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Ho ho ho! It’s that time of year again. Here’s JHK’s holiday classic: A Christmas Orphan.

11-year-old Jeff Greenaway hears his mom and dad argue one night after an office Christmas party. He infers from their garbled squabble that he is an orphan, found in a willow basket on the welcome mat outside their New York apartment. Thinking now that his parents are imposters, he steals away to Grand Central Station and buys a train ticket to Drakesville, Vermont, where he intends to start life all over again.
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by James Howard Kunstler

     The financial wires and pod-waves are all lit up these days like it was happy hour at the Lottery Winner’s Lounge.  It appears that the American economy — capital management division — has found the long-wished-for magic alternative energy source: horseshit. It is fueling the conversation all over the Web and over the senile mainstream media megaphones. One technical analyst, celebrity Tweeter Ralph Acampora of Altaira Wealth Management, actually said this week that the USA would be “energy independent by 2016.” That’s rich. We’d only have to come up with 8.5 million new barrels of oil a day, or give up driving cars altogether.

     Apparently, the Federal Reserve is not just hosing down the markets with liquidity (i.e. money for nothing), but has also turned its headquarters in lower Manhattan into the world’s biggest stationary crack pipe. Meanwhile, more than a few professional observers of the financial scene say there can’t be any bubble because that’s the only thing everybody talks about and bubbles only form when nobody notices them.

     That’s just not true. Plenty of people were hollering and finger-pointing about the housing bubble years before it blew up the banking system, including yours truly in a book published in 2005 (The Long Emergency). The reason there is so much anxious chatter about the current bubble is because the bubble is there for all to see, and when it pops it is sure to leave a lot more rubble on the ground than the last time — for instance, the wreckage of trust in all paper investments, which would be quite an historic financial innovation. Since the interventions and manipulations of markets and interest rates are perfectly obvious, one would have to conclude from the current sentiment that faith in the crookedness of finance has completely solidified. The markets have now discounted their own dishonesty.

     The story making the rounds these days is that the USA’s industrial economy is on the rise again; that the housing market has “recovered;” that (according to Meredith Whitney) the “central corridor” of the nation (Texas to Minnesota) is the second coming of Japan in the 1960s; that we have more oil than we know what to do with; that the nation has bred a super-race of intrepid entrepreneurial risk-takers like unto no other society in history; and finally that whatever else we are or are not, America is the cleanest shirt in the laundry basket of Mother Earth.

     This is all horseshit of course, being smoked in the New York Fed’s crack pipe.

     Here’s what’s actually going on. The Federal Reserve can only pretend to have any option besides force-feeding “money” into Wall Street as if it were a Strasbourg Goose with Crohn’s disease. What passes through goose is a vile toxic substance called malinvestment, which turns the energies of society into activities that produce nothing of value, like hedge fund employee bonuses, NSA operations, Tesla car promotion, Frank Gehry condo towers, drone strikes against Afghani wedding parties, Obama photo ops, inflated auction prices of oil paintings, and Barney’s new Jay-Z holiday fashion collection.

     The Fed makes regular noises about ending the force-feeding program (a.k.a. “quantitative easing” or “bond purchases”) issued in the recorded minutes of its Open Market Committee (FOMC). The propaganda is called “forward guidance” to give it the appearance of seriousness and rectitude, but its actual nature is more like what goes on in a Jerry Lewis movie of the 1960s — a kind of antic mugging. Lately it’s referred to as “taper talk” in reference to the threat of tapering the Fed’s purchases of US Treasury bonds and other debt paper, which runs at around $85 billion a month. Sometime soon, the Fed may announce a tiny taper of say $10 billion a month. This head-fake taper will cause the interest rates on the ten-year-bond to shoot up north of 3 percent and threaten to bankrupt the government — which is too broke to pay interest that high on the loans it takes. The markets will have a whack attack over the tiny taper. The Fed will freak out at the odor of deflationary depression and go back to full-tilt force-feeding of the sick goose.

     The outcome will be some combination of a complete loss of faith in paper currency and the “assets” denominated in it, a complete loss of trust between banks that they are solvent enough to do business with each other, and a conclusive implosion of Wall Street and all the institutions in and around it, extending to the executive branch of the federal government. The sorry little appendage to all that, US economy, will be left in the cold and dark, whimpering for its mommy.

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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.

244 Responses to “All Bulled Up With No Place To Go” Subscribe

  1. Neon Vincent November 25, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    “The financial wires and pod-waves are all lit up these days like it was happy hour at the Lottery Winner’s Lounge. ”

    No kidding. Last week, I noted that the Dow had gone over 16,000 at the time you posted, but cast a jaundiced eye about it closing that high. I was right. It took until Thursday for it to do so. The next day, the S&P500 closed over 1800. CNN and Reuters responded jubilantly. CNN pointed out that the studio behind “The Hunger Games” was a big winner, while Reuters observed that the healthcare index was the big winner so far this year. Whatever Obamacare does for people, it’s apparently good for companies. As for how low it will last, Reuters thinks the rally will keep going until the end of the year. I guess the bull isnt going to the slaughterhouse just yet.

    crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/11/dow-over-16000-s-over-1800.html

    “It appears that the American economy — capital management division — has found the long-wished-for magic alternative energy source: horseshit.”

    Speaking of horseshit, and bullshit, too, for that matter, the hipsters over at Discovery News’ YouTube channel declared last week to be Poop Week. How coincidentally appropriate!

    crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-science-and-health-of-pooping.html

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      16,000 – An interesting number that’s the same number of dollars I’d have needed to buy a plate at Barack Obama’s fundraiser in Medina Washington last night to ask him if he had a coherent energy policy or if he was ever going to get one. He was in town and a mere ten miles from the doghouse. Only in my dreams could I imagine being let in to see him $16,000 or not.

      I’d not have wasted the money as I doubt he’d have understood the question. He has experts for that sort of thing I imagine and they I’m sure have no worries concerning their own gas tanks. I imagine he’d have smiled mumbled something about new discoveries and new and exciting technology and referred me off to them. I remember well when it came to dealing with Wall Street he said he had experts to tell him what to do. At the time one of them was Larry Summers.

      Considering where Mr. Obama was I’m sure he got an earful about new technology, the promise of innovation and the freedom from regulation and accountability that business needs to innovate.

      • Neon Vincent November 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

        “Considering where Mr. Obama was I’m sure he got an earful about new technology, the promise of innovation and the freedom from regulation and accountability that business needs to innovate.

        I imagine he’d have smiled mumbled something about new discoveries and new and exciting technology and referred me off to them.”

        That’s exactly what I would expect from him, too. President Obama really likes the idea of sustainable development packaged as making America competitive. He last displayed this at the State of the Union address, where he touted science education and research, technological progress, and green energy technology in the service of national greatness, the economy, and the environment. That these may be mutually contradictory or unachievable does not seem to occur to him at all. Then again, he’s a Cornucopian.

        crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/01/science-climate-and-energy-in-inaugural.html

        crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/02/obama-loved-science-in-state-of-union.html

  2. Jamyang November 25, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    I saw The Rascals show last night at the Palace here in Albany, “Once Upon a Dream,” reunited nearly 50 years after their heyday. The JFK assassination was not merely the end of the innocence, as the cliche goes, but the beginning of consciousness, according to drummer, Dino Dannelli. Interesting and thought provoking, but where has this new awareness (of inter-connectedness in that we are all in this together) taken us in half a century? I believe that more and more people are “waking up” in the Buddhist sense, but will there be enough to enlighten or counter the forces arrayed against such thinking and being?

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      You comment might have been more interesting and thought provoking had you read Jim’s article first.

      • Jamyang November 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

        I admit a lack of correlation to the piece, which I had read thoroughly before posting. Pondering the possibility of a positive future once all the delusional economics shakes out in the coming decade. No less far-fetched, I suppose, than expecting Obama’s economic policies to comport with reality. The rough beast of corporatocracy slouches towards somewhere.

      • Calico November 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

        I’d like to vote K-Dog off the island.

        • Karah November 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

          This isn’t a democracy.

    • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 5:00 am #

      Ja-soker!!! Haha, the Rascals – I know them (good lovin!)! (Janet?!?)

      Methinks you should revisit that 2.5 years old *thread*…

  3. upstater November 25, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    John Authers of the FT had a chart of the Fed balance sheet overlain with the S&P 500 from 2009 to the present.

    While correlation was not 1, it was very high.

    In the case of financial markets correlation is evidence of causation. I personally have been surprised how long the Fed, Japan and ECB have been able keep things propped up.

    While we have invested in tangible assets (most significantly sustainable, arable land in upstate NY), we have missed quite a ride listening to gloomsters (e.g., Stoneleigh, Mish, JHK).

    Obviously business as usual is not sustainable. Herbert Stein — ‘If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.’ The only question is “when”?

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      Obvious to you, obvious to me but don’t underestimate the power of the puppet press to persuade.

      • Janos Skorenzy November 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

        And the people are fooled because they can be fooled. And they can be fooled because they are fools. As Bernays said, the Ad Man is the Mind of the People.

    • Karah November 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      Todays “leaders of the free world” mistook that expression as referring to it’s currency also being free of the laws of nature. Everything JHK observes “the energies of society” investing “into activities that produce nothing of value, like
      hedge fund employee bonuses,
      NSA operations,
      Tesla car promotion,
      Frank Gehry condo towers,
      drone strikes against Afghani wedding parties,
      Obama photo ops,
      inflated auction prices of oil paintings,
      and Barney’s new Jay-Z holiday fashion collection”

      is an update to the book The Long Emergency.
      Modern society’s biggest enterprise is in prolonging the inevitable decline and decrepitude of all things like

      erectile dysfunction, cheap plastic surgeries and smoking whatever,
      Social Security, Medicare and VA “services”,
      Interstate/Intrastate infrastructures that can’t handle the loads/weather,
      Public/Private school systems that can’t agree on a social NORM and STANDARDS,
      Celebrities and
      anything produced under the title ART.

      Money can’t, never has and never will fix any of these things. People fix things. Too bad the fixers are dead or dying.

  4. Malthus November 25, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    What can you say. This whole country, no world stinks of horseshit and we are up to out necks in it. while Washington and wall street may have the high ground now but it won’t last long. Problem is when it gets that high the rest of us will be way under it. Some one said “and we had such promise.” I am not sure that was ever true but there were a lot fewer of us then.

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Long ago such an attitude was probably reasonable but now with the knowledge we have waiting for magic to happen and doing nothing is downright criminal!

      Being a free man in an un-free world means stepping over the horseshit.

    • lsjogren November 25, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Look at the bright side. The problems we face run so deep that even if we had competent government or economics it would be unlikely to save us from oblivion.

      • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 11:13 am #

        I’d prefer making a go of it to wild ass laughter at the comedy of errors.

        A serious effort might actually prevent oblivion and leave us with changed living arrangements, reduced carbon footprints, and a few humans left around to carry the torch of civilization into the future and to feed a few dogs.

  5. Widok November 25, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    but has also turned its headquarters in lower Manhattan into the world’s biggest stationary crack pipe.

    I prefer to smoke my crack with a mobile hookah….rented from the same service Eliot Spitzer patronized.

    Meanwhile, more than a few professional observers of the financial scene say there can’t be any bubble because that’s the only thing everybody talks about and bubbles only form when nobody notices them.

    Quantum Bubble Mechanics. I like it. Makes sense. Afterall, what are bubbles if not a collection of electrons, amongst other things?

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      “I prefer to smoke my crack with a mobile hookah….rented from the same service Eliot Spitzer patronized.”

      I believe you.

  6. George November 25, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    “The Fed makes regular noises about ending the force-feeding program”

    In “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, William L. Shirer mentioned that he had on occasion opportunities to hob nob with the Nazi elite at lavish social functions. At one point, in a side discussion, one of the Nazi guests confided in him that being in Germany was like being on an out of control express train that was destined to certain cataclysmic doom: to stay on was madness and jump off certain suicide. I wonder if any of the Fed’s governors might share that view about what they’re doing.

    http://www.thesisa.org

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      That assumes they are intelligent enough to perceive the doom but technological narcissism is common among the ruling class.

  7. Widok November 25, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Obviously business as usual is not sustainable.

    But business as unusual is sustainable, obviously.

  8. K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Crackpot realism rules the land and the flood pumps on the titanic go full tilt. It appears not knowing what to do our fearless leaders of the nation are attempting to buy time hoping the second coming of Christ happens before they get caught with their pants down and our naked emperors are left shivering out in the cold. Lies lies and more lies. The American public transfixed and hypnotism by mass media no longer can tell lies from truth and their powerless impotent lives have sapped all blood from their brains.

    The magic of technology seduces all and everyone waits for the I-phone app that will fill the gas tank and cool the ice on the north pole. Education in america long since being reduced to vocational training leaves few able to grasp the lunacy of it all. Few take enough science to understand that all the seductive technological marvels that will be passed around under the Christmas tree by the lucky few who still have jobs exploit only a small handful of physical laws and those laws are pretty well exploited as soar as they can be stretched now.

    But why not lie. Our leaders know that apathy rules the land and everyone is so unsure of what is going on in their lives and the life of the nation that nobody is going to call our smiling flim-flam artists of leaders out. Energy independent by 2016 total horsrshit! The FED pushes a string to try and make the un-growable grow and the only thing that will happen by not facing reality is that the price of oil will go up as the foolish dream of energy independence smashes up against peak oil and more time is wasted.

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      exploited as far as they can be stretched now.

      It’s always something. And another thing about it always being something. On Kunstlers home page in my normal browser (I just checked) I still get:


      What’s Up

      Clusterfuck Nation – Blog > Schilling Shilling

      Needless to say I have other means of getting the correct URL and dancing around the man-in-the-middle the men in black who will soon be taking over the comment section throw at me.

      Ozone says it usually happens about noon.

  9. Widok November 25, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    one of the Nazi guests confided in him that being in Germany was like being on an out of control express train that was destined to certain cataclysmic doom: to stay on was madness and jump off certain suicide.

    The Third Reich challenged powerful forces that offered significant resistance. There is no resistance that can offer a challenge to this iteration of the metaphorical Reich. It’s too easy, and perhaps because of that it will wither since it can’t muster the requisite yang to its yin.

