, 'n eat protein shakes. I've watched my paw-paw cut the head off the chicken, and my granny scald, pluck, 'n gut the bastard and have it in a frying pan an hour later. That's a good enough advertisement for me :)

So the answer is for us to graft the Latin American version of Jim Crow onto our own troubled race relations? Like hell it is.

For the record, I'm not comfortable with the emphasis on Cinco de Mayo celebrations among politically correct Americans. I'm fine with Americans being familiar with Mexican history and recognizing the significance of Cinco de Mayo, but we shouldn't be pressured into celebrating it. I hate to burst your bubble regarding my naivety, but making Americans uncomfortable by bullying them into celebrating it is not my kind of "vibrancy."

American schools are wrong to force Cinco de Mayo down the throats of their students. It's not our holiday. Nor should Mexicans be pressured into celebrating the Fourth of July; it's not their holiday.

One of the things that bothers me about the emphasis on Cinco de Mayo stateside is that it is divisive and encourages divided loyalties among Mexican-Americans. We don't need any more of that.

So if the Mexican history curriculum under consideration in Tucson has an inflammatory pro-Mexican and anti-American bias, it ought to be scrapped. On the other hand, if it is evenhanded, I would see no reason not to teach it.

The history of US-Mexican relations isn't cut and dry. To wit: Santa Anna was a ruthless, overzealous tyrant, and the defenders of the Alamo were fighting for a bunch of racist, slavedriving petty tyrants who chafed under the abolitionist Mexican laws that Santa Anna was trying to enforce. It's bullshit to put one side in white hats and the other side in black hats, as in some old Western, and that's just as true if Santa Anna and his boys wear the white hats.

Here's the problem with not teaching the subversive history of our border skirmishes with Mexico, as you advise: it's our history, too. As is the old belief, to paraphrase your complaint about the Mexicans, that the land was ours and we had the right to kill the Indians in order to take it.

I agree, that sort of vicious sentiment is the stuff of wars. So should we cover our ears and say, "peace, peace, we are a peaceful people; hear no war, see no war, speak no war?" No, we shouldn't. We need to study history, not fairy tales.

By your reasoning, we dare not study British history, since we have some old territorial grievances with the Limeys--you know, one if by land, two if by sea and all that?

Come to think of it, you have a way of crying, "war, war," when you're the only one up in arms.

Osama bin Dead-a-Decade
Obama bin Lyin'

"You are more idealistic than me if you think your hard-earned experience with permaculture will be in any way generalized, so as to have a global population with a carbon negative lifestyle."

I'm not under any delusions that a global human population can live carbon negative. But I know for a fact it can be done. Australian permaculture guru Darren Doherty lives a carbon negative life, while travelling the globe to share his wisdom. Yes, he's using energy to do that, but his activity sequesters so much carbon that, on balance, he comes out negative. His whole family comes out negative actually! And we permies use the EMERGY environmental accounting methods developed by Howard Odum at the University of Florida. Stricter and more honest than any other accounting method you'll find.

Darren's responsible for planting over 1 million trees, and guiding the topsoil carbon sequestration methodologies we've talked about in other posts (which are about 20 times as fast as planting trees) for at least a couple million acres. If I could love a man it would be Darren.

"The "wisdom of a teenager" is not capable of making decisions based upon an analysis of overpopulation and its relation to resource depletion and environmental degradation?"

If you knew that a carbon negative lifestyle was possible, would you take it back and perpetuate your unique 3 billion year old genome?

When I want to see long-contemplated Nature-based action at work I usually turn to David Holmgren's example. David has one child, a son named Oliver. My son is named after him, though I have apparently had one too many children by his standard.

brief replies to various posters:
[1] It has been proven, at least to my satisfaction, that Jesus Christ is ahistorical and that the Christian gospels are Egyptian mythology which was recycled by the mystery cults and the gnostics, who predated orthodox Catholics. Try reading either "The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur [Univ. of Toronto] or "The Jesus Mysteries" by Freke & Gandy [England]. Or if you're really lazy rent a copy of "Religulous" by Bill Maher. Krishnamurti said that the truth is pathless and he gets my vote because I like the prophet best who drives the coolest sportscar while the petroleum supplies hold out at least.
[2] In a starving world after the collapse of industrial civilization post oil good luck on defending your vegetable gardens against the rampaging hordes wandering the countryside. You will soon run out of ammo, that is if you even win all of the gun battles. Instead, try building a ferro-cement sailing schooner and disappear out to sea to live off of marine life. Moving targets are more elusive. Think "Waterworld" perhaps the greatest maritime box office turkey in film history. At least give the director credit for inventing the most entertaining cult of all time in the "smokers" who venerated Captain Hazelwood aboard the drifting hulk of the Exxon Valdez. Who says nobody appreciates the merchant marine anymore?

Oliver, not David.

Post Bin Laden attack:

Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility as reaction to Bin Laden killing for a twin suicide bombing at a paramilitary police training center in north-west Pakistan, nr. Afghanistan border. 80 died and dozens injured.

What a surprise! What did they think would happen.

Yet the Taliban and Al Quaida will continue to lose popularity in their host country if they continue to kill Pakistanis.

So here's something I've heard recently.There may have been a deliberate calculation on our part to break up Pakistan through civil war. There are many gas pipelines (Pipelinastan) that are being built through the region.

Could this (killing OBL) be a move in the great game being played out by the global hegemon to control the flow of energy and counter China, an ally of Pakistan?
(Note Zbigniew backing of Obama)

"Problem is STILL my peppers"

Are you treating the soil the same in all the crops? Any chance you've got everybody else mulched down tight with lots of good carbon biomass, and left the peppers to their own devices?

My blog post that I'll publish some time today (Blogger never came back up last night) talks a lot about organic gardening theory (and proven practice). I'll post a link when I get it done.

Otherwise, it sounds like you got it goin' on! Congrats on a great season so far! And I think the key with eating a lot of things like cholesterol and saturated fat is activity. Our grandparents were ACTIVE! Even I spend too much time in front of the computer. And I hope you're not too concerned about BubbleHead's turnip bandits. People like you, who can grow food with minimal inputs, will become gods in time. I know I'm seeing an acceleration of requests for lectures and workshops! Keep up the good work!

Blogger is SILL f'in' down! I'm headed for the garden...

Is the In and Out Cheeseburger mightier than the Cheese Doodle?

This one's right up JHK's alley. Perhaps he has an answer.

On "Morning Joe" they covered the opening of this fast food chain, The "In and Out burger" and the three-mile line of wannabe consumers lining up overnight to try this latest in the fast food craze. There are two new locations in Texas and emotions ran high as they interviewed people finally eating their burgers...
One commenter said it looked like someone needed Xanex.

I gotta tell you, In and Out Burger rocks.

Live-and-let-live doesn't work when there's a marauding criminal underclass that won't let others live.

========

I agree with this argument that humans should not be eating animals, and the animals should not be eating humans.

Live and let live.

would you take it back and perpetuate your unique 3 billion year old genome?

=======

I have a UNIQUE 3 billion year old genome? Oh, I am so SPECIAL! I must perpetuate the race and reproduce!

You don't see anything wrong with that line of reasoning?

Putting yard waste out on the street is part of the recycling program. You're only allowed to put it out 24 hours before pick-up. A special truck and "scooper" truck collects all the green waste and takes it to a special dump completely separate from the garbage dump.

Thus on garbage day we have three different trucks picking up. One for garbage, another for recycling and clippings/yard waste.

Jenefer

Trip,
Glad to hear it was well worth the three hour line of traffic and the over-nighters waiting for their burgers.(_____Not that I didn't make some fat juicy burgers with avocado slices and incredible spinach from the Green Market last night), but the issue was more about the hype, the wait and the emotional aspect that was really striking.
If you want, I'm sure they have the clip on Morning Joe website by now.--it was a real social phenomenon.

Speaking of Cinco de Mayo, in my grandsons little elementary school in rural Connecticut, they've gone whole hog in the celebration of it. I don't know why, there aren't any Mexicans around here. In the pantheon of holidays it is second only to Martin Luther King Day, which is the High Holy Day in his school.

Meanwhile, we have a Yankee history here that dates back to 1635. Descendants of the original families dot these hills. But our history is not celebrated or even mentioned in the local schools.

The only thing I can think of is that the curriculum is heavily influenced by the Marxists and Homosexual activists who head up the NEA. What else could it be?

-Marlin

I'm not sure I'm getting your point regarding GW/AGW and the Koyoto accords.
------------------------------------
One thing we can both agree on is Doris had a great tush.

What I'm saying is something like what MLK said;

'we must move quickly from a thing based society to a people based society'.

To do that, we need to change attitudes toward each other, not just to the volume of particulate matter in the air. Bad air is derivative of bad values and relationships. As I get older I realize more and more how little it means to be "right" on a point technically, when the way you demonstrate it is divisive. That's why I feel the militancy does more harm than good.

My only consolation is what I read in TLE: the schools in their current form are untenable and will sooner or later, collapse. Then we can organize our own local schools, free of the NEA and the State, which is what originally happened, back 17th century.

-Marlin

"In my OPINION that is. Based on what? A lifetime of experience in watching people and events. You do what you can in discerning the contours of reality. Another thing: I find a lot of the commenters here intelligent and "informed". You don't? That's fine. That's your opinion."
-----------------------------------------
That's right, it's just my opinion, and I try not to confuse my thoughts and opinions with some "objective reality" that doesn't exist. That was my point. Hence the statement "YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK"

The "contours of reality" are a co-emergent property with your mind, not something you "view" as you would by looking out of a telescope. When you understand that, you can stop putting so much value on what ever it is that pops into your head from minute to minute. (and stop getting angry at everything you regard as a slight) THAT is the definition of true freedom. Free from the tyranny of your own mind.

That understanding of reality BTW, is the implication of quantum cosmology and quantum mechanics. It is also the Buddhist term of "emptiness", the nature of phenomena are empty of inherent existance.

Oh, I haven't been to an In and Out in over a decade, but I remember the double-double animal style being a top notch fast food experience!

(and stop getting angry at everything you regard as a slight) - Dale

If I actually gave a shit I might regard it as a slight. I'm making a practical suggestion: if the commenting isn't up to your standards go read something else.

"I try not to confuse my thoughts and opinions with some "objective reality" that doesn't exist.."

Free from the tyranny of my own mind? Dale, Matrix was just a movie.

