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Eleven year old Jeff Greenaway is in love and on the loose in Manhattan circa 1962.
This book will crack you up.
For adults.

Sheer antic delight” — Remsen Pilchard

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The Labor Day Blues

   
    One national moment-of-nausea this Labor Day weekend struck Sunday morning, when CNN’s John King led off his 10 a.m. State of the Union show with a valentine to ABC’s Diane Sawyer, on her becoming anchor of that network’s evening news. (This was the most important news of the week???)  The old legacy networks have taken on the role of dishing out reassurance to an anxious and insecure public as job number one, and the subtext of the Sawyer lede was that a Mommy figure would soon be in place to soothe the multitudes even as the nation free-falls into bankruptcy and disorder.  This is supposed to be a counterpoint to the chorus of smug, braying rabble-rousers who inflame the crowds on Fox News and MSNBC, and CNBC — the Glen Becks and Keith Olbermans and Dennis Kneales — who work the anger regions of the brain.
     The inherent conflicts arise from a nation that simply cannot bring itself to try getting its house in order.  Instead of adult leadership, we prefer good parent / bad parent therapy — a psychodrama of alternating messages of reassurance and punishment that provides distraction from problems and conundrums too horrible to face. One unfortunate result is the evaporating legitimacy of anyone or anything in authority, and that is extremely dangerous at a time like this because it creates the perfect opportunity for the rise of a corn-pone Hitler who will beat a path straight into a national ordeal-by-fire, and make everybody feel better by telling them clearly what to do.
    President Obama rolls out his much-awaited message on health care reform to a joint session of congress this week after a summer of chaotic and often mendacious debate.  The system now running is so unjust and ruinous that a citizenry unmedicated by psychotropic drugs would have burned down the insurers by now (and perhaps torched their doctors’ BMWs).  As a tactical matter, the best Mr. Obama can do about the “public option” is to endorse it while kicking the can down the road, since the stark insolvency of the US treasury obviates any real ability to make it happen.
    But I believe the public would be greatly appeased (and helped!) by legislation that achieved a few simple ends:  1.) clearly and absolutely outlaw insurers canceling policy contracts under any circumstances. 2.) outlaw denial-of-care tactics.  3.) outlaw campaign contributions by lobbyists, period.  If Obama can present these items front-and-center, he can then point to congress and tell the nation that they can hold them responsible for their plight.  Other urgent health care reforms could be subject to regulation rather than legislation.  For example, medical care is not “competitive” in any meaningful sense; people with severe problems and illnesses are not comparable to “consumers” comparison shopping for flat-screen TVs.  The truth is, they are hostages to their local hospitals and the specialists they are referred to.  The ridiculous prices charged for everything from aspirins to tests to cotton swabs to time occupying a hospital room ought to be subject to review, and procedures can be set up to accomplish this, with severe fines for abusers.  Personally, I’d charge the FCC with returning to its policy of banning drug advertising on TV.
    Polls are reporting a steep slide in President Obama’s approval ratings, especially among white voters.  I doubt that this is about the health care debate, which obviously remains unresolved at the time the polls were taken. I think it is about Mr. Obama’s shoveling of huge sums into Wall Street, and the unabated obscene money-grubbing by the executives there — while millions of ordinary people get thrown out of their houses, lose jobs that they’ll never get back, and slip-slide permanently out of the middle class. His relations with Wall Street are destroying his legitimacy.  His failure to demonstrably clean house at the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, or to direct the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute misdeeds stemming from the swindles and frauds in securitized debt, make him look like a stooge to the bankers.
    I personally fault the president for putting no effort into the larger necessary tasks of leading a transition away from suburbanization, failing to promote public transit rather than continued car-dependency, not preparing for re-localized farming, and continuing the unaffordable racket of imperial military over-reach in a mode indistinguishable from G. W. Bush.
    Whatever the politics of the moment may be, national attitudes are surely changing.  A psychology of hardship is overtaking even the bread-and-circus blandishments of the Cheez Doodle / infotainment / professional sports matrix of idiocy that the sociopathic corporate axis-of-evil operates to take advantage of ordinary human weakness. Soon, the public will lack the resources even for these tawdry comforts, and God knows what they’ll turn to for solace then.
    A large part of Mr. Obama’s appeal as a candidate last year had to with presenting himself as an intelligent adult — as opposed to a parent figure (or a crazy old uncle in the case of John McCain).  But so far, apart from his personal charm and good looks, his adult persona is that of an actuary — someone who can read charts, parse figures, and report them down the line for other people to draw conclusions .  What he lacks at the moment is the very thing that history might foist on him: a sense that life is tragic and history is merciless and that sometimes we have to do the hard things that times require of us.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

390 Responses to “The Labor Day Blues” Subscribe

  1. Dave Eriqat September 7, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    It amuses me to see the media moguls criticizing the internet, music companies complaining about music copying, and so forth. What these people fail to understand is that their “product” is obsolete. People want truth in their news, not propaganda. People want easy access to music, not to be forced to purchase an entire exorbitantly priced CD. If these people and companies wish to remain relevant, they might consider giving their customers what they want.
    As for your three points, I totally agree that we must, absolutely must get the money out of politics if we want to have any hope of “fixing” anything.
    Dave – Erstwhile Urban Wanderer

  2. goldgunsandgod September 7, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    The actuary comment was perfect.

  3. slappy September 7, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Lacking the tawdry comfort of a tv, there’s always monday morning clusterfucknation to soothe the soul.. Such a strange time to be caught up high in a picturesque rocky mtn town where the entire enterprise is funded by rich and powerful escapees coming into town for things like film festivals.
    ( I must say Cormac McCarthy’ ‘The Road’ is less intriguing as a film adaptation to me, than ‘World Made by hand’ the movie would be..) Seems like the combination of large tall aquifer mountains and relative density of hip agriculture in the surrounding area would be a good-ish position for a return to localized food production and such.. except for the 1.5 month hi altitude gorwing season.. but across the board, despite the inevitable down scale-slide, not a soul wants to consume any less.. and ideas for the future are hard to come by that don’t involve fresh consumption of one sort or another.. alas

  4. Moondog September 7, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Apparently the times don’t require the hard things of us… yet. I am extremely disappointed with Obama; he is capable of much better than he has thus far shown. I doubt there is true greatness to be found in his wonkish leadership, and even his goodness seems to have succumbed to the insiders. The suggestions Jim makes for health care legislation would seem to be the least we could hope for, and yet now even they appear elusive. And in the long litany of issues that Jim faults Obama for, I had hoped that Obama would have gotten at least one right. Events will likely overtake him before long.
    However, equating the delusional paranoid likes of Glenn Beck to Keith Olbermann only hurts the cause of progress. Keith usually comes across to me as rational and has facts to back up his opinions. The progressive far left and the reactionary far right simply do not compare.

  5. Andrew September 7, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    I am somewhat amazed at the lack of political action my the masses in the US. I think it is likely due to two drivers – those newly-minted refugees from the middle class are too busy trying to secure daily food and shelter, and the remaining middle class being too indolent and/or frightened to care. If Tainter’s work on how social complexity is a collapse process, the existence of so many news networks, along with their various bobble-headed anchors, points to a high degree of social diversity. Perhaps this diversity is an indicator of how complex US society has become, and the precursor of the apparent paralysis in the face of impending disaster.
    All – what are your views on the recent announcements from China on the ban of export of rare-earth raw materials? Looks like the “happy motoring” programming that requires these materials for batteries and motors aka the “new GM Volt” just got cut off at the pass.

  6. Consultant September 7, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    What we are experiencing is the failure of leadership in our culture. Failure on multiple levels and in almost every field.
    Failure of this magnitude can only mean a failed culture. Scary stuff. Societal collapse of the slow or quick kind will follow.
    No sane person wants this to happen. But it is the peculiar capacity of thinking humans to be able to “see” our demise as it happens.
    As a nation, we’ve been here before-the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the (1st) Great Depression and WWII. Each time, heroic, adult figures stepped forward into the fire and were able to save this place we call America.
    We are a young country in years, and it may be the case that events and people are not on our side this time. Our run of good luck has run out.

  7. Bobster September 7, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    It certainly is time for Obama to wake up. Now, he can’t even address school children without attracting the crazies. Surely by now he sees the Republicans and other Right Wingnuts are not going to participate in any bipartisanship. He needs to seize the jawbone and start swinging. And, sadly, it looks like he will have to start over with any meaningful health care reform. Time to get tough, Obama. Many of us are still with you. And, hey, time to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan–fast. I wonder, JHK, if Obama reads your stuff. He should. He better.

  8. Consultant September 7, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Bobster,
    Agree. 100%.

  9. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    “I am extremely disappointed with Obama; he is capable of much better than he has thus far shown.”
    What of his past accomplishments would lead you to such a conclusion. What exactly are his capabilities?
    “However, equating the delusional paranoid likes of Glenn Beck to Keith Olbermann only hurts the cause of progress.”
    Delusional? Have you not heard that Van Jones is looking for employment? Try, (I know it is hard but you must persevere) try and get a clue.

  10. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    “Surely by now he sees the Republicans and other Right Wingnuts are not going to participate in any bipartisanship.”
    You silly ass. Obama had a mandate. He holds the majority in both houses (and a pox on both of those houses). In his early days, he smugly, with high profile, spoke of bipartisanship. “Spoke” of bipartisanship. But his actions indicated that he had absolutely no real interest in any such accommodation. (Alas, bipartisanship calls for concessions.)
    Now Pres. O is running into divisiveness from his own party. He cannot depend on his own party to back his policies. What up wif dat? Think the Right Wingnuts are the problem? You are the dunce of the day. laddie.

  11. Moondog September 7, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Supporting this president is becoming evermore difficult. I see nothing so far that suggests real reform [or hope, or change]. If he would strongly stand up for something, any one thing, there would be some slight cause for optimism. The list of issues is very long and his positions are all in keeping with the status quo. For examplenes: continuing two wars, re-starting and expanding the economy, revitalizing the auto industry [while remaining oblivious to the imperative for light rail], perpetuating the consumer mentality, the vinyl cul de sac suburbs and SUVs lifestyle, and the most basic matter of all, the factory food system. Oh yeah, I forgot health care. So he is thus far batting .000 but I am still hoping, vaguely, that he can swing a jawbone before it is too late.

  12. seb September 7, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    What do you say if they say it will all work out, sort of?
    T=terrorists
    G=government
    P=people
    UC=Urban_Underclass
    SEB=myself
    UC claimed that he could not understand my writing, so, I have to write in little passages. You can’t say you can’t understand any of them!
    I have some extremely important points to cover which I have made before. The thing is, I have only made them to myself. That’s the before. Turning now to the task of convincing others, please note how EXTR-EMISTS and CH-EMISTS have six letters in common, so you know that I am going to be substituting RENEGADE CHEMISTS for whatever TERRORIST EXTREMISTS are doing.
    What? I lost half my readership? Check it out: ‘terrorist’ is really ‘terrorism'; those words come in two different sentences in a given passage. They are not redundant in the dialectical examples.
    Anyway, I implore you to reconsider your position on terrorism (If Kunstler always wants new trains in this country, he ought to realize that I think he is a loon. Trains’ll get bombed). Terrorism is okay, see? Why? Is persuading you of the truth of this fact too hard to do? Or what?
    Is this the wrong forum? If so, please just disagree. Don’t do one of those WTF!? numbers on me. I can’t stand that.
    Yeah, terrorism (and there is not very much on how to do it out there). By disrupting the normal flow of everyday life with a high-profile attack, T. can point up the inability of G. to govern. Hopefully, T. attacks cause an overreaction by G. and that makes P. in large numbers decide that G. ain’t too cool. Che said that you do not have to wait for the right time to revolt. The insurrection itself provides the momentum to keep the revolution going.
    “o doo doo doo doo doo…
    The sky was gold, it was rose
    I was taking sips of it to my nose
    And I wish I could get back there
    Some place back there
    Smiling in the pictures you would take
    Doing crystal myth
    Will lift you up until you break
    It wont stop, I wont come down, I keep stock
    With a tick tock rhythm and a bump for the drop
    And then I bumped up
    I took the hit I was given.”
    http://sbillinghurst.wordpress.com
    HOW TO MAKE METHAMPHETAMINE
    Hey, I just noticed that that says “myth”. What happened to “meth”? Is the Revolution called on account of typos?
    Nonetheless, that lyric goes to Third Eye Blind’s, “Semi-Charmed Life.” It appears the author had his fingers crossed, though. His life’s only semi-charmed. This in the face of G. and its Catch-22.
    What do you say if they say it will all work out, sort of?

  13. Consultant September 7, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    George Bush and friends essentially destroyed the credibility of the Republican Party as a legitimate political Party. Republicans in Congress (and some Democrats) have NO interest in governing.
    Everyone who voted for Obama got that memo. Obama seems to have not read it.
    Most of us are scratching our heads trying to figure out WHY he is legitimizing a failed Party (“I want this to be a bi-partisan bill”. Say what?).
    It’s okay to talk to people who are interested in solving problems, but otherwise, like FDR, he ought to be stomping on their failed ideas, kicking them to a corner, and moving on.
    Reagan said govt. was the enemy, and then he put the corporations in charge. Much of the public went along with it. Many cheered it.
    While the supporters of this philosophy were stashing ammo, hatin’ the govt., flipping homes, gambling in Vegas, or on endless shopping sprees, the corporations were busy consolidating their power and putting the final nail in democracy.
    We are now an oligarchy.
    Govt. of, by and for the corporation.

  14. Moondog September 7, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    “1-2-3, A B C, Baby you and me.”
    Diane Sawyer, ABC anchor, wow, way cool. Well, she is no Mika Brzezinski, but times are hard.
    Did they finally bury Michael Jackson yet?
    And what was the Hitler-girl’s response to Barney Frank’s profound question. “And what planet are you on?” —
    Uranus, Barney.
    And as the oligarchy under Obama continues, we are all being unwittingly hurled headlong towards that distant planet.

  15. ozone September 7, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    Dave,
    I think you’re scrying the core of the matter, but I would tend to think of everything devolving into “irrelevancy” rather than the displacement of “obsolescence”. I believe that there is about to be a paradigm shift that will leave current systems of little/no use to a people with no resources to invest in them.
    Unfortunately, we’ll also see the willfully ignorant desperately trying to prop up their unsustainable “lifestyles” and “values” by preying on the rest of us. This will be the final act in their (all-too-slow) national suicide. Whether they’ll get their hoped-for “Nero” or not… we’ll just have to see.
    Remember, mealy-mouthed politicians are about to become irrelevant as well. They’ve gotten a bit too greedy in the service of the corporations, and don’t think they have to hide it anymore. Ooooooo, a bridge too far; crossing of the Rubicon; etc. Those that have a modicum of awareness have no confidence in these carnival barkers at all (nor should they).

  16. seb September 7, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Real quick-like, the Rare Earth elements, aka Lanthanides and Actinides, are being mined in Mountain Pass, CA, by Molycorp which is a Chevron company. There are 30 years worth of deposits. It is world-class. We ship to China, I would say. Rare Earths are about as necessary as laser beams on cars, if you wish to quibble.
    If you mean ALKALINE EARTHS like lithium, I want to shoot you, and that is two. Lithium, abb. as Li, is an ALKALI METAL. Calcium is the lightest alkaline earth. Abbreviate it as Ca.
    Continue to expound, but Jesus, how I wish I could reach through this computer and strangle you!

  17. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    “We are now an oligarchy.
    Govt. of, by and for the corporation.”
    This can only be true if the old republic handed the keys to the corporations. If they did hand over the keys why are GM and Chrysler now under the thumb of the government? Why have the banks become shadows of their former selves, by following the dictates of Fanny and Freddie, that they must accept mortgages that do not have an icebergs chance in hell of EVER being repaid?
    Please name some of these all powerful, currently successful corporations of which you speak. And please define your criteria as to their success and their grip on power.

  18. Andrew September 7, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    You are mean spirited, and poorly educated. I would not doubt it at all if you are also an American.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125195549768682359.html

  19. david mathews September 7, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    President Obama is in a tough situation as he inherited, essentially, a collapsed nation from George W. Bush and there isn’t any prospect whatsoever of recovery.
    The Health Care debate has revealed that the Republicans are going to remain locked to their corporate interests until the very end. The issues involved in this debate are way too complicated for the average American to understand but what naive America does understand is the politics of fear, a specialty of Republicans.
    All of these imaginary fears are going to evaporate away soon, too, as the reality of collapse and its full implications begin to sink in and reach the awareness of even the most delusional of Americans.
    Hopefully the American people will passively accept impoverishment. The former Soviets did and hence the Soviet Union’s collapse was remarkably peaceful. If Americans cannot accept poverty peacefully the collapse of this country will occur with violence, bloodshed and sudden finality.
    I have no confidence whatsoever in the American people and am quite willing to allow them to choose however horrendous a fate as they wish. Americans are not a peaceful people and never were.
    http://www.flickr.com/dmathew1

  20. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    “I have no confidence whatsoever in the American people and am quite willing to allow them to choose however horrendous a fate as they wish. ”
    That would be because you are a pathetic loser, a quitter, a nihilist and a twit. (Not that there is anything wrong with those attributes.)

  21. coldtype September 7, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    “What do you say if they say it will all work out, sort of?”-SB
    WTF?

  22. seb September 7, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Andrew, we are talking now about an article in the WSJ. The WSJ is not a newspaper known for its investigative journalism, now is it?
    La is “used” in hybrid car batteries? How? Li is used now. The next two types in the pipeline do not use rare earths. The very next is S/Na. The reason it is next is that there is a plant for it, so the cost is coming down. Some charge carriers may be liquids. Some electrolytes are ceramics, which are solid. The proportion of rare earths making up the bulk of a battery’s weight dictate that WSJ is clouding the issue with the weight-percent method of lying. Ten percent of the world’s supply is a lot. It is not 10% of the batteries! Most batteries today are Pb/H2S04. Lead is very heavy.
    I AM mean-spirited, and I AM an American, and the last time I checked, I could see no possible way for us not to get you by blowing up our own nuclear arsenal on our own territory. I bet you breathe air. It is doubtful whether you could survive a nuclear attack in Antarctica, see? It is cold.
    You come online in here and transport that stinking literature in here without ever having an education enough to explain it, and you expect light treatment? But, you’re a lost cause.
    “A plague upon your ignorance and lies you believe”
    The Mothers of Invention

  23. wagelaborer September 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    Yes, why does Obama continue to talk about “bipartisanship”, when 2/3 of the American public soundly reject the meanspirited politics of hate that the Republicans pedal.
    That is because both parties are corporate parties, different only in their rhetoric. Those who continue to fall for the pretty sounding rhetoric and expect “change” will continue to be disappointed because the parties are not fundamentally different! You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.
    Why does JHK fall for the line that we can’t afford universal, single payer health care? We can apparently afford endless wars, 700+ military bases around the world, bank and Wall Street bailouts. Only healthcare is announced to be unaffordable.
    And Cuba has a doctor on every corner. Why can’t we? That would bring the cost of healthcare down better than any government tinkering. And yet neither the right nor the left ever mentions that the AMA has a monopoly on medical schools, and they keep the supply of doctors low in order to keep the price high.
    http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2009/08/affordable-health-care-supply-and.html
    They are certainly trying to increase the supply of nurses. The propaganda machine is in full swing. I hear pushes for nursing school in every media forum. Mmmmmm. Wonder why? Is it to increase the supply of nurses in order to decrease the wages? Duh.

  24. seb September 7, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    Hi.
    What do you say to the proposition that it will all work out? What do YOU say whenever THEY say that jobs are coming back, that the economy is being restarted?
    Aw, come on. I quit.
    No, okay. Things work out on the back of an envelope. They are in the form of figures.
    These figures are the math. The aftermath is when no stone is left sitting on top of another stone. You are welcome to work that out, too.
    If you read Kunstler you may notice that this country is in trouble. That’s because he has been largely correct. It doesn’t look good for us. It does look quite good for the truth, though. So, keep it up, cop.

  25. wagelaborer September 7, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    Yes, the WSJ is known for its investigative journalism, as opposed to its editorial page.

  26. Paul September 7, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    I appreciate some of the comments on here stating that “Obama is better than he has shown thus far”. I don’t want this to get political and I think the next comment, MY comment is not so much as political as realistic.
    IF Mr. Obama is SO much better than he has shown thus far; wouldn’t a prudent person assume he would have given us and shown us his best considering the shit sandwich he has been dealt; we all have been dealt?
    To say that he has somehow left his best in reserve is akin to saying an NFL player in the Super Bowl is saving his best performance until the second preseason game of the following season.
    If he had it to give, he WOULD have. We need to, once again, stop thinking any one thing or, more importantly, any one person, can “change” reality and the situation this current population of earth find our arrogant selves in.
    No offense intended or implied,
    Paul Saxton
    http://www.EnerconBiz.com

  27. Nickelthrower September 7, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    I enjoy these weekly posts. I enjoy them because they are a counterweight to the endless corporate cheer-leading. I’ve listened to an entire week of “the Recession is over” on NPR (I do not own a TV)and I’ve looked at news items on youtube that proclaim that “happy days are here again.”
    Now, I live in a little resort town and all the tourists are getting in the last bit of summer vacation. I listen to them talk and, sure enough, they’ve all come to the conclusion that the recession is over. Imagine that?! Anyway,I hear them talking about which stocks are undervalued or which house in their neighborhood had a “bidding war”
    This, anecdotal as it is, strongly suggests to me that the people very much believe all this cheer-leading. Furthermore, it reinforces my belief that people will just ignore what they are witnessing with their own eyes just because someone on television told them something different.
    This has been a real eye-opener to me because I live in S. California. Our state is bankrupt. Our unemployment is so high that 40% of the people that fit the “should be working” demographic are not in the labor force. Our roads are falling apart and entire shopping plazas are abandoned. But, someone on television told them that everything was fine and they believe it – every word of it.
    This frightens me because it clearly demonstrated to me the power of mass media and the absolute hold that it has on people. These people are not going to be part of the solution when the great transition forces us to downsize and localize. Because of this, I can only imagine the bloodletting that will occur when the people on TV “identify” the next enemy of the suburbs.
    I’m really not sure of the best way to deal with the absolute disaster that is our mass media.
    Any thoughts?

  28. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    “This frightens me because it clearly demonstrated to me the power of mass media and the absolute hold that it has on people.”
    The mass media is losing mass. It has been so discredited by the “menos” media that viewer ship is falling off of a cliff. Fear not the hold of the mass media. You yourself seem to indicate that you have arrived at some sort of truths without benefit of the mass media. (No TV.) Why will others not seek the truth outside of the old, dying MSM?

  29. Ani September 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Andrew
    I think that the move by the Chinese to restrict the export of rare-earth raw materials is both fascinating and also overlooked by the media in terms of potential impact. It would seem to me that the Chinese are saying that they are no longer to be treated as a third-world country that merely exports it’s raw materials; wood, gold, diamonds, metals, etc- but rather if you want this stuff- you will pay to play. Thus, they, the Chinese will need to play a real substantial role in actually building the high-tech batteries or chips or panels or whatever the materials will be used for, thus turning them into value-added products and reaping mmore profit, and employment, than if they just shipped it elsewhere. Very clever and a notice that they are not to be taken lightly or underestimated imo…..
    As well, notice that perhaps the supply will be cut off if other countries don’t cozy up to them…. this should not be underestimated. If we base any sort of high-tech system, be it computers or batteries or whatever on materials only available from another country, this is asking for trouble in my book….

  30. lancemfoster September 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    Like most here, I knew we were headed for a perfect storm, so I looked at my choices in November. I didn’t really think anyone could do what needed to be done. Nobody on the pre-set menu anyways.
    Even though I am really a New Deal style Centrist kind of guy, I liked the old McCain enough, his independence of thought (too long ago I guess) and would have liked to see him run against Colin Powell. Palin is an idiot, poor thing. McCain, well, I guess he had to make too many deals to get support from the Republican ideologues to be their candidate. Too bad. I don’t agree with a lot of what he says but I respect him. But Palin, no way.
    Obama. Well, I liked the idea of change, although I knew real change was impossible because too many don’t want to give up their goodies, both on the left and the right. But having lived in Hawaii, let me tell you why Obama cannot do what is needed.
    First, let me say that ANYONE, whether Bush or Obama, whatever we think of them as men, as individuals, …as PRESIDENT of the U.S., we must respect the office, which represents all of us. We can disagree– respectfully– with their policies, but we must respect the office, and the reality that we don’t have all the facts the President has access to.
    Obama is not a black American in the conventional sense, anymore than Bobby Sindal is an American Indian. Obama is part white and part Africa. He had no roots in the black experience of slavery, civil rights, Jim Crow, inner city hard knocks or rural challenges. He comes from privilege. Punahou (his high school in Hawaii) is a trip to the top. It is the snootiest school in Hawaii (in Hawaii, the first question is “What school did you go to?” and then they pigeonhole you based on that..not school as in college, but what HIGH school!– Punahou is the most affluent, then Iolani, and finally Kamehameha. Those are the schools the elite send their kids to, the ones who will rule. Punahou in particular has connections to the Ivy League schools through the old time missionary families who were New England prep school connected. He went to Harvard etc. etc. and did a short stint as a community organizer, married into the black community and learned black culture. Well-done.
    But that is what is missing. That’s why he can’t connect the dots, poor fellow. He has lots of charm, the looks, the mannerisms but he lacks the deep roots and the gut-connection to the common man of whatever color. He only knows what he knows about the average American AFTER he graduated from Harvard. Punahou taught him that being a charming patrician with all the answers is all you need to do. That ruling is a right for the elite. Obama was guided along his road, due not only to his charm and intelligence, but no less to his Punahou-taught skills and connections. That elitism has problems with the concept of compromise. “Hey, I’m from Punahou, I’m smart, Punahou rules, and you should listen to me because I’m from Punahou and I’m smart.” That’s the underlying problem. Obama was an adopted patrician the way he was adopted by the black community of Chicago.
    Native Americans often adopt people in their tribes as an honor and because they like them, like the Crow did to Obama, but that doesn’t make the adoptees actually Native American.
    Now FDR got past his own sense of entitlement and charm even as a natural born patrician…in large part because of his -personal- tragedy with polio, and then going down to Hot Springs for recuperation, and thus really connecting and getting to know the average Joes working there, and developing genuine rapport and empathy for fellow polio sufferers. His illness and Hot Springs was FDR’s “finishing school.”
    I voted for Obama. I voted for hope, but I prepared for the worst. I respect him as President. But for the above reasons as well as the Perfect Storm situation (economics, war, environment, etc.) Obama is stymied. He needs some oldschool crafty dealmakers like Ted Kennedy or LBJ to pull anything out of all this.
    I had a 5% hope that Obama might be able to do SOMETHING to help us regular Joes out. I had 0% hope that Palin/McCain would, because Palin is dumb as a rock and McCain had to sell out to run. So I voted for Obama. Poor misguided deluded guy really didn’t have a chance. But he is still our President and because of that, we must show respect as Americans.

  31. bahmi September 7, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    ZZZZZZ, you have hit the nail on the head, congrats!! It’s been pretty damn easy for clusterfucknuts to condemn the likes of Glenn Beck, but I’ve listened to this guy for years and he is the real deal. Van Jones was handpicked by the President and his equally racist wife, along with other toadies who buy into the more government philosophy. Beck’s show last week, a 5 segment series, exposed lots of reality about Jones and others. The axe will fall soon on other heads, well deserving heads.
    Yes, we are extremely polarized now. Feelings are running rampant. It’s easy to condemn people with differing views. Condemn, hell, we are talking about character assassinations here. W Bush was crucified, perhaps rightly so. He and his bunch were less than stellar. However, Obama and his toadies are also less than stellar. Imagine a President and his Wifey choosing a total, blithering, racist idiot like Van Jones. How does YOUR guy Obama, this brilliant Ivy League lawyer, choose such a fucking idiot? How does he start the withdrawal from this support? Using Gibbs and Axelrod to defuse reality? Those who voted for Obama were fed a line of horseshit about this phoney’s abilities and they bought it readily. Well, read ‘em and weep, brethren, you voted for him and he’s your sumbitch now. I didn’t like W and I don’t like Obama and I will do everything I can to expose the phoney guy from Chi-Town. Oh, yes, he’s so handsome and so smaaaaaart! That has surely helped this country, huh?
    Jim won’t get off the bandwagon of Obama, he just pecks away at the guy from the edges a little bit. But, mark my words, Jim will retreat in full battle gear very soon when he realizes you don’t have to be from North Carolina to be called a charlatan.
    ZZZZZZ, thanks for breaking the ice. Obama is already a mythical figure and a myth to boot.
    Olbermann does not have the strong ratings that Beck has, by the way. It’s obvious why this is so.
    Whatever your feelings are like on Obama’s way to governing, you might enjoy reading a book on how the Feds crucified Martha Stewart and Michael Milken and others unjustifiably. I was in a Barnes and Noble over the weekend and while I can’t remember the book, it was an amazing morsel of truth about how our government has taken away freedom of speech from the media. Once you piss off the media, watch out. Of course, Obama wishes to de-nut the media completely so he wields total power of the bully pulpit. You voted for this tyrant, enjoy him, fools.

  32. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    “So I voted for Obama. Poor misguided deluded guy really didn’t have a chance.”
    If he didn’t have a chance, why did you have a 5% hope? Five percent of zero is still zero.

  33. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Furthermore you spend your vote on a guy who is “misguided” and “deluded”? WTF????

  34. bahmi September 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Respect the office of the Presidency. Respect the leader of the 3rd Reich. They are very similar, aren’t they? We must respect the President because he is the President? Say what? Even if he is very obvious in his direction. Get back at Whitey. Obama and his racist wife along with his toadies selected Van Jones. OK, LancemFoster, tell us, in your own words, how YOU exonerate this bunch for choosing Van Jones. I mean, if you can do this you can probably exonerate Martin Bormann, too. I don’t respect Obama or the office of President one iota. Why should I? See, Lance, it’s MY turn to turn the attention to Obama and how/why he is failing miserably. It all sounds so great, this big voting majority, the press kissing his ass despite the fact Obama wishes to de-nut them. Calling him handsome, smartest man in the world, etc. All bullshit, means zero. He is assembling a big crew of wackjobs for important jobs and despite his legendary intelligence (your words), this guy is a zero. Smart people don’t choose racist idiots for big jobs,sorry Lance. You voted for hope and hope is a huge intangible. Yes, Palin is pathetic and while I did not vote for Obama, I also did not vote for hope, either. Obama gave people what shit they wanted to hear and they loved it, they loved him. Well, your guy Obama is about to go the political seppuku route. Get to enjoy Glenn Beck, Lance. You will see more and more of him. When you gag on the truth, you will realize you voted for the wrong guy. Term limits for all politicians!!!

  35. wisewebwoman September 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Nearly a year into the election of Hope & Change ™I can’t believe that Americans are still struggling in the dim recesses of whatever delusions they have left to await breathlessly the H&C they so foolishly believed.
    Not one of his campaign promises have been honoured. Not one. He’s still waging war on 2 fronts, universal health care will never happen and the criminals in the last sad cabinet run large and free and gloating.
    Very few get it into their heads that the treasury is broke, there is no hope and that BO was firmly and forever in the clutches of the corporatocracy that put him there.
    Whatever hope and change was in the air was vapourized when the puppeteers (read MSM) dangled BO and the sheeple believed the lies.
    All this in spite of HRC gaining the popular vote.
    Why was the corporatocracy afraid of her? That should be the question on everyone’s lips. She who tried to put universal health care in place years and years ago when the treasury was still in surplus, thanks to her husband.