    • Janos Skorenzy November 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Yes, the Nazis challenged the Bernsteins and the Summers of their day and they triumphed for a season. Of course the Bankers fought back before other nations did the same. The incredible prosperity that comes with throwing out the parasites was becoming clear to all.

  10. ozone November 25, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Jim, you write:

    ” The story making the rounds these days is that the USA’s industrial economy is on the rise again; that the housing market has “recovered;” that (according to Meredith Whitney) the “central corridor” of the nation (Texas to Minnesota) is the second coming of Japan in the 1960s; that we have more oil than we know what to do with; that the nation has bred a super-race of intrepid entrepreneurial risk-takers like unto no other society in history; and finally that whatever else we are or are not, America is the cleanest shirt in the laundry basket of Mother Earth.”

    Although this is quite funny to those of us who have been paying attention, it’s painfully accurate. (Mommy!!)

    I suppose one of the salient questions of the age is: Can/Will we learn anything after this shaky facade stucco’ed in horseshit falls away and leaves us to our own devices, intuitions and ingenuity? There begins the peering into the guts of a natural reality too massive and life-giving/threatening to ignore.

    • ozone November 25, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      …And, yes, those of us who have been paying attention know full well that it IS a story, and only a feel-good fairytale at that.

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      “a super-race of intrepid entrepreneurial risk-takers”

      Do you mind if I call them crackpot snob lotus-eaters lost in fantasy and out of touch with true reality instead?

    • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 5:09 am #

      R U really giving that much credibility (credulity) to these imbeciles? I certainly am *NOT*!!! I find they’re not walking/biking around, but rather, *GAS GUZZLIN’* in circles, for no other reason than that they *CAN* (consume/pollute/*SELF-INDULGENCE*)…

      Sad, sad state of affairs! Play me a tune, Ozone!!! I know you’re a master “fiddler”!!! I ‘membaz hearing 1 of your *youtubes*…

  11. Paul November 25, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    ” . . . there abides in nature a certain pure matter, which, being discovered and brought by art to perfection, converts to itself proportionally all imperfect bodies that it touches.”

    (Mary Anne Atwood. A Suggestive Inquiry into Hermetic Mystery. 1918. p. 72)

    This ‘pure matter’, or Prima Materia, is, in this morning’s instance, the horseshit that Jim is writing about.

    Right now, horseshit is everywhere, so easy to find in every nook and cranny. Indeed, as Malthus has observed, “This whole country . . . stinks of horseshit and we are up to our necks in it.”

    But in another respect, as this whole transitional narrative continues to unfold, we might also agree that horseshit, is a very valuable commodity. When it’s gathered up, spread around, and applied properly, it can work wonders. Indeed, it’s the perfect stuff to help get things going.

    • K-Dog November 25, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      From what I know about the subject (not much) is that horseshit is inferior when compared to other types of manure. Lacking in nitrogen or something like that.

      Sadly Thomas Jefferson said:

      The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

      I pray an infection of reason sweeps the land before such fertilizer which is obviously superior to horseshit becomes necessary.

      • Hands4u November 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

        I would hope that “reason” would be the “cure”; the infection being “malinvestment” and “bubbles” and the antacids are no longer effective.

      • Karah November 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

        I think the analogy is good since most people want to avoid looking at the horse’s ass so they don’t step in what it produces at regular intervals. A lot of the reason why we prefer cars over animals because they’re more sanitary! If you had a choice of walking down a street filled with animal excrement and one filled with smog…

        • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 5:14 am #

          Cars R more sanitary, because they cough out 2-3 *ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE* more CO2?!? (do I need to explain order of magnitude – it’s 10x)

          You are a fucking dipshit, Karah. Clueless as ever, yet still *SPAMMING* liek the expert you believe yourself to be…

  12. orbit7er November 25, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Despite a record typhoon in the Philippines and a string of tornadoes across the US Midwest last week, the Corporate Media including NPR scarcely noticed the Warsaw Climate Conference last week. To their credit http://democracynow.org had fantastic coverage all week of the Warsaw Climate Conference with both the bad news (Powers that Be such as US and EU unwilling to do anything per usual) and good news- yet more youthful activism by the young generation staring right down the barrel of Climate Change destruction.

    As Kunstler has long argued, trains are a key part of the adaptation strategy. In that regard over 700 college students and other youth took their own initiative to charter their own train to the Warsaw Summit as a deliberate expression of what has to be done vs BAU Auto Addiction or air travel.

    By the same token 2 prominent climate scientists also came by overnight train from Manchester England to Warsaw to show what needs to be done. They have not flown in 8 years – not only due to the direct greenhouse emissions from flying but all the ancillary emissions traveling to and from a far flung airport, flying in and out in 1 day rather than planning to minimize air travel impacts.
    They excoriated Al Gore’s rationalization that it was “easy” to go Green and truly cut greenhouse emissions just by cutting energy usage and then buying “carbon offsets” for the rest of the plutocrats and affluent’s emissions. As the scientists pointed out carbon offsets are a sham as there is no actual cap on emissions.
    They emphasized the urgent need to REDUCE consumption ie
    what Kunstler has long advocated.
    Also Richard Heinberg’s “Museletter” had a very interesting story about Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul, Korea who has taken the need to share resources to cut emissions and do whatever possible to deal with Peak Oil / Resources and Climate Change.
    Mayor Park was in jail as a dissident but now heads a city of 10 Million steering it in new democratic shared ways ala Transition Town principles. Again when a public transit fare increase was proposed he immediately and successfully opposed it.
    So as the delusions rise to a fever pitch with the return of $3 per gallon gasoline in the US, an increasing number of people “get it”.
    Thanks to $3 per gallon gasoline, the US will probably enjoy a boost in Christmas consumer sales which will extend the temporary boom into the New Year.
    But eventually the bubble will burst as Kunstler predicts.
    Also it is unlikely Janet Yellen is going to ascend to her new throne and immediately cut the financial sector’s $85 Billion a month QE life support. She will hold off as long as she can whilst uttering Alan Greenspan mystic financial goobledegook as she has in her confirmation hearings…
    Just my thoughts on that…

    Also good news for real change is the election of a Socialist former Occupy Wall Street activist to the Seattle city council in a major blow to the neoliberal Democatic establishment there.

  13. Casualty09 November 25, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    The NYT had an interesting story about Bitcoin the other day, here:

    nytimes.com/2013/11/24/your-money/a-bitcoin-puzzle-heads-its-excitement-tails-its-anxiety.html?_r=0

    For me, the “money” quote was from the company’s General Counsel, who said at a Senate hearing, ““It’s very much still an experimental currency and it should be considered a high-risk environment for consumers and investors at the moment.”

    With QE2 from the Fed continuing unabated, I’m starting to think that much of the same can be said for the US Dollar. What is it really worth? I’m not sure anyone really knows anymore; certainly not Joe Twelve-Pack. Maybe some hedge fund manager somewhere has a good idea and is at this very moment parlaying that knowledge into billion$, but it seems as if all the rest of us can do is hope – i.e., hope that the Fed can somehow generate a “soft landing.” A slow slide in the value of the $ may be manageable, while a sudden “popping” of the bubble will, on the other hand, come with significant problems. If the value of the US dollar, the currency on which practically all meaningful earthwide economic activity is based, turns out to have little more basis in reality than some ones and zeroes dreamed up by techie computer geeks who got shut out of Facebook’s payouts, then we’re all screwed. It won’t matter how many dollars are listed in your bank account, your 401(k) statement or your Bitcoin account. If/when the bubble bursts on the value of the US Dollar, it will make those bubbles on tech stocks, the housing market, tulips and beanie babies look like a walk in the park. . . .

    • mdhaller November 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

      My advice would be the same whether I knew a tornado was coming, or a hurricane, or an economic collapse. Do everything you can think of to prepare and then…pray.

    • charlie foxtrot November 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

      for what it’s worth, I’ve always figured when the bottom drops out- or blows the top off, whichever ya like- there will just be dollars for us and probably yen for the rest of the world…fuck the currency traders, right? it isn’t like we could ever pay the interest, much less the principal; china knows that as well as we do…I dunno what the trigger will be for when china decides they are ready for us to secede from earth or declare war or whatever, but either way I’m fooked… as for bitcoin, isn’t that the same kind of manipulated gas cloud as up there in noo yawk?

  14. christiangustafson November 25, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Stay tuned …

    “The next release of the tentative outright Treasury operation schedule will be at 3 p.m. on November 27, 2013. At that time the Desk will publish information on transaction prices for securities included in the operations listed above.”

    newyorkfed.org/markets/tot_operation_schedule.html

  15. Bluffer November 25, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    Remember the “soft landing” that was being engineered for us 5-10 years ago? Maybe this is it, as good as it gets. If we’re still going down it might still get bumpy, but maybe those engineers have truly prevented a nose dive crash. Most of us will be better off if we take advantage of the time we have to prepare for whatever the eventual landing leaves us, rather than expressing our anguish over a current trajectory that we can do nothing about.

    I’ve enjoyed your writing, RJK, and you have duly warned us. Now I’d like to see more practical advice and examples as in your book A World Made by Hand.

    • rka November 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      “Remember the “soft landing” that was being engineered for us 5-10 years ago?”
      As a concept, the idea of a “soft landing” in terms of real life seems a bit strange. If I jump off the roof and break every bone in my body but survive, is it a soft landing? How many bones must remain intact to be considered a “soft Landing”? Or is this the wrong question? Maybe we need to ask what real life is.

      • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 5:18 am #

        Wake the *F* up – the soft landing is for the 1% – you (and I) will be vaporized. Get it yet?!? Quit pretending it’s all about *YOU*…

  16. gtuner November 25, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Notice the examples of “activities that produce nothing of value” Mr. K cites, “like hedge fund employee bonuses, NSA operations, Tesla car promotion, Frank Gehry condo towers, drone strikes against Afghani wedding parties, Obama photo ops, inflated auction prices of oil paintings, and Barney’s new Jay-Z holiday fashion collection.”

    Some have recently and convincingly argued we have experienced, not only recently but for 30 years, economic conditions where negative real interest rates have been necessary to keep the US near productive capacity. In other words – bubbles have been necessary in order to keep unemployment from exploding. If so such bubbles are both a result and cause of the (undeniable) explosion in the inequality of income and acquired wealth in the US. And, in those conditions, it is hardly surprising the “products” of such an “economy” are tailored, at the margin at the very least, to the primary beneficiaries of policies which promote bubbles (cheap money) and those (as Mish Shedlock has described eloquently), are those with first access to cheap money, the already obscenely wealthy.

    • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 5:20 am #

      Slave labour is slave labour, and offshoring/outsourcing *CERTAINLY* don’t bring those SH!TTY jobs back *HOME*…

  17. sevenmmm November 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    There is that 2016 date yet. I hope it makes it that long!

  18. SteveO November 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    “The markets will have a whack attack over the tiny taper.”

    That may start an avalanche that no amount of quantitative easing or operation twisting or monetizing can stop. Markets tend to have a herd mentality and if you combine that with the way the $1200 trillion plus derivative market amplifies economic shocks you a get system where once to down slide starts there is no stopping it.

  19. BackRowHeckler November 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Things are headed south,we know that. But hey, what about Black Friday? Will Walmart make its numbers, or not? We’ll have to wait and see.

    On a happier note, a Polish lady opened a little seamstress shop in town. We haven’t had anything like that round here for years. Its right next to the shoe and leather shop opened up by a Peruvian immigrant several years ago. I wish them both the best of luck. It might be up to the immigrants to keep these crafts alive, and carry on the task of civilization.

    BRH

    • Janos Skorenzy November 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Polish persecution of Germans was one of catalysts for WW2. I wont say reasons since the Bankers would have found another reason or sets of reasons if that one wasn’t in play. Get the distinction?

      • hineshammer November 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

        Oh Jesus H Christ. Mention a Polish immigrant and Vlad comes along with some obscure and most likely imagined “fact” that has nothing to do with anything. At least Heckler didn’t mention anything about a black or a Jew.

      • charlie foxtrot November 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

        flad, you distinctly smell up the place without half trying…YOU i have not missed, you fecking pervert! whyncha take the hoser on over to your mommy for cookies and leave the adults to discussions worth reading…?

  20. BackRowHeckler November 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    And Jim, speaking of Tesla, Bryan Welch, publisher of ‘Mother Earth News’, gives the car and Elon Musk a big writeup in this months edition. Musk is a ‘visionary’, and the Tesla is transformative.

    –BRH

  21. Smoky Joe November 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    FWIW, my local butcher is raising his own animals now without growth hormones or “preventative” antibiotics. He’s doing it sustainably, so when the chickens are gone for the week, that’s it.

    He’s going to have a turkey for me. That may be our way forward, like the Polish seamstress (my butcher is also Polish!) and Peruvian shoe-repair guy mentioned by another poster.

    It won’t satisfy the cheese-doodle craving of the easily bored, never sated masses who go to Wal Mart on Black Friday, for a sale on a new doo-dad.

    But it just might keep the skills we need going when the illusion we call an economy goes tits-up for good.

    • Janos Skorenzy November 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Walmart is a family store owned by the Walton Family. What do you have against families? Did you ever even watch the Waltons?

  22. Q. Shtik November 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    “Walmart is a family store owned by the Walton Family.” – Janos
    =========

    Walmart is a public company. Thousands, probably millions of people are part owners. No doubt “the Walton Family” owns a large portion of the shares but it’s uncertain what that percentage is. I Googled the question and in the space of three articles got answers of 33%, 44%, and 50.9%. Although not technically accurate it seems reasonable in conversation to say that Walmart is owned by the Walton Family.

    • Q. Shtik November 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      BTW, Janos, I realize your calling Walmart a “family store” was intended as sarcasm.

      • Janos Skorenzy November 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

        Thanks. Walmart is great and has everything – for less! Where is the pathway to the Life of Virtue: eating seeds and nuts right from the Earth? There seems to be no in between….

