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And To All a Good Night

     At this time of year, who can fail to understand the wish to forget all the woes and fiascos of our time, and to retreat into the cozy firelit nooks of Christmas, where a pint or so of grog, or egg-nog, or even seven fingers of Williams ‘Lectric Shave in an empty jam jar might avail to wash away the frightening specters of debts, and banks, and, trade imbalances, and countries with economies composed mostly of losses?
     For now, America is a rug stretching from Maine to California, under which we’ve swept the filthy detritus of money matters and governance. It worked most of the year, though the rug has grown as lumpy as a landfill. Nothing is more important for the moment than provoking millions of people with no means for carrying their current obligations to ply the malls in search of Christmas merchandise, so the little ones will not be disappointed on the Great Day. Who could fail to understand this, too, since the sorrows of children only magnify the failures of the adults who love and fear for them.
     President Obama’s tax deal with the corn-and-pork-fed mental defectives of the Red States has been spun into an historic act of political ju-jitsu – a sharp trade to great advantage for the slick city operator against the avaricious rubes – but to me it was just another act of Santa Claus Theater. You have to love the conceit that all this fuss about money is finally settled.  So we can settle back in the raptures of flat screen high-def 3-D TV and imagine that we’re like the characters in Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life – which, by the way, in case you never noticed, is a story about a banker who gets into big trouble financing the first larval manifestations of suburban sprawl. If only Frank Capra had lived to see the Federal Reserve’s Maiden Lane portfolio, a sack of shit so monumental it would make the fabled swag-bag of Kris Kringle himself look like the descending colon of a pygmy marmoset.
     Anyway, both parties are vying for a place in the graveyard of politics, and this is how it should be. Life is tragic, nothing lasts forever, and these two hoary old orgs are so far gone in corruption and cupidity that it would be hazardous to not bury them as fast as possible. If the USA is as resilient and resourceful as it pretends to be, then we can confidently come up with something better. In fact, I hasten to make a positive proposal: calling Howard Dean (former Vermont governor and head of the Democratic National Committee) to take the helm of a new Progressive Party (or whatever you want to call it) in opposition to the morbid histrionics of the Tea Baggers. It’s not written on the wind that this country must be governed by morons and sell-outs. Governor Dean is the only character I see out there with more than half a brain who won’t bend over for Weepy John Boehner and the minions of Goldman Sachs. I’m sorry that the cable networks juked him back in 2004, with the ridiculous charge that he had somehow lost his mind by raising his voice at his Iowa Caucus victory party.
     As I have averred more than once before, this period of US history resembles the 1850s, when the established political parties could not wrap their minds around the salient issue of the day, slavery, and so went out of business. Anyway, when Abraham Lincoln came along rather late in the day, nobody knew, fer gawdsake, that he was going to turn into Abraham Lincoln.  We kind of forget that the Civil War, which began almost the instant he took office, was a prolonged fiasco that looked fatal for the nation until very near the end – at which point Lincoln, who had been mocked more harshly than any president to that time, was transformed into a monument by 240 grains of lead.
     In this previous historic convulsion the issue was slavery; today the issue is the rule of law – the absence of which from banking is destroying the USA as effectively as a foreign invasion. Poor President Obama looks more like Millard Fillmore reincarnated every day, an empty figurehead servling of less-than-benevolent interests hiding in plain sight. What will become of this Republic when he puts his Santa suit away for the year, nobody knows (and many people dread).
     I’ll be writing from Paris, France, next week – if the next ice age doesn’t close down the airports, and if no trouble-maker manages to get on-board my plane with a Semtex suppository hidden in his vitals. I sincerely wonder if the European banks will implode before the holiday runs its course, but I suppose the folks in charge will be too drunk all week to even play Grand Theft Auto on their cell phones. I’ve got a sad, nagging feeling that this may be Europe’s last year as the world’s tourist theme park. They’ve gone through that before, too, by the way – history does repeat in patterns, if not in exact story-line – in the roughly century-long lull between Waterloo and the Guns of August, 1914. The memory of the Long Peace is why the First World War was so demoralizing to Western Civ. God knows what mischief awaits when the current game of Bank Back-stop Hot Potato comes to its certain end in Euroland.
      All that said, I take a certain consolation in the fact that Julian Assange is at large!
     Merry Christmas everyone, and to all a jolly week of schmoozing, boozing, gifting, grifting, and joy to the world! (Oh, and don’t rob the house.)


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.

475 Responses to “And To All a Good Night” Subscribe

  1. 2_Happy_Town December 20, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Lost me at Howard Dean, James. Surely you jest. If not, when the great break-up comes, I can only hope he is your new king. I’m sure here in central America we will be blessed with some version of Rahm Barrakka. Til then…Ho! Ho! Ho!

  2. Max December 20, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Jim! as a big fan of your use of allegory, I’ve got to query your reference “….seven fingers of Williams ‘Lectric Shave in an empty jam jar.” As a regular user of WLS and its generic knock-offs, I’d say that would be an awfully expensive holiday elixir; in these parts, the stuff sells for $5 for 4 ounces. To achieve the intended results of escaping the financial morass, we’d basically have to issue some CDS to cover the deal.

  3. drpiper December 20, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    In history repeating itself, is it completely out of the question for North Korea and Iran to start WW 3? War is a proven way to end the recession/depression…

  4. nothing December 20, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Jimbo! You make Doomsday almost fun. But for those paying attention, the real kick is making money on the collapse. Some tips at The Nothing Store

  5. Loveandlight December 20, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    I’m sorry that the cable networks juked him back in 2004, with the ridiculous charge that he had somehow lost his mind by raising his voice at his Iowa Caucus victory party.
    I know, that was just Orwellian, wasn’t it?

  6. walt December 20, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Politicians, alas, will not save us. Nor will reorganized poltical factions, No Labels, David Broder and Tom Friedman holding hands, or world peace on a zillion Christmas cards. We might intellectually accede to unwelcome facts – say, the slow and grinding impoverishment of our nation – but we shall not go gladly into that good night. Think Homer Simpson, a sixpack of Bud Lite, a bag of Cheetos, and an Uzi. We might, even, blame the right people and forces, but to what avail? Reinvention is not something you persuade other people to do. It’s hard enough to do it for yourself. Howard Dean can’t do it for us.

  7. MisterbadExample December 20, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    I strongly suspect Dr. Dean would be amenable to your offer–but frankly, by the time 2012 rolls around, we might have a third, fourth, AND fifth party. Country-club repubs are already angling to hit the exits should the corn-pone and NASCAR set nominate Palin or Huckabee for the big prize. And for a non-candidate, Mike Bloomberg is awfully busy–and he would probably draw more from Repubs than Dems. If the GOP fractures by the time Iowa rolls around, all bets are off.
    That’s not a good thing, btw–coalition governance in a country where no party commands more than 30% of the electorate is a tricky business. It’s how a certain Austrian Corporal got his chance to weigh in on history.

  8. Kelly December 20, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    As a Canadian wintering in southern AZ. ( Ranch sitting for a free site )We are seeing a mixed bag. A small grocery store with most lights turned off, A lot of empty houses and homesteads.
    But overall the Walmart & Safeway seem quite busy.
    Always look forward to hearing from JK on Monday morning.
    I had to stop sharing his column with friends as they thought I was turning into a “wingnut”
    Take care Jim and keep on keeping on !
    Kelly &

  9. GAbert December 20, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    War secures the elites against internal trouble
    If the economy isn’t responding to stimuli, it’s probably because something basic’s been overlooked. The problem is that one particular basic phenomenon is an “off limits” subject in the main stream media. For example, those assigned to moderate feedback to NY Times op-eds reject comments that contain the term “peak oil”.
    Most Americans are either unaware of or cavalierly dismissive of the peak-oil phenomenon. More importantly, most Americans remain utterly clueless to the economic ramifications of that phenomenon. A review of the May 2001 Energy Policy report prepared by the National Energy Policy Development Group indicates that they were abundantly aware of it. This probably came as no surprise to highly placed strategic planners either. Indeed as those of us who frequent Jim’s blog are aware, in 1956, a Shell Oil geoscientist named M. King Hubbert was able to predict, with some degree of accuracy, when global oil production would peak.
    Since the 2008 financial crisis, which occurred as the current energy crisis began; the GDP has been in decline (about 5% in 2009). When the GDP is adjusted for actual inflation (which includes energy and food), the decline is significant. The reason: increased energy expenses driven by supply and demand dynamics reduce profits. But the GDP is a measure of Economic Surplus. Increased energy expenses haven’t just brought about a decline in the GDP, they’ve brought about a general economic contraction independent of any surplus because so many businesses closed as increased energy expenses rendered them non-viable.
    Perhaps those baffled by the current economic malaise should take into account increased petroleum expenses?

  10. crisismode December 20, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    “In history repeating itself, is it completely out of the question for North Korea and Iran to start WW 3? War is a proven way to end the recession/depression…”
    We’ve had a War On Terror since 9/11.
    And a war in Afghanistan and Iraq currently consuming a billion dollars a day of our taxes.
    And those certainly haven’t moved us out of this Depression.
    How many wars do you think it will take?

  11. Peter of Lone Tree December 20, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    “…with the ridiculous charge that he had somehow lost his mind by raising his voice at his Iowa Caucus victory party.”
    The sound volume was SHOPPED in that video.
    He was addressing a crowd that was wildly hysterical.
    In the versions that played, the volume of the crowd was diminished to almost nothing, but the level of his voice was left the same.

  12. budizwiser December 20, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Well, what we have here is a failure to commune icate.
    And no wonder, the twin disasters of Peak Oil are developing in tow with the “financial sector/bond market failures.” And as we begin to collectively accept the evidence of these realities: we endure a society dumbed down to complacency through a feckless, hopelessly class-colored fifth-estate and a corrupted democratic republic that truly governs more like an a oligarchy than a democracy.
    What is the more pressing problem? At what scale do we seek to intervene? What social constructs can be modified to positive results?
    Does Peak Oil matter if our government can’t be fixed? Do changes to your local government and individual response to Peak Oil have much meaning if resource allotment and social conventions are controlled by oligarchs?
    While Grandma turns the thermostat down to fifty-eight, Lloyd Blankfein decides who gets next year’s heating oil.
    Bullshit? Maybe right now, what about in five years?
    How can we as face-the-music members of CF Nation really, really communicate with our rulers? At number #473 on the greatest “hits” list……..

  13. FrogCounter December 20, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    The “descending colon of a pygmy marmoset” – I love it.
    I prefer 7 fingers of MD 20/20 in my jam jar but then to each his own. Always look forward to your Monday morning missive.

  14. lsjogren December 20, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I’m not sure how an advocate of progressivism, which seeks greater centralization of economic power in the federal government, is compatible with JHK’s desire for a more community-based society.
    I do agree, however, that it was absurd for Howard Dean to be relegated to the loonie bin for one slightly weird campaign cheer.

  15. Prairie Schooner December 20, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    The problems so entertainingly outlined by Jim are so embedded in our now disintegrating language that repair seems completely impossible. The legal and philosophiocal positivists have made any challenge to laws made by corrupt legislatures difficult or impossible(Law is what the sovereign declares it to be), while the sophists and PR operators have sucked out the meaning of words and phrases to the point that we can no longer communicate with each other in the public spaces where politics and policy have traditionalloy been discussed and debated.
    The tea party sheep, lead by the same sophists that lead our country, do not speak the same language as the rest of the country, while the liberals speak in techspeak, hiding their meaning in latinized neologisms. Neither side speaks plainly, and truthfully, which is all most citizens cry out for from these “leaders”.
    So, it looks like game over, and we will have to move to a more immediate and less comfortable way of living until we regain a common language with less elastic connotations for common English words.

  16. FrY10cK December 20, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Perhaps a more important question: Wouldn’t “seven fingers of Williams ‘Lectric Shave in an empty jam jar” be a recipe for blindness rather than intoxication? Mouthwash, being made with ethyl instead of isopropyl alcohol, might be a better choice.
    A little constructive criticism for Jim from a long time reader.

  17. wildjo December 20, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Is “Rule of Law” really the current “convulsion”.
    I rather think it is a piquant mix of self-interest, greed, anthropocentrism, and unrestrained capitalism…all supported by a legal/justice system created by and used to protect the above.
    Be careful what you wish for. The institution of the “Rule of Law” in western, judeo-christian society has never, to my accounting, been in the favor of true freedom, liberty, or, at the very least, sustainability…at least according to my “ecotopian” view of the way human beings should inhabit the planet.

  18. Lynn Shwadchuck December 20, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Jim, you keep surprising us with your optimism. It looks highly likely to me that Sarah Palin will take the post you wish Dean to occupy. Kurt Vonnegut was pretty close to the mark in Player Piano, back in the fifties. As an old broad with her thermostat at 58 I don’t see how things can get better as fast as you hope or hopeless as fast as you generally say.
    For a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  19. George S. December 20, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Well, what do we have to look forward to in 2011? The Weeper of the House and his pinch-faced sidekick? It has all become such a low-rent comic opera buffa. How did we come to this?

  20. empirestatebuilding December 20, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Gasoline is rising faster than the water level in the ocean. I wonder how long until the tipping point arrives. Meanwhile over in the military, DADT will be repealed. Hopefully that will keep the Dark Lords busy enough to forget the impending doom until the weather warms up again. I’d hate to have a crises in below freezing temperatures.
    Merry Christmas to all.
    Aimlow Joe was here.

  21. wagelaborer December 20, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    And the fact that the talking heads were able to Jedi Mind Control Americans into thinking that Howard Dean was “crazy” for shouting at a pep rally shows that Americans will believe anything that corporate media tells them to believe, no matter what their lying eyes show them.
    The situation is hopeless.
    And the fact that the US playing war games off the coast of China and North Korea, and attacking Iran through support of internal terrorist groups and sabotage of industrial sites is not an act of war, but ANY response by Iran or North Korea will be played as such, will make it very easy for the US to launch a full-scale war (not the Halliburton/Bechtel supporting occupations we are currently contracting out) with the American population told “They started it!”
    And the American population will rise as 90%, enraged at the perfidy of those Koreans/Iranians, roaring for blood and ready to kill.
    As usual.

  22. wagelaborer December 20, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    My thermostat is set at 56, but I turn the heater off at night, so it was 48 in here when I woke up this morning.
    It’s going to really be bad when the natural gas quits flowing!

  23. Desert Dawg December 20, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    As usual, you’re right on about the state of our country and DEAD WRONG about who is at fault. So Howard Dean is gonna save the day?! Puh-leeze! The “progressive” agenda isn’t progressive at all! As a matter of fact it’s just the opposite. It’s the thinking that all “you people” are dumb and only Ivy league, northeast educated sheep who spew the mantra of NWO influenced academia who know best for all, when the reality is that all you snobby elite have no clue of how the real business world works, and I’m not talking Wall St, which is for the left, not the right. Jim, take your head out of your proverbial left wing, regressive hippie ass !

  24. Paul Kemp December 20, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Here’s an unforeseen consequence of Obamacare: A recent study found that in the next three years, 40% of U.S. physicians plan to leave their profession. This is on top of a current shortfall of 150,000 doctors.
    The Long Emergency will be a bad time to get sick.
    Another interesting tidbit I learned about and reported in my blog was that it appears that there was an unpublicized release of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (financed in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others) in the Cayman Islands in 2009. These mosquitoes were developed to breed with mosquitoes that carry, among other things, Dengue Fever, which has been reported to be non-existent in the U.S. Now, a Center for Disease Control study indicates that in 2010, 10% of Key West, Florida, residents have been infected with dengue fever.
    It also turns out that the CIA has been very interested in dengue fever as a weapon of war for some time and has released mosquitoes carrying this and other diseases in Florida low-income neighborhoods in the past, producing a few deaths.
    Is it possible that the GM mosquitoes released in the Cayman Islands were carrying live dengue fever, just as so many of the vaccines pushed on trusting children and oldsters have been found to contain live viruses?
    It seems elements of our own shadow government are out to destroy not only the standard of living of Americans, but to also “thin out the population” during this time of greater stress on our health (which has only begun).
    Protect your health by strengthening your immune system. Learn more about these and other developments via my blog:

  25. Robert Brett Curtiss December 20, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    “…in the roughly century-long lull between Waterloo and the Guns of August, 1914.”
    Did you forget the Crimean war and the Franco-Prussian war? Not to mention a score of little skirmishes: Polish-Russian war, Hungarian Revolution, First Schleswig War, Italian Independence wars, Second Schleswig War, January Uprising of 1864, Austro-Prussian War, Russo–Turkish War, Serbo-Bulgarian War, Cod War of 1893, First Greco–Turkish War, Italo-Turkish War, and Balkan Wars.

  26. bailey December 20, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Fun post per usual and no, don’t think Angie will be writing any Dear Juan letters this season.
    Merkel and the tour de force trade engine that is Germany is doing quite fine and won’t make any decisions to end l’affaire w/ any peripheral states like Ireland, Spain and Portugal until 2013, so relax Jim and enjoy Paris.
    Italy doesn’t owe a dime to anyone but themselves btw, and purtroppo, modern economists can’t make heads or tails of our global market, it’s random, very.
    Globalization is good for the globe, bad for the nation state and v.v. bad for those with debt, indeed.
    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone, and yes, go local if and when you can….

  27. thomas99 December 20, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Quite simply…

  28. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    “War is a proven way to end the recession/depression…”
    “How many wars do you think it will take?”
    “War secures the elites against internal trouble…
    If the economy isn’t responding to stimuli, it’s probably because something basic’s been overlooked. ”
    What about our novel energetic reality is so difficult to understand? When the West effectively utilized war in the past to stimulate the economy, it was always in a context of increasing availability of energy resources. That most certainly is not the case this time around. Nature behaves differently in expansion than it does in contraction. Radically different. There is so much ballyhoo on this forum about how things have precipitated in the past, how our models inform our future, how you’re a dumb shit for believing that it might just be different this time.
    But it is different this time. We’ve never been here before. All of our fancy accounting practices, and our externalizing of disasters we should man up and take on ourselves, (if only we had one good solid pair of stones among us!), will not avail us in this energetic reality. Nature does the accounting in a descent scenario, and she rules with a heavy hand. If it worked for specialized, singularly efficient expansion man, it probably won’t for contractionary Joe. And all the keyboard jousting in the world won’t amount to anything more than killed time until we wrap our heads around the idea that damn near EVERYTHING will be different this time. That’s just how Nature operates.
    Integrate production, stack functions, find new ways to cooperate with each other, and give Nature the diversity she needs to select from. Then learn from the successes quickly, and apply the pattern. The almighty cookie cutter will not be a good tool for energy descent. Think in terms of fertility building and energy cycling. Input-output is over. The dollar is on life-support, the banks are on life-support, happy motoring is on life support, and here we sit arguing about how war will or will not stimulate our economy. If we haven’t got any ideas better than starting a war, so we can get back to our cancerous lifestyle, then we really ought to go the way of Vaudeville.

  29. Cash December 20, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Hi Debt, last week you said:
    “I would be uneasy, to say the least, if my savings were denominated in US dollars. As it is, I’m almost 100% in precious metals and have been sleeping very well. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts considering your background.” – Debt
    Re my “background”: Warren Buffett or George Soros I’m not. I’m an accountant, nothing more.
    But you want my thoughts? Here they are.
    I agree with your fear about the US dollar. I’m also afraid for the Canuck buck. Fiat money can work if it’s properly managed. But, in my estimation, the US dollar and the loonie are not being properly managed. IMO, for a long time, they’ve been creating too much liquidity and trying to keep interest rates artificially low. We’ve seen the calamitous results so I won’t belabour the point. I agree with Hoenig, head of the Kansas City Fed, that what they are engaged in now with the repeated easings is reckless.
    The second point is that any financial asset I own has to provide a stream of income ie in my case interest income. I would be worried about speculators inflicting huge swings in the prices of precious metals, huge increases and then huge drops. I would be wary of getting burned.
    Good luck to you. In the end, your guess is as good as mine.

  30. daofirry2 December 20, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    hey, one of the less mainstream Boston newspapers published an article, sort of recently, about local training programs in starting a farm, cabinetmaking, bicycle repair, and other trades with a bright future.
    Any thoughts??

  31. citizenwangpeng December 20, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    I do enjoy reading Mr. Kunstler’s comments. There needs to be someone out there ranting about this stuff.
    I don’t know about Howard Dean, but I have appreciated the efforts of Ralph Nader – surprised the JK does not mention him. He is the real deal – and how the society deals with him and marginalizes him indicates how our society deals with the truth. His comments about Obama in the year before Obama’s presidency are prescient.
    Another politician of note – I would not vote for him since I don’t agree with a complete Libertarian approach – is Ron Paul. His recent comments about WikiLeaks are a breath of fresh air.

  32. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    I love all the literalist nit-picking around here. The ‘Lectric Shave reference was almost surely a metaphor for just how bad things have gotten, not a holiday cocktail suggestion. Come on, guys…

  33. The Mook December 20, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Merry Christmas to all, and advance condolences to all those who will lose a loved one to suicide this week. With no heat, no gifts, no money, and no hope, it will be a record breaking year.

  34. Cash December 20, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Asia, last week you made a point about Indian doctors immigrating to Canada. Interesting thing, this phenom. Several years ago I had some health problems so my doc sent me for an abdominal ultra sound. I was talking to the techie administering the test and she said she was an MD in India but since she came to Canada she hasn’t yet passed the exams to get her Canuck MD.
    We had a neighbour about ten years ago in our apartment building who was a doctor from Pakistan. He passed his Canuck exams and became qualified to do medicine here in Canada. But he got a really good offer in Pittsburgh so off he went. Too bad, he was one smart fella.

  35. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    “one of the less mainstream Boston newspapers published an article, sort of recently, about local training programs in starting a farm, cabinetmaking, bicycle repair, and other trades with a bright future.”
    Finally! Some good advice! Thanks, Dao.

  36. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Wow Mook, thanks for the holiday cheer. (Probably true.)

  37. dale December 20, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    To those who would like to read the flip side to Jimmy Boy’s “apocalyptic pessimism” should consider “The Singularity is Near” by Ray Kurzweil. Kuszweil makes an interesting case for a growing swell of technological change which is nowhere near its end, and will eventually lead to a sort of super dense knowledge environment capable of solving problems in ways we can’t currently imagine. Of course, even if he’s right, it’s easy to imagine human kind finding some way to fuck it up.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not interested in having an argument with the Luddites and Enviro-manics who inhabit much of this space. Kurzweil will likely be no better at predicting the distant future than anyone else, but he attempts to do it with far more near term data than JHK and his kindred kind can be bothered with.
    In any case it might broaden the horizons and cheer up a few of the folks around here……and a few of you could use it.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

  38. Colorado December 20, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I don’t think that the money boys are done with us yet. They have got us by the ankles and are shaking the loose change out of our pockets but it will be awhile before they abandon us. As the loan shark said, busting a kneecap, dead men don’t pay. Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia gives a good account of what’s likely next, selling off infrastructure to highest bidders to stop gap massive budget holes. After that? Still a lot of fat pension funds to be stripped like a Christmas goose.

  39. The Mook December 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    I gargle with Lectric Shave to get rid of the Genessee aftertaste when I attend a local McKean County function. I gargle with Genessee to get rid of the Pabst Blue Ribbon taste another neighbor serves.

  40. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    “The Long Emergency will be a bad time to get sick.”
    Or not. A couple of things our ultra high energy culture has been able to do quite well are CAUSE disease – like cancer and diabetes; produce the necessary propaganda and enculturation to promote their expensive medicine; manufacture that expensive medicine; and most importantly, the ability to sell that expensive medicine to a large middle class understandably duped by the message the pharmaceutical profits rely so heavily upon.
    “May cause loss of coordination, impotence, stroke, and in rare circumstances, death.” May cause death? And this is the, um, medicine? These aren’t side effects, these are just the effects. That’s what the “medicine” does! Where did we lose our way??
    Energy descent will provide an opportunity for people to get back in touch with natural rhythms, time to rest and recover, and the financial need to produce more of their own food organically on their own (or bartered) land. Which will contribute mightily to health, both mental and physical. In 3 years of riding this pattern already, my family is a case study of this “prognostication.” Neither of my children have had the first immunization, circumcision, or even check-up, and they are the biggest, strongest, healthiest kids in their cohort. We make all of our own medicine out of our garden, and our products are rising in popularity, because…wait for it…they produce no ill “side” effects and work really well!! And they are so cheap that they would do nothing for the formal economy. See the threat? See why they might want to marginalize such practices?
    Medicine might suffer, but health will improve during energy descent. Hell, some people might actually be allowed to die of natural causes now and then. There might indeed be a political reason the doctors are leaving their profession, but the ultimate reason, as with everything, is energetic in nature, and the time has come, because of market realities, for us to start taking better care of ourselves than has been possible with all the excess energy in our previous/current system. You know what excess energy (fertility) does in the garden? Draws pests. Not to hard to leapfrog the analogy from there.
    No sickness, no profit. Anything seem healthy about that? The Chinese have it right – they DON’T pay their physician if they are sick, because he obviously didn’t do his job.
    Obamacare (maybe more appropriately Pelosicare) has dick to do with health, except that it might force more people to rediscover it as they are forced to abandon the meds.