  36. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    “Even though I am really a New Deal style Centrist kind of guy…”
    What the hell was “centrist” about the New Deal. You do not have the slightest idea what the fuck you are talking about or what the hell you believe in.

  37. Brian F September 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Jim, you think the “steep slide in President Obama’s approval ratings” stems from the government “shoveling of huge sums into Wall Street, and the unabated obscene money-grubbing by the executives there”?
    Poppycock! This is a great stimulus plan and the American people are wishing and waiting on a star for it to work. (Read about here: http://www.meltingclocktimes.com/economic-stimulus-program-at-work-americans-wait-for-bank-bounus-millionaires-to-leave-big-tips) This genius plan works like this: You give billions to bankrupt bombs like AIG. Then you get a back door bail out. Eg, Goldman Sachs got 13 billion this way. But since it’s a back door bail it is not really a bail out is it? Then comes step three: Trickle down bail out. All these bank bonus millionaires will give us all big tips–a la the trickle down. With all this money trickling down we will all buy new electric and beer powered cars and continue the easy motoring utopian way of life.

  38. mister C September 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Dave Eriqat,
    most of the public doesn’t want truth. they want propaganda. they want things simplified.
    They generally don’t want good music either. They want fad music, or hyper agressive hip hop, or ultra indulgent country. they do want instant gratification and convenience. however, the best music was produced in the early era of Rock FM radio, when folks were interested in whole albums and went to local record stores.

  39. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    “Even though I am really a New Deal style Centrist kind of guy

  40. mister C September 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    ZZZZZ,
    The New Deal was broadly popular. most people blamed big business and wall-street for the Great Depression, and rightly so. most folks didn’t directly invest in the stock market back then. but their banks did. their banks went belly up. and their savings and checking accounts disappeared.

  41. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Hope and Change. What a fucking joke. I “hope” that the earth isn’t hit by a meteor. Big fucking deal. And “change”? Even if George Bush had cancelled the election and was currently serving a 3rd term there would have been “change”. What a bunch of fucking dopes.

  42. lowvoltage September 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    Dear All, In my opinion a practical, non-violent path “forward and out” of our current economic mess at this point would include the following:
    1. Massive and willful de-leveraging of the crippling public and private debt owed by individuals and institutions to include immediate default where ever necessary. (we have to stop pretending that we can ever pay back this debt)
    2. Enormous and destructive but now quite necessary hidden taxation through inflation.
    3. The willful halving of our standard of living.
    4. Restoration of a monetary system backed by some combination of real commodities vs. money creation by fiat.
    5. A technical breakthrough in energy production and consumption.
    6. A massive societal and cultural recognition of the great importance of showing mercy toward the truly poor and unfortunate among us.
    7. Re-institute “mark to market” accounting rules vs. “mark to model” rules ASAP to halt the large distortions now present in the system.

  43. zzzzzz September 7, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    “The New Deal was broadly popular. ”
    Broad popularity in a crisis does not make a program “centrist”. It was wildly radical in its day and remains so to this day.

  44. wagelaborer September 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Of course broad popularity means “centrist” you idiot.
    The majority of people support New Deal programs to this day. That means that they are centrist.
    Those on the far right don’t like them because they help regular people, the centers of the population.
    Those on the far left believe that they don’t go far enough in helping the American people.
    But the vast center supports and benefits from New Deal programs.

  45. lancemfoster September 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    I come from a family that never had much. Not counting my Native American ancestors who were here long before anyone else, all my ancestors came here to American starting in the 1600s (one set of the Dutch were among the first on Manhattan) and ending in the 1700s. My ancestors fought in the French and Indian war, the Revolution, and the Civil War (on both sides). We are a bunch of Indians, hillbillies and backwoodsmen, trappers, traders, and farmers. I was the first to attend college, so I didn’t have the privilege of family culture and money that some have. But at least I have manners and respect.
    The anonymity of the Internet, the hormones of youth, and the insanity of our times explains a lot of the plain rude nastiness I read here. As they say, don’t feed the trolls, and this forum seems to be a troll fest much of the time. Personally, I think JHK should be more of a presence in his own forum to keep things civil. In this absence, I question his judgement, and although I agree with much of what he says, I am beginning to think that in allowing so much bile and hatred to be spewed here, Mr. Kunstler isn’t much different than Rush Limbaugh. JHK may not say the nasty stuff himself, but he doesn’t say anything against it either. And for a man who wants civil discourse, there seems to be a disconnect there. Are you listening JHK?
    Most of us here pretty much have the common ground of agreeing things aren’t good. We may differ in the whys or what to do’s, but if we can’t even discuss things civilly, well, it is pretty bad when tyros go on a tirade. For all their privilege and education, I wish they’d learn that saying fuck isn’t that amazing an accomplishment.

  46. wagelaborer September 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    It amazes me when JHK does comment.
    The comment section seems to be full of racism, antisemitism, and profanity, but the comments he has criticized seemed pretty innocuous to me.
    And I apologize for calling zzzz an “idiot”. While deserved as an observation, it was rude.

  47. mister C September 7, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    the New Deal was significant because there was no purely “free market” solution to bubble-busting left in the wake of Wall-Street manifestations.
    The New Deal mitigated the damage of free market Wall Street. and it prevented Wall Street from engineering another Bubble and series of disasters. at least for a little while.

  48. cowswithguns September 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    The fact that we’re not in a depression already shows just how corrupt the system is and how selfish Americans are. A depression equals: out-of-work house-flippers, Chuck E. Cheese owners, strip mall developers, stockbrokers and contractors (those who, in part, created our problems); no bailouts; a force that requires us to reflect on our mistakes and put the brakes on our old ways; a better future for our children.
    In short, a depression would actually be a good thing.
    But the unstainable is being sustained for a little while longer, which means more uglying-up of the Earth and ill-gotten gains. But when the levee finally breaks, the pain is going to be that much greater.
    In that not-to-distant future, those who were once house-flippers and stockbrokers in the era of fantasy capitalism are going to be forced, for their own safety, to deny their former occupations — kind of like how the apostles denied Jesus after he was crucified.
    And somewhere in the distance, hopefully behind prison walls, Angelo Mozilo will shed a tear.
    In fact, this picture of him will probably become a future symbol of our era: http://chicagoagainstobama.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/angelo_mozilo1.jpg
    It says a lot.

  49. cowswithguns September 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    FYI: I justiced noticed the Mozilo link came from some kind of right-wing Obama conspiracy site. Not intentional, I did a good image search and that’s what came up.
    Oh well…

  50. seawolf77 September 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    It’s like that commercial where the kid is feeding the bird and soon his freind has 8 birds on him and his freind says sternly :stop. Who’s gonna tell Bernanake to stop. No one. The party goes on till one day you look and your eating out of a garbage can and you’re asking how did this happen. Becasue that’s how America wanted it. Now you can sleep at night. This ain’t the country you grew up in, and those ain’t the people you remmeber. I don’t know what happened to either one, just know that they are gone forever.

  51. Dumbpainter September 7, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    I can’t believe that such an important issue: destruction of our civilization- becomes a political fight in these comments…please! Look for more than one news source: NYTIMES or Beck..smarten up…you have strength as a community here.

  52. Tomcat16 September 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    As usual, you’re right on Jim. And I see “corn-pone Hitler” has raised its ugly little head again. Who might this be….Palin? Or worse? Someone we have yet to see?

  53. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst September 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    I to have been a bit dissapointed with the Obama Administration in not focusing on issues that are necessary to keep this nation operating in a less complex and less expensive way – building up the public mass transit system, relocalization, downsizing and streamlining government. However, he’s only been in office for eight months, and he has managed to commit to getting us out of Iraq, and, I believe, will be successful in passing a bill to reform health care, and has dealt with the financial crisis – not to my liking I must admit.
    Having said that, I believe the tide is definitely not on the side of the US at this time in history. But, I also don’t think the masses really understand what this country is facing. I have a feeling that President Obama does know what this country is facing, as he’s an avid reader and critical thinker, but also knows that the masses are only willing to accept so much change without becoming overwhelmed. They are not willing to accept the kind of change that’s really necessary – downscaling of our complex society. Just look at how rabidly crazy and wild-eyed people have become over the prospect of reforming the health care system! At the point, he’s probably hoping to kick the can down the road long enough to keep some semblance of our current society going until he’s done his four years – sad to say.

  54. Andy Williams September 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    Greetings fellow travellers from Wales in the UK. This is a report off the BBC.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8239227.stm
    This is the general UK perception of how bad things are in the USA.
    Is it a fair assessment? Is it worse? Is it not as bad?
    Having said that, if it got this bad over here in the UK we’d rise up and have a revolution.

  55. cowswithguns September 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    I just turned on Rush Limbaugh. I’m not a fan, but I find he’s a good way to gauge the crazies. Anyway, what I heard alarmed me. He was criticizing the media cheer-leading of the recent market rally, saying that the continuing job losses show otherwise.
    In short, he was getting all populist. And he’s right, but, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. I have been warning my progressive friends that if the left doesn’t go after the bailouts and doesn’t stop cheerleading for Obama, the right is going to coopt things. And instead of a rational, sustainable solution to problems, we’re going to get some throwback Nazi who blames the left — “See how they were cheerleading as things burnded.” They’re solution, of course, will be to go back to the industrial revolution and Baptist tent-church revivals.
    What I heard on Limbaugh is, I believe, an early step toward the cooption.
    Deep down, Limbaugh and his ilk love the bailouts (which help the rich constituency out), love market rallies, and really don’t give a damn if someone is put out of work (that’s why free-trade is a right-wing mantra), but now is not the time for showing their black cards.

  56. Elisabeth Robson September 7, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    Unfortunately, the only way we (the global “we”) are ever going to “do the hard things that times require of us” is if the planet is ruled by a benevolent dictator who makes laws such that we have no choice. Whether Obama is not able to make the changes we need to make because he fundamentally doesn’t get it, or is too much of a wimp, or simply because the political process is too torturous to actually make change happen is not clear. But it doesn’t matter; the end result is the same: we will not make the changes we need to make in time, and thus civilization as we know it will implode. So, enjoy it while it lasts.

  57. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst September 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    I totally agree with you Lancemfoster! I to wish that JHK would have more of a presense on this site. I read his Monday blog every week, but many times just skip past the comments as I don’t wish to lower my standards or dirty myself by reading some of the filthy, asinine, crap that small minds write here.
    JHK are you listening??

  58. backhousepirate September 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Bobster,
    The Olberman/Limbaugh as well as Dem/Rep camps only exist to keep the unwashed masses at each others throats, and our focus off of TPTB. Your blaming the “other side” is precisely the desired reaction. They have divided the people into tribes that can be manipulated by pointing to the boogie man in the other tribe.
    You are being used, and you are doing the devil’s work on top of everything else. Get a clue and realize both sides are to blame and cannot be trusted or supported any longer.

  59. Urban_Underclass September 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    SEB,
    I don’t like the word terrorist could you please substitute it with freedom fighter or guerrilla, resubmit the comment and I might try to read it.

  60. wagelaborer September 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    If you mean that the stopping of perpetual building of houses in the hills is bad, no, I don’t think so. Destroying the environment by continually building McMansions in the fire-prone hills, is not hat I consider a “good” thing.
    As far as the lack of a safety net in the US, yep, it’s true. And it sucks. And just look at the zzzs and the like on this blog to see why Americans don’t have a revolution.
    Americans blame those on the bottom of the economic ladder for all their problems.
    Attacking those on the bottom isn’t a revolution. It’s civil war, while those on the top ROFLOL – roll on their fat financial statements laughing out loud at the stupidity of the working class.

  61. wagelaborer September 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    For a clear point of view about the bill that Congress is trying to foist upon us, under the guise of “health care reform”, read Chris Hedges.
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090823_this_isnt_reform_its_robbery/
    And the public is being divided beautifully by the media. The right wing crazies are out attacking the bill as “socialism”, so everyone thinks the bill must be OK.
    Forced tributes to finance capitalists is not socialism! Forcing individuals to tithe to the insurance companies is even worse than giving finance capital pretend money in the form of taxpayer bailouts.

  62. tahoevalleylines September 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    Previous commentary from JHK on the need for railway component as Guarantor of Societal & Commercial Cohesion is again substantiated by examination of FOREIGN RELATIONS magazine, Sept/Oct 2009. Politics over Mexican trucks seems another smokescreen soon blown away by limits on motor fuel. Keep On Truckin’ will join Happy Motoring in the Oil Interregnum Tar Baby Museum.
    To Health Care. Russian railway doctors are model we see appearing in US, -on buses. Good start. As part of the move to rehab the dormant railway features across the lower 48, reformed Army/Guard Railway Operating & Maintenance Battalions are ideally suited as necessary sponsors of AG, then re-constituted manufacturing rail corridors. Strategic Junctions can keep Medical Units in situ; HQ companies move on to next rail branchline rehab on down the list. Private operators assume operations as the military gets the line to de-minimus condition.
    This is all conjecture, only means something in an energy emergency, right? Military doctors? Another hypothetical situation without merit, except in a shortage of medical facilities, Right? To homeland sabotage; hedge for local planners is seen in “ELECTRIC WATER” by Christopher C. Swan. De-centralized power generation linked to mobility. Another JHK staple.
    Closet planners, see James A Van Fleet’s Rail Transport doctrine manual from Association Of American Railroads, (202-639-2100). Legacy rail maps from spv.co.uk for National Guard office adjutants.
    First Responder medical facilities can be part of the rail rehab program, replicating RR Company Hospital departments that existed in the dangerous days of hot water scaldings and live steam burn cases… Steam power had its drawbacks.
    Any former students of Austen Goolsbee following JHK? Can you begin passing things on to your old Prof?

  63. tahoevalleylines September 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    AG in 3:04 posting was short for “Agriculture, as in reconnecting the 100’s of US agricultural product corridors with rail service for perishables. California agricultural rail branches were Isleton, Capay Valley, Placerville, Knights Landing, and Monterey. Every US State has dormant or abandoned rr lines that must be returned to service as hedge against famine in trucking collapse.
    When, not if: motor fuel limits, attack, weather event(s) or EMP event… Railway netweork must be replaced with all due haste. See the Chinese railway work in progress. The land of Sun Tzu is betting on railways. Any questions?
    Ice Plants may or may not prove better than on-board electric or fuel-powered refrigeration in railcars or containers. Another contributor can do the EIOER for existing refrigerated truck & rail shipping. Compare with older (1875-1975)methodology using large Ice Plants at points along the rail lines. Roseville, CA had largest railcar icing facility in the world. This is all doable, with modernized insulation, renewable energy generation, all in steps achievable with home team talent and hoarded wealth.
    Students, see (peakoil.net) Articles 374 & 1037. Talk to your science teachers. Write a book report on Swan’s “ELECTRIC WATER” for extra credit.

  64. Tomcat16 September 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Backhousepirate, you are exactly right! The two camps and the media have been at this ‘divide and conquer’ strategy for a long, long time and it is time for the ‘unwashed masses’ to fucking wake up by turning off their TVs and all those idiot talk radio programs for starters.
    Republican/Democrat or whatever, if you’re not actually working high up in the government, Wall St. or part of the rich ruling elite – WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT and we’re getting screwed daily. The government is lying to you, the media is lying to you, corporations are lying to you, Wall St. is lying to you. Turn ‘em off, tune ‘em out (Cramer of ‘Mad Money’ is first on my hit list). Monitor them when necessary but realize it’s all a bunch of lies, smoke screen, and a total shell game. It’s gonna be up to us, the citizenry, to work out our own solutions independent of what happens in fucking DC or corporate board rooms.
    Americans are subject to more mis- and disinformation than anyone else because people think we have a “free press”. WE DON’T!
    “When people are scared of their government, you have tyranny; when government is scared of its citizens, you have democracy” – TJ
    So what are WE – all of us in the same boat going to do about it? Step 1: don’t engage in the kind of bickering and bashing that both the left and right want you to do to the ‘other’ side. It’s just another distraction and it only serves their ends. Refuse to participate anymore. Don’t be a brainwashed pawn all your life! Turn off all that media crap – hit ‘em where it hurts (lower ratings, cancelled programs). The only reason it continues is because suckers tune in. THINK FOR YOURSELF!!
    Subsequent steps to follow later….. Thanks Backhousepirate!

  65. lowvoltage September 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    I have to agree with JHK and Tahoe – restoring heavy rail to very good condition is a large part of any “life raft” we need to start building. Also – we need an energy policy dedicated to keeping essential and efficient agriculture and rail well supplied with millions of tons of petroleum (no matter what) due to their very large productive and hard cash export value to the economy. Heavy rail and agriculture are not luxuries but absolute lifelines. Remember that we have historically always been an agricultural economy and not necessarily a manufacturing one. Remember that less than 8% of Chinese soil is arable and is rapidly being destroyed. They will need our products and we will need their hard cash.

  66. Consultant September 7, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    LanceMFoster,
    I have to agree with you. My pet peeve are those people who post multiple times, replying to one other person, as if they are having a cell phone conversation. They usually have long posts.
    Go get your own blog, or, email each other. The rest of us are not THAT interested in what you have to say (or in most cases, not saying).
    Many people who would read or post here, don’t bother when they encounter childish,mean spirited, ignorant, racist, sexist, anti-semetic posters who usually are also poor writers.

  67. Andy Williams September 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Thank you WageLaborer. (I’ve also started reading your blog).
    I was referring to your lack of a social welfare system. As a western European I find it staggering. The bench mark of civilised society is how you treat your poor, your dispossesed, your sick, your old, your homeless.
    No one in the UK is homeless other than by choice. Vulnerable people – the old, those under 18, those with children etc have to housed in socialised housing by the local authorities by law. Those fit and able childless adults who find them selves without a roof over their heads are guarenteed safe hostel accommodation at night. To be in a situation where you have people living in cars in car parks is just staggering to us over here. Unemploymeny benefit – what we call JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) is a right by law if you have paid enough social security contributions and lasts for the entire time you are unemployed. If you have insufficient conributions for JSA then you get a slightly lower rate on a different benefit.
    Underpinning all that we have a guarenteed net income for our long term sick, the elderly, the disabed etc and finally we have the NHS – National Health Service. It’s not brilliant, but it’s ours and it works. Free presecriptions etc. Free dental care for children, students and pensioners, subsidised dental care for the rest.
    All of this is fairly standard in one guise or another right across western europe.

  68. nlukewerner September 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    There is much more then fear of health care in play
    try RACISM!
    http://www.suburbanempire.com
    a fresh dose of left wing sass, served up fresh daily by folks in Vermont….so you know it’s liberal!

  69. MonkeyMuffins September 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    Unfortunately and predictably JHK remains ensorcelled by Status Quobama, wishing upon a star that Status Quobama will magically see the light and make things right.
    For a well-reasoned and -researched article about Status Quobama, written by a political-adult who perceives reality as it is not as he desperately wishes it were, I recommend Paul Street’s, Frank Rich, Barack Obama, and the Corporatist “Punking” of America (tinyurl.com/n4qtmv).
    It’s hysterical–and tragic and terrifying–to watch and engage those who voted for Status Quobama.
    The saying, “never underestimate the power of denial”, immediately comes to mind. But there is absolutely no excuse for their mistake (in voting the Corporatist Yes-We-Can-creep into office).
    It was clear-as-day–to anyone who could read and do research–what Status Quobama was all about long before the so-called “election”(*) (HINT: he’s most definitely not about real hope or actual change–in fact, he’s about everything but).

    (*) To believe we have real, meaningful, substantive “elections” in our Dollar Democracy–the more dollars you have, the more “democracy” you get–is profoundly foolish at best.

  70. Max Headroom September 7, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    “The bench mark of civilised society is how you treat your poor, your dispossesed, your sick, your old, your homeless.”
    Perhaps, and a truly “civilized” wouldn’t need a government-run clusterfuck (which is the guaranteed outcome in the US) to do that for it now would it?
    And just how was western Europe able to pay for all this? Let me see, a perpetual growth, frational reserve based economy? Check. Cheap energy? Check. And my favorite, US Government subsides to virtually every western European government in the form of one VERY expensive nuclear and invasion deterrent? Check.
    Well, now that the frational reserve based economy has gone tango uniform, you’ve managed to suck the North Sea pretty dry, Russia has Europe by the short and curlys on NG and the Bear is back with a vengeance, what say you about the long term prospects of that much vaunted social welfare system at its’ present levels?
    Furthermore, just as American style Democracy doesn’t export well, even though we insist on trying, neither does European-style social welfare. People have to decide for themselves that is what they want, and when they do, it works well enough and is funded in a generally voluntary manner.
    Americans think they want it, but they have the attention span of a gnat and arguably, matching intellect. All they want is free stuff, paid for by Uncle Sugar, but not from their paychecks by God, no siree Bob. Tax those rich SOB’s, yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket – tax the rich!
    In other words, Americans don’t have the psychology for social welfare, yet. As a society, we are still snot-nosed punks, with hard lessons still yet to be learned.
    Something tells me school might soon be in session.

  71. keithishere September 7, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    this tidbit made this week worth reading and bears repeating I think:

    I personally fault the president for putting no effort into the larger necessary tasks of leading a transition away from suburbanization, failing to promote public transit rather than continued car-dependency, not preparing for re-localized farming, and continuing the unaffordable racket of imperial military over-reach in a mode indistinguishable from G. W. Bush.

    Strong words but then there is no time to waste. The truth of not being with the program meaning the same thing as being against it will become more apparent as time passes.

  72. dale September 7, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    Andy,
    I’ve live about 400 miles from Bend, been there several times over the years and have friends that live there.
    First, you have to understand something about America, it is far more dynamic than the U.K. People here move easily and tend to follow booms. In the mid 1980’s you could have gone to Bend and bought 4 o5 homes for what you would pay for the “average” home sold in Bend in 2006 or so. Putting it in perspective, as bad as it is for the building industry (and it is bad) home prices are just back to where they were a few years ago. Where will they go from here? …..in my guess, lower. How much lower depends on too many variables which have yet to play themselves out. These sorts of economic “shakeouts” are not so unusual. If will need to get worse before it is as bad as it was in the early 80’s or mid 70’s, in terms of the Bend economy. Maybe it will, and maybe it will be the “big one”, but as usual the news sounds a lot worse in the media then it does on Main St. The same description also holds for pretty much any development driven retirement area in the west.

  73. abbeysbooks September 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    I agree with you that Obama is the problem. He is not a victim. His initial cabinet picks started this off.
    Now he’s gonna lose in 2012.

  74. abbeysbooks September 7, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    What we are experiencing is the failure of leadership in our culture. Failure on multiple levels and in almost every field.
    Failure of this magnitude can only mean a failed culture. Scary stuff. Societal collapse of the slow or quick kind will follow.

    Toynbee said it the same long ago.
    The ineptitude of all those officials being unable to save Jaycee Dugard leads us to truly understand that the law protection and justice systems are facades. People that were their neighbors have said they didn’t make a fuss at the booze-drug-sex parties because of fear of getting shot. So we now know that the law is becoming as impotent as that of Mexico.
    We are ripe for a Chavez.

  75. CowboyJack September 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    Four simple steps to “fix” health care:
    1 – Nationalize private options. In other words, allow the insurance companies to offer their products nationwide. This is the “competition” so often mentioned and weed out the bad ones.
    2 – Agreeing with JHK, outlaw cancelling policies AND rejection of coverage for pre-existing conditions. Again driving out many companies.
    3 – Torte reform. Set ceiling on law suites against Doctors.
    4 – For all of you wanting “single payer”, or paid by government, make ALL paid health care expenses TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Thus, through the back door, paid by the government. For one and all. Equally. You spend money on health care, you don’t pay tax on that money. Plain and simple.
    Bullet points:
    1 – Obama does not “get it”. Never did. Everyone who voted for him was duped. Thus, duping the entire country. Sorry.
    2 – McCain was not a viable option. Given. Let’s start leaving him and Bush out of the conversations. It is Obama’s baby now.
    3 – Obama can’t show you great leadership, or intelligent insight, or perform miracles, because he is not capable. See number 1 above. All that we can hope for is a viable candidate from ANY party in 2012. If we can get that far.
    4 – IT IS THE ECONOMY STUPID. Forget about health care, except for the four steps listed above, and start helping the people who create JOBS so that the people who want JOBS can find one.
    5 – Crippling those whose businesses actually hire people is the exact wrong way to create JOBS.
    6 – People, or businesses, can not pay TAXES to fund any of Obama’s follies if they do not have JOBS. Of course Obama doesn’t care about that, he’ll just have his buddy, little Timmy Geithner, print mo money. It’ll be ok then.
    7 – Keith Olbermann is a fool.
    Final Comment – Sadly, Obama really just does not “get it”. He thinks he does. But he just doesn’t. That is why he keeps on talking on the same old points (keeping the cars going, bail outs, et cetera). He really doesn’t care about you and me either. He cares about his legacy as the first “historic” black President. He wants “health care reform” to be a major building block of his legacy. He doesn’t really care what is in his “health care reform” as long as it provides some amount of free care to indigents and illegal aliens and provides abortions to anyone who wants one regardless of age. He and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel’s brother, would like to limit care based on age and physical condition as well but it doesn’t look like the old foggies are going to go along with that part. Which could end up killing the whole deal in the end. Of course, that will be blamed on the evil, wing-nut, non-bipartisan Republicans who, thank God, are watching out for our best interests (even though it seems that most of us don’t want them to be) and trying to keep Obama and his Democrat buddies from totally wrecking America beyond recognition.
    You know, on second thought, he might be aware that population overshoot is one of the major parts of the perfect storm (or clusterfuck) and this is his way of trying to do something about it. But I doubt it.
    Out of time.
    Good luck to us all.

  76. abbeysbooks September 7, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    I have been waiting for information like this so thank you.
    What I have to say is that both his male role models, father and grandfather, were big risk takers. His father came from a dirt village sort of like Jaycee’s backyard prison, to exchange student at the University of Hawaii and then to Harvard Law where he had to choose between his wife and small son and Harvard. We know how he chose.
    Then he goes back to Africa, womanizes a lot, has more babies, and becomes an alcoholic. Obama seems not to want to acknowledge his rather low life relatives.
    His gradfather was a handsome devil, won a lovely girl from the right side of the tracks, got her pregnant and immediately went to war. He was a supply person, and spent his time after D-day being a socially adept supply person, arranging events etc. Broad picture here. Then had the GI Bill but never did anything much with it, moved to Hawaii for more opportunity and thus his little girl came into contact with a very smooth Black African, and if you don’t know how smooth they can be, you haven’t spent time in DC at a certain period in the early JFK years.
    Both these role models were very ambitious but lackding in some sort of integrity or substance. Nw Obama gets the gold ring on the Merry-Go-Round and hasn’t the faintest idea what to do with it now that he has it.
    You are correct. He married the exact right person. she was the little sister of one of the heavies in that Chicago Black group and he was the little sister’s boyfriend.
    Enuf.

  77. bahmi September 7, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    Your prose should be accompanied by the tune, “Jump down, spin around, pick a bale of cotton”. David, you are improving vastly. At least today you didn’t equate inferior mankind with superior green pond slime. Oh, my, such a nasty world Obama inherited from the meanie, George W Bush. Poor lil’ Barry, he just can’t catch a break, can he? As soon as something goes OK for him, will you credit W for the positive or Barry? I mean, if W is everything bad in our present economy, is anything that turns out positive attributable to W, also?

  78. abbeysbooks September 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    Exactly what happens when an empire disintegrates. Always, without any exceptions so far, from within. But it’s a slow process. In 300 AD the Roman empire came to an end. But the slide went on for over a hundred years. And then we fell into the dark ages. I think more are coming, don’t you?
    It will happen piecemeal and all will be affected, some more horribly than others.
    To change the subject. all the police do now in Antioch CA is tell how horribly Jaycee’s backyard living conditions were on a material plane. Like they want to scapegoat on Garrido for being a lousy housekeeper. Not for having sex-booze-drug parties that they never investigated and closed down. Now that was real dirt.

  79. Moon Girl September 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    These are the strangest things and times I have ever experienced. Deutsche Bank Golf tournament, NFL coming on Thursday, commercials pushing the same old consumerism, meaningless talk left and right on the Boob Tube and mainstream internet and so on. As if the great momentum of our entrenched life style will just carry us through as a birth right or manifest destiny. Nobody in the mainstream media is even coming close to covering the US current condition as Mr. Kunstler and Mr. Martenson.
    For those of you who have not considered an Astrological explanation how about this. Neptune (the planet of illusion, deception and fraud in its lower form of expression) is now conjunct Jupiter (the planet of unfettered expansion and excess in its lower form of expression) at about 26 degrees Aquarius. And they are now right on the US Birth Chart’s Moon. The Moon in a nation’s Birth Chart represents the masses and their moods and perceptions. This is a clear representation of our dream-like waking sleep as we are lied to directly and continuously, but do not respond in a way befitting an awakened entity.

  80. abbeysbooks September 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Exactly. All dysfunctional families know that the parents teach the siblings to compete and argue with each other. If they were in solidarity against dysfunctional parents, the parents wouldn’t have a chance. But they are not. Divide and conquer.
    And that’s what’s happening here.

  81. asoka September 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    What is so bad about an empire disintegrating? The British empire is no more but it wasn’t the end of the world. Cheney was and is wrong. Our lifestyle IS negotiable and we will be better off not being world policemen, better off not having military empire bases all over the world. The sooner we scale down the better.

  82. Zappnin September 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    asoka, you nailed it. There were a whole lot of people who were real glad to get the boot of the Romans, English, French, Spanish, pick your ex-empire, off their necks. And there will be celebrations world-wide when the US goes the same way. Going to be rough sledding though.
    Power down. And the most revolutionary thing you can do now is to stop buying crap.

  83. SouthBranchDaddy September 7, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    Obama is a disappointment. Given the choice between McCain and Palin, which was not a confidence building ticket either, I decided to throw the dice, the change-up and go with someone who I thought at least had a chance of doing things at least partially right. But, the second I heard his insistence on Turbo Tax Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary, and belatedly (after the election) learned of his strong financial support from Goddamn Sachs, I knew it was over. The keys to the vault, already handed over by Paulson in his infamous September 2008 “give me $700b, no questions asked, and nobody gets hurt” bullshit legislation and its daemon seed progeny ever since, were to remain fully in place, while Obama was allowed to play out in the yard with the healthcare toy, despite the fact that the in-progress raid on the Treasury and taxpayer would leave both too looted to do anything about “healthcare.” I lost any faith in Obama for precisely the reason Jim says – and whenever those miserable pricks email to support one of their Playmobil toy initiatives, I fire back “just as soon as you fire Timmy, appoint a team of special prosecutors, put Hank Paulson in a cell AND get my $13 billion of AIG money back from Goldman.” Obama isn’t running anything – he’s the First Janitor and it’s over.
    Dickwads all.