Objective reality doesn't exist? Tripp, your little Ella doesn't exist. Neither do you. Tripp, don't answer me, I don't exist either.

Last week I spotted something shiny in my neighbors driveway. Upon closer inspection I determined it was a new, 'special edition' Shelby Cobra Mustang.

A few weeks ago I mentioned another neighbor, a District Attorney, brought home a 2011 Cadillac with a 556 HP engine. I saw the engine and it is enormous. The owner of the Mustang, an engineer, is a different neighbor. Written on the hood are the numbers 511. I asked my neighbor, Darrell, what 511 stands for? He said, "This baby pushes out 511 Horsepower. It will blow the doors off Rick's Caddy", gesturing toward the Big Caddy in the driveway next door.

Such is the way people still think, even educated people. Its hard to believe. I did his bust his balls a little bit, asking him, "Darrell what year is it, 1968?" He didn't get the joke.

It gonna take more than $4.25 per gallon gas to change things around, I suppose. Maybe shortages and long lines at the gas stations like back in the 70's. I really don't want to see that happen. 35 years ago we were more civilized than we are now. As JHK says, when the gas lines form up again, that's when you will see the revolvers emerge from the glove compartments.

-Marlin

Reminds me of the time my dad and I took my wife ice fishing for the first time. I chopped three holes in the ice, one for each of us. My wife caught about 25 smelt and my dad and I caught about five between us. Pan fried the fish. Really good.

Matt Tiabbi proven to be left-wing hack:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/mailbag-why-i-cant-vote-for-ron-paul-20110502

"Ron Paul stands for liberty. PERIOD. This means getting the government off our backs and out of our lives... and most of all... out of our wallets. Libs seem to think that it's horrible for the politicians to send our military to other parts of the world to kill and loot, but they don't seem to have a problem letting them kill and loot in our own country. Don't kill our enemy in another land... kill our own babies before they are born instead. Don't loot other nations of their wealth... loot our own citizens of their wealth so we can give it to our own favorite groups of people instead.

Don't you people understand that FORCE is FORCE? Coercion is coercion. Theft is theft. And killing is... well, killing. It doesn't matter who does it or for what reason.

The government taking my money to give it to someone else... against my will... is THEFT. It's theft whether the government does it... or the crook on the street does it. There is no difference in the long run.

And RP does believe the government has a role in our lives... and that role is to PROTECT OUR LIBERTY... you know... like it says in our Constitution."

Meanwhile, we have a Yankee history here that dates back to 1635. Descendants of the original families dot these hills. But our history is not celebrated or even mentioned in the local schools.

No mention or celebration of Thanksgiving when the white Yankee colonists arrived?

No mention or celebration of July 4th when the white Yankees achieved independence from England?

No mention or celebration of white Yankees who became presidents and got a Presidents' Day?

The white Yankees fought in a civil war and there is no mention or celebration of Memorial Day to honor the nation's war dead from the Civil War?

No mention or celebration of Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day anymore?

I lived in Yankee Vermont and I distinctly remember these celebrations.

Marlin, you say the Marxists and homosexuals have radically changed the school curriculum recently? They are preventing celebrations of national holidays in our schools?

Really, Marlin?

Jim:

Your Song of Spring is a fine piece, wistful and haunting. The images have been with me all day; an effective change of pace from your usually splendid fire and brimstone.

Best regards,

Capn Daddy

The government taking my money to give it to someone else... against my will... is THEFT. It's theft whether the government does it... or the crook on the street does it. There is no difference in the long run.

Government : builds water treatment facilities.
Crook on the street : does no water treatment.

Government : builds and maintains public roads.
Crook on the street : uses them but does not maintain them.

Government : builds veterans hospitals
Crook on the street : may be a veteran, but does not build or maintain veterans' hospitals.

You get the idea. Taxes are not theft when a social contract and elected government is in place.

Even Ron Paul, who is a life-long government worker, would not say taxes are theft. Taxes have paid Ron Paul's salary all his life. If he believes taxation is theft, then he is a thief.

Thank you for bringing Cinco de Mayo - an abomination. White kids have been attacked for not celebrating this. Riots have started by White kids raising the American Flag on American soil. The Teachers naturally punish them not the Mexican invaders. AMR - this is how it starts. They see our weakness. A few years ago they just asked for equal rights. Then they demanded the Southwest. Then they demanded that we go back to the 13 original colonies. Now they demand we go back to Europe. Why shouldn't they? No one has stood up to them so they just keep stepping it up.

It's not going to get better. Why would it? You got to get this peace and love crap out of your head and reread the Church Fathers - man is FALLEN. People need laws and consequences for breaking them. Being nice to the Mexicans only encourages them in their fantasies of revenge. Our Traitorous Elite have encouraged them at every step - now giving them text books that teach their slanted history.

American Kids should be taught our slanted history in the early grades. People need myths. Many will never grow out of that stage. At the higher grades in High School (when most people should already be out of school) a more objective view can begin to be taught. They are the voters and have a right to know. Most people shouldn't be voting. People aren't equal. The races differ and individuals within races differ. Having a Nation is hard enough without having more than one race in it. Not only have we done that, but we brought in a race that has historical grievances against us - that indicates a death wish. We learned nothing from African Slavery - Obviously! If we had, we would never had imported another hostile race into our midst.

Oh and the Leftist idea that all the other races are good and are going to unite agains the Evil Whites is pure fantasy. The Mexicans hate the Blacks and are purging them. You haven't heard? Why would you? If you did read about it, would you belive it? First you'd have to deal with the propaganda that's been put in your head about racial harmony. It's just not in line with the nature of fallen man. Aquinas said that nations are natural to fallen man. These leftists are trying to create heaven on earth without God. It's not going to work. And the lip service the Churches pay to believing in borders is pure Marxist Deception. Absolutely despicable. V2 Catholicism is no better. Tragic.

Sure Libtards celebrate Thanksgiving - but instead of thanking God for His Bounty, they thank the Indians for Socialism. But as you know this is just a transitional stage: the Powers that be intend to make Thanksgiving a Day of Mourning. Admit it or be content to be the liar and deciever that you are.

That goes for "you" too. "You" don't have to believe everything that pops into your head either.

Buddhism is like Capitalism - a weapon, something you try to get the other guy to take seriously and practice while you reap the benefit of special deals and Goverment largess. As J.P Morgan said, "Competition is a sin". Dale says "Don't believe everything that pops into your head".

"Taxes are not theft when a social contract and elected government is in place."

The "social contract" is that the central government be limited by the Constitution. Unconstitutional taxes are therefore theft, even if they are used for "many wonderful works". Far too many are spent on evil.

You're right, there's a disconnect between form and content. Though in practice up here there's not a lot of difference between the parties.

I think that all the parties of our respective countries: Dem/Repub/Cons/Lib are jointly and separately responsible for the fix both the US and Cda are in economically. Under their respective administrations our captains of commerce offshored our productive industries. So, while the respective party rhetoric differs, in the end what does it matter? How do you fund social programs without the surplus created by the workers in industries that no longer operate here? All the good paying jobs departed under the acquiescent gaze of Democrat/Repub/Lib/Cons rulers alike. And the taxes workers paid departed with their livelihoods.

What could govts have done about it? Govts aren't helpless. They control a multitude of men with guns. If our men of commerce have a mind to gut our economies then our govts could have deployed their considerable legal and military and law enforcement firepower to stop it. Scream like hell, impose mile high tariffs, expropriate assets, assign pale and clammy bureaucrats to "help" CEOs run their business, pass economically nationalistic laws to harass and arrest corporate management. Would it have had a chilling effect on business? You bet. So what? Look at the havoc that's been inflicted as it is.

Sound a bit too Hugo Chavez? Maybe. But look at where things are at. The US has deficits that make Argentina look like a paragon of self restraint. Where would things be if your industrial capacity was still intact in your country?

The managerial class has to get it through their heads that they exist because of us, that they don't live in a separate realm, that "free trade" doesn't mean "anything goes", that we are their life support system, that they can't live without the physical and social and cultural and legal infrastructure bought and paid for by the people of our respective countries. So far not one of our political parties has made that argument. At least not that I know of.

"Speaking of Cinco de Mayo.."
-marlin-

Just to give you another perspective -

The reason Cinco de Mayo is getting so much attention in schools probably has to do with the fact that it occurs in the Spring - on or around May 5th.

Teachers seem pretty desperate to get the little cookie crunchers to pay attention to ANYTHING in the spring, as a general rule.

So a holiday involving bright colors and candy is right up the educational alley, so to speak.

Problem with July 4 is that it occurs in the summer - hard to do something with that when most of the kids are at home.

Thanksgiving gets a pretty good splash around here, still, in the elementary grades. Turkeys made of pine cones and construction paper are a perennial favorite.
=============

Speaking of schools -
The Agrarian Calendar - I call BS on it.

Agriculture has been taking the blame for schools being out in the summer in the States since before time. BS, I say - complete and total.

Genuine agriculture would have the kids out of class in early spring through early summer - when the heavy work of clearing and planting is occurring. Then kids would go to school for a month in late July thru August (referred to as "laying by time" around here by the old-timers in farming). Then the kids would be back out of school to help with harvest in September.

Sooo - the reason school is out June/July/August is that it WAS too blamed hot to expect kids to learn anything - before widespread application of AC to school buildings.

Now that schools have AC - we're just stuck in yet another rut related mostly to inertia and sports.

But blaming the Agrarian Calendar - es mui stuipido.

I hear something, like a splinter in the back of my mind, but I can't quite lay my finger on it.

The Matrix was an AWESOME movie! But then, so was Office Space. I guess I like movies about paradigm shifts.

"My wife caught about 25 smelt and my dad and I caught about five between us."

God dang beginner's luck. And good for them, right?!

"Even Ron Paul, who is a life-long government worker, would not say taxes are theft. Taxes have paid Ron Paul's salary all his life."

"Inspired by his belief that the monetary crisis of the 1970s was predicted by the Austrian School and caused by excessive government spending on the Vietnam War and welfare, Paul became a delegate to the Texas Republican convention and a Republican candidate for the United States Congress. In 1974, incumbent Robert R. Casey defeated him in the 22nd district. When President Gerald Ford appointed Casey to head the Federal Maritime Commission, Paul won an April 1976 special election to fill the empty seat."

Prior to 1976, Ron Paul practiced medicine in obstetrics and gynaecology.