  41. Qshtik December 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I think I may have observed an actual banning of a commentor as it happened this morning. About an hour ago TZA TZA wrote the second of two brief posts pooh-poohing Kunstler’s favorable disposition toward Howard Dean. Both those posts were up on the site for awhile and then I did a “refresh” and poof, they were gone. Knowing TZA’s history here at CFN I’m guessing JHK got fed up yet again and banned TZA. If that is, in fact, the case I predict TZA will return in the early new year with a new handle and that handle will contain the letter Z. He seems to like the letter Z a lot. As you all know, his writing style is easy to spot as it invariably contains the words MORON and FUCKTARD.

  42. lingling December 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    What big deal about Dean? He smart man. He doctor. HE suport Obamacare. Obamacare must be good (even if judge say not constitution)

  43. Christopher Berggren December 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Jim! Glad you reminded us what country Paris is in, since at least 80% of Americans can’t be assumed to know anything beyond the borders. Or inside, for that matter. This is the same country that bought the Dean scream as a scream and not just a voice rising to be heard above the roar of the crowd. Aside from the truth you speak of this country being like a giant rug with the dirt of “money matters and governance” being swept under the rug, what about the specific, big-picture items like the transporation bill – reauthorization next year in federal government? If business goes on as usual, for the next six years or more (until the next reauthorization) the government will continue to build and repair the very highways that just clog up again and worsen the not-insubstantial cost of social isolation because people are stuck in their cars. In a “better world”, the representatives that make up the government would be made to vote for a massive retooling and expansion of the nation’s railroad network, including metropolitan systems for our cities, and a drastic real-estate policy shift to favor urban infill and suburban retrofitting around rail-transit corridors. Somehow, the message needs to be sent home that it isn’t about the trains, it is about the economic engine that is created with railway lines – just like the massive highway program of the Eisenhower era stimulated the American economy for decades. With peak-oil here, and $10/gallon gas coming, a more rail-based national infrastructure would insure that the economy will not only not crash when gas goes through the roof, but that it will prosper. How do we get OUR government to act in 2011?? It is, after all, our government. Isn’t it?

  44. ozone December 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Excellent poking-of-the-bear, Mr. Kunstler!
    “If only Frank Capra had lived to see the Federal Reserve’s Maiden Lane portfolio, a sack of shit so monumental it would make the fabled swag-bag of Kris Kringle himself look like the descending colon of a pygmy marmoset.” JHK
    Ha! I actually cackled out loud upon reading that; then looked around shifty-eyed to see if anybody heard me!
    THEN, eerily enough, the radio blatted out:
    “Christmastime’s a’Comin”, in response to:
    “President Obama’s tax deal with the corn-and-pork-fed mental defectives of the Red States has been spun into an historic act of political ju-jitsu – a sharp trade to great advantage for the slick city operator against the avaricious rubes – but to me it was just another act of Santa Claus Theater. You have to love the conceit that all this fuss about money is finally settled.” -JHK
    (Get out yer ban-jers and pick ‘n’ grin along! Have to admit, this version had a scintillating auto-harp solo. THEN followed by the weirdest version of Jingle Bells ever concieved… Tibetan throat-singing in either Mongolian or Tibetan; I dunno, don’t parlez-dat neither.)
    …AND to top off all the strange shit going down, a total lunar eclipse UPON the solstice, which happens to be quite rare indeed… OhBoy… Lunacy is shortly to follow! ;o)

  45. Cavepainter December 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Oh really, you don’t see a cynical plot for engineering into the future a dominant voter block that is programmed to favor the Democratic party? You steadfastly believe the “innocent victim” cases trotted out by proponents for the Dream Act and amnesty for illegal aliens actually is honest expression of compassion? Hmmm,….no stir of doubt in your mind that underlying this “putsch” is keen appreciation that passage of the Dream Act and amnesty translates into countless millions of chain migrations, all obliged to vote Democratic for generations?
    Does it do to point out that all these new “citizens” will have dual citizenship with attached rights and benefits here and in nation of origin, including right to vote? You don’t see significance in their influence in the world instantly raised above that of citizens strapped with the limitation of singular national attachment (and allegiance) running back generations?
    Do you, on the other hand, see the Dream Act and amnesty to be appropriate counter to America being too white, and otherwise a proper penance and correction for national policies of the past not measuring up to political correctness fashion of the moment?
    Taking one more “other hand”; Is putsch the correct word for characterizing the real politic of the scheme? Could it be that this is the ultimate outsourcing: displacement of the current citizenry for one under political lien to preserve party hegemony for decades into the future?
    More to the point: has the Left so ossified into set sacrosanct doctrine to prevent such questioning?

  46. lingling December 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Z good letter. Z lucky letter.

  47. mow December 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    the line broke , the monkey got choked , they all went to heaven in a little rowboat .
    merry christ mass to all .

  48. Belisarius December 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Hmmm…Howard Dean eh?! Well he could be better than a bankster puppet; ie. i’d rather be stabbed than shot, knowing either could kill me. Think he’s too full of himself. It’s not gonna happen though. The banksters will find another way to torpedo him.
    Personally, i’d rather see Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, or even Dennis Kucinich; all of whom have proved their reluctance to “bend over” and are not meglomaniacs.
    Letting the banksters fail and stopping the transfer of their losses to the people would be an improvement. Do you think the sheeple could actually vote to stop the music?? I kinda doubt it. Likely the debt snowball will get too big to roll down the road before that though. You could be right, could even happen while you’re in France
    Check here for a recent summary:

  49. ozone December 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    “If we haven’t got any ideas better than starting a war, so we can get back to our cancerous lifestyle, then we really ought to go the way of Vaudeville.” Tripp
    Bang on; I don’t see the equation spitting out any other sum if we continue the rapine…
    (Enjoyed the “almighty cookie-cutter” comment as well. ;o)

  50. lingling December 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Dennis Kucinich
    He good. He boy-king mayor of ceveland. cleevland good democrat city.very succes city

  51. lingling December 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Need more democrat succes. Look chicago, newark, albanie, deetrot. All democrat. All great place.

  52. Cash December 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Hi Dawg
    What’s the matter with Kansas they ask. Nothing that ain’t also the matter with New York State, or any other preserve of the oh so hip.
    As someone else said on the site (Eleuthero?) there’s not a dimes worth of difference between factions of the ruling elite. One faction markets themselves as the protector of the marginalized, the little guy. The other faction markets themselves as rocked ribbed, patriotic, family values, ‘muricans. Sure they are.
    Regardless of which faction is in power it’s business as usual, your economy is being gutted for the benefit of the few and all the name calling and accusations (yes, yes, Obama is Muslim, yes, yes Bush is an idiot, of course he stole the election) is just distraction.
    Maybe what the US needs is a Progressive Party. And maybe what we’ve had for the past 45 years is “progress”.
    But is it progress? According to one study (Vanier Institute) in Canada, for the first time there are more single Canucks than married, more childless couples (I’m guilty) than couples with children, 66% of kids under fifteen lived with parents that were legally married vs 81% 20 years ago. I don’t know what the numbers are like in the US but I would suspect the trends are similar. At any rate these studies are suspect. Numbers can be manipulated and screwed with. What do your own eyes tell you?
    I know what mine tell me. So is this “progress”? Is this what the progressive agenda got us? These numbers (and my own eyes) tell me that what we have is not a recipe for societal success but rather a blueprint and a way forward for societal suicide. Do you need a “Progressive Party” to push more of the agenda of failure?
    Yes, yes, I know, I know, I’m a reactionary, cranky old man, I should be celebrating “diversity”. Sure. The problem is that I see miserable, stressed out kids, (some my own relatives), putting up with an unstable, revolving cast of sometimes employed, sometimes unemployed parents, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends.
    But progressives tell us that the days of white picket fence neighbourhoods where parents acted like adults, Dad had a job, and Mom stayed home and took care of everybody was a television fiction. It didn’t happen. A non existent Leave-it-to-Beaver-land of the mind according to “progressives”. According to progressives, the nuclear family didn’t exist and if it did it was pure misery, Dad was a self centred monster, Mom was a frustrated, pill popping, alcoholic, both cheated all the time. Well, it grieves me to say this but progressives are liars.

  53. lingling December 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Progressives merely wish for more of the same. Only faster. With a bigger price tag.

  54. Madcat December 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    GAbert, I think you’re spot on.
    Too many people look at me like I’m crazy when I link the 2008 bank failures and resultant GFC to oil prices and then link oil prices to the peak in oil production.
    I was asked what I saw happening in 2011 – 2012 and came up with three scenarios:
    1. All is rosy
    Business as Usual, profits as usual
    US economy will grow at 2+ % in a strong global economy, oil demand will grow,
    Oil prices will rise, but be kept in check by higher production levels
    US and most western stock markets will rise and volume of trading will increase
    Banks will go back to good health and credit will again be easy to obtain, triggering a new wave of miraculous growth and prosperity.
    2. Slow motion train wreck
    Oil production will not meet slow rising demand
    US economy will remain flat or grow at ~ 1%, oil demand will grow slowly.
    Production will once again run close to the stops at around 85Mbpd.
    Oil prices will rise slowly and steadily, until business costs cause low-end failures and a new round of frugality.
    Stockmarkets will correct by a few percent, lowering oil demand
    Oil prices will fall by a few percent
    Rinse and repeat, each time taking market values down slightly.
    3. WTF just happened?
    Oil production will not meet rapidly rising demand
    Global economy will grow at 2+ %, oil demand will grow.
    Production will once again and run into the stops at around 85Mbpd.
    Oil prices will rise quickly, heading for exponential territory as per 2007-08
    Stocks will follow, giving opportunities for quick profit and triggering a feedback loop that will stop only when escalating costs cause new rounds of loan defaults.
    Banks will fail.
    Stock markets will crash, see late 2008 for a preview.
    Of these, I see scenario 2 as the most likely for next year unless the bulls drive the US stock market a lot higher and people believe this means a real ‘recovery’ is underway. Then it switches to scenario 3.
    There are two overlays to each scenario.
    The first is that those in the world who hold US debt become so concerned about the effect of QE1,QE2 and the recent tax/benefits packages on the US deficit, that they dump US dollars, ultimately replacing the greenback as the world’s reserve currency. Should that happen, then the US economy would get a swift kick in the fork, but the oil price would be free to take off through (the equivalent of) $100. We either see the global economy crumble with the US or go to a global version of scenario 3 – a swift rise and peak followed by a massive crash.
    The second is a major hit on the insurance industry due to climate change weather disaster or other significant event in a major western population centre. This would be a game-changer that is almost impossible to predict.
    Famine, flood, war, poverty… dammit, why does everyone walk away shaking their heads and mumbling about the crazy man…
    Have a great festive season everyone! Make good resolutions that include being more self-sufficient in the New Year.

  55. richardbelldc December 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    A small historical correction about Howard Dean’s demise in the 2004 presidential campaign. You write:”I’m sorry that the cable networks juked him back in 2004, with the ridiculous charge that he had somehow lost his mind by raising his voice at his Iowa Caucus victory party.”
    This charge, that the repetition of “the scream” is what did Dean in, is an urban legend. Howard Dean’s entire campaign was premised on his ability to WIN the Iowa caucuses with his army of Internet-mobilized, orange-hatted, out-of-state volunteers who flooded into to Iowa.
    Howard Dean did not win Iowa. He did not even come in 2nd. He came in 3rd. Here are the numbers: John Kerry (38%), John Edwards (32%), Howard Dean (18%), Dick Gephardt (11%), and Dennis Kucinich (1%)With this dismal showing, Howard Dean’s campaign for the presidency was over.
    The repeated broadcast of “the scream” was a symptom of the depravity of the U.S. media. But after Iowa, there is nothing Howard Dean could have done to win the Democratic nomination, even if “the scream” had never existed.
    One has to admire Dean for getting up off the floor after this political drubbing, and the subsequent media assault, and mounting a successful campaign for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. In running for president, he had taken the time to listen to the Democratic state parties, many of whom were angry about having been ignored during the 2004 race because they were not target states for the presidential race, and therefore got no money from the DNC for any of their other races.
    As chairman, Dean put through a 50-state strategy which turned out to be critical in making it possible for Obama to compete in states which Democrats in earlier years had written off.
    (Disclaimer: I write as a former staffer at the DSCC, the DNC, and John Kerry’s 2004 campaign.)

  56. lingling December 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    There was an interesting piece that ran on 60 minutes last night. It talked about the dire straights that the states find themselves in. It singled out New Jersey and Illinois as two of the more corrupt and how municipal bond failures, that are about to occur, will make the recent banking crisis pale in comparison.
    The connection that Obama hails from Chicago and wishes to bring the “Chicago Way” to Washington was lost. Chicago spends twice what the city takes in in taxes. A Chicago official said that tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of businesses, must wait for payments for goods and services already rendered to the city of “broad shoulders”. In effect, the private sector (the “evil” private sector) is subsidizing the corrupt, Chicago, political machine.
    Take the “Chicago Way” of running government and nationalize it. What do you suppose the result will be?

  57. CynicalOne December 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    I think you’re right.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

  58. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    “I know what mine tell me. So is this “progress”? Is this what the progressive agenda got us? These numbers (and my own eyes) tell me that what we have is not a recipe for societal success but rather a blueprint and a way forward for societal suicide.”
    Amazing. So then “progressive” is what we call complex high energy culture? More energy, more free will, more multi-culturalism/racism/religionism, more global marketplace, more technology…and what we got in exchange was more isolation, more autism, more divorce, more latchkey kids, more video game zombies, more jingoism, more abortion, more war, more genocide, more debt, more anxiety…some big happy global family it’s turned out to be.
    Maybe Dale could remind me again why down-teching and relocalizing are such awful ideas?

  59. Cash December 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    This just in: Fortune mag reports that Andrew Cuomo is filing civil suit against Ernst&Young over their failure to challenge Lehman Bros materially misleading financial reports. So much for Sarbanes Oxley. Sayeth Eleanor Bloxham who runs a corporate governance advice firm, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of will to go after advisors whether legal or audit. Yeah, no shit.

  60. The Mook December 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    It’s also great to see that those states are now going to use pension costs as the reason for bankruptcy. No mention of the way they lost all the money when the Ponzi schemes ran dry. They made billions on the way up, and pissed it all away to the corporate schpincters.

  61. The Mook December 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Has anyone seen last week’s financial braggart that predicted Visa would go from 80 to 120 by the end of January? Please tell him his stock is “all the way up” to 67 after plummeting late last week. I am sure he is another capitalist who will state next year : Why is everyone so bearish? If you bought Visa at 67 in December you would be up 20% as it broke through 80 this morning.

  62. Headless December 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Jim said: “In this previous historic convulsion the issue was slavery; today the issue is the rule of law – the absence of which from banking is destroying the USA as effectively as a foreign invasion.”
    And by extension (from the problem being “the rule of law”), we once again are confronting the exact same beast: Slavery.
    “Just because sumza us hasn cars and can goez where weez wantin to awhen weez wantin to, dont makes usun no free men…now dontztit?”
    Had slaves had the horse and buggy and the modern-American, 2-week vacation…Lincoln?
    The very real parallel between African slaves and, what daily becomes more apparent, the New American slaves, begs the question: What would those black slaves, who made up from 24 to 57% of the population in southern states (according to an 1860 census) had done if they had all been gun owners and had some magical way to communicate and organize?
    With over 250 Million REGISTERED guns in the U.S. ( and maybe that again in UNregistered guns–surely the big, bad-ass illegal ones that could knock your house down), I feel there is going to be a teensy bit of a problem for the Neo-slavery model that Wall Street is attempting to impose. Imagine when those 10 Million news slaves who own assault rifles realize they are new slaves…

  63. Newfie December 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    I bet on the Slow Motion Train Wreck scenario. Notice how the price of oil is creeping steadily upwards even though the economy barely has a pulse. THe IEA finally admitted that conventional oil production peaked back in 2005. It’s only a matter of time now. The worlds greatest Ponzi scheme – Capitalism – is going to collapse. In slow motion…

  64. ASPO Article 1037 December 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    See his 12:27 above for reference-
    Individuals and businesses up to large corporate properties are important in honest intellectual comprehension of need to expand and extend railway reach & capacity. Waiting for government types to figure it out Parallel Bar Therapy as crucial in Peak Oil solution set is simply to wait past the point of no return.
    Christopher Swan “Suntrain Transportation Corporation” is working on a comprehensive “SYSTEMS” approach to weaving railway- local orientation in harmony with the national rail matrix with renewable used as EIOER shows benefits.
    Reformed US Army/Guard Rail Logistics Units as seen from Civil War to VietNam era will be the primary role of government in this transition; “Transportation Transformation”. Waking up to rare earth limits will slow deployment of battery/hybrid car panacea, so expanding railway in step with Oil Interregnum revelations can be accomplished with less pushback than seems likely at this point in time.
    War talk probably useful to re-awaken earlier knowledge of railway as “Second Diomension Surface Transport logistics Platform” -Guarantor of Societal & Commercial Cohesion…
    Maybe, Jim can expand on Swan’s railway matrix “Systems approach” in his annual round-up coming in two weeks? ‘Retail Railroad’ is Swan’s moniker, with the railway again part of the rural/urban background, an indispensible tool in the national kit as it was before Bicycle clubs forced the roads that Henry hijacked.

  65. Cash December 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    Personally I don’t think down teching or relocalizing are awful ideas. I think a lot of the ills you mention and that I rant about are the result of a society that has become overly mobile, that’s detached people from each other and their neighbours.
    The result is that we’ve taken the ideology of individualism and personal liberty to ridiculous lengths. So you have communities convulsed by crime and families convulsed by breakup. Anything bloody well goes. We’ve internalized this ethic to nonsensical extremes.
    An example: One co-worker told me that he has to trust his fifteen year old daughter because he can’t be with her all the time. So, he said, if sixteen year old boys prey on her they prey on her. After all, he said, when he was sixteen he did the same.
    Well so did I. But now he’s her father and what the hell is he doing identifying with the interests of some no ass, no account overly exitable boy over those of his own daughter? I thought a father was supposed to defend her and keep her from doing something disastrous, not to shrug and say que sera sera. A teen pregnancy or easily avoidable disease like Hep C or HIV is a disaster. You can’t keep teens from having sex? Maybe you can’t control what they do all the time but you are in charge of what you do.
    I don’t think that we’ll repeal human nature anytime soon but the human mind and human behaviour are enormously elastic so I think we can act to mitigate some of the worst aspects of our beastly self centred nature. Someone came up with the idea that the outburst of religious thought and the origins of major religions in the iron age was a result of popular disgust with new lethality of iron weapons and the terrific toll they took in warfare. I think it was an attempt at behaviour modification. Behaviour modification is the key.

  66. Belisarius December 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Good post.
    Think we are most likely to see something resembling scenario 3. If the insurance industry takes a big hit before a crash they might survive, if afterwards they fail, unless bailed out. Dollar dump is already happening some, but is offset by flight from a Euro in even more trouble. If the Euro collapses first, it could save the dollar for awhile, even as it triggers US bank collapses.
    So then, does the Dark City wake up at some point, and stop shoveling the people’s money to save the banks until the dollar is worthless? Do people vote for a hurricane to avoid the tsunami? If they do does it happen? Can’t see that far myself.

  67. John Howard December 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Just kick the Libertarians out of both parties, and they’ll be able to start working together again. Right now the Libertarians are holding them hostage with extreme demands and ridiculous positions.
    A huge catalyst toward functioning government would be to end the gay marriage debate with a workable compromise. The Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise would prohibit creating people form genetic engineered artificial gametes, extend federal recognition to state civil unions that are defined as “marriage minus conception rights”, and preserve the right of every marriage to conceive offspring from the couple’s own genes.
    One of the huge wastes of money going on right now is the billions being spent on ridiculous animal experiments in making mice with two fathers, etc. President Obama made a promise not to touch the NIH budget and keep all the bio-engineers jobs, but that is not a very useful thing to be wasting money on right now.

  68. hornblower December 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Don’t worry everyone! Big brother is watching you & keeping you safe from yourselves!

  69. wagelaborer December 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Countries run out of oil at different times, Tripp.
    We hit peak oil in 1970.
    Saudi Arabia- ???
    There is still a LOT of oil in Iraq and Iran.
    So your belief that the US only attacks other countries for oil still holds in these cases, plus the pipeline in Afghanistan to funnel fossil fuels to Europe.
    But people fought wars before oil, for land, food, and slaves, usually.
    I’m not the one that considers war a good way to get out of depression. That would be the US ruling class.
    I’m with you. Let’s find a different way to live, in peace and within our planetary means.

  70. dale December 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    In his fine book “The Discoverers” historian Daniel Boorstin observed: “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.”
    One need look no further than Galileo and his telescope to illustrate Boorstin’s point. The priests would not look through Galileo’s scope because if they say what they expected then it would be a waste of time and if they saw something they didn’t expect, then it was a trick.
    Technological downsizing might very well be part of the “solution”, if one assumes that there is a “problem”. However, it would seem unlikely that we can live as we did a hundred of more years ago given increasing population, even if you could convince people that this is advisable. Hence, we have all the prognosticating about “die offs” etc. Given the complexity of the problem I doubt that there is “one” solution. I suspect the answer to increasing population, environmental degradation, and social disintegration due to the above (if this is the “problem”) would be multi-faceted and involve both changes in values and technological innovation we can’t even conceive of at this point.
    The naked fact is, individually and collectively, we have never shown much talent for long term forecasting. Most sanity based forecasting involves either very narrow parameters, (what changes will occur in cell phones over the next five years.) Or are vague on outcomes (the information explosion will continue!!) Thanks for that…..;) There is a reason for this and it has to do with how we are mentally and emotionally wired. We are way to prone to bias and can’t come close to grocking all the variables involved in making sweeping forecasts. As a result, the more people are willing to engage in or believe in forecasts, the more likely it is that they have a predetermined outcome in mind… the priests who wouldn’t look through Galileo’s scope.
    Good luck out there……you may turn out to be right after all, and I admire the courage you show in your convictions. But if I were to wish anything for you and the other people here, it would just be to stay open minded and flexible, that would seem to work best whatever outcome might be in store for us.

  71. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Control of sexuality is one of the corner stones of Civilization. Without it there is no family. The “Progressives” are just Commuists who lack the courage of their convictions. And the Communists have declared total war agaisnt the family – they want women working and the children raised to a large extent by the state. Communism is far more than just economics. As one feminist famously put it, stay at home moms are parasites. Ah, such nice people -such love and unity.
    Leave it to Beaver is also White and presumeably, Christian. All of this is unacceptable. Both the White Race and Christianity are slated for extinction by the Powers. This is where you get confused and don’t if know if that’s a bad thing or not. You have also swallowed alot of the Kool Aid. I admit that the South Asians and Chinese have ancient civilizations. And they will recreate them in Canada and the United States to the extent they can. By definition they could not have created Canada – they can destroy it, but they could not have created it and they cannot/will not mantain it.

  72. wagelaborer December 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Hi Cash.
    I live frugally, also, but I can’t save money because my husband is a spendthrift, and looks at money in the bank as potential stuff, not security.
    Our marriage was almost over because of this, so I gave up and let him spend it all.
    I just try to spend as much as I can get away from him on trees and seeds and stuff.
    So your way wouldn’t work for us!
    But good luck with your plan.

  73. wagelaborer December 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    No wonder you don’t like progressives, Cash, you blame the disintegration of society on us.
    Once again, I turn to Marx, even though I get ignored when I quote him.
    Speaking of what the capitalist system does to personal relationships, including family relationships-
    “The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
    The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.
    The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.”