  23. Q. Shtik November 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    “FWIW, my local butcher is raising his own animals now without growth hormones or “preventative” antibiotics. He’s doing it sustainably, so when the chickens are gone for the week, that’s it.” – Smokey Joe
    ==========

    Sounds great but count me amongst the skeptical. Are you saying your butcher has, out behind his shop in the strip mall, fields in which chickens are clucking, pigs are oinking and cattle are lowing and every so often he goes out and slaughters his current needs? Sounds implausible to me.

  24. Greg Knepp November 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Yes, and the Pacific Ocean is dying – small matter perhaps. But all this financial silliness won’t mean much when the West Coast is evacuated.
    I mean, where are we going to house all these people? Not in my house!

    • Karah November 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

      A lot of the West Coast (CA) has already been evacuated due to the housing bubble and in some way we’re all paying for them. They’re Americans before they’re Californians.

      • Greg Knepp November 26, 2013 at 10:27 am #

        Karah, As you know, I was referencing the Fukashima screw-up. Numerous major league physicists are in agreement that Japan, the Pacific and much of the U.S. west coast are doomed.

        But your point in well taken: it’s been a down-hill slide for the Golden State for some time: no money, no water, no plan = now way.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “They’re Americans before they’re Californians.”

        • San Jose November 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

          I don’t believe California is doomed. Housing prices in my neighborhood are back up to pre-crash prices. A small one-bedroom mini-condo in San Francisco will set you back $385K–not even in a great neighborhood. Our state budget is back on track, thanks to Jerry Brown.

          My concern is crime. My son, who attends San Jose State University was walking from the campus (two weeks ago) to the light rail station to come home at 8:20 p.m. and was knocked unconscious by some hoodlums. They stole his backpack (with TI graphing calculator!) and his iPhone.

          San Jose Mom

        • Karah November 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

          Greg, in orders of magnitude I don’t think Fukishima will ever hit as hard as millions of people being pushed out of their homes for the last 5 years. Gentrification is something mentioned briefly but not expanded upon because I think we’re too afraid to acknowledge the economic polarization of our nation and how much it continues to hurt people – more so than any amount of radiation.
          It’s absolutely mean and stupid to have an apartment in a downtown area cost 7 times the average AMERICAN income. Even if one has the money for that sort of thing, where is the money going? How much are the condominium owners invested in their communities’ needs? Take a look at the plans for Paris around the time of our Civil War and you will notice that the buildings were designed to house 3 different economic levels according to how many steps on had to climb. Without cheap electricity, that’s going to come in handy. Maybe once CA figures all this out for themselves they can then start worrying about sea levels rising and contaminated sushimi.

          Californians have developed an ostentatious culture; headquarters for everything that JHIK mentions is wrong with our country. NY never pretends to be what it is. The ex-Californians need to realize what got them into the housing trap to begin with; the suburban myth. Suburbia, like money, is loyal to no one and nothing, not even the states that trade them. Therefore, the rest of the country must make up for where they fail by absorbing them. On the other hand, New Yorkers, like Kunstler, are very State-opic (play on myopic) and once you’re in that state you never want to leave and that fierce loyalty has nothing to do with the size of your house and what car you drive. It does have to do with how the state treats their tenants. NY doesn’t pretend that you own whatever is for which you’re paying a high rent. I’m talking about the majority of real people you and I meet every day and how they help each other in the various frameworks of state and national government.

          • Greg Knepp November 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

            Karah, Let my qualify. I have lived in the west Baltimore ghetto, Fells Point before it was hip, on a working family farm, and in the Short North of Columbus when it was still a slum (I’m still hanging on there despite the influx of lawyers, engineers and OSU professors). I have NEVER lived in a suburb as an adult, and never shall!

            Your observations about Paris are interesting but incomplete. Most of that city was constructed prior to the age of the automobile. This fact, rather than the influence of a comfy, classless society, would account for the urban configuration therein. Portions of pre-automobile east coast American cities display a similar – though less ordered – layout: large avenued brownstones with servants’ quarters on the top floors, with neighboring side street lined by tiny, two story rowhouses for the underclass. The car simply made a stricter form of geographical class segregation a lot easier.

            Class delineation is what civilization is all about. Civilization would not be possible without it. Please note that, in Paris, members of the underclass are stored in the suburbs…different geography, same result. (Don’t get me wrong, I adore Paris!)

            Also, if you study the deteriorating situation in Fukashima, you may be as alarmed as I am. A Japanese fisherman said it all, “I catch fish and sell them, but I won’t dare feed them to my family.”

            This is huge stuff and it’s headed our way.

          • Karah November 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

            Greg, there can not be a classless society and the building plans of Paris emulated in old American cities like NYC bring this to bear.

            Like Kunstler, you want to focus on Japan and how all of their people are dealing with ANOTHER fall out. The United States wasn’t alarmed about dropping several Nuclear Bombs on the island 78 years ago, why should we be alarmed now?

            Like I tried to bring out before about American vs. Californian…
            Japanese view all their citizens (even alien immigrants) as Japanese. They don’t look at each other as Tokyoans or Fukishimians. Also, I fail to see in the Japanese from this far away the kind of disease and depravity that breeds in the rest of the worlds lower class burbs/slums. Even though they have less wealthy fishermen, they don’t ACT poor; going around asking for alms because they stopped working out of fear for the contaminate ocean.

  25. Jamyang November 25, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Can we talk reliable light passenger rail yet? Anyone?

    motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/11/california-bullet-train-might-be-breathing-its-last

    • Janos Skorenzy November 26, 2013 at 1:04 am #

      Let’s go back to coal! I want to see smoke coming from smoke stacks. It’s so meaningful somehow… Lot’s of jobs: miners, shovel men in boiler rooms, delivery by horse drawn coal wagons. It’s all so Dickensian and proto Steam Punk.

    • BackRowHeckler November 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      Jamyang we had a light rail passenger system round these parts from 1880 till about 1930. It was called the Trolley. Sometimes when they work on the roads you can still see the tracks, buried underneath 6 inches of pavement. There are plenty of photos of it around, a charming little conveyance with thin, well dressed men and woman waiting at stops for the ride to Hartford or beyond. I can’t see them ever coming back, even if the oil does completely run out and autos end up as flaming wrecks on the side of the road, or just rusting in the driveway. Have you taken public transportation lately? Believe me its not a pleasant experience. In fact now that the ‘Knockout Game’ has become the National Sport I recommend you avoid all public places altogether. Light rail or trolleys are not coming back, at least in a large way. We really can’t build anything here anymore. Just the environmental permits to lay a mile of track, if you could get them, would bankrupt the whole project.

      — BRH

  26. Oakgeo November 26, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Whatever. As a Gen X’er, I’ve never expected to have much of anything in the way of financial or economic security in the second half of my life. Very few of us have, and many of us under 50 are mentally prepared for it. Your repetitive declarations of the obvious have become quite tiresome.

    • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 2:10 am #

      Could you please explain how you’re, “mentally prepared for it?” What does that mean (sock)?!? I can tell you truthfully, I have *KNOW* idea how to deal with it, other than hoarding…

      And yeah, we get why you never agree, or find it redundant – yet continue to *REMAIN* here (troll/6-fig-salaried-govt-stalka)…

      • Janos Skorenzy November 26, 2013 at 4:05 am #

        Save same of your spirits – they will be as liquid gold. The high proofs will used to disinfect as well as a well for the surcease of sorrow. And remember what Yeats said, “There is a cure for all things in the well at Ballykeele.”

        Do you have the discipline not to drink your seed corn? As we say about Blacks: give him a fish and he eats for a day. Try and teach him to fish and he’ll eat the bait. The moral? Don’t be like this!

        • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 4:25 am #

          “Save same of your spirits”

          What R U trying to imply here? Haha!!! *SOME*.

          And yes, there’s *PLENTY* to go ’round. Stop by, I’ll even pour *U* a 2-3 finger glass…

          Yeats: “Pity would be no more, if we did not make somebody poor?” Think again, *poroh* man.

          Books of innocence – books of *experience*?!? (books srsly looks liek it spelled *WRONG*)

          “And mercy no more would be, if all were as *HAPPY* as we…

          • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 4:28 am #

            It’s not books, it’s poems – and “would” iz “could”…

        • ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 6:17 am #

          And *I* noticed you had *ABSOLUTELY* nothing to say, about being *mentally prepared*.

          You douche-bag!

  27. ZrCrypDiK November 26, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    Loopy-loop?!? It’s *spinning*!!!

    youtube.com/watch?v=_DODKTN3O2s

  28. Arn Varnold November 26, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Remarkable; JHK makes all the correct observations but draws completely wrong conclusions.
    He continually underestimates the power and inertia of the system.
    The ever loving, ever powerful system.
    It’s going to come down, but only the deep dwellers know when.
    Make believe; fairy tales exist, as long as one believes…
    I don’t believe; game over.

    • ozone November 26, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Cascading failures and decimation (at the very least), or cornucopian dreams of “they thought of something!”?
      **For an example of the latter, true believer, see post below.

      Place your bets.

      (Although I don’t think we’ll be seeing anything quite so much in the realm of such dualistic thinking of black or white. Worldwide influence on local conditions: Climatic, pestilential, chemical, water availability, arable land, material for shelter, etc.)

      BTW, I’d agree that the inertia of a system bent on self-propagation for its’ own sake (with a surfeit of resources to hand) is nearly impossible to stop. When it chokes to death on its’ own idiotic, poisonous waste, it will leave us in a very bad place with very few choices and many forgotten lessons and skills.

      I reiterate:
      I suppose one of the salient questions of the age is: Can/Will we learn anything after this shaky facade stucco’ed in horseshit falls away and leaves us to our own devices, intuitions and ingenuity? There begins the peering into the guts of a natural reality too massive and life-giving/threatening to ignore.

      • Arn Varnold November 26, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

        @ Ozone
        I suppose one of the salient questions of the age is: Can/Will we learn anything after this shaky facade stucco’ed in horseshit falls away and leaves us to our own devices, intuitions and ingenuity?
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        In a word, no. A quick glance in the rear view mirror tells all.
        The ones who get “it” can’t change it.
        The only solution is on a personal, individual level, and hopefully in the company of a few like minded souls.

        • ozone November 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

          I hear you and that’s where I’m going, even though I’d call it more of a ‘strategy’ than a ‘solution’. (Small potatoes, silly semantic quibble.)

          • Arn Varnold November 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

            No, actually I agree, it’s a personal solution and a strategy for going forward.

  29. rube-i-con November 26, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    the dollar system can go on virtually indefinitely, as the govt can print money – i.e. pay people – at will. as long as they accept dollars, it’s almost game over, they win.

    jhk is flat out wrong about energy descent. humankind in the great West has always discovered and tapped new energy sources as previous ones were exhausted.

    we have the biggest one ever bombarding us daily with more than we’ll ever need, and we’re würking hard on tapping it.

    don’t bet on endtime losers that are always wrong. where is the crash of the US economy? where is the country that’s been crushed by $100+ oil?

    where is dow 4,000? it’s just so nauseating to have to go over this time and time again.

    the world’s been through horrific global wars, yet we’re on the other side much better off – everyone’s much better off.

    the inventors, scientists, engineers, the doers – not the dungeons and dragons folks – are dragging us forward.

    the truth is that we have endless energy right at our fingertips, we merely need to learn to tap into it.

    within a decade we will be mining nearby asteroids. space-based solar stations can harvest nearly 100% of the sun’s energy and transmit it to earth.

    of course you think this is pie in the sky. you always do. we will allow you to partake of the wonderful future, though.

    nss.org/settlement/ssp/

    we salute you as we pass you by to a bright new future….

    peace peaceniks

    • beantownbill. November 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Thank you for this post, I’ve posted many times over the years about how space-based solar power could solve our energy problems, but not too many people here listen to me. I’ve grown tired of my relevant comments in this matter ignored, so it is good that you’ve picked up the ball. Obviously, you don’t have to sell me on solar.

      That being said, I’m not optimistic that American society would put out the effort to make this happen. It would require an expensive, focused plan, and you know how Americans can barely think past getting out of bed in the morning. But why be pessimistic? Progress and innovation have its own momentum and we have a lot of forward-thinking entrepreneurs (e.g., Richard Branson, Elon Musk, et al).

      Hope for the best and prepare for the worst for great changes are coming.

    • K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Say Asoka,

      You say that inventors, scientists, engineers are dragging us forward and we have endless energy right at our fingertips. And you also say we’ve been through horrific global wars that we’re on the other side and everyone’s much better off.

      I could point out the dead people are not doing so well but never mind that. You also say all the government has to do is print money and it’s all good.

      But Jim says:

      The Federal Reserve can only pretend to have any option besides force-feeding “money” into Wall Street as if it were a Strasbourg Goose with Crohn’s disease. What passes through goose is a vile toxic substance called malinvestment, which turns the energies of society into activities that produce nothing of value, like hedge fund employee bonuses, NSA operations, Tesla car promotion, Frank Gehry condo towers, drone strikes against Afghani wedding parties, Obama photo ops, inflated auction prices of oil paintings, and Barney’s new Jay-Z holiday fashion collection.

      This does not seem like a world where the ‘doers’; your inventors, scientists and engineers are getting any bling to create the world of tomorrow you rant about at all. Is Jim wrong and we are all experiencing a collective hallucination? What gives? Shouldn’t those inventors, scientists and engineers be building a modern rail system and inventing electrically driven farm equipment? Shouldn’t they be inventing all sorts of things that will prepare us for an energy depleted future and stimulating the economy by their value added efforts?

      I’m confused. It seems like you just want business as usual to go on with business as usual suddenly producing different results. As it is business as usual currently produces ‘nothing of value‘ but to realize your world business as usual has to change to produce things of value. But business as usual by definition means no change!

      I’ve always been told that the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over expecting different results. Have I been told wrong? Is Jim wrong?

      Please enlighten. Curious dogs want to know!

    • Janos Skorenzy November 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      I once read a Jerry Pournelle article about a system that went the other way into the depths of the ocean. Somehow the extreme difference of the temperature between the depths and the surface could be used to produce energy. I’ll have to try and find it again. He is or was a well known science fiction writer.

      • BackRowHeckler November 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

        Vlad it Sounds like Science Fiction. But Hey, so did HG Wells Martian Death Ray.