  84. tufcup September 7, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    Hi All,
    Newbie here. My comments on Max and Andy’s discourse of the U.K.’s welfare state. First, the NHS, National Health Service, which in part, is paid for from National Insurance contributions, directly deducted from wages, the rest from other taxation sources. At 58 yrs, I have used the service a few times, inc 1 operation, my wife has had major surgery. 7/10 overall, but nursing care 4/10 has declined in many hospitals and in order to speed the production line, there are many early discharges resulting in many re admissions. In some geo areas, pressures on the service are increased, third world immigrants/new arrivals, who have made no, or little, financial contribution to the NHS. Prescriptions are not free in England, but after following some of the more desperate medical stories of the USA, I am not about to complain. Many in the USA, if they could access such a “free” system, would think it Nirvana, but I doubt that the system here will continue in its present scope and depth. Politicians L&R are hinting, but of course will not yet commit, to the inevitable cuts.
    I’ve also accessed, in the UK, private health care, run via a works GM insurance scheme, 9/10.
    The UK, social service safety net is not always effective, there are lots of homeless, predominately single and male, finding shelter where they can and many females, on benefits, work the system, via reproduction, choosing not to work, cheap/free housing, more kids = more benefits, philosophy, which in part, explains a decades sharp rise of immigrant births here. There is wide spread abuse of the benefits system, those working but claiming, is rife.
    Increasingly, less pay taxes,(redundancies etc), while most still eat of the fruit of the working, but again, how long will that sustain, with zero to minus growth and more unemployment?
    Regarding localisation here, there are small groups trying to generate a new way, their sustainability and impact on the rest of the population, faced with the pressures of globalisation/corporatism/disinformation, remains to be seen.
    The recent BBC report on Bend, was produced for domestic consumption. Work it out.”Look how bad it is in the USA, aren’t you just lucky to be in the UK, a socialist state”?

  85. JD Moore September 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    An actuary? That is what the right-wing critics have been saying all along; he’s a cool, calculating, slick Chicago politician. he’s got to get his act together quick, and not so much over health care (right idea, wrong time). He’s got more basic economic issues to deal with, like how to get Americans to produce more and consume less and have them feel good about that. Those arterials out there in UrbanSprawl Land would make for great rail corridors. Put the apartments and storefronts there, right where the malls were, the side streets could remain as they are. A few offices here and there wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. Now if only the banks would see they would make a fortune! If only those planning boards would realize the overall increase in property values and thus the tax base. A few eyes here and there would keep the riff-raff out or at least minding their own business, maybe even contribute to the neighborhood (as help, interested citizens, or even friends and relatives of those lucky enough to have The Dream.)

  86. Jeff September 7, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    What sort of effort might a President exert towards “preparing for re-localized farming”?
    Appoint a bull-dog to spearhead vigorous anti-trust enforcement against mondo agri-business?
    http://journalstar.com/business/article_274bc07c-9986-11de-89e9-001cc4c002e0.html
    How might he promote mass transit? By funding high-speed rail?
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125201220447984485.html
    Not nearly enough, no question. And more could certainly be done if we had some of those trillions of financial bailout dollars back.
    Still, it’s not quite “no effort” either.

  87. abbeysbooks September 7, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    Yeh and the British went back to mud hovels and eating dirt. Where Rome went civilization followed. And it’snot merely the US empire that’s sinking into the pits, it’s western civilization. If you want to say goodbye to that, go ahead. Be stupid.

  88. asoka September 7, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    You are assuming Western civilization exists?
    (re: Gandhi’s excellent response: “it would be a good idea”)
    The 20th century behaviour of “Western” nations was anything but “civilized”… Millions upon millions were slaughtered

  89. Poet September 7, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    President Obama reminds me of all three of Dorothy’s companions in the Wizard of Oz.
    He appears to lack a brain (like the Scarecrow)capable of independent thought, a heart (like the tin man)for the suffering of the exploited, and the courage (like the lion)to do what is needed rather than what is expediant.
    Sadly, the “yellow brick road” he has taken leads to Washington DC where, alas, there is no Wizard waiting to set him straight. He has already peed away his first 9 months and done nothing.
    Somewhere tonight in the gathering gloom that is the United States, the Mormon Nazi, Mitt Romney, is polishing his jack boots and SS collar pins drooling in anticipation of the 2012 election.

  90. asoka September 7, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Let’s not romanticize Roman civilization …
    Roman imperial arrogance considered non-Roman human beings to be barbarians or natural slaves.

  91. UTAH VALLEY COHOUSING September 7, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    True, the administration has done nothing to encourage re-localization. Nor will it. Nor, indeed, will any politician call into question car-dependent suburbia, since we decided a long time ago — sometime between 1870 and 1930 I would say — that a secularized notion of “progress” could be achieved only by accentuating the choices we make as “consumers.”
    Where, then, to look for an alternative?
    The COHOUSING movement now numbers almost 200 communities in the United States, and more than 600 world-wide. One I visited last week, in the Indian port city of Visakhapatnam, numbers 500 people in a 21-acre village that is almost self-supporting. And this, in a country (India), that is even less self-critical than the United States when it comes to the mirages of consumerism. Check out “Dayalnagar” (the name of the village) or “Dayalbagh,” the even larger ecovillage on the outskirts of Agra, site of the Taj Mahal.
    For me, I’m back in Utah now, and hard at work trying to establish our cohousing ecovillage — the Utah Valley Commons (www.utahvalleycommons.com.)
    Charles W. Nuckolls

  92. Mosby43 September 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    “He needs to seize the jawbone and start swinging.”
    Precisely how to make things worse, even disastrous.
    How do you propose to swing this jawbone? Arrests? Firings? How?
    Great way to touch off a guerrilla war.
    Obama can’t do anything andmore than the conservatives thought they could.
    The foundation of the structure is toast. It will fall to macro-economic forces beyond anyone’s control.
    That’s just the way it works here on earth.
    Go ahead and be the one to strike a spark to this particular powder keg. Considering that most progressives haven’t had much use for the 2nd Amendment, I’ll give you one guess who’ll be running the show from there on in….

  93. asoka September 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    Not enough can be said about the many many benefits of cohousing. I second enthusiastically the suggestion to investigate cohousing.

  94. asoka September 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    Obama’s phrase is not “Yes I can”
    It is “yes we can”
    He never claimed to be able to do anything alone.
    He has been honest enough to say he needs help from Republicans, labor, etc.
    The jawbone is rhetorical.
    The support Obama has is real and is strong enough to unseat those who vote against the well-being of America as mandated by the 2008 election.

  95. Max Headroom September 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    Imperial grunts. May God help them.
    “The web is covered in stink today because of a reporter for the Associated Press, Julie Jacobson, who photographed the death of a Marine whose legs had just been blown off. The kid was Joshua Bernard, a Lance Corporal of 21 years. When the photo appeared, Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense [sic] furiously tried to get the AP to quash the photo. It didn’t, to its everlasting credit.”
    […]
    “And all of this perhaps gives me a certain insight into the matter that not all reporters have, nor all editors. It also makes me poisonously, bottle-throwing angry to think about another chilly professional bureaucrat, the Second Coming of McNamara, with less combat experience than Tinkerbell, sending kids to croak in weird places having nothing to do with the US.

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/FOE_Frame_Column.htm

  96. Max Headroom September 7, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    “The support Obama has is real and is strong enough to unseat those who vote against the well-being of America as mandated by the 2008 election.” Don’t forget to click your heels three times each time you repeat your little mantra.
    What is real are the divisions that will ultimately tear this country apart. Obama may well be remembered as the American Gorbachev. There is very little legitimacy left in DC.

  97. Qshtik September 7, 2009 at 11:36 pm #

    “I second enthusiastically the suggestion to investigate cohousing.”
    —————————-
    Asoka,
    Is the alleged home that you are allegedly building for your alleged retirement in alleged Country X … within a cohousing community?
    If you were to respond “yes” it would carry far more weight than “an enthusiastic suggestion to investigate cohousing.”
    I’ve asked you this before but you dodge the question … God (metaphorically speaking*, of course) knows why.
    * Since you are spiritual but don’t believe in spirits (picture Q scratching his head quizzically).
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  98. darrow September 7, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    I have found it hard not be disappointed by Obama so far. However, I am not prepared to write him off yet. He took office during a severe banking crisis that presented a significant risk of a second great depression. I have been as disgusted as everyone else to watch him shovel dollars onto the balance sheets of the big banks, but I suspect quite strongly that he viewed those bailouts as necessary to mitigate that risk and held his nose as he did it. While he has appointed reassuring-to-Wall Street types to the high-profile policy positions (Geitner, Summers et al), he also appears to have installed relatively aggressive regulators at some of the agencies.
    My belief is that he wanted to get a safe distance past the immediate crisis before turning to financial reform. He will never be as aggressive as he should be – the financial services sector is far too powerful and wields enormous influence in Congress and both political parties, our economy is far too dependent on financialization, and the public is too confused or disengaged to give a would-be reformist president real firepower – but I think there is some meaningful action to come. Will it be sufficient to fix our long-term financial problems and put Wall Street back in its box? No, though I am hopeful it will be meaningful. Absent the very type of catastrophic economic collapse his policies may have enabled us to avoid (for now), he is and always will be outgunned by Wall Street – which I am sure he recognizes.
    I share many of Mr. Kunstler’s views on suburbanization, transit and related issues, but only because I have made some effort to read and think about his and others’ work in this area (and I came to that largely by accident). There is simply no conventional public discussion or even of acknowledgement of those issues at present, beyond a very rudimentary level. I wouldn’t hold any any president to a standard that would require him to blaze trails on those issues – you might as well expect him to start speaking in Esperanto. There needs to be a lot more bottom-up work on those issues first.

  99. Max Headroom September 8, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Paging Tyler Durden…
    “‘What makes the US exempt from economic reality?’
    A surplus of factors. First, the almighty dollar. For decades it has been the international reserve currency, which is a fancy way of saying the rest of the world has eternal blind faith in our money. In God we trust. In the Dollar they trust.
    Second, we have the largest economy in the world, which means the rest of the world knows that a hole in our boat would drag the rest of the world’s dinghies to the bottom of the ocean with us. That keeps them cooperative.
    And third, America is the greatest, freest, richest, most egalitarian country in the history of the world. We’re a beacon to the rest of humanity. We’re the modern age’s greatest national success story. These colors don’t run (except, of course, where the red, white and blue at issue are the colors of France.) And, what’s more, we’re the greatest. How could a country like that go bankrupt?”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/grand-debt-illusion-faqs-about-national-debt

  100. asoka September 8, 2009 at 12:37 am #

    About that little mantra: it works.
    On this blog I was ridiculed for saying Obama could win. The wise ones had all kinds of reasons why he had no chance in hell.
    No the consensus is he isn’t up to the job, the economy cannot be turned around, etc.
    I just smile and watch as CHANGE continues to happen.
    (and as the predictions of collapse from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and week after week after week this year do not come true in spite of the hyperbole of this comments section.
    Gas was predicted here to be ten dollars a gallon this year, the Dow was supposed to be 4,000, Clinton or McCain was supposed to be president, Israel was supposed to bomb Iran, Al Qaeda was supposed to attack the USA again, rioters with pitch forks were supposed to rise up against X, Y, or Z, etc. etc. etc.
    Conventional CFN wisdom just ain’t cuttin’ it…

  101. lancemfoster September 8, 2009 at 12:44 am #

    1. Get us out of Afghanistan. Move part of our armed forces back to Iraq to stabilize it against the interests of Iran. Part to strengthen our border, and work in partnership with Mexico to address the drug cartels. Part to fix our own infrastructure: bridges, dams, roads, railroads, water/sewage, etc. If Israel doesn’t want our advice on no building on the West Bank, then they shouldn’t want our money either. We need our own money right now.
    2. Give the Republicans the issues of ceilings on malpractice and dissolving state boundaries to increase competition among private insurance companies. Use existing Medicaid/Medicare infrastructure to expand coverage to those with incomes under $50K a year. Get hardcore with hospitals and pharmaceutical firms on getting costs under control, with performance-based funding.
    3. JOBS before health care. Firms that want to outsource jobs we need, don’t get one dime of any federal grants, tax breaks etc., AND they get a new tax on top of it: the offshore business tax, until they bring jobs back home. That will help fund unemployment and retraining education until they bring jobs home.
    For those among the rich who say “let them eat cake”…
    “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee…”
    John Donne, 1624

  102. asoka September 8, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Q,
    I am to be destroyed according to every post you make. This shuts off the possibility of dialogue.
    I have absolutely no concern about my credibility in your eyes and will not be answering any of your questions since your real declared interest is in my destruction.

  103. ExtraO September 8, 2009 at 1:25 am #

    Obama seems like a decent enough individual, keeping in mind that he’s a professional politician working within an irretrievably corrupt political system. Or maybe he’s just a good actor, can’t really say, as I don’t know the man.
    But I will say this: when it comes to power politics (the only kind there is anymore) he and his handlers have so far proven themselves clueless and completely incompetent wimps. His desire and attempts to get “bipartisanship” in the current political environment are almost too naive and boneheaded to be believed. Does this guy supposedly come from Chicago or what??
    If he doesn’t pick up a bat and start seriously cracking some democrat skulls, he isn’t gonna get his health plan, and without that he will be a lame duck for the next three years. Indeed, just any old healthcare reform (as long as it passes!) simply won’t cut the political mustard at this point. He has to get what he wanted from the start PLUS some truly humiliating for the opposition extras at this point otherwise he’ll end up functionally castrated anyhow.
    Also, slightly off topic: Don’t feed the Trollzzzzzzzz

  104. Patrizia September 8, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Any president of USA faces two problems: the first is the necessity to get votes for the next election, if not for him, at least for the Party.
    The second one is that he has too little time to do it as it should.
    He was elected promising miracles on one end and compromising promising what couldn’t make any miracle with the people who sponsored his campaign.
    Now.
    If he had a longer period to rule he could just forget both and do what America needs: building a new future.
    This requires hard decisions and difficult choices, that would alienate that majority who though that the way out was easy and painless, that a miracle could just let things as they were, may be better.
    Ant it would also alienate the part of sponsors who paid for his campaign.
    If he could prove that what he does actually produces good results, he could have both back, and at least one, and in a bigger number.
    But four years is too short a period and he will have to leave in a moment when things would be even much worse.
    He would be guilty not only to have failed, but failed been a traitor; not keeping his promises, lying about being what people believed he was: a Messiah on one hand and on the other spitting in the dish he was eating from.
    If only people could see a little bit further, than Obama could be a good president.

  105. asoka September 8, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    ExtraO said: “he and his handlers have so far proven themselves clueless and completely incompetent wimps”
    The evidence is that this is not the case. How could clueless incompetent wimps beat the Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin/Clinton machines?
    He campaigned on governing in a bipartisan way. He is, and has been for some time now, trying to reach a bipartisan agreement on major policy issues (thus far he has conceded much more than he has received in concessions, such as 160 Republican amendments to the health care bills).
    But because he is doing exactly what he said he would do, now he is catching hell. For keeping his campaign promise he is catching hell.
    I, too, would like him to pick up the jawbone and start swinging. I would like him to become an out and out dictator, FDR style, but that is not what he said he would do in the campaign and he seems to be keeping his word, believing that some day the opposition will offer solutions instead of lies and fear mongering.
    It does seem unfair to call it wimpy or clueless or incompetent, when what it is is integrity: keeping his word to try to reach bipartisan agreements to move the country forward.

  106. wagelaborer September 8, 2009 at 2:19 am #

    Thank you, Andy Williams.
    Yes, we have a hole-ridden safety net. We call it “freedom”.
    We have the most unequal economic system in the industrialized world. We call it “dynamic”.
    We have higher maternal and infant mortality and a lower life expectancy than most other industrialized countries. We call it “the best health care in the world”.
    We have a political system where the corporations choose 2 candidates for us to pick from, and then we vote on computers whose code is proprietary information. The chosen ones then legislate and rule contrary to the wishes of the majority of the people. We call it “democracy”.
    God Bless America! (God only loves Americans, by the way.)

  107. Richard Brenne September 8, 2009 at 2:32 am #

    Darrow (is that you, Clarence?) hit the nail on the head back on 10. We’re gonna have to create this grassroots movement from the bottom up.
    I’m producing and moderating a town meeting this Saturday with Bill McKibben, where last year at the same event in Boulder, Colorado Jim Kunstler was the keynote and on five hours of panels and kicked ass as always. (Then he almost literally kicked ass at the ASPO Conference panel I moderated two days later, although we all ended up singing Kumbaya together.)
    McKibben was told at the White House a while back, “Form a parade of grassroots support (in this case for climate change action globally) and we’ll get out in front and lead it.”
    It’s the same for peak oil and all this related stuff. Alexander the Great or any other leader that led his army into battle could only succeed if they followed him. Lincoln couldn’t have signed the Emancipation Proclamation a week earlier than he did – he had to win a key battle to have the public’s (and thus Congress’) support, or it wouldn’t have worked.
    Sure Obama’s not perfect and we’d all like him to be able to move faster in many areas. I’m afraid that all of us not in his shoes can’t see the myriad factors and infinite complexities involved and so we don’t have a great perspective on this.
    Jim, all your criticisms of all of us at the grassroots level are well-founded and need to be heard. In fact my dream is to do enough of these town meetings with enough people who are respected (I also have the venerable Al Bartlett and climate scientists Kevin Trenberth and Brian Toon on this week’s panel – some of my favorites in addition to you, Jim) that we get to take our dog and pony show into the White House where I’m sure Obama would sit politely (despite the comic insults I like to throw around like confetti) and listen, which at this point would be good enough for me.
    He’s doing okay, I’d like to do a hell of a lot better myself, along with about 303 million others in this country.

  108. eightm September 8, 2009 at 3:26 am #

    I would just make USA health care kill itself. I would simply make it even more biased in favor of the rich and eliminate all health care for everyone else.
    First no more emergency room treatment, if you don’t have at least 20 thousand dollars cash to pay right away you should not be given any treatment no matter how bad your state of health is. Just go home and die, since you are simply a weight on the real hard working population and ethically, don’t even deserve to live: actually if you do die, then you have done a world of good to society, since it is poor sick people that are robbing from the hard working americans.
    Second health care should be payed not by companies but by the workers, completely and totally out of their pockets, and it should be as expensive as possible, so we can filter out all the lazy bozos who want a hand out from the hard working, highly educated, ethically correct, and god protected americans. It should cost at least 2,000 dollars a month for minimum treatment, just for the very basics. If you need something else start shelling out a few more thousand dollars a month for each family member.
    Health care is not a right, it is something you have to work for, you have to deserve, and if you can’t afford it means that you naturally don’t deserve to live, you are a heavy weight on the good people deserving to live. This is what competition and NATURAL SELECTION are all about: get rid of all the dead weights, all the bad people, filter them out, weed them out and let only the real HARD WORKING, GOD LOVING americans live. This is what made america great, this is what makes CAPITALISM great and has made so many millions so rich.
    Aside from the fact that if you get sick you deserved it because you didn’t lead a healthy lifestyle or you didn’t believe in god enough, you didn’t follow the right religion and god punishes those kind of people by making them get sick.

  109. eightm September 8, 2009 at 5:21 am #

    This is a very relevant example on how the “work of the future” will simply be invented out of the blue:
    from this article:
    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=hightech_jobs_are_going_abroad_but_thats_okay
    “High-tech work entails the process of innovating. It’s about discovering and solving problems. There’s no necessary limit to the number of high-tech jobs around the world because there’s no finite limit to the ingenuity of the human mind. And there’s no limit to human needs that can be satisfied. ”
    This really means:
    “High-tech work entails the process of CHANGING THINGS CONSTANTLY. It’s about discovering and solving problems, ALL THE NEW QUIRK PROBLEMS THAT THE ABOVE CHANGING CREATES. There’s no necessary limit to the number of high-tech jobs around the world because there’s no finite limit to the ingenuity of the human mind TO DESIGN NEW CHANGES, TO ASSOCIATE NEW ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAM PEOPLE’S NEURAL NETWORKS TOWARDS NEW ACTIVITIES. And there’s no limit to human needs that can be satisfied BY THE EVER CHANGING PROBLEMS INDUCED (actually inventing new problems, to then find the new solutions, to problems that were never there in the first place) BY INNOVATION. Sometimes just inventing new problems by constantly manipulating things, or forcing new problems to exist by pure FREE WILL.”
    It means there is no limits to the devices, and interactions between people and devices that can be invented, and new manipulations, actually writing systems and activities, and new neural networks programmed into the brains of people.

  110. lancemfoster September 8, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    eightm, I think you’re onto something in both your posts, both in denying health care to everyone but the very rich and in stating there are no limits to how certain interests would love to do nothing more than program us undeserving yokels into the human equivalent of chicken factories where all we do is prodice eggs/buy products we don’t need
    Not only should we deny health care to everyone, we should also can free public education, since it doesn’t seem to really work anyway and give all our education tax dollars to deserving institutions like Harvard and Princeton, because they are really smart and make all the really smart people and the rest of us have no purpose other than to shut up and do what we’re told by the smart people in DC and Wall Street. We should just all shut up, produce our eggs in our cramped cages, eat our porridge provided us by our kind Lords, buy neural-reprogramming-products-de-jeur, and be grateful to our Lords and Masters.
    Maybe if we build pyramids and gladly seek the “flowery death” like good little chickens, the Lords will deign to smile on us…
    I really do think you are on to something here eightm :-) I mean, let’s be honest. We expendable crewmen are of no interest to the Lords other than to buy their products, serve as cannon fodder to preserve their “lifestyles,” and validate their existence and invalidate ours through our fawning admiration and willingness to step on other expendable crewmen to become a Lord. Hail Xipe Totec, Hail Tezcatlipoca! ;-)

  111. MisterCS September 8, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Apparently the times don’t require the hard things of us… yet. I am extremely disappointed with Obama; he is capable of much better than he has thus far shown.
    Is he capable of more? Or has he duped a mass of people so desperate for “change” that they would have elected anyone who was not George W. Bush?

  112. gantech September 8, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    I’ve been a doctor for 25 years and it absolutely sickens me to see the drug companies hawking their crap on television. If half of the money spent on making the commercials was rolled back into the product, it wouldn’t cost a fortune to buy the medications. We need a national ban on prescription drug commercials.

  113. ozone September 8, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    mosby43 sez:
    “…Considering that most progressives haven’t had much use for the 2nd Amendment, I’ll give you one guess who’ll be running the show from there on in….”
    Oh,really?
    I suppose you’d first have to assume that said “progressives” are too starry-eyed and besotted with “hope” to prepare adequately. The evidence I’ve seen suggests quite the opposite. “Progressive” and “realist” can easily co-habitate, y’know…

  114. Cash September 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    Don’t believe Republican bullshit artists about Canadian health care. They are liars.
    I’m from north of the border. My wife was just diagnosed with an tumour in her colon. She had a routine colonoscopy August 18 09, got the results of the biopsy Sep 4, has an appointment with the surgeon Sep 16, will be operated on shortly thereafter at a top notch hospital in Toronto. All this will be covered by our provincial health care system. No extra cost to us. All our drugs are coveed by a provincial insurance system less an $850 deductible. The tumour is dysplastic, meaning turning cancerous. She will likely make a full recovery. We paid for all this through our income tax but our tax rates are comparable to US rates. Very good deal, no death panels. I wish you luck with health care reform. Too bad Obama turned out to be an empty suit.

  115. Qshtik September 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    “I have absolutely no concern about my credibility in your eyes and will not be answering any of your questions”
    —————————–
    I understand completely. I wouldn’t respond to me either if I were in your shoes. Best to ignore the gadfly. In fact I often wonder why Rico and Zzz bother responding. They’re in a no-win situation. To open their mouths just makes them all the greater fools. (They will probably respond to this post with something asinine.)
    From my viewpoint it doesn’t matter whether you respond or not … my point is made to others simply by framing the question.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  116. dale September 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    Could be the start of the long awaited hit on the dollar…..next week will be the tell.
    http://dailyreckoning.com/a-rout-on-the-dollar/

  117. Qshtik September 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    ” …than Obama could be a good president.”
    ——————————-
    Oh my freakin God!! … yet another commenter who doesn’t know the difference between then and than. If we in the english speaking world can’t get a simple thing like this right how can we expect to get health care right? And please, don’t hand me the BS that it was a typo.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  118. dale September 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    You would those of you who actually believe there is any meaningful difference between the Dems and the Repubs would spend your time on some website dedicated to the belief that the political parties are relevant. By now, it should be clear to everyone who would give any credence whatsoever to Kunstler that they are not only two sides of the same coin. In no position (even if so inclined) to do anything which will forestall the coming decline in the American standard of living.
    Most of the posts here sound like nothing more than regurgitated FOX news or Olbermann rants. If we were interested in that garbage wouldn’t we go to the original source? Don’t you get it? That’s the distraction, not the reality. Splash some cold water on your face and wake up.

  119. asia September 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    JHK:
    “But so far, apart from his personal charm and good looks”
    says you! as you lambasted the republicans as the party that wrecked america and posted the pic of palin w the gun…..I knew theyre all cut from the same cloth!

  120. asia September 8, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    By now, it should be clear to everyone who would give any credence whatsoever to Kunstler that they are not only two sides of the same coin
    EXCEPT JHK, WHOS BEEN VERY PARTISAN!
    lots of us were never fooled by ‘hope and change’

  121. turkle September 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    Shut up, you American. You Americans, all you do is talk, and talk, and say “let me tell you something” and “I just wanna say.” Well, you’re dead now, so shut up.

  122. dale September 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    lots of us were never fooled by ‘hope and change’
    —————————–
    Congratulations, now why not talk about something that really matters?

  123. asia September 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    ‘The foundation of the structure is toast’
    OBAMAS PUTTING OUT THE FIRE WITH GASOLINE!
    he and his 32? czars, at 170 k each a year…

  124. asia September 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    More than 35 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 22 percent from June 2008 and a new record as the country continued to grapple with the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
    The food stamp program, which helps cover the cost of groceries for one in nine Americans, has grown in step with the U.S. unemployment rate which stood at 9.4 percent in July

  125. asia September 8, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    from Solari.com
    Services & Global Procurement pan IOT Europe, Pandemic Plan Overview,” an official inter-departmental document was distributed to upper-level management of IBM, France in 2006. Disclosed in this secret document was the prediction of a “planned? pandemic described as having a “100% chance of occurring within the next 5 years.”
    The document also describes “quarantines” and operational procedures to be taken upon the official announcements of the “pandemic” by the World Health Organization. The foreknowledge of such an event could not exist, unless the pandemic was a planned event. Certainly, this document is the “smoking gun? which demonstrates the current bird/swine flu “pandemic” is an orchestrated event.
    As evidenced by this secret document (see below), IBM?s primary concerns are focused on maintaining their workforce, even under an official quarantine, and the continuation of sales and services to their clients.
    This single document definitively proves there is international, corporate collusion behind the “bird/swine flu pandemic” and the intentional plan to create disease on a worldwide scale.

  126. asia September 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Fool..i just have..several times over

  127. Richard Brenne September 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Eightm, wonderful, very Swiftian. Best of all I didn’t know if it was satire or real, and still don’t.
    But you’re right, everything including all health care shouldn’t just go to the richest 1 per cent, but to the richest 1. Bill Gates should have everything on earth, the rest of us should have nothing. That seems to be the logical conclusion to conservative, Republican arguments.
    Since the motive of health care in this country is the desire for profits, not health, that error in premise leads to an error in every conclusion that is reached after that.
    Until we change the premise, health care will wheel down the endless hallway where it’s headed, to serving only Bill Gates and no one else.
    Is Eightm short for Eight Mile? Are you MandM? Plain or Peanut?
    Anyway, great post.

  128. Qshtik September 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    “This single document definitively proves … intentional plan to create disease on a worldwide scale.”
    ——————————-
    Jumpin Jesus Christ Asia … you can’t seriously believe shit like this can you? You no sooner say something I can get behind and then you go and reveal yourself to be a grand conspiracy crackpot.
    And BTW, in your 2:44PM post you used the obsolete 9.4% unemployment rate to make a point. Why not use the new official 9.7% rate that came out last week which makes your point even better?
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  129. Urban_Underclass September 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Fellow Clusterfuck Nation Commenters,
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    We may be a peanut gallery, but what a glorious peanut gallery.

  130. turkle September 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    “This single document definitively proves … intentional plan to create disease on a worldwide scale.”
    You have definitely proven that you are a tinfoil-hat-wearing whackjob.

  131. turkle September 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    “We may be a peanut gallery, but what a glorious peanut gallery.”
    Whatever. I’ve seen better forum manners on video game boards populated by 14 year-olds.

  132. turkle September 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    zzzzzzz/OEO/zsazsa,
    The auto industry and the banks were bailed out by the government, precisely because these industries exert so much control. This wasn’t a government power grab. It was government saving these industry’s bacon. If the car companies and banks did not have so much power within the US government, they would have been allowed to fail like any other unsuccessful business.

  133. Qshtik September 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    On 9/7/09 at 11:12AM Asoka said:
    “The support Obama has is real and is strong enough to unseat those who vote against the well-being of America as mandated by the 2008 election.”
    On 9/8/09 at 12:37AM Asoka said:
    “About that little mantra (Yes we can): it works.
    On this blog I was ridiculed for saying Obama could win. The wise ones had all kinds of reasons why he had no chance in hell.
    No the consensus is he isn’t up to the job, the economy cannot be turned around, etc.
    I just smile and watch as CHANGE continues to happen.”
    But: On 8/21/09 at 9:46AM Asoka said to Celsius 233:
    “I, too, am planning my escape (and no, Q, I will not say which country–there are many countries better than the USA to live. Let’s call it country X.)”
    Dear readers,
    Do these quotes enhance Asoka’s credibility in your eyes?

    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  134. Agriburbia September 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    The new concept known as ‘Agriburbia’ can help to salvage some of suburbia. Agriburbia seeks to incorporate local agriculture in to the surrounding suburban landscape (just like Kunstler has been saying for years) so that it can become locally sustainable and secure in terms of food and other basic necessities.
    Learn a bit more @ http://agriburbia.com/

  135. messianicdruid September 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    “The progressive far left and the reactionary far right simply do not compare.” They are identical in their imprisonment to ideology, specifically each {all?} group’s labelling and disparaging generalizations. Anyone you meet with any zeal cannot see that there may be some merit to thier nemesis’ POV. Even the language is corrupted, so that it takes an inordinate amount of effort just to define the issues.

  136. Mike Hicks September 8, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    I too had faith in Obama but have been disappointed so far. He’s a great speaker but maybe not so good at getting things done.
    If he doesn’t change and continues along this way through the remainder of his term, WE ARE SCREWED.

  137. asoka September 8, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    Q,
    You are destroying my credibility! LOL!
    I am escaping to a third world country because I was irresponsible in my youth and my pension will be so small it won’t allow me to afford life in the USA. Where I am going has universal single payer health care… I can live in country X comfortably.
    I’m only staying on this blog for twelve more years. If you are still here calling for my destruction, then I will leave. That should give you HOPE.
    Cheney/Bachman 2012 (please let it be so!)