  74. John Howard December 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Progressives need to decide where they stand on same-sex procreation and genetic engineering and things like that. Are they for organic, local, sustainable living, or for a technological scientifically controlled society? There are far too many libertarian techno-progressives in the control room for me to support the progressive party right now. Unless they kick out the techno-progressives by calling for a federal ban on genetic engineering of human children and same-sex procreation, the progressive wing is bad news. But it ought to be easy for rational progressives to do that, right?

  75. Nyc Labretš December 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I was *in* Iowa that night of Dean’s so-called scream.
    But sadly not in the room at the exact moment it happened, so I can’t speak as a direct witness.
    But, in terms of hearsay, there was no general sense amongst us that the good Doctor had just lost his marbles on National Television.
    Nor was it a topic of discussion the next morning over breakfast.
    In fact, I only caught wind something was up was right before Bush’s started delivering his State of the Union that night as I was driving back East when I heard a radio commentator make a brief passing remark about it.
    It wasn’t until I woke up in Bethesda, MD the next afternoon, (having driven all night straight through and not gotten to sleep until about 7am or so), and then only then did I turn on the TV and see that the Mighty CorpoMedia Wurlitzer was playing its Song of Smear at Full Volume in the Key of F, in MTV stylee Heavy Rotation, that I realized that this had been going on relentlessly non-stop on all networks since I had started driving back.
    When they wanna get ya, they’re gonna use every cheap slimy trick in their book, and they’re gonna get ya.
    It usually works, too.
    In fact the only time I saw it not work was during the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s 9/!! jeremiad that they pounded into the dirt just as hard.
    If, for the only reason, that the cameras didn’t happen to catch the Obama family in the pews on that particular Sunday,

  76. lingling December 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    “It’s also great to see that those states are now going to use pension costs as the reason for bankruptcy. ”
    Do the math. Pension costs ARE the reason for bankruptcy. The shyster legislators promised unionized state employees the moon. For cohesion (no strikes) and votes they promised riches that they had no way in which to provide.
    Now we are supposed to be surprised that there is no bone in the pantry? Ah, excuse me but I first heard the tale of Old Mother Hubbard at the age of four. Get a clue.

  77. lingling December 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    “When they wanna get ya, they’re gonna use every cheap slimy trick in their book, and they’re gonna get ya.”
    For once, thank god, they got him. The man is an idiot.

  78. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    What if the UN wants war – as when it sided with the Bosnians against the Serbs? What then?

  79. james December 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Wow! Thank You so much “doafirry2”! That link to that new farmer program at Tufts is wonderful. You are awesome for posting that – Thanks again. James Nix

  80. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Sounds like Marx is against “feudal” lifestyles of living close to the land – and agaisnt Family as I already mentioned. We should ignore this bearded freak.
    Told you you were a Communist!

  81. edpell December 20, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    In response to the comment on unmarried and childless families. That is the way America (Canada) works. Work the workers hard and pay them little. So hard and so little that they are not able to reproduce. So then continuous immigration is require to re-stock the work force.

  82. wagelaborer December 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    The UN didn’t side with the Bosnians, Vlad.
    The US strong-armed NATO into attacking Yugoslavia.
    By the way, it may interest you to know that when my progressive friends start yammering about racist wars, I point out that not only did the US sit back and let the (white) Germans slaughter the (white) Russians in the 40s, but in the 90s, the US attacked white people in Yugoslavia, with depleted uranium weapons and everything, targeting infrastructure, civilians and the media, just like in the brown countries.

  83. SNAFU December 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    DD snippet: “DEAD WRONG about who is at fault”
    The likelihood is that if we all were to be “perfectly honest” we would likely find “The Bard” hit the nail on the head in “Julius Caesar”
    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings”

  84. lingling December 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    “Work the workers hard and pay them little. So hard and so little that they are not able to reproduce. So then continuous immigration is require to re-stock the work force.”
    So how is it the immigrants are able to reproduce on such little money?

  85. edpell December 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Every town with a school will be bankrupt due to unfunded pensions. Every state will be bankrupt due to unfunded pensions and the federal government is long past bankrupt. The only program that is funded is social security (or was until the 2% social security tax cut). Only IBM which cancelled its pension and retirement medical is off the hook. UAW pensions are now owned by the federal government in exchange for the votes.

  86. Smokyjoe December 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    I was never a big fan of Howard Dean, but you nailed something here:
    “I’m sorry that the cable networks juked him back in 2004, with the ridiculous charge that he had somehow lost his mind by raising his voice at his Iowa Caucus victory party.”
    How far things have declined since then, when even the rantings of Tea-Bagger morons can be spun as “back to basics governance” or somesuch. And the rubes who elected them ignore it, while Dean got crucified for one rather inane outburst.
    Bah, humbug. We’ll be lucky to have Mr. Scrooge give us half a lump of coal next year, in the stumbling Plutocracy that used to be a great nation.

  87. edpell December 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    That’s 2% of 6%(? 7%?) or a 33% cut in the tax

  88. wagelaborer December 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Yep, Marx was against the backward society of feudalism, but how do you get that he was anti-family out of that quote?
    Talk about revisionism!
    Critics of capitalism have pointed out for 200 years that capitalism destroys family bonds, as well as tribal or village bonds, as well as the healthy relationship between man and work.
    Capitalism takes a creative action, that of humans acting upon their environment to produce something of value, and dehumanizes the process, turning it into alienated labor, hated by the producer, with the profits expropriated by the non-productive owner.
    Socialists have always called for a return to creative, fulfilling labor, with the productive process controlled democratically, so that people aren’t reduced to machine-like behavior for most of their day, with the only relief being the time they aren’t engaged in paid labor.
    That’s what Marx was saying, and you are literate enough to understand it.

  89. The Mook December 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    There’s a bone in the closet because of many other things than the promised pensions. Now that it’s pension time for the boomers the plug will be pulled. That’s all I am saying. One more excuse to prolong the crash. You get a clue, Pee-Wee.

  90. The Mook December 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    I hope you didn’t reproduce. Too many little Dinga-ling-lings could be bad for the neighborhood.

  91. Desert Dawg December 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Hi Cash, That is one of those rare posts on here that nails it!!! Truer words could not be spoken! Well done my friend!

  92. asia December 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Did you say you liked ‘HAROLD AND MAUDE’..
    that was an Arthur Barron film..I knew him in the 70’s.

  93. asia December 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    If its words are true release of disease via bugs by US govt is nothing new.
    if you havent read that book i endorse the first 120 pages.
    the restof the book [over 200 pages if i recall correctly] are his solutions, which i dont subscribe to.

  94. asia December 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Did the river there [rhine? danube?] go radioactive? thats what a former yugo told me.
    also wasnt it CFR albright who got clinton to attack?

  95. asia December 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    ‘US attacked white people in Yugoslavia, with depleted uranium …’
    But as an ultra leftist democrat told me:

  96. Madcat December 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    “But people fought wars before oil, for land, food, and slaves, usually.” Wagelaborer
    Yes, and if you take that analysis to its logical conclusion, you see it is always about energy to feed your people and grow economically
    * more land = greater ability to harness sunlight for photosynthesis = more food
    * more food is an extension of the above
    * slaves = a cheap form of energy, now replaced by the energy density of oil
    We could well be looking at the natural abolition of our energy source. Attacking those who hold larger reserves is no doubt seen as a way to extend our time in an unsustainable lifestyle, but we’d better be very careful about timing if we’re eyeing Iran – something about 20-25% of the world’s oil passing through the Straits of Hormuz on a daily basis – all within easy range of their Noor anti-ship missiles (or even more easily mined).

  97. bossier22 December 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    tripticket your kidding yourself if you think that health will improve in tle. look at russia after the fall of the soviet union or any third world country. i am sure many would love to have our unhealthy lives but oh wait, they will because their all moving here!

  98. BeantownBill December 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Pretty interesting. I’d like to have a list of all the hands-on skills needed to survive or provide an income in a suburban environment if TSHTF. Like sewing, tailoring (or clothes repair), etc. Bicycle repair could be a very desirable skill if autos go the way of the dinosaurs.

  99. Qshtik December 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Need more democrat succes. Look chicago, newark, albanie, deetrot. All democrat. All great place.
    I think LingLing is pulling our LegLeg.

  100. BeantownBill December 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    I’ve read Kurzweil. Yes, maybe he’s a little out there, but at least he is more of a well-reasoned optimist than the typical emotional, pessimistic poster in CFN. Not that I don’t appreciate them, for they give me both sides of the argument. For me, it’s always better to have to pick my way through reams of information than to suffer a dearth of said info.

  101. ozone December 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    I’ll guaran-damn-tee you one “skill” that won’t be required: Friedman-esque bloviation and dumb-fuckery (tm MM). (Thank goodness.)

  102. BeantownBill December 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    I generally agree with you. Let me give you a viewpoint from someone a lot older than you. I’ve always been aware of the role nutrition and exercise play in maintaining good health, and I’m fairly knowledgeable in what to do to achieve that end. I try to eat sensibly – I’m a vegan – and I exercise pretty regularly. I supposedly don’t look my age (that’s what my wife says, anyway), and when I see typical people in my age group, I get nervous as to how old I really am.
    Both my parents reached their 90’s, and my mother is still alive at 97. Several of my father’s cousins are still alive in their 90’s, too, and one died at 102. So I got good genes.
    As long as I’m relatively spry, I want to stay alive as long as possible to learn new things about the universe.
    But time grinds us all down. Living at the bottom of a deep gravity well means the mechanical parts of our bodies wear away, not unlike brake pads in our cars. My lumbar disks are flattening, and despite the good genes, the stretching exercises and good diet, I’ve lost about an inch in height from when I was younger. I could list several other complaints that I didn’t have when I was in my 30’s.
    The point of all this is that if one wants to maximize one’s lifespan (some people don’t), then one will need some outside help from time to time.
    When I was younger, I railed against the medical establishment, about how medicine was taken over by the pharmaceutical industry, about how deadly medicine really is.
    I still feel that way, but now that I’m older, I can see there’s some good in the system that I could use to my benefit. When I was your age, you could never convince me of it. But, I think as you get older you may appreciate some of the things medical science, as an industry, can do for you – unless you are extremely stoic about your lifespan.

  103. ozone December 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Haw! Good one.
    (Can PudPud be shortly to follow?)

  104. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    So, off to visit the land of the ‘The Revolutionary Moment’, Enjoy a good safe trip.
    Barring disaster Mr. LEGACY will not have changed the Status Quo while you are gone. I hope there is nothing too ominous in your ‘To All a Good Night’ wish to us as you leave the country.

  105. endofworld December 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    As always,another great one Jim-as a former contractor on various Goverment bases i don’t think Iran or N.Koreas has any idea whats in store for them-it will be interesting…..

  106. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    Not only that – Whites pay for their own displacement via welfare to the new people. We are literally pall bearers at our own funeral. So it’s only appropriate that Bank of America has Whites train minorities for their position and then fires the White once the training is complete. You could refuse but then you don’t get any severance benefits. What a mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. Our backs are against the wall. A new band of Heroes must arise and lead us to Freedom.

  107. Newfie December 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m also rather amazed at the lack of peak oil awareness in the general population. The IEA has at last admitted that conventional oil production peaked in 2005. They claim that as yet undiscovered oil and as yet undeveloped fields will push oil production higher and higher in the coming years. That seems lie pure fantasy. But it’s not even discussed in the mainstream newspapers. The US Joint Forces Command released a report on peak oil predicting shortages as early as 2012, yet that hardly even made it to the back pages of the newspaper. So the media is filtering peak oil from the population. And whenever I read through the comments on some article about the current economic malaise none of the readers ever mention peak oil as a factor (whereas I think it is THE factor). Oil is probably going to peak very slowly and people won’t notice it. The price is now $90 a barrel and that acts as a damper on growth. Increased growth will likely push the price higher which will again limit growth. The price of oil may act as a governor on growth keeping it within the 0%-1% range. All this escapes the great unwashed…

  108. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    those assigned to moderate feedback to NY Times op-eds reject comments that contain the term “peak oil”.

    Is there any documentation to support this claim? Can a memo be found? can the source of this policy be identified? Or was this claim pulled out someones ass?
    Certification of such a fact if true would certainly help the cause.

  109. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    I’m also rather amazed at the lack of peak oil awareness in the general population.

    Most newbies are and I warn you pursuit of this question can lead to becoming a member of the Bayesian Conspiracy among other things.

  110. Belisarius December 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    “So it’s only appropriate that Bank of America has Whites train minorities for their position and then fires the White once the training is complete”.
    From what i hear, this is not just BoA but SOP among large corps. I have talked to many white folks that had to train the foreign nationals of the countries that their whole departments were outsourced to. After the inevitable layoff, and upon looking for new positions at similiar corps, they noticed most of the HR and hiring managers spoke english with an accent. Usually these managers were competing to hire someone from their respective ethnicities. Often if only whites applied, the position was not filled and either relisted later or “temped” with an H1B type import.

  111. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    After the inevitable layoff, and upon looking for new positions at similiar corps, they noticed most of the HR and hiring managers spoke english with an accent. Usually these managers were competing to hire someone from their respective ethnicities.

    Oh come on now, this is American, shit like that can’t happen here.

  112. neckflames December 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    As an acupuncturist/herbalist I couldn’t agree more.
    The best thing you can do for your health is to not get caught up in the meds and other toxic procedures of Western medicine except as a very last resort. A Navajo I spoke with told me, “We stay away from the white man’s hospital. It’s where people go to die.”
    So are you now living ‘down below the gnat-line’?

  113. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    oops – America not American

  114. Nastarana December 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    I love it when aging roues find themselves, in middle or late middle age, without wife or partner. So what happened to all the former girlfriends, party partners who weren’t perfect tens enough to please back when?
    I grew up in a home where Dad worked and Mom stayed home. And I am grateful she did. She taught me to cook from scratch, sew and garden. I balked at canning. Dad was a civil engineer, graduated from an excellent land grant university back when taxpayers thought it was important to support education for their children and state departments thought it was a good idea to hire the sons (and some daughters) of the voters who were paying
    their salaries.
    Dad was a smart man, but if he had had to compete with engineers coming from all over the world, he might not have had the stable employment which allowed Mom to stay home and which enabled the education of 4 children, not to mention providing for a comfortable retirement.
    Young couples I knew who graduated from HS the same time I did got married out of HS, got jobs locally with no problems, and were buying houses 3-4 years later. Those times just don’t exist any more. You try putting dinner on the table, and sending kids to school dressed, fed and in a proper frame of mind when the old man hasn’t worked for the last six months, smokes or drinks your salary, tolerates no discomfort no matter high the utility bills, and, oh, his relatives just asked for money for their Christmas.
    You want traditional families again? Then we need the kind of employment and political and financial policies which support families. Such as price controls (they do work!) especially on the things people need to survive, living wages paid to workers, investment in education, in particular vocational/technical, and severe limits on immigration, legal and illegal. For most jobs you don’t need Einstein, you don’t need best in the world, you just need a person of good will and good character who has taken the trouble to learn the relevant skills.

  115. asoka December 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Good one this week, Jim. Great metaphors, though the WLS metaphor escaped most.
    Welcome dose of optimism, too. I agree with your take on Gov. Dean.
    Enjoy Paris!

  116. Prelapsarian Press December 20, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    Correction of the historicl record re Dean and Iowa. That wasn’t a victory cry, that was a death howl. He got less than half of Kerry’s total, despite leading in Iowa for months.
    He knew (I surmise) that the corporate media had gotten his scalp a month earlier when he started floating media reform issues out there — breaking up the concentration of ownership and such. Far as I know, he’s the only American pol to have raised these issues in a high-profile election campaign. Soon as he started, they retaliated by running stories questioning his temperament and general fitness to be president. By polling night in Iowa they had completely torpedoed his candidacy, and were just piling on for good measure by making an issue out of the howl.

  117. jerry December 20, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    The laissez-faire, free-market fakers hide in plain sight.
    This entire group of cash sucking leeches controlled by the overlords in the corporate executive suites have purchased gold plated leashes for Obamadier, and his Congressional navigators.
    Nothing will change unless the Mainstays who feed from the public trough, and many of those Congressional conartists are millionaires excited over their $100,000 tax cuts coming their way following their votes.
    Any person willing to take a chance on running as a Progressive on a Progressive ticket will get my vote and contribution:
    Howard Dean, Russ Feingold, Elizabeth Warren.
    My TeaBagging neighbors, barely holding on their checkbooks, may end up homeless if they get their way!!!

  118. asoka December 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    Vlad said: “What a mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. Our backs are against the wall.”
    Hey, white separatist, stop whining. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps. That’s what you white folks have always told poor Blacks to do.
    Once upon a time you dressed so fine,
    You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
    Now you don’t talk so loud,
    Now you don’t seem so proud,
    About having to be scrounging for your next meal.
    How does it feel?
    How does it feel?
    To be without a home,
    Like a complete unknown,
    Like a rolling stone?

    Asoka knows it is wrong to enjoy seeing Whites on the receiving end… but damn! Asoka never thought he’d see the day when Whites would get their payback for their institutionalized racism and violence against minorities. As brother Malcolm said, the chickens are coming home to roost.

  119. Newfie December 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    I frequently read the Times and scan through the comments. I don’t think the editors remove peak oil comments. It’s just that there aren’t any. There doesn’t seem to be any awareness of peak oil in the readership. There is a little. In an article about the BP spill and the future f off shore drilling, there was one reader out of maybe 400 that commented that peak oil was going to be The End. In another article on alt-energy with hundreds of comments one reader predicted that peak oil would result in an apocalypse resulting in millions of abandoned cars by the side of the road. Once I commented that it would all end as predicted by the Olduvai Theory and another commenter picked up on that. But generally an comment about peak oil in the Times seems to make no impression on readers. People seem to be in the dark.

  120. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    I’m going to agree with you how the ignorance is being perpetuated is not as important as the implications of it. A thunderclap of enlightenment when our downward slope is so steep it can’t be ignored won’t feed the hungry masses. So Olduvai it must be, and oh what could have been.

  121. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Meanwhile quite a few here seem preoccupied with skin deep issues.

  122. ALLDERBLOB December 20, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    I have a friend with family in Iran who tells me the price of gasoline there went up 7-fold overnight last week. Nothing to do with today’s discussion, but perhaps apropos of peak oil concerns. A tacit admission the reserves are not so great afterall?

  123. JB December 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    Mr. Kunstler, surely you jest with the nod to Howard Dean? IMO, and I think facts actually bear this out, those who have rode to the top of power in either party (and head of the DNC fits that bill) have in every way been morally and ethically compromised. How could they not?
    You might fancy yourself as a modern day H.L. Mencken (just a guess on my part) and if so I submit my favorite Mencken quote to give you a proper comeuppance:
    The fact is that liberty, in any true sense, is a concept that lies quite beyond the reach of the inferior man’s mind. He can imagine and even esteem, in his way, certain false forms of liberty – for example, the right to choose between two political mountebanks, and to yell for the more obviously dishonest – but the reality is incomprehensible to him. And no wonder, for genuine liberty demands of its votaries a quality he lacks completely, and that is courage. The man who loves it must be willing to fight for it; blood, said Jefferson, is its natural manure. More, he must be able to endure it – …an even more arduous business. Liberty means self-reliance, it means resolution, it means the capacity for doing without. – H.L. Mencken
    “Yell for the more obviously dishonest”….indeed.

  124. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Concerning Howard Dean,
    From Wikipedia:
    He currently holds no elected office or official position in the Democratic party.

    those who have rode to the top of power in either party (and head of the DNC fits that bill) have in every way been morally and ethically compromised. How could they not?

    You may be right, you may be wrong but there is no way to know for sure.

  125. bproman December 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    All I want for Christmas is a bomb shelter.

  126. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    No it is an end to government price subsidies in effect since the Iran/Iraq war and has nothing to do with Peak Oil. Going all chicken little on every piece of news that could possibly support the cause does not support the cause. Gimmie da facts man, not the bullshit.

  127. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    What no piece on earth and good will towards men?
    I bet you want canned goods too.

  128. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    Quite right Soak: it’s Whites oppressing other Whites using minorities to do it. They are our real enemies. Blacks we don’t take seriously, quite frankly. Mexicans a bit more seriously. Muslims more again. And East Asians are quite formidable. But Blacks? Please. One on one on the street it’s a different story of course. Blacks are effective predators killing, assaulting, and raping countless people every year. That’s why Blacks want to live with Whites – to get away from their own very dangerous people.

  129. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Damn, being able to edit the garbage I spew out would be nice.
    peace not piece.
    Wanting peace on earth is certainly different than wanting a piece of it.

  130. messianicdruid December 20, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    “…a total lunar eclipse UPON the solstice, which happens to be quite rare indeed… OhBoy… Lunacy is shortly to follow! ;o)”
    If the sky is clear, in an hour or two, go out and look at the moon and wonder if the Mayans weren’t a couple years late.

  131. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    The eclipse is tomorrow, take the predictions this druid puts out with a grain of salt for a while.

  132. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    “So are you now living ‘down below the gnat-line’?”
    Unfortunately! (Although we had some in Macon too.) But I also know that out-of-balance pests, like gnats and fire ants, thrive on ecosystem disturbance, and our activities on this farm will be very much about cooperating with ecosystem succession to guide the farm back into balance while remaining productive. Actually we’ll make it more productive too. I think the gnats and fire ants will settle to a tolerable level…of course…then I’ll never want to leave the farm! See my wicked relocalization plans unfolding here? Make home the most comfortable place to be!
    Didn’t know you were an herbalist! Very cool. Do you have a blog?

  133. BeantownBill December 20, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Reminds me of a science fiction story I read years ago. I don’t remember the details, but the story was about a future US in which a computer picked who would be president. Every citizen’s physical, mental and character traits were inputted into the computer. It picked whoever it decided would make the best president. Whoever was picked had to serve, and it could be anybody.
    The story was about an average guy going to work on the train, when one day he’s notified he’s been selected as president.
    Wouldn’t that be better than all the bullshit we go through now every 4 years? Assuming the computer wasn’t tampered with. And the difference between selected and elected is just an “s”.

  134. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Thank you for answering me and treating me like a human being today.
    Destruction of the family has been a plank in the Communist Party since the begining – thus the connection between Communism and Feminism. No longer were women to be subjugated by their husband and their own bodies – but rather to be Liberated to work in Factories! The children? Raised by the State in a way free from superstition to be the New Socialist Man!
    I grant you that Capitalism is destructive of the family and the environment but so is Communism – they are opposite sides of the same coin. Communism tends to be more so because it’s more systematic and again – destruction of the family is a stated goal.
    I’m glad you are not for the destruction of the family, but you have never made that clear in the past. So the question becomes: why do you associate with a philosophy which espouses this and has caused so much destruction through out the world? You say “Socialist” – by this do you mean a current European model? Or do you mean the classic definition: Socialism being a stage in the dialectic on the way towards Communism?
    Marx’s works run to many volumes and he said many different things at different times. In effect, there are many Marx’s depending on what you want to take. Marx said some profound things about the alienation of the worker, but the Parties never really carried the torch on that. Rather his alienation just became the alienation of the worker from his wages or the fruits of his labor – a common definition that excludes the human spirit – which Capitalism excludes as well.
    The Socialist Goverment of Germany is persecuting home schoolers leaving them the agony of either submitting or exile. Systems in which power is so centralized always lead to tyranny like this. Other forms of socialism address this important issue – to my knowledge Marx never did and “Marxism” is utterly opposed to real personal autonomy.

  135. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    “The eclipse is tomorrow, take the predictions this druid puts out with a grain of salt for a while.”
    Actually, I believe it starts at about 1:30 am ET tonight (solstice morning). Quite the auspicious occasion!

  136. Lara's Dad December 20, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    From the LA Times:
    “December 20, 2010 | 11:06 am
    Since it’s currently pouring in Los Angeles, the only way to watch Monday night’s total lunar eclipse might be through a live feed from Google Earth and robotic telescope service Slooh.”