"I have a UNIQUE 3 billion year old genome? Oh, I am so SPECIAL! I must perpetuate the race and reproduce!

You don't see anything wrong with that line of reasoning?"

You mean besides the fact that you obviously consider yourself to be the same piece of shit that everyone else thinks you are?

(Cinco de Mayo) Good point PoC.

Actually the kids have alot of fun with Cinco de Mayo. You see them wearing big Pancho Villa hats and serapes. I don't think the teachers even bother telling students what its all about, a battle in Mexico City in 1863 where Mexican soldiers wiped out a contingent of French Marines.

We were occupied with the Civil War at the time and couldn't enforce the Monroe Doctrine. So the French, on the pretext of some unpaid debts, showed up and took over the country.

Mexican military victories have been so rare that they make a big deal out of this relatively minor battle. It would be as if here in the US we made the Battle of Resaca de Palma a national holiday. But we've won so many battles its hard to keep track of them all.

-Marlin

Yes good for them. But I had to sigh deeply and manfully endure a spate of "oh mighty woodsman" type comments from her. That's ok, the fish were good.

And, PoC, I guess Cinco de Mayo is better than the alternative, which would be May Day, where all the little ones would dress up in red, and, standing around the red banner with hammer and sickle, sing the International.

-Marlin

That was funny.

Talking about genomes have you heard of Lyn Margulis? I read a piece on her work in a science mag a few weeks ago. She says that the evolutionary process was driven mostly by symbiosis ie organisms accreting and incorporating the body and genome of various bacterial organisms. She says that various bodily structures and functions are more the result of symbiotically absorbing different organsisms with their genomes over the ages than through random mutation. She says that inner ear structures are the result of a species of spirochete being incorporated in the deep dark past by one of our ancestors. Mitochondria I guess would be another example. I'm not a scientist so I'm probably garbling her account.

Anyway her views are supposedly not mainstream in the US so she gets a lot of hostility. But apparently the view of evolution as being driven by symbiosis is much more accepted in Russia and eastern Europe. How do you view this?

No kids here. You can use my "kid-credit" for your extra, Tripp. Kind of like trading carbon credits. :-) . Hmm. I might be onto something here.

Come on Tripp, how much of having Number #2 involved shooting for a boy? :-)

Still pretty wet here. People complaining on other bogs that locally, they can't get much in the ground. Frost in out lying areas the last two nights.

"Sounds like our little, tiny Repuke friend again"

Wow! A fucking detective in our midst.

"You are such a jerk!"

Well then, jerk me, Helen baby. Jerk me. Thank you!

"But then I got a vasectomy as a teenager to prevent my ever impregnating anyone."

So I'm guessing from your youtube post you are still sore from the surgery?

I think I saw that the Postal Service lost 2 Billion the first quarter. How many Friedman Units until it's privatized? Actually, my post man mentioned that it had all ready happened in other parts of the country. Florida?

I keep telling him he better have a "Plan B." He does. These days, I think most people should have a Plan B and a Plan C. Stay loose and adaptable. Consider options and always remember that life careens off in unusual directions.

My best buddy has a pretty upscale (from my point of view :-) ) and urban life. He works for the FDA. Shell fish management and regulation. I keep telling him that I think any kind of regulatory agency is liable to take big hits and he better have a Plan B.

- on human reproduction -

Helen, tripp, several others -

There are issues that I feel free to discuss on CFN that I would not broach in polite company in the real world. And this is one of them.

"Meanwhile, all the morons are having multiples. Frankly, I'd rather there were at least one of yours out there to teach the others how to not screw everything up so bad..."
-tripp, to helen-

I had two kids - slightly under replacement rate. This was responsible - I believed - because the population of the US was 200,000,000 and needed to stabilize, along with global population.

NOW, of course high reproductive rates in the US are incentivized by the Federal tax codes. The child tax CREDIT is a great big deal - in favor of larger families.

And legal and illegal immigration, of course, is packing the country far more rapidly full than responsible reproduction ever would have-
- lies, pernicious and unexamined lies - - -facilitate this.

If you chose to remain childless in the US because of global overpopulation, you bought into the lies of the Zero Population Growth movement.
(To some extent, my wife and I bought into those lies, and limited our family size in the '80's.)

And you have - since then - been sold out by the forces from American Big Business and the ACLU - that are allowing unchecked immigration-caused population growth in the US.

You probably should have had a couple of kids.

White is black. Freedom is slavery. I believe in zero population growth, but I had a couple kids of my own, just cuz I felt like it. Do as I say, not as I do. Everyone else quite screwing. Thanks.

By the way, having two kids is beyond replacement rate, because they can have their own when they hit their 20's or 30's. So you could have grandkids or even great-grandkids while you're alive. How is that replacement rate? Doesn't make sense.

Whatever. Do whatever you want, but I don't buy your pose on overpopulation. You certainly didn't do much to follow it in your own life.

A CFN public service announcement:

DO.....NOT.....FEED....THE.....TROLL.....KIDS.

Ron Paul graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, before proudly serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s.

Wait, who pays for flight surgeons to work in the U.S. Air Force? I think it is U.S. taxpayers.

Ron Paul has been on the public dole, working at taxpayer expense, most of his adult working life. He is a leech who does not practice what he preaches.

You mean besides the fact that you obviously consider yourself to be the same piece of shit that everyone else thinks you are?

===========

Tripp, engaging in ad hominem attack is beneath you.

Those who are able to engage in civil, intellectual discourse need not engage in name calling.

"By the way, having two kids is beyond replacement rate,"
- logic, disappearing into the MemoryHole -

"In developed countries, replacement level fertility can be taken as requiring an average of 2.1 children per woman."
-national institute of health-

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7834459

Basic math and logic does not seem to be within your skill set, memoryhole.

Therefore, discussion of population growth rates in the US with you is futile.

In this, you may be a good representative of the liberal left wing of the US.

Ahem, ahem (throat clearing): Swathed in the education of our time my wife and I -- like all those so submersed in the Enlightenment Kool-Aid -- accepted that humanity had an innate yearning for a “reasoned” state of existence. You know; the notion of “human perfectibility” through exposure to the greatest and noblest works of the human mind? Yes, that foundational belief held by our nation’s founding fathers (all children of the Enlightenment) in justifying public education ; forthwith, create more perfect society by creating more perfect {best educated, hence most enlightened} citizens.

It was that state of “faith” that compelled my wife and I to limit our family size to just two children, believing as we did that our actions would be recognized as “reasoned”, thus destined as the model to be adopted by the nation and world. In subsequence, so our belief went, our children and all generations going forward would inherit a world not deprived of valued experiences and qualities of life known to our generation. That was way back in the mid 1950s, about the time when Isaac Asimov asserted that to have more than two children was environmentally immoral. Worked well, huh?

Not really. Nationally speaking, our high ceiling of legal immigration and refugee quotas, Reagan’s 1987 amnesty for illegal aliens, the high birth rate of immigrants holding beliefs and attitudes more aligned with the 9th to 17th centuries, plus our lenient “chain migration” policy, collectively acted to not just undercut our purpose but to bury its idea in mockery. The last vestige of that idea – and too the idea of government serving at behest of the citizenry through democratically elected representation -- is being effectively “disappeared” altogether by defaulting our legislated immigration policies to however many foreign nationals choose to ignore its laws.

In consequence what have my children inherited: Footprints of cities grown to size of nations. Areas experienced in my younger years as actual wilderness are now so densely impacted as to feel more like urban parks or Disneyland with “wilderness theme”. Today’s mega cities have crowded out beyond reach the practice common in my youth whereby the residents of the cities could forage, fish and hunt to augment their household larders, and often no further away than walking distance.

Back then too the average residential lot was still sized as originally planned during early industrialization, allowing sufficient space for gardening, poultry and even milk cow; because at the outset the labor movement wasn’t anticipated so wages weren’t expected to ever be sufficient alone to feed a family.

Because houses weren’t built in great swaths (“developments”) but instead by small contractors financially able to work typically one to a few lots at a time – and most dispersed apart due to operating budgets limiting purchase only on lot by lot basis -- there remained vacant lots in practically every neighborhood which were free for planting or as unofficially designated play grounds.

This all may sound fancifully distant and quaint, but most of my public school peers weren’t even a full generation removed from the small “family farm” that had been made unsustainable by banking and market manipulation practices deliberate to that purpose. From those family farms in the not yet too distant reaches beyond the city limits still flowed food stuffs from grandparents and other aging extended family tenaciously managing at least that level of the spirit Thomas Jefferson had hoped to remain the backbone of our economy and society, “a nation of yeomen farmers”.

Label it as you will, but this is “institutional
memory”, optionally referred to as heritage. It is now being scrubbed away by calls for “globalism”, or “multi-nationalism, or the even the more vague “global citizenship”.

Eating of meat is now profane, as is refusing the idea of living in a human equivalent of a rabbit warren, all to the purpose of accommodating ever increasing population (the refusal framed as politically incorrect, of course).

Refusing to learn the newest language de jour too is…..well, stogy. Worse, I’m an old “whitey”, “white bread”, “honkey , “ofey” without either duel or multiple citizenship. Current citizen body failing to meet today’s vogue definition of worldliness the ruling politicos see fit to “scab” in a new immigrant citizenry whose expectations are scaled more to Third World reality rather than to remnant memories of halcyon America.

Oh well,……

It's not what they did to us, it's what we did to us.
http://itstrueitellya.blogspot.com/2011/05/justice.html

ProCon the article you reference on replacement level fertility and future population growth was published in 1994, and the argument relies on infant mortality rates from even earlier years.

Have you checked the increase in infant mortality rates in the last 17 years? That affects replacement rate and makes the article you cited inappropriate.

It is especially offensive to use old data, and to use that old data in an inappropriate manner, in the same post you accuse someone of not have basic math and logic skills.

"Wait, who pays for flight surgeons to work in the U.S. Air Force? I think it is U.S. taxpayers."

Can you not differentiate between Constitutional and unconstitutional functions of the federal government? Are you obfuscating or just exaggerating, again? Do you hate the man for the same reason as Tiabbi, and most of the so-called progressives?

Here's some basic math and logic...

You and your wife have two kids.

Those two kids each have two kids of their own (your grandkids).

Now you and wifey have brought into being (partially indirectly) six new people, not counting yourselves, who are alive at the same time as you, or three apiece.