        –BRH

    • Arn Varnold November 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

      Q rube-i-con
      November 26, 2013 at 10:31 am
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Yes, but there’s a living to be made by pandering (with decent word-smithing) to the cult.

  30. rube-i-con November 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    yep, solar power/alternative energy that fuels entire countries at times, massive increases in electrical efficiency (LEDs, computers that use less energy, cars more efficient) are just cornucopian dreams destined to fail.

    there have been wars and pestilences and chemical spills and disasters, both man-made and natural, money swindles etc. since time began. yet life is undeniably much better despite all of that.

    but yep, it’s all just waiting to come crashing down. wake me up when that happens, you know you’ve been so right about things until now.

    we salute you as we speed by you ploughing behind a mule and into a wonderful future of plenty.

    we are already partially there, but you have blinders on.

    peace peaceniks

  31. K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Reposted with the missing closing tag:

    Say Asoka,

    You say that inventors, scientists, engineers are dragging us forward and we have endless energy right at our fingertips. And you also say we’ve been through horrific global wars that we’re on the other side and everyone’s much better off.

    I could point out the dead people are not doing so well but never mind that. You also say all the government has to do is print money and it’s all good.

    But Jim says:

    The Federal Reserve can only pretend to have any option besides force-feeding “money” into Wall Street as if it were a Strasbourg Goose with Crohn’s disease. What passes through goose is a vile toxic substance called malinvestment, which turns the energies of society into activities that produce nothing of value, like hedge fund employee bonuses, NSA operations, Tesla car promotion, Frank Gehry condo towers, drone strikes against Afghani wedding parties, Obama photo ops, inflated auction prices of oil paintings, and Barney’s new Jay-Z holiday fashion collection.

    This does not seem like a world where the ‘doers’; your inventors, scientists and engineers are getting any bling to create the world of tomorrow you rant about at all. Is Jim wrong and we are all experiencing a collective hallucination? What gives? Shouldn’t those inventors, scientists and engineers be building a modern rail system and inventing electrically driven farm equipment? Shouldn’t they be inventing all sorts of things that will prepare us for an energy depleted future and stimulating the economy by their value added efforts?

    I’m confused. It seems like you just want business as usual to go on with business as usual suddenly producing different results. As it is business as usual currently produces ‘nothing of value‘ but to realize your world business as usual has to change to produce things of value. But business as usual by definition means no change!

    I’ve always been told that the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over expecting different results. Have I been told wrong? Is Jim wrong?

    Please enlighten. Curious dogs want to know!

  32. rube-i-con November 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    You also say all the government has to do is print money and it’s all good.

    no, you say all the government has to do is print money and it’s all good.

    i said they have the ability to print money and keep their game going. read the post again. i ain’t shillin’ for them, i’m just pointing out their god awful strength.

    saying people got killed in wars is not germane to any constructive point. people get killed by vaccines, so should we stop giving polio vaccine?

    the idea is that the world’s been thru convulsive episodes and gets better, not worse.

    worse is the past, go back and live in the 1800s or even earlyish 1900s, let us know how you like it.

    there’s tons of progress being made on the space-solar front, efficiency front, wind front, renewables front, human-energy front. all these areas are contributing massively to ultimately energy sufficiency.

    water can be recycled endlessly. so can energy. we are smarter than your dour pessimism, you’ll simply be left behind in your kaczynski shack as the rest of the planet embraces a life of plenty.

    all the technological progress flies in the face of your doomsday scenarios. global warming, whether caused by humans or not, will be accommodated by the planet in its unique way of adapting to change.

    the planet’s been thru much worse, viz. the meteor strike that wiped out 90 percent of life.

    we salute you as we leave you behind on the way to a wonderful new world of untold riches and experiences.

    peace peaceniks

    • johnwdb November 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      “water can be recycled endlessly. so can energy”

      No, energy cannot be recycled. Energy when spent is converted into a less useable form. This is the second law of thermodynamics. If energy could be recycled endlessly, you would not need to have a constant energy supply into your air conditioning system.

      Energy is most frequently spent as waste heat, which dissipates into the environment. Sometimes, it is possible to utilize a fraction of the waste heat toward some other energy-requiring process. Generally, though, it is not.

      I do not doubt that many creative ways to harness energy are being developed, but the fact is, the sum of them does not compare to the affordable, portable, stable, energy-rich, and readily available fossil fuels. That means far less driving and flying in the future, as we use about 15 million barrels of oil per day on transportation of some sort.

      • ozone November 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

        Damnation! Foiled by the laws of thermodynamics again!!

        But, then again, if we just wish hard enough, we can fly [or be cooled] without the aid of machinery of any kind! It’s the Peter Pan law that shall rule the day….

        Come, fly with me to the land of Cornucopia!

    • K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      You say:“he dollar system can go on virtually indefinitely, as the govt can print money – i.e. pay people – at will. as long as they accept dollars, it’s almost game over, they win.”

      I can’t agree. It seems this approach has been tried before with disastrous results. Quantitative easing is negative Robin Hood and causes inflation. There are strong indications that Quantitative Easing is increasing income inequality and splitting society into two camps. Those who have nothing and those who want more!

      The Nightmare German Inflation

      There’s tons of progress being made on the space-solar front?

      Dude, currently NASA can’t even put a man in space. You be pulling on that crack pipe too hard man. I know its letting you see a wonderful new world of untold riches and experiences but let up on that shit. It’s destroying you.

      • K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        ?????????????????

        Did not type that and I know!! that Jim is not messing with the dog.

        So who is?

        • K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

          Now it disappeared!

          This had been tacked on the end of my comment after let up on that shit. It’s destroying you.

          :

          Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          C-R-A-Z-Y stuff. Something is rotten and I’m not even in Denmark.

  33. rube-i-con November 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Shouldn’t those inventors, scientists and engineers be building a modern rail system and inventing electrically driven farm equipment? Shouldn’t they be inventing all sorts of things that will prepare us for an energy depleted future and stimulating the economy by their value added efforts?

    yes, that is precisely what they are building, thanks for mentioning a few of them.

    let’s take a quick look at the list:

    LED – 75-98% more efficient than incandescents, and last forever

    Huge rail systems in China and Japan, for example

    Solar on millions of rooftops

    The Internet, which you yourself use, saves pollution in the form of paper, miles driven to deliver messages, etc. Keeps millions of folks off the roads since they can work from home, decreases traffic, pollution, accidents, gas usage

    Body-powered computers – say goodbye to needing anything but a few watts of energy from your body to be online. Gigantic savings by reducing fossil-fuel burning to produce electricity.

    Smart buildings/homes that produce as much energy as they use. check out net plus energy houses in Denmark, they actually produce more energy than they use.

    Driverless, smart cars that communicate with each other, control traffic lights to eliminate needless stops and idling, and make traffic safer and flow faster.

    GPS devices: these undoubtedly have saved billions of gallons of gas from being wasted driving around trying to find the right way.

    Recycling – Germany recycles 80% of its garbage. Massively cuts the need to dig and refine bauxite for aluminium, provides jobs, keeps the environment clean in the form of less landfill.

    Medical – organ transplants, bionic implantable devices that greatly improve the lives of amputees / paralytics. Designer drugs tailored to individual organisms.

    this is just a tiny list. There are scads of little things people can do at home like have a garden, plant a tree, that add up to significant contributions to improving the planet when done en masse.

    all of the West’s history is one of forward progress that results in better standards of living in every area. why do you continue to deny the obvious, besides the fact that it’s fashionable and takes no effort to be negative?

    you have access to limitless food, leisure, entertainment, travel, natural untouched or nearly untouched areas, social interaction, medical technology, sex (if you care to), can learn anything for free, can buy wonderful cars and other machines, etc.

    if you respond, please don’t talk in generalities like ‘business as usual’, which is fairly empty of content. at least cite something concrete that shows why the list i provide does not make the planet a better, more sustainable place. you might say “well the planet’s overheating” or “we’re going to have massive famine”. you know, something that is more tangible to talk about, rather than ‘horseshit is the new currency’, which is rather vacuous and subjective.

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      LED – 75% more efficient only and they last about 200,000 hours. Turning them on and off results in thermal wear. Since you know my profession I’ll take your LED comment as a desire to yank my chain. We covered that last week.

      You should familiarize yourself with this concept. I’m only trying to help. Since you want to present yourself as an expert on alternative energies you need to know it.

      Energy Return On Energy Invested

      China Japan and Germany, damn man! Anything happening in America?

      Do the math. There will be a quiz.

  34. rube-i-con November 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    <LED – 75% more efficient only and they last about 200,000 hours. Turning them on and off results in thermal wear.

    so let’s see, they’re only 75% more efficient. and only last 20,000 hours, which is only about 8-10 times as long as incandescents.

    so we can drastically cut electricity usage with them, and by extension our reliance on fossil fuels, and by extension refute the central tenet of kunstlerism. all of which you slough off as a useless advance.

    yep you really know your profession. the whole world’s going to LEDs yet k-dog just know it ain’t gonna do no good. system’s collapsing.

    this is just why this board is hopeless.

    regarding EROEI, Stanford University say all the solar panels ever created are now net energy plus. which has massive implications.

    Regarding China and Germany and Japan being cited…yep, you’re right, they’re not the world’s largest industriaised countries using the most power, after the US, so they aren’t a valid example.

    you fail the most basic test of rationality.

    we salute you as we whiz into a future of massive abundance.

    peace peaceniks

    • ozone November 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      “…this is just why this board is hopeless…” -Rubes-I-con

      I know, I know — it’s a sad, sad thing that none of the attentive rubes [in attendance] can be conned by your rationalities and dreams of flying. Oh well.

      Ps. Careful with that ‘whizzing’; you’re almost exclusively doing it into the wind, massive abundance or no.

  35. K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    “The Fed makes regular noises about ending the force-feeding program (a.k.a. “quantitative easing” or “bond purchases”) issued in the recorded minutes of its Open Market Committee (FOMC). The propaganda is called “forward guidance” to give it the appearance of seriousness and rectitude, but its actual nature is more like what goes on in a Jerry Lewis movie of the 1960s — a kind of antic mugging.”

    I was not wrong when I described quantitative easing as reverse Robin Hood and that it is splitting society between those who have nothing and those who want more. Very bad Juju.

    Here is an excellent article that echoes what I’m saying.

    The politics of quantitative easing: ‘recovery’ through regressive redistribution

    This is the wrong way to be taking society. A sustainable society can’t work with huge income disparity (see American Heresy )and the direction we should be going is 180 degrees form the direction we are taking. I’ve been asked to write something new and in time I will but for now I don’t see anybody else making the connection I’ve made between the survival of the human race and better income equality. A society split in factions at odds with each other is a society that can’t cooperate to make necessary changes to ensure future survival.

    If you are an independent thinker it is time to step up. Business as usual will be the death of us. We need a change in direction.

  36. BackRowHeckler November 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Don’t worry about the trouble brewing up between China and Japan we’ve been hearing about this week. We have an experienced, crack Diplomat on scene, Caroline Kennedy. She should be able to smooth things out, like Jefferson in Paris, or George Kennan in Moscow.

    –BRH

    • ozone November 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

      Well, I don’t see a problem there. All we have to do is conquer, subdue and subjugate the Chinese and all will be well — right?

      We’ve been successful in every other land where we’ve implemented this strategy — right?

      • K-Dog November 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

        They might not like that and they make all our shit. Could be a problem.

        • BleatToTheBeat November 26, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

          …all our shit

      • stelmosfire November 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

        Howdy 03 no finger pickin’ here. I lopped off the end of the ol’ ring finger 11/3. Doc said it might take but it is a lost cause, I shoulda had it cut off when it happened. . Stinks like a sumbitch, gangrene and all. Dogs seem to find the smell attractive. Now it will be another 3-4 weeks. Pulley’s ,belts, and fingers don’t mix well !! Pulleys win

  37. progress4what November 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    “The propaganda is called “forward guidance” to give it the appearance of seriousness and rectitude, but its actual nature is more like what goes on in a Jerry Lewis movie of the 1960s — a kind of antic mugging. Lately it’s referred to as “taper talk””….jhk….

    Yeah, and any sort of strangeness involving the taper will inevitably be referred to as a “taper caper.”

    Good stuff, JHK, and thanks for the week’s work.

    And everyone who celebrates; have a great Thanksgiving!

    The average person in the States has quite a few things to be thankful for, than does the average person in most of the rest of the world. We’ve been a lucky nation.

    Though we do love to bitch.

    And statistically, our luck is likely to run out some day.

    • daytrip November 27, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      taper caper – looks good on paper

  38. progress4what November 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Someone posted a link to Mother Jones concerning the death of the California Bullet Train. Pretty good info, and good comments. I liked this one, which saves me having to write my own:

    “There was a time when the Progressive movement stood for efficiency and good governance and this current fetish that many liberals have for high speed rail is definitely not in that noble and pragmatic tradition.

    High speed rail is heavily subsidized even in places like France and Germany and it does not make much sense in the US where the population is more suburban and we don’t have dense cities close to each other like European capitals.

    What are you going to do once you get off of this $100 billion dollar train in LA? You still need a car to get around LA.”
    ….mj commenter…

    Plus, the energy efficiency of a passenger train is not a whole lot greater than that of a 40mpg passenger car with 4 people.

    And a fully loaded diesel bus actually beats most trains.

    • BleatToTheBeat November 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      “We’ve been a LUCKY nation”

      You gotta be kidding me.

      Do you really believe that old man Rockefeller counted on luck?

    • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      I thought the article was more about bad government than about the bullet train itself. If the article is on the level Judge Michael Kenny made the right call.

  39. Q. Shtik November 27, 2013 at 12:06 am #

    “Here you go, Q.” – Prog
    ==========

    Dees yoots can thank their lucky stars I’m not dare prof…regardless of race color or creed.

  40. rube-i-con November 27, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    I know, I know — it’s a sad, sad thing that none of the attentive rubes [in attendance] can be conned by your rationalities and dreams of flying.

    yep, you guys are just so realistic. i love how easily you brush aside a mere 75% increase in efficiency, as if that’s a con. there’s no reasoning if that’s the case.

    meanwhile, you benefit from all the advances of the past many decades whilst clamouring that the end of the world is nigh.

    what a sad lot you are!

    we saluate you as we speed past you into the abundant, wonderful future!