  137. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    “Wanting peace on earth is certainly different than wanting a piece of it.”
    I’ve enjoyed many a good piece on this Earth in my time;)

  138. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Yes I am wrong the eclipse officially starts at

    According to The AP, North and Central America should both be able to view the entire eclipse, which is estimated to take about 3.5 hours. Total eclipse will begin at 11:41 p.m. PST on Monday, or 2:41 a.m. EST on Tuesday — so obviously West Coasters will have a better chance to catch the magnificent sight without dragging around heavy eyelids and needing an extra dose of espresso the following morning. If you want to set an alarm to catch a brief glimpse of the amber moon, NASA recommends 3:17 a.m. EST for the optimal impression.

  139. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Did the UN condmen the action? It seems to me that the whole New World Order crowd loved the whole deal. They do sometimes fight amongst themselves though. Brezinski and the Council of Foreign Relations feel the Jewish Neo Cons have really messed up their work. Brezinski said they have delayed World Goverment for thirty years.

  140. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    But of those pieces you can’t speak because that’s not what gentlemen do.

  141. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    “Liberty means self-reliance, it means resolution, it means the capacity for doing without. – H.L. Mencken”
    Well quoted, JB.
    A wise Australian aborigine once said, “the more one knows the less one needs.” I can certainly vouch for that in my limited but curious lifespan.

  142. myrtlemay December 20, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Okay, I’m gonna attempt to redirect here, okay?
    1. We’re at peak oil. We’re gonna have to deal with it (how we get to “work”, school, play, grocery, etc.)..I mean,…no??
    2. It doesn’t really matter what race you are. If you are in a poor, destitute neighborhood, for a protracted period of time, you’re probably going to die a violent and bloody death, especially if you’re old and/or infirm. Sorry.
    3. Middle class people are similarly fxcked, having been swindled into buying housing “bargains” these past two years at $250K (formerly $550K “works of art”) .
    Hey, some of the most vulgar, crude, money hungry bitches (men and women)I’ve known are real estate agents. They will EAT YOU ALIVE, smiling like Judas toward Christ. Ohhh, the coming financial bloodbath is beyond even MY macabre imagination.
    4. Securities, annuities, etc., ARE READY TO HIT A CATACLYSMIC FALL OFF! This I learned through a Manhattan Senior Financial Advisor a year and a half ago. And I’m A SMALL POTATO! I only have access to this guy through a very small group of well-to-do denizens of Manhattan society. I’ve since converted every small pittance I have into cash, most domestic, few foreign, small amounts of gold and silver. But I truly am a DROP in the bucket! My net worth is probably less than one million (excluding real estate). Point being, I think the storm is coming. What little you have have what is now coined, “wealth”, try to protect it. Best to all for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! MM

  143. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Gentlemen? Oh, you must have me confused with someone else;)
    I think almost exclusively in terms of fecundity. There are very few activities on earth as seductive as hand-pollinating a vanilla orchid…

  144. jackieblue2u December 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    That wasn’t the one I said I saw, the one was THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. but then I deleted it.
    You can probably tell that I don’t ‘follow’ threads and humor too well lately. My personal life is a mess, right now and I am on overload.
    I ‘enjoy’ reading about the issues on here tho. I don’t always scroll each and every post, cuz the scroll thingy on the right is so little and it will go all the way back to the top if i don’t ‘hit’ it just right. and this page is so l o n g.
    I think I might have missed something humorous again, sorry if I did. okay so I don’t think I saw Harold and Maude. Unless that was the one with the Cat Stevens’ songs. Yes then I saw it. Lady D’Arbonville ? is that right ?
    I love this site, but scrolling so much is frustrating.
    Seasons’ Greetings James K and everyone else. well most everyone else, you know who you are !!

  145. trippticket December 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    Bossy, you are entitled to whatever future you wish to create for yourself. My post was first-hand, so I’m not exactly guessing.

  146. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    My net worth is probably less than one million

    Probably less? I mean this in the kindest way but that kind of wealth means that your quite fortunate relative to most yet you consider what you have to be a small pittance. I believe George Carlin once said anything more than two hundred bucks a week is gravy. That was a long time ago so lets go with $400 considering inflation. Your small pittance will last fifty years before you can’t have any gravy. Some might say it does not suck to be you.

  147. JonathanSS December 20, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    You wrote to Vlad:
    “Hey, white separatist, stop whining. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps. That’s what you white folks have always told poor Blacks to do.”
    I had to join in my support. Good and funny comment. With all the problems in the world, VK has been up in arms about a loss of “racial purity”.

  148. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I thought only Vlad restricted his taste to vanilla orchids.

  149. rocco December 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Season Greetinhs Jim and all:
    Once again thanks for the laugh and insight into the rumblings of a constipated society. We must find a mixture of preparing yourself and family, and volunteering in the community to prevent a collapse or lessen one on your local town/city. Join volunteer fire, ems, police, or the Red Cross disaster response team is great free training as well. PLEASE NOTE–be careful of posters on any peak oil web site when it comes to HEALTH information. The right and lef wing folks have their own beliefs which are not EVIDENCED BASED INFORMATION, some of both groups are selling supposed “natural or God” cures for health problems. Please visit and how easily we forget history when vaccines did not exist. Get your shots, its not black shadow government control, its mother nature. Merry Easter to all.

  150. myrtlemay December 20, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Apologies! I didn’t mention that I’m under financial obligation to medical establishment to the tune of about $l00K. Oh, and did I also mention that I’m old, and on a fixed income? What little savings I have is earning a mere 2 percent, IF I’m lucky! Look, I’m not bitching (well, okay, maybe), but my medical expensese were over $20K out of pocket last year (cancer, etc.). No, I didn’t ask to live this long, (and no, I’m not chastising you for reproaching my response) it’s just that I may appear to be wealthy to some, but in reality, I exist day-to-day like many others. I really didn’t mean to get to be this old….sorry.

  151. k-dog December 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    In a society that is racing to drop all social safety nets as rapidly as possible I’ll agree your nut is not so large that you can live worry free. If we really had socialized health care it would no doubt be enough. You said:

    I may appear to be wealthy to some, but in reality, I exist day-to-day like many others.

    So I congratulate you for not suffering from the common bourgeois American mental illness of thinking that what you have can never be enough.

  152. Puzzler December 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    JackieBlue2U said: “I love this site, but scrolling so much is frustrating.”
    I agree — forget the little scroll button down on the right. Just tap the Page Down button on your keyboard and you jump down a screenful. Page Up works also, if you overshoot.
    Or Down Arrow if you want a slower trip.

  153. myrtlemay December 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Thanks for an intelligent, non-judgemental response. I wish mental illness were recognized for the illness that it is. I’ve suffered from it for many, many years, often without help. Perhaps, someday that will change. This, I truly hope.

  154. Pucker December 20, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    [Scene from the movie “The Shining”]
    Danny: “What was the Donner Party?”
    Jack: “They were a group of settlers in covered wagon times who got snow bound in the mountains, and they had to resort to cannibalism to survive.”
    Danny: “You mean they ate each other up?!”
    Jack: “They had to…in order to survive….”
    Wendy:” “Jack!”
    Danny: “That’s o.k. mom….I know all about cannibalism. I saw it on t.v.”
    Jack: “See! He saw it on the television….”

  155. myrtlemay December 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    “WEndy…let me explain something to you whenever you come in here you’re breaking my concentration….understand… you think you can handle that?…..Why don’t you start right now and get the fxkc out of here?”
    I won’t go into the, “No, NOOO…JACK!” Let’s just jibe about mental illness….like taking out somebody we jus don like, ya know??? Like, freaking, spin the head on the bottle, smear the queer, ya know, take somebody out….

  156. myrtlemay December 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    All hard work makes Jack a dull boy. All hard work makes Jack a dull boy. All hard work makes Jack a dull boy. All hard works makes Jack a dull boy. All hard work makes…

  157. Pucker December 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    myrtlemay wrote: “Thanks for an intelligent, non-judgemental response. I wish mental illness were recognized for the illness that it is. I’ve suffered from it for many, many years, often without help. Perhaps, someday that will change. This, I truly hope.”
    I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve come to realize in my later years that human beings are inevitably, necessarily MAD. It’s a natural response to man’s existential condition: Man’s mental faculties are so limited that it’s impossible for Man to comprehend Reality. This gives rise to anxiety. As Freud observed, anxiety, if experienced over a long period of time, gives rise to a neurosis. Man’s condition is basically a state of constant anxiety.
    Thank you.
    Your friend always,
    Cornellius Beauregard Armstrong Pucker, the Third.

  158. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Oh of course Marx said the Socialist State is supposed to “wither away” – but has it ever? Do people who have power ever give it away? For example: will the Homosexual Political Machine wither away once they have equal rights? The Founding Fathers, in their cynicism, were far wiser.
    Marx the great rationalist gives way here to adolescent idealism.

  159. Vlad Krandz December 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    We owe a debt to our ancestors who have given us all that we are. Other races understand this. You think that everyone is just people; one race, the human race. Are you so sure that those other races believe this? I observe most Whites when they meet minorities – they are so busy genuflecting they never really listen or observe. Massive projection onto the idealized Other – while the real nature of the Other is not seen or even looked for.
    Not a real issue? Are you crazy? As the Country breakes down, there will be more and more competition for scarce Federal and State resources. More and more triblalism in other words. Don’t be near Blacks or Hispanics when things get really bad. You may not live to regret it. Whites can be bad too of course, but most all White areas know how to deal with their own low lifes.

  160. The Mook December 20, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Roger that. I was wondering who I pissed off. I’ll be scrollingling by.

  161. Eleuthero December 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Beware of “natural” medicine. Many
    obtainable Chinese med balls in health
    food stores contain carcinogenic stuff
    like Angelica. Licorice root early in
    the 20th century killed many Americans
    because of renal failure because its
    sugar is mistaken by the body for a
    I’ve known many people whose backs and/or
    knees have been screwed up by yoga or
    If the “white man’s medicine” was THAT
    bad, the Chinese would all be using the
    local acupuncturist … which is fast
    becoming an anachronism.
    Western medicine is, of course, a young
    and very, very imperfect pseudo-science.
    Too many meds are given which kill the
    liver, kidneys, or other organs. However,
    this does not, ipso facto, mean that the
    “alternative medicines” are preferable.
    They can kill just as readily as “allopathic”

  162. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    Merry Christmas to you too, JHK.
    It is nice of someone of the Hebrew persuasion to cast Good Christmas wishes out upon the internet.
    And thank you for this week’s installment of a Merry ClusterFuck, as well!
    Your scenario seems as plausible as anyone’s right now, and far more plausible than some.
    We desperately need a new political party. Judging from the reaction to the word “progressive,” though – that name won’t work. How so many negatives could become loaded onto such a forward sounding word is a mystery, but the fact remains.
    And sadly, Howard Dean is done for. You only get one shot at the brass ring in American politics these days, unless you have one of those Royal names like Bush. That’s another mystery.
    It took Saint Reagan a couple of tries to get elected, as I recall. Unfortunately he finally succeeded. I have finally come to realize that the only reason Mr. Reagan was canonized so early and so completely was that he represented the absolute high water mark of Western History.
    The body politic sensed this, which is why almost half of the country is living their lives staring raptly and reverently in the rear view mirror of life. We don’t want to look where we are going, but we know that once upon a mythical time it was Morning in America.
    It AMAZES me how many people – even on a website devoted to a murky future – just do not want to think about or do anything about politics. Energy descent or not, group action is the only way we have to try to change the only future that any of us are ever going to have. And group action IS politics, one way or another.
    Myrtle, that’s an honest and candid admission you made tonight. Anyone who takes a good look into his or her spirit has to know that there is at least a trace of madness contained there. Failure to confront this is the reason that we select flawed leaders to lead us in flawed directions – over and over and over.
    And for the rest of us, if we’re just a little bit unhinged from time to time –
    We’ve come to the right place in time for it.
    And we’ve come to the right website.
    I believe a monster is going to eat the Moon tonight. 70 minutes of totality, centered around 0130 EST. If you hear a howling coming from the Southeast, it may be me.
    Have a great week before Christmas, CF’ers!

  163. Eleuthero December 21, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    I hasten to add that acupuncture NEVER kills
    but after having been fairly well scrutinized
    it seems to work for pain-related disorders
    like back pain and neuropathies.
    However, for structural organic problems (like
    a leaky heart valve), viruses in progress, or
    bacterial infections in progress, acupuncture
    is not very efficacious.

  164. Jim from Watkins Glen December 21, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Just north of here lies the Village of Seneca Falls, after which the town of Bedford Falls in It’s a Wonderful Life is modeled. Beleaguered residents voted to disband the village this past year. The villagers want to be taken over by the town because the $2.6 million brought in annually by the Seneca Meadows Landfill is the only remaining source of revenue to keep municipal services on life support. Every time a tractor-trailer dumps another load of shit, an angel gets his fee.

  165. Eleuthero December 21, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    I’m so glad, Myrtle, that you have the
    same reaction to those realty raptors
    that I do. When I see their fangy
    smiles on pages of the paper offering
    a clapboard rat trap for $500,000 I
    feel like freaking Ted Kaczynski.
    The landlord mentality, IMHO, is the
    NUMERO UNO reason for America’s fiscal
    decline. They made the BIGGEST ticket
    item, a roof over your head, into yet
    another “tradable commodity”.
    I cannot think of a class of people,
    outside of bankers, who’ve led to our
    undoing. And Nouriel Roubini is
    forecasting another $1T in foreclosures
    in 2011. Happy New Year????????

  166. Eleuthero December 21, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    I wonder when our “leaders” (excuse me, I
    have to clear my throat after using that
    word) are going to realize that America
    now has the largest number of unemployed
    smart people in the world.
    Have any of you talked to people in high
    tech, engineering of any kind, the hard
    sciences, or biology lately?? Have you
    talked to people in basic research??
    We’re living in a country where shortstops,
    banksters, bad actors/actresses, and various
    kinds of state/federal bureaucrats get ENORMOUS
    salaries and opulent pensions while people with
    real brains are getting a whole lot of nothing.
    What our country has REALLY lost sight of in
    this decade is the difference between true
    usefulness and mere glitz. When the faux
    entertainment of Extreme Makeovers and America’s
    Top Models fades we’re going to need folks to
    design energy facilities, refurbish rails and
    utilities, and keep our medical establishment
    (which is bad … otherwise how come we’re
    17th in longevity and 23rd in infant mortality –
    Harper’s Index) from getting worse than it
    already is.
    You can tell that we’ve DISSED INTELLECT because
    Gen-X/Y don’t know shit and don’t care about
    who knows shit … now WHERE did they get that
    from?? From their Boomer parents who turned
    into the CEOs that offshored most of America’s
    intellectual workforce. It takes one or two
    GENERATIONS to turn the ship of state around
    after someone even turns the helm just a little!!!
    Our country, which was the place where nearly
    all the brainiacs CRAVED for admission to after
    WWII, has turned into a Maoist dystopia. Twenty
    percent of Chicago High School grads CANNOT NAME
    ALL 26 LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET. The schools are
    actually promoting failure, disrespect for
    attention to detail, and a lack of shame for
    horrible decorum.
    Is there any hope? Well, maybe … I’m
    encouraged by the spate of books talking about
    the problem but in my school I see social
    promotion and grade inflation worsening.
    Dying empires are painful to watch and even
    more painful to live in because YOUR PROBLEMS
    Write letters of commendation whenever you
    get exemplary service from whomever. Do the
    opposite when you get deplorable service. It
    starts with the small things.

  167. Buck Stud December 21, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    “I’ve known many people whose backs and/or
    knees have been screwed up by yoga or
    Very true. I had an L4-L5 disc rupture 15 years ago. When I first injured myself ,and before I knew the extent of my injury, I went to a chiropractor who proceeded to “adjust” me. A big no-no I later discovered. Anyway, I told this chiropractor about my symptoms such as sciatica and foot-drop–I could not walk on my heel without toes falling down–and he confidently declared that my sacrum was “out of place”. Well after a month of this nonsense I finally wised up and got a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. After checking out my MRI he stated that he would not perform surgery on me unless the pain became unbearable. He also informed me that 94 out of a 100 people recover from this type of injury within a few years without needing surgery and that he would go to Las Vegas on those odds. He was correct: my injury eventually healed, although the nerve damage took a bit of time. My back has been relatively fine since that injury.
    I still find it hard to comprehend that one trained as a spine specialist did not recognize the classic symptoms of a disc injury. But it was a good lesson in experiencing the dogmatic blindness of alternative health modalities, or at least one of them in my case.
    Great advice and post, Eleuthero.

  168. marquee December 21, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    Dear Vlad,
    Do your soul a favour: put on some Duke Ellington and read a good book. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings would be a good choice. She also wrote a poem of the same name. I provide it for you to ponder.
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
    A free bird leaps on the back
    Of the wind and floats downstream
    Till the current ends and dips his wing
    In the orange suns rays
    And dares to claim the sky.
    But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
    Can seldom see through his bars of rage
    His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
    So he opens his throat to sing.
    The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
    Of things unknown but longed for still
    And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
    The caged bird sings of freedom.
    The free bird thinks of another breeze
    And the trade winds soft through
    The sighing trees
    And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
    Lawn and he names the sky his own.
    But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
    His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
    His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
    So he opens his throat to sing.
    The caged bird sings with
    A fearful trill of things unknown
    But longed for still and his
    Tune is heard on the distant hill
    For the caged bird sings of freedom.

  169. asoka December 21, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    E. said at 11:59 p.m. : “[Natural medicine] can kill just as readily as “allopathic” medicine.
    E. said at 12:13 a.m. : “I hasten to add that acupuncture NEVER kills…”
    E. you are out of your league and talking about something you apparently know little about. As usual you make claims with no authoritative source or data to support your claims.
    Here is what “allopathic” medicine does : nearly 100,000 deaths per year and more than 1 million injuries each year in the United States. (Institute of Medicine, “To Err is Human”, 1999).
    Where is your source for statistics on natural medicine deaths.
    The IOM study was cited by this New England Journal of Medicine study:
    SOURCE: Temporal Trends in Rates of Patient Harm Resulting from Medical Care
    Christopher P. Landrigan, M.D., M.P.H., Gareth J. Parry, Ph.D., Catherine B. Bones, M.S.W., Andrew D. Hackbarth, M.Phil., Donald A. Goldmann, M.D., and Paul J. Sharek, M.D., M.P.H.
    N Engl J Med 2010; 363:2124-2134November 25, 2010
    Since you have some knowledge of statistics and research design, you will appreciate that these statistics on patient harm come from large-scale studies of randomly selected medical records of patients who had been discharged between January 2002 and December 2007 in 10 randomly selected hospitals.
    You are so anxious to attack natural medicine, but you have not provided any evidence to support your dubious claim that natural medicine kills.
    The evidence is that allopathic medicine kills on a massive scale (they are called iatrogenic deaths) and the evidence is overwhelming.

  170. asoka December 21, 2010 at 2:30 am #

    “The first large-scale study of hospital safety, by Don Harper Mills in California [4], was published in 1978. My extrapolation of its findings [5] showed a preventable national death rate of about 120,000 patients annually. That’s roughly the same as the numbers from the oft-quoted Harvard Medical Practice Study [6] published in 1991 that the IOM relied upon in its 1999 To Err is Human report. In human terms it means that 2.5 million men, women, and children died preventable deaths in U.S. hospitals during the 21 years between 1978 and 1999. A staggering seven to 17 million suffered preventable injuries.”
    Where are your statistics, E., to support your claim that natural medicine “can kill just as readily as “allopathic” medicine.” (E. at 11:59 p.m.)

  171. neckflames December 21, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    Herbalism is stronger medicine than acupuncture. It’s best not to mistake the two. And while there is a lot of funky product from China there are also organic sources and also companies here in the US that create superior product.
    Herbology is great for building up one’s immune system so I would have to disagree with you about ongoing bacterial or viral infections. That is merely one application; its scope is huge. It contains multitudes 🙂
    At the same time it’s not always appropriate, but its breadth of application is far more than you are giving it credit for. If you ever use it make sure you find a talented practioner as there are a lot of mediocre ones out there.

  172. WorldsEdge December 21, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    We’re sneered at for our sense of entitlement: we think we should belong in a country, get justice, a living wage, some sort of protection: we’re spoiled. Immigrants don’t have these ideas. They come from some worse hell-hole and are glad to be anywhere that’s a little better.
    International small guys don’t have much skin in our game, just like the international big guys. The little guys can do us some inadvertent damage, but it’s the big guys who run the game. And it’s not for our benefit.
    The poorer we are, the less power we have and the less bothersome we become. It’s no mistake that we’re worse off and will soon be worse off still. That’s the idea. We’re on our way to being a complete ciphers: no say, no opposition: we’re cheap labor and soon we’ll have to sell whatever we’ve got left at bottom price. We’re a nation of folk on all fours, our exposed backsides up in the air, ready for punishment.
    We’re Pinocchio who went to the circus, gave away our pennies for tawdry dreams, geegaws, cotton candy, quick thrills. Those who got our pennies aren’t going to give ‘em back.

  173. John O December 21, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    The contributors to this Blog (and of course JHK) offer without a doubt, the most intelligent and thought provoking analysis of the most difficult issues facing society(s)today. vs. any Blog on the net.
    Just enjoy the hell when I read, analyze, and contemplate these comments everyday.
    Who knows where this will all end up, but it’s going to be quite an interesting ride.

  174. asoka December 21, 2010 at 3:50 am #

    Herbology does indeed contain multitudes!
    But it doesn’t cause serious harm or death to millions of Americans like allopathic medicine does.
    E. claims to be an educator, claims to have been teacher of the year, but he doesn’t seem to understand what scholarly research is, or that reliable evidence is found in peer-reviewed scholarly journals that use science.
    Instead, he just throws out his opinion with no substantiation from peer-reviewed literature, no statistics from randomized controlled trials or systematic review of large representative populations.
    Oh, and none of his Black students, in spite of being intellectually capable, have ever done well in his computer science classes… I wonder why?

  175. LewisLucanBooks December 21, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    Hand-pollunating pumpkins is a close second. 🙂

  176. LewisLucanBooks December 21, 2010 at 3:58 am #

    Late last week K-Dog was relating how BP paid off Google so that a post he made slid WAY down the Google hits list.
    The other day I was Google-ing around as I was curious about a key hole event as it relates to population. I forget which key words I was using, but what popped to the top? Our very own Tripp’s Small Batch Gardening blog.

  177. ghostlimb December 21, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    I’d noticed similar with “Wonderful Life” – we’re posed with two awful choices – Potterville in George Bailey’s nightmare is what his quaint little RKO Pictures set of a town transformed into a strip of cheap entertainments, dance halls, burlesque – what some midwestern towns like Detroit have become as casinos and strip clubs took over.
    Bailey’s aspiration is to build-out a Levittown “good life” housing tract for the well-meaning folk loyal to the Savings & Loan. Potterville’s the more obvious nightmare – Bailey’s vision took a little longer to become nightmarish.
    What may have been a better outcome all-together would have been to build-out the facades of the 300 yrd. long town set that RKO built, and transform that into an actual town… today it would be the only one of it’s kind in the greater Los Angeles mega-plex.

  178. Alexandra December 21, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    Enjoy the many delights-n-fruits of Paris has to offer (cultural of course) and dare I say gastronomé too. Perhaps you’ll run into Max & Stacey, fellow escapees from the star-spangled banner… while there?
    And, yep here in Blighty (broken-coughing-wheezing) Britain, we are in a state of transport/ infrastructure collapse due to yet again failing govt sponsored back-up to cope correctly with the well-predicted climate chaos…
    Which means you just know how it will all shake-down here when the real oil depletion period finally sets in, tis simples… GAME OVER.
    BTW I really enjoyed the read of The Witch of Hebron this year very much; even the feel of the real physical book had a sorta sumbitch ole vintage feel reality to it… a subtle touch but nicely thought through indeed…
    (Polish) a class act improving over time… is a positivethang that can come with ageing (like wine), if a renaissance bent is what you seek, que vous pensez?
    So thank you too for these weekly feeds of reality reflection Mr K! And I wish you and your loved ones, and all the CFN’er regulars here – of which ever sex, creed or religious and ethnic persuasion – a 2011 full of much joy, good luck and cheer…
    Perhaps the next few weeks is a good time to get back to grips with some well thought through basics, after all what’s Xmas really about, is it shopping amongst those marketing-fest OECD wonder malls….seeking glittering asian offshore created bargains… ??
    Or in my case this…
    Be seeing you…

  179. Bobby December 21, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Re: the Dean Scream – I remember at the time that MSNBC’s Chris Mathews played it a dozen or so (or maybe even more) times one after another. It went on for several evenings, too.
    Who is he (Mathews), anyway? Tip O’Niel’s hack. Whose hack was he then?