If each of your four grandchildren have two kids, your great-grandchildren, you could have 14 descendants living at the same time as you, presuming you live a reasonably long life. and that's 7 apiece between you and your wife.

Please explain to me how this constitutes replacement level? Perhaps if you're taking demographic trends overall and accounting for mortality and all those who don't breed. Good thing you're so noble and logical that you get to be one of the one's allowed to procreate.

And, if you believe the world is OVERPOPULATED, then putting your money where your mouth is would involve not having any children at all.

But that's just the opinion of one Commie from the American Left Wing (or some such crap you made up).

Cavepainter said: "Refusing to learn the newest language de jour too is…..well, stogy. Worse, I’m an old “whitey”..."

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

Did you ever learn any other language and become fluent? Did you ever live in a third-world country? Did you ever get outside you English-speaking, White, probably Christian, comfort-zone?

If not, then the word "stogy" seems appropriate, as well as "provincial."

More urban Liberal arrogance, bigotry and snobbery: in a television discussion a consultant employed by the Federal and Ontario Liberal Party said that Ontario Provincial Liberals are well anchored in the province, why the Province even has a Minister of Education from RURAL ONTARIO!

Imagine THAT! A Minister of Education from the STICKS!

Liberals had best beware. If they don't purge themselves of this insufferable urban superiority and of their anti-rural, anti western bigotry their party will be as dead as doornails. They will have a few enclaves in the big cities and that is all. A small echo chamber of big city, wine sipping snobs.

"If you chose to remain childless in the US because of global overpopulation, you bought into the lies of the Zero Population Growth movement."

I thought you were just saying that US population should remain stable or go down because we use up the most resources. Damn, you confuse me....

Hell of a nice post, cavepainter.
I saw all of that and bought all of that.
I limited my my reproduction to replacement level or below.
Somebody or something sold us out.

Was it one of the shadowy conspiracy factions that is mentioned on CFN?

Was it our national hubris - that we could be all things to all people?

Was is Free Market Capitalism - selling our souls for new markets?

Your line about being overtaken by cultures that reproduce according to 7th century imperatives is the saddest - and most true - thing that I have seen on this thread this week.

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

And did you see asoka's response to my post?
"Have you checked the increase in infant mortality rates in the last 17 years? That affects replacement rate and makes the article you cited inappropriate."
WTF?
The "INCREASE" in infant mortality would only serve to increase the replacement to something above 2.1 children/woman.

Even with ZERO pre-adult mortality, the replacement rate can NEVER go below 2.0.

1994 or 2525 - math and logic remain the same.

MD said: "Can you not differentiate between Constitutional and unconstitutional functions of the federal government?"

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

Yes, I can. Have you read the document?

Have you read Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution?

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States...

MD, why are you so upset about "the government taking my money to give it to someone else... against my will" {your words} when that is expressly authorized by the USA Constitution?

"Taxes are not theft when a social contract and elected government is in place."

"The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices — paid by others." - Thomas Sowell

"The struggle for freedom … is not the struggle of the many against the few, but of minorities ~ sometimes of a minority of but one man ~ against the majority." - Ludwig von Mises

Do you hate the man...

===========

No, I do not hate Ron Paul. I like him as a person.

What I hate are some of his policies, and all of his hypocrisy as a {government-paid rule-maker}

I would actually like to understand this term of "replacement rate." The figure of 2.0 or 2.1 is referring to generational replacement rate. But why is this relevant? Don't you really want to look at multi-generational population growth? Clearly, unless my math skills are totally off, every couple having two kids leads to population growth, not ZPG, especially if all these offspring are living at the same time, which is quite likely when people live to 80+ years of age. Correct me if I'm wrong.

What is the alternative to the "fatal attraction of government," the benificient proclamations of corporate oligarchies?

The problem with people like Sowell is that he does not recognize that government programs are created and funded in order to solve problems at which the "Free Market" has failed, and that, in a democracy, many of these decisions come down to majority rule. So even if the government were taken away, the problems would still remain, and people would still want solutions to them.

"...that is expressly authorized by the USA Constitution?"

The question that begs an answer is, "if the framers of our Constitution, who labored so resolutely in philadelphia that torridly hot summer in 1787 intended the powers of Congress to have no boundaries, why did they bother to enumerate seventeen?"

James Madison, when asked if the "general welfare" clause was a grant of power, replied in 1792, in a letter to Henry Lee,

"If not only the means but the objects are unlimited, the parchment [the Constitution] should be thrown into the fire at once."


ProCon said: "1994 or 2525 - math and logic remain the same."

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

ProCon, is math and logic related to time, because you reference 2525 and in the year 2525
I'm kinda wondering if man's gonna be alive. He's taken everything this old earth can give. And he ain't put back nothing. Now it's been 10,000 years. Man has cried a billion tears. For what he never knew. Now man's reign is through. But through the eternal night. The twinkling of starlight. So very far away. Maybe it's only yesterday.

"So even if the government were taken away, the problems would still remain, and people would still want solutions to them."

Then people should solve them themselves, they may not be problems for the rest of us.

That is spoken like a true Social Darwinist who is also (supposedly) a Christian. I find it amazing the kind of weird contradictory positions people like you are able to hold in your head at the same time. On the one hand, you're supposedly all about love, Jesus, and helping others, yet you basically say that people should always be left to sink or swim on their own, without government help. Because their problems are not yours. If you take a step back and examine your thoughts, that's a pretty weird set of opinions to hold simultaneously. Perhaps it has something to do with being accustomed to believing religious nonsense that you're able to hold such directly contradictory views.

And, by the way, Libertarian genius, how do you propose individuals solve for themselves societal problems like maintaining an interstate highway system, making sure that corporations don't pollute our waterways, and every other huge issue that government has quite logically dealth with in recent history, responding to the wishes of the democratic majority?

Seriously, you want to live on your own without the government? Please move to the Arctic Circle and form your own little druid compound. Or I hear Somalia is nice this time of year. There isn't much government to speak of there. Don't forget your AK.

The rest of us want responsive government that solves common problems in the modern world, not some stupid Libertarian pipe dream from 1792.

Cave, this "globalism" stuff is horseshit for half wits. I see the same thing up here in Canada. If you ask the average Frenchman to define France he'll give you vin et fromage, an Italian will give you la dolce vita, a Brit a stadium riot, a Canuck will look at you uncomprehendingly.

We've mentally scrubbed ourselves of the notion of our history, our heritage, our customs and our culture. Why? Because the Nitwit Left Wing Book of Demonology defines the White Anglo Saxon Protestant as Demon Number One.

The fact that we speak English, enlisted by the millions to defend the British Empire, read English lit, watch English language broadcasts, are educated in English, listen to English language singers, participate in a Westminster style Parliamentary democracy, live by English common law, play sports that originated in England does not matter. The politically correct prevailing view is WE DON'T HAVE A CULTURE. WE DON'T. END OF DISCUSSION. SHUT UP.

Other people are allowed a culture. Not us.

"Can you not differentiate between Constitutional and unconstitutional functions of the federal government?" Yes, I can.

To assert that Congress has the subjective authority to declare what constitutes the general welfare when the Constitution established a federal government of limited enumerated powers was intelligently dishonest to say the least. If the Court had not been looking for a way to unconstitutionally expand federal power under the guise of judicial review, it could have resolved this question by simply resorting to Federalist Essay No. 45 where Madison distinguished the external powers granted to the federal government from the domestic powers reserved to the States:

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part; be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger, those of the State governments in times of peace and security."

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/05/09/02/greenslade.htm

OK, MD, now we are getting somewhere. You are on the wrong side of constitutional history. You go with Madison. I go with Hamilton.

And legislative history has gone with me, not you.

In Supreme Court decisions throughout our history the Court has gone with the Hamiltonian interpretation.

I understand your position, and your stridency. Like most Supreme Court Justices, I disagree with it.

"The rest of us want responsive government that solves common problems in the modern world..."

Can this be done without making us all slaves?

"Like most Supreme Court Justices, I disagree with it."

PALPATINE: In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society, which I assure you will last for ten thousand years.

(There is a loud, sustained cheer from the Senate. Bail Organa and Padme sit, dumbfounded.)

PALPATINE: An empire that will continue to be ruled by this august body, and a sovereign ruler chosen for life . . .

(The Senate cheers again. Bail and Padme are devastated. Padme begins to cry.)

PALPATINE: An empire ruled by the majority . . . Ruled by a new constitution . . .

(The Senate applauds.)

PADME: So this is how liberty dies, to the sound of thunderous applause . . .

Long-live the {rule-makers}

including Ron Paul.

More applause.

"The rest of us want responsive government that solves common problems in the modern world..."

Can this be done without making us all slaves?

==========

MD, you need to get outside the USA as well. This is being done all over the modern world, which explains why our life expectancy is not 39 years, literacy rates are high, and stillbirth rates are down.

1950s = 152 stillbirths per thousand (bad 1950s)

2000-2005 = 47 stillbirths (good 21st century)

It does require regular theft of your money, though... sometimes referred to as taxes for a civilized society.

Boo hoo, poor oppressed messdruid.

A collection of 13 rural, agricultural colones with less than 3 million people cannot be governed in the same way as a giant, urban country of 50 states and 300 million people, which is more like an empire.

I'm sorry you've had to give up some of your "freedoms" in the meantime (unspecified....you haven't exactly stated how you're being oppressed by the Evil Empire).

I'd suggest either inventing a time machine to go back to 1780 where you'd fit in better or dealing with the reality that times have changed and the Colonial Era is over. A small, highly limited, federal government simply DOES NOT WORK now, and I could give two craps about what quotes from the Founding Fathers you dredge up that argue otherwise. They are dead and gone, and times have changed. Our philosophies and modes of operation need to and have changed immensely since their time.

"Can this be done without making us all slaves?"

That is a stupid, loaded question. Countries like Sweden are socialistic. Their governments solve all kinds of problems. And I doubt you'd find many Swedes who call themselves slaves.

This idea of freedom as a core value only goes so far. You live in a complex, modern civilization. By definition, your freedoms are highly constrained, and specifically your freedom only extends as far as the next person's rights. And total freedom is anarchy, which a few people find enjoyable, but not many. So you must live with a limited amount of freedom here. If you don't agree to this, well then, see you in the penitentiary. Or kindly move someplace more wild and to your liking. I hear Northern Canada is nice if you can manage to survive there.