  138. twessels September 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    With regard to rare earth minerals, the Chinese are telling the world if you need this stuff, don’t count on us to provide it to you. You better go find your own supply.
    I think this is tantamount to sending an invitation to start WWIII. Our elites will pressure the government to do just that because they are addicted to making money by turning the planet into garbage and they really need this stuff in order to keep the game going a little longer.

  139. piltdownman September 8, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Jim –
    Very straight-on and sobering post. Bravo.
    Personally, I do think that Obama’s poll numbers are sliding amongst whites because of his lack of leadership on health care. Wall Street, while demonstrably a larger problem, is far too arcane. Paying for an overpriced MRI? That will get your attention right away.
    And the war in Afghanistan is a question as well. Many of us are wondering, “What the hell is this? Didn’t we kick GWB out on his ass?” I realize the world is a terrible, scary place and that the Taliban are evil and that The Base may be plotting our demise, but the bottom line is, we had better have something to save!
    Can he turn this massive, listing liner around? I don’t know. I’m a cynic by nature, but I know that Obama is not stupid. His speech tomorrow night may tell us if he is ready to come out fighting…or just sink into oblivion.

  140. piltdownman September 8, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    Jim –
    Very straight-on and sobering post. Bravo.
    Personally, I do think that Obama’s poll numbers are sliding amongst whites because of his lack of leadership on health care. Wall Street, while demonstrably a larger problem, is far too arcane. Paying for an overpriced MRI? That will get your attention right away.
    And the war in Afghanistan is a question as well. Many of us are wondering, “What the hell is this? Didn’t we kick GWB out on his ass?” I realize the world is a terrible, scary place and that the Taliban are evil and that The Base may be plotting our demise, but the bottom line is, we had better have something to save!
    Can he turn this massive, listing liner around? I don’t know. I’m a cynic by nature, but I know that Obama is not stupid. His speech tomorrow night may tell us if he is ready to come out fighting…or just sink into oblivion.

  141. piltdownman September 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    Jim –
    Very straight-on and sobering post. Bravo.
    Personally, I do think that Obama’s poll numbers are sliding amongst whites because of his lack of leadership on health care. Wall Street, while demonstrably a larger problem, is far too arcane. Paying for an overpriced MRI? That will get your attention right away.
    And the war in Afghanistan is a question as well. Many of us are wondering, “What the hell is this? Didn’t we kick GWB out on his ass?” I realize the world is a terrible, scary place and that the Taliban are evil and that The Base may be plotting our demise, but the bottom line is, we had better have something to save!
    Can he turn this massive, listing liner around? I don’t know. I’m a cynic by nature, but I know that Obama is not stupid. His speech tomorrow night may tell us if he is ready to come out fighting…or just sink into oblivion.

  142. Qshtik September 8, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    “You are destroying my credibility!”
    No Asoka, let’s give credit where credit is due –YOU are destroying your credibility.
    “I am escaping to a third world country because I was irresponsible in my youth …”
    Lame attempt to cover over your inconsistency with lightheartedness.
    “I’m only staying on this blog for twelve more years.”
    Too bad, not long enough … I’ll be staying till you, Rico and Zzz are gone and forgotten.
    “Cheney/Bachman 2012 (please let it be so!)”
    What happened to Cheney/Palin? You can’t even mock consistently.
    “I … will not be answering any of your questions”
    That resolution lasted less than a day.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  143. messianicdruid September 8, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    “Forcing individuals to tithe to the insurance companies is even worse than giving finance capital pretend money in the form of taxpayer bailouts.”
    The problem is NOT that “universal healthcare” would provide care for those who cannot afford it, but rather that it gives the government the power to control WHO gets the health care. It is said to promote “universal” health care, but its universality is conditional. It will be provided for all those who conform to the government regulations that come with it.
    For example, there are millions of people who prefer alternative health care. They believe in health, rather than in “medicine.” All of these will be expected to help pay for all the medicine/drugs/tests/treatments through their taxes, but it is not likely that their alternative methods will be paid for by the government. Alternative health care practitioners and patients will find that they are saddled with paying their own bills, in addition to the drugstests/treatments prescribed to others.
    That is not “universal” health care.
    This is not so different from the educational program. Many people prefer to home school or a private school. Does the government pay for this alternate education? Of course not. The universal right to education does not apply to anyone who steps out of line from that which the federal government wishes to promote. So people have to pay for alternate education, as well as paying taxes for the goober-mint education of others.
    Each time the government is empowered in another area, they discriminate against the minority views of all who disagree. This erodes liberty. Freedom is not the right to do the right thing. Freedom is the right to be wrong or to do stupid things. When the people we allow to run things decide what is right and wrong and then forces its view upon all others, it is freedom only for those who agree with the government policy.

  144. damon September 9, 2009 at 3:02 am #

    If you get your information from traditional sources – pick any, “liberal” or “conservative”, it doesn’t matter – it’s very easy to get distracted from the critically important big picture issues. And not only are people arguing over the wrong issues, but even in the context of these issues they are often arguing against their own best interests! It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so important.
    Health care is a good example (but there are many, many more) of this phenomenon. The country is caught up in a debate about how to fix the system, without any real discussion of some fundamental issues of the status quo. These elements are implicitly assumed to be essential to our way of life, which is “not negotiable”, even though they may have become quite distorted:
    0) Do citizens of the USA have a basic right to health care (or food or shelter)?
    CURRENT: The implicit answer is “no”, because in our capitalistic system you get only what you pay for.
    CORRECT: Yes. In fact, after WWII, the USA agreed with much of the rest of the world that, indeed, this is a basic right, which the UN documented in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…
    1a) What is the real purpose of the health care system in the USA? Is the goal to provide some minimally adequate health care for US citizens in a cost effective manner? Or is the goal to provide some reasonable rate of return to investors in the health care industry?
    CURRENT: The implicit answer, consistent with capitalism, is that health care is just one more vehicle for generating profits for owners and investors.
    CORRECT: The primary purpose of health care must be to keep people healthy! Private “Health Care Insurance” is, at best, an inefficient and superfluous billing system. More typically, it is a financial racket, skimming profits off the top of health care transactions, without adding any value…
    1b) Is cost effective health care compatible with unbounded capitalism?
    CURRENT: Implicitly, everything of any value is compatible with capitalism.
    CORRECT: No. Of course it may operate within (or coexist with) the bounded capitalistic framework of our society, but it can not be perverted to the point of becoming ineffective or worse. The basic human right level of service should be available to everyone as part of our basic social system; yes, this is socialized medicine! This would not preclude a thriving market for special/elective medical treatments which the rich could also pay for…
    2) How can we pay for coherent, effective universal health care?
    CURRENT: We can’t, which is why we shouldn’t even consider it! Besides, this is socialism, which is communism, which is bad.
    CORRECT: The government must fund the basic level of service from tax revenue. We can’t afford to finance it through more foolish deficit spending! The funding should come from existing revenue (an oversimplification, ignoring redirecting current private health care cash flows or implementing more taxes, but valid for the purpose of this discussion). We need to set priorities and live within our means. An obscenely large proportion of federal revenue currently goes to military and defense-related spending; it would be prudent to redirect some of these funds to universal health care.
    3) How long can this nation survive on its current course? There are many warning signals – financial, economic, social, political – flashing bright red. If we can not do the right thing with health care will we have a sustainable socio-political system?
    CURRENT: Don’t worry! (We should be able to keep this game going as long as we can keep you folks engaged in the contentious and entertaining distractions that we’ve substituted for mature discourse/debate and rational policy-making. Besides, there’s a little more loose change still rattling around the system, which we’d like to collect.)
    CORRECT: The warning signs are real, and the danger can not be overstated. If we don’t wake up, grow up, and make some painful and necessary changes, our individual and collective future may be exceedingly unpleasant! The potential consequences of continuing on this course are really quite grim – think angry and insolvent failed state with nuclear weapons. No one, at home or abroad, will be safe.
    It’s essential to understand the bigger picture. The current system is designed to benefit the real owners – a small plutocratic minority. From this perspective there’s little distinction between “Right” and “Left”, Republican and Democratic. The partisan friction and “issues” are used to keep most of us distracted, so we don’t notice just how far we’ve strayed from our clearly documented (though never actually achieved) founding principles, nor how much we’ve been ripped off by the plutocrats.
    Our mean-spirited, profit-driven zeitgeist discounts or dismisses such quaint notions as human rights – quite tragically, I think. Tragedy “is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure”, and that’s what we’re seeing on a grand scale, not just with the faux health care “debate”, but with all of the Left-Right us-them political theater-cum-mob fodder. When much of the audience wakes up and realizes they have been playing the rather doltish expendable extras in an even more sinister tragicomic production, it will be too late.
    Now, in the endgame, the plutocracy (no, we’re not really a democracy) has morphed into a kleptocracy. In recognition of the substantial changes we’ve already witnessed, I propose we rename the USA to the Fascist American Kleptocratic Empire (FAKE). The same FAKE initials can then suffice for the remains after the disintegration, as in the Former AKE or the Failed AKE, rather than the FUSA…
    Postscript: This is a summary of some more systems used by the plutocratic/kleptocratic elite…
    The famous, and very real, military-industrial complex is in high gear, desperately sucking the last vestiges of wealth from the dying carcass of this once great nation. There are, of course, other voracious vultures (or blood sucking vampire squid, as M. Taibbi so eloquently stated): the whole corrupt financial system, from the Fed on down, including the financial racket some incorrectly call “health care”; the grossly perverted criminal justice system, hijacked by the prison-industrial complex by way of the War on Drugs; the entire legislative-lobbying quid pro quo system, complete with revolving door; and, of course, there’s the Federal government itself, ripping off the Social Security trust fund through that nifty trick call the Unified Budget.

  145. Johnny Rico September 9, 2009 at 3:29 am #

    @asoka-
    “I am to be destroyed according to every post you make. This shuts off the possibility of dialogue.
    I have absolutely no concern about my credibility in your eyes and will not be answering any of your questions since your real declared interest is in my destruction.”
    I swear on my life this post of yours randomly came up when I signed in. It was God.
    MY GOD
    Who is Q?
    He’s about to get beat down if he don’t watch his ass. I haven’t been here in some time, but if people are fucking with my friends, they’re gonna die.
    I don’t even care if you are still pushing that old style hippie bullshit. You know I love you. You need help I always got your 6. Lemme read the archives. OEO ain’t around so I’ll play Devil’s advocate/wingman.

  146. Johnny Rico September 9, 2009 at 3:40 am #

    “Qshtik replied to COMMENT FROM ASOKA | SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 10:21 PM | REPLY”

    “P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz”
    Are You Fucking Kidding Me?
    This is great. This motherfucker can’t tell the difference.
    I haven’t even read this site in like two or three weeks. I guess we are now the bad boys. How come he didn’t include Doom. Has Doom been coming around?
    Dude. Can you switch the names around so it doesn’t spell RAZ?
    Z should be first. and I should be last. I have been AWOL.
    Please don’t tell me you’ve expounded on economic and political theory in my absence. I really wish I hadn’t of missed that. I was visiting museums and trying to fuck some girl.
    But now I realize I should have been here.

  147. Johnny Rico September 9, 2009 at 3:57 am #

    “( I must say Cormac McCarthy’ ‘The Road’ is less intriguing as a film adaptation to me, than ‘World Made by hand’ the movie would be..) ”
    Ugggh. First of all, whatever. World Made By Hand is a muddled story that could never be made into a movie. This was discussed last year by the 6 people (including me) who actually finished the book.
    Face it, WMBH is a disaster. It is like Jackie Brown. It might mean something to somebody, but it doesn’t really belong anywhere.
    McCarthy’s The Road is a bestselling Masterpiece, and everybody acknowledges this. I was one of the first people to read The Road and knew within 10 pages that it was a classic and would become a favorite of the apocalyptic crowd. My thoughts are archived on “The Oil Drum” prior to any official mention of the book by the Queen Cunt Leanan.
    The Weinstein Brothers apparently had these same feelings. I’m not sure why the pushed the movie’s release from last Thanksgiving to this October. But they did that with most of their films in that zone, so I think it was economic/finance related.
    It might also prove to be a good move in the case of “The Road.”
    Hollywood can fuck up anything. So I have no great hopes. The book was good for me. I like what’s his name that is starring as the Dad – Vigo Mortenson or whatever. I can recall him from three decent flicks, and he acts seldomly.
    My big question for the fall will be how good – “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” is
    If it is successful, it will be the final nail in the coffin for Matt Savinar – douche of the century – what is his problem?

  148. eightm September 9, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Health Care is not a right, you have to deserve it and companies and the judgments of your boss decide if you work and deserve it. If you don’t have it, it is because you suck, you are a bad person, you are not worthy, you should suffer in pain. The rich and well off can’t get richer but can enjoy seeing greater and greater pain on behalf of the lazy poor. The only thing you can get more of is satisfaction in seeing the poor suffer more and more. A bigger mcmansion won’t give you the same satisfaction and freedom is also freedom to do wrong things and bad things, like even beating up and killing the poor.
    Also fire fighters are doing a service to community and so do the police, but who pays for this ? why should I pay for these services that favor others ? I say close all fire fighting offices and police offices, and let the flames burn the homes that deserve to be burnt. After all, it is always communism, socialism, anything that is ssocial is communism. So no more fire fighters and no more police, only private police and private fire fighters, and no more public schools either. Private communities that keep the ugly poor commies out.

  149. messianicdruid September 9, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    “If half of the money spent on making the commercials was rolled back into the product, it wouldn’t cost a fortune to buy the medications. We need a national ban on prescription drug commercials.”
    Thank You Doctor. Another reason you won’t hear the truth from the MSM {which includes Faux News}.

  150. eightm September 9, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    “Freedom is not the right to do the right thing. Freedom is the right to be wrong or to do stupid things. ”
    In fact I hope that when you are in need of “health care”, when you are in great pain or on an operation bed, the doctor asks you for a few million dollars before operating or aleviating your pain. After all FREEDOM IS ALSO THE RIGHT TO DO WRONG THINGS, AND WHY SHOULD HE OR ANYBODY ABIDE TO GOVERNMENT RULINGS ?
    Why should anybody not beat you or anyone else up, and kill anyone ? This is freedom, everything else is a communist dictatorship.
    I can’t believe how completely idiotic and insane the USA right wing has become, how cruel and crazy they have become. The most uncivilized country on earth.

  151. SeaYoung September 9, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    A couple of comments:
    First: 1.) clearly and absolutely outlaw insurers canceling policy contracts under any circumstances. 2.) outlaw denial-of-care tactics. 3.) outlaw campaign contributions by lobbyists, period.
    This is absolutely the answer. Why make it any harder? This proposition cures much of what we find abhorrent with the health insurance industry. Public financing of elections time has come. Orange jumpsuits and the “off to jail shuffle” for politicians who do otherwise.
    __________________________________________________
    Second: Rethink recent Fox controversies to include Obama’s school address, and the recent Fox induced outrage expressed during town hall meetings. Are folks really upset over these single issues?
    Probably not. The real target is too large and vague to gain aim. Uneasiness runs deep within the collective psychology of those most disenfranchised with the latest election results. Could their disenfranchisement combined with Wall Street bailouts and bonuses for the money grubbers, shovels full of money for roadway stimulus, and cash for clunkers seal the deal. Probably did.
    Stir in foreclosures, layoffs, over populated school classrooms, with broken state and local budgets. Bring to a boil. Much of the citizenry has begun to smell the soup. The disenfranchised acted up first. Will they be the first to act out?

  152. budizwiser September 9, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    It might be the “Fall Season” but the posts sound like summer re-runs….
    Quite a bit of talk about the symptoms – not so much about the disease, very little about the root causes…..
    When did the “noble experiment” morph into a continuous exercise in self-interest, self-dealing and cronyism for the of sake of power and influence?
    The causes: A massive, totally centralized governing structure that concentrates power and influence both ideologically and geographically.
    An electoral process that assures the abuse of speech, and a unhealthy influx of financial and ideological influences to the election process that invites a myopic leadership-style based of two, four, or six-year increments of subversive “reactionary governing.”
    The results: A dangerous concentration of power and influence that diminishes a society’s honest, objective attempts to demonstrate the possible outcomes of social constructs based on collective perspectives that by nature cannot be described as selfish or ignorant. Colloquially this situation is known as a clusterfuck.
    One salient feature of a clusterfuck is the repeated misdirection of those involved in it to focus on individual features (symptoms) rather than demand an examination of the root causes and a call for systemic solutions.
    Those influences, which are most responsible for the given distortions or inequities causing the clusterfuck concentrate most of their efforts in continuing misdirection of attention to root causes.
    Currently, those profiting in the finance and insurance sectors of our nation should take a bow for their masterful handling of the current events. Good job – at least some Americans are indeed world-class innovators. I applaud their ingenuity and “can do” spirit!

  153. piltdownman September 9, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    I like the idea of regulating the health insurers so that things like cancelations and denial-of-service are made onerous for them, but that’s ultimately just window-dressing. First off, the amount of oversight necessary to police such behaviors would be huge, because the insurers will spend millions finding ways around the regulations. They have the lawyers and the power to simply overwhelm your average citizen. So, I have no faith that all that regulation will change their ways…
    What none of this solves, however, is the cost factor. If there is no inducement to fix that, all the rest is pointless; because many people simply won’t be able to GET insurance. Doesn’t matter how broadly it’s regulated if you don’t have coverage…
    As to outlawing lobbyists funding of campaigns? Look out! The SCOTUS is rehearing a case this week which may completely overturn laws regulating corporate political donations. This rare “rehearing” is most likely a maneuver by Right wing Justices to hand Corporate America (and the GOP by extension…) one massive present — on the off chance that something changes in the Court before the Dems lose the WH again.
    Public funding is a fine and noble idea, but with the foxes guarding the hen house, it’ll never happen. Ever.

  154. messianicdruid September 9, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    “I can’t believe how completely idiotic and insane the USA right wing has become, how cruel and crazy they have become. The most uncivilized country on earth.”
    “…many of the “great ideas” of history have been little more than excuses to withhold empathy. And when I look around, so are many contemporary political arguments. This is why everybody, to the right and left, bashes liberals. I’m using the American definition, basically nice people who are left of center but not radical. Liberals extend their love farther than any other political group, but their intelligence and knowledge are only average, and they make their share of mistakes. People with other ideologies could go beyond liberals by expanding themselves emotionally while correcting the mistakes, but instead they usually attack the mistakes to justify their habit of contracting themselves emotionally.”
    http://www.ranprieur.com
    Like someone above said, if you don’t get the initial question right {with all it’s assumptions}, none of what comes after will make any difference. Just more squabbling about effects while ignoring causes.

  155. messianicdruid September 9, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    “Why should anybody not beat you or anyone else up, and kill anyone ? This is freedom, everything else is a communist dictatorship.”
    Quit generalizing. It is causing you to be misunderstood. There is NO freedom in law-less-ness. Or, are you putting words in my mouth?

  156. bahmi September 9, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    “He’s a great speaker”. Let’s look at this little sentence. Without his Teleprompter in front of him, have you ever heard him try to make coherent sentences? Hint…he doesn’t do very well when he talks without the aid of his Speech Box. I cannot fathom how folks can repeat, like repetition druids, that this guy is “smart”. Would a smart guy and his smart wife PLACE a freakshow like Van Jones in a top position? Oh, yes, his czar placement is brilliant because it bypasses the Senate and House confirmation. He’s not smart when doing things for you, Mike. He’s smart only for himself. The man is not brilliant, I’ve never heard him say something that could be construed as brilliant. If people wish to be non-thinking androids, well, he’s smart. But, as you listen to this guy, how can you insist he’s so damn brilliant?

  157. schizoid September 9, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    OK. Let’s pretend that Obama actually represents the citizens of the US and that he has the power and authority to save our dying republic.

    His (Obama’s) relations with Wall Street are destroying his legitimacy. His failure to demonstrably clean house at the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, or to direct the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute misdeeds stemming from the swindles and frauds in securitized debt, make him look like a stooge to the bankers.

    Could it be that Obama is currently serving his masters? You know, the ruling class leaders who bought and paid for him?

    His (Obama’s) relations with Wall Street are destroying his legitimacy. His failure to demonstrably clean house at the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators, or to direct the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute misdeeds stemming from the swindles and frauds in securitized debt, make him look like a stooge to the bankers.

    Obama’s legitimacy? Obama never had any legitimacy! All attempts to find out just who our current president really is, lead to a dead end of sealed records. National security is at risk if we discover the truth, you understand.
    Obama will continue to read prepared scripts from the TelePrompTers, and when he has served his purpose, a new puppet will be appointed to do the same thing.

  158. Qshtik September 9, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    “I haven’t even read this site in like two or three weeks.”
    ——————————
    Little Jennie Rico posted the above line at 3:40AM today (Sept 9th). She made a string of posts on Sept 4th, the last of which was at 6:53AM. That would be approx 4 days and 21 hours ago, not 2 or 3 weeks. Obviously Jennie can’t subtract despite telling Kunstler that she knows math and he doesn’t.
    Asoka, didn’t I tell you Rico and Zzz would respond to my post with something asinine? (I’m still waiting for Zzz to chime in.) I bait the hook and these two assholes are dumb enough to bite.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  159. Funzel September 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    One more simple solution to our “problem”health care.
    All Us citizens and legal aliens that were here 8 years ago,and not making more 150 k gross should be eligible for universal,single payer Sickcare.
    All others should have the privilege to buy their own health insurance from their beloved private insurance company,case solved.
    Unless your body came without teeth or eyes,that should also be covered.
    The present system of hooking your occupation,job or whatever to Healthcare is another racket invented by the ruling gangsters,trying to perpetuate the failed and obsolete system of Capitalism.
    I am afraid not much will change unless there is a steady stream of thieves,Banksters and politicians heading to the meat grinder at Purina.

  160. wagelaborer September 9, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    You argue strongly about an imaginary bill that you believe would provide government run healthcare. This is “not on the table”. The bill that will be passed will force everyone to buy private health insurance, or be fined. The health insurance companies will continue to profit from the sick. The main option to it is a government run payment system, not a government run health providence system. (Like Canada, not Britain.)
    I could not argue for government run health care any better then Damon, who posted after you. I hope you read his post. It was eloquent and logical.
    You would never convince me that a government run system was bad. As it happens, even when I had health insurance, I went to the government run Health Department for my basic care. I paid on a sliding scale, probably more than my insurance would have cost me, but I trusted the Health Department more than a private clinic in it for the money. Plus I went to public schools and so did my kids.
    Now I’m paying for other people’s kids to be educated. Guess what? I’m OK with that. As a matter of fact, I think it’s a good thing. I want my fellow Americans to be educated.
    So we don’t agree. Sure, it’s your right to be sick and stupid, but I don’t want it to be public policy.

  161. Qshtik September 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    “I could not argue … any better then Damon”
    ——————————
    Add WAGELABORER to the long list of people who don’t know the difference between then and than.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  162. messianicdruid September 9, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    “Now I’m paying for other people’s kids to be educated. Guess what? I’m OK with that. As a matter of fact, I think it’s a good thing. I want my fellow Americans to be educated.”
    Well, I want my fellow Americans to be educated also. And guess what, I went to public school also. And guess what else, I’m paying paying for other people’s kids to be educated. Reason – I am not given a choice. Unlike you I don’t like some of the stuff the people that run things for us {the government} are doing. If you want to support it, I’m all for letting you support it and live with the consequences. But if some wish to “opt out” or not support it or not to suffer the consequences of what we believe are serious mistakes: “well screw you.” I guess you will agree to disagree but you still want to stick your hands {via a proxy} in my pocket and “help yourself”. If you wouldn’t stick a gun in your next door neighbor’s face and rob him, why would you want the people that run things for us {the government} to do it for you?

  163. Qshtik September 9, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    “I don’t even care if you are still pushing that old style hippie bullshit. You know I love you
    —————————
    Asoka, I’ll bet you’re thrilled to know that Jennie Rico loves you.
    If I were you I’d tell Jennie the following: “Please refrain from mentioning my name in any context related to yourself ’cause you’re just a friggin embarrassment.”
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  164. CaptSpaulding September 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    Hi Qshtik. Wisdom from an eskimo. I like it.

  165. Qshtik September 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    Thanks for your support Capt.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  166. hugho September 9, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    Nice sensible commentary ,Jim. I have just returned from almost 3 months on an ocean going sailboat and except for occasional reception on the HF radio by the BBC(good) and VOA(bad), I have been spared the mindless and mind numbing drivel of the media and the braying of dysfunctional politicians. You ought to try it sometime! I had hoped for some sign of recognition of the magnitude of the American problem by its denizens. Alas, false hope. America replaced a clueless imbecile republican with a clueless charming democrat who is a puppet of the the corporate shadow government , banking establishment and Wall Street every bit as much as his undistinguished predecessor. Change? NOT.America remains in a flat spin, a death spiral and I simply am at a loss to see how this spin can be arrested. Americans are simply too stupid, too obese and too locked into their unsustainable suburban, autocentric lifestyle to try to change.

  167. jerry September 9, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    I agree that President Obama has used up much of his political capital by embracing the fraudsters on Wall Street. He needed to come forward with points that he must have incorporated in any health care reform bill. He failed to do so.
    He has allowed the kooktards to create a kook d’e-tat against him and others who can think and discuss the issues with those who agree and who disagree.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  168. CaptSpaulding September 9, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    I forgot to add, Qshtik, that I agree with you on the matter of spelling. I have always thought that people who can’t be bothered to learn to spell properly, which is easily done, probably can’t be bothered to think either. My inclination is to ignore their misspelled missives. Regards.

  169. asia September 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    Labor day Blues?
    uh ooh….WAL MARTS AT IT AGAIN…Project Impact
    apparently they too are hurting:
    ‘… the company is in the beginning stages of a massive store and strategy remodeling effort, which it has dubbed Project Impact. One goal of Project Impact is cleaner, less cluttered stores that will improve the shopping experience’

  170. asia September 9, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Another pair of words that we see misused far more often than not is than and then.
    I now believe that many people are either unaware that they are two separate words, or if they are aware of the two words, they have no idea of which is which.
    SO CAN WE BLAME THE SCHOOL SYSTEM?

  171. asia September 9, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    “Now I’m paying for other people’s kids to be educated. Guess what? I’m OK with that.
    At my school there are over 1000 illegal’s. The latino center helps them. That’s tax dollars at work. ThEn they can go to LMU, one of the most expensive schools in LA on a Scholarship. LMU sets aside a % of scholarships to ILLEGALS!
    Folks OK with that?
    It’s not for nothing that the Mexican govt supports this, its in their interest in many ways!

  172. asia September 9, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    ‘I cannot fathom how folks can repeat, like repetition druids, that this guy is “smart’
    MAYBE BECAUSE HES THE MOST POWERFUL EMPTY SUIT ON THE PLANET

  173. asia September 9, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    Necessity is the mother of invention!!!!!!!!!!

  174. asia September 9, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    ‘ The most uncivilized country on earth’
    Baaaaa…..perhaps you protest a little too much!
    Have you been to the middle east? china? India?
    Mexico?

  175. messianicdruid September 9, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    “Public funding is a fine and noble idea, but with the foxes guarding the hen house, it’ll never happen. Ever.”
    “When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it.
    When a man spends his own money to buy something for someone else, he is still very careful about how much he spends, but somewhat less what he spends it on.
    When a man spends someone else’s money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about what he buys, but doesn’t care at all how much he spends.
    And when a man spends someone else’s money on someone else, he doesn’t care how much he spends or what he spends it on. And that’s government for you.”
    -Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman {kooktard; I guess?}

  176. damon September 9, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    “I hope you read his post. It was eloquent and logical.”
    WAGELABORER, thanks for the accolade. Yes, I was focusing on essence. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if we — as citizens, not consumers (nor any other diminishing designation) — could avoid the superfluous distractions and have an intelligent debate, about the actual facts?
    So, to summarize the real issues (see original post for full discussion):
    0) Do USA citizens have a basic right to health care?
    (Hint: since 1948, US & rest of world proclaim…yes)
    1a) What is the real purpose of the US health care system?
    (Hint: apparently to generate profit for investors…)
    1b) Is cost effective health care compatible with unbounded capitalism?
    (… good question. probably not.)
    2) How can we pay for coherent, effective universal health care?
    (Hint: shift priority & funds from military/defense spending…)
    3) How long can this nation survive on its current course? There are many warning signals – financial, economic, social, political – flashing bright red. If we can not do the right thing with health care will we have a sustainable socio-political system?
    Hint: sadly, it may be too late, but it’s probably worth trying…
    If we don’t wake up, grow up, and make some painful and necessary changes, our individual and collective future may be exceedingly unpleasant! The potential consequences of continuing on this course are really quite grim – think angry and insolvent failed state with nuclear weapons.
    http://kunstler.com/blog/2009/09/-one-national-moment-of-nausea.html#comment-4651
    messianicdruid: I, too, thoroughly deplore government coercion — to compel through use of violent force, threatened and actual. This is, however, a (by one definition, the) defining characteristic of a state, i.e., government; see Gewaltmonopol des Staates.
    While we’re dreaming, though, I’d opt out of letting the government use my taxes to pay for unbridled military conquest and oppression. Seriously, I’d pull the plug on the rest of the oppressive, malevolent machinery: e.g., CIA, DEA and the whole War on Drugs and its prison-industrial spawn, etc. Of course, we’ll let this nation crumble — the whole time torturing (really! don’t you think prison rape is torture?) and oppressing, at home and abroad, in the name of God and American exceptionalism — before this happens.
    Please excuse me; I got carried away.
    Finally,
    Qshtik and CaptSpaulding: If someone repeatedly uses the wrong words, by misspelling or otherwise, and generally appears to be intellectually lazy, then I might avoid them, too. However, it is not constructive to pick out one trivial, mistaken use of “then” versus “than” — as you did with WAGELABORER, from his piece that appeared generally earnest and thoughtful, whatever your position — rather than debating the essence. This is an example of the misdirection I was addressing in my first post.

  177. messianicdruid September 9, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    “Of course, we’ll let this nation crumble — the whole time torturing and oppressing, at home and abroad, in the name of God and American exceptionalism — before this happens.”
    I will assume for a moment that by “nation” you mean government and I will approve of the crumbling. If, however, you mean something like “the people and the land” {ie: the country}, some will crumble and some will not. People using God’s name {authority} in vain {for thier own purposes, after their own desires} will be found out; God is not mocked {with impunity}.
    Mene, Mene, Tekal, Urphasin; we are weighed in the balances and found wanting. Repentance is a revolution in thinking.
    Twilight of the Autocrats
    http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.org/weblog/WebPosting.cfm?LogID=1498
    (really! don’t you think prison rape is torture?)

  178. messianicdruid September 10, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    (really! don’t you think prison rape is torture?)
    I think prison is torture.