  180. asoka December 21, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    E. said: “I hasten to add that acupuncture NEVER kills…”
    And you went and capitalized NEVER!

    More than 80 people have died as a result of mishandled acupuncture treatments in the last 45 years, according to a new report in the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine.

    Deaths After Acupuncture: A Systematic Review

  181. lbendet December 21, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    The Rule of Law or lack there of is the theme of our time.
    In April before I started blogging on this site, I responded in email to JHK on his Where is Rico? blog:
    LB: [One thing I’ve learned through the years is when the news media makes certain statements, such as “We are a nation of laws”. I know we’re in trouble. Since the last administration I have seen these tactics being used to confuse the people about the nature of this country. These give us deficit numbers but don’t count the wars, etc. There is a reason why our former Attorney General Mukasey had a picture of George Orwell on his wall.
    It is very clear that with the adoption of Milton Friedman and his Chicago School of Business theories taken global, the US has used its hegemony in ways that look extralegal.
    There are so many problems with this I can’t go into it all except that we have a class of banks and transnationals that are too big to fail and politicians and individuals who are above the law.
    So far the DOJ under Holder looks toothless. I expect nothing from these neoliberals, just as I expect more destruction with the Republican neoliberals. It’s too bad nobody understands what crazy theories run the world economy.]
    I would say the economic disparity created by supply-side economics and globalism are also big issues and work in tandem with the unfair advantage that the power elite now enjoy. Lobbyists have written our laws in Medicare Part D and many of our financial laws as Matt Taibbi explains so well. And what an insult to us all that the Supreme Court has passed a law allowing uncontrolled funding of elections by the richest among us as a free speech issue–only they don’t want to be identified!
    Until the general population understands that the issues of taxing the rich is not the politics of jealousy, but as a means to bring balance to an extreme system and have those who have benefited most help an economy in trouble. Their arguments are meant to kill discussion and as E. pointed out last night, our money disparity favors those who cannot do anything but entertain us. There is no furtherance of greatness in this country.
    We are becoming a nation of no values, but money and our religion is a poor substitute for soul as it seems more bent on the value of money than the sanctity of life, mercy, generosity of spirit or any of the other values it was supposed to represent.
    So it’s the need to apply justice to everyone equally, turn the economy back into value producing and one more thing…
    The understanding that the direction the global economy is taking is unsustainable.
    Yesterday The Oil Drum had a great article comparing the wattage of energy we use in this country 11,000 watts to live, in comparison to hunter gatherers 250 watts.
    [The historian Lewis Mumford described the rise of the megalopolis as “the last stage in the classical cycle of civilization,” which would end with “complete disruption and downfall.” In his more pessimistic moods, West seems to agree: he knows that nothing can trend upward forever. In fact, West sees human history as defined by this constant tension between expansion and scarcity, between the relentless growth made possible by cities and the limited resources that hold our growth back. “The only thing that stops the superlinear equations is when we run out of something we need,” West says. “And so the growth slows down. If nothing else changes, the system will eventually start to collapse.”]

  182. casscomplex December 21, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    “is it completely out of the question for North Korea and Iran to start WW 3”
    Much more likely that the US which has started almost 300 wars and military campaigns in its 234 years of existence will be the cause of World War 3.
    I’m sure it won’t be the Persians who haven’t invaded any of their neighbors since 300 BC.
    Our craven grab of the last few barrels of oil under their sand will probably be the last war we cause.

  183. lingling December 21, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    “There’s a bone in the closet because of many other things than the promised pensions.”
    Sheesh, what a maroon. Obviously you never read “Old Mother Hubbard”. The cupboard was bare you imbecile

  184. lingling December 21, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    “I think LingLing is pulling our LegLeg.”
    Ya’ think?

  185. Belisarius December 21, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Response to her 12/20 9:26PM and later. Typed 1 hr later but ISP failed:
    Mostly agree and think the warnings are timely.
    A few comments, predictions and suggestions.
    Re Peak Oil: We ARE there now, too bad that it could have been put off or whatever. If we are lucky, there will be plenty of oil after financial crash per lack of demand, but any recovery will run into peak like a wall. If there is no recovery, sooner or later we get rationing due to war and/or dollar collapse.
    Self defense: Take care of yourself. Don’t know you, so hard to advise. Tai Chi with cane (or sword cane) comes to mind though. A small pistol might be usefull if you can practice. Of course if your “mental illness” has been recorded, they won’t let you have one, if you ask permission.
    Housing & Real Estate Agents: Housing will drop till the minimum down payment is ~50% with most deals being all cash. People will hire lawyers to do sales and closings at flat fees and not pay percentage. Real estate agents are unnecessary parasites and most will go out of business.
    Financial Collapse: You are very likely correct. I suspect the future is a quantum field, and those who can actually view the future tend to change it in the act of viewing. Also, in warning people about the future, if they listen and take action, those actions change the future. That being said, it still feels like collapse is coming, it could be days to months away, but not years. Those are good financial moves you took, hope you’ve done the physical ones also.
    Re Cancer: Sorry to hear that. My father passed recently from cancer (in his 90s). Anyone starting a battle with cancer might like to view this.
    Good luck and happy holidays

  186. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    If you post a Youtube link or webpage link – why not include a BRIEF explanation for the thread?
    It makes it much more likely to be clicked and considered.
    For example; here’s an article that gets at a problem referenced in JHK’s post this week – that being the disappearance of the rule of law from American business practice.
    “History will record 2010 as the year Washington became “business friendly.”
    Not that it was all that unfriendly before.
    “But for corporate America it still wasn’t friendly enough. Before the midterm elections, Verizon CEO and Business Roundtable chair Ivan Seidenberg accused the president of creating a hostile environment for investment and job-creation. In the midterms, business leaders overwhelmingly threw their support to Republicans.
    So the White House caved in on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and is telling CEOs it will be on their side from now on….”
    Interested? Read more
    Not interested?
    You should be!
    And it is amazing how 50% of the country will refuse to even CONSIDER an article like this because it is “anti-CEO” or from the Huffington Post –
    You know if you’re in that 50% and not fabulously wealthy – you’re helping multinational corporations screw you and your family over.
    Failure to vote and act in your OWN best interest will kill the American Dream.
    What little bit is left of it.

  187. lingling December 21, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    “I have a friend with family in Iran who tells me the price of gasoline there went up 7-fold overnight last week.”
    The Iranian government have practically given gas to the populace by keeping the price artificially low for decades. Oddly, though Iran has oodles of oil, they have very little refining capacity and must import most of their gasoline.
    Global treading sanctions have been put into place against Iran due to their insistence of plowing ahead with their nuclear weapons development. As a result Iran is beginning to feel the pinch and the government can no longer “give” gas away at artificially low prices.

  188. lingling December 21, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    “Middle class people are similarly fxcked, having been swindled into buying housing “bargains” these past two years at $250K (formerly $550K “works of art”) .”
    Only greedy, ignorant morons can be swindled. No one is ever forced to buy a housing “bargain.”

  189. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    The American Dream Defined
    “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth” – James Adams
    Those hated “gubment schools” advanced the dream.
    Illogical veneration of the CEO class and their low tax rates will kill it.
    So will – unplanned – energy descent, perhaps – but that’s another question altogether.
    Though our CEO/ownership class are doing every thing in their power to ignore energy descent, until it’s too late.
    Jump in here, BudIzWizer – I can’t keep talking to myself.

  190. lingling December 21, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    “Re Peak Oil: We ARE there now, too bad that it could have been put off or whatever.”
    Calling the peak is difficult. Fossil fuels, to a large extent, are interchangeable. Power plants use coal, oil and natural gas. When large finds are uncovered in one type of fossil fuel it affects the duration of all types. The recent opening up of the Marcellus shale play will set back the peak oil date. Why? Because natural gas can be substituted for oil in many uses. It is guess-timated that the Marcellus find will supply between 150 to 200 years of current U.S. natural gas usage.
    I’m not saying that we are not using up all of our fossil based resources, as it took tens of millions of years for them to develop and we can’t exactly wait around for the next batch to cook up. What I am suggesting, is that establishing “peak”calls is a guessing game at best.

  191. lingling December 21, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    “Those hated “gubment schools” advanced the dream.”
    Excepting a small percentage of schools in the private sector, our schools have, for the most part, been “gubment” schools. What sticks in the craw of many, is that the “gubment” schools were traditionally, local “gubment.” It is the intrusion of the federal “gubment” (which has managed to fuck up just about everything it sets its mind to) into what have traditionally been localized institutions that has a goodly number of people FUCKING PISSED OFF.

  192. ozone December 21, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    “We desperately need a new political party. Judging from the reaction to the word “progressive,” though – that name won’t work. How so many negatives could become loaded onto such a forward sounding word is a mystery, but the fact remains.” -PoC
    Now, how did that [pejorative connotation] happen?
    The same happened with “liberal”, didn’t it?
    I give the ancient Hebrew curse to that [Orwellian] newspeak fucker, Frank Luntz. (And thus, I put it in writing): “May you become like a lamp… hang all day and burn all night!” Evil… Fucking… Troll.
    I don’t understand how these pricks can maintain a “good” impression of “conservative”. They don’t conserve anything. It’s quite obvious that most are closeted wastrels, sexual deviants, toadies, and plain ol’ greedy bastards. “Conservative”?? You’ve GOT to be kidding; don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.
    One thing, though; it does show you who’s in charge, and by extension, holds the means of “information” in thrall. Only by these means can language be twisted so cruelly to reflect a sheen of purity on something so putrefied and evil.

  193. flying picket December 21, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    “That’s not a good thing, btw–coalition governance in a country where no party commands more than 30% of the electorate is a tricky business. It’s how a certain Austrian Corporal got his chance to weigh in on history.”
    Not a good point, MisterbadExample, at all. Latterly with the possible exception of Italy, the poorest of the governments in Western, continental Europe, and doubtless others in the eastern part, have proved far superior – because more democratic – to that of either the US or the UK. Taking into account, of course, the relative limitations of their resources.
    Our ‘first past the post system’ has simply presented the public with Henry Ford’s choice of car colour: either neoliberal or corporatist – a crypto-fascist, right-wing. continuum.

  194. lingling December 21, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    “They don’t conserve anything.”
    They are attempting to conserve an individuals right to keep the very monies that they earn. That is ONE thing they conserve. There are other things. You said they conserve nothing. You are incorrect.

  195. ozone December 21, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    …And on those bitter notes, I would advise quiet disconnection from all things “Homeland-ic”, as we can easily see where our contributions are going. If the major portion of those go to enriching fat, Cuban cigar-smoking, uber-wealthy, sociopaths, then I really don’t see much point in supporting it, do you?
    People of real talent will naturally gravitate to the “underground” where there’s actual opportunity for community and coming to grips with the challenges of REALITY, not some fascist fantasy of endless plenty and comfort for those who would blindly OBEY.
    “Soldier for the Empire;
    The sun is rising bloody red;
    Another day of choosing,
    Between the living and the dead…”

  196. ozone December 21, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Hey, it’s your funeral; believe what you will. I just hope they share some of that lucre and hegemony with you…

  197. lingling December 21, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    ” I just hope they share some of that lucre and hegemony with you…”
    You don’t seem to get it. They don’t have to “share” any damn thing with me. They merely need to keep their hands off of what is rightly mine.
    It is the “progressives” who want to share. They want to “share” other peoples efforts. Why? Because they themselves contribute nothing hence, they must take from others. They take assets, intellectual rights and ultimately freedom.

  198. Cash December 21, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    “I point out that not only did the US sit back and let the (white) Germans slaughter the (white) Russians in the 40s,…” – Wage
    No disrespect intended but the US was not and is not all controlling. Influential yes, powerful yes but I seriously doubt that Hitler was taking orders from Roosevelt. Even if Roosevelt knew in advance about the German invasion plans what was he going to do about it? He had to move a massive amount of equipment and soldiers across the ocean to Britain. That would take a long time.
    The Soviets were well aware of Germany’s build up of forces pointed at them. According to some accounts Stalin didn’t want to believe what his spies were telling him.
    And also, the Russians/Soviets were and are grown ups. They had/have an enormous and enormously rich land mass, an enormous military that was/is more than capable of taking care of themselves.
    I’ve read in different places that the European theatre of WW2 was mainly a war between Germany and Russia. One source said that of 14 million war casualties that Germany suffered in WW2 ten million were inflicted by the Soviets. I read in another source that the Battle of Kursk between Germany and the USSR had more soldiers, tanks and aircraft fighting than on the entire western front.
    So my point is that WW2 unleashed immense destrucive force and that destructive force was distributed among several world powers. I’m not minimizing the role of the US. The US had some ability to move world events but it was not the only actor on stage ie after the war was over the US was unable to dislodge Stalin’s grip on eastern Europe. That took decades to come loose.

  199. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    TzaTza LingLing
    You continue to SingSing for the rights of the CEO/ownership class to finish stealing everything you have.
    You say of *conservatives?*
    They are attempting to conserve an individuals right to keep the very monies that they earn.
    That’s absurd on the face of it. Only a hopeless miser will attempt to “keep the very monies that they earn.”
    Ask someone upper middle class or below how much of their earned money they “keep.”
    The answer will be, “none – we spend it on living or invest for our future…”
    But the class whose boots you lick, Tza – they “keep” their earnings just fine, thank you.
    And now they are coming after yours, too.
    Now go ahead and call me a retard – thus proving your level of “bumper sticker” conservative concrete mindfulness.
    “All mixed up and permanently set.”
    And O3 – obviously you are nearly 100% correct – look at the irrationality of those who disagree with you.
    And the intelligence, logic, and charm of those who agree! 😉 Cheers!!

  200. ozone December 21, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Bait not taken.

  201. ccm989 December 21, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Oil prices will probably reach at least $4 a gallon by Memorial Day. Just as our economy is slowly recovering, we will plunge back into the recession because oil will spiral up out of control. The cause of the price spike isn’t the BP oil spill, OPEC, environmentalists or even drilling moratoriums. The real culprit is WALL STREET. As we’ve recently seen in 2008, oil speculators are manipulating the price so they can make outrageous profits. There is no shortage — currently there plenty of oil on tankers and in refineries everywhere. Its not a question of supply/ demand. Its Wall Street gouging us again and not even realizing or caring that if they gouge us enough, the economy will collapse and Wall Street will plummet. Greed makes greedy people even greedier.
    In the best case scenario, the reaction to escalating oil prices would be to heavily invest in green alternatives but the GOP seems hell bent in obstructing every attempt to make that happen. The GOP likes rich people and hates the rest of us. American Democracy was a wonderful idea but the cancer of greed is spreading via the Supreme Court in Citizens United, the continuance of giant tax cuts for the rich and the fact that Wall Street no longer even pretends to be ethical (lack of any real reforms/housing bubble/not one arrest of these crooks, etc.). All serious attempts to fix the economy seem to get shot down — tax the rich, invest in infrastructure, higher taxes on imported goods, penalties on US companies that outsource jobs to foreign countries. All of those would help, all of those are do-able but FOX News seems to brain wash the masses against their own best interests and so far, nothing beats FOX — not logic, reason or actual proof. And we will all suffer for that.

  202. ozone December 21, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    “And O3 – obviously you are nearly 100% correct – look at the irrationality of those who disagree with you.
    And the intelligence, logic, and charm of those who agree! 😉 Cheers!!” PoC
    Whyyyyyy….. thank you……… Um… I think.
    Ha! ;o)

  203. lingling December 21, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    “That’s absurd on the face of it. Only a hopeless miser will attempt to “keep the very monies that they earn.””
    If I have staved off the efforts of a government entity to take my money, I have “kept” that money.
    Now be quiet, and go write another check to your beloved government. I mean, you wouldn’t want to “keep” any of your money for your own use. That would be absurd. (Fucking, idiot.)

  204. lingling December 21, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    “The cause of the price spike isn’t the BP oil spill, OPEC, environmentalists or even drilling moratoriums. The real culprit is WALL STREET.”
    Wronnnnnggggg! The real culprit is that old devil, Mr. Supply and Demand. For the first time, this very year, there were more cars sold in China that sold in the U.S.of A. That means more oil is being used. We’ve already discussed here how the world is running out of oil (supply). Yet we are using more (demand). When supply is limited but demand increases…what happens? Prices go up. (Econ 101)

  205. Cash December 21, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Pro Con
    Last week in the discussion of the fiscal sustainability of social security system you asked if we were in cash. The answer is yes, in deposits of varying maturities.
    You could well be right, that cheques will be issued and direct depsits made. But as you said what will the cheques be worth in purchasing power? And if the money you get doesn’t buy anything or if the money doesn’t come at all what are we going to do? Sue? Armed insurrection? That’ll be a gas, a bunch of tottering old guys with guns.
    And yes a bond is an IOU. Just like the deposit I have in the bank is secured by an IOU from the bank. In turn the bank lends out that money and it is secured by an IOU from the borrower and possibly physical security owned by that borrower.
    The bank collects a stream of interest income from the borrower and in turn pays me my cut. That why I like that way of doing things. It’s NOT a zero sum game. Everybody (the borrower, me as the lender, the bank as the go between) gets something. Could the system break down? It sure could. It just did.

  206. lingling December 21, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    “In the best case scenario, the reaction to escalating oil prices would be to heavily invest in green alternatives but the GOP seems hell bent in obstructing every attempt to make that happen.”
    Wrong again. (Sheesh, take a break and think things through for cryin’ out loud.)
    The GOP invites you, your neighbors, and anyone you wish in the private sector to invest any amount of money you wish in “green alternatives.” They (at least most of them) object to using taxpayers’ money to invest in “green energy.”
    Why do they object? I’ll give you a one word answer: ETHANOL. One of the stupidest “investments” our government has ever encouraged. (Quite typical, I might add.)

  207. The Mook December 21, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Dinglelingus, A bone is equal to nothing.

  208. lingling December 21, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    “Dinglelingus, A bone is equal to nothing.”
    Wrong, moron. In the cited example, Old Mother-Fucking-Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor doggie a BONE. She didn’t go to get him nothing. She went to get him a FUCKING BONE. Now shut up because you are a simpleton.

  209. lingling December 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Hey Pro, here is how some of those wonderful federal “gubmint” dollars are lavished on schools. I tripped over this gem of a story without even looking for it.
    “MOBILE (AP) — The biggest recipient of Alabama’s federal stimulus dollars for education isn’t a school system or college. It’s the state prison system.
    An analysis by the Press-Register in Mobile revealed that the state Department of Corrections has received $118 million of Alabama’s $1.1 billion in federal stimulus funds for education since 2009. Officials said the money covered health care costs for 26,000 inmates and salaries and benefits for about 4,200 corrections officers and other employees for 3½ months.
    The stimulus program allows governors to spend up to 18 percent of the funding in areas other than education, such as public safety. The Department of Corrections has received 11 percent and is the only non-school recipient.”
    That you federal “gubmint” for helping our schools.

  210. Cash December 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    GOP likes rich people and hates the rest of us. – CCM
    I agree and IMO your statement is equally true about the Democrats.
    About oil prices, notmommy/oneeyeopen/tza tza/lingling is right, it’s about supply and demand but you’re also right, Wall Street speculators pile in driving prices to ridiculous heights and then they play a game of chicken, they wait to see who moves first and then they all pile out, trying to turn their bets into cash and thus drive prices down to ridiculous lows. We saw that happen a couple years ago when the price of crude just about hit $150/barrel and then came crashing down. When commodities prices fall they don’t touch the sides.
    Of course lapdog regulators, when asked about the role of speculators in commodities markets said speculators? what speculators? And when observers pointed and said those speculators over there, the regulators said oh THOSE speculators, geez we didn’t see THOSE speculators, we had to go to the bathroom.

  211. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    Now here I go and suggest you call me a retard – so you’ll feel better about yourself.
    Instead, you come up with this gemstone of thoughtful politeness.
    “(Fucking, idiot.)”
    JHK – looks like you may as well go ahead and ban this bootlicking apologist for the CEO enabled destruction of a formerly great country.

  212. Cash December 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Your home town sounds like my mine except for the university. Totally agree especially the last paragraph. I would add tariffs to the list.

  213. lingling December 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    “Wall Street speculators pile in driving prices to ridiculous heights and then they play a game of chicken, they wait to see who moves first and then they all pile out, trying to turn their bets into cash and thus drive prices down to ridiculous lows. We saw that happen a couple years ago when the price of crude just about hit $150/barrel and then came crashing down.”
    And why did it come crashing down? People curtailed their oil usage (demand), supply increased, prices fell. You are still citing the effects of supply and demand. Speculators think and do what speculators think and do, yet ultimately their actions are dictated by the market.
    For every speculator betting on a commodity going a certain direction there is one betting on it going the other direction. If not trades would not happen as you must have both a buyer and a seller to complete a trade. Trades are what enable a commodity to remain available to a consuming public.
    Why were people not calling for the heads of traders (speculators) when gas prices retreated from a high of $4.00 to the sub three dollar levels we were paying until recently? I mean if the evil traders are so powerful why didn’t the cost per gallon stay at the $4.00 level? (Hint: supply and demand).

  214. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    So…federal money that should have gone to schools went to prisons in Alabama.
    And you say:
    “That you federal “gubmint” for helping our schools.”
    What? WHAT?
    At one time the Federal Government was not terribly inept nor corrupt.
    31 years of Reganesque downsizing, and “drowning in bathtubs” has given us the inept and corrupt Federal govt. that you right wing bootlickers always wanted.
    And most of the prisoners in Alabama are there as an indirect consequence of right wing Nixon/Reagan mandated “Wars on Drugs.”
    I can not help you, TzaLing – you will never be wrong about anything. And you will never change your mind until beyond destitute.
    You may now resort to your inevitable, “I’m rubber – you’re glue,” invective-laced

  215. lingling December 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    “Now here I go and suggest you call me a retard – so you’ll feel better about yourself.”
    You are a retard. I feel better. Thank you.

  216. lingling December 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    “I can not help you, TzaLing – you will never be wrong about anything.”
    And you will never be right about anything. But that is OK. I know you will “keep on keepin’ on” because that is what nit-wits do. And I admire that in you. (Not really but I figured that would sound good to you and maybe you’d go off somewhere and bask in my praise.)

  217. Belisarius December 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    “The recent opening up of the Marcellus shale play will set back the peak oil date”
    You are right that the shale is important, especially for USA, and i’m not hung up on “the date” or “making a call”. Peak is here, functionally at least, in the sense the world economy is constrained by an upper limit of available energy at reasonable prices. That limit is not (yet) a fixed number (bpd etc) but is discovered by price when approached. If the predicted financial collapse happens, (likely soon), and a rapid recovery ensues (unlikely), then that recovery will stall when it hits its energy price limit.
    Things will be like this for a while, until the variables (supply, trade, invention, population, war etc)change again.

  218. Cash December 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    I give partial blame to “progressives”. Many would say that my own lifestyle is “progressive”. My wife worked, earned as much as I did, had a career path pretty much parallel to mine. We didn’t have kids. We didn’t buy a house. We weren’t exactly Ward and June Cleaver. So what did we look like in a lot of ways except “progressive”? So I’ll take my portion of blame for undermining society.
    Did you read Nastarana’s post especially the past paragraph? She’s (I assume Nastarana is a she though real progressives would be aghast at my retrograde genderism or whatever you want to call that particular disorder. Cripes, gimme a break, she said her mother taught her to sew and cook so what’s a Neanderthal to think!?) right. I can bitch and whine all I want about progressive people’s degeneracy but in the final analysis the problem is economic. For that I blame offshoring and for that I blame the executive/managerial/Wall Street class.
    So no, “progressives” like you and me don’t get all the blame.