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      75% more efficiency without changes in living arrangements leads to 75% more population using up 75% more arable land. Ooopppps strike that, we don’t have 75% more arable land.

      Just as Icarus flew to close to the sun so shall our wings of wax melt away. When the crash comes it will be a 75% harder fall.

    • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Such nastiness and then you say ‘peace peacenicks’ one could get the idea you’re insincere.

      “I don’t care even if it is massively more efficient, people will just use it all up anyway!”

      Well good for you! If you can ever pass environmentalism 101 you might be able to wrap your noggin around this concept. It is a higher level environmentalism 202 idea. Now pay close attention..

      1) Through human history technical solutions have always been found to solve problems when overpopulation or depletion of resources manifests as social crisis.

      2) Technical solutions when found generally provide more surplus than needed to alleviate the shortage crisis. This manifests as society once again being able to ‘grow’ until the next crisis of shortage happens and the cycle repeats itself.

      So far what I’ve written supports both your cornucopian delusion and my realistically based point of view.

      But wait there is more!

      3) The process can only go on as long as limits to growth are not reached and technical solutions can be found.

      We have reached the limits to growth the planet. The Earth is only so big and their is only so much wealth in the ground that can be extracted. Further while I know this is going to be hard by someone consumed by technical narcissism to understand please do try. You might want to take a break and let the previous points sink in before going on.

      The wide range of technical solutions which mankind has continually found to solve the shortage crisis when it manifests exploits only a very small number of physical laws. Take for example the number of ways in which burning of oil produces motion. Internal combustion engines, jet engines, diesel engines, steam engines. The list can go on but all these variations do only one thing. They combine hydrocarbons with oxygen and harness the resulting explosive release of energy.

      The number of physical laws exploited to produce all modern technical marvels can be written down on a single page and these laws have been exploited to the hilt as far as they can be already. Technical innovation has reached its own limits of growth and future innovation will produce far less ‘bang for the buck’ than it has until now. Joseph Tainter has observed that as civilizations collapse there is a falling off in the return from innovation. His observation is founded on sound physical principles.

      Fossil fuels; in particular cheap oil has been the crack in the crack pipe of progress for a hundred years. Look at the energy content of oil compared to other forms of fuels and you will find the relative amount of energy contained in a unit of oil to be shockingly high. Nothing else comes close.

      Try it. You can find the data in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

      The extreme utility of oil has produced a society who’s basic operation now depends on it. America is and addict and its heroin is oil. We need a treatment plan.

      Unfortunately in the name of ‘National Security” we have cornucopian deluded children like yourself who live here to prevent any rational discussion from which a treatment plan for our addiction can be developed. You should be ashamed of yourself and blood will be on your hands.

      Achieving greater efficiencies by itself is nothing more than arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  41. progress4what November 27, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/27/the-switchboard-nsa-discussed-using-porn-habits-to…

    And so – is it that far of a jump from here to a headline that says, “Threat of Revealed Porn Habits Used to Keep Leaders in Line?”

    I still want to know why Justice? Roberts called that “illegally imposed fine,” a “tax.”

    • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      BBBBBBaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

      The BLOWBACK from any such foolishness would make our government peepers look like twisted perverts. It might silence one or two dissidents at first but then a sudden flush of fear would cause millions of men, white faced and pale, bloodless with shock to violently snap off their computer switch and yank their plugs from walls all across the country.

      Then with nothing to do and ‘pent up’ from frustration they’d choose to exercise second amendment rights. It would give ‘Minute Men’ a whole new meaning!

      Such a ‘tactic’ could easily be faked and whatever slim sliver of government credibility remains would be totally trashed.

      Deliberately aggravating Muslim radicals would be a really bad idea. I think we all know they are crazy enough already and doing this to them would be stirring shit with a stick.

      Internet Porn Statistics

      Whoever thought of this tool of repression was a total wank job.

      • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 11:24 am #

        And check out that pie chart in the ‘Statistics’ link. South Korea? Who’d of guessed that!

  42. rube-i-con November 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    75% more efficiency without changes in living arrangements leads to 75% more population using up 75% more arable land.

    okay now your game’s totally clear to me.

    since you can’t refute facts, and are called on it when you diss colossal increases in efficiency that expose your doomsday scenarios as childish imaginings, you impetuously say: “i don’t care even if it is massively more efficient, people will just use it all up anyway! so there!”

    don’t bother responding (to me). no use trying to reason with children (you).

    for the serious-minded on the board, here are some net energy plus homes in the US (net energy plus homes produce more energy than they consume):

    inhabitat.com/passive-volkshouse-is-an-affordable-net-zero-energy-home-in-santa-fe/

    peace peaceniks

    • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      I placed this in the wrong place and it is worth reposting where it belongs. Sorry for the double post.

      Such nastiness and then you say ‘peace peacenicks’ one could get the idea you’re insincere.

      “I don’t care even if it is massively more efficient, people will just use it all up anyway!”

      Well good for you! If you can ever pass environmentalism 101 you might be able to wrap your noggin around this concept. It is a higher level environmentalism 202 idea. Now pay close attention..

      1) Through human history technical solutions have always been found to solve problems when overpopulation or depletion of resources manifests as social crisis.

      2) Technical solutions when found generally provide more surplus than needed to alleviate the shortage crisis. This manifests as society once again being able to ‘grow’ until the next crisis of shortage happens and the cycle repeats itself.

      So far what I’ve written supports both your cornucopian delusion and my realistically based point of view.

      But wait there is more!

      3) The process can only go on as long as limits to growth are not reached and technical solutions can be found.

      We have reached the limits to growth the planet. The Earth is only so big and their is only so much wealth in the ground that can be extracted. Further while I know this is going to be hard by someone consumed by technical narcissism to understand please do try. You might want to take a break and let the previous points sink in before going on.

      The wide range of technical solutions which mankind has continually found to solve the shortage crisis when it manifests exploits only a very small number of physical laws. Take for example the number of ways in which burning of oil produces motion. Internal combustion engines, jet engines, diesel engines, steam engines. The list can go on but all these variations do only one thing. They combine hydrocarbons with oxygen and harness the resulting explosive release of energy.

      The number of physical laws exploited to produce all modern technical marvels can be written down on a single page and these laws have been exploited to the hilt as far as they can be already. Technical innovation has reached its own limits of growth and future innovation will produce far less ‘bang for the buck’ than it has until now. Joseph Tainter has observed that as civilizations collapse there is a falling off in the return from innovation. His observation is founded on sound physical principles.

      Fossil fuels; in particular cheap oil has been the crack in the crack pipe of progress for a hundred years. Look at the energy content of oil compared to other forms of fuels and you will find the relative amount of energy contained in a unit of oil to be shockingly high. Nothing else comes close.

      Try it. You can find the data in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

      The extreme utility of oil has produced a society who’s basic operation now depends on it. America is and addict and its heroin is oil. We need a treatment plan.

      Unfortunately in the name of ‘National Security” we have cornucopian deluded children like yourself who live here to prevent any rational discussion from which a treatment plan for our addiction can be developed. You should be ashamed of yourself and blood will be on your hands.

      Achieving greater efficiencies by itself is nothing more than arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

      • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

        OOPS

        America is an addict and its heroin is oil.

      • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

        We have reached the limits to growth onthe planet.

        I wish we could edit our own comments but C’est La Vie.

    • K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      For the serious-minded on the board, here are some net energy plus homes in the US (net energy plus homes produce more energy than they consume).

      That’s great!!

      If we had a responsible government we’d have a program to mass produce them on an enormous scale. But you praise museum pieces and like yuppies driving Priuses they are not going to save the world.

      Given the opportunity I’ll build a net energy plus doghouse on enough land for a large garden. But for that I need a job and all the jobs here have been shipped overseas and the ones still remaining which pay enough for such a doghouse are often filled by people shipped in from overseas as it is perceived that they will work for less.

      But don’t confuse what I just wrote for bitterness. I’m observing our social condition. The fact is I now have to get ready for a job interview that’s going to happen later this afternoon. My chances for this one should be pretty good but with so many other hungry dogs out there looking for their own meat there are no guarantees.

      Wish me luck Asoka. It’s a goddamn clusterfuck out there and I need it.

  43. BackRowHeckler November 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    The economic news on the CNBC site isn’t good, its great!

    We have some Frenchies, from Cannes and Paris, as guests to sample our Thanksgiving Holiday. They love this place. One thing that impressed is the amount and variety of food in our local chain supermarket, as well as the (relatively) low price of everything. Another thing is the cheap gasoline, and riding around town in my Big Silverado. My friend has a Citreon, who says when you sit in it your knees are up against your chest. Tomorrow we’ll feed these Frenchies turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatos and a whole bunch of other stuff, which is what they came for to begin with.

    Yesterday the French Govt. deployed 1000 combat troops to Central African Republic to join the 500 that are already there. Seems the president is a cannibal, and another genocide is brewing.

    –BRH

  44. nsa November 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    “All Bulled Up With No Place To Go”……..
    On the ranch in Tonasket WA, “bulling” referred to cows in heat mounting each other when no actual bulls were available…….

  45. Florida Power November 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider” – George Carlin

    Therein lies the rub. John Michael Greer noted how the farmers and common townsfolk grasped the intellectual sophistication of the Lincoln-Douglas debates which, when compared with today’s vapid posturing, leads one to conclude that the general level of intelligence required of a virtuous citizenry has declined to an untenable level.

    Even in Rube-i-con’s possible future in which The Second Law is but a limited case, there is the accumulated debris of history – all that human flotsam and jetsam floating around in cultural-political space – resisting and constricting, forcing the future into paths unintended. Reality is not just a shared hallucination, but a compromise. Sure, we could build light rail that maybe is at unity or above (ignoring for sake of argument all that embedded fossil energy) but there will always be those who will urinate in the cathedral.

  46. rube-i-con November 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    all the jobs here have been shipped overseas

    this is yet another sky-is-falling overblown statement. there are maybe no jobs for unskilled folks. my skilled friend just got a $140k/year job. so learn a skill that pays. i am very tired of saying this to dummies that never learn. it’s just a waste of time talking to most folks. they never change. get a goddam skill.

    and then offer it in return for payment. like fixing things. i well remember how my idea of fixing appliances was met with ridicule. well, when you get offered $8.25 an hour don’t come crying to me about how all the good jobs went overseas. when you could be making 75K a year on appliances.

    damn, we must live in different universes. i have unending work as a translator and programmer. i learned these trades myself. the world has lots of potential, people are creating solutions to big problems, demonstrable solutions that are poopooed by the blind doomsdayers here that use modern technology to make their lives better.

    regarding praise for museum pieces that aren’t going to save the world…i have to laff at ur shortsightedness, you remind me of the head of ibm who said the world has a market for maybe 5 computers.

    the fact that a net energy plus house is a reality means we can effectively put off energy descent forever. we have the ability to greatly reduce the need for fossil fuels with these types of houses.

    from the tone of this board, i think you guys would have called the first pc’s museum pieces too. ditto the internet. no one will ever use that.

    we salute you as we pass you off and enter a brave new world of an abundant future.

    good luck with your job interview.

    peace peaceniks

    • beantownbill. November 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      Rubicon, I like and respect K-Dog, based on what I can glean about him from his postings. However, in the case of the future, you are right and he is wrong. In fact, I would go so far as to say he is one of those who contributes to the problem, not the solution.

      In just one area, that of energy production, I wonder why doom mongers refuse to consider alternatives. Take for example, space-based solar power. The concept doesn’t violate any laws of physics. Then the only way to refute it is to show that mankind doesn’t have the economic and physical resources to build SBSP. I don’t see any facts and figures from the doom mongers showing why it can’t be done, probably because they can’t disprove the facility of this type of energy resource. To offhandedly and disdainfully calling proponents cornucopians without discussion of facts is really just avoiding the topic.
      .
      That only leaves political power reasons why SBSP couldn’t happen. Debating that issue is much more accurate and appropriate.

  47. Q. Shtik November 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Here’s a tidbit of info to do with or not do with as you please.

    Today is Nov 27th and the DOW hit another new all time closing high at 16,097.33. The intra-day high was even higher but I haven’t looked it up yet. Will this surge continue?

    About 20 years ago I did a study to determine when (day, week, month) the DOW reached its highest point for each year going all the way back to when such data was first available (around 1900 as I recall). I was not seeking all time highs, just the highest point for each year. I also determined the date low points were reached. There was a very definite pattern to high points but no perceptible pattern to lows points.

    Far and away the month in which highs were most frequently reached was December. Second most frequent was January.

    Within December the week most frequently containing the DOW highpoint of the year was the last week (i.e. last 5 trading days).

    Within that last week the day most frequently experiencing the DOW highpoint was the final day of trading for the year, whether Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, or Fri.

    With this in mind I will suggest the odds are good that the 2013 DOW high will happen on Dec 26, 27, 30 or 31.

    • Q. Shtik November 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      low (singular)

    • Janos Skorenzy November 28, 2013 at 12:36 am #

      Very valuable information. Thanks.

  48. BackRowHeckler November 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Hey Ripthunder, are you saying your finger got cut off?

    Jesus H Christ!!!

    –BRH

  49. beantownbill. November 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    RT, would you please be more fucking careful! I hope tou are otherwise all right.

  50. rube-i-con November 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    To offhandedly and disdainfully calling proponents cornucopians without discussion of facts is really just avoiding the topic

    you’ll notice the doomsters revel in the vaguest of generalities and do not (rarely) respond with facts that might lead one to conclude one way or another.

    i have cited many, many advancements that demonstrate that we have the capability to overcome alleged energy descent. and are already doing it on many fronts. SBSP is one. where is the challenge, the refutation?

    thank you very kindly for being a reasonable voice.

    peace peaceniks

    • Neon Vincent November 27, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      OK, Rube Icon, the River that Must Not Be Crossed, I have some links *you* might like. After all, there is a reason I named my blog after the fictional alien Crazy Eddie. He was a techno-optimist, too. He was also a believer in hopeless causes.

      crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/10/renewable-energy-news-from-campuses-on.html

      crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/09/university-of-cincinnati-explores.html

      crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/07/solar-impulse-lands-in-new-york.html

    • Neon Vincent November 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      Ah, WordPress moderation software is in action, I see. Three links triggers it. Therefore, I won’t post three links in a comment again.