Of course there's an agenda at work!
The foot in the door technique...
get those kids comfortable with their new Lord..
Hes from south of the border...

In LA Black students dont attend on mehico day, lest they be killed.

Advice to Dale:

"YOU DON'T HAVE TO THINK EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVE"

Other people going hungry is not my problem. Food stamps should be abolished.

Some old person's retirement is not my problem. Social Security should be eliminated.

I don't care if someone got injured and can't work. Disability payments should be taken away.

I already have my education, and I don't care if anyone else gets one. Public schools should be defunded.

I don't use any of the roads except the ones between the shopping mall, my house, and my job. All the other roads should be left to fall apart, because I don't drive on them.

My area doesn't have any bridges, so why should I have to pay for them?

I haven't used police and fire services in awhile. Who needs them anyways? People should take care of themselves.

The water where I live is clean. I don't need the EPA meddling in my water supply.

I have an outhouse in back of my shack, so I don't need public sewage service or waste water processing.

I'm not homeless, so homeless people should get any food, medicine, or housing. Let them take care of themselves. Here's a nice box.

should not rather

I'd take Thomas Sowell more seriously if just ONE of his columns in the period 2000-2008 mentioned the Bush administration in a negative light, given that it was chock full of Constitutionally questionable proclamations, modes of operation, and signing statements, similar things that he constantly chides the Obama administration for doing.

But like many conservatives, he has picked his side, and he sticks to it. Maybe he gets directives from his handlers at the Hoover Institution. Anyone who is so clearly partisan is flying blind and cannot be trusted on a basic level. To argue that all the problems in America are caused by liberalism and the Left, which is his constant refrain, is disingenuous and blind, not to mention an outright lie.

"Tripp, don't answer me, I don't exist either."

Dude, you just blew my non-existant mind!

"What I hate are some of his policies, and all of his hypocrisy as a {government-paid rule-maker}"

So, fucktard, by your "logic" no one within government can introduce the idea that government must live within its means, which would include cyclical cutbacks and layoffs. Why? Because they are taking a paycheck from the government and would be hypocrites to suggest what? That government can become bloated, inept and wasteful? Are you fucking retarded?

The "X does not exist" ploy is all well and good for mental masterbation, but when you want to have a detailed discussion about some topic, you have to assume that all kinds of constructs do, in fact, exist simply in order to have a coherent debate. Or you'll just be spinning in circles the whole time, arguing about semantics.

"...but I am the outcast in my own family: because I didn't stay put in the USA..."

WRONG. You are an outcast because you are a leech and a FUCKTARD.

"I'd take Thomas Sowell more seriously if just ONE of his columns in the period 2000-2008 mentioned the Bush administration in a negative light.."

Hey, fucktard. Like him or hate him Bush is gone. He can do no more harm. In the MEAN FUCKING TIME Obama is in the act of destroying this country. How fucking stupid can one (you) be?
(Hint: very, very very)

" my non-existant mind..."

Of which you can not be aware as it doesn't exist.

Swedes are rapidly being dispossesed by the Muslims their traitorous Elite let in. Any Swede who complains about it is guilty of "hate" and is either fined or jailed. The Goverment passed an edict a few years ago stating that the Swedes were just one ethnic group in a multicultural society. So in other words, you are wrong.

Hey pissant. Tough day at the turd mine? Ha Ha

Good Asoka. You get down to Principle. Hamilton was a creature of the British Bankers. And those who follow him are the Anglophile Judeo/Masons turned Globalist Slave Masters.

You are consistent and wrong - consistently wrong in other words. Black is White and White is Black. Good is Evil and Evil is Good.

Hey, troll.

I like a lot of Sowell's columns, even ones with which that I don't agree. He's a fantastic writer and thinker. I definitely don't hate him. What gave you that impression?

Have you read any of his stuff? Can you recommend a book or two?

I just thought it was surreal to paw through all his columns from the Bush era and not find one negative column anything the Republicans did. It makes a lot of his attacks on Obama seem overblown and partisan. I prefer thinkers who are more balanced in how they perceive the political world.

Bush did a better job of "destroying the country" than Obama. Most sane American people would agree with this (though you don't fall in that category).

According to you and other conservative troglodytes on the internet, we're not allowed to talk about the past as a point of comparison to the present. Is that because 2000-2008 was a disastrous period for America, of which you are really ashamed?

Unemployment is down. There is a boom in tech hiring. We got Bin Laden. Obama released the long form birth certificate. Things are looking up. Don't be such an Eyore.

Jim's lines this week about the teenagers he spotted hanging around convenience stores, wearing heavy metal getups from the 70's, got me thinking; Theres got to be cheap poem in there somewhere.

I got a ring thru my nose,
I wear my hat sideways.
I have flames on my neck,
Driving down the highways.

I've got a stud on my tongue
I hang around the mall
The future looks bleak
The apps on my Cellphone will beat all.

That's all I got so far. Feel free to contribute.

-Marlin

Obama is destroying the country. If only we had a Republican of the calibre of say, George W. Bush, everything could be put back on track. The good times would roll again. At this rate, we're going to have the USSA by 2012.

Tripp, engaging in ad hominem attack is beneath you.

Those who are able to engage in civil, intellectual discourse need not engage in name calling."

You're the one who said it. You asked if anything seemed wrong with your logic and I told you. You obviously don't think much of yourself. Don't toss out a meatball to the guy swinging the Louisville Slugger if you can't take a little heat.

Yes, two languages additional to English. Do I need to name them to learn if they pass the screen for too much hemispheric/eurocentricity?

But I do accept the taunt. Having lived as long as I have I've been recipient of many labels. How about “commie-pinko, nigger loving faggot” for advocating against continued segregation in my home region and protesting McCarthyism (really anti-intellectualism) back in the 1950s? That's when I was hanging out as a teenager in "Negro" clubs listening to "Jigaboo" music, risking not just ostracism and arrest but even physical violence while embarrassing my dad on job sites.

The same followed my refusal to mobilize with my national guard unit on the governor’s orders to prevent integration (ever risk court martial yourself?).

Those labels followed me through my advocating for civil rights in the 1960s. Three jobs I lost in that decade for (1) wearing black armband the day following Martin Luther King's assassination, (2) early protesting of the Viet Nam War -- in 1965 I had a large banner across the front of my house that read "Stop US Aggression in Viet Nam". Lost another job (teaching position, early 1970s) in part for publishing articles against the war in the student campus newspaper. Participated in the 1999 Seattle WTO protest. Campaigned for Nader and voted for him every chance. Railed at rallies and marches against American imperialism and all of its wars.
Hell, I’ve even been a regular bicycle commuter from the early 1960s, decades before it was politically correct, and always owned only “economy” cars that, back in the 1950s drew naught but derision.

So it goes that now I’m labeled as a racist, fascist, xenophobe. I can take it.

No kids here. You can use my "kid-credit" for your extra, Tripp. Kind of like trading carbon credits. :-) . Hmm. I might be onto something here.

Come on Tripp, how much of having Number #2 involved shooting for a boy? :-)"

Thanks, Lewis! Also, our farm lords have no children, so we can split with them on very local resource accounting lines. And if I manage to achieve carbon neutrality for my gang? You can trade your credits again! There's got to be a Ponzi in there somewhere.

And yes, I admit that I wanted a boy to carry on the family name!

"Mitochondria I guess would be another example."

I was taught in college that the separate genome of human mitochondria is far more like that of an alpha-proteo bacterium than a mammal. Mitochondria being the cellular powerhouses, where oxygen and sugar are converted to ATP (which enable us to move about and do work), the opinion of Lyn Margulis makes good sense to me. Only seems right that she would be ostracized in the US.

Are you familiar with the aquatic ape hypothesis? Impossible to prove archaeologically, but follows Occam's Razor to my mind, in explaining the distinct anatomical differences between humans and the other great apes.

Subcutaneous fat storage occurs in humans and aquatic mammals, but not in any other primate.

Our upright bipedal posture is really awkward and hard on us on land, without the support of water's buoyancy. Upright posture would've given us obvious advantages in the water.

We are also the only land mammal who can control his breath, just like any aquatic mammal can.

Oh, and obviously the lack of body hair! Hair would be detrimental for an aquatic life.

Don't toss out a meatball to the guy swinging the Louisville Slugger if you can't take a little heat.

-tripp-

Funny stuff!

MemoryHole,

I'm probably off CFN 'till Sunday -
Somebody else can take another shot if this short explanation won't suffice.

IF, every woman survives to produce 2.0 offspring, who also survive to produce 2.0 offspring, then the "reproductive replacement rate" for this ideal population is 2.0.

Because of pre-reproductive fatalities - the study I cited, done in 1994, put the rate at 2.1, for developed countries, like the US.

This is simple truth. No number of words will change this simple math fact.

I think you are ignoring the fact that populations are dynamic. At a rate of 2.1, deaths of parents, grandparents, etc - match births.

Also, when you state that one set of parents has multiple grandchildren - you are ignoring the fact that numerical "responsibility" for those grandchildren is shared with all the other grandparents.

============
Immigration into the US verses protection of the global ecosystem is, perhaps, the biggest paradox facing modern liberalism.

At some point - environment has to trump increased US population.

I say that number was 250,000,000 US residents and it's way past time to do something.

Other folks say 666,666,000 US residents will be Just Dandy.

I say global collapse occurs way before that.
So do these folks.
http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer
I say join them.

Funny stuff?

Would you think it funny, ProCon, if Tripp called you a piece of shit?

Tripp,

If I troll over trivia -
Would you please call me a piece of shit so I will have an opportunity to correct my behavior?

Thank you,
PoC

And, now, I'm out 'till Sunday.
Y'all do your worst.
Or your best.

"Tough day at the turd mine?"

Not really. As a courtesy I held the clean end of your mommy's shovel for a second while she changed your diaper. Once finished she mined your dinner. Was it any good?

"Things are looking up."

To a MORON perhaps.

We have begun our trip down the rabbit hole where rights are whittled away with alarming speed. Want to fly somewhere? Not until you've be felt up and its coming to your train station too and sooner than you think. Have a cell phone? You won't believe what the government can already find out about you and how much more they will know in the twinkling of an eye.

Want health care? Maybe so but for the first time ever, the government is going to force you to buy a service/plan for your coverage.