  219. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Cash – I’m actually more in agreement with you about investing than it might appear.
    In an economy that was designed for the benefit of the average citizen, your system would be 100% effective.
    All through the ’50’s and ’60’s banks were generally local or regional. They payed depositors +/- 5% and loaned the money out locally or regionally at +/- 7%.
    It was a good system. Growth was moderate and targeted BECAUSE lending was managed by local bank boards.
    That was kicked over in the early ’80’s. I blame Reagan, of course. 😉
    But at one time in ’81, my wife and I earned 21% interest on a plain vanilla CD. (And I think we got a free toaster or something for opening the thing!) As you know, CD earnings fluctuated wildly and dropped until the present day. Of course we didn’t have enough money for it to matter, really, in the ’80’s.
    Funny thing – I’ve always been an active and informed investor. I have no complaints. Through hard work, frugality, and some lucky breaks – we’ve done OK – riding the markets.
    But when I add up all the wild gyrations over the years – the 30% runups AND the 33% drops – the honest answer is that we’ve earned about 5%, year over year.
    If I had had the option, we would have saved all our money in a 5% CD and spent that mental energy doing something else.
    But that option was no longer available – when my wife and I hit our peak earning/saving years.
    And now, as you know, I’m beginning to favor tangible asset classes and assets, for the next round of wild gyrations that I see coming.
    But that’s just me.
    If you’ve got a system that’s been working – now is probably not the time to be making major changes. Best regards & Merry Christmas!

  220. Pepper Spray December 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Well the rug may be lumpy here but I think we will get to sit back and see how the rug in Europe shakes out first. At least we can get an idea of what kind of crud falls out before ours gets the shake-out!

  221. lingling December 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    “If the predicted financial collapse happens, (likely soon), and a rapid recovery ensues (unlikely), then that recovery will stall when it hits its energy price limit.”
    Kind of confusing. If we have a financial collapse people will be using less of everything…energy included. That will force the price of energy down.
    Look, the truth of the matter is that financial markets are cyclical. Human nature is such that when times are good, people (and this includes governments) think that times will always be good. They get a little fast and loose with their expenditures. They save less, and spend more. Why? Because they forget that rainy days are around the bend.
    Our current predicament, unfortunately, was fueled by easy credit. Credit should never be easy. Credit should be earned. Of late it was not earned. It was a bit of social engineering orchestrated by both the banking system and the Federal government. We are now paying the price for promoting easy credit. We will continue to pay the price for what is looking like, at the very least, the next decade.
    We stayed at the bar a bit too long and the tab is more than we have in our pocket. The irony is that there are those among us that are suggesting that we keep adding to the tab. That we can spend our way out of debt. They can’t explain why this would work but we should merely trust them that it will. These, the very fools, that created the conditions which we now find so deplorable, are orchestrating the next fiasco.

  222. ccm989 December 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Actually, you are wrong about Supply/Demand. Its far more complex than anything you learned in Econ 101. Here’s why. Enjoy!

  223. lingling December 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    “Actually, you are wrong about Supply/Demand. Its far more complex than anything you learned in Econ 101. Here’s why. Enjoy!”
    Actually, I’m not. This article merely addresses speculators success in driving the price of a commodity up. It does not address their equally adroit ability of driving prices down.
    The actual act of speculation is in itself driven by supply and demand as those speculators (supply) betting on higher and higher price levels for commodities drop (demand) when their bets are proven incorrect. Remember, there are two sides to every trade or a trade would not exist.

  224. observer December 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    To those who would like to watch an excellent, free, feature-length film about the history of banking that has won awards at several film festivals, click HERE

  225. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Awesome, an articulate response without profanity – maybe there is hope for you.
    Large volume speculators – Goldman Sachs – for example, can very well make money when markets go up AND when markets go down.
    Puts, calls, covered calls – all the trivia of techniques used by individual active (day) stock market traders – pale in comparison to what Goldman does.
    Try proprietary secret trading systems that work against the best interest of their large clients.
    Try computer systems that move billions of dollars in and out of markets in milliseconds – to the detriment of real investors.
    And for that, these high level jackasses get millions of dollars in bonus and salary. (Remember $1000.00 per hour is just over $2million per year – a pittance to some)
    They are entitled, according to RW free market capitalist theory.
    The mystery to me, though, is how TZALing and those of his ilk – defend these robber barons and FIGHT for their right to screw what’s left of the US middle class.
    But it is great to see a response without profanity. Baby steps, first!

  226. observer December 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm #
    HERE is the link for the film about the history of banking. PBS quality!

  227. Cash December 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    The simple answer to your question is that the evil traders aren’t all powerful. If they were all powerful half of Wall Street wouldn’t have come crashing down and needed taxpayer money for a bailout.
    Oops wait a second, if they were able to extract all that dough to keep playing their games maybe they are all powerful so I take that back.
    Other adjectives I might attach to the evil traders is assholish, destructive, moronic.
    I roll on the floor laughing when I hear that Wall Street firms have to spend gigantic piles of loot on these goofs because they are (and I have to repress a cackle) the “best and the brightest”.
    But I spent a lifetime in the corporate world and in that world I was judged and I judged others by results. So what are the results? Given the calamitous times we’re in I would say they are results you would expect from people that are greatly limited intellectually, in their education, in their general knowledge of the world and human nature, in their ability to look at complex situations fraught with uncertainty and incomplete, fragmentary, possibly inaccurate information and come to good, well reasoned decisions that render good and sustainable profits.
    They need adult supervision which in Wall Street today is sorely lacking. In my humble opinion that is. I think it was John Mack that said Wall Street people cannot control themselves. Are these people fucking infants?
    So all the above is irrelevant to the matter at hand: the strength exerted by supply and demand for a commodity on its price versus that exerted by speculative traders. I would say both play a role and the relative strengths would vary from commodity to commodity. For example, according to one analysis I saw years ago, the amount of US dollars traded in currency markets from pure trading activities is many, many times greater than the quantity of US dollars traded because of actual trade in goods and services. So who determines the price of US dollars in currency markets, the putzes that import and export goods or Wall Street banks making bets against one another? What about oil?
    Maybe the price came down as a result of the curtailment of demand. Maybe not though.
    I’m not shitting on you Ling, but my question is just that, a question. Are there reliable figures out there that haven’t been fucked with, that give you purely speculative positions in oil futures markets versus those that involve actual supply and delivery of oil?
    I’m just a miserable bean counter, retired at that. All I know is what I read. So here’s an article…
    There was an academic article that I couldn’t download completely. It was only for subscribers so I could only read the summary blurb. Here’s part of it;
    “Despite the difficulties, we identify a significant role played by speculation in the oil market, which is consistent with the observed large daily upward and downward shifts in prices — a clear evidence that it is not a fundamental-driven market. Thus, from a policy point of view – given the impact of volatile oil prices on global inflation and growth – actions that monitor speculative activities on commodity markets more effectively are to be welcomed.”
    here’s the link if you’re interested:
    Do you trust the government to not fuck this up totally? No? Neither do I so we agree at least on that.
    Good night and if I don’t talk to you have a Merry Xmas.

  228. lingling December 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    “The mystery to me, though, is how TZALing and those of his ilk – defend these robber barons and FIGHT for their right to screw what’s left of the US middle class.”
    I have said, on more than one occasion, that if laws are being broken in order for free marketeers to realize gains than those breaking those laws should be tried and put in jail.
    Now how, pray tell, can you accuse me of defending robber barons? And why would you limit your beef to only those in the “middle class” getting screwed? Does not every “class” get screwed when “robber barons” have their way? Shame on you, moron, your bias towards the middle class is showing.

  229. k-dog December 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    I read

    Federal Reserve’s Maiden Lane portfolio…

    in this weeks post and tried to understand what is going on here but I confess the understanding of these Maiden Lane Banks is beyond the mental abilities of the k-dog. Can someone please explain it?
    I’ve tried comparing it to tulip-mania to no avail. I want to know if the paper in the vaults of these banks was misrepresented in value at the time they were bought by you and me at 100% on the dollar or did we actually know we were getting rotten tulips when we bought them?
    Another question is exactly how rotten are these tulips?
    Was there a bait and switch? Or was it all done up front and honest? My inquiring mind wants to know.

  230. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    LingLing dings:
    “Shame on you, moron, your bias towards the middle class is showing.”
    Of course I have a bias toward the middle class, you jackass!! I am in the middle class.
    You are defending the tax breaks and high salaries of GS upper class stock market manipulators.
    You are arguing against your own interest and that of your family.
    You are symbolic of the RW/FOX driven brainwashed rube that votes and argues to reduce our middle class to third world wage and health status.
    And YOU call ME a moron!
    Corporate shill!

  231. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Hold on there LingTza:
    “These, the very fools, that created the conditions which we now find so deplorable, are orchestrating the next fiasco.”
    Which fools are you talking about. Our current fiasco was created by Republican tax cuts and BushII wars to eliminate non-existent WMD’s.
    Along the way we had the BushII era gutting of regulations and appointment of political cronies instead of professional administrators. “You’re doing a great job, Brownie.”
    And now we’ve got a TEA party/Republican majority in the House that will:
    wait for it – – – –
    Cut taxes and gut regulations
    The corporate rich have plenty of people to argue their case, TZALing.
    And they have you, too.
    I’m going to argue for my class (middle) and my family’s well-being –
    FOX brainwashed CEO apologist!

  232. lingling December 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    “So all the above is irrelevant to the matter at hand: the strength exerted by supply and demand for a commodity on its price versus that exerted by speculative traders.”
    For crying out loud, speculation is a part of supply and demand. Who suggests otherwise? Someone (a speculator) sez, “I have x amount of oil availability. I’m willing to deliver it to you (another speculator) on a given date for a given price. Do you want any?” They agree to it (or not) at the predetermined price. In the mean time, prices go up and down but that particular contract must be executed as agreed upon. If the person receiving the oil gets it at below the current spot price on the day it is delivered, he feels he made a good bet. If not he made a bad one.
    But guess what? He is constantly locking in contracts for future deliveries. He is doing so on a daily basis. He is assuring his customers (say he owns gas stations) that he will have product (oil and gas) to deliver them by placing orders on future deliveries. The price of these “futures” fluctuate all over the place but when you add em all up and divide em by x you end up with an average price. Trades are no different than commodities. There is a supply and demand function that takes place in the act of trading.
    Furthermore, a previous poster wanted to drop the current uptick in oil prices exclusively at the foot of Wall Street. I reminded them that supply and demand contributed to price but there is another culprit…your lovely government. As the U.S. dollar is the currency of choice for trading barrels of oil (and how much longer this is the case is open for debate) anything the Fed does to keep the value of the dollar low, directly affects the price of oil. Of late the dollar has been slipping relative to other currencies. This singular factor would help drive the cost per barrel of oil up.

  233. mister C December 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    The corn-and-pork fed mental defectives of the red states is too narrow
    a distinction.
    Both parties are dominated by globalists.
    The globalists who realize free trade requires progressive income taxes.
    The globalists who realize free trade requires constant fast population
    The globalists who rail against the Fed and vote for tax cuts for the
    folks who have benefited most from fiat currency(tea party)
    Obama reads Thomas Friedman. He must be the first type of globalist.
    Regarding the comment about North Korea or Iran kicking off the next
    World War One: North Korea is a pissant state. Iran is barely
    industrialized. World War One was kicked off by an assassination by the
    rebel of one empires client territories against its landlord. Closest
    America has to client states are Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan. A
    world war one scenario would be a lunatic from Israel or South Korea or
    Taiwan trying to assasinate top U.S. guys. That is pretty nonsensical,
    and our press wouldn’t be able to decide which country to talk our
    corn-and-pork voters into declaring war on.

  234. myrtlemay December 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    In my quest to find out what’s REALLY going on in the world, and what the world REALLY thinks of us, I came across this little article from Pravda. I’ve edited it for content, but will try to hyperlink? the Youtube video of Black Friday:
    “It seems with each passing year the madness on Black Friday gets even worse. This year, there were reports of fights and rioting from coast to coast. It was estimated that over 180 million U.S. shoppers headed for the stores on Friday, and whenever you get that many people together there are going to be problems. But just how crazed ordinary Americans are getting over saving a little bit of money is deeply disturbing when you really start thinking about it. If people will go this wild just to save 40 percent on a television set, then what in the world are they going to do when they have been without food for a couple of days? If Americans will act like psychotic animals just to save 50 bucks, then what in the world will they do when they have lost everything and are desperate to survive?
    All of us had better hope and pray that an economic collapse does not happen any time soon, because it is becoming increasingly apparent that the American people are not morally equipped to be able to handle one. Greed and selfishness have become so rampant in America that large segments of the population have totally forgotten how to be any other way.
    If the United States ever experiences a really, really bad economic downturn, this nation could very quickly start looking like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina from coast to coast. Most Americans would simply not know how to handle it…………Don’t think the hyperlink worked, but you can copy and paste in Google Search. It ain’t pretty.

  235. myrtlemay December 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Sorry, I should have closed quotation after the website.

  236. mister C December 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    The corn-and-pork fed mental defectives of the red states is too narrow
    a distinction.
    Both parties are dominated by globalists.
    The globalists who realize free trade requires progressive income taxes.
    The globalists who realize free trade requires constant fast population
    The globalists who rail against the Fed and vote for tax cuts for the
    folks who have benefited most from fiat currency(tea party)
    Obama reads Thomas Friedman. He must be the first type of globalist.
    Regarding the comment about North Korea or Iran kicking off the next
    World War One: North Korea is a pissant state. Iran is barely
    industrialized. World War One was kicked off by an assassination by the
    rebel of one empires client territories against its landlord. Closest
    America has to client states are Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan. A
    world war one scenario would be a lunatic from Israel or South Korea or
    Taiwan trying to assasinate top U.S. guys. That is pretty nonsensical,
    and our press wouldn’t be able to decide which country to talk our
    corn-and-pork voters into declaring war on.

  237. SNAFU December 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Howdy Progressor,
    Right you are.
    It has long been my opinion that for a diminutive person (4ft 10in) Robert Reich casts a long shadow.

  238. lingling December 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    ” Our current fiasco was created by Republican tax cuts…”
    You could not be more dillusional.
    Our current fiasco was created by lowering the minimum requirements for establishing credit. The old minimum down payments necessary for purchasing a home were thrown out the window. Loans were given to the unemployed with zero money down. It was social engineering to try to put everyone drawing a breath into their own widdle home and it was the dream of fucktards to attempt to do so.
    Tax cuts did not create our current fiasco. Fucktarded spending did. And it occurred globally by pie-in-the-sky governments that promised the moon to voters. How would all of these promises be funded? Doesn’t matter We’ll just kick that can down the street.
    You want to blame tax-fucking-cuts? Add up all the unfunded entitlements. They number is in the hundreds of trillions in the U.S. alone. You could not tax people enough to fulfill the wonderful promises our esteemed elected officials have made to our citizens.
    The average American currently hands over every penny they make, between January 1 and April 9th, to the government in the form of taxes. Yet thats not enough. We are still hundreds and hundreds of trillions of dollars in debt and you being the moron you are, suggest we are not taxed enough.
    I’m sorry you still want some kind of mythical, government mommy to supply you with all your needs. We are where we are because many like you, take the word of lying politicians that they can take care of everything you desire. They can’t and the entire world is in the early stages of being educated by this simple fact. (Of course simple facts need not apply to simpletons.)
    Now go stand in line at the food pantry and pray the chicken isn’t too green.

  239. The Mook December 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    You, the bone, Mother Hubbard, and 60 minutes, are all about on the same level.

  240. The Mook December 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Oh, that’s for Pissant os whatever he is going by. Cunnilinglingus maybe?

  241. trippticket December 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    “Hand-pollunating pumpkins is a close second. :-)”
    Yeah, but with the orchids you get to lift up their skirt too…

  242. trippticket December 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Ho ho ho! Solstice Klaus is here!
    On the way up to Macon today (god I hate being here instead of at the farm on the solstice), I started getting dozey (I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something), so I stopped at DQ to get a chocolate shake. On the window they were advertising the New MINI size Blizzard! When was the last time anyone saw a company bragging about a new tiny sized offering??
    Tell me energy descent is not upon us…

  243. The Mook December 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    I’ll have one of those, and supersize it, please!

  244. Lurker December 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm #


  245. k-dog December 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    You guys confuse hand-pollunating (new word) orchids with freedom but my concern is where we are being asked to place our two-lips.
    I’m thinking BBs ass but nobody’s answered my question yet.

  246. trippticket December 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    “I’m thinking BBs ass but nobody’s answered my question yet.”
    I would have to agree that that’s what’s being asked of us, but I doubt you think any more of that idea than I do.

  247. trippticket December 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    “I’ll have one of those, and supersize it, please!”
    That’ll be one Krugerand, sir. Thank you, drive thru.

  248. k-dog December 21, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Yeah, I agree thinking of orchids is better than thinking about having to pretend the tulips are worth anything.

  249. Bustin J December 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Fun with Exponential Growth! Part II
    Hello, everyone. This week in
    FWEG we’ll take a look at specific growth rates using just released census data for the last decade. Lets see what we can extrapolate.* Current Census data table here:
    North Carolina, current population: 9.5 million. Future population in 2100: 50.4 million.
    Texas, current population: 25.14 million. Future population in 2100: 159 million.
    Hawaii, current population: 1.36 million. Future population in 2100: 41.1 million.
    Delaware, current population: 897 thousand. Future population in 2100: 3.33 million.
    * Extrapolations are based on knowledge of past population figures, and assume growth rates stay the same over the set amount of time (the next 9 decades) to the year 2100. (Apologies to Q-Tip for any increase in his blood pressure.)
    One Woman, One Child news:
    Not uncommon, according to the report, are the experiences of women like Li Hongmei, 24, a factory employee from Anhui Province who was at home recovering from the birth of her daughter when a dozen men employed by the local government carried her off to a hospital for a tubal ligation. “I promised I would have the surgery when I got better but they didn’t care,” Ms. Li said in a telephone interview. “I screamed and tried to fight them off but it was no use.”
    Commentary: its clear that, second only to global warming deniers, are the overpopulation deniers.
    The fact remains that, in order to hit a population figure on a sustainable order of 2 billion/planet, the birth rate will have to drop to approximately 1 child per woman. If the Chinese system seems draconian and unethical, how can we achieve this fertility goal worldwide?*
    * Here I think we should pause to hear some solutions proposed by females:
    Okay! Since the females of the world will never act on principle or follow any dictates of logic, lets assume that men and men alone will have to solve that problem- and in that throbbing vein, I suggest the development of the fool-proof male birth-control pill.
    Now, back to your regularly scheduled clusterfuck reality unfolding in realtime:

  250. Bustin J December 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    The population of Hawaii, in 2100, at the current growth rate, will be 4.1 million. Ahh! The hazards of the exponential!
    Phew! The population is only going to triple. Population density will be 375/sq.mi from the current 188/sq.mi.
    (Of course, many of these people will not be standing in a caldera. They will be shoulder to shoulder in tenements living with personal livestock- or, if they follow sane fertility rates, in comfortable surrounds with a generously lush ecosystem.)

  251. k-dog December 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Now that you understand exponential functions you could investigate what types of positive humanitarian crowding coefficient incentives can be added to form an expanded exponential (exponential with crowding coefficient) to bring the states into a stable and sustainable equilibrium state. My position is to favor social engineering over genocide.

  252. Bustin J December 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    K-dog is absolutely on the MONEY!
    Social engineering should include efforts to officially legitimize the practice, and define the problem.
    A main component should be the elimination of all tax breaks for childrearing.
    As Immigration is adjunct to overpopulation, it should be eliminated altogether. That means controlled borders and no more amnesties. Involuntary repatriation should be the rule.
    As you can see, none of these options call for genocide. In fact, population control legislation should frame the debate in terms of: genocide for all, or voluntary reduced fertility.
    Second, the government could do ALOT by heavily funding research in a male birth control pill. The sooner we get conception under male control, the better.

  253. k-dog December 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm #


  254. Bustin J December 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    John, you are a complete idiot, and your website proves it. There are no good reasons for castigating the gays, especially since they do not reproduce, and even if they do, getting knocked up the old-fashioned way is how it happens.
    There is absolutely no reality to your assertion that they want to clone themselves.

  255. San Jose Mom 51 December 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Oh you are a cunning linguist!

  256. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Bustin and K-dog
    You can sign me up, BUT – unless the male birth control is mandatory – I don’t believe your plan will work.
    There is an old slightly racist joke involving a whole brood of little children named “LeRoy,” but in these days of political correctness – let’s name the brood, “Bubba.”
    A woman is standing in front of her double wide. Needing to call her children, she yells, “BUBBA, COME HERE,” at the top of her lungs.
    5 little Crackas come running up. “That’s pretty good,” says her neighbor, standing on the porch.
    “But what if you only need one of your kids to come running?”
    “Oh, that’s easy,” says our Craka mom. “I just call them by their last name.”
    The point of the narrative is that even if fertile males are rare – they can still breed. And the rare, yet fertile, males might be transmitting socially undesirable traits in their *many?* offspring.
    Most of the rest of your ideas:
    -incentives for childlessness
    -disincentives for childbearing
    -financial incentives for sterilization (TM) Wage
    are good and workable ideas.
    But you’re going to be labeled racist or classist in these United States for reducing births among any group other than the white and upper class.
    Right, Vlad?

  257. progressorconserve December 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    I submit that our national economic fiasco was caused by Republican tax cuts and BushII’s wars of convenience for non-existent WMD’s.
    You say:
    “You could not be more dillusional.”
    (It’s delusional, BTW – don’t they have spell-check on a FOX brainwashed computer??)
    “Our current fiasco was created by lowering the minimum requirements for establishing credit.”
    OH…THAT FIASCO – The one that BushII and his Republicans helped to engineer by talking about privatizing social security and creating and “Ownership Society.”
    And TzaLing, you seem to have bought into the lie that the housing bubble was created by ghetto dwellers buying their one and only home.
    Here’s a right wing website – so I know you’ll believe it. According to American Thinker, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
    Your zero money down ghetto dwellers were at the bottom of the pile – apparently they still are.
    “The real villains here, the truly bad seeds at the heart of this crisis, have gone unpunished thus far and are still in operation. They are Jeff Lewis and Ryan Brown of Bravo’s Flipping Out, Armando and Veronica Montelongo of TLC’s Flip This House, Kristen Kemp of TLC’s The Property Ladder, Kendra Todd of HGTV’s My House Is Worth WHAT?, and the TLC, Bravo, HGTV, and Fine Living networks in general.
    It was a financial bubble – a sort of mass national psychosis, like the Tulip Mania of the 1600’s in Holland.
    The Dutch did not blame their ghetto dwellers for zero down loans to buy tulips – we shouldn’t blame them for the housing bubble.
    Only a completely Fox brainwashed person would make such a simplistic analysis – and blame the poor and uneducated for a complete NATIONAL financial collapse.

  258. asia December 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Dear Auntie M,
    any fan of Mumia’s is no fan of ours!
    a word to all: A and P, once the largest US company and 2nd largest in the world behind GM
    has hit hard times, bankruptcy protection.
    The walmart factor among other things.

  259. asia December 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and good bye for awhile, from rainy soviet monica

  260. ozone December 21, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    How much are they paying you to spout this tired spew? Whatever it is, it’s not enough. (And don’t think just because you’re carrying their water that they won’t come for you when all is said and done. In case you haven’t noticed, that would be SOP for your beloved overlords.)

  261. ozone December 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! backatcha!
    …and get busy finishing up that rowboat! :o)

  262. Lurker December 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Mom, is that you?
    Please say it isn’t so…

  263. San Jose Mom 51 December 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    It’s a line from an old James Bond flick. Miss Moneypenny says, “Oh James, your such a cunning linguist.”

  264. CaptSpaulding December 21, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    It’s pretty fruitless to talk to these types. They don’t let facts direct their reasoning, instead they develop an opinion and then cherry pick their facts. For example that treasured right wing rhetoric about Ronald Reagan being an economic genius. Anybody with a knowledge of history knows what happens to unregulated markets. Reagan grew up in the 30s and he should have known better, instead he went ahead and deregulated the S&L’s in 1982. They went broke in 1987. Tell that to a hard core conservative, and get ready to argue, because they’ll never agree with you. Regulations are always bad. There is such a thing as willful ignorance, and most conservatives and a lot of liberals subscribe to it. I prefer to deal with reality, therefore I seldom have much to do with either crowd.

  265. ozone December 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Thanks Cap’; good advise.
    “Behold the bitten apple, the power of the tools / But all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools / And it’s a long road out of Eden.”
    [Would that be] Don Henley (?)