  179. Jaego Scorzne September 10, 2009 at 12:47 am #

    You sound like Van Jones-not a compliment. Glen Beck’s campaign of slander was just showing clip of Jones talking. That’s all it takes. Things like-White Environmentalists are polluting people of color-as if “people of color” have any industry of their own. As if “people of color” don’t desperately try to get into White Countries where they can get polluted.
    Van Jones looks great in a suit, but he’s a mean spirited third world savage. Everything he has he owes to the White Man but he is without gratitude. He probably got into environmentalism to get White Girls.
    Well Red and Black are the new Green folks. If you value the movement that you all started, you will protect it against communist and minority interlopers. They don’t care about Nature, it’s just another stick to beat White People over the head with. And that you don’t admit the political implications of environmentalism, is tragic. Conservation doesn’t mean kissing Black and Brown Ass-it means saying no to Power when power is corrupt-such as allowing millions of Mexicans to invade our Country. How is that going to save the snail darter and the yellow belly sap sucker?
    Kicking them out would solve unemployment-would it not? Creativity means to think in other categories, but first you have to get out of the box that is your heads.

  180. arrgyle September 10, 2009 at 2:28 am #

    “Oh my freakin God!! … yet another commenter who doesn’t know the difference between then and than. If we in the english speaking world can’t get a simple thing like this right how can we expect to get health care right? And please, don’t hand me the BS that it was a typo.”
    ——————————
    I believe that the phrase is “English-speaking world” and that there should be a comma in that sentence between the words “right” and “how” since it begins with a dependent clause. Also, I believe the word “freakin” should have an apostrophe at the end.
    It would be beneficial to use proper English grammar when criticizing someone for their lack thereof.
    Fo’ shizzle!

  181. asoka September 10, 2009 at 3:24 am #

    JS said: “…allowing millions of Mexicans to invade our Country…”
    No one has “invaded” our Country. Millions have come here to work and contribute and they are all, all of them, paying local sales taxes every time they make purchases.
    I support providing undocumented workers with education and health care.
    The right to education (to better oneself to be able to contribute even more), and the right to health are human rights not dependent on legal status.
    ¡Bienvenidos todos!

  182. eightm September 10, 2009 at 3:28 am #

    ” guess you will agree to disagree but you still want to stick your hands {via a proxy} in my pocket and “help yourself”. ”
    How many public services do you use ? Highways, electricity, water, police protection, fire protection. Why should I pay this money for your pleasure ? Why should you get this all for free from my hard earned money ? why are you sticking your hands in my pocket and robbing me ?
    “If you wouldn’t stick a gun in your next door neighbor’s face and rob him, why would you want the people that run things for us {the government} to do it for you? ”
    Everything is always “RUN” by someone else. What makes you think that if you or your proxies (christian right wing ? republican ? private corporations ?) would be doing my personal interests ? what is in a name ? call it government or call it Microsoft, or call it the US military, or call it Kaiser Permanente or call it any other name thousands of organizations have, what makes you think they are better than any other imagined entity you call “government” ? Because it is private ? So private organizations are not run by humans and all their weaknesses, they are not subject to human nature, right ? they are subject to “competition” and “capitalism” which means that it is perfect, and all the “government” distortions can’t possibly occur. If it is private or capitalist then it is above human nature, it is no longer under the natural human impulses to rip off each other in every possible way, etc.
    Paying for general social services is what defines not only a state but civilization in general. If you don’t want to give any money away for the “common good”, then stop paying for water services, fire fighters, cops, public education, any social security, any welfare, any “HEALTH KARE”, etc. And live in some backwoods, dig your own hole and find water, make your own clothes, farm your own food, etc. After all any possible society is always a give and take, but for you and those who have your ideology everything you give is being robbed form you, you can’t “choose”.
    THE TRUTH IS SIMPLE: HEALTH KARE IN THE USA WILL NEVER BE CHANGED BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION IS WELL OFF AND OK WITH THE SYSTEM AS IT IS. THE POOR MINORITY CAN DROP DEAD, WHO CARES.
    This is the same reason home prices won’t go down 80 % where they really belong and home rents won’t go down to 300 dollars a month for a 1,200 sq feet (100 sq m) home: because the majority of the people are relatively well off and want to protect the status quo, so health kare as is fine as it is.
    from this article:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=169696
    “2) The present state of these societies, the USA, EU and JAPAN make it impossible for this political program to be implemented because the majority of the people are relatively well off, want to protect the status quo, do not want home prices to go down, and they should go down hugely, like in all 3 areas the USA, EU and JAPAN a 1200 sq ft (100 sq meter) house should cost no more than 100,000 dollars or rent out to no more than 300 dollars a month. But these societies have a majority of middle class, conservative, pro right wingers and a minority of poor. So the majority will always win and continue protecting the status quo. It is the next generation, and only a small part of them (those that won’t inherit their parent’s property) that are cut off forever, and the poor.
    A majority of rich and a minority of poor is exactly what the capitalist system has always strived for and has been hugely successful in obtaining it. ”

  183. eightm September 10, 2009 at 3:41 am #

    Some grammatical corrections, sorry:
    I meant to say:
    What makes you think that if you or your proxies (christian right wing ? republican ? private corporations ?) RAN THINGS, THEY WOULD BE doing my personal interests ?
    Also :
    instead of
    “so health kare as is fine as it is.”
    should be
    so health kare is fine as it is.

  184. Flyover September 10, 2009 at 4:06 am #

    Who the fuck is this chickenshit whining motherfucker who’s worried about spelling errors.
    How the fuck do people like you even survive?

  185. eightm September 10, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    The right wingers against universal health kare make a number of logical errors:
    1) The only ones who are not “free” and can’t choose, who don’t have any choice are the ones that can’t afford health kare. The well off or rich can choose to spend as much as they want on their private health kare. And private health kare exists everywhere in the world, even in countries with universal health kare, and in fact those private ones are increasing market share there and growing.
    2) What kind of competition and free market would it be if there were only cars that cost 50,000 dollars or more ? that is the same situation with health kare in the US, there are only two choices expensive or very expensive. There is no real free market, there is no choice for those that can’t afford it.
    I would be for private health kare if there were real choices: you pay the service you can afford to pay, so say 100 dollars a month would be “entry level”, and better service could cost maybe 300 or 500 dollars a month all the way up to the sky, since the sky is the limit. But at least the underclass or weaker social classes could pay at least a minimum for a probably weak service, but at least they would get it.
    It is the same with rents and homes, in the major urban areas you can’t find cheap rents, it is either all or nothing, so the market is always biased in favor of who already has, in favor of the well off. No social mobility here, no free market here.
    And by the way, it doesn’t matter who “RUNS” the service, it can be private or public or even church run, what counts is the quality and honesty of the people running it. And if there was a large choice of service providers at all price levels, then there would be a real improvement in things.
    What the heck, is health kare so hard, compilcated, difficult and expensive to really run ? I mean do people need complex operations every day, top machinery, super sugreons being paid millions a dollars ?

  186. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    “And I apologize for calling zzzz an “idiot”. While deserved as an observation, it was rude.”
    What a pussy. If it was deserved, it was deserved. Try and grow a pair, pally.

  187. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    “What is so bad about an empire disintegrating?”
    What fucking empire? Who are these far flung subject states over which we rule? We are witnessing a nation disintegrating and as a citizen of said nation I find it tragic. Fuck you asoka-the-producers. Fuck you and your imaginary empire.

  188. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    “You would those of you who actually believe there is any meaningful difference between the Dems and the Repubs would spend your time on some website dedicated to the belief that the political parties are relevant. ”
    Nah, they aren’t relevant. They only control EVERYTHING. (Fucking MORON)

  189. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    “Oh my freakin God!! … yet another commenter who doesn’t know the difference between then and than.”
    Oh my freakin’ god another post from the asshole that doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.

  190. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    “Cheney/Bachman 2012 (please let it be so!)”
    Please. Cheney will most likely not live that long. Palin? Possibly. But if things continue as they are unfolding Howdie-Fucking-Doodie and the deceased Buffalo Bob Smith will suffice. And you won’t have to wait for 2012 to determine the outcome. Look to 2010 Congressional elections as to the viability of all things Obama. You are in for a rude and bracing shock.

  191. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    “Asoka, didn’t I tell you Rico and Zzz would respond to my post with something asinine? (I’m still waiting for Zzz to chime in.) I bait the hook and these two assholes are dumb enough to bite.”
    Ummm…you are sitting around waiting for me to chime in? And I’m the dumb asshole? OK. If you say so.

  192. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Funniest thing I have read in months:
    “Vice President Joe Biden says a Republican congressman’s outburst during President Barack Obama’s health-care speech Wednesday night “demeaned the institution.””
    (Biden think’s that THIS demeaned the institution? Bwa ha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha haha ha ha!!!!!)

  193. messianicdruid September 10, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    “And by the way, it doesn’t matter who “RUNS” the service, it can be private or public or even church run, what counts is the quality and honesty of the people running it.”
    Not only the people running it but the people using it. Eating things full of poisons and parasites {standard american diet} and living in stressful, polluted environments effects the quality of people’s lives. We need to be honest about why we are so sick and needy. And own our part of that.
    The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
    In the past you would see commercials hawking drugs for months or years before they got pulled off the shelves and the lawsuits started. Now you can watch a commercial for a drug on one channel and an ambulance chaser on another channel offering to prosecute the drug company for your symptoms from ingesting the same drug.
    They sell you the drug and then treat you for taking it. We are farmed.
    Those of us trying to throw off the herd mentality by living simply and taking care of ourselves are not the problem.

  194. messianicdruid September 10, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    “They sell you the drug and then treat you for taking it. We are farmed.”
    “PARENTS are being threatened with having their children taken into care after questioning doctors’ diagnoses or objecting to their medical care.
    John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, who campaigns to stop injustices in the family court, said: “Very often care proceedings are used as retaliation by local authorities against ‘uppity’ people who question the system.”
    Cases are emerging across the UK:
    The mother of a 13-year-old girl who became partly paralysed after being given a cervical cancer vaccination says social workers have told her the child may be removed if she (the mother) continues to link her condition with the vaccination.

    In the first of those cases, Ashleigh Cave, 13, from Liverpool, began experiencing severe headaches and dizziness
    >>>>>>> half an hour after >> !!!!!!!!! http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6823345.ece

  195. dale September 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Political parties control where this country is going in about the same way a taxi cab you might ride in controls where you are going. Anyone who isn’t congenitally naive can see that money is the real driver. Powerful lobbyists representing corporate American and a few special interests, call all the meaningful shots. How could it be otherwise? With a few well placed millions a corporation or special interest can get corrupt and docile members of Congress to enact legislation which will send billions their way. It’s the best “investment” going if you can afford to play. They are able to facilitate the whole puppet show by media consolidation and manipulation.
    This is the reality of American politics, like it or not. Political arguments are always on the margins, and even those margins are becoming thinner each political cycle. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of a landmark case in front of them right now, further facilitating the takeover of the political process by corporate money, the process will be complete. Bribery will be codified.
    Hop in, go along for the ride, you and the “issues” you think are so important serve little purpose but to rile you up…..nothing more meaningful than a high school pep rally. This isn’t cynicism, just a clear eyed view of reality. You’re free to blab all you want, in this game they have figured out how to make individual (and group) dissent meaningless. Have fun….Sis boom bah, rah rah rah….what a joke.

  196. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    “Powerful lobbyists representing corporate American and a few special interests, call all the meaningful shots.”
    But they do so with the compliance of elected officials. Without someone willing to do their bidding they can achieve nothing. The corruption resides in the government. If elected officials were not for sale there would be no corporate influence. Look at Charlie Rangel, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi. There are Republicans as well. They are corrupt to the very core.
    They have the power to say no to corporate interests. They do not. They are a rotting corpse and their stench is beginning to reach the ranks of even the nose-less. Their time is short. Their exposure has begun. The vetting will be brutal.

  197. dale September 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    Their time is short. Their exposure has begun. The vetting will be brutal.
    —————————–
    Oh really?……wanna bet. You can’t fix a system which has legalized bribery. Two things occured in the last hundred years which have gotten us here. The first was legislation and court rulings which allowed corporations to have the rights of an individual. The second, only a few years ago, equated money with free speech. Game, set, match to the forces of darkness.
    Read Eisenhower’s address at the end of his presidency….do you imagine that either party has a member would by so bold as to make such a statement against corporate control these days? Not a chance.
    Furthermore, I find in laughable you apparently think the Republicans are less corrupt then the Democrats. The Republicans, in reality, are slightly more beholden to corporate interests and their money, the Democrats have thrown in a little special interest money to the mix. They both are bought and paid for….pure and simple.
    I doubt the Republicans can mount a serious challenge in the next few years. Certainly the corporate interests aren’t concerned, Obama has shown he’s on board.

  198. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    “I believe that the phrase is “English-speaking world” and that there should be a comma in that sentence….etc”
    —————————-
    Arrgyle, thank you for pointing out my errors. Seriously, I mean that. The difference between myself and many others is that, although I don’t know alot about grammar and my spelling is only so-so, I make a great effort to get it right before I hit the submit button. I constantly use Dictionary.com and I edit and proof-read frequently before posting.
    I detest comments written in all lower case letters and with zero, or minimal, punctuation. It’s like a slap in the face to the reader. The writer’s message seems to be “Here, take a half hour of your valuable time and see if you can decipher what this means.” I also hate affected stream-of-consciousness writing like Rico’s bullshit. I enjoy James Joyce or even SEB but coming from RICO it’s like fingernails on a blackboard. (Don’t get me started on Jennie Rico … the most detestable person at this blog!)
    I’m glad I have stirred up a small shit storm over “then” and “than.” It seems to have gotten a few people’s attention. Maybe commenters will realize that what they type is supposed to communicate not bewilder.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  199. dale September 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    It’s not that all of our politicians are knowingly corrupt. Many are oblivious to the culture of corruption of which they are a member.
    It’s the “frog in the hot water” thing, little by little you buy into the distortion, before you know it, you can’t see it anymore.
    Remember Keating, the Arizona Savings and Loan guy. If you ever read the indictment against him it was laughable. He was literally up to his neck in payoffs and kickbacks. The evidence was overwelming. Still, he thought he was innocent, I have no doubt he was being truthful, so far as he could see it. Denial….it’s the human way.

  200. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    “But they do so with the compliance of elected officials …… The vetting will be brutal.
    ——————————–
    Praise the Lord!! A perfectly rational argument from beginning to end … and without a single douche-lips, MORON or FUCKTARD. This is progress. (I even liked the line about the stench reaching the ranks of the nose-less.)
    Until the inevitable relapse, I’m removing Zzz from my delendus shit-list.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka delendus est.

  201. asia September 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    JIM K,
    This is on the cover of ydays LA TIMES:
    word for word:
    ‘ DROP IN DEBT MAY HAMPER RECOVERY! ‘
    Its saying that because people arent using cards to buy chinese goods we are hampering the [jobless] recovery
    article by jim puzzanghera

  202. asia September 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    I heard C. fitts on the radio 2x in the last week or 2.
    someone called and asked ‘what about the govt?’
    she said….
    THERE IS NO GOVT..OBAMAS FUNDING THOSE WHO ELECTED HIM ….WALL STREET ETC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  203. asia September 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    YOU ALSO ARE IN CANADA..SI?
    you ahole

  204. asia September 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    Remember this pigs at the govt trough sometimes believe their own words or Pr or whatever
    that one gov? is now saying he didnt have the affairs..it was just macho bravado over the phone
    and taxpayers were presumably payin for the phone
    WELCOME BACK ZZZZZ..whoever you may be
    for awhile it was the Qtip show here..

  205. asia September 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    And you said Laraza wasnt racist
    wrong again Mr Bountiful

  206. asia September 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    GAWD
    now you dance to the tune of Qtips chidings

  207. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    “it is not constructive to pick out one trivial, mistaken use of “then” versus “than” … rather than debating the essence.”
    —————————-
    I understand your concern but I want you to know that my intention is not “misdirection.” If you have followed anything I’ve written at this blog you will have noticed that I’ve had little or nothing to say about the meat of any issue that others are all hot and bothered about. I don’t particularly care what the Democrats’ health care plan is (and didn’t watch Obama’s speech last night). I don’t concern myself with the number of Mexicans leaking in through our borders and I don’t know or care whether Van Jones is a total asshole. Why? Because I long ago figured out that such concerns are a waste of my valuable. In the case of healthcare, for example, I will simply adjust as best I can to whatever plan is put in place. As I’ve told Jaego several times, I don’t try to change the world, I adjust to the world as I find it.
    I spend time at this blog because I like Kunstler’s rants and I enjoy all the other heated conversation amongst the commenters. When I spot something that strikes me as intolerable, over-the-top, utter bullshit I will do whatever I can to deconstruct it … example, the guy the other day who believes some corporation has plotted to create a pandemic. And I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to pounce on messianicdruid with all his (or her) religious BS. (I go nuts when somebody has the audacity to quote the Bible, Koran, or whatever, as the ultimate authority and thus “no need for further discussion.”
    People not knowing the difference between then and than or between affects and effects (see messianicdruid’s post at 9:18 AM today) is just a pet peeve. Getting on their case is a mere sideline.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka delendus est.

  208. zzzzzz September 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    ” A perfectly rational argument from beginning to end … and without a single douche-lips, MORON or FUCKTARD.
    Until the inevitable relapse, I’m removing Zzz from my delendus shit-list.”
    Hey, douche-lipped, moronic fucktard, put me back on your shit-list. As stupid as you are if you think a thing is shit it must be a fucking diamond.

  209. Max Headroom September 10, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    Weeeelllll, there certainly isn’t any shortage of cir-cir-circuses. It’s the bread part that I’d be worried about.
    Speaking of circuses, I looooved the brouhaha over “You lie!”. A politician accusing another of lying. That’s rich. What’s next, accusations of being bought?

  210. asia September 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    a few minutes ago i posted that these people/vampires/ whatever they may be
    really believe or want to believe or WANT US TO BELIEVE…[indeed a scary notion] all the squak on the squak box from the piggies feedin at the govt trough
    was it pelosi who objected hen [ a vet] didnt use the proper term in addressing her?
    Qtip…’I go nuts ‘
    really…yr not there already
    and the people who wonder if the govt will kill us off include JHK in THE and Fitts who posted that piece at her site…SHE WORKED WAY UP IN THE GOVT

  211. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    “Who the fuck is this chickenshit whining motherfucker who’s worried about spelling errors.”
    —————————-
    Dear Fly,
    Please note, there should be a question mark, not a period, after “errors.”
    Sincerely,
    Chickenshit whining motherfucker
    P.S. Rico/Asoka delendus est.

  212. asia September 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    if you think a thing is shit it must be a fucking diamond.
    Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  213. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    “”And I apologize for calling zzzz an “idiot”. While deserved as an observation, it was rude.”
    What a pussy. If it was deserved, it was deserved. Try and grow a pair, pally.”
    ——————————
    Zzz, you can be so incredibly dense at times … like last week when you totally misunderstood the Krugman quote. And now, don’t you see that the guy apologizing for calling you an idiot is only pretending to apologize? He is, in fact, taking a second shot at calling you an idiot. Note the words: ‘”idiot”. While deserved as an observation’ … yet somehow you don’t get it … and make an even greater fool of yourself by chiding him for being a pussy … “If it was deserved, it was deserved.” He knows it was deserved you numbskull.
    Due to your relapse, your specific request, and your stupidity, my shit-list is hereby revised:
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  214. asoka September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    The current health reform bill specifically says that people in the United States illegally are not eligible for tax credits (page 132, section 242) contrary to what Rep. Joe Wilson said.
    I do not agree with health reform that denies benefits to those in the USA illegally. Anyone physically present who needs health care (including tourists from other parts of the world) should receive proper care.
    Under Article One of the USA Constitution, the government has the right to protect public health and safety.

  215. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    “Ummm…you are sitting around waiting for me to chime in? And I’m the dumb asshole? OK. If you say so.”
    ————————-
    I say so.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  216. asoka September 10, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    Illegals in Canada do not have easy access to welfare benefits, schooling, or health care.
    I would like that to change. My preference would be to provide a blanket amnesty to all illegals in Canada and give them education and health care.
    We are kindly providing AWOL American military with assistance and I am proud of that.
    The American military empire must be brought down.
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/1181/chalmers_johnson_on_garrisoning_the_planet

  217. damon September 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    dale: I agree “that money is the real driver”; the US government and its corporate trustees and beneficiaries act as a coercive cartel operating in a crippled and extremely myopic manner. “Best practices” necessary for sustained success have been forsaken, even the once obligatory pretenses are gone, all in pursuit of the one-dimensional reward: money. There are manifest signs of kleptocracy, the terminal state of plutocracy.
    This is not to say that money is not important, but it cannot be the only consideration, the only pursuit, the only reward. Balance is necessary for any complex system to endure. I’m not referring to an abstraction, an ideology; this is basic reality. Here are two related rules it behooves us to (re)learn: you can’t get something for nothing; actions have consequences. People with a rudimentary understanding of science will recognize these as basic laws of physics (paraphrased). Though more difficult to elucidate, they also hold for very complex systems like human society.
    The essence is cooperative reciprocity, which requires trust for it to work in a long-term, generally beneficial, sustainable, successful sense. No amount of wishing, praying, ignorance, or belligerence will eliminate the natural facts. You can make something appear to “work”, e.g., through coercion and oppression, though it’s probably not sustainable and definitely not optimal for the oppressed. (Today’s oppressed can become tomorrow’s oppressor, sometimes in a misguided “kick the dog” way. Thus, the sad cycle continues.)
    I’ll wrap up: I’m no utopian — someone else’s “moral” utopia is an oppressive dystopia for me — but I know there’s got to be a better balance. Actually embracing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the other Amendments would be a great way to start. To get “there” — wherever we should go — in a mature, nonviolent manner requires intelligent, civil dialogue. Sadly, the alternative implied in zzzzzz’s comment — “The vetting will be brutal” — is looking more likely. Ironically, that’s probably the only big bubble left to exploit…

  218. damon September 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    dale: to clarify, I’m generally in agreement with you. I just got carried away venting and did not step back long enough to see that it could be misconstrued.

  219. damon September 10, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    Qshtik: I admit that, until I decided to jump into this comment stream, I had not really paid much attention to who wrote what. And even this time, no, I may not have read all your comments. I didn’t intend to imply this is your only contribution, nor to impute a motive, though you are correct that “misdirection” connotes an intentional act. (I do mean it as intentional when applied to the powerful actors shaping our society, though.)
    Ok. I understand your position and, in many ways, agree. I thoroughly appreciate Kunstler’s rants. I dislike ignorance of all sorts, and especially the insidiously noxious theistic religions. These are the polyhalogenated organics of human thought. Like DDT and PCBs, they once served a useful purpose, before we really understood the fact that they are fundamentally incompatible with healthy (human) life, even in small quantities. And once they are loosed in the environment, they persist for a long time, maybe even forever. Yet we continue to use them liberally, poisoning present and future generations… (Here the metaphor starts to break down. Although the real chemicals are still used in some cases, it’s far more restricted than it used to be, with a hope of elimination in the future. Not so for religion, but one can hope.)
    I guess where we differ is on the scale of possible personal impact. Although I generally agree that there is little use in bucking the system, I hold out (albeit very little) hope that humanity can delay its appointment with extinction. (That’s a leap, I know, from current system to extinction. I’m closer to the die-off end of the spectrum when it comes to what Kunstler called the Long Emergency.) So, if there is a small possibility I can make a positive difference, I occasionally try, hence my posts.
    ignarus delendus est

  220. Urban_Underclass September 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Lisbon Treaty Information:
    http://moonlitetwine.blogspot.com/

  221. asia September 10, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    ‘the only big bubble left to exploit…’
    SO HOW WILL THE CORPORATIONS THRU GOVT DO THAT?

  222. asoka September 10, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    $2.3 TRILLION LOST MISPLACED OR PISSED DOWN A RATHOLE
    THE DAY BEFORE 9/11
    http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/706.html
    (INSTITUTIONALIZED MILITARY CORRUPTION)

  223. garyg/nola September 10, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    To Asoka… “the American military empire must be brought down” !!! Thank you!!thank you!!! Thank you!! Finally… After years of worthless bullshit and dialogue you have arrived at the root cause of all our problems since November 22 1963!! Please read the new book by Douglas “jfk and the unspeakable” … That “empire” has controlled virtually everything since that date…I found that book last month when Oliver stone carried it on stage for his interview with bill maher… The root cause of nearly every problem we face is the coup the military pulled off on 11/22/63… They have been in total control ever since… These are the same folks who advised jfk that losing 100 million Americans in the Cuban missle crisis was “acceptable” in exchange for “victory” over Russia/communism… You’re the first to hint at the real problem…get that book!!!

  224. asoka September 10, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    garyg/nola,
    The USA is indeed a military dictatorship, the biggest receiver of government welfare, and the biggest polluter, and extravagant waster of petroleum… all those jets in the air 24 hours a day getting incredibly wasteful gas mileage.
    Learn more from this recently published book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Green-Zone-Environmental-Costs-Militarism/dp/1904859941/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252633108&sr=8-1
    The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism by Barry Sanders

  225. Max Headroom September 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    “the American military empire must be brought down”. Well of course it will be and replaced by the likes of Xe, funded with black/corporate money and run by retired military.
    People haven’t seen evil in this country yet. But it’s not like Ike didn’t warn us.
    Tick tock citizens. Tick tock.

  226. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Gary,
    On Tuesday afternoon Asia posted the following:
    “This single document definitively proves there is international, corporate collusion behind the “bird/swine flu pandemic” and the intentional plan to create disease on a worldwide scale.”
    Then tonight you posted this:
    “The root cause of nearly every problem we face is the coup the military pulled off on 11/22/63″
    I suppose this means you think “the US military” plotted and carried out the assasination of JFK.
    Like two peas in a pod, you and Asia are, what is known in the trade as, Grand Conspiracy Crackpots. I think you guys should get together, have a few drinks over a conversation about your paranoid delusions, and then go out in the back seat of your car and blow one another.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  227. asoka September 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    Max,
    Xe is not funded solely by black/corporate money. Xe and private contractors depends on GOVERNMENT… on government contracts… i.e., on you and me… on our money.
    The problem with Xe as a replacement for GI soldiers is that use of contractors like Xe significantly increases costs to the taxpayer.
    Contractors also risk undermining of the USA mission. GI soldiers are demoralized when they realize private contractors are getting so much more compensation.
    Contractors like Xe can also directly put GI soldiers’ lives in jeopardy (see Iraq).

  228. Max Headroom September 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    Just how much “intelligent, civil dialogue” will it take to undo the Patriot Act, turn off the meat grinder that is Afghanistan and stop the looting of the US tresaury?
    What manner of “intelligent, civil dialogue” will compete with the lobbyists dollars for your elected officials attention?
    How does one phrase “intelligent, civil dialogue” to get the government to actually perform its constitutional duties to “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”.
    This “intelligent, civil dialogue” speaks to a solution – “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  229. Max Headroom September 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    That’s now. Things change ese and it is a safe bet the big boys aren’t going to “go gentle into that good night”.

  230. garyg/nola September 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    reply to Qshtick-regarding my status in the Grand Conspiracy Crackpot club….I’m not sure if you were alive during cuban missile crisis but I suspect you were not? Reading the book by Douglas on the subject of “JFK and the unspeakable- why he died and why it matters” would be very educational to you and a prerequisite to your possible enlightenment regarding our current state of affairs…threads of Eisenhower’s warnings regarding the dangers of the Military-Industrial complex to our future appear regularly on this site…the resources we have squandered to maintain our “military empire” worldwide since WWII would have gone a long long way towards solving the majority of social problems and inequities that are about to tear us apart…the profits from armaments have fueled the perversion of our entire system to the point of near extinction…the “acceptable loss of 100 Million US citizens” in October 1962 should give you a clue…read the book!!!

  231. Qshtik September 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    To Max Give Head Room,
    “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility ………..” blah, blah, blah … click, drag, copy, paste.
    You and Asoka make a nice couple.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  232. Jaego Scorzne September 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    What you and Dale want requires a high degree of “social capital”-the civility and social satisfaction that comes from culture and tradition. Such things are only found in ethnically homogenous states-if they are to be found at all. Surveys show that the people most satisfied with their goverment are the small, ethnically homogenous states of Europe such as Finland. Iceland sold its soul to the bankers so their pols are going to be on the shit list for a long time. The rest of Scandanavia lost its mind and went with the EU sell out to Islam. Denmark is inching back from the precipice with strong new laws about immigration. Switzerland has played the smartest game of all: heavily armed neutrality, the very image of what America was supposed to be. And it dealt with its ethnic diveristy by splitting its several states-a brilliant compromise.
    Now you guys expect to get Blacks and Hispanics on board for any kind of return to fundaments-you forget that this isn’t their tradition; they have no interest in our Constitution or Bill or Rights. Even Whites of differing traditons often can’t get along, just look at Quebec. What are you smoking that you think Blacks and Browns are going to love us? They’re interested in privledges like affirmative action and amnesty-both of which are at our expense. They will not ever voluntarily give up their privledges-which they now consider their rights. We will be lucky if we can get away from them before we are destroyed. The Elite has played a masterful job of using them as a battering ram against Western Society-using our freedoms and traditions of liberty against us. That is the only kind of free speech these people care about. Once in power, all freedom would end.
    The Solution stands before stark and inexorable. Seperate from the Barbarians or die as a Culture and a People. So White Man, Think Again.

  233. Jaego Scorzne September 10, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    The military has been completely undermined by the political class. Men of Quality like Patton or McArthur couldn’t exist today. They are vetted out and non entities and feminists are promoted before them. They have guaranteed that there will never be a military coup in America. Paper pushers and candy asses have the power. How many generals did Bush fire? Doesn’t that indicate who has the real power: the Politicians and the Bankers and Corporations who control them. Don’t give up on Conspiracies-the Founding Fathers were terrified of the French Conspiracy and the English Central Banking Conspiracy. The latter has triumphed, not the military. Look into the Federal Reserve. It’s not Federal, there are no Reserves, and it’s not a Bank. It’s a private institution and if ever investigated, the shareholders will almost certainly be European Jews, not Americans.

  234. Max Headroom September 11, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    I quote (as opposed is misquote) the US Constitution in the context of civil discourse as a solution to our rather sad state of affairs and you lump me in with an idealogue savant with a flair for the socialist workers paradise lost?
    The federal government has responsibilites, none of which it seems to have done very well for a few decades now. The words as used in the Constitution have different connotations today than they did when the document was written. When I quote the Constitution, I intend for it to understood in it’s historical context rather than revisionist parallax or Newspeak.
    What exactly in my post even suggests idealogical compatibility with Asoka?