This current administration that was against GWB's wars (since you want to compare GWB) has not only expanded them he started another with Libya. Remember how Barak hated Gitmo and was going to close it? He's learned to like it. Remember how the Gitmo crowd was going to be tried by Holder in NYC? Brilliant idea. So, fucking brilliant that reality finally broke through the cloud of stupidity surrounding this WH and slapped our esteemed Atty General (possibly private, but this guy a general?) right between his eyes.

Currently 30% of homeowners owe more on their homes than they are worth. Think there won't be another downturn in the housing market? Think again. (Barak is putting pressure on banks to start taking sub prime loans again, the very act that brought us to where we are.)

Inflation is right around the corner with food and fuel prices poised for substantial increases. Think the Spring rains will help the difficulty? And fuel price spikes eventually affect the price of EVERYTHING.

Were all of these phenomena not bad enough we have a President in place who has not even remotely begun to address the run away spending that is his modis operandi. Nor will he because from his actions and statements he truly believes that government should find its way into every nook and cranny of our daily lives. And that takes money. Lots and lots of money.

I heard a thought today that fits the way Obama thinks to a tee. "For government to get bigger, the individual must get smaller." Prepare to get smaller Mem. I hope you don't get dumber as you don't have too far to fall in that department.

response to "MarlinFive 54": Although someone already busted you for overlooking the Anglo holidays the kids must have at school, such as Thanksgiving decorations made in ele. school, you are on to something and are correct to be suspicious of the bleating weenyism of the NEA. For one thing, school districts which are represented by the NEA typically are reluctant to hire teachers who have ever belonged to the AFT, which is decidedly not a fey or wimpish union, since it is typically to be found in larger urban districts where the teachers should probably be getting combat decorations or at the very least campaign ribbons.

The most embarrassing factoid about public education is that after the public schools were founded during the mid 19th century the literacy rate in this country actually declined never to recover to what it was in the Dames' Schools which sounded out the King James version in people's parlors.

From a cultural standpoint the WASP elite is in a strange position on two counts: first, we're no longer a British dominion of any sort, so the successful rebellion against the crown contributed to a deracination of that original majority which was of British stock. After all, Paul Revere didn't say "the British are coming" but "the redcoats are coming", because then, we were still British. And second, the pilgrims were radical Puritans, some of whose descendants actually sailed back to England to fight in the English Civil War as roundheads with the Parliamentary army in rebellion against the crown. Their descendants have mostly lost their faith, hence the single minded focus on gluttony at the Thanksgiving holiday.

But most of all, the WASPs find it unseemly to promote Britishness in any form, and that includes even those churches which are clearly British in origin, as no one wants to be seen trying to be exclusive. A good antidote to Anglophilia I've found is to actually go to a place like Gibraltar and try hanging out. The typical American of British stock will soon tire of the locals unless he is suffering from some sort of ethnicity delusion. After all, even the British aren't very British any more. And the Australians can hardly wait to get the British crap off of their flag and their money. They already changed the constitution so that the Governor General can no longer dissolve Parliament to call for new elections.

But we're being "invaded" by the Mexicans? I can't recall who said that. I thought it was us who invaded them and ripped off the northern half of their country. Where did all those Spanish place names in the southwest come from?


Both Hamilton and Madison were imperialists. Both were thieving callous conniving genocidal elitist imperialist scum. One should not distinguish between the two, or for that matter, distinguish between any of the highbrow subterfuge produced by the "founding fathers" of the American Empire. All their paths lead to the same end result: Empire. But people never learn the lessons of the past. Their conciet and self-deciet blinds them to the lessons of history, even when these lessons were clearly articulated several millennia ago in the TaNaKh, and have been repeated and over and over again since then.

'Nother country heard from on May the 5th (o' tequila).

Northern Unionistas should celebrate the Mess'icans victory over the Frenchies at the 1862 battle of Puebla. Napoleon's toehold into Mexico would [likely] have made things even bloodier and more protracted in our "little unpleasantness".

The Confederates and the French were in collusion, cahoots, conspir-afyin', and [of course] Nappy had some grand designs on the Land o' Plenty of his very own.

When ol' hand-in-his-coat finally conquered Mexico (with a much larger contingent of troops) and installed his cousin, Maximillian, the Northern War of Aggression was over (militarily). Maxie didn't last too long (sudden case of lead poisoning, y'know), and Nappy's dreams of American conquest were dashed. (Dash i'tall, deuced bloody dash and blast!)

Soooo, I guess "northerers" should huff and huzzah, and "southerners" should grump and grumble. ...and I guess we all should holler, "Piss on Nappy and his Frenchy-fries!", for opposite reasons...

Oops, Marlin!
LOL, you got there waaaaay ahead of me. That'll teach me...

Say, jest fer laughs, I'm going to be dropping in to the Fireplace Bar in Collinsville, Saturday eve (tmrw, by Gad) right around 8:30. (Know of it? It's right close to the bank; not that toney joint by the Collins Co. factory building.) Just ask for ozone at the bar; they'll point the bastard out.
Mayhap see yez thar, barring other quaffing commitments. ;o)

...take more than $4.25 per gallon gas to change things around, I suppose.

I liked you story, so I thought I would share how I have been trying to understand $gas vs. pain levels.

All these figures are rounded to make the math easier. Don't bust me if they aren't exact. I'm also using current dollars, not future, which could be inflated or deflated, depending upon who you listen to. I'm assuming the following; a vehicle with 20mpg, driven 10,000 miles/yr. The way I've been trying to quantify it, is that the pain starts at gas costing 5% of someones gross pay:

Income/yr. Pain Cost Level
$20,000 $2.00 a gal
$40,000 $4.00 a gal
$60,000 $6.00 a gal
$80,000 $8.00 a gal
$100,000 $10.00 a gal

So, if your Mustang Cobra neighbor is making $100,000 per year, spending $5,000 a yr. on gas starts to get his attention. And it really hits the fan above 10% ($20 a gal.)

Alternately, a Prius owner, making the same $100,000/yr., would have to see $25.00 a gal before his behavior changes (assuming 50mpg).

Sorry about the table being scrunched. There is probably a way to HTML set it up properly.

Yes things are 'looking up', who could think this except a moron ?

If you are one of the top 1% in income I suppose things are looking up for you, at least that is what a doctor told me.

Things aren't lookin' so UP for me.
My husband manages to stay in denial = moron.

sorry but them's the facts. he's not too bright.
thinks he knows it all tho.
i talk too much on here.

My husband just can't see it, he lives in denial, at least he doesn't complain about things.

kinda like living in disneyland, very strange reality. I KNOW what's happening, and he says everythings' fine, you worry too much.

he's so wrong. and stubborn.
this whole nation seems like disneyland to me.
pretty much.

"Funny stuff?

Would you think it funny, ProCon, if Tripp called you a piece of shit?"

Look, the part I really hate about all this is that it started with a compliment! I said something about "your unique 3 billion year old genome," (and in this case I mean really unique), and you immediately launched into how mundane and average you were. Not worth reproducing at all. That's your problem, not mine. But since you can never leave ANYTHING alone without tossing in your smarmy needling, I unloaded on you. Sorry if it seemed unfair, but you bloody well begged for it.

jackie,

If he's that slow start squirreling away as much cash as you can. Buy extra food and stack it up somewhere where he won't notice. Just because he's a pin head doesn't mean that you can't prepare for what may lie ahead

asoka needs no apology. He is a giant sucking squid. Plugged into all that will donate but is dormant when it comes to pitching in.

He is a parasite by his own admission. All should be provided. Why? Well, because he's asoka-herself damn it! Reason enough.

Better stock up on Ding Dongs, Twinkies, and cupcakes, because the pissant is coming over. He needs to maintain his pear-like figure somehow.

They will turn the Southwest into Mexico - from which they fled for a better life. They can't help doing it - they're Mexicans. But we don't have to live in their squalor. You obviously haven't thought it thru. Just up in your head, an ideological object not a Subject. Get out of it. Go to the barrio and feel it. Hear the raucous music. The foreign language. The insults. Feel the thrown bottle that hits your head.

Then come back here and tell us that we "owe" them anything. They should be fucking greatful. So should you. Become a Subject not an object. Become the Protagonist of your own Life. Morality is for the Living - for Subjects not for Ideological Slave Objects.

I hear your memoirs are coming out, and I can't wait.

"Shutup Fucktard: Recollections of an Internet Pissant"

We will finally learn what turned an innocent little boy into a ban-happy troglodyte forever astro-turfing the CFN.

I guess the nice Mexican people who politely serve me tacos and clean my house didn't get the memo about chucking bottles at whitey's head.

The Jews killed hundreds of thousands of Gentile Civilians in Egypt and Cypress during Bar Cochaba rebellion. And they mutilated the bodies in horrible ways. The Romans dealt with them quite harshly though - as they fully deserved. Justice wasn't circumcised back then as it is now.

See Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" for this important information. Unedited version of course. "Someone" circumcised this part out in the edited version. Wonder why.

You know, Vlad, the Mexicans have our asses whooped in terms of community. Something we will desperately need in the future, and something that helped Cuba survive the fall of the Soviet Union. How many loyal mates could you call into service on short notice if things get dicey? I got maybe a dozen, but at any given moment I'd be happy if half that showed. Not good enough...

Well turkle-fuck-fuck's mommy let her out to play with the cumputor. Isn't that special?

Not really.

Mom jokes....yeah....that's incredibly insulting. I'm going to go curl up in the corner (of my mom's basement) and cry.

You have a servant? You are an imperialist hypocrite. How dare you demean brown people in this way. Do your own cleaning White Boy!

Where do you get the money for this? Is your family "millionaire Marxist" or just you? Shame on you for having more money than the Mexicans you employ! Give it to them you hypocrite.

You're right: we have to bring back the Clan (of the Cave Bear). The problem is that Whites became too civilized and specialized. We let our Clan stucture fade and fully supported a system of police, military, and goverment. And those have all betrayed us and left us with nothing. The Revolution came from the top not the bottom as was expected. It was a knock out blow and we are just begining to recover.

And the same economically: we left the family farm and moved to the city like they wanted us to. They promised us techno paradise. Guess they left out the part about shipping our jobs to Asia and letting Mexicans in to do all the menial jobs. Hipefully as things get worse people's perception will sharpen and they will start asking why aliens are still getting our jobs even during a depression.

For the record, I'm not comfortable with the emphasis on St. Patrick's Day celebrations among politically correct Irish. They make you feel guilty if you don't wear green.