  266. ozone December 21, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    “advice” grrrrrrr

  267. San Jose Mom 51 December 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    You said that, “Since the famales of the world will never act on principle or follow any dictates of logic, lets assume that men and men along will have to solve that problem.”
    What the hell? Men ALWAYS have the option of wearing a condom and they don’t. “It’s like taking a shower with a raincoat,” they whine.
    Some men simply refuse to wear a condom and women have no physical power to fight them off. Even highly evolved men hate condoms. Julian Assange comes to mind.
    I can’t imagine men submitting to birth control pills. No doubt it would mess with their testosterone and they’d get all bloated and shit.

  268. CaptSpaulding December 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    I don’t know if that was Don H. or not. A similar line that I read went something like “If an ass peers into a book, don’t expect a wise man to look back out”. That’s not exact, but I’ll give it the quotes anyway.

  269. Bustin J December 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Would you like to be debt-free?
    Would you like to never, ever pay taxes?
    Would you like to never worry or care about welfare increases?
    Would you like to KEEP Your social security and Medicare deductions every week?
    * There IS a way out of it, all you have to do is walk down to your local secretary of state office with your federal ID (passport, etc) and sign papers renouncing your citizenship.
    You are thereby debt-free. You will no longer owe income tax. You will have no responsibility to the U.S. otherwise. You will turn in your social security number, which of course means you will never be charged for S.S. nor will you ever receive Medicare.
    There, you go boys: A perfect state of Libertarianism: The sovereign state of yourself. Of course, it goes without saying that you can be kicked out of the U.S. veeeeery easily.
    This one-way door to never-never land stays forever open to the sons and daughters of Libertarianism. Why more haven’t signed up I do not know- perhaps they are numberless. How would you tell an illegal immigrant from a person who has renounced their citizenship and is simply an alien?
    Perhaps no one counts these numbers for good reason. But they are here- using emergency rooms, driving with state IDs over roads you pay to pave and live in communities where you pay taxes. People without state. Without obligation. Fucking Libertarians!!!
    As a matter of fact, typically, the office will formally declare you a sovereign state of “Yourself”.
    I think you get a receipt or at least a carbon copy. Something to reach for the next time somebody says, “Can I see your ID”. Imagine trying to get on a plane or cross a border. Hahaha.

  270. The Mook December 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Judging from his postings, he uses his work computer. He must work an hour in the morning, visit websites most of the day, and then works another couple hours in the afternoon (boot-licking). After work it’s God, greed, and guns. No reason to buy a home computer when you can avoid labor and “get’r done” at work. Another, disgruntled, angry, right-winger.

  271. trippticket December 21, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    “I prefer to deal with reality, therefore I seldom have much to do with either crowd.”
    Isn’t that the damnable misery of it? No peeps to hang with. Both equally lost, and neither of much use in times of real need.

  272. trippticket December 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    “He must work an hour in the morning, visit websites most of the day, and then works another couple hours in the afternoon (boot-licking).”
    I don’t know, Bob, I’d say in any given week I do about 15 minutes of real work.
    And I’ll tell you what else, Bob, I have 8 bosses!”

  273. trippticket December 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Are you the Cap’n Spaulding from Groucho Marx or Rob Zombie? Makes all the difference in the world…

  274. marquee December 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Hi Asia,
    In response to a comment I posted, you said:
    “Dear Auntie M,
    any fan of Mumia’s is no fan of ours!”
    Who precisely are you speaking for when you say “no fan of ours”?
    I assume your comment refers to Mumia Abu-Jamal. Yes, Maya Angelou has spoken in defence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, but she is by no means alone in doing so. I’m not going to argue his guilt or innocence here, but I think it is reasonable to simply say that his conviction was and remains highly controversial and hotly debated. The list of supporters of Abu-Jamal is a very long one indeed, and one that crosses ethnic, racial, and even national lines.
    I had hoped that my original comment would be taken in the spirit in which it was intended: to get Vlad to pause and reflect on the racist vitriol he so freely spews. I thought that the lines, “But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage” were particularly fitting for some Vlad’s invective. Maya Angelou’s poem can work on more than one level.
    You will likely disagree, but I think your comment was unnecessary.
    p.s. I’m not an auntie.

  275. Pucker December 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    “Pucker —
    Moments ago, the Senate voted to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
    When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed.
    Gay and lesbian service members — brave Americans who enable our freedoms — will no longer have to hide who they are.
    The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one.
    This victory belongs to you. Without your commitment, the promise I made as a candidate would have remained just that.
    Instead, you helped prove again that no one should underestimate this movement. Every phone call to a senator on the fence, every letter to the editor in a local paper, and every message in a congressional inbox makes it clear to those who would stand in the way of justice: We will not quit.
    This victory also belongs to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and our many allies in Congress who refused to let politics get in the way of what was right.
    Like you, they never gave up, and I want them to know how grateful we are for that commitment.
    Will you join me in thanking them by adding your name to Organizing for America’s letter?
    I will make sure these messages are delivered — you can also add a comment about what the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” means to you.
    As Commander in Chief, I fought to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” because it weakens our national security and military readiness. It violates the fundamental American principles of equality and fairness.
    But this victory is also personal.
    I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation.
    But I know my story would not be possible without the sacrifice and struggle of those who came before me — many I will never meet, and can never thank.
    I know this repeal is a crucial step for civil rights, and that it strengthens our military and national security. I know it is the right thing to do.
    But the rightness of our cause does not guarantee success, and today, celebration of this historic step forward is tempered by the defeat of another — the DREAM Act. I am incredibly disappointed that a minority of senators refused to move forward on this important, commonsense reform that most Americans understand is the right thing for our country. On this issue, our work must continue.
    Today, I’m proud that we took these fights on.
    Please join me in thanking those in Congress who helped make “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal possible:
    Thank you,

  276. Eleuthero December 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    I’ve only had FIVE black students out of
    10,000+ students in 22 years so what does
    that say about the RESPECT OF THE BLACK
    Your opinions about medicine were also
    offered up without “peer reviewed” research
    so you’re the “pot calling the kettle
    Just as bottled water is LESS safe than
    tap water, “natural” meds often contain
    dangerous substances like licorice,
    angelica, burdock, etc.. I can tell
    you don’t know your ass from first base
    about this subject so why don’t you just
    keep your piehole shut.
    I went out of my way to say that Western
    medicine is a “… very, very young
    pseudo-science” but you only see and
    hear what you wish. Nonetheless,
    traditional cultures have pretty much
    abandoned their shaman for the “allopathic”
    Simple things like vaccinations and antibiotics
    (if not overused) are miracles. Good Lord
    you’re such an outspoken know-nothing.

  277. Eleuthero December 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Well, goofy, they didn’t die from
    ACUPUNCTURE but rather stuff like
    My “never” hyperbole might have been
    MILDLY wrong but it’s in the same
    sense that a person who asks the
    time says 8:03 and some asshole
    makes a huge point of “proving”
    that it’s 8:04.
    YOU ARE THAT ASSHOLE. And, you’re
    bizarre because YOU are the guy
    defending alt medicine.

  278. Eleuthero December 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    I never said HERBOLOGY had no effect on
    viral or bacterial conditions. I said
    acupuncture had no effect on them.
    But if we’re going to go there …
    herbology is not exactly inspiring.
    Few books are sober science like
    “The Honest Herbal” by Varro Tyler.
    He reviews a couple hundred herbs
    and only rates about seven or eight
    as having targetted, experimentally
    proven, positive effects.
    Many herbs, like Licorice, are dangerous
    if used every day. That’s why hospitals
    use DEGLYCYRRHIZINATED licorice (DGL) for
    ulcers. The sugar causes pseudo-aldosteroneism
    … which can lead to renal failure.
    Herbs have their place but many are used
    by allopathic doctors like DGL, aspirin
    (comes from the willow, yes?), and dopa

  279. Pucker December 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    With regard to Obama’s support of the “Dream Act”, I have two questions:
    (1) Why is Obama trying to help illegal aliens?
    (2) How can a person be “of good moral character” who has committed a crime by violating US immigration laws?
    “The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the DREAM Act) is a piece of proposed federal legislation in the United States that was first introduced in the United States Senate on August 1, 2001[1] and most recently re-introduced there and the United States House of Representatives on March 26, 2009. This bill would provide certain illegal and deportable alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors, and have been in the country continuously and illegally for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning. ”

  280. Steve M. December 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    If Obama is Millard Fillmore, Sarah Palin will be Franklin Pierce. A Palin presidency would likely accelerate the beginning of the Second Civil War – a war in which one side has to be taken out of commission long enough to set things right like Cincinnatus did in Roman times. President Palin would preside over riots in the Sun Belt, a Bonus March-type demonstration for jobs on the Washington Mall, and the dissolution of a Democratic party already hobbled by GOP big money and the Electoral College shift demanded by a census the gives the Union’s least civilized state four more House seats.

  281. Belisarius December 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Hmmm Barak…let me check… yup…Barakel,- a fallen angel…well that would explain the lack of a birth certificate!!

  282. Vlad Krandz December 22, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    The caged bird sings because it knows that someday it will die and be free. And is not the body the ultimate cage?
    Some cages are better than others – the White Body obviously superior to the Black in terms of brains. Even Blacks covet White looks and brains – they know that these are more important than raw athletic ability in the female and male spheres respectively. I admit freely that Blacks have a certain genius for music – they adapt White Music to fit themselves – play bass guitar as a percussion intrument for example in modern African music.
    Maya Angelou is overrated in general – as our most Black Poets. I do like that particular poem – I can hear her reading it in my mind. I feel that performance poetry is basically a different art form than written poetry. Blacks do excel at performance, be it theatre, dance, or spoken word. Most of their poetry wont stand up by itself for the silent, solitary reader.
    Mumia is a subhuman. Read “Murdered by Mumia” written by the wife of the slain officer. One can only stand amazed at the madnesss of the left in their all out attempt to free him with no regard as to whether he’s innocent or not. Her book is a scathing indictment of the whole circus atmosphere created by the Leftist Media – and a touching tribute to the man she loved, the real victim in all this. One is reminded of the Austrian town that named an athletic field after “Tookie” – a hardened Black criminal and multiple murderer. The White Race has gone collectively insane. You disagree? Would you all have done this for White Suspects accused of murder? No? Why not?
    The same worship of Negroes lead to the election of Barack Obama, an anti-White Racist with no qualifications for the job.
    For more on the Blacks wanting to be White, see Chris Rock’s dcumentary about Black Women’s obsession with White Hair.

  283. Vlad Krandz December 22, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    In the East you “prove” an herb by taking it. I can feel ginseng working – my own body is the test tube. Of course, just like in western science you need to be qualified – in this the requisite qualification is sensitivity to one’s own body.
    I listened to lectures about this topic from Eastern Hebalists. They say scientists cannot reccomend most herbs because they cannot find the active ingredient. The herbalists say that often there is no one active ingredient but rather a living synthesis of substances which is greater than a mere sum of the parts. Also, our’s is a mercenary system. There’s no real money in herbalism for Western Pharma unless they can so isolate. They were able to isolate something in ginseng – it’s called ginsana. The Herbalists have tried it and find it radically inferior to the real thing.
    Of course things get more difficult when you prescribe herbs for other people. Then a strong note of objective observation and questioning comes to the fore. And trying to mass produce herbal products like they now do in China may well lead to some of what you describe.

  284. Vlad Krandz December 22, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    The White birth rate is below replacement all over the World. WE are not the problem. Throw out the other people and the problem is solved to the extent WE can solve it. Realistically, the Mestizos and the Muslim Races are not going to adopt any control any time soon. Nor are the Black Africans. To quote the Bible, we have “turn our faces like flint” against them and deny them what they want the most – to dwell among us and breed on our dime. Like the suitors of fabled Ithaca, they are quite prepared to eat us out of house and home. Why should WE let them?

  285. Bustin J December 22, 2010 at 2:21 am #

    You know what works for some people? Rhino horns. Nothing else but powdered rhino horns is enough to get the heart pounding, the blood flowing, the Yang rising, and the penis erect. Also, there was Tiger’s balls. Or Monkey Balls. Just about anything’s balls. Or anything that looked like a ball-sack. Chinese medicine has got to be the biggest crock of shit ever created. Its telling that, as China descended into its post-writing, post-gunpowder dark age it kept every precept of its ‘medicine’.
    Then one day Western Science came by with a little blue pill that REALLY WORKED! In fact, it was like night and day. There were smiles all around as the Rhino horn was shelved for the little blue pill.
    The little blue pill’s name was Viagra.
    But there are still some sorry motherfuckers in China who think that little blue pill ain’t gonna do it for them. So there is a whole economy devoted to kidnapping Bears from the wilds of Southeast Asia, and confining them to cages. While they are in confinement, their keepers use home-made syringe contraptions to draw seminal fluid from their glands. The bears are kept confined to cages, in most cages in a state of torpor, randomly anesthetized. The little secretions are placed in vials and shipped to the Chinese medicine distribution hubs all over China. The state-sponsored health system then delivers Bear Gland Juice to the devoted. Upon taking it they feel all sorts of subjective emotion. Sometimes, this is accompanied by an erection.
    Thus, even though Western science provided an alternative that ACTUALLY WORKED, there were people who still preferred the old gland juice or rhino horn. And for those people, killing the last remaining wild bears in SE Asia or juicing the illegal Rhino trade is no object, it is just a function of the invisible hand of the market.
    In the consumer marketplace, if you don’t like solution A, there is solution B and C. Something must get the job done. After all, Nature is here to solve OUR personal problems. That is, if scientists don’t first. OR, there are alternatives if you are a hypochondriac with self-esteem issues and a gullibility as deep as your pockets.
    It should be a massive load off to every hippie with a hangover that supplements of any kind are usually just hype.
    I have sad, stupid friends who stubbornly cling to the pseudoscience that undergirds the whole enterprise. For those true believers, no amount of logic or reason will suffice. They will believe their health will be affected by magical cures and elixirs until the day they die, which will probably come with the fruitless ingestion of all sorts of fantastic scams. They will cling to their irrational beliefs and as they age, becoming pear-shaped wrecks, they will continue to search for the fountain of dick, or health, or hair, or whatever cockamamie scheme they run across in the “Health Aisle”.
    In these stores of ill repute you’ll find women, lots and lots of women. And in the wings, on their lips and in their minds, bullshit upon layer of gilded bullshit. The shopkeeper will rake in tons of money selling this bullshit and the manufacturers will keep pocketing huge profits on the dream of health, that will always stay >just

  286. k-dog December 22, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    “The recent opening up of the Marcellus shale play will set back the peak oil date”
    Hey newbie – peak is the moment of maximum extraction, new discoveries do not change the peak. Maximum extraction occurs on the Hubbert curve at 50% but thats not the only peak oil scenario, there is also the hubbert cliff curve.
    We are past peak and the only thing that could change that is the discovery of a new Garwar of sweet black crude.
    And concerning transient response theory:
    When we start down the steep part of the curve whatever it looks like, peak oil will be common knowledge.

  287. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    I know, I love this (very commom) idea that new technologies, whether oil shales or hydrogen, will somehow replace the power of oil one-for-one.
    The oil discovery curve is quite plain. The easy half of it is history, burned in the furnace of luxury, and the return of energy, per unit invested, will get steadily worse from 2006 on. Oil shale is a joke, so hard to extract compared light sweet crude in elephant fields. Not that we won’t try. Up to a point.
    But the pattern is set. We have to change our behavior to make the future work, and we probably have to change it radically. It can be done, not by all of us, but by some, and that should be our goal. Being part of the some. I know it is yours, and of course it is mine, just can’t help but pile on the “salvation is right around the corner” folks.

  288. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    The Olduvai Cliff is the pattern we should be fighting like hell to smooth out, for a somewhat gentler landing, if it’s possible, and instead we bicker about how we can make it steeper. Nonsense.

  289. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    There was an article in my new town’s paper yesterday, and I’m writing an op ed that I hope will turn into a full-blown article soon, but let me relate to you guys how the AP is spinning this now-inevitable Peak Oil thing, in case you haven’t seen an article in your own paper yet.
    US gas demand may fall after ’06 peak
    The world’s biggest gas-guzzling nation has limits after all.
    After seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth, U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline. (I’m with you so far) By 2030, Americans will burn at least 20 percent less gasoline than today, experts say, even as millino more cars clog the roads. (If we’ve avoided the Olduvai Cliff by the time 2030 rolls around it won’t be because Americans are using only 20% less gasoline.)
    The country’s thirst for gasoline is shrinking as cars and trucks become more fuel-efficient, the government mandates the use of more ethanol and people drive less.
    (OK, what a sec, you’re kidding me right? Of these 3 farcical “reasons” for declining use, the first is the most plausible. Can anyone tell me if US vehicles are actually more efficient these days? My friends talk about better gas mileage in the 70s than we’re getting now. SUVs? Huge pick-ups? And what about the totally unaccounted for cradle-to-grave costs of all the new technologies on-board a modern car?? Never mind, it doesn’t matter. People choosing to drive less?? Joking right? I live on a shoestring budget and I still drive as much as I can afford to. In fact, I cut lots of energy use in other places just so I can still drive now and then. That won’t last much longer, and is a big driver in our move closer to family, but for the moment, over 3 years since I’ve had a “real job” it still holds. The idea that people are suddenly choosing to drive less is absurd.
    And ethanol!! Jesus Christ, when are we going to get this one. Ethanol is worse than zero-sum. It requires more energy to produce than it produces. It returns fewer calories of energy per gallon than the gasoline required to make it. Not to mention the very ugly connotation of burning food in our cars while at least a billion people on this planet go hungry.
    The article goes on, “a combination of demographic change and policy change means the heady days of gasoline growing in the U.S. are over.”…”[the use of gasoline] has declined 4 years in a row and will not reach the 2006 level again, even when the economy fully recovers” (groan)…”in fact, the ground was shifting before the recession.” (you don’t say – a smart person might even be inclined to wonder if it didn’t cause the “recession.”)
    I can’t go on. Articles like this are going to KILL people…Americans…with their lack of candor about the situation. KILL people by leaving them unprepared to deal with our new reality. When the economy fully recovers?? Does that mean I should just take another credit card to buy food and heat in the meantime? Does that mean that little Timmy can have the battery-powered NASCAR run-around for Christmas after all?
    You betcha! Just keep them purse-strings loose. All will work out for you. I promise. {crosses fingers]
    Yeah, I have to write a response to this garbage.

  290. James Crow December 22, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    You really need to drink better beer, no wonder you’re depressed. Self-medicating with Pabst Blue Ribbon is just wrong.

  291. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Last post full of errors. Sorry. I just woke up. No kids, and got to sleep in! (First time in 6 months to the day). Hope you can see past my lack of precision;)

  292. CaptSpaulding December 22, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Hooray for Captain Spaulding the African explorer (Did someone call me Schnorrer?),hooray hooray hooray.

  293. jimjim December 22, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    “OH…THAT FIASCO – The one that BushII and his Republicans helped to engineer by talking about privatizing social security and creating and “Ownership Society.””
    No, moron. The fiasco where Bahnee Frank and Chirissie Dodd used Fannie and Freddie as ATM machines for the financially challenged. THAT FUCKING FIASCO.

  294. SNAFU December 22, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Howdy Trip, Per your para: “The oil discovery curve is quite plain. The easy half of it is history, burned in the furnace of luxury, and the return of energy, per unit invested, will get steadily worse from 2006 on. Oil shale is a joke, so hard to extract compared light sweet crude in elephant fields. Not that we won’t try. Up to a point.”
    Interesting bar graph in the latest issue of “Mother Earth News” illustrates precisely what you are saying. In 1930 EROI for domestic oil was about 100 to 1, in 2000 it was about 12 to 1. Includes approximate EROI’s for several other forms of energy.
    Graph link

  295. Kelly December 22, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Well said Bustin J
    “I believe these are just Pear-people on the way to their bitter end. I’m not going to try and convince them otherwise- they stopped listening years ago. They don’t know how to relate to what you’re telling them. I won’t sell them on western medicine either- I’m no doc- but my experiences, with a non-supplement regime, exercise, never goes over well either.”
    Kelly &

  296. The Mook December 22, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    I was just comparing my NASCAR neighbors’ beers of choice to ‘Lectric Shave. I used to drink surplus micro-beers from a distributor (Pennsylvania thing) in Bethlehem. Half-kegs such as Esslinger’s Black Cherry Stoudt or Flying Fish for the same price as Budweiser. Unfortunately, I guess that fad went the way of cigars and golf, for the yuppies, so the surplus is no more. Now I drink what I can find under $20 a case which in this neck of the woods is usually Labatts Blue. But if your buying, I’ll take a Samuel Smith, Oatmeal Stoudt, please!

  297. progressorconserve December 22, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    Did you get banned again?
    You obviously did not read the link.
    American housing collapse fiasco had many causes – one of the MINOR ones was relaxed loan standards to the genuinely poor and educated.
    Capt Spaulding, Tripp – among many others appear to grow tired of your apologies for the CEO masters of your universe.
    I swear I’m not trolling this GoofGoof just to be doing him. Political beliefs fascinate me. Why does PoorPoor keep advocating policies that are not in his best interest?
    Why do any of us do it?
    Why does the far left go on and on about gun control (to pick one example) when it alienates so many of their natural voters in rural regions – the “well armed liberals,” that other posters have referenced.
    If we are going to pretend to have a *free* *democratic* *capitalistic* *representative republic* *whatever/pick your descriptor* – –
    But if what’s left of this country is to have any hope of working going forward – AND HANDLING ENERGY DESCENT –
    Then the American people have GOT to begin to act in their OWN long term best interest – as individuals – and as voters – and as thinking participants in the political process – local, regional, and national.
    DingDing is just an example of the problem. There are 100,000,000 short sighted MeMe’s on both brainwashed sides of the political spectrum.
    HelpHelp UsUs AlAl!!

  298. progressorconserve December 22, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Should have been –
    …the financial collapse had many causes and one of the MINOR ones was relaxed lending standards and down payment requirements for the genuinely poor and educated – that’s UNeducated.
    But defending the CEO’s goes right along with blaming the poor and uneducated for all your problems – doesn’t it, SpoutSpout?
    And I should have closed with
    God(god?) HelpHelp UsUs AllAll
    Now – the ground has thawed, and it’s stopped raining for the first time in a while in the mountains. I believe I’ll go do a little honest work.
    Tripp – congrats on the 300 acres, absolutely awesome!

  299. Cash December 22, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Pro con
    You say: There are 100,000,000 short sighted MeMe’s on both brainwashed sides of the political spectrum.
    Couldn’t agree more. I don’t know who bugs my ass worse, people on the left or people on the right. We have the same issue this side of the border. Up here, like in the US, right wingers spew nonsense about tax cuts as if taxes disappear into a hole never again to reappear. And my favourite: deregulation.
    Our lefties sneer at “right wing ideologues” while at the same time the same lefties are utterly blind to the fact that they are as rigid and ideologically impractical as right wingers.
    You have a bigger chance of winning the lottery than of hearing one of our politicians uttering the phrase “Merry Christmas” out of fear of thundering denunciations from our looney left.

  300. ozone December 22, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Most interesting, SNAFU.
    Looking at the biodiesel waaaaaay down there on ERoEI (e-i-e-i-o ;o), leads me to predict that it will be produced in small, local manufactories. Expensive? Hell yeah! But it’s important to remember that a portable fuel source SHOULD be expensive for its’ VALUE. I would be willing to pay 20 bucks a gallon for a fuel source for a chainsaw, vs. chopping down and cutting up a tree by hand. (I do it fairly quickly; I don’t like to waste fuel, period.) Think about it. The bang for the buck is incredible. Remember, it’s a PORTABLE energy source.
    Again, REAL VALUE has got to factored in [where price is concerned]; most folks don’t seem to want to grasp that. (The price of everything; the value of nothing.)

  301. Cash December 22, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Pro Con says congrats on the 300 acres. You scored 300 acres!? I must have missed this. Way to go. That’s a good sized chunk of land. So I guess it’s good by Macon?

  302. ozone December 22, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    “Now I drink what I can find under $20 a case which in this neck of the woods is usually Labatts Blue. But if your buying, I’ll take a Samuel Smith, Oatmeal Stoudt, please!” -Mook
    Me too! (I love stout; gimme da Guinness, please.)
    My regular swillage (tm MM) is Red Dog, which I b’lieve is a Miller product (Plank Road Brewery).
    Don’t be put off by its’ extreme cheap-o-ness, it’s a pretty decent German-style beer! (Amazing; I get it for about 17 bucks a 30-pack, which includes tax and deposit.)