  235. Max Headroom September 11, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    Correction: (as opposed TO misquote)

  236. damon September 11, 2009 at 12:42 am #

    asia: There is potential for profit and loss in any human endeavor. If you encourage and reward profit as the only meaningful end, which seems to be the case, many once-unimaginable results can emerge. For instance, as stupid as it may be, one can even destroy an essential element of their own life support system in pursuit of profit. This is even more likely if the immediate cost is borne by someone else. This is one abstraction of our entire modern dilemma: we have severely compromised, and still seem intent on the final destruction of, critical features of our complex system, to achieve a short-term profit.
    The complex system I’m referring to spans all relevant levels of temporal and spatial size, and conceptual domains. It encompasses all aspects of the biophysical environment — natural and man-made — but it’s much more: i.e., all the human-knowledge-based constructs. Human thought processes, language, writing, science, technology, history, mythology, … money, human societies and organizations, including business and government … are all part of this complex system, beyond just their immediate physical manifestation at any given time.
    Anyway, back to answering your question. You ask explicitly about corporations acting through government, though I did not state this as the mechanism. Actually, I can envision possible scenarios both with and without the government as a functioning participant…
    Without boring you with the details, I previously mentioned plutocrats-cum-kleptocrats, and even listed some of the systems being used for enrichment of the elite. (It may not be clear from my writing, so I’ll be explicit: I do not think there is one, single, overarching, nefarious conspiracy being explicitly perpetrated on some innocent victims. I think the complex system is just “working” the way that one might expect given the architecture, the profit goal and the present conditions (inputs, processes). If you can “privatize profit and socialize loss”, especially legally, on a grand scale, unencumbered — actually aided and abetted — by the very elements meant to control this behavior, why wouldn’t you? Exactly! And if you can channel most of the malevolent social energy generated by this insanely imbalanced scheme away from the real cause, while actually making a profit on that, too…? but, I’m starting to ramble.)
    …I noticed several comments regarding the military-industrial complex and related matters following your entry. Therein lies the essential answer: even if it destroys the current government, the elements of this out-of-control meta-industry of violent control — military, paramilitary/mercenaries, police, prisons and the multitude of suppliers to all — will profit from the “brutal vetting” process.
    I guess the important thing for everyone to understand is: independent of your current beliefs, ideology, social & economic status, geographic location, etc., with very few exceptions, this will be very unpleasant. And no sky fairy will whisk away a chosen few, to be graciously spared. So, unless you’re truly homicidal, in the most sadistic sense, it’s probably not in your best interest to agitate for it.

  237. asoka September 11, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    Max said: “…an idealogue savant with a flair for the socialist workers paradise lost.”
    Yo, Max… Asoka here. I am opposed to socialism. If necessary it should be a very brief interlude between capitalism and communism.
    My ideology is anarchist/pacifist.
    You can’t be an anarchist without being a pacifist, if you think about it logically. Anarchists are for voluntary cooperation; anarchists favor consensual relations between equals.
    Violence, and threat of violence, is an imposition, which is by nature non-consensual… Therefore, anarchists must reject violence.
    Socialism depends upon a State which is in control of production, dictating from above.
    Communism is a stateless society in which control is local, not dictated by a State.
    Communism means sharing possessions in common or distributing the goods produced by labor so that each has fair and sufficient portion. Communism was taught and practiced by Jesus Christ.
    A “socialist workers paradise” is about the last thing I would advocate, although I do recognize that in the evolution from capitalism, to socialism, to anarcho-spiritual-communism, there may be an intermediary and temporary socialist stage.

  238. damon September 11, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    Jaego Scorzne: Yes, any realistic path to a more widely acceptable society* will take civility — see my earlier note about reciprocity. Very few, if any, social problems can be solved solely through violent coercion and destruction, unless, you consider very broad-ranging genocide as a solution. Even then, any solution state would be short-lived. (I’d be open to expounding, but that’s not my intent here.) The point is, even after all the death and destruction of any military solution, some sort of reasonably intelligent negotiation is invariably necessary. And not surprisingly, if the final agreement is dishonest, excessively punitive, or otherwise grossly imbalanced, any resulting peace will be unstable and transient.
    *I say “more widely acceptable society” because this is one of the first things that needs to be determined through the recursive intellectual process I’m suggesting. (What are the parameters of an acceptable solution? Priorities? … etc. As I mentioned earlier, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the other Amendments would be a great way to start.) You’ll fail if you don’t make this step a priority. (There are many models/theories; basically you’re defining some type of social architecture.)
    I disagree with the premise of the rest of your comment, which I’ll attribute to your own cultural ignorance rather than an even more malignant intention. Yes, one needs to distinguish “us – inside” from “them – outside” to have any sort of meaningful society, i.e., with a boundary. There are many issues with using skin color (and many other arbitrary attributes) to define membership in a large successor to the current state. If you are suggesting a small, “racially pure” (which is a fantasy) subset, like a canton, then it may happen.
    Skin color, itself, does not define a culture. It may help, in a subconscious, limbic-brain sense; and it definitely can be used to undermine culture, i.e., to manipulate fear via the same pathway. Per Wikipedia, culture is “an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning”, &/or “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.” See the pattern?
    To conclude, in my own social relations I value intelligence, intellectual honesty, compassion, balance, … with a world view grounded in and informed by the natural universe, science, facts, data. I prefer to cultivate those attributes, because they represent the constructive tools needed to achieve the almost limitless potential of human development. I’m also a realist and understand the ugly side, its malevolent allure, and the brutish and cruel reality it engenders. For some unfortunate individuals, fear, hate, and anger are overwhelming aspects of life. Others succumb to these dark forces, despite initial advantage. Still others are able to overcome these obstacles, despite the odds.
    PS – Per design, the US military is controlled by the elected civilian government. In concept, Congress is responsible for the rules governing the military, funding the military, and to declare war. The President is Commander in Chief. One may argue that it no longer actually works that way, but our Constitution is quite clear on the matter.

  239. Max Headroom September 11, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    I did say flair for, not beleived in.

  240. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    “Due to your relapse, your specific request, and your stupidity, my shit-list is hereby revised:”
    In other words you are doing exactly as I commanded you to do. And that is because you are a little pussy. What a fucking nancy-boy.

  241. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Qshtik replied to COMMENT FROM ZZZZZZ | SEPTEMBER 10, 2009 6:26 PM | REPLY
    “Ummm…you are sitting around waiting for me to chime in? And I’m the dumb asshole? OK. If you say so.”
    ————————-
    I say so.
    Right. And that confirms your asshole-ish-ness. Thanks for the confirmation, spelling marm.

  242. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    “You can’t be an anarchist without being a pacifist, if you think about it logically. ”
    Why should “we” think about it logically, you have not. What a complete load of fucking clap-trap.

  243. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    asoka-the-producers sez:
    “Communism is a stateless society in which control is local, not dictated by a State.”
    Then he sez:
    “Communism was taught and practiced by Jesus Christ.”
    Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Caesar WAS the fucking state. So how was it that Jesus was practicing communism when he recognized a state-ful society you fucking MORON?

  244. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    “I’m glad I have stirred up a small shit storm over “then” and “than.”
    “Then” you are an asshole. But you are also an imbecile. I wonder if being an imbecile is worse “than” being an asshole? Oh well, at least you don’t have to choose, Squished-dik.

  245. Bobster September 11, 2009 at 10:25 am #

    Hmm, I guess I am lucky only to be called a “silly ass” or the “dunce of the day” by ZZZZZZZZZZZ (sound of falling to sleep). See Panel 1. I wonder what you geniuses think now about Obama and his well-defined, well-defended health reform plan? Now, that is, after his speech Wednesday. Did you notice the Republican block-heads sitting silently, thumbs up appropriate orifices. It used to be brown-nosed, but now it’s brown-thumbed. And then there’s the now famous heckler, apologizing but not telling the truth at all. He lies and continues to lie. Typical Republican block-head behavior. Let’s move on, shall we?

  246. dale September 11, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    Y’all can argue the health care bill until you are blue in the face, truth is, damn situation is so complex none of us has any idea how it will work in practice. You would have to be an expert on the topic who has spent 100’s of hours analyzing the thing to have any clue. Even then you may not know.
    One thing is for sure, you won’t know any more after listening to all the coverage in the media then you knew before.
    In principle, that is why we have elected officials. They are suppose to take the time and have the staff to analyse such issues. Of course, in the current political climate, expecting anything other than partisan political posturing is, for some reason, out of the question.

  247. asoka September 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    OEO said: “So how was it that Jesus was practicing communism when he recognized a state-ful society…”
    Can you have two thoughts in your head at once?
    Jesus was just saying Ceasar is doing his state thing, give him his due, don’t provoke him… we are doing an alternative communism thing.
    Jesus asked folks to give up their worldly possessions and to follow him in a vow of poverty. He communed. He wanted everyone to share what they had. Jesus was a true communist.

  248. eightm September 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    Why does health kare cost so much ? because doctors and nurses and all others who work in it and around it make too much money. Doctors should make no more than 2,000 dollars a month, nurses no more than 1,000 dollars month. You don’t like it ? go work somewhere else, no one is forcing you to work at those pay levels. Many compare US health to other countries “socialistic” health, but other countries like Brazil, India, Russia and Cina have nurses at 200 dollars a month and doctors at no more than 1,000 dollars a month.
    So then export the sick US citizens to these countries, and import these doctors and nurses from these poor countires. They did it with IT, they got guys from India in IT and high tech at cheap prices so.
    US health kare is a systems problem, it is the entire system with all the actors involved that make it expensive : the doctor would say if I have to make only so much than why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for college ? So the college professor shouldn’t make so much money either, etc.
    A systems wide problem, with a pay BUBBLE, a new economic bubble in the form of absurd pays given to everyone. The US pay scale is outside the international norm.

  249. eightm September 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Also the US health kare is cuting edge, all the new toys and machines must be bought, but they cost alot because the high tech companies make them cost alot becasue the engineers there make alot of money. Also the drug companies have high payed people in research etc. So all these high pay levels must be payed by someone ele, hence high health kare costs. A systems wide problem, also the US is always chasing innovation, new procedures, machines, drugs etc. more money, more research, in Europe or Brazil or Mexico there is much less cutting edge and research, hence much cheaper.

  250. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm #

    “Also the US health kare is cuting edge, all the new toys and machines must be bought, but they cost alot…”
    eightm,
    The word is “care” not kare. There are two t’s in the word cutting. Alot is not a word. You could say “things cost a lot” but alot?
    Your ideas regarding recompense for services provided are childish. When you convey them with the grammar and spelling of a child it only emphasizes my point. And I mean that alot.

  251. dale September 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Doctors should make no more than 2,000 dollars a month, nurses no more than 1,000 dollars month. You don’t like it ? go work somewhere else, no one is forcing you to work at those pay levels.
    —————————-
    ….and they would go work somewhere else, in mass. Trust me on this, you wouldn’t want anything to do with being a doctor or a nurse at three times that salary. Our health care problem isn’t based on over paid doctors, insisting it is just demonstrates, I’m afraid, you have no idea what you are talking about.

  252. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    “you lump me in with an idealogue savant with a flair for the socialist workers paradise lost?”
    I lump you in with Asoka whose flair is the verbatim download and pasting of long tracts that he imagines strongly support some view. (Maybe I should quote the US Constitution as rationale for a change in the charter of the Securities and Exchange Commission.)
    ” What exactly in my post even suggests idealogical compatibility with Asoka?
    Ideology? Nothing. It’s the methodology.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  253. Jaego Scorzne September 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    The lower chakras or “limbic system” is where the power if for 95% of human beings. Thus Race is where it’s at. Even if you deny my racial essentialism, no one can deny that culture is transmitted by families within a given race. Genes carry memes. Any attempt either by the goverment or by ideologues to change this will fail and just insure the destruction of the culture. Of course, this is what Marxists want. Their error is to think that they can create a viable culture from the top down. Real culture is an organic thing; it isn’t made or created, it grows over time. In other words, you can kill it but you can’t create it. A general principle: destruction is much easier and quicker than creation. It took Michaelangelo decades to paint the Sistine Chapel. Someone could destroy it in 10 minutes. A good analogy for what the Communists did to Russian and Eastern Europe.
    But of course Liberals and Marxists are just this type of fool. Hope springs eternal in the Leftist Breast. We are always just one revolution away from Utopia. And just one head start program away from making Black Kids equal to White and Asian kids in school. In fact, the billions wasted on Head Start and other such boondogles have had no influence at all on Black test scores-they remain abysmal as ever. Blacks are a much less intelligent race-it’s as simple as that. And they resent us for our superiority and wish to drag us down to their level. You obviously have no real experience with them or you would know this.

  254. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    “Jesus was just saying Ceasar is doing his state thing, give him his due, don’t provoke him… we are doing an alternative communism thing.”
    Wronnnnnng! Jesus was preparing his followers for eternal life. “Render unto Caesar…” meant deal with earthly toils and kings as you must. However, if you are interested in eternal life, in God’s kingdom, I will show you the way. His teachings had nothing to do with Communism as we have come to know the word.

  255. Jaego Scorzne September 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    Superficial as ever. Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world”. As Bishop Fulton Sheen said, Monks, like early Christains, share their worldly goods because they love each other. They don’t love each other because they share their goods.
    You, like all Marxists, put the cart before the horse. Consciousness creates the mode of production and distribution, not vice versa. Not primarily anyway.
    You disagree? Then send me some money because you love me. You love everyone, remember.
    You refuse? Then you are a hypocrite.

  256. asoka September 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    Q said: “I lump you in with Asoka whose flair is the verbatim download and pasting of long tracts”
    My posts are pithy, not pastes of long tracts.
    Scarborough/Palin 2012 (please let it be!)

  257. Jaego Scorzne September 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    He’s trying to drive Quiz Dik crazy with kare. Commendable.

  258. asoka September 11, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    JS said: “Consciousness creates the mode of production and distribution, not vice versa.”
    I actually agree with you on this point.
    As to your challenge… I have given away all my riches, and live in poverty, all I can share with you is my love.

  259. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    “His teachings had nothing to do with Communism as we have come to know the word.”
    ——————————
    This is rich … Zzz, of all people, is going to tell us about the teachings of Jesus H. Christ! BTW, you know what the H stands for don’t you? Same as in Barack H. Obama.
    I can picture it now … the cock crows three times … Peter denies Christ … Christ calls Peter a DOUCHE-BAG.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  260. asoka September 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    Q said: “Christ calls Peter a DOUCHE-BAG.”
    And then Peter, in puerile manner, calls Christ a fucktard moron.

  261. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    “My posts are pithy”
    ————————-
    You have a lisp … your posts are pissy.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  262. asoka September 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    zzzz said: “What a complete load of fucking clap-trap.”
    I don’t want to paste a long tract, so here is a Wikipedia cite:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-pacifism
    There is a long tradition of anarcho-pacifism, based on the teachings of Jesus H. Christ.

  263. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    “I can picture it now … the cock crows three times…”
    Hmmm? Cocks “crowing”. Wonder why out of the entire Bible, nancy-boy chose this one?

  264. asoka September 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    Q said: “You have a lisp”

  265. zzzzzz September 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    “There is a long tradition of anarcho-pacifism, based on the teachings of Jesus H. Christ.”
    There is probably a long tradition of those who meet daily to view re-runs of the Flintstones. Fine. Have at it. But don’t try and connect Flintstonians or anarcho-pacifists with the teachings of Christ.
    You like to use Christ like many do,assoka-the=producers, an ala carte idol from which to choose the banana cream pie and ignore the brussel sprouts. Nice try. A shallow try but a nice one.

  266. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    “I’m starting to ramble”
    ————————–
    Now that’s an understatement.
    Seriously, does anyone have any idea what the hell Damon is talking about?
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  267. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    To all readers,
    Have you ever heard a bigger shit-load of gobbledee gook than this post from Asoka?
    For Christ’s sake, just say what you believe! I’ll help ya:
    1. We should lay down all our weapons (and the rest of the world will play nicey nice with us).
    2. We should all chip in to care for our brothers (who are unable or indisposed to care for themselves).
    There! Was that so hard?
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  268. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    “I’d be open to expounding …..”
    ———————–
    No, pleeeze … whatever you do don’t expound. You’ve expounded quite enough … more than enough … waaaaay fucking more than enough.
    You sound like you used to be in one of those after-class-hours high school clubs. Let’s see, there was Chess Club, Glee Club, Future Nurses Club and ta dahyou were in the Future Secretaries of State Club.
    Seriously, as I read your doctoral dissertation, a string of ZZZZZZZs was floating out of my mouth and I nearly fell out of my chair.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  269. asoka September 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Q said: “We should…”
    I say “I support x, y or z,” for example, “I favor blanket amnesty for illegals,” instead of “we should.”
    To the relief of many I have zero power to affect decision-making and zero wealth (by choice).
    I have had to adapt to a militaristic world full of people who have been active military or have worked for “defense industries” paid for by my taxes.
    But I don’t believe for a minute that USA troops are “defending freedom” by killing people (many civilians) in countries which have not threatened the USA.

  270. Jaego Scorzne September 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    Who did you give your riches to? I don’t know if I believe this. How come you didn’t give me any? Because I’m White, right?
    I don’t want your love-I want your conversion to a higher level of understanding and being. It’s not your fault that you were born into a race of fuck ups. You took a low birth-bad karma-but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bright future. But you have to focus on yourself and not your race-they have no future per se. Only one in a hundred Blacks can discuss anything at all. They, as well as the rest of us, will be judged according to what we were given. To whom much is given, much is asked. Because you are higher than most of your brothers, more will be expected of you. As Andrew Jackson said to his family and servants on his death bed, “I will see all of you, Black and White, in Heaven.” The afterlife is where democracy begins. The Earth is a place of virtue only if supported by force. It cannot be otherwise-there are too many low types here for anything really good. It will be so until Humanity evolves. It may happen quickly-a mere fifty thousand years perhaps.

  271. asoka September 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Q said: “1. We should lay down all our weapons (and the rest of the world will play nicey nice with us).
    Translation: FEAR.
    Q said: “2. We should all chip in to care for our brothers (who are unable or indisposed to care for themselves).”
    Translation: GREED.

  272. alan_static September 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Excellent points Mr. Kunstler. Why can’t we have at least one person like you in office? Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders are maybe the closest we have yet.

  273. asoka September 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    zzzz said: “Nice try. A shallow try but a nice one.”
    Thank you. I am a shallow, simple person. I believe in peace and love.
    Instead of pasting a long tract, here is the link:
    http://www.jesuswalk.com/lessons/6_27-36.htm
    Luke 6:27-36

  274. budizwiser September 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Culture: the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization
    Corruptness: lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); use of a position of trust for dishonest gain
    Currently many of the institutions of governments at all levels, state, local and federal exhibit a culture that serves at best to ignore, or at worst, to expedite corruptness.
    Are there any elements of this perverted culture that can be turned back on its self? Are there weak links, or soft “targets” that can be identified and neutralized in one manner or another?
    What type of social mechanism exists for the reestablishment of the notion of shame or conscience? What types of personal detriments need be deployed to instill the concepts of fear or retribution in public officials?
    How does a political insurgency become manifest in an over-reaching oligarchy?

  275. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    “I wonder what you geniuses think now about Obama and his well-defined, well-defended health reform plan?”
    —————————-
    Bobster, you can’t be serious. You don’t think for a minute that anyone here actually gives two shits about Obama’s health plan, about peak oil, about the polution of White blood by the brown races, about Jews, fags and commies, about a global flu pandemic or about a total human die-off and extinction in the not-to-distant future??
    Nah! Get real! We’re here to see who can concoct the most brutal and scathing insult of a fellow commenter in hopes that he’ll slink off with his tail between his legs and just crawl under a rock and die.
    That’s what this blog is about, you fool.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  276. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    “all the coverage in the media then you knew before.”
    ————————
    Well I’ll be go to hell … another one. It’s “than” Dale! It’s fuckin THAN!!
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  277. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    “if I have to make only so much than why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for college?”
    —————————-
    Have you noticed that EIGHTM’s hot button topic is everybody else’s high wages? Ya know why? Because he makes $7.25 an hour (and isn’t even worth that paltry amount).
    Further, do you know why EIGHTM used “than” in the sentence above? Because his IQ is the same as his wage rate: 7.25.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  278. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    “There are two t’s in the word cutting.”
    ——————————-
    This is too funny … now I’ve got Zzz correcting people’s spelling.
    BTW, unless I’m giving EIGHTM too much credit, his use of the word “kare” may be intentional in the same sense as Kafka’s use of k in the title of his first novel, Amerika, which, according to one review, is a sneering take on “the land of plenty.” Thus, “kare” is a sneering take on health “care” in the US.
    But, as usual, this is not something that would have ocurred to Zzz.
    Thanks, however, for the heads-up on “alot.” I’ve seen this non-word so often I just assumed it was legit. Needless to say, I checked it out in hopes of catching Zzz in a blunder but was disappointed.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  279. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    “….and they would go work somewhere else, in mass.”
    ———————-
    That should be en masse, not in mass.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  280. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    “He’s trying to drive Quiz Dik crazy with kare. Commendable.”
    ———————–
    See my post today at 5:58 PM.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  281. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    “There is a long tradition of anarcho-pacifism, based on the teachings of Jesus H. Christ.”
    —————————-
    I make a little joke about Jesus having a middle initial and Asoka mindlessly copy’s and pastes it. The very point I’ve been making all along … all search-jockey, no thought.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  282. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    “defense industries” paid for by my taxes.
    —————————
    Assuming you have not been lying, you live in Canada or Country X … do you remit federal income tax to the US IRS? Are you required to prepare a US fed’l tax return?
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  283. asoka September 11, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    Q,
    I had to file a tax return and pay your salary for decades. Then I embraced voluntary poverty. Now I can live in whatever country I want and not pay taxes.
    http://www.nwtrcc.org/practical5.html
    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” –Emerson

  284. asoka September 11, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    Q,
    I had to file a tax return and pay your salary for decades. Then I embraced voluntary poverty. Now I can live in whatever country I want and not pay taxes.
    http://www.nwtrcc.org/practical5.html
    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” –Emerson

  285. asia September 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    Js
    check the latest/last page of last weeks JHK post!

  286. asia September 11, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    what about economies of scale?
    ‘ India, Russia and Cina ‘
    WHERE FOLKS MAKE 500$ TO 5000$ A YEAR?
    maybe thats why health care providers make less $$$
    far as i can tell Mds in usa dont quite have a monopoly on ‘the biz’ but the AMA has historically blocked everything from dentistry to psychiatry to chiropractic!
    I havent paid too much time thinking about health care reform as the drug companies, insurance companies etc have the gold
    remember the golden rule?
    he who has the gold makes the rule
    and accoring to a nurse i kow:
    AVOID GOING INTO A HOSPITAL AT ALMOST ANY COST!

  287. asia September 11, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    ‘mercenaries, police, prisons and the multitude of suppliers to all — will profit from the “brutal vetting” process.’
    lIKE ADNAN KASHOKI [?] or whomever..selling weapons to both sides?

  288. asia September 11, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    ‘Even Whites of differing traditons often can’t get along, just look at Quebec’
    actually it has to do with langauge..as part of my blood line hails from that area
    when the quebecouis moved to new england they didnt choose to speak english but were forced to…and walla…assimilated
    AND LOOK HOW THE USA IN THE NAME OF MULTI LIGUALISM IS SPLINTERING!

  289. asia September 11, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    Because of the power elite/ corporations!
    Rp was frozen out of the debates because he was placing 3rd and had he been in on TV debates might have won
    he would have removed US troops from all foriegn countries..where they have been since 1940?
    he would have secured the borders
    he would have damned the federal reserve..etcetcect
    banking/debt/military/prison complex

  290. Hobgoblin September 11, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    Hello strangers. Long-time listener, first-time caller. It seems like there used to be considerably more intelligent and even enlightening discourse here. But . . .

    Seriously, now it’s devolved into a virtual food fight between you folks half the time.

    Q. You are what an old acquaintance of mine called a “tweezer”. Why bother nitpicking typos unless YOU never make mistakes. Examples: “. . . have ocurred to Zzz” (need 2 c’s in that word). Or “. . . copy’s and pastes it. . .” (that should be “copies”)

    Really, we could all go to a proofreader’s forum for less tedium than you offer. What about going back to discussing The End Of The World As We (Knew) It?

    That’s all this time.

    Hob

  291. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 10:00 pm #

    “Even Whites of differing traditons …..and walla…assimilated”
    ————————-
    Your reply is not related to any comment of mine … maybe it was Jaego.
    As long as I’m here, however, be advised that the word is voila, not walla.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  292. Qshtik September 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    “I’m not sure if you were alive during cuban missile crisis but I suspect you were not?”
    ——————————–
    Well Gargle, you suspect wrong. Not only was I alive but I was a 2nd Lt in the USAF stationed in Duluth, MN …. not that that has anything to do with the price of tea in China.
    I was an “Accounting and Finance Officer” and for a period of time we were on high alert … even hanging out at the office till all hours of the night. I used to tell people my job was to guard the check writing machine.
    Myself, the Budget officer, and a few others used to joke around about the absurdity of us being attacked by the Cubans way up there in the freezing-ass north. We said “they can have the God-forsaken place.”
    I stood four feet from JFK about one month before he was killed. He landed at our Air Base, passed along a chainlink fence greeting all the military and civilian personnel, we on one side and he and his entourage on the other side, then stayed overnight in a hotel in downtown Duluth. I don’t even remember what the purpose of his trip was.
    But all this is just me reminiscing. It has nothing to do with your contention that the military plotted his assassination which, as I said before, makes you a Grand Conspiracy Crackpot in my humble opinion.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  293. asia September 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    again you are right!

  294. asoka September 12, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    Q said: “my job was to guard the check writing machine. Myself, the Budget officer, and a few others used to joke around about the absurdity of us being attacked.”
    You and hundreds of thousands of other government paid military slackers who have wasted time at desks, in an organization dedicated to destruction.
    The USA military is the largest and most wasteful government run program in human history (a corporate welfare program to build death machinery and fund mercenaries). Its purpose is to train killers and destroy infrastructure, while disguising its activities with euphemisms like “patriotism,” “duty,” “freedom,” “service,” “defense,” etc.

  295. asia September 12, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    yes..you are right

  296. eightm September 12, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    Itis KARE like in AMERIKA.
    Why does health kare cost so much ? because doctors and nurses and all others who work in it and around it make too much money. Doctors should make no more than 2,000 dollars a month, nurses no more than 1,000 dollars month. You don’t like it ? go work somewhere else, no one is forcing you to work at those pay levels. Many compare US health to other country’s “socialistic” health, but other countries like Brazil, India, Russia and Cina have nurses at 200 dollars a month and doctors at no more than 1,000 dollars a month.
    So then export the sick US citizens to these countries, and import these doctors and nurses from these poor countries. They did it with IT, they got guys from India in IT and high tech at cheap prices so.
    US health kare is a systems problem, it is the entire system with all the actors involved that make it expensive : the doctor would say if I have to make only so much than why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for college ? So the college professor shouldn’t make so much money either, etc.
    A systems wide problem, with a pay BUBBLE, a new economic bubble in the form of absurd pays given to everyone. The US pay scale is outside the international norm.
    Also the US health kare is cutting edge, all the new toys and machines must be bought, but they cost alot because the high tech companies make them cost alot becasue the engineers there make alot of money. Also the drug companies have high payed people in research etc. So all these high pay levels must be payed by someone else, hence high health kare costs. A systems wide problem, also the US is always chasing innovation, new procedures, machines, drugs etc. more money, more research, in Europe or Brazil or Mexico there is much less cutting edge and research, hence much cheaper.
    It is inevitable that as a country becomes rich, inequality increases, this is not either good or bad, it is just the way things work. So in the long run you will have 2 social classes, those that have McMansions and 6 figure incomes and health kare and those that don’t. So the USA will end up with about 50 million rich people and 250 million poor, excluded people, but this is OK, it is the play of forces that creates this.
    Cut the wages of doctors, dentists and lawyers, create a class warfare of poor against rich, and maybe something will change for the poor. It is always someone wins and someone loses, there is no model, it is always just a fight.

  297. eightm September 12, 2009 at 5:27 am #

    Actually I take that back: the number of poor will increase up to the point where it is large but still always a minority, so the rich – middle class can still protect their status quo with the “democratic” process always making their protectors get elected.
    It is always a barrier to entrance, high rents, high costs of housing, high costs of health kare, high kollege costs, always a barrier to allow the rich – middle class constant access because of their wage levels, and constant exclusion of the lower classes. But they deserve it because of their “work ethik”, they are special, they “worked hard”, etc.
    All western societies USA, EU and JAPAN are similar and these things are even worse in EU and JAPAN. Barrier to entrance, minimum wages, high rents, etc.

  298. damon September 12, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    Hobgoblin: I concur. Appears to be a blusterfuck* (a word I just concocted, but, of course it’s already in the urban dictionary.)
    This is an ironic microcosmic reflection of the whole. Ironic because despite the commonality — Kunstler’s worldview as input — and the dire future it portends, many are engaged in entertainment rather than constructive problem solving. To paraphrase Qshtik, any effort to foster constructive dialog on this blog obviously indicates a profound naiveté … kind of like the “cheez doodles and monster truck” crowd. So, to quote the host: “can the public shift its attention from these infantile preoccupations to saving its own ass?”
    Probably not.
    Though there are some thoughtful attempts, like budizwiser comment re culture, corruption, and associated questions.
    *here are other random thoughts
    – I thought I’d call it intellectual pornography, but realized that would be giving it too much credit. (plus, there’s a site by that name.)
    – I thought it might be (multiple alternate personae of) our gracious host, stirring the mix to see what develops.
    asia: Who will profit? Yes, any competent defense/security/prison industry player, across the spectrum (materiel, services, personnel; mfg, sales, logistics, training, service…). In fact, this is probably one of the better sectors for long-term investments, provided you don’t mind the other implications. If you’re concerned about the home country stability, choose large transnationals, though it won’t help if/when the whole systems ODs on death & destruction.
    Qshtik: Nope – no after-class-hours high school clubs… I was in graduate-level course at 18 — synthetic organic chemistry. I ultimately took a different path, though, working in several diverse engineering disciplines, as individual contributor & as management, at Intel for more than 2 decades.
    PS – Thanks for the CV. I can relate, though it was my father in USAF (@ SAC HQ in Omaha during the missile crisis). What the hell… We also lived in 3 other countries (e.g., in Turkey in ’67 when the Middle East shit hit the fan) and several states…
    Qshtik, asoka: I admit, I enjoyed this exchange…
    Q – “Christ calls Peter a DOUCHE-BAG.”
    a – “And then Peter, in puerile manner, calls Christ a fucktard moron.”
    Jaego S: (It’s probably useless, but) you’re mixing some factual words (even phrases) and junk to produce pseudo-intelligent drivel. The limbic system is essential, no doubt — for autonomous functions, including emotions. I’d encourage you to exercise your frontal lobe, which will afford some self-control and allow you to use reasoning. This amazing potential, when properly utilized, will help you distinguish between genes & memes. You can even use it to protect yourself from dangerous memes, despite your genetic heritage. Good luck!