I said something about "your unique 3 billion year old genome"

========
Thank you for acknowledging the obvious: our uniqueness.

You still haven't explained how you get from "unique 3 billion year old genome" to the desirability for anyone to recreate or your decision to recreate. There is a disconnect. Bring in resource depletion and environmental degradation due to overpopulation and the disconnect is fatal.

We fall by degrees, small at first. Little things become important - and we become as small as they are. Principles become unreal - what's real and important is the Game on TV. The part become the whole and before you know it, you're apologizing for being a White Man. Or you find yourself injecting your daughter's face with botox so she can be the best little tart and Win. Winning is what matters after all. Why vote for someone who isn't going to win? If you do that, how are you going to be able to fist pump and chant "We're Number One? Dude(ette)s - You Suck.

All Blacks should wear green and get vastectomies. I like Blacks who dress up as Lepracahans.

You read the piece about the Fashionista in France being arrested?

And TT..having lived in SoCal 32 years...I dont see this great 'lationo earth mother community'...
they are anglo ized in ways you dont know about.

March RS has Snookie on the cover and a small article drubbing Alex Jones,

I dont agree with all AJ says but clearly there's a corporate agenda to that corporate rag.

Vlad, did you see the fashonista was arrested in France?

I find the racial hypocrisy in sports particularly disgusting. Why is the NFL over 70% black? A couple of years ago, I examined the first round picks for a couple of seasons and there were 27 or 28 blacks selected out of 32 for both seasons.

Furthermore, all you hear is that there should be more black coaches, when they already have proportional representation!

What about the NBA?

Oh, I see, it's really not about brains or brawn or anything like that, is it?

Here's what some dimwit told me: It's not about race, it's about selecting the best athlete!

It's not about race, it's about selecting the best athlete!

========

That is right. Black is best. The best to head NASA. The best to be president of the United States.

Going for the best is a good strategy and Blacks are often the best.

It has nothing to do with racism. It has nothing to do with reverse racism. It has to do with quality.

It certainly does have to do with racism, only this kind is insidious, quiet and deadly, like an undertow.

Right, O. J. Simpson was top of the line!

Ozone;

Collinsville, my home town. I grew up right around the corner from the Fireplace. It was my second home for many a night. See you there.

-Marlin

You're being obtuse. Whites are 65% of the population and should be represented in the NBA at 65%. It's only fair. Stop the Discrimination against Whites in Pro Sports.

Which Fashionista? Marie Le Pen?

Marlin you suck at rap! I changed yours around a bit. I must be really bored!

I got da ring thru my nose,
An' I wear my lid asiyways.
I got da flames on my neck,
An I be cruisin' on the highway.

I've got a stud thru my tongue
It be there fo the pleasure
for the man o' my dreams
with the chaps made of leather,

The future I could give a shit,
my mama she withheld the tit,
so now i am a spoiled brat,
and that is where it's really at

Cash,
From your comment yesterday at 1:15pm: I agree with your observations.

First I would say we are experiencing in our politics a "civics war". The two parties in both countries it seems demonize each other for certain cultural reasons, but I suspect that it all serves the larger agenda.

Alvin Toffler already told us in Future Shock and his other books that the nation states will fall away and the corporations will have the power. Just about everyone looking at the trends would tell you this decades ago.
So don't expect that our leadership will have the will to create a revenue stream like we once had because that would strengthen the nation state and that's not what David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, the Koch brothers or any of these fiends want.
We now have former politicians who lobby for foreign interests what does that tell you?mPeople who work for the government leave and work for those they were supposed to be watching. Obviously they do a great job for the corp. when they are supposed to have been working for "We the People"--what a quaint notion..

If you can focus the electorate's attention on the petty little things, they don't see the big picture.--This website is full of petty comments and if it's here, then just imagine how bad it is all over the other blogs!

You understand that Globalism in itself would not have been a totally bad idea, had it offered opportunities to all, but clearly it's been set up to benefit a tiny few.

There are no accidents here. These people have the advantage of history and they are perfectly aware of what they're doing. They aren't stupid although they don't seem to factor in the calculus of change...

Global Neoliberalism is a philosphical construct used to impoverish the middle classes around the world and flatten wages. When everyone works for essentially nothing they'll bring back industry here.

I have said before this (NeoL) is inverted Trotskyism. Thanks to our theorist Milton Friedman and t he Chicago School of business and the like think tanks.

What people like Ron Paul and his crazy son (ayn) Rand Paul don't understand is that if you don't regulate at all or have oversight you will get Monopoly capitalism--not the free markets they dream will someday come, if only they'd just be allowed to become.

By not applying laws to these entities, you are making them TBTF and they operate outside the rules of law.
We have a DOJ which is not functional anymore. They refuse to prosecute the law. The Supreme court is on balance corporatist. The last several presidents have all been dedicated neoliberals with slightly different social values. Little good any of this does us.

Yesterday I read a scary article about Japan and the actual meltdown of reactors one and three. In GB they still have a free press, so they got the story there, but we are told in this article that our White House didn't want the word "Meltdown" used.--You know words are magic and god forbid we understand the great dangers of nuclear energy when things go wrong.

To what extent will they go to cover up the dangers of all their energy modes when there is no desire by the corporation gods on Mount Olympus to clean up after themselves or use safety practices?

And LLB, you're right about that--we all better come up with a plan B because this is moving in a bad direction.

ok the caffeine is kickin' in now I can't stop


I got dat ring jammed thru my nose,
An' I wear my lid asiyways.
I got da flames inked on my neck,
An' I be cruisin' on da highway.

I've got da stud put thru my tongue
An' it be there fo the pleasure
O' the man o' my dreams
wid the chaps made of leather,

The future I could give a shit,
my mama she withheld the tit,
so now i am a spoiled brat,
and that is where it's really at!

Boomp boomp boomp boomp
boomp badda bomp bomp bomp

I can harly cross da street
cuz my baby pants, be roun' my feet
I got no job,no skills,ambition
To be a thug my only mission


Oh---one more important story you might have missed that many are saying and even Steven Forbes is saying....We might just be going back to the gold standard.
What that means for the global casino system is that it might just have to end...you think?

Alrighty then.
Let the [moderate] guzzling commence...

"If you can focus the electorate's attention on the petty little things, they don't see the big picture.--This website is full of petty comments and if it's here, then just imagine how bad it is all over the other blogs!" -LB

LB,
I'm reading you 5 by 5!
(Sorry for throwing in my nickel's worth, but I had to respond to that spot-on observation.)

Referencing the reality quotient and the justifiably terrifying on the atomic front, you may have seen this. (It's right in Nicole Foss' wheelhouse, BTW.)

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2011/05/may-10-2011-welcome-to-atomic-village.html

" I'm going to go curl up in the corner (of my mom's basement) and cry."

No shit. Not to worry, momma will bring you your Rock Hudson calendar for consolation.

does anybody posting here live by the Mississippi River? What is with this flooding? Global warming and changed weather patterns as per the LE? The ACOE are flooding THOUSANDS of acres of farmland. Perhaps this is a good thing, as the Big Muddy would always flood in the past and replenish the nutrients before all these levees were built. I feel for the people who live there but really ,you are in a flood plain protected by a manmade barrier. You can't fool Mother Nature.

yeah - rain plus concrete (pavement) causes flooding

Thanks for that, Ozone

Could we call this the slow death of an island nation?

Excellent site! I'm still going through it and listening to interviews.

A different article I read a few weeks ago suggested there could have been a clandestine nuclear weapons development going on under the guise of energy. Who knows, but they did receive from GB and France MOX spend fuel rods (Plutonium and Uranium).

The site I read yesterday was:
http://www.opednews.com/articles/TEPCO-now-confirms-nuclear-by-Mike-Adams-110512-793.html

We are also the only land mammal who can control his breath - Tripp

I'd heard the theory about the aquatic ape. Neat point you make about breath control. An interesting thing: wouldn't you say that breath control is crucial in speaking ie forming words? Maybe a side benefit of breath control was the evolution of language.

I've been reading science mags for a long time, stuff like Scientific American. It's comprehensible enough for a layman not versed in the terminology of specific branches of science to get an idea of new thinking and new developments. Seems like the thinking on human evolution has been through a few cycles. I think it's fascinating to read about the discovery of populations like the Denisovans whose existence has been divined from the DNA from a single finger bone. Now they're saying that people in New Guinea have some of this DNA ie from the ancient inter-breeding of their modern Sapiens ancestors with the Denisovans.

Anyway on this acquatic ape thing: Maybe the specific characteristics you reference come from a very ancient population of apes/hominids living near a seashore. Maybe the environment they were living in changed ie periodically Africa goes through periods of desertification. So a population of ancient apes trapped between the seashore and a span of impassable desert just inland started foraging for food in the sea out of desperation. Maybe the protein they got from shellfish and other aquatic creatures kept the population up and running. And maybe occupying the new ecological niche spurred a burst of evolutionary innovation in these ancient apes that they passed on. Fascinating to speculate.


The ironic thing is that the elites you reference are undermining the very physical, economic, legal, social and military structure that allows them to exist in the first place ie the nation state.

I agree that our elites don't want to be bound by any national allegiance, loyalties, laws, customs. They want to do what they want to do and to hell with everyone else.

But they need to give their heads a shake. They can't exist 35,000 feet in the air or in some realm divorced from physical reality. Their personal jets need to land, they need to go home, sleep, eat, go to an office, meet with subordinates and associates and family. They control people and business assets which have a physical existence in a place and time, they need a financial and banking system that's located on the ground in towns and cities.

All this requires a structure of laws and courts to get their business done and to enforce contracts, legislatures to create these laws, law enforcement and a military to keep them and their assets physically safe, currency to denominate their wealth, a reliable system of transportation to get food from farms to markets to their kitchens. And a multitude of other services that depend on the existence of the very thing they are doing their damndest to wreck: the nation state.

Personally I don't think these guys are all that swift. Intelligence has many facets. I think it's a complex interaction of personal character and mental acuity. I think some of these guys have a surplus in some areas but huge, huge deficits in others.

It doesn't take a genius to see what happens when the nation state frays or doesn't function. An example: as I said in other posts my former employer does business in many countries. My boss's boss had to go from the home office in the US to get some business done in Brazil. She was told by the Brazil staff to book a room in a hotel across the street from the Brazil office, to not even cross the street by herself to go from the hotel to the office, to take a taxi to go directly from door to door. That's how unsafe the place was. I could give other examples. Who needs such horseshit?