    • K-Dog November 28, 2013 at 3:04 am #

      “SBSP is one. where is the challenge, the refutation?”

      The refutation, from the article “Controversy Flares Over Space-Based Solar Power Plans“.

      An excerpt:

      A former NASA scientist demonstrated the RF concept last year by beaming 20 watts between two Hawaiian islands ? barely enough energy to power a dim light bulb. That experiment cost just $1 million. A full-scale space solar power setup would require much bigger and more costly receivers.

      Typically power plants generate more than 1000 megawatts. If a million dollars gives only 20 watts then it would take $50,000,000,000,000 to beam down 1000 megawatts from space. This is five times the amount of money in the world. In other words.

      All the money in the world would not come close to building a space based power station that even comes close to equalling the power generated by a single typically sized earth based power station.

      I actually think the idea of an SBPS is really cool. Cool but sadly impractical; pie in the sky.

      • K-Dog November 28, 2013 at 3:14 am #

        This is better:

        All the money in the world would not build a space based power station that even comes close to equalling the power generated by a single typically sized earth based power station.

        Total pie in the sky.

        • Janos Skorenzy November 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

          Are you against high tech for moral reasons? Would your ideal state have any high tech if could be kept clean? Even if only on a limited basis for special purposes?

          How about Ocean Thermal Systems, which use the solar heating of the ocean. To quote Jerry Pournelle, “One possible system is pictured in figure 5. It is an Earth based solar system and the concept is simple enough. All over the Earth, the sun shines on the seas, warming them. In many places – particularly the Tropics – the warm water lies above very cold depths. The temperature difference is on the order of 50 degrees F, which corresponds to a respectable water pressure of 90 feet. Most hydro-electric systems do not have a 90 foot pressure head.”

          Some systems are described here: wbdg.org/resources/oceanenergy.php

          • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 3:39 am #

            I am for any technical solution, hight tech or low tech that meets the following two conditions.

            A) The solution must not be an environmental disaster.

            B) The solution must make economic sense.

            Ocean thermal systems are nothing new. I believe in heat pumps and wish someone would actually build a system that exploits the difference between ocean temperature depths.

            Paying due respect to condition A such systems must not be implemented on a scale that would disrupt normal ocean currents. A demonstration project would obviously not come close to being a problem in that way and much could be learned.

          • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 3:40 am #

            high tech or low tech

        • beantownbill. November 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

          Yes, at 2009 levels of efficiency. Ever hear of progress?

      • beantownbill. November 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

        Did you read the entire article? That scientist, Hoffer, actually believes in the possibility that SBSP can provide us with energy equivalent to solar panel’s efficiency. Note the article was written in 2009. Increases in solar panel efficiency has risen a lot since then. Four years in R&D can be a long time. Also, note the the experiment used microwave radiation and Hoffer proposed using lasers. Ever hear about laser-beam weapons being successfully tested? Aren’t there satellite laser-beam systems now? Wasn’t the government freaked out when North Korea launched a satellite, because they were afraid that the North Koreans could have the ability to include a laser system aboard? For SBSP, all that needs to be developed is a significant increase in distance efficiency.

        Sure, there are issues in beaming down energy from orbit. If it was so easy, someone would have done it already. The current progress of R&D is really just starting, given the resources currently available. What, one experiment (of which we don’t know the details) didn’t work out well enough? Did you forget that Edison had to conduct 10,000 experiments before he could produce a practical lightbulb? Did Jonas Salk develop a workable polio vaccine on his first attempt?

        Your response is typical of doom mongers, K-Dog: Assume, to begin with, that something can’t be achieved and look for anything that wasn’t successful to validate your claim. Sorry, this methodology doesn’t work for me.

        • Janos Skorenzy November 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

          Would the SBSP introduce energy onto the Earth that wasn’t already coming in from natural sunlight? As a believer in Global Warming, Kdog would veto it for this reason. The Ocean Thermal System is free from this so I wanted to see if he would veto this as well.

          • beantownbill. November 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

            In order for the system to work, sunlight gathered from satellites would have to be rather tight-beamed, else the transmission to Earth would be attenuated to the point of uselessness. Think of how a flashlight beam works – it spreads out in a cone. That’s not good. Picture a hose adjusted in a tight stream, rather than in a wider spray; that’s what we’d want.

            When the collected sunlight, in whatever form, is transmitted to Earth, most of it would be received within a relatively small area because the amount of attenuation shouldn’t be large, hence the amount of impact to the environment should be acceptably small, less than the impact of collecting and processing fossil fuels.

          • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 3:42 am #

            That criticism of SBSP is overblown and represents an effort of grasping at straws in a case where there is no need to do so.

  51. Q. Shtik November 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    “for the serious-minded on the board, here are some net energy plus homes in the US” – Rube-i-con
    ==========

    Unfortunately, 310 million of us can’t live in adobe dwellings in a desert in New Mexico with the sun beating down on an array of large solar panels unblocked by huge oak trees. But if we could, who would be the suckers to buy our current energy inefficient homes?

    • BleatToTheBeat November 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

      Not to mention the hassle of finding a decent swimming pool service in Albuquerque!

      • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 3:46 am #

        I think that if there is demand for a decent swimming pool service in Albuquerque someone will start one. Be patient and remember ‘Field of Dreams’ If you build it they will come.

  52. beantownbill. November 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    To Marlin:

    Thank you. An easier way to say it, at least this year, is happy thanksgivakkuh (or something like that). Anyway, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow your stomach will be very bloated.

  53. beantownbill. November 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    To Q:

    I hope you are right. I don’t have much financial resources in my retirement funds as a result of a long- term profligate lifestyle that any retired, self-respecting accounting person would disapprove. Unfortunately, what I do have is tied up in stocks, with some cash in CDs (after I reached 62, I lost my desire to speculate in other types of investments, and my stock portfolio increased enough to cover my cash’s loss of value due to inflation and very low rates).

    My issue is this: I know the market will peak, probably sooner rather than later, and I have no confidence in banks after seeing bail-ins in Cyprus, and events in Greece. I’d love to pull my funds out of my SEP-IRAs, but I’m only 68.5 years old. I’d have to pay a hefty tax and maybe penalty if I withdraw now, and I’ll be damned before I give the Feds any of my wealth. I have 2 years before I can withdraw funds without penalty, but I don’t think we have 2 years before some serious shit goes down. I’ve wrestled with this for over a year and still haven’t figured out what to do to my satisfaction. That’s why I was happy to hear you think I can still increase my wealth for the next couple of months. I hope you are right.

    • beantownbill. November 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

      I’m still in good health, considering my age and the fact that my body is wearing down. I think it’ll be a long, slow process of decay, so that I still have enough good years of active living left in which to enjoy life. I still have my business and am continuing to make an income, but I decided to finally cut down on some of my spending.

      I gave up my iphone. I just don’t use it’s advanced features. My wife has her own smartphone and does use it a lot, so I don’t have to have one myself, particularly since last month I used it for a total of 2 minutes, and the month before that, for 17 minutes. I bought a cheap cell phone for $20, and signed up for a pre-paid plan that costs $.25 per minute. I had to purchase $100 dollars worth of minutes to cover the next year. This buys me 400 minutes per year, more than enough for me, at $8.33 per month, a far cry from what I’m paying now.

      I sold my sports car for which I paid cash when I bought it, so I still had considerable equity in it. Funny thing, we’re getting along fine with one car.

      I was spending $101 per month on my Verizon home phone. I ditched that plan and went onto a Vonage plan for only $35 per month, including all the rip-off government taxes and fees. I also pay $101 per month for my business line, and I’m about to do the same Vonage thing for $40 per month.

      The point is, we seem to be able to do everything we always do, but for less money. I have ideas on how to cut down on other expenses. It only took a determination to spend less, and some research to learn how to make it happen.

      • Arn Varnold November 28, 2013 at 3:14 am #

        *I bought a cheap cell phone for $20, and signed up for a pre-paid plan that costs $.25 per minute.*
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Ouch! Here in Asia it costs .03 cents/minute and about .15 cents/minute to call America. No contracts, so one buys the phone and choose any company (here). The other remarkable thing is this; I call, I pay; if somebody calls me, I don’t pay, no cost to me.
        I’m billed by the month and usually (I don’t speak much on the phone) pay less than $12.
        Cell phones are a rip-off in the states. Last I visited, I brought my phone with me and bought a sim card and spent about $75 over a 30 day stay. Lots of calls and a few overseas, so I wasn’t unhappy.
        Went back home and put my Asian sim card back in and went my merry way.
        If I ever go back stateside (unlikely) I’ll buy an unlocked (legal) phone and a sim card.

        • nsa November 28, 2013 at 11:38 am #

          So all you JHK groupies move to asia and become white houseboys for kindly asian families….and in your off hours you can whine about the 14 hour days with the other houseboys for 3 cents a minute……….

          • Arn Varnold November 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

            Obviously, you haven’t been paying attention…

  54. Q. Shtik November 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    “I have 2 years before I can withdraw funds without penalty” – Bean
    ============

    I don’t know if a SEP-IRA is different from a plain old IRA but with an ordinary IRA you would not be penalized for withdrawing any or all of your dollars. True, if you withdrew everything you might push yourself into a higher tax bracket and pay more tax than if you withdrew your money in smaller increments over time.

    Perhaps you are misunderstanding the rules regarding RMD (Required Minimum Distributions). Once you reach 70.5 years old you must begin to take RMDs each year. A moderately complex formula is applied to the year end value of your IRA that takes into account your age and (I think) your spouses age. You must pull this minimum amount (or more if desired) and pay the tax on it. If you don’t you will be penalized.

    To my knowledge there is no penalty involved in pulling money any time and in any amount between 59 and 70.5 years of age.

    My IRA money is in an account with Wells Fargo. I have it set up where money is withdrawn quarterly so that the exact minimum amount is pulled each year. I have a portion sent as tax to both the Fed and State. I try to estimate an amount a little greater than necessary so that I get a refund and don’t have to pay them a penalty.

    • beantownbill. November 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      Thanks for the info, Q. This gives me something to think about.

  55. rube-i-con November 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Unfortunately, 310 million of us can’t live in adobe dwellings in a desert in New Mexico with the sun beating down on an array of large solar panels unblocked by huge oak trees.

    you make the mistake of fatalizing, along with other assumption errors.

    the point is not for 310 million to do this, the point is for perhaps 20-40% of homes to be made net energy plus, which would make for a colossal reduction in the use of electricity, with the associated drop in the need to burn fossil fuels to supply said power.

    plus, who says you HAVE to live in the DESERT to do this? denmark has no desert, yet has net energy plus homes.

    it’s very telling that, every time someone points out a de facto technological reality, you doomsdayers come back with some childish hyperbole why it can’t be done. it’s really laffable.

    we salute you from our net energy plus homes as we careen into a future of abundance and untold riches.

    peace peaceniks

    • Arn Varnold November 29, 2013 at 2:06 am #

      This is one reason we’re failing ourselves and the planet.
      The irony is; the planet, per se, isn’t in danger, but our existence on it definitely is in question. At least, for 90+% of earthlings.

    • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 4:00 am #

      I support energy plus and wish people would stop talking about it and do it. This would however require the support of a responsible government which is not bought and paid for by oil companies and other corporations.

      You misunderstood me. My criticism is that they are museum pieces and not being implemented as they should. Given the resources I would build an energy plus doghouse and live in it. I clearly said so. What part of that did you not understand.

      A government backed initiative could even be big enough to implement methods so that energy negative dwellings could be torn down and their materials reused in constructing new energy plus structures.

      But we need less talk and more action. As it is the talk does nothing and there is no action at all.

  56. Q. Shtik November 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    “it’s very telling that, every time someone points out a de facto technological reality, you doomsdayers come back with some childish hyperbole why it can’t be done.” – Rube
    ==========

    Be realistic Rube, it is YOU who have presented a link to an article and a picture of a net energy plus home as if to suggest that if they could do it why can’t the rest of us do it.

    Less than one week ago I was visiting my m-i-l in the hospital. Her roommate was a woman a year older (92.5). That old woman’s daughter, herself old-ish and retired was tending to her mother’s every need. I got to chat with this caregiver for a solid two hours and the conversation covered the gamut from the trials of caregiving and health insurance to the topic of the solar panel installation project nearly completed on her home. My recollection of the numbers went something like this:

    Solar power over the past two months had offset 63% of her normal usage compared to the prior year. She has 16 panels and each is about 2/3rds the size of a common interior door like a closet door. When completed she expected an offset of 70-75% taking into account seasonality.

    I asked if the sun’s rays were obstructed by anything such as leafy trees or other buildings from sun up to sun down. No, no obstructions. I mentioned that my reason for asking was that MY home is surrounded by 5 huge oak trees. She grimaced saying that would make solar cost ineffective for me. I asked how long the “payback period” would be for her project…how long before electric bill savings would equal the cost of the solar installation. After some hesitation she said “two years.” I’m guessing she was giving a number that was way too optimistic. Then she mentioned as further support a 30% tax credit that factored into the payback calculation. This woman was retired from PSE&G (Public Service Electric and Gas) where she was employed 46 years so she spoke with some authority.

    Rube, I wonder about your figure of 20-40% of homes that might reasonably be converted to solar. Of 310 million people how many live in rental units, cities, high rises, etc and how many in their own homes. Of those in their own homes how many would have the money for such a project. How many of those owned homes are poorly located, as mine is, for solar input. How many owners of those poorly located homes would be willing to sell their homes and buy one of those net energy positive homes like the one pictured in Santa Fe? How long would the non-solar majority be willing to subsidize the solar minority with 30% tax credits before a halt is called to this Robin Hood tax scheme?

    Rube, it is hard for me to envision the time when net energy positive homes put more that a small dent in our overall energy problem.

  57. rube-i-con November 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Q, tx for a GREAT real-life exposé of solar power. I think it is telling that that woman, bless her heart, is getting 63% of her normal usage compared to the prior year.