  299. lancemfoster September 12, 2009 at 8:55 am #


    When I say that you can judge the quality of a society by the way it takes care of its weakest, many if not most Americans will immediately think of the word “socialism”, even as they don’t know what it means. But it’s not about partisan political choices, about freedom, or the pursuit of happiness, or about big government. It’s very simply about minimum requirements for a functional society, period. You can’t have tens of millions of people being unemployed and/or living below the poverty line for extended lengths of time without resorting to oppressive measures of physical force aimed at keeping down those who have landed in your gutters. And if you would choose that option, one that many Americans would, knowingly or not, support, then freedom takes on the meaning of “the freedom to repress others”, or even “the freedom to repress whoever you can”, and down the line, as the single logical outcome, Orwell’s “some animals are more equal than others”.
    While elements of this notion may seem to have much appeal to many of those who remain standing for now, don’t be fooled. Unless you want to see soldiers and tanks overflowing your neighborhoods, not providing for your weakest is not an option. And no, you won’t feel just as happy about your life, and that of your families, if and when on your way to work you’re forced to pass by children starving by the side of the road while clasping a shotgun in your lap. A functioning society, whatever political label you might prefer to stick on it, is possible only when its members manage to suppress the temptation to take so much for themselves that too little to survive is left for their neighbors.”
    http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-11-2009-through-prism-of.html

  300. messianicdruid September 12, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Hobgoblin asked, “Really, we could all go to a proofreader’s forum for less tedium than you offer. What about going back to discussing The End Of The World As We (Knew) It?”
    It’s known as “staining out gnats, and swallowing camels”
    .
    “This is a very typical strategy of the left, and its purpose is to deflect attention away from the real crisis at hand, and focus attention upon typos, other candidates not elected, and technicalities that change absolutely nothing about the story or the only question of concern, why two different certificates and why omit the reference to constitutional eligibility regarding a candidate who clearly does not meet those requirements?”
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/14583

  301. messianicdruid September 12, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    It’s the price one pays for not using the preview function {straining}. lol

  302. eightm September 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    You guys blatter on about alot of crap, ideology, “socialistic” health kare, “freeloaders”, “work ethik”, etc. But never really zero in on the important questions: why does it cost so much ? How was the USA health kare in 1965 ? was it socialistic ? was it a free ride ? why did it become a clusterfuck after 40 years ?
    Maybe because:
    1) demographics, there are many more older people now, then in 1965, they need more health kare;
    2) population, there are now almost twice as many people than in 1965 in the USA;
    3) pay ranges, price ranges; too many people are being paid too much, itemize exactly what they cost, what they do, exactly why does nurse A have to cost so much, doctor B so much, insurance C so much ? why so much bureacracy in health insurance ? why do hospital rooms cost so much ? why such a high rent ? aren’t the doctors scientists ? don’t they know how to really analyze each cost item and really justify the prices ?
    So alot of people along the line must start making less money, or health kare must be furnished only to the richest.
    But there are way too many particular interests that must be protected, alot of odd freeloaders, or alot of people making too much money for what service they deliver.

  303. Qshtik September 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    “Why bother nitpicking typos unless YOU never make mistakes.”
    —————————-
    Ya see Hob, all my mistakes are just typos while everybody else’s mistakes are the result of ignorance … that’s the key distinction. ;-)
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  304. damon September 12, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    lancemfoster: thanks for the link.
    If you haven’t yet, please read my original post:
    http://kunstler.com/blog/2009/09/-one-national-moment-of-nausea.html#comment-4651
    It’s consistent with this view, though I used the “health care” feint to highlight the mechanism of deception and control. I do explicitly identify the whole corrupt financial system, from the Fed on down, including the financial racket some incorrectly call “health care” as being one of the systems used by the plutocratic/kleptocratic elite. But I agree with Kim’s assessment, it’s a global phenomenon, so I should have said “from the BIS on down”; plus, it is the underlying framework for the whole corrupt enterprise.
    As indicated in my post, I think we’re in the endgame, facing almost unthinkable consequences; therefore, few are really thinking. It’s kind of a societal cognitive dissonance, or maybe you could say an existential dissonance, soon to be resolved by what someone referred to as a “brutal vetting”; I wrote in one of my other posts: ironically, that’s probably the only big bubble left to exploit… i.e., I’m sure the dissipated kleptocracy will even make a profit on the impending societal collapse, though it may not matter for long.
    There’s probably not much chance of avoiding it. If there is any chance at all, it will involve some form of honest, intelligent effort. This is a quite foreign, even repugnant, concept to many, but surely more palatable than many highly probable alternatives.

  305. Qshtik September 12, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    “why does it cost so much?”
    ————————-
    8M, God knows, I absolutely hate agreeing with anything that comes from the keyboard of Zzz but I am forced to completely concur with him that your understanding of even rudimentary economics is childish and naive.
    Your notion that doctors should make 2X dollars per month and nurses should make X dollars per month, because that’s what they make in China or wherever is so laughable that I don’t even know where to begin a refutation.
    You need to acquire a basic understanding of the “law of supply and demand.” Find a book titled Econ 101 ,,, in fact, see if there is a book titled Econ “01” and start with that. Read and study for maybe a year and then, perhaps, we can resume this conversation.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  306. Qshtik September 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    “I was in graduate-level course at 18 — synthetic organic chemistry. I ultimately took a different path, though, working in several diverse engineering disciplines”
    ——————————
    You would be best off sticking with the sciences where, at least, you know that 2 + 2 = 4. The world of Political Science with all its bullshit labels and bullshit opinions is just so much .. well .. bullshit!
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  307. damon September 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    messianicdruid: for a moment, hope; then it’s dashed against the jagged rocks of reality. You actually identify a critical topic, pregnant with possibility, then abort the nascent dialog with a petty partisan jab. Finally, you serve up a fetid, steaming pile of crap — an example of the dangerous memes mentioned to Jaego S — expecting full well to poison any critical thought.
    If you’d actually accept constructive feedback, read on.
    I have several thoughts regarding “straining camels”…
    (A) Whether intentional or not, the fundamental problem with this statement, and independent from (B), is that it can easily be understood to mean: “of course, you must still swallow MY gnat-infested camel in any event…”. I recognize that the converse can be said of my response, and, if so inclined, the conversation disintegrates in a gainsaying death spiral.
    The point is, if you want to make progress, built upon trust, shared concerns, etc., first you need to engage. You need to deal with religious issues, yes, openly and honestly and realistically. If your position on someone’s brand of theism is the first, and maybe even only, criterion, then put that camel on the table, unadorned.
    Despite the many relevant historical examples of the horrors this criterion can cause, let’s continue to address the camel…
    (B) Ignoring the faith-based virus (or bug) in the program, I agree with the essence: “…hypocrites! … But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides!…”
    Even then, some interpretations ignore the key word — “hypocrite” — and, ironically, focus more on the minutia — i.e., “can`t see the forest for the trees” meaning, or even “blind guide”. Which one is most important? Priority? … If you ignore hypocrisy are you accepting malice? Does intent matter? What’s more dangerous: well-intentioned blindness or clear-eyed fraud; can you accept either? Clearly (to me, at least), any solution must address hypocrisy, justice, and mercy… honestly. This will be difficult; but, is it even compatible with one petty, myopic, arbitrary & absolutist theocratic faith, let alone more than one faith?
    OK, “we agree”, now what?
    1) change – actually address issues? or
    2) no change – equivocate, prevaricate, tergiversate…
    (considerations for each in following quick notes…)
    1) novel response; expensive; risky?
    what are the issues? which are important? urgent? solvable? what’s the “computational complexity” or cost? specific process? consequences? constraints? how do we adjust to the new reality? how to prevent usurpation/corruption? moderate “winners”? deal with “losers”?
    e.g.,
    what’s ethical? goal? good/bad/acceptable, priorities? means/end?
    how to elucidate/enumerate/recognize/identify;
    how to quantify/assess/rank/prioritize;
    how to solve/fix/patch/ameliorate/address/reconcile/disposition… repeat
    oops! This is going to be difficult & hurt. Maybe we stuff it back in the box…
    2) status quo response; expensive; risky!?
    Following are real, if somewhat satirical, representations of some situations I found associating with the camel on the web:
    – “bait & switch tactic #1″: OK, we agree. Now that we have your attention, here’s a wonderful camel to swallow. It may even help with the merciless indigestion you’re suffering… What? You said injustice? Well, it might help there, too. (no promises) Let’s sing some hymns and pray.
    – “bait & switch tactic #2″: OK – agreed. Music and Clothing really are trivial issues, so we’ll stop harping on these silly topics and focus on Legalized Gambling, which will destroy us all. (What? You said something about injustice caused by our War on Drugs? You’re damn right we’ll bring those subhuman scum to justice — may they rot in hell, if there’s any thing left of ‘em.) Let’s sing some hymns and pray.
    …OK, but aren’t there any bigger camels?…

  308. damon September 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    You’re right. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “unified theory” of social/economic/political systems & behavior? …

  309. Qshtik September 12, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    “I had to file a tax return and pay your salary for decades. Then I embraced voluntary poverty.”
    ——————————-
    In every post you’ve made over the past several months since I came aboard at this blog you’ve painted yourself as a goody-two-shoes pacifist and champion of your downtrodden fellow man. You included a link in your post (which I reviewed) that gave detailed instructions for reducing ones reported income (legally) to the point where zero taxes would be due. Your posts imply that you have done exactly that so the US Govt would receive zero dollars in support of its “war machine” from you.
    Simultaneously, in your posts, you speak of your support for “big government” in all its forms (except “defense”) and specifically health care and education for anyone within our borders, legally or illegally. You also support the “bailouts” and gleefully report statistics that you believe show they are working.
    But, in the process of cutting off support for “defense” (via your self-imposed “poverty”) you have also cut off support for the balance of “big government” and, in particular, your downtrodden fellow man.
    I googled a pie chart of FY 2008 US Federal Spending. Its six slices were as follows:
    Defense 21%
    Social Security 21%
    Medicare/Medicade 23%
    Other Discretionary 17%
    Other Mandatory 10%
    Interest 8%
    So, by avoiding any support for the 21% Defense expenditures you have simultaneously avoided any support for your fellow man: arguably a figure ranging from 44% (SS + M/M) to 79% of the total budget.
    THREE CHEERS FOR THE CHAMPION OF THE DOWNTRODDEN!
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  310. asoka September 13, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    Q,
    Your figures are a little low. Instead of 21% it should be 51% including continuing costs of past wars to the cost of current wars for discretionary budgets (taxes paid April 15, excluding trust funds).
    http://www.warresisters.org/node/642
    “Each year War Resisters League analyzes federal funds outlays as presented in detailed tables in “Analytical Perspectives” of the Budget of the United States Government.
    Our analysis is based on federal funds, which
    do not include trust funds — such as Social Security — that are raised separately from income taxes for specific purposes. What you pay (or don’t pay) by April 15,2009, goes to the federal funds portion of the budget.
    The pie chart here highlights 51% average annual
    military spending based on our research over 20
    years.”

  311. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 12:13 am #

    Damon,
    I gave your exceptionally long winded 10:25 PM post a quick scan. Your’s is the first and only post that I have not read from beginning to end. If you can’t get someone like me to read it I guarantee you can forget about the rest of the audience including your addressee, the Messiah.
    I can tell that you see yourself as a good citizen who is playing his part in resolving the world’s ills via participation in a dialogue. What I see, however, is a contribution so infinitesimally small, if not entirely non-existent, that it is literally not worth the energy expended in making all those key strokes. I do not say this in my usual ball-busting mode but as an honest observation … a reality check for you.
    Imagine that the ocean represents all the world’s ills. The ocean is five or ten miles deep and you would like to raise its level just one inch. You walk out on a pier and toss in a pebble (namely, your posts) and stare at the water. What happens (Q asks rhetorically)? ……
    My message is the same for Asoka: To the degree that one can believe what he writes, he has had a vasectomy and foregone the joys of children and family to restrict the drain on the resources of mother earth; he has adopted a vegetarian, vegan or fruitarian diet; he has emigrated from his homeland; he has reduced his income to poverty level. And he has done all these things under the delusion that he is helping mankind and the earth, if not the entire universe.
    My message to Asoka is that the earth and the universe are oblivious to his efforts and his very existence and that in a very few short years he will be either pushing up daisies or his ashes will be residing in a coffee can in some dark basement. He will be forgotten in 5 years, if not 5 minutes. The first second of non-life will be identical to a thousand years, a million years or even a trillion eternities.
    While there’s still a little time on the clock the two of you need to get a grip.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  312. Jaego Scorzne September 13, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    Why does it cost so much? Two main reasons one intrinsic and one historical. Intrinsically, health care is very labor intensive. Secondly, it takes alot of time and money to train doctors-these people go through hell to get there and they expect to be compensated well. And medical research involves the cream de la cream, these very brilliant people expect to be compensated even better. Nurses, orderlies, cleaners, management-there’s alot of overhead to keeping the herr doctors in business.
    The historical reason is inflation. The American currency has been debased-the situation is very bad and getting rapidly worse. When we were sold out in 1913, this country was put on a timer with a death date within a hundred years. Time is almost up. Soon there will not be money for anything-goverment, police, fire fighting, you name it. Trash will rot in the streets and rats will multiply. Get a terrier.
    So that’s what’s different now as opposed to a few decades ago. And of course, idealism has died and everyone is in it for the money. But most always were and doctors were always paid well so I don’t think that is a major reason. A third reason which is new and growing in importance is the cost of malpractice insurance for doctors. We are a much more litigious society than we used to be and I’m sure they pass the cost onto us. A group of hospitals in Michigan is trying a new policy: actually apologizing and compensating obvious cases of malpractice. The net long term result seems to be a gain for both patients and hospitals-the losers are the lawyers. Cry me a river.

  313. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 12:30 am #

    “Your figures are a little low.”
    ——————————
    They are not my figures. I told you where I got them. Regardless, the figures are not particularly relevant. If I accept your 51% number you are still leaving your fellow man in the lurch by 49%.
    Another three cheers for the champion of the downtrodden!
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  314. asoka September 13, 2009 at 12:35 am #

    Q said: “My message to Asoka is that the earth and the universe are oblivious to his efforts ”
    Oh, all knowing one, might you be the Messiah?
    Q, you don’t know shit about how the universe reacts to my efforts.

  315. asoka September 13, 2009 at 12:39 am #

    Q said: “If I accept your 51% number you are still leaving your fellow man in the lurch by 49%.”
    Are you not voluntarily paying your taxes? You are covering the 49%. You are the goody two shoes.

  316. Jaego Scorzne September 13, 2009 at 12:47 am #

    You build castles in the air which no one can live in. They are too high and people live on the Earth. It doesn’t matter how smart you are-and you may be. Jean Paul Sartre was one of the last people to recognize the evil nature of the Soviet Union. Why? Because he was so smart that he never looked at what was actually going on. He lived in his mind just like you do. Even after his belated awakening, he had little embarasment-this kind of person usually has a huge ego which always excuses them to themselves. Sound familiar?
    Blacks in South Africa has threatened World War 3 if Semyana is excluded from international competition. It is clear now that “she” is a hermaphrodite, more male than female with internal testes and XY chromosones. They knew this months ago but tried to bull their way thru. Pathetic if it means that much to them- if their country needs this for their self esteem. And as if Blacks have anything to prove on the athletic field. So now they screech “racism”-the magic word that has always given them everything. And why not-it gave them South Africa and its incredible riches. Whites have always capitulated within living memory. Until Whites cease to capitulate, Blacks will not cease their bullying bullshit. It’s too late for Africa and much of America however-they’ve fallen to Black Barbarism. They will revive to something better, but it will be at the hands of the Chinese, Muslims, or even Mexicans.
    At least we can be grateful that the Whites didn’t leave them any nuclear weapons-which apparently South Africa had at one point. As for their behavior, they prove my point as to why Blacks are not the stuff civilizations are made of, but are in fact the destroyers of those. And as to your inability to recognize any of this, it just means you are a high IQ retard much like Jean Paul Sartre.

  317. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    How could I forget Jaego? My message applies to Jaego as well.
    The contamination of your precious white blood will proceed (or not proceed) despite your endless screeds ……. and then you will pass away.
    Go enjoy a rap concert. I hear that Jay Z is still the man.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  318. Jaego Scorzne September 13, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    As to what you actually said, I disagree. But I have been thinking about the survival value of acorns. An acre or two of Oak trees might provide enough protein to live on-if supplemented by carbohydrates. The “Native Americans” (they weren’t Americans) ate alot of them in some places. There are signs of heavy fighting near the oak groves in ancient California. Hunter gatherers usually don’t fight so intensively, but apparently they will if they have such a vauluable stationary resource-the oaks!

  319. Jaego Scorzne September 13, 2009 at 1:01 am #

    Go to Hell, little man.

  320. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    “Are you not voluntarily paying your taxes? You are covering the 49%. You are the goody two shoes.”
    ————————–
    I am paying 100% of whatever appears on the Tax Due line because to do so is the path of least resistance. It has nothing to do with love or hate of the military or of my fellow man.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  321. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 1:10 am #

    “Go to Hell, little man.”
    ————————–
    I win the prize. I have induced the shortest post that Jaego has ever written. I have caused him to be virtually speechless … and this is a good thing.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  322. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 1:17 am #

    “Q, you don’t know shit about how the universe reacts to my efforts.”
    —————————
    To paraphrase George Carlin: The earth will shake off mankind like a bad case of fleas.
    Asoka, I think your greatest fear is that what I have said is true.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  323. abbeysbooks September 13, 2009 at 1:31 am #

    Disregard those who think you are a conspiracy nut, you are correct. gore Vidal wrote about this military coup many many years ago.
    You are in good company.

  324. damon September 13, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    Q: Maybe it was the more abrasive style, which I usually try to contain? At least you tried — thanks for the honest observation.
    Yes, my preference is to at least try the uniquely human solution of reasoning. I accept the overwhelming futility of my (and most) efforts, don’t need some vague emotional validation, but am imbibing through this interesting opportunity.
    In the vanishingly improbable event I impact the big picture, I seriously doubt it will be due to good intentions, beliefs, karma, etc. Nor do I expect some magical linear response to my efforts.
    Finally, although generally I do agree with some of your 10:47 message to asoka — i.e., your critique is one of intellectual honesty — it’s ironic and poor form to quote those blatantly misleading data regarding Federal spending*… I know you’re better than this.
    *”Unified Budget” fraud, etc.; we can discuss if appropriate… did you review asoka’s data?

  325. asoka September 13, 2009 at 1:44 am #

    Q said: “Asoka, I think your greatest fear is that what I have said is true.”
    You can think whatever you like.
    You don’t know shit. You may be projecting your fear.
    My efforts have been toward saving Mother Earth by not procreating, by preventing resource depletion, preventing environmental degradation, and opposing organized violence and militarism.
    I don’t know whether any of my intentions/ actions have made a dime’s worth of difference, but I have absolutely no regrets about any of my decisions.
    I have renounced all attachment to the fruits of my actions.

  326. abbeysbooks September 13, 2009 at 2:08 am #

    So much of health care is prescribing pills.You look up the symptoms in the PDR and it tells you which drugs to prescribe. Or the drug detail man has taken you to lunch and left a lot of free trial size offers which you give to your patient and if P likes the result he or she can take your prescription to the pharma. Simple.
    Itisimportant to research your own problems before you go to the doctor. That way you can find out how competent she is.
    Most of it can be done by a physicians assistant. But no, the licensing bureau demands that a doctor sign everything. So she can get paid of course.

  327. abbeysbooks September 13, 2009 at 2:13 am #

    Well that sounds like a rant from an admirer of J.M. Coetze the South African Nobel Prize winning author. I believe the book for you by him is disgrace and yes with a small d. Trust me, you’ll like it.

  328. asoka September 13, 2009 at 2:27 am #

    abbeysbooks said: “It is important to research your own problems before you go to the doctor.”
    It is important to take preventative measures and responsibility for your own health… and stay as far away from doctors (and hospitals) as possible.
    See the article: “Why I Am A Conservative on Health Care Reform” by Dr. Andrew Weil
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/why-i-am-a-conservative-o_b_259869.html
    P.S. When I do go see a doctor I go to a Physician’s Assistant. She is always available sooner than the M.D. docs and she can prescribe, if necessary.

  329. asoka September 13, 2009 at 3:33 am #

    The Republicans cannot be trusted with military power. During Bush’s terms the USA was subject to a major terrorist attack on USA territory (NYC, Pentagon, Pennsylvania) because Bush did not read the briefings saying Bin Laden was determined to attack. Then Bush sent thousands of soldiers to die in the wrong country because he is friends with the Saudi dictatorship.
    The war was great business for Bush’s friends and for Cheney’s Halliburton (no bid contracts, trillions of dollars “misplaced” and outright theft and corruption, substandard work that electrocuted USA soldiers. Bush also left soldiers who were maimed to suffer in Walter Reed, neglected for months in substandard conditions.
    Bush also appointed incompetents to positions, like FEMA, and the problems from Katrina continue: http://tinyurl.com/ozenau
    Bush also gave away billions of dollars to banker friends in bank bailouts: http://tinyurl.com/r5huog
    leaving the country with record deficits and a bigger, bloated federal bureaucracy (e.g., Homeland Security)

  330. damon September 13, 2009 at 3:38 am #

    Jaego: Thank you for the honor you bestowed upon me, however unintentional. Though I disagree with Jean-Paul Sartre on some significant topics (e.g., he embraced communism), I do respect him as an influential thinker.
    Sadly, I do realize there is a Cult of Proud Ignorance spreading like a cancer in our society, adherents of which don’t even consider the broad implications of this malignant ideal. (e.g., technology? no high-energy weapons! back to clubs, stone tools… no blogs!) My views and pedantic expression, though not intended to impress, are incompatible with that group. So be it
    That said, I must tell you that your stated views on “race” are so rudimentary, ill-formed, and meritless that I should ignore you. Or play along with a caricature? I guess you exhibit behavior that, while dangerous, would be interesting to understand. Good luck!

  331. eightm September 13, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    Since computers and technology have automated away most jobs, since optimizations are getting rid of so many jobs, as a natural evolution of technology, the only other way to create jobs is to create great inefficiencies. So you get a hugely wasteful and bloated health kare system that employs millions, a bloated defense system that creates wars, etc. Many lawyers to create litigation cases, etc. All “make work” projects, work that isn’t there anymore and must be created through inefficiencies. Same with mass transit, you could satisfy most USA mobility needs with a few million buses, but you would eliminate millions of jobs that surround cars, etc.
    If technology ws really used to optimize and create a “shorter workday”, millions of more jobs would be lost for good, “structural unemployment” would be the norm, millions of people idle. But idle people would get nervous and beat each other up.
    What has also happened is that a deeper bottom has been created: it is not enough to work and make good money for “discretionary” spending, you have to create a deeper bottom: if you don’t or can’t work, you get no house (high rents), no health kare, etc.. A deeper bottom, more money just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  332. eightm September 13, 2009 at 4:04 am #

    Since computers and technology have automated away most jobs, since optimizations are getting rid of so many jobs, as a natural evolution of technology, the only other way to create jobs is to create great inefficiencies. So you get a hugely wasteful and bloated health kare system that employs millions, a bloated defense system that creates wars, etc. Many lawyers to create litigation cases, etc. All “make work” projects, work that isn’t there anymore and must be created through inefficiencies. Same with mass transit, you could satisfy most USA mobility needs with a few million buses, but you would eliminate millions of jobs that surround cars, etc.
    If technology ws really used to optimize and create a “shorter workday”, millions of more jobs would be lost for good, “structural unemployment” would be the norm, millions of people idle. But idle people would get nervous and beat each other up.
    What has also happened is that a deeper bottom has been created: it is not enough to work and make good money for “discretionary” spending, you have to create a deeper bottom: if you don’t or can’t work, you get no house (high rents), no health kare, etc.. A deeper bottom, more money just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  333. damon September 13, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    Yes, read Gore Vidal! He explains creation of the National Security State with the 1947 National Security Act, and the Truman administration’s decision to “scare hell out of the American people” to sell this policy of perpetual belligerence. It was a silent coup d’état to ensure the illusion of continuing “prosperity”: ultimately unsustainable military spending, in support of belligerent foreign policy, with the predictable foreign response validating the military necessity… this glosses over some detail, but you can see how the cycle works.
    And work it has, to the point that we’re insolvent; we’ve even stolen all our retirement funds, maxed out our honest credit at home and abroad, and now we’re continuing it on … the Pure Fucking Magic of Quantitative Easing, i.e., money created ex nihilo, out of nothing. And, yeah, they’re acting like it doesn’t matter any more, ‘cuz it doesn’t.
    I’m dead serious and our system is just plain dead. It just hasn’t stopped twitching yet. Oh, and this doesn’t even touch on the extremely large unfunded obligations, aka off-balance sheet liabilities (SS, Medicare, misc pensions…promises) of MORE THAN $50 TRILLION (really) that the US tax payer in on the hook for. And you know we’re going to default on this whole mess, which includes foreign debt of ~$2.3 Trillion now…
    …Yes, this will make many people (and sovereign states) quite upset. Not that we haven’t already pissed off enough of our global neighbors. Oh, there is much more to this story, like a fraudulent derivatives nightmare >10x bigger, and what happens to us when we can’t buy foreign oil with our worthless currency…
    To be continued? (note: Vidal doesn’t deal with the financial details, but he’s still a great source…)

  334. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    “My efforts have been toward saving Mother Earth by not procreating, by preventing resource depletion, preventing environmental degradation…”
    If you feel these actions have in some way benefitted “mother earth” and you are truly convinced that benefitting “mother earth” is the highest ideal then you owe it to yourself and to “mother earth” to kill yourself. Immediately. Your part in resource depletion and environmental degradation would cease to be an issue. Except for your rotting corpse. That could probably contaminate the Northern Hemisphere. Ah fuck it. Go for it. The occupants of the Northern Hemisphere will take their chances.

  335. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Oh and Asoka-the-producers? Do us a little favor. when you take yourself out, make certain squished-dik is sitting on your lap. Kay?

  336. asoka September 13, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    zzzz,
    Thank you for your suggestion. I have to congratulate you on your perception and your correct presentation of the problem. This is exactly the problem I considered and resolved in 1969-1970.
    Indeed, whether to commit suicide is THE fundamental philosophical question, as it determines whether any other philosophical problems are considered.
    Life has no meaning. So, why not commit suicide?
    This is exactly the problem addressed by Camus in his book, MYTH OF SISYPHUS. Without giving anything away, let’s just say that we can accept and live in a world devoid of meaning or purpose. And, based upon my own experience, we can enjoy it!

  337. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    “And, based upon my own experience, we can enjoy it!”
    Sure, as long as someone else is paying the bill. ;>}

  338. asoka September 13, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    zzzzzz said: “Sure, as long as someone else is paying the bill. ;>}”
    The social science research being done on happiness indicates that happiness is correlated with material well being up to a point of having fundamental physical needs met (the survival needs on Maslow’s scale). After that increased wealth does not lead to increased happiness.
    I worked and paid into the system for over 40 years. I paid for my own bill.
    My happiness is related more to my voluntary poverty and intentional choice of a simple lifestyle than to wealth.
    Once again, I thank you for bringing up these important issues.

  339. messianicdruid September 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    “This is an ironic microcosmic reflection of the whole…many are engaged in entertainment rather than constructive problem solving…”
    I apologize for the believers. We have so poorly represented the message that most thinking people consider it “religious BS”. We have set up idols {false images [man-made versions] of God} in our hearts. We have insisted that others worship our idol, or suffer our idol’s wrath for eternity. Thus, we were/are found to be false witnesses.
    The reference to gnats and camels was to illustrate that both are unclean, not that we should prefer the larger, and perhaps more elegantly prepared and presented, meal.
    Men’s hearts {minds} are failing them for fear of what is coming upon the earth. Because churchianity has set aside God’s Law, at the insistence of unbelievers {who have their own idols}, there is no accountability for wickedness. And my people love to have it so. We have sown to the wind, and we shall reap a whirlwind.
    It is not within man that walketh to direct his own steps. That is to say, if you are engaged in men’s doctrines {religious, secular, political, economic, etc.} you are serving or eating unclean food. Some insist on nothing else. Those that are unaware, are unaware of being unaware. Forgive them for they know not what they do.
    God has promised to save a remnant. They will have learned, first hand, what doesn’t work; which is the reason for what we are experiencing. People do not appreciate the good until having tasted the less good. The few who are not offended by these words {have been given ears to hear} will be blessed.
    Repentance is a revolution in thinking.
    http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.org/weblog/WebPosting.cfm?LogID=1363

  340. asoka September 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    messianicdruid said: “It is not within man that walketh to direct his own steps.”
    It is within man that walketh to direct his own steps… indeed, it is within man that walketh to begin dancing! Such is the fruit of spiritual practice.
    In my experience, as a result of my spiritual practice, life has become a dance… of continuing celebration… of gratefulness… for this very life that has been given, for the blessing of being a part of Gaia.
    Amen!… Rejoice!… and Dance!

  341. bahmi September 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    I hope folks take Damon very seriously. When you tune into the Drudge Report, heinous to Democrats, of course, you are struck with the picture of Obama trying to rally his forces against democracy by insisting any dissent is unAmerican, etc. Imagine, differ from the fucking Kingfish and you are automatically unAmerican…how fucking nice. Look at the most recent Israpundit issue, where the retired Army lawyer says “nothing wrong at all with Obama and his gang”. Did lots of bad things but innately, this silver tongued orator, vastly superior to Marcus Tullius Cicero, naturally, is a wonderful person and loves his country, etc. Anybody remember the memorable quote from Michele about “finally loving the country” since her hubby is now the Prez? It’s now a propaganda war between the Dems and rest of the country. Stand in Obama’s way, this fucking beacon of rectitude, and you are unAmerican. I talked with a retired government school teacher recently. Guess who he loves? “Oh, we’ve got to give him time, lots of time”….to fuck up this country? Here in Connecticut, we have a problem with Pratt and Whitney division of United Technologies. Costs are too high, they want to cut costs here or move to Georgia or out of the country. Unions will concede a bit, Pratt wants 20% labor cuts. Union balking. Governor will give 100 million dollars of tax breaks…wonder where these tax breaks will come from, who pays the diff? Too big to fail? Little pisspots like you and me can pay for the Pratt and Whitney union shop, we are stupid, right? Give ‘em the tax breaks, we will make up the diff from smokers, tax the living fuck out of ‘em, Obama will love you for it. That’s what this fucking country has come to. Tax the defenseless people, they are too stupid to resist. Just remember the Drudge picture of Obama making like Elmer Gantry. “How can you fucking dare to differ from me, your fucking Savior”? To all those who voted for this cretin, you have my deepest fucking sympathy.

  342. bahmi September 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    I hope folks take Damon very seriously. When you tune into the Drudge Report, heinous to Democrats, of course, you are struck with the picture of Obama trying to rally his forces against democracy by insisting any dissent is unAmerican, etc. Imagine, differ from the fucking Kingfish and you are automatically unAmerican…how fucking nice. Look at the most recent Israpundit issue, where the retired Army lawyer says “nothing wrong at all with Obama and his gang”. Did lots of bad things but innately, this silver tongued orator, vastly superior to Marcus Tullius Cicero, naturally, is a wonderful person and loves his country, etc. Anybody remember the memorable quote from Michele about “finally loving the country” since her hubby is now the Prez? It’s now a propaganda war between the Dems and rest of the country. Stand in Obama’s way, this fucking beacon of rectitude, and you are unAmerican. I talked with a retired government school teacher recently. Guess who he loves? “Oh, we’ve got to give him time, lots of time”….to fuck up this country? Here in Connecticut, we have a problem with Pratt and Whitney division of United Technologies. Costs are too high, they want to cut costs here or move to Georgia or out of the country. Unions will concede a bit, Pratt wants 20% labor cuts. Union balking. Governor will give 100 million dollars of tax breaks…wonder where these tax breaks will come from, who pays the diff? Too big to fail? Little pisspots like you and me can pay for the Pratt and Whitney union shop, we are stupid, right? Give ‘em the tax breaks, we will make up the diff from smokers, tax the living fuck out of ‘em, Obama will love you for it. That’s what this fucking country has come to. Tax the defenseless people, they are too stupid to resist. Just remember the Drudge picture of Obama making like Elmer Gantry. “How can you fucking dare to differ from me, your fucking Savior”? To all those who voted for this cretin, you have my deepest fucking sympathy.