"I got the stud put thru my tongue
It be there fo the pleasure
Of the man of my dreams
With chaps made of leather" -RThunder
ozone
LoL!!! Hart Crane is spinning 'round in his grave right now. About 100 mph!

Yeah Ozone I have alot of good stories about the Fireplace, some that go back to the late 50's when my Dad would bring me in there when I was a little kid.

In the late 70's, when I got discharged, I found myself back home (in Collinsville) with not much to do. I had plenty of money saved up and 6 months to kill before I started school (on the GI Bill). Naturally I began to hang around the Fireplace. For one thing, Bill Wilson, the owner, who died last year, was a Navy vet himself and would give me and other vets he liked free beer and discounts on beer, which was only 25c a glass to begin with. It got so that I would show up there at about noon, drink till 6pm when we'd either play softball or watch a game (the main occupation in town) and go back to the bar. At closing time Bill would lock up, draw the blinds, and let us stay till sunup. In the morning I'd walk home across the river, get a few hours sleep, and be back at the Fireplace at noon.

Here's the thing. That was in the 70's. About 10 years ago I moved back to our house in Collinsville do do some work on it and also have some work done on our place in Farmington. One night, the first day of fishing season I walked down to the FP. I'll be damned, some of the same guys were sitting there who were around in the seventies. I took my old spot at the bar, beneath the TV, and started bullshitting with everybody like I had seen them the previous day. Such is life in a small town where almost everyone is related.

See you later.

-Marlin

The horror of having to live by Political Correctness, so let me violate it.

CFN should be entitled, "How a nice jewish man like me got stuck in Third World America, while my cousins live off the remaining fat of the land in Manhattan, Boca and West L.A.."

"Worse yet the droogs show up to vent their anger in a manner in which the important people all agree on sounds racist while the left voting peons show up to vent like primitive revolutionaries after listening to Che."

A big seller in the future will be guides on how to live in a Third World country and not get shanked. Thank god for that sociopathic racist fool of a president, Hussein Obama, even while the SS checks are still being mailed we can acclimate to a racist president sounding like Mugabe and so far it is only words, kinda like 1932 with "whites" as the new jews or kulaks.

I suggest we listen to Asoka on how to adapt to third world brown primitive stagnation and idiocy (which in fact have produced countries in which those who can flee do so).

Asoka is a very valuable resource, so please Asoka take the floor and give us the special insight into the idiocy of the peon cultures of the pre-literate.

Please people, no more squandering our meager remaining prospect for human survival by arguing over past issues and incidents – misguided or otherwise. Nature is imposing an ineluctable reality that brooks no argument; we are too many and no “re-arranging of the deck chairs” is going to make any difference on the sinking ship of human history.

From this point on fate is indifferent to whether you were booked into either steerage or top deck luxury suite; we’ve hit the iceberg of global carrying capacity. Simply put, the bulk of passengers are going down with the ship and there remains great danger that the draft of the ship’s sinking could swirl down with it those few life boats that managed to be launched in time.

What counts now for any of us individually is the pure coincidence of having been born on one of those few lifeboats and whether or not that particular one isn’t so overloaded that the surf is splashing over the gunnels. Dropping the metaphor; where remains resource/population ratio balance to offer prospect of stabilizing to sustainability.

Sorry, there’s no pacification for the anguish in confronting this reality, so stop fidgeting with recondite debate like a nun reciting the rosary – this is not a dry, lecture hall abstract on ethics and to treat circumstances as such will only interfere with reconciling reality.

Drinking beer all night, go to sleep at dawn and start all over again at noon - truly a Divine mode of life like the Heroes of Valhalla enjoy. I would have loved to see you Heroes play softball!

Newworld said: Asoka is a very valuable resource...

=======

Thank you for the compliment, newworld, and for the invitation.

Unfortunately I think I have contributed enough this week and don't want to make a long post with more valuable contributions. Maybe next week.

Well put - it's Lifeboat Ethics time. The strong in body and mind will survive. Those who are prepared. Those who have friends, food, water, land, and guns. The laws of Kinship are now more important than ever. Who do we share with? Someone who wont share with us? Or someone who has nothing to share? I don't think so.

Are you kidding? Blacks built the spaceships of ancient Egypt. According to Louis Farrakahn, the Mothership is still circling the Earth. Whites stole this knowledge from the Blacks and the Blacks also built America. So in other words, they are entitled to everything we have. Only one thing troubles me, how do you "steal" knowledge? I mean it's not like stealing a bike or something - the one "stolen" from still has it, right? But the Blacks don't. Strange.

Yeah, Cash

It's a little like Icarus. These guys forget they bleed like everyone else (& get Cancer for radiation). They also can't predict the power plays that come to the fore when their game isn't convincing anyone anymore.
Stay tuned for the calculus of change....
__________________________
On another note:

Will the real John McCain please stand up, please stand up, please stand up....

After knuckling under to the card carrying fruit loops of the extreme right in 2008 and 2010 campaigns McCain comes out swinging...

This week McCain refuted all the Bushies' claims that their enhanced interrogation was the key to Obama's success. He didn't allow the revisionist history to go unchallenged. Thank you for that JM!
After breaking international law, Cheney and co. may not be able to travel freely throughout the world without fear of arrest, but they keep trying to make their case no matter how fictitious it is proven to be.

The other bit is that he stood up for his daughter Meghan against the absurd insults Glenn Beck leveled at her for a public safety address for people to check themselves for skin cancer. McCain made reference to Truman who threatened to beat someone up after insulting his daughter.

A bit of a chink in the armor of the Right wing I would say.

..."petty little things." You look at the comments section of any news article and it's pretty scary.

Our local newspaper has a forum. Luckily, it's moderated so things don't get too far out of hand. Recently, we had another round of "Obama's going to come and take your guns." In this rural and conservative place, that always plays well. It's right up there with "Shia Law is coming to Lewis County."

I've gotten a lot more brief in my responses to such nonsense. To the gun issue I have said "I've been hearing this for thirty years. Didn't happen, it's not going to happen. It's a wedge issue to distract you from more important issues."

I'm surprised. It seems to bring a lot of these nonsense threads to a screeching halt.

Yeah, good thing it's moderated. Politeness is more important than Freedom of Speech after all. How on Earth did we manage before you Lib/Commies came along? Why we had to have a Revolution and create the Bill of Rights for God's sake! Well enough of that crap already. Now we have codes - people KNOW what the right thing to say is. And guns? Why do we need any of them - we have the National Guard. It's aptly named - State's rights are just a fiction for the old and senile.

Chink? It's a breach! Have you seen Cheney's Daughter's Husband, Heather Poe? She's built like a linebacker. Talk about offensive tackles! I wouldn't want to go into that breach let me tell you.

Ha!
That was a funny comment to come home to just now!
thanks for the laugh.

"An interesting thing: wouldn't you say that breath control is crucial in speaking ie forming words? Maybe a side benefit of breath control was the evolution of language."

I could get behind that thought process. Interesting also that other aquatic mammals - the cetaceans in particular - are thought to possess fairly advanced verbal communication skills. The whale's song, the famous dolphin brain, pretty gifted family of mammals I'd say. And what do they have in common with Earth's dominant (for better or for worse) species? Breath control. Like humans, they are mostly hairless, store fat in a layer just below the skin, but more importantly, they can control their breath.

Voila! Advanced language skills. And in my opinion, yet another feather in the cap of the aquatic ape hypothesis.

Fun to speculate for sure.

Cash, I particularly like your thoughts about seaside living. Would explain a lot about our affinity for the sea. Something like 90%(?) of humans live within 50 miles of the coast. And who doesn't enjoy the beach for vacations? Makes sense to me to. If we were sort of trapped against the seashore for enough generations, by desertification or whatever reason, the buoyancy of the saltwater where we were foraging could slowly lift us up to the current bipedal position. Treacherous on land, especially to me with my bad hip, but extremely adaptive for a life lived largely on the shallow seashore. Might also explain our deep-seated fear of sharks, which would have been our primary predator in a life lived by that mode.

LLB

The gun thing is just one of those rabbits they pull out of a hat whenever a Democrat is in the White House. It's like a rallying cry to elect a Republican once again.
(It's Sharia Law, but I get your point)
The Sharia law thing is just paranoid. I used to watch FOX but couldn't take it after someone who opposed our getting into Iraq was answered by a shrieking harpy (commentator)
"Do you want to have to wear a burqa?" (if we don't go in to Iraq)

CHER had 2 abortions + Chaz + Lijah Blue...

Meanwhile in Euro land.....
John-Galliano-suspended Fashion designer arrested in Paris for "anti-semitism".

Chill, honky. My Mexican maid cleans the house every two weeks.

Just to be clear, I DO have a couple of guns. Well armed Liberal, and all. :-) . May change the mix a bit when I move out to the boonies and have to deal with predators. Right tool for the job, etc.

Suspension of Belief

This blog, the resource scarcity gurus, and many others have a kind of suspension of belief as far as wealth, resources and free wealth generated by technology is concerned: they just can't believe it, they can't belieive that it is possible that technology creates free wealth, free food, free energy, free production all needing very little real labor, all automatic, all by itself. Well it is true: our entire civilization is based on something for nothing, our entire culture and environment has been shaped in the last 150 years by progress, by advances giving us more with fewer and fewer inputs, especially labor inputs, most of what we do is optional, fluff, cultural stuff, human relationships stuff, interactions between people, but not for real production needs as in agriculture or manufacturing.

"Automatic for the People" is exactly what all of our civilization is about. But kunstler and the peak oil gurus and many others seem to have a desire for it to end, to find the limit, to find the trick, the sin that must be repented for and find energy limits and pollution and nature "killing" as the sin, as that which will be punishing, we shall be punished because of our progress, because we dared to live with so little real necessities as labor and enjoying so many fruits.

But they are wrong, this free lunch will continue and will increase ever more, there are no limits only way too much money going into way too few hands: with all that the US spends 700 billion dollars on defense, the economic system gives trillions of dollars in profits to the rich, and with all of those other welfare, pension, medicare, etc. expenses we still have a hugely high standard of living with so few people doing any real work, high unemployment and all kinds of waste. This just shows the huge excess capacity the Technological Economy is capable of, and will be even more capable of.

Consider that today Germany is growing, is in high growth mode, but that will be short lived, they will have the same old slowdown that is p