    That woman’s example means this is REAL and WORKS in some settings.

    The main takeaway from my posts on net plus energy homes is that, since it’s been demonstrated that they are real, we simply need the political will to go as much down that route as we can. No one’s shooting for 100%.

    This may mean that folks in the East get 10% solar supply, as opposed to folks in N. Mexico getting 90% electrical supply from the sun.

    The point is, even a 20% supply of all electrical needs via solar is GIGANTIC towards reducing the need for fossil fuels.

    We don’t need to completely eradicate the use of fossil fuels, we merely need to significantly reduce it.

    Your example shows its can be done. Averaging 10% in the East and say 70% out west still give us, what, 35-40% savings, which is ginormous in terms of reducing dependence on fossil-fuel based electricity production.

    Don’t worry about any the populace getting up in arms about supporting solar installations, no one even has the faintest clue where their money goes.

    If the political will is there to support this, it will become a reality. Look at Germany, where every damn rooftop is lined with solar panels because the pols let people earn money by plugging their panels into the grid. And it works.

    peace peaceniks

    • beantownbill. November 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      Right on, Rubicon!

      • Arn Varnold November 29, 2013 at 8:03 am #

        Interesting; you asked me the month (in a previous thread) and I answered June to your May. We’re a month apart in the same year.
        But you don’t reply to me, ever. I posted to your cell phone post, but no answer.
        Are you rude, oblivious, or just oblivious?
        In the end, it doesn’t matter; this is the internet after all. A place social conventions are irrelevant.
        So, hope you are well and happy…

        • beantownbill. November 29, 2013 at 11:33 am #

          Arn, I apologize for not replying to your posts. I got involved in the solar power issue, and I didn’t want to overpost, so I guess you were left hanging in the wind. Again I apologize. My intention was not to be rude. In fact, I’ve read all your posts.

          Since I’m here now, let me respond to your reply about my cell phone costs. It is hard for me to imagine costs in Asia being so low. You said “ouch” when I reported my new, lower charges. To me, my new plan appears cheap. Much about America is pure bullshit, like the monopoly the medical industry has in health care, which is really the issue with Obamacare.

          Regarding cell phone charges, labor costs are much higher here than in Asia, so it.costs more to develop and build a very widespread system. I don’t know for sure, but I feel cell phone network providers are just trying to get their money back. The higher costs here are really a result of the economic mess we’ve had

          • beantownbill. November 29, 2013 at 11:35 am #

            To work with. It’s unnecessarily complicated and all linked together, but the bottom line is that America has been taken over by big business.

        • beantownbill. November 29, 2013 at 11:57 am #

          You’ve said you live in Asia. What is it that makes you want to live there, assuming you aren’t a native born Asian.

          India has always fascinated me since I read ” Freedom at Midnight”. But I would never want to live there; the extraordinary range of extremes is too much for me. I’ve always had an attraction to China, but considering all its issues, I wouldn’t want to live there, either. Perhaps Hong Kong, because it is a mix, somewhat, of East and West. For the short-term, I could see living in Japan, but the country is doomed, I believe. Also, possibly Phuket in Thailand, but that’s probably not realistic.

          I bring this all up because we Americans are so insular. We think the world is 3,000 miles long, and that’s it. I always want to learn about different places. When I was a kid, one of my uncles gave me a globe from the 1920’s on a small stand. I literally spent hours and hours reading all the names on it and imagining being in each one.

          • Arn Varnold November 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

            Thanks for your considerate reply.
            I’m an American born in Queens, N.Y.
            I was an unemployed engineer who was offered a job in Asia. I always wanted to see Asia and experience the culture.
            That was just over a decade ago.
            I love America, the geography, but little else.
            America is a myth that never existed. Waking up to that has been a bitter pill to swallow.
            And yes, Americans are provincial in the extreme, which makes most of them ignorant beyond belief.
            Most westerners who come to Asia, come to exploit the women, cheap living, and generally can’t adapt to the diametrically different culture. The language is another stumbling block; Asian languages are difficult for most westerners because they are not rooted in Latin or other EU languages, which is a shared trait of English.
            There are two break points; one year and five years, IME. Those who stay longer usually never go back to their origins.
            You’re curious, an admirable quality which I share.
            Cheers

          • Arn Varnold November 29, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

            @ BB
            What is it that makes you want to live there, assuming you aren’t a native born Asian.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            I didn’t answer your question.
            As the U.S. cheerleader’s primed the people for war, I swore I’d leave the U.S. if we attacked Iraq.
            Six weeks after it happened I was offered a job in Asia.
            Here I still am. I like the laid-back life style, the people, the culture, and the low cost of living. I live comfortably on my meager (by U.S. standards) retirement income. I couldn’t do that in the states.
            Cheers

    • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 4:04 am #

      Yes we should support solar panel instillations the same way Germany does but our government does nothing. Our government supports big oil instead.

      • beantownbill. November 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

        Now that is very true.

  58. daytrip November 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    I think you guys are missing the point:

    Al Bartlett arithmetic population and energy

    youtube.com/watch?v=u5iFESMAU58

    As much as we like to think we can “grow our way out of it (deficits, etc.)”, we’d need 3 planet Earths to do that.

    • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

      And two paws up!

      If you’d like to see more of what Al has to say you can.

      Al Bartlett

  59. BackRowHeckler November 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    ‘Black Friday’ … what a national disgrace it is!

    One question: When the media reports the sales numbers on Monday, while are we expected to give a sh-t what the profits of Best Buy, Walmart or Toys r Us are? Why is it news/ Who F–king Cares?

    –BRH

    • Arn Varnold November 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      It’s not a disgrace; it’s a pathology/mental illness.

      • K-Dog November 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

        Yes and it’s also your patriotic duty to make the rich richer.

        • BleatToTheBeat November 29, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

          And we keep gettin’ richer
          But we can’t get our picture
          On the cover of the Rolling Stone….

          youtube.com/watch?v=nLbdX8Snpa8

          • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

            Oh yeah gonna send five copies to my mother

            ♯ ♭♩♪♫♬♫♩♩♬

            We got a genuine Indian Guru
            Who’s teaching us a better way
            We got all the friends that money can buy
            So we never have to be alone………

  60. BleatToTheBeat November 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Fly Shit Luck

    theraivenne.com/jokes/s-silverstein_devil_n_billy.html

    • ozone November 30, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      Excellent! Thanks for the page, Bleater.
      (I do “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” by Shel Silverstein. Great song, version by Marianne Faithful a real killer. Hey, it was on the soundtrack of “Thelma and Louise” come to think on it.)

    • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

      He should never have rolled those heavy dice. But then I’m a fine one to talk.

  61. beantownbill. November 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    @Arn

    The stories I was taught about America as a child have really changed. You know, that the

    • Arn Varnold November 29, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

      And?

    • beantownbill. November 29, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

      Colonists fought for independence from the tyranny of King George, we are citizens of the greatest country on Earth, America is a free country, our government looks out for our best interests, etc. The last 50 years, since JFK’s assassination, have made us lose our childish innocence. The blindfold has been removed from our eyes (obviously not for the majority of citizens, but still a large number), and those of us willing to really see have become cynical people. Count me among those not fooled by the rhetoric.

      I am an American, but I feel I stand apart from the masses because I don’t like our society. I don’t like the prejudice and intolerance, the ignorance of the truth and the refusal to act in any worthwhile manner. I’m also sad that we seem to have blown it – we had the resources to accomplish much, but we let ourselves get taken over by liars and insincere persons who have taken us down the wrong path.

      In truth, although I’m reasonably alienated from my society, I am loathe to leave the country. I don’t know, maybe it’s inertia, maybe it’s aging, maybe it’s reluctance to leave friends and family at this stage of my life.

      • beantownbill. November 29, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

        Sorry, I keep pressing the wrong key on my iPad and somehow I keep on posting before I’m finished.

        So, to continue:

        Or maybe I’m just too stubborn to quit and walk away. Unlike you, circumstances didn’t work out for me to live elsewhere.

        Maybe you are right, American society is mentally ill. That means I’ve been living in an insane asylum for many years.

        • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 12:15 am #

          @ BB,
          I pretty much agree with what you say, your POV. I was 58 when I left. And yes, circumstances just seemed to be timed exactly right.
          In a horrible relationship, unemployed, and broke. If I’d been 68+ I’m sure I would have left.
          No need to justify one way or another.
          Indeed, society is not healthy, but America’s form of capitalism is infecting Asia. Many changes here from 2003 to the present. Not a good sign.
          Watch Moyers Friday program. He features Wendell Berry.
          He’s a very special guy, so is Moyers for that matter.
          billmoyers.com/

          • beantownbill. November 30, 2013 at 12:23 am #

            Arn, I will watch , but it’s 12:15 am here in Boston and I’m tired tonight. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

          • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 1:02 am #

            Oops, @ 68+ I probably WOULDN”T have left.

          • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 1:03 am #

            I’ll look forward to that BB.

        • ozone November 30, 2013 at 9:16 am #

          As Tripp is known to quote:
          “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” -Krishnamurti

          • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

            In the statement well-adjusted means suffering from the same sick delusions and twisted values as everyone else. Being truly well-adjusted in a profoundly sick society and everyone will consider you crazy.

          • ozone November 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

            K-,
            I’m already considered to be somewhat twisted, so I guess I’m somewhat all right! Yikes…

      • ozone November 30, 2013 at 9:12 am #

        Bill,
        Dimitry Orlov’s perspective comes in handy here.
        He advises to stay/move to where you have a common interest and community with others. Plunking yourself into an alien culture in a time of privation and extreme stress will avail you nothing and potentially, make you a target [as an outsider/other].

        • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 10:29 am #

          Bullshit! Orlov has a cult following like JHK.

          Plunking yourself into an alien culture in a time of privation and extreme stress will avail you nothing and potentially, make you a target [as an outsider/other].

          Utter crap! And not born out by experience.
          Tourists mistakenly think their shallow exposure to various cultures gives them some kind of worldly knowledge; bullshit.
          “…as we cruise the astral plain, we can plumb the shallows of each other’s brain.”
          The American experience.

        • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

          “A common interest and community with others.”

          And don’t forget lots of ammo.

          I probably should not have said that. Meant as humour it is the sort of thing that could attract unwanted and unwarranted attention to myself; yet again.

      • ozone November 30, 2013 at 9:32 am #

        See there?
        We pretty much see things the same way. You’re probably in the ‘correct’ portion of the country for the stoic cynic. 😉

  62. ozone November 30, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Been to S.E. Asia a few times since the late 80’s and the American practice of wanting crap that you don’t need has been creeping in more noticeably with each successive rambling. It really does make people unhappy and spend more time at psyche-destroying work. (It’s important to point out that when we travel, we’ll have a tendency to hop on the local bus, so we get to experience how actual people live, not the manufactured tourist-designed personnas of the ‘big city’… although there’s something to be gained by observing that contrast too.)

    • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      I’ve already said that. I’ve been living it for a decade; so what’s your point?

      • ozone November 30, 2013 at 10:45 am #

        I should have said I was speaking to Bill. Sorry.
        (I’m certainly not telling you anything you don’t already know. AND you don’t know my mind, my state of curiosity, my humanist outlook, or my forbearance in keeping my mouth shut and eyes open in foreign cultures. I am the opposite of the “ugly american”, and travel on the dirt-cheap like surfers; so you really aren’t espousing a correct impression of me and mine at all. That comment labeling me as “shallow” was uncalled for and I take real umbrage with it… and I ain’t the umbrage-taking type!)

    • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Makes sense to me. If you stay on the tour bus Disyneyland would be cheaper.

      But really how many want to experience different cultures. Don’t most want to just snap as many pictures as they can of the local landmarks so they come home and lord it over Aunt Mabel who won’t ever have enough bling to get where they have been. Travel can be just another form of conspicuous consumption. Or not.

      For those not snapping pictures like there is no tomorrow like Asian tourists do here then seeing different things might for a second or two in that brief pause between breaths cause one to think that the way we live might not all be that great.

      Maybe even that there could be a better way.

      • ozone November 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

        “For those not snapping pictures like there is no tomorrow like Asian tourists do here then seeing different things might for a second or two in that brief pause between breaths cause one to think that the way we live might not all be that great.

        Maybe even that there could be a better way.” -K of dog

        That’s for shit sure! Americans’ disconnect from the natural world as a real part of a meaningful social construct is their basic problem; it seems all else [diseased and disintegrated] stems from that.

  63. Q. Shtik November 30, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    I’m curious what Janos’s, or anyone else’s take on this article is. Is Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, an asshole or just a straight shooter?

    nytimes.com/2013/11/30/world/europe/london-mayor-IQ-comments.html?_r=0

    • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Loved this part:

      And the newspaper suggested that Mr. Johnson’s elite upbringing, including his time at Eton, might have had something to do with causing “his flake to float to the top of the box.”

  64. Q. Shtik November 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Arn,

    Does any of this match up with your ex-pat experience?

    nytimes.com/2013/11/28/opinion/druckerman-an-american-neurotic-in-paris.html

    I don’t know about others here but I wonder what makes a person like yourself identify where they live as ASIA. Awfully vague, don’t you think. Why not something slightly more specific like India, China, Singapore or Japan. Or better yet, Mumbai, Beijing, Tokyo, etc

    Perhaps instead of telling readers here that I live in Central New Jersey I should say I’m located in in the north-western free world.

    • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Not much really. As I’ve already said, there’s a vast difference between French culture and, say, Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, or Kampuchean culture. S.E. Asia, does that narrow it for you? 😉 And I have stated in which country I live.
      Unlike Druckerman, I can’t imagine ever returning to a country I no longer recognize because its a myth which never existed in the first place. But then I also wouldn’t call my self “an American to the core”, but of necessity, acknowledge my nationality when required.
      It’s far too limiting and defining and there is almost nothing about the states or its society with which I’m in agreement. Nationality/nationalism is a very dangerous posture to adopt. I’m human first, everything falls from there.

  65. ozone November 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    One for Arn from Mr. Sagan:

    informationclearinghouse.info/article37015.htm

    So long and good luck…

  66. Pucker November 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Happy Hanukkah!

    Collapse is a product of worshipping the Golden Calf.