  343. asoka September 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    bahmi asks: “Anybody remember the memorable quote from Michele about “finally loving the country” since her hubby is now the Prez? ”
    Since you are using quotation marks, it would behoove you to be accurate in your quotation. Michelle said no such thing and you are distorting with your own propaganda.
    What Michelle said at a Milwaukee campaign rally in February 2008, is: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country”
    Michelle has always loved her country, the people who have struggled to make a more perfect union. She became proud of her country for many reasons, including for the country recognizing her husband for the “content of his character, not the color of his skin,” as Dr. King so eloquently said in his I Have a Dream Speech.
    Michelle became proud of her country, our country, for showing the world that in America, you can be anything you want to be – if you work hard enough – even if your name is Barack Hussein Obama.
    Michelle became proud of her country, our country, for showing black Americans that there is no excuse for failure; that all you should ask for is an opportunity, not a handout – and when you get it, to seize it and run with it.
    Michelle became proud of her country, our country, for being an example to her children that no dream is out of reach – that even a black man (or woman) – can be President of these United States, which was built largely on the backs of her slave ancestors.
    Michelle became proud of her country, our country, for coming together in times of economic and political crisis and showing the world that anything – ANYTHING – is possible in the United States of America. For, that is what we as a country are made of.
    Michelle became proud of her country, our country, for being willing to acknowledge that a change is needed, for what we’re doing is not working in Palestine, in Israel, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and many other places around the world. Her husband changed the Bush policy of not talking to terrorists.
    http://tinyurl.com/o8bjcd
    I’m not sure I agree with Michelle Obama. To call a black American “anti American” is an oxymoron.
    For how can you be loyal to a country that has never been loyal to you and has reigned down terror through lynchings and castrations? That is the terrorist America Michelle’s family grew up in… but through much struggle and many deaths during the civil rights movement, America changed, that is the America Michelle finally became proud of.

  344. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

    “The social science research being done on happiness indicates that happiness is correlated with material well being up to a point of having fundamental physical needs met (the survival needs on Maslow’s scale).”
    Hores-shit. Maslow’s pyramid was topped by self-actualization. For some this would be arriving at a materialistically wealthy state. Once again, numbnuts, different strokes for different folks. Back to square one.

  345. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    “For how can you be loyal to a country that has never been loyal to you and has reigned down terror through lynchings and castrations?”
    Hey, MORON,
    Millions put their life on the line to undo an unjust situation (slavery). They continued to right wrongs via the civil rights act. The progress continues which includes the election of our first African American President.
    According to your statement, you find it impossible for President Obama to by loyal to his country. You had better hope that he is a capable practitioner of loyalty or we have been duped and we have been screwed.
    Are you really this fucking stupid?

  346. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    “Michelle has always loved her country…”
    No she has not. From her own mouth she said, “For the FIRST TIME in my adult life…” That means that prior to that she did not love her country. They are her words. I take her at her word. When you say “Michelle has always loved her country…” those are YOUR words. Are you saying you know Michelle’s mind better than she? Who “da fuck you am?

  347. asoka September 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    zzzz wrote: “Maslow’s pyramid was topped by self-actualization. For some this would be arriving at a materialistically wealthy state.”
    “For some”?
    For some who have never read Maslow, perhaps.

  348. asoka September 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    zzzzz said: “That means that prior to that she did not love her country.”
    Her quote did not use the word love. Complete the quote instead of taking it out of context.
    You are making an interpretation she did not love her country (our country), but Michelle did not use the word love.
    Stick to what she said out of her own mouth: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country”

  349. asoka September 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Mr. zzzzz,
    There is no need to read Michelle’s mind to know whether she loves her country. She gave a speech, televised to the world, at the Democratic National Convention which was definitive.
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/08/and_this_is_why_i_love_my_coun.html

  350. asoka September 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    zzzzz,
    Parents tell me they love their children even when they commit actions of which the parents are not proud.
    Michelle has always loved her country, but she has not always been proud of some of its history: enslaving Blacks, denying the vote to Blacks, bombing churches and killing little Black girls. Those are things which make one not proud, even though the ideals in the constitution inspire love of one’s country, that all are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable right

  351. bahmi September 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    nice defense of this affirmative action woman. For exactly the same reasons, we all know why Colin Powell voted for Obama. Bill Cosby is a great spokesperson for people of color, not Obama and his wife. Nice try, asoka. Obviously, you favor Obama for all the right reasons. Obama will always continue to try and appeal to the downtrodden because he knows they are dumb fucks. He knows folks of his color will always vote for him because they also love the likes of Jeremiah Wright and Farrakhan….once you know you have 35 million votes down pat, you try to bullshit the other voters with an appeal to lofty ideals. Obama hates this country, he rips us on his overseas trips constantly. He’s a classic America hater, but obviously your interpretation is more correct, right? He’s our Fuhrer, right? How fucking dare we differ from the Messiah? thanks to our brain dead schools, our brain dead citizens find it easy to fall in love with this turncoat. Obama is a very vicious individual and he has malice in his mind. Of course, you have valid reasons why he and wifey chose Van Jones for the Green position, right? Where’s his explanation for choosing that idiot Jones? But, folks like you somehow have the ability to deny everything this moron does against this formerly great country. Like millions of citizens, someday you will realize this Obama severely damaged this country. What then? Another Dem who promises the minorities the world, fully knowing they are suckers for one of theirs. Both parties suck, W was a fool, this I admit. But, since when does this allow Obama a free pass to fuck up the country in his vision of a country only Marcus Garvey would like??

  352. asoka September 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    zzzzz said: “According to your statement, you find it impossible for President Obama to by loyal to his country.”
    Obama is not your typical Black American. You know, he has a white mother and a lily-white family in Republican Kansas with solid midwestern values.
    Of all the Black people in America to choose to be president, they had to find one without a slave heritage.

  353. suburbanempire September 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    more suburban commentary @
    http://www.suburbanempire.com

  354. asoka September 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    bahmi said: “Of course, you have valid reasons why he and wifey chose Van Jones for the Green position, right? Where’s his explanation for choosing that idiot Jones?”
    Doesn’t it qualify him that VanJones was an emcee at a horse show? No, wait, that was a Bush FEMA appointee…
    Let’s see…. Van Jones co-founded the Green for All, an organization dedicated to “building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.”
    Jones published a book titled “The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.”
    Jones is an environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney, and a communist. Jones founded the Ella Baker Center For Human Rights.
    Jones is highly educated, highly qualified, and wants to make the country a better place. None of that should disqualify him.

  355. asoka September 13, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

    bahmi said: “Of course, you have valid reasons why he and wifey chose Van Jones for the Green position, right? Where’s his explanation for choosing that idiot Jones?”
    Doesn’t it qualify him that VanJones was an emcee at a horse show? No, wait, that was a Bush FEMA appointee…
    Let’s see…. Van Jones co-founded the Green for All, an organization dedicated to “building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.”
    Jones published a book titled “The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.”
    Jones is an environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney, and a communist. Jones founded the Ella Baker Center For Human Rights.
    Jones is highly educated, highly qualified, and wants to make the country a better place. None of that should disqualify him.

  356. asoka September 13, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    I have just been assigned a special project and will be heavily into working for a while.
    It has been fun chatting with all of you. Good luck with your endeavors.
    This is not admission of a Qishtik victory… only announcement of an extended absence.
    Asoka delendus est.

  357. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    “For some who have never read Maslow, perhaps.”
    What the fuck are you talking about? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs addressed the fact that before higher levels of humanness could be reached, certain basics must be met. The pinnacle was “self actualization.” Since the word “self” is part of the description is goes without saying (or should but since you are too fucking stupid to get it, I’ll say it) that each will “actualize” according to their personal set of criteria. For some that would be the accumulation of wealth. For some, a vow of poverty. Like I said originally, you fucking idiot. different strokes for different folks. Now shut the fuck up because Maslow and myself are some long time running buddies and he told me you are an ignorant asshole.

  358. zzzzzz September 13, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    “I have just been assigned a special project and will be heavily into working for a while.”
    Holy shit. There’s a first, asoka-the-producers is going to work.
    “This is not admission of a Qishtik victory… only announcement of an extended absence.”
    A squish-dik victory? The only thing he has ever been victorious in is occasionally removing his head from his ass long enough to crap out some drivel on this post. See ya, asoka-the-producers. Wouldn’t wanna be you.

  359. Urban_Underclass September 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    Really, we could all go to a proofreader’s forum for less tedium than you offer.
    Well said!

  360. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    “I mean do people need complex operations every day, top machinery, super sugreons being paid millions a dollars?”
    —————————–
    To eightm
    No, not every day, but occasionally.
    In the past two weeks I’ve had three procedures done in preparation for an operation next Wednesday … blood work, chest xrays and an EKG. This involved three different facilities and expensive equipment in two of them.
    My co-pays thus far total $85. I will pay another $125 co-pay for the operation itself. I will be “put under” by an anesthesiologist. At least three commenters at this blog (Asoka, Jaego and Zzz) will be praying* that I never come out of it. Should that happen the really big costs begin when my wife launches a malpractice suit.
    *Asoka will be praying to “mother-earth.” Jaego will be praying to Josef Mengele and Zzz will be seeking the intercession of St. Peter, the douche-bag who ratted out Christ.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  361. asia September 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    Sorry ZZZZZZ!
    I just finished a college class in…Psych!
    greed PREVENTS Maslows version of self actualization
    ‘Maslow’s pyramid was topped by self-actualization. For some this would be arriving at a materialistically wealthy state’
    I disagree with maslow on some things but at least i know the material..got an A in the class

  362. damon September 13, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    messianicdruid: This behavior — “We have insisted that others worship our idol, or suffer our idol’s wrath for eternity” — is incompatible with vigorous, rational human society & liberty.
    Yes, I do understand…
    “The reference to gnats and camels was to illustrate that both are unclean, not that we should prefer the larger, and perhaps more elegantly prepared and presented, meal.”
    … obviously you did not understand my point, which I presented as a cynical allusion or satire.
    i.e., your sacred system, when forced on others, is an “unclean”, oppressive affront. thus, my satirical “of course, you must still swallow MY gnat-infested camel” (and my other camel references.)
    Lastly, we do each control our own steps/actions, but not the consequences. The big picture is more complex, but it doesn’t involve a “supernatural being”, itself an oxymoron.
    PS – suggestion: review my previous post in this light…

  363. damon September 13, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    asoka: I’m not sure, but it appears you may not understand your line “Asoka delendus est.”… This statement is an exhortation that “Asoka must be destroyed”
    Anyway, good luck with your project.

  364. asia September 13, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    JIM K
    one month yr ‘eyesore’ was the santa monica green parking garage!
    Well well well…due to one worker tightening one screw too tightly it stopped making energy
    FOR MONTHS…if ya want the info its buried away at
    fatspaniel.com
    and B:
    ‘Obama will always continue to try and appeal to the downtrodden because he knows they are dumb fucks.’
    gosh..yes his wife went to an ivy league and i heard an am jockey replaying her screaming like the demagogue she must be in a speech to ‘ the commoners’
    Jago..was it you who wrote here about college students yelling
    WE WANT GREEN JOBS! ?
    ASOK…green jobs are a fantasy…the eyesore i wrote about here cost like 20 million dollars
    the usa is broke
    and obama wants to ‘ give us’ health care…us and 30 million illegals he d give amnesty to!

  365. Mike Moskos September 13, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    Here’s an interesting healthcare proposal (from market-ticker.org):
    I am going to reprint and expand on my actual fix for Health Care, for the following reasons:
    It will work and control costs by dramatically increasing competition. Today, employed persons typically have one choice for insurance coverage. This plan will bring them dozens to hundreds of choices at competitive prices. You wouldn’t accept a system where there were a dozen stores but only one where you could shop because of the company you worked for, but if the grocery business had such restrictions a gallon of milk would cost $20, because the store you could buy from would know that you couldn’t go next door.
    It will end cost-shifting and cost-hiding, which is bankrupting millions of Americans and is the core problem underlying the imbalances in the system today.
    Finally, it will not increase the budget deficit one nickel.
    Here it is:
    If you sell “insurance” to anyone in a given state, you must accept all persons in that state on the same terms and at the same price. If an insurer has a “we accept anyone at the same price” policy for a business, you must be able to buy into their plan for the same amount of money that the employer is charged on a per-person basis. That is, all plans must be “open enrollment” for everyone within the state – period. This immediately gets rid of the “tie” between employment and health “insurance”, and it also removes one of the biggest issues that small business and self-employed people face – the inability to buy insurance at any reasonable price if there has ever been anything wrong with them medically. The solution to the “adverse selection” problem is identical to that which exists in corporations – you typically can only elect out or in of a policy or plan on an annual basis – that is, you’re obligated to participate for a full calendar year. Enforcing the same terms (you can only opt in during one month, and are obligated for the entire year) solves the problem of someone deciding to buy only when they get ill, as you would have to wait for the enrollment window to open. For acute conditions where adverse selection becomes most important this restriction resolves the problem. This also resolves the pre-existing condition problem that the self-employed have today.
    All health providers must publish a price list and may not bill or accept payment at anything other than that price; doing so becomes a violation of Robinson-Patman and exposes the provider to civil suit for treble damages. This instantly stops the practice of billing the uninsured or privately insured at a higher price than Medicare, for example – a practice that is rampant, particularly among hospitals. Every hospital has a detailed price list for every function and thing in their health care panoply – this enforces even billing and even pricing for everyone, without discrimination. The complaint that health providers cannot make a living at Medicare’s reimbursement rates does not give that provider license to cost shift the expense of government-subsidized care to privately-insured or uninsured patients. Everyone would raise hell if your car was three times as expensive if you worked for Ford than if you worked for GM, yet it is accepted that if you’re not insured by Kaiser (for example) your heart bypass surgery costs a different amount. If Medicare’s “price schedule” is inadequate the solution is for providers to refuse to provide the service at that price and thus negotiate for a higher price for that procedure, not cost-shift the care of older Americans onto younger. This is a more than $200 billion dollar a year rip-off of working-age Americans, it bankrupts the uninsured or those denied coverage after a health event, and it must be made explicitly unlawful.
    If you show up without insurance or ability to pay with a life-threatening condition, you will be treated, but the hospital cannot cost-shift the bill – it instead bills The Federal Government. We have created an expectation that if you show up needing emergency treatment you will get it, irrespective of ability to pay. This creates a monstrous problem for hospitals and results in the $30 aspirin, among other outrageous distortions. The solution is to have The Federal Government receive all uninsured and unpaid bills, with the debt being immediately paid by the government. Said debt then becomes a collection item against the citizen – a debt to the Treasury, administered by the Internal Revenue Service. If you cannot pay cash, that’s fine – the IRS will be happy to take payments (at interest.) If you’re an illegal alien the Federal Government will be mandated (by statute) to collect from the other nation, and if they refuse to pay, to deduct any such amount from foreign aid of any type and source on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
    We must reform the tort system. The trial lawyers will hate it. So what. The simplest proposal is this: you may sue only for gross negligence. If the wrong arm is amputated, you have a lawsuit. But we, as a society, must admit and accept that we call it practicing medicine, and by the very name – “practice” – we therefore admit and accept that outcomes will neither be perfect or predictable. But while we must accept that medicine is not a perfect science and outcomes cannot always be predicted, every person has a right to know their physician’s record. In exchange for this partial immunity from suits all outcomes and counts of procedures performed, by the patient’s own evaluation as to degree of success or failure, are to be published online in a searchable database for use by any person at any time in making medical decisions, and the intentional concealment or tampering with such reporting shall be made a felony. The patient’s evaluation shall be an absolutely protected form of speech.
    If you want a health care solution, there’s one that will work.
    Four points that will:
    Bring instant competition to the health care system, enabling citizens to choose between dozens if not hundreds of competing insurance plans for the precise same price that an employer pays to cover the same person were they working for that company.
    Allow you to keep your current plan and doctor if you wish. Since this does not tamper with any existing insurance program there is no impact for those who like their current health care plan. If your plan is particularly good, in fact, it is likely to get cheaper as more people join it.
    Stop the pre-existing condition problem dead in its tracks. No large or mid-sized employer accepts this in their plans. You shouldn’t have to either.
    Prevents illegal aliens and the uninsured from shifting their care onto your wallet. You’re free to be uninsured but you will get billed by the government if you need emergency care. Illegal aliens will get emergency care but the government of their citizenship will be billed. The day of the $30 aspirin will be over.
    Prevent gouging for cash-paying customers. Level billing will stop the abusive cost-shifting that bankrupts tens of thousands of Americans every year.
    Not cost the taxpayer a nickel. No budget impact – period. In fact forcing the uninsured and illegal aliens’ bills back onto the responsible parties will almost certainly decrease costs for Medicare and Medicaid, thereby saving money.
    In the current debate why isn’t a plan like this part of the discussion?

  366. asia September 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    ‘their personal set of criteria.’
    No!…not according to maslow…according to ZZZZZZ
    greed is in the lower realms..not at the top of need pyramid

  367. damon September 13, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    bahmi: For what it’s worth — independent of intent or effect — it’s nice to be validated by statements like “I hope folks take Damon very seriously.” Thanks.
    To be clear, I’d rather not be associated with any ideology that encourages unreason and imbalance, and especially not those that prey on our vast capacities for fear and violence. Alas, you and Jaego seem intent on the latter.
    My factual (as humanly possible) statements are intended to evoke rational thought, not to stir blind emotions. These are human concerns of Survival versus Extinction, not Dem v Rep, Left v Right, Liberal v Conservative, Black v White…
    Yes, real problems are subsumed by those diametrically opposed categories, but none will be solved your way. Even an absolute victory of genocide would quickly reveal a new distinction, thus sparking a new genocide… extinction through recursion.

  368. messianicdruid September 13, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    We all need to burn our idols. “Rational human society” based on man’s wisdom is also an idol, and is obviously a failure. I would be a hypocrite to apologize for the idols of churchianity without at least walking away from them/it.
    “…we do each control our own steps/actions, but not the consequences”
    Well the consequences of men’s actions are what we are talking about, right? Man {collectively} doesn’t have a clue about how to live and take care of himself {themselves = ie: each other}. Look around, CFN, remember? Now you can stop argueing with me, and read the link.
    Eventually you will see it.

  369. Cthulhu September 13, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    eightm:
    Since computers and technology have automated away most jobs, since optimizations are getting rid of so many jobs, as a natural evolution of technology, the only other way to create jobs is to create great inefficiencies.
    You’re not paying attention. It hasn’t been technology per se, but oil, and other fossil fuels, that have put us in this current predicament.

  370. Cthulhu September 13, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    eightm:
    Since computers and technology have automated away most jobs, since optimizations are getting rid of so many jobs, as a natural evolution of technology, the only other way to create jobs is to create great inefficiencies.
    You’re not paying attention. It hasn’t been technology per se, but oil, and other fossil fuels, that have put us in this current predicament.

  371. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    “it’s ironic and poor form to quote those blatantly misleading data regarding Federal spending”
    —————————
    If you think I went into Google looking for a set of false data that might somehow enhance the point I was making then you don’t know me.
    I have no idea how good or bad my numbers or Asoka’s numbers are. The point is that military spending is some large number. And when you subtract that number from 100% the remainder is another large number that can be characterized (in Asoka’s way of thinking) as expenditures in support of your fellow man. Despite all his highminded talk, Asoka has avoided supporting his fellow man to that extent. i.e. zero dollars to help his fellow man.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  372. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    “Disregard those who think you are a conspiracy nut”
    —————————–
    Abbey and Damon,
    Lets forget about the assassination of JFK for a moment and go to the acid test for paranoid delusions:
    What are your feelings about the supposed July 1969 moon landing? Did it really happen or was it all staged in a warehouse in Burbank, CA?
    BTW Damon, I’d be careful about counting Gore Vidal as “good company” if you get my drift.
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  373. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    “This is exactly the problem I considered and resolved in 1969-1970. Indeed, whether to commit suicide”
    ————————–
    Wow! Asoka lifts the kimono. This post comes out of nowhere. How revealing. Back in the day you were (probably) severely depressed and suicidal. You had to sacrifice a normal life by adopting “anarcho/pacifism” (I think that’s what you called it) as a religion. It worked … you’re still kickin. Good for you. Who gives a shit if your belief system makes other people’s eyes roll back in there heads?
    P.S. Rico/Asoka/Zzz delendus est.

  374. damon September 13, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    This unabashed stupidity — “man’s wisdom is also an idol, and is obviously a failure.” — is illustrative of the Cult of Proud Ignorance. Really. What other kind of wisdom exists? Maybe it’s actually a profound double entendre? Here, let me try:
    Yes, we have failure, in the sense that — with few exceptions — one would fail to earn a regular income as a gambler in a casino. Conversely, the casino would thrive on a steady stream of fools.
    Question: Can you see how one may vainly struggle to “win” in an unproductive human system clearly designed to make him fail?
    Extra Credit questions:
    -Is the gambler’s behavior wise or a failure of man’s wisdom?
    -Is the casino operator wise or a failure of man’s wisdom?
    -Which one understands reality? Which one cares?
    -Which one nominally provides more benefit to the economy?
    -Do either produce any benefit? How?
    -Both men are devout Christians. Does this matter?
    -Are either acting as good Christians? Does this matter?
    -Can God help either to improve their respective careers?
    -Is it even possible to reconcile the opposite needs?
    -Which is better: Gambling or Incarceration? Explain.
    -Write the theorem relating moral certitude to oppression.
    -Prove oppressive moral certitude theorem without resorting to magic.
    Finally, how would resorting to God within the context of this system improve it in any way? (…similar to career question.) OK, I’ve actually “overloaded” much of the above, but, truly, you may find some real wisdom buried herein.

  375. Qshtik September 13, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    “I have just been assigned a special project and will be heavily into working for a while.”
    ——————————–
    It’s code name is The Pentagon delendus est.
    One down, two to go.
    P.S. Rico/Zzz delendus est.

  376. Puzzler September 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    Qshtik, add to your mastery of “then” and “than” a mastery of the words “there” / “their” / “they’re”, please.

  377. damon September 14, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    Qshtik: Please look at the whole paragraph again. We concur regarding what I labeled intellectual honesty in Asoka’s dilemma. I did not truly know your intent, but I assumed you had a clear understanding of the whole Federal financial picture, hence my words. BUT I was also a bit surprised, and respect you enough to write “I know you’re better than this.”
    So, no, I don’t think you searched for false data.
    However, it is a very misleading picture, which is exactly the point I’ve been railing about. This is the official story that your government wants everyone to believe, uncritically, and it is outright dishonest. Not just a little, but grossly so; then add additional indirect spending diffused throughout the budget.
    I challenge you to objectively analyze the picture, without any preconceptions. Every systems needs balance…
    I recognize Gore Vidal is a pariah in many circles, but his unique perspective is valuable. I said nothing of JFK. The reference of these 2 together just makes me think of Vidal’s story of JFK’s shenanigans involving a hooker in a bathtub!
    Yes, we landed on the moon.
    Regarding Asoka: I can’t imagine any thinking being not dealing with the decision of suicide at some point.

  378. Jaego Scorzne September 14, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    Yes, your ignorance is proud, and your pride ignorant. Can you prove that all the races are the same? It’s a popular belief, but that doesn’t make it true. Moreover it goes against Darwinian Theory which depends on variation among individuals and groups-a theory which people like you pretend to believe but obviously don’t understand or are afraid to apply. We have been apart from the Black Africans for tens of thousands of years. It’s not strange that there are differences; if there were no differences-that would be strange and a blow against Darwin.
    Or consider dogs-are all races (breeds) of dog the same? Are dogs the same as wolves-they are now considered the same species since they can produce viable offspring. There are obviously some pretty profound behavior differences between the two and between breeds if you know dogs. I claim no more about Human Races-basic physiological similarity but with significant behavioral differences due to subtle genetic factors expressed in the brain, nervous, and hormonal systems. For example, Blacks have smaller brains and more testosterone. These factors lead to real behavioral differences and differences in ability. It’s not your fault that you don’t know this-it was once widely known but is now suppressed. But you can be faulted for not observing the differences, and then denying them when they are pointed out to you because they don’t jive with the current theory in vogue. Those of us who know didn’t do this-we wanted to understand what we were observing so we did the research and found out. It’s all a question of integrity-in observing, willing, and thinking. As the Ancients knew-character should be developed first and then thinking will take care of itself if the person has the basic ability.

  379. Qshtik September 14, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    Unfortunately I spotted “there” after I hit the submit button. What can I say but oops.
    P.S. Rico/Zzz delendus est.

  380. damon September 14, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    Jaego: At least try to be consistent within a single post. You contradict your 1st paragraph at the start of the 2nd. Yes, we’re all the same species (by definition), able to successfully procreate despite superficial differences. One’s longer-term viability, however, will also be modulated by intelligent thought, regardless of skin tone.

  381. Qshtik September 14, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    “I recognize Gore Vidal is a pariah in many circles”
    ——————————–
    Damon,
    I was very desirous of making a snide remark about Vidal’s homosexuality but didn’t want to be accused of using the ad hominem. I kicked around every thing I could think of to work in the phrases “bone smuggler” and “fudge packer” but had to give it up and just go with “I’d be careful about counting Gore Vidal as “good company” if you get my drift.”
    However, now that I am replying to your reply I can work in those very phrases and still avoid the ad hominem accusation. Then I’ll just have to deal with the inevitable homophobe accusation that is bound to come. I like getting a laugh but haven’t figured out how to do it with out it being at someone’s expense.
    P.S. Rico/Zzz delendus est.

  382. Qshtik September 14, 2009 at 1:04 am #

    “they don’t jive with the current theory”
    ——————————
    The word is jibe …. it’s a very common error but now that you’ve been informed I’ll expect you never to make it again. ;-)
    P.S. Rico/Zzz delendus est.

  383. damon September 14, 2009 at 1:14 am #

    PS – For a thorough, prodigious, almost overwhelming treatise on evolutionary theory, you should check out Stephen Jay Gould’s “The Structure of Evolutionary Theory”.
    PPS – It’s also undeniably pedantic.

  384. damon September 14, 2009 at 5:05 am #

    That’s funny… (PS – this is more than I planned…)
    Since you broached the topic, I live hetero, always have,… spouse, offspring. But I’m not offended with Gore’s sexuality; I even agree with his premise: the spectrum of “normal” sexual behavior is much broader than the caricature propounded by contemporary (USA) moralists. Hetero/homo/bi, mono/poly/other, love/ritual/pleasure/procreation/exercise/other… basically anything between consenting adults (i.e., this does not excuse rape, which is violent oppression.)
    Yes, societies require rules: some are justifiable (e.g., rape is incompatible with anything more than brutish existence) and some are absurd (e.g., incarceration for engaging in oral sex? WTF?)
    If two humans love & respect each other, let ‘em get gooey. At least it’s not blood! Love isn’t requisite, either; if they simply want to share a sensual experience, just for fun, let them do it!
    Any human interaction has potential for generating emotional distress? Yes. But, just think about all the emotional torture, physical torture & death that’s been inflicted on ordinary humans for millennia, for the sake of obscenely misguided “morality”!
    The “ethical” rationale for many of the morality-driven laws, specifically regarding sex and drugs, is one of paternalistic protection (safety, health, wealth) of the individual & society. This cynical ruse is so far from reality that it’s a monstrous lie, producing egregious misery, death & destruction, despite any innocent original intention. (but that’s for a different post)
    My grim conclusion: the prohibition of & punishment for these mundane human pleasures intersect at a uniquely useful & profitable point in our caricature of a moral society. These topics are dehumanized & demonized to the point they reliably elicit a Pavlovian response from the unsuspecting masses, even though the response is self-destruction.
    When will the puritanical control freaks just admit they are really ignoble, despicable, sadistic and selfish bigots, who just get a kick from destroying others, especially if they can make a (private) profit doing it? (society is paying, though!)
    When will we recognize these policies are state-sponsored human rights abuse, discrimination, torture, murder? And all to prevent some poor fool from having some sort of orgasmic pleasure! God, that’s disgusting…

  385. damon September 14, 2009 at 5:07 am #

    Qshtik: Yes, that rant of a post above is for you.

  386. messianicdruid September 14, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
    You upbraid me for my supposed stupidity and then ask “What other kind of wisdom exists?” I must avoid casting stumbling blocks before the blind, but one who prides himself in his abilities to ascertain facts would be expected to acknowledge the Creator.
    Damon asks, “Can you see how one may vainly struggle to “win” in an unproductive human system clearly designed to make him fail?” This is exactly the system we find ourselves in, by intelligent design.
    It’s no accident that Man’s attempts to be self-governing, in every system he has ever invented, are abject failures. This is being permitted so we can finally face reality. The few of us that have admitted defeat are still spurned as throw-backs, functionally deficient and hopelessly irrational.
    But the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men; not many are called who consider themselves wise, not many mighty, not many noble. God chooses what men consider foolish, that the wise He may put to shame; and the weak things of the world He chooses that He may put to shame the strong, in order that no flesh may boast before Him.
    Cause and effect are separated by time. Instant karma has it’s merits, but He is merciful.
    When God’s judgements are in the earth, the people will learn righteousness.

  387. damon September 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    messianicdruid: Yes, this is an obnoxious waste of time for both of us, so you’re having an influence on me — were I wise, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to have an honest debate with one so
    (i) thoroughly self-deceiving,
    (ii) incapable of truly intelligent thought, unshackled by dogma, or
    (iii) both.
    I’m not really a cruel person, so I apologize that my responses are beginning to look that way. Best of luck.
    PS – I do encourage you to think about the scenario I previously presented, and associated questions. (You took the “human system” bait too easily; it was only meant as an appetizer!) Even if you must cheat, by asking God for help, I’d like to see your answers to my questions.
    PPS – Ok. I’ll play one last time. Any resort to a thing outside of nature — beyond reality, unknowable — as a noble & reverential act, is plain ignorance, at best; Often, it’s maliciously misleading; At worst, it’s cruel, even lethal, manipulation. How can any human know what’s unknowable? Which charlatan “really” knows? And, how exactly, can we validate (experiment; repeatable results; critical peer review…) even the most innocuous assertions? Hint: mass delusion is no proof.
    “Wisdom” is an interesting attribute of intelligent life. Look up the formal definition. Recursively process each word in its definition, if you must. (Once we agree to use consistent definitions…) No matter how you try, you’ll never break through the barrier of real, intelligent life! If you magically tunnel through to magic, you’ve either employed a semantic ruse, e.g., vagueness fallacy, etc., or just faulty thinking; this doesn’t imply supernatural wisdom, it just impugns yours.

  388. farmboy November 2, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Thank you for being our latter-day Paul Revere. You make Monday the most interesting day of my week. Quoting Winston Churchill, “Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few.”

  389. Mutuelle santé September 16, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Whatever the politics of the moment may be, national attitudes are surely changing!Obama is indeed someone intelligent and I guess he is doing his job in the right way.

  390. MovingLondon December 11, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    Honestly…I’m a bit disappointed by Obama too! He hasn’t really lived up to his platform —

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