    Live a simple life like Moses.

  67. progress4what November 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/27/the-switchboard-nsa-discussed-using-porn-habits-to…

    And so – is it that far of a jump from here to a headline that says, “Threat of Revealed Porn Habits Used to Keep Leaders in Line?”

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

    K-Dog November 27, 2013 at 11:20 am #
    “The BLOWBACK from any such foolishness would make our government peepers look like twisted perverts. It might silence one or two dissidents at first but then a sudden flush of fear would cause millions of men, white faced and pale, bloodless with shock to violently snap off their computer switch and yank their plugs from walls all across the country.”

    K, I reposted the link because your comment surprised me so. And because politicians fascinate me, albeit it in a repellent fashion.

    And, please do note that I said “leaders.” The NSA porn data would be used rarely, only against highly placed decision makers – and ONLY to cause them to change _ certain _ decisions of importance to the US Executive Branch, or the Saudis, or Mossad, or whomever.

    *They* would send an email to the “leader” in question. It would contain a copy of his browsing history, perhaps timestamped with his face in orgiastic agony – incontrovertible proof, at any rate.

    And the email would contain a copy of said “leader’s” entire emailing list, wives, voters, business contacts – with a statement that the only way to stop the email from being sent to the email list is to – simply – change ONE certain vote, or one certain political decision.

    What leader could resist such persuasion?

    And – if your group had 20 Senators, a couple of SCOTUS judges, and a few others on the hook like that.

    Pretty soon, you’d have some real power, don’t you think?

    • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Your link is to the Washington Post but the summary there references a more expansive article here.

      While I note you reference “leaders” the huff post article says the move would ‘ahem’ have been:

      “A proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches”

      The proposed plan does not reference “leaders” but ordinary dogs whom need to be taught to heel. Abet only Moslem ones are mentioned in the article.

      “Leaders” are much to savy to fall for such a ploy and would exploit such attention into national notoriety in their favor. An average dog on the other hand would be far more likely to be appropriately and effectively disciplined. What would they do? They would be unlikely to turn an inappropriate revealing of ‘porn habits’ to their advantage. Such as contacting the National Enquirer for instance.

      An effort to bring down one lil-ole-inconsequential-dog brings attention to a previously unknown modern cointelpro program splashed across the magazine rack check-stands of every supermarket in the country. That would captivate a bored public and heads would roll no doubt. The avalanche of lawsuits would certainly keep lawyers busy. Purveyors of porn could sue for loss of business as laptops slammed shut and targeted dogs would not be choking the chicken if they initiated legal actions.

  68. progress4what November 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Interesting discussion between btb and arn on living as an ex-pat.

    And I’m more in agreement with Orlov and Ozone and this statement:
    “He advises to stay/move to where you have a common interest and community with others. Plunking yourself into an alien culture in a time of privation and extreme stress will avail you nothing and potentially, make you a target [as an outsider/other].”

    So, Arn, maybe you can elaborate and convince me I’m wrong.

    Or, maybe we’re using different definitions for “privation and extreme stress.”

    At times of such extreme stress I want to be around my own family, and I want to be on my own home turf, if humanly possible.

    One more thing, expressed by one of my favorite commenters at the Arch Druid’s place:

    “Only and truly only in the West that particular trait in person is seen as an virtue, not as vice, abandoning your own kin…”
    ….juhana, a native Finn, commenting at ADR….

    • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      First off; Orlov is not correct, IMO. Just another failed predictor of a future which does not yet exist. The future can not be known or predicted for that reason.
      Knowing the present can inform of possibilities. I keep my own council and don’t put my lot with any ideologues or philosophies.
      Change is what’s happening; in and of itself it’s (change) not a bad thing. But, I don’t like the changes I see and the apparent direction they’re taking. People fear change and I see Orlov as feeding off of that fear. This has mostly to do with my value system and my humanist thinking. Few societies are human friendly or healthy and America seems to be the trend setter here. But that doesn’t mean the apocalypse is upon us.

      As to other? Look in your own back yard; the U.S. is dominated by a fear of other; black, poor, Latino, Asian, Christian, Jew, atheist, tea party, republican, democrat, and socialist/communist.
      The irony is not lost on me; you worry about expatiating and other; seems you have plenty to go around right there in your own back yard.
      Community can be inclusive or exclusive; I mostly hear it being exclusive when discussed on this forum.

  69. progress4what November 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    That’s a pretty good article to provoke some discussion, Q.

    I had to check it out on another British news site to get some comments.

    And it looks like the Brits may be better thinkers and commenters than many in the US – at least based on this particular sample. There was almost ZERO mention of race, on the Independent comment board. Some troll in the States would have derailed the discussion completely and quickly, calling “racism.”

    Anyway, I’ve gotta’ run, so here’s a comment to express some of my views:

    ” meliorist Janner
    • 14 hours ago
    Who said it was supposed to be startling? It’s just reminding the audience of a basic fact. Those kids with IQs below 85 are guaranteed to fail in school, and are therefore locked out of most careers. They are at a disadvantage in society.
    Conversely, those who are lucky to have IQs in the top 2% have far more opportunities. The city is full of academic high fliers who sailed through school and got first class degrees from elite universities. The high-paying professions hoover up these kids, and pay them handsomely for the use of their brains.
    Boris is saying that this lucky group should do more to help the unlucky group who find themselves at the other end of the scale.”

    independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-thick-of-it-is-boris-johnson-right-when-he-says-that-equality…

    • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

      From the article:

      “That Johnson was being “fairly unpleasant” by talking about people as if they were a breed of dog”

      Pisses me off right there!

      But the end of the article says it all:

      “One of the strongest correlations of financial and economic success is still the size of your parents’ bank account – and whether they could afford to send you to a posh school with impeccable social connections.”

  70. rube-i-con November 30, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Community can be inclusive or exclusive; I mostly hear it being exclusive when discussed on this forum.

    its ‘funny’, as they say in the States. here in brazil, most things are lousily built, it’s a hassle to shop, drive, get documents, due to the national pasttime of trying to get one over on everybody else.

    ‘funny’ enough, though, community here feels very inclusive, much more so than the united states. although my experience there is all on the east coast, and folks tell me california, with its good weather like brazil, is more inclusive.

    inclusive here means people getting together scads and having a good time rapping, eating, music blaring. it’s all ages too, tots to the elderly, which i think is a blessing. makes you feel natural.

    i think that’s y i stay in this somewhat forsaken, and very trying, country.

    peace peaceniks

    • Arn Varnold November 30, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      Interesting; I was born and raised in NYC and out on the island (Long).
      When we moved into a new house the neighbors would come over and introduce themselves.
      We moved to Oregon when I was 12 and I found it very unfriendly and the neighbors not willing to self introduce. The best description of Oregonians (western) I’ve heard is; they’re willing to be friendly but not friends.
      After spending 3 weeks in L.A. I couldn’t wait to get out, the people I was in contact with were shit and the most materialistic I’ve ever encountered.
      Living where I do is not “easy” mostly because of language. The majority of westerners can’t or don’t speak the language. This makes them very dependent on their spouses or girlfriends. While I’m not fluent (my opinion, which others disagree), I can go anywhere by myself and operate independently. My wife speaks English (she’s an English teacher) quite well; that combined with my own laziness, has kept me from mastering the language to what I would deem fluency.
      I understand why people (westerners) have trouble and don’t stay, it seems to be working for me.

  71. Neon Vincent November 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    In Atlanta, the Braves and Cobb County are doubling down on sprawl.

    The Braves, and some pundits, argue that the new stadium will be part of a larger, “walkable” development project, and that Cobb County really is increasingly as urban as the city of Atlanta. Unfortunately a walkable island floating in a sea of car-centric sprawl does not replicate the experience of urbanity. Indeed, various political leaders in Cobb County have already announced that any transportation infrastructure improvements related to the new stadium will focus exclusively on adding more automobile-centered capacity and will exclude any efforts to add public transportation capacity linking the new stadium to the city after which the franchise is named.

    amplifier.gatech.edu/articles/2013/11/atlanta-braves-embrace-sprawl

    • K-Dog November 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

      The Article ends with:

      “It is worth remembering that these sorts of deals over the past three decades, if not longer, have been shown to benefit mostly very wealthy team owners, generally at the expense of the communities in which their new, shiny stadiums are located.”

      It’s easy to forget that sports teams are not about ‘community’ but all about big business. Big business cares for profits and if big business pays attention to walk-ability or any other public concerns it is for public relations reasons only. Public relations to increase profits. I can imagine a super-rich private owner incorporating other values but the problem there is that sports teams can easily loose money so there is a lot of pressure to keeping profits as the number one priority.

  72. K-Dog December 1, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    daytrip posted the first of a series of eight short videos by Albert A. Bartlett earlier this week.

    Al Bartlett regarded the word combination “sustainable growth” as an oxymoron and believed the greatest fault of modern times is our inability to understand the exponential function. Understanding of this rather simple mathematical concept is suppressed because if it is understood by large numbers of people the existing power structure of America and the Western World will be turned over.

    The understanding of the exponential function is so dangerous to the powers that be that shills regularly inhabit this blog to prevent it being understood and discussed. Jim Kunstler writes extensively on the consequences of unrestrained growth. An example can be found in this weeks article:

    One technical analyst, celebrity Tweeter Ralph Acampora of Altaira Wealth Management, actually said this week that the USA would be “energy independent by 2016.” That’s rich. We’d only have to come up with 8.5 million new barrels of oil a day, or give up driving cars altogether.

    I found the seventh of the series to be particularly impactful and post the link to it below. I encourage everyone to watch all eight of Al’s short videos. Al has a website which hosts all eight videos which I linked to at the start of this comment.

    youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RW_cPRWpDB8

  73. Arn Varnold December 1, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Watch this and live, or watch this and die; the choice is up to you;
    youtube.com/watch?v=hH6UynI5m7Y#t=22

    It’s based on a Chris Hedges, “The Death of the Liberal Class”.
    Which I think is already dead and gone.
    We’re done and toast…finished; kiss you’re asses goodbye…

    • K-Dog December 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies on the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”Mario Savio

      Obedience school sucks and don’t be anyone’s bitch.

  74. K-Dog December 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    daytrip and I have been advocating watching AL Bartlett’s lecture this week.

    Watching it myself I’ve made an observation which is worth sharing here.

    All sorts of naysayers are always showing up to criticize Jim’s predictions of the future. Where the Dow is going to be ect. Things like that Usually these types show up fart our a one liner or two and vanish with a suspicious consistency of presentation. Never mind the consistency of presentation I’m not going there now.

    The interesting thing is that AL Bartlett in his lecture points out that bacteria experiencing exponential growth will fill a glass jar but that as they grow the bacteria in the jar will not be aware of being overcrowded until just before they totally fill the jar. The thought experiment of course assumes bacteria are intelligent which they’re not and is only intended to demonstrate a mathematical fact.

    Applying the lesson to resource depletion and social collapse we can essentially expect everything to be fine right up to the time everything falls apart. The real world is not the simple world of a nutrient filled glass jar and we are not bacteria so things are a bit more complicated than Al Bartlett’s thought experiment. We feel the stress of overcrowding and those in contact with reality will attempt to predict the future here and there. That predictions are off does not mean that they are essentially wrong. It means that the world is a more complicated place than a jar and that mitigating factors are postponing the inevitable and making it less perceptible. Postponing but not preventing. Bacteria in a jar would not have come up with ‘Quantitative Easing’ for instance to artificially make their jar bigger for a little while.

    Unfortunately the conclusion to my musing is not pleasant and leads to a Seneca Cliff. Reason being that band-aid solutions don’t really solve problems they treat symptoms and treating symptoms only works for temporary problems that naturally go away. Having only one planet to live on with finite resources means our problems are anything but temporary.

    The only answer is a fundamental change in living arrangements.

    • K-Dog December 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      And my typos are.

      Things like that. Usually

      Reason being that band-aid solutions don’t really solve problems. They treat symptoms and treating symptoms only works for temporary problems that naturally go away.

    • Arn Varnold December 2, 2013 at 1:15 am #

      We’re acting so human. Instead of leading a thoughtful life through good/sustainable choices; we’ll be forced to follow the looming disaster of mindless followers.

      As to Jim’s predictions; he sets himself up to be proved wrong. He be far more effective and prescient doing the things Bartlett’s doing.
      I do miss his podcast, he’s got a talent there, IMO.

  75. Widok December 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    The Obey/Rebel video was professionally done. It took money and backing to get it produced and distributed. I wonder who or what is behind it? The professional polish the video exudes belies its message. The video is an example of what it purports, therefore it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Any serious challenge to the system will not be professionally produced and televised. Yet another imposter. I’d say “nice try,” but it was neither nice nor a try.

    • K-Dog December 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      Your criticism is as lame as a dog with a mangy paw. Those were not multi million dollar special effects but for the most part carefully selected public domain clips. Well done and professionally looking yes, glad you liked it.

      An excerpt from Temujin Doran Documenting Distopia

      I read that the film is made entirely from web clips. How long did it take to assemble them into the final product?

      I started the film in September last year and finished in February this year. I did it in my spare time, but it was quite a laborious process of just hunting the web for the right clip to use. I really think I’ve seen far too much of the internet in the last six months.

      Beyond your lie which a simple web search clearly demonstrates you commit a logical fallacy.

      You assume that any serious challenge to the system cannot come from the system itself. This is a false assumption as many perhaps most who represent the system are not inherently evil but are blind followers who would be willing to follow another way which leads to a more satisfying life if they had an opportunity to do so. Some of them abet a small number will willingly laugh in the devils face and take stands based on conscience if they have the opportunity and can be shown where the watering hole truly is. Not all of us are weak with damaged souls such as yourself.

      Any serious challenge to the system by the system is unlikely but the system itself is not a thing with a soul though it superficially appears to be. Consequently the system is assigned anthropomorphic properties which can lead to logical fallacy. However I don’t think your criticism is the result of a mistake. I think you are one of the genuine evil ones who see only your own shadow as you strut through life.

  76. Q. Shtik December 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Lotsa penis enlargement email arrives in my spam folder but the latest one I thought was pretty clever…it’s called COCKZILLA.

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