  303. ozone December 22, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    …I think that compares in price to Milwaukee’s Nastiest and Piels Crappiest…

  304. jimjim December 22, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    “You obviously did not read the link.”
    Yeah, I did fucktard. And in essence the articles agreed with what I said. EASY CREDIT. Fannie and Freddie for new houses and every other lending institution that remortgaged the homes of fucktards that wanted to turn their homes into ATM’s. EASY CREDIT.
    But who is truly at fault? Each and every Dick and Jane that signed on the dotted line. Ultimately, one must take responsibility for one’s actions. If you want to go ahead, like the silly author of the silly piece, and blame some equally silly cable shows you go right ahead. It just proves what a MORON you truly are. (But we already knew that.)

  305. ozone December 22, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    “When we start down the steep part of the curve whatever it looks like, peak oil will be common knowledge. ” -k-dog
    Yepper. Peak *anything* will not be acknowledged by any of the yeast-people until dropped on their heads like a cinder-block. As Tripp said, a lot of people are gonna get killed as a result of willful ignorance of their surrounding realities. It ain’t gonna be pretty.

  306. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    “So I guess it’s good by Macon?”
    You bet your ass it’s good bye Macon! Good bye 1/4 acre in the hood, hello green rolling acres.
    My next blog post has more on it. I’ll post a link here when I publish it. If you ever get tired of that cold rocky soil up MA way, we might be able to work something out.
    This is the last transmission from Macon actually. As soon as I click ‘submit’ I’m shutting down and packing it up. My chickens are in the pickup losing their patience. Will have some access to my folks’ Mac though, so not a long hiatus like the last move cross country. Just last from this hole.
    Au revoir, ghetto!!

  307. Cash December 22, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    For crying out loud, speculation is a part of supply and demand. Who suggests otherwise? – Lingling
    Who suggests otherwise? Well, the price of oil went to $147/barrel and then crashed to $34. How much did that swing have to do with actual production and consumption? Actual production has to underlie supply, actual consumption has to underlie demand.
    How much did speculative betting push prices away from prices supported by actual production and consumption? There’s no doubt in my mind that some speculators made a huge wad from this movement and I’m also sure that an equal amount was lost by others.
    So why am I bugged by this? Because there are people that make their living actually doing work producing and consuming this product that get screwed by these wild swings. I don’t think they deserve to.
    Waaaaah, boo hoo you might say, it’s not a perfect world. Fair enough, we all take sides in these things.
    I buy your argument about the US dollar. So we’ll see whether the Euro cracks up. If it does and there’s a lot of people that think it will then what alternative is there to pricing in USD? Multiple currencies?
    I’ve heard it said that speculators provide liquidity in futures markets, that their activities actually mitigate swings in prices. I’ll bet you can find studies that support this view and studies that support the opposite view. Regardless of what these studies say, my good old fashioned horse sense tells me that their activity exacerbates these swings. If you want to take the opposite view that’s fine by me.
    And I’m not disputing the need for futures markets.

  308. Belisarius December 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    “Hey newbie – peak is the moment of maximum extraction, new discoveries do not change the peak. Maximum extraction occurs on the Hubbert curve at 50% but thats not the only peak oil scenario, there is also the hubbert cliff curve”.
    I don’t know what a “newbie” is around here, (and i’m not sure i care) but i will admit my hardcover copy of TLE does not say “first edition”! Maybe my karma has run into your dogma.
    “The recent opening up of the Marcellus shale play will set back the peak oil date”
    The quote is from lingling. Was i too easy on him?
    I tend to look at the failure of oil supply to meet demand (as shown by price) to be evidence of peak, when it might be due to other causes. Using that metric, economically we are at peak now (or past), whether or not a future historian finds a production spike and calls peak later. Will shale affect the economics? Yes, short term, and more so for USA if imports are not available. Does it change the big picture? Not much.
    Shale could be important if our future includes dollar collapse, trade war, hot war, or other scenario that requires rationing. Shale gas might reduce the severity of a resulting economic paroxysm, not avoid it.
    “We are past peak and the only thing that could change that is the discovery of a new Garwar of sweet black crude”.
    Likely true…even if “oil nirvana” is discovered or revealed, and is allowed developement, we are still effectively at or past peak till the new oil flows and new refineries are built.
    However this plays out, a crunch is coming, probably soon. Probably an energy crunch, unless something worse happens first, with financial collapse the top contender. Arguing about the possible details seems futile. Building personal, family and community resilience seems like a better focus now.

  309. LewisLucanBooks December 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Well, Tripp probably won’t see this. Hitting the road and all. I imagine it’s something like the scenes from the old movie “Grapes of Wrath” as they’re leaving the dust bowl. Chickens and grannies old rocker.
    OK. Western Washington, small rural conservative county. Population of the two largest cities, 27,000. I run a used bookstore on the main drag. The other day a fellow stopped in. He drives out this way from Maine every year. As I ask every traveler I run across “what’s it like, out there?” Most of them don’t get it, but he seemed to.
    In a way, it’s like “The World Made By Hand.” You questions travelers to get news. It’s not the same kind of isolation, but as very little media can be trusted, these days, you look for eye witness accounts. What he saw were a lot of empty houses and closed businesses. And he’s one of those travelers who gets off the interstate highways and travels those “blue highways.” Thank you William Least Heat Moon.
    What I see here. Our official unemployment is over 12%. I think it’s more like 20%. Gas is over $3 a gallon. The main drag in front of my store often has spaces available for parking. Two years ago, it was a constant fight to find a place to park. When I go to the grocery store, say at 9 in the evening, the lot is empty and there’s little traffic. I don’t go out at night much anymore. Too many roving bands of young men. During the day I see more guys on bikes.
    The guy from Main and I agreed that things feel like they’re winding down. Right now, you notice it in the little things.

  310. Bustin J December 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I agree with you Ozone, Ethanol is extremely valuable. It was a way to bank crop surplus back in the good ol’ days. Not to mention its usefulness in myriad other ways, as a antiseptic, disinfectant, extraction, drinks, etc.
    But producing it on a mass scale and running it through engines that waste 75% of the energy is unbelievably dumb. It simply becomes another way to destroy soil to put carbon in the air.

  311. Bustin J December 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Skipping immunization for the kids, Trip? I oughta haul you before Child Services court. Tetanus happens. Diphtheria happens. Horrible ways to die. I don’t think a little immunization will knock your bratwurst out of the hale ‘n’ hearty cohort either.

  312. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Depends on what you mean by family.
    I linked to my Mother’s Day talk before. I don’t think that the nuclear family, isolated in boxes in suburbia, is a healthy way to raise children.
    When I was poor, and lived in child ghettos, my children and I were all happier.
    I was home, available to them 24 hours a day, BUT, I didn’t have to actually be their one and only, when there were other kids and other moms in the neighborhood. They played with the other kids, and I hung with the other moms.
    I don’t believe in babies being put into daycare at 6 weeks old, the way that people do now, in our advanced capitalistic system.
    I wouldn’t even take a puppy from its mom before 8 weeks.
    Babies need their parents, and kids need a tribe, and so do parents.
    This can’t be supplied under our system, which commodifies everything, even the most basic human relationships.
    And I don’t know what communist plank you’re talking about. I think you’re quoting John Birch again.

  313. Vlad Krandz December 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    That’s how most Whites feel when they get out of the ghetto. Your chickens want out too. Oh and yes, Congratulations. Now you will be really able to help not only yourself and your extended family – but maybe other people in a few years. You could be one of those people who set up a little Institute and teach others how to do it.
    Are you going to be near Macon still? Or on the other side of the Mountains like you wanted to be?

  314. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    I don’t know if they condemned the action, but the whole “humanitarian intervention” meme, invented for the attack, is against the UN principles that each country is sovereign, and has a right to security from others.
    The US tried to get UN approval of the attack, but Russia, of course, would not go along with it.
    Russia, as Cash points out, was a victim of Nazi Germany, just as Serbia was, and not inclined to rubberstamp another attack.
    Especially because ACTUAL Nazi collaborators were still alive at the time, and participating in the destruction of Yugoslavia, with US help.
    May Richard Holbrooke rot in hell!
    (Although I don’t believe in hell, of course)

  315. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi, Cash.
    I didn’t mean to imply that Hitler was taking orders from Roosevelt. I only meant that the US was fine with watching their white brethren slaughtering each other.
    However, when the US entered the war in Dec, 1941, Roosevelt did promise Stalin that the US would open a second front in Europe.
    Was it really necessary to wait until June, 1944, to get those men and that equipment moved into place?

  316. budizwiser December 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Ah – waxing about the “good old days”
    I can’t pull up my pointed, and very specific post that predicted a massive “month of reckoning” when the fraud-filled bond markets would be revealed for what they are.
    In my post, it was supposed to be March of 2009 when the previously dumb-founded justice department officials finally found a voice that reached the public spaces.
    OK, so would you believe March 2011?
    Below – the piece JK wrote that triggered my predictions of financial-sector blood spilling.
    (via bond paper no longer serviceable – even with new magic-outlaw inks)

    Right now, the overwhelming sentiment is to get this country back to where we were, say, ten years ago, when everything was humming nicely: Clinton nostalgia. We’re definitely not going back there, though. It’s an idle wish. And any set of policies designed to lead in that direction will prove very disappointing. Our destination is a land of much smaller-scaled local economies. We could retain our federal ties if the federal government can scale back appropriately from the bloated, feckless enterprise it has become. Otherwise, it might only get in the way and make matters worse, and the public in one region or another of North America might reach a decision that they are better off without it. That would be what’s called a revolution.

    Stick around a few more years, you’ll get a kick out of the things you thought and wrote.
    Even a clock is right twice a day, year in and year out.

  317. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Yes, I did read her post.
    My Mom taught me to cook and sew, also, although I cook MUCH differently now, because she was a child of her times, fond of canned and boxed foods.
    I’ll tell you an embarrassing anecdote.
    When I was 18, and working for peanuts, one of my co-workers mentioned that she didn’t sew and neither did her daughters.
    “Well, where do you get your clothes?” I asked.
    I’ll never forget the withering look she shot me.
    “From the store!”.
    It’s not that I didn’t know that you could buy clothes at the store. I just didn’t do it, so I forgot that people did. And I was young enough to be humiliated by her scorn.

  318. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    I have proposed a simple, all-American solution many times before, Bustin.
    Perhaps your sexist eyes are unable to read female-produced ideas.
    I suggest that we pay a substantial sum to people who voluntarily sterilize themselves.
    Almost everyone I propose this too agrees that it would work.
    In my line of work, I see dozens of unwanted pregnancies, and, thanks to the crazy Christians, women seem to think that simply carrying it to term is their only responsibility.
    These women, and many low-life men, would be very willing to trade future pregnancies for a large cash sum.
    No coercion, no armed men, no draconian policies needed.
    Just good old US dollars.

  319. Eleuthero December 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Actually, Vlad, I use Licorice and
    Echinacea. I use the former on an
    “as needed” basis for stomach upset.
    It’s fabulous and is a mild carminative.
    Echinacea is a great gargle because it
    creates a “numb” feeling in the throat.
    Also, some German studies seem to indicate
    that Echinacea starts a lymphatic process
    in the throat. Through personal experimentation,
    I’ve discovered that Echinacea can “drive” a
    cold from the throat into the head but prevent
    it from dropping into the chest … useful!!
    You do NOT need to swallow Echinacea to get
    its benefits.
    Ginseng makes some people feel better and
    some only jittery and hyped up. With herbs,
    one must experiment but also be very, very
    leery of the thinking that herbs == harmless.
    It just isn’t remotely true.

  320. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    You’re a romantic!
    Dreaming of the day when you’ll find the just the perfect Bitch for you, and the two of you will make beautiful music and one adorable little Bustin, Jr., or Bitch, Jr.
    Aaaww, so sweet.

  321. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    Yeah, I take Amtrak, instead of driving.
    While people here rail against the McMansions, and the yuppies,and the overfed NASCAR devotees, I suggest you take the train across the country and look out the window.
    There are a lot more shotgun shacks, rusty single-wide trailers and small houses in bad repair than there are McMansions.
    Of course, I realize that rich people don’t live near railroad tracks.
    But there are a lot more poor than rich, and they didn’t all get loans for big houses!

  322. San Jose Mom 51 December 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    You’re right on Wagelaborer!
    Here’s a little ditty I just made up about Bustin J…sung to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”
    Bustin the cranky misogynist,
    Had a lot of female foes.
    And if you ever read him,
    You’d know that his hatred glowed.
    All of the other bloggers,
    Tried their best to refute his claims.
    But Bustin the chick-dissing idiot,
    Quite simply hates all dames.
    Wishing you a guy-filled new year!

  323. San Jose Mom 51 December 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    I recently read something interesting in regards to academic success and educating young children.
    “In the mid-1980s, Kansas psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley realized that something was very wrong with Head Start…It manages to keep some low-income kids out of poverty and ultimately away from crime. But for a program that intervenes as a very young age and it reasonably well run and generously funded–$7 billion annually–it doesn’t do much to raise kids’ academic success. Studies show only “small to moderate” positive impacts on three and four year old children in the areas of literacy and vocabulary, and no impact at all on math skills…..Hart and Risley wanted to know what was tripping up kids’ development as such an early age. Where they stuck with inferior genes, lousy environments, or something else?
    “They devised a novel methodology; for more than three years, they sampled the actual number of words spoken to young children from forty-two families at three different socioeconomic levels: 1. welfare homes 2.working-class homes 3. professionals’ homes.
    “The differences were astounding. Children in professionals’ homes were oxposed to an average of more than fifteen hundred more spoken words per hour than children in welfare homes. Over one year, that amounted to a difference of nearly 8 million words, which, by age four, amounted to a gap of 32 million words. They also found a substantial gap in tone and in the complexity of words being used.
    “As they crunched the numbers, they discovered a direct correlation between the intensity of these early verbal experiences and later achievement.”
    Hart and Risley also found that, in the first four years after birth, the average child from a professional family receives 560,000 more instances of encouraging feedback than discouraging feedback; a working-class child receives merely 100,000 more encouragements than discouragements; a welfare child recieves 125,000 more discouragements than encouragements.

  324. Vlad Krandz December 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    There you go again trying to trick people. Communism sees it as a process – as you well know. The natural or extended family breaks down under Capitalism. And then under Communism the nuclear family goes down. After that all men are brothers and sisters and the children are raised by the State. Anyone who wants to can go here and read it in the Manifesto themselves. It’s in the second chaptera about half way down.
    I agree that the nuclear family is unnatural. We have to go back to the extended family, clan, tribe, and nation – not “forward” to some abominable state tyranny over the very bodies of our children.

  325. Vlad Krandz December 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Absolutely right – some herbs are very powerful and we’re all a little bit different. Since herbs aren’t going away – a knowledge of the interaction between Western meds and traditional herbs is greatly needed. I think we need a new kind of specialist here to act as go betweens.

  326. ozone December 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    “But producing [ethanol] on a mass scale and running it through engines that waste 75% of the energy is unbelievably dumb. It simply becomes another way to destroy soil to put carbon in the air.” -Bustin J
    I surely agree.
    I don’t think manufacturing [plant] oils for fuel is quite so polluting; especially if done on a “micro” scale.
    So, now we gots to get working on designing a diesel chainsaw that won’t shake a man to pieces running the damn thing! ;o)
    (Like I said before, people with real talent will gravitate to engineering crazy shit like this! A very exciting time for creative young’uns.)

  327. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    You got that right, SJ Mom, (and thanks for the good wishes).
    If the No Child Left Behind supporters REALLY wanted to improve American children’s intelligence, they would have concentrated on improving parenting, not testing kids in school. (Although then Neil Bush wouldn’t be raking in the millions, would he?)
    Instead, as Idiocracy pointed out, dumb people reproduce like rabbits (but would gladly stop if paid, WL), and smart people breed carefully, if at all. And then actually interact with their children.
    Here’s a link to a New Yorker article that really impressed me-
    Oh, Prog, it’s about a program in Louisiana in which nurses go into uneducated people’s homes and try to get them to interact with, or talk to, or simply not abuse, their newborns.
    I don’t know if it’s still functioning.
    Personal anecdote-
    We had a 9 year old child with whom we tried to do an eye test. She didn’t know her letters, so couldn’t read the chart and was also unclear about the shapes on the illiterate chart. (A sailboat? Actually, that is a bit difficult for the poor)
    Anyway, the same day an Indian (from India) four-year old came in.
    The nurse got out the facial pain scale, pointing to the sad face, the impassive face, and the crying face.
    “Which one shows how you feel, honey?” she said.
    The child pointed to one and said in her adorable accent “I choose the very uncomfortable one”. (Reading from the description underneath the faces).
    And those kids are expected to do the same when they get to school?

  328. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    See, I read it differently.
    Remember that in 1848, women and children were the property of men.
    Women had no right to property, and they had no rights to their children, if divorced.
    Children were put to work at a very young age.
    My great-grandfathers went in the coal mines at ages 6 and 8.
    THAT is what Marx is criticizing!

  329. wagelaborer December 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Whoops, I went back to reread that article and found that it was extremely abridged.
    Well, you can get the point from the part that is there.

  330. k-dog December 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    I don’t know what a “newbie” is around here, (and i’m not sure i care) but i will admit my hardcover copy of TLE does not say “first edition”! Maybe my karma has run into your dogma.

    Belisarius, my apologies if you thought you were the newbie. as you say The quote is from LingLing. I figured most would figure that out, sorry.
    To easy on LingLing, well yes and here is why I bark. Defining peak oil as the moment of maximum production acknowledges that entirely different behaviors will be needed for humanity to survive to the next century. Economies based on Fiat money will all fall flat on their face because their economic health is predicated on continual growth and when things begin to shrink the fiat money can’t handle it.
    I do not claim special status but I have been a ‘peaker’ since well before peak and those of us who have been around this long are seeing disinformation campaigns about the peak starting to emerge. The same dark forces which pretend global warming does not exist would have you believe peak oil does not exit as well.
    Convincing people that the actual time peak happens is not linked to the moment of maximum extraction is the first step in trying to convince them that peak oil is no big deal. The switch from positive to negative growth at the inflection point crucial to the full understanding of the implications.
    The patrician classes would love for you to believe in peak oil redefined the way they want it to be. Peak oil will be common knowledge soon enough but which version will people commonly believe. The version which requires active behavior change or the version where you are told to wait around for new machines and discoveries to fix the problem.
    Listening to the POX news or even NPR you hear talk about how good it is that the American worker is getting more and more productive. This destructive mime is everywhere and talking heads rant on like its a good thing.
    Really a good thing? If a good is produced by an economy where the item cost reflects only materials and profit but not labor that economy will fail. If a good is produced and item cost reflects significant labor that good is being produced by a healthy economy. This is simple common sense but oligarchic economics, the kind taught in American schools reverse this simple fact of life so that maximizing productivity becomes a good thing. Maximizing productivity makes for an economy built on a house of cards it enriches the rich and impoverishes the poor. Peak Oil is a direct challenge to this insane patrician view and must be redefined to preserve the all important status quo since peak oil obviously can’t be ignored and must be dealt with.
    I claim that peak oil will become common knowledge as the clusterfuck builds but I do not claim the intellectually sound version will be more attractive to the masses than a version where the peak can be moved at will based on infinite substitutions and sugar plums fairies dancing in ones head.

  331. San Jose Mom 51 December 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Sounds like it was a good program….I wonder what happened after Katrina? My son quoted me some figure about the murder rate in New Orleans being one of the highest in the world– right up there with Ciudad Juarez and Mogadishu.
    Too sad.

  332. lbendet December 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    LLB–Good entry
    Like your reportage of the world as it is instead of the gloss-over by the big media companies.-How refreshing. Simple question and direct honest answers.
    Gravity can’t hold the edges anymore. The question everyone is asking each other is when are people going to realize this thing is only going to get worse? When are people going to recognize that the economic fundamentalism and globalism is not for them?
    Whenever I walk into a store and see a salesperson standing around with nothing to do, I get an earful about the economy. –And that’s in NYC! -Since 911 small business has been hurting. Lot’s of sales and not just seasonal.
    I tell them about a number of blogs including this to help them form a picture of what’s happening. It may not make them very happy, but maybe it clarifies.

  333. Buck Stud December 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Is Bustin J Kunstler?

  334. k-dog December 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    Based on his auto-erotic rant yesterday my guess is no.

  335. ozone December 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    What me speculate?
    “Bubbles create virtual wealth through speculation. People simply agree that something should be worth more (and more, and more) than it was before, although the underlying value has not changed at all. They will part with any sum in chasing momentum, because they think there will always be a Greater Fool who will pay more. Often they do this with borrowed money, leveraging their exposure to risk.” -Nicole Foss
    Oh, THOSE market funda-Mentals; I was in the bathroom… ;o)
    Want mo’?

  336. Vlad Krandz December 22, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    It says what it says – and you people have never repented of your intent to destroy the Family. Obviously, Marx was crazy and alot of Marxists end up getting married. But they still work to undermine the Family – such crazed hypocrisy is a wonder to behold.
    As for your criticism of 19 century capitalist culture – I tend to agree. And I’m not against the basic Feminism of Susan B Anthony or Mary Shelley. It’s the modern Marxist Feminism that I’m utterly opposed to.
    One time Trotsky and Stalin were sitting together when an older comrade came in with her strapping young lover. Stalin made a lewd comment to Trotsky. Trotsky responded by giving Stalin a lecture about the repressive nature of marriage and role sexual freedom would play in the Revolution. Stalin didn’t care to be lectured to as if he was a boy and he never gave Trotsky another friendly word.

  337. Eleuthero December 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Well, as the year ends and the Dow and S&P
    are at nosebleed levels and even the job
    market are opening up slightly (and I do
    mean SLIGHTLY), the building problems are
    hardly commented upon by the biz channels.
    For one thing, this recovery might be one
    of the shortest in history because it comes
    with commodity inflation which has NOT yet
    been passed on to the consumer. Only two
    things can result from this bistable state:
    1) Costs are not passed on to the consumer
    and profit margins head toward zero, or
    2) Costs are passed on to the consumer and
    the just-back-from-the-dead consumer is put
    back in his grave.
    If #1 happens then there will be yet more layoffs.
    If #2 happens then there will ALSO be more
    layoffs because a dead consumer means that plants
    are disincentivized to make goods. Oil is now
    way above the “death trap” value of $85/bbl.
    Even the talking heads on the biz channels see
    this trap and now they’re talking double dip
    for H2 2011. Given their usual over-optimism,
    I’d guess that Q2 2011 is when profit margins
    crap out and we double dip.

  338. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    “Skipping immunization for the kids, Trip? I oughta haul you before Child Services court.”
    Making friends again I see. I hope you’re joking, but if you’re not I’ll just politely reply that I’m all filled up in the fascism department, thanks very much. Maybe you could excommunicate me and in a hundred years or so realize that I was right and feel like the proper ass that you are.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but it ain’t your fucking business. I think immunizations are a lot closer to abuse than skipping them, but I’m not telling you what a piece of shit I think you are for sticking your kids 20 or 30 times with poison that is ineffective at best. Now am I?
    Tetanus is the only thing I can think of that needs lab medicine because Nature doesn’t seem to have an herbal cure for it. And we all get those if needed. Now fuck off.

  339. Bustin J December 22, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Swage proposed, “In my line of work, I see dozens of unwanted pregnancies, and, thanks to the crazy Christians, women seem to think that simply carrying it to term is their only responsibility.
    These women, and many low-life men, would be very willing to trade future pregnancies for a large cash sum.
    No coercion, no armed men, no draconian policies needed.
    Just good old US dollars.”
    How much $$ are we talking?

  340. Bustin J December 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Immunizations inform your children’s adaptive immune response, not their innate response. Herbs don’t give a someone resistance. Good luck finding effective acute care from an herbal gynecologist doula/hippie chick.
    The question in my mind is how you keep them ignorant enough as they age in order to keep them from thinking you’re not a selfish asshole? You think they’re going to thank you for decades of neglect when they’re sitting in the doctor’s office getting a booster at 21? Or are you just planning on them never finding out? If they make it, it will be despite your actions, not because of them.
    Or maybe you want a heart-stopping encounter for your children with the grim reaper.
    Hell if I had 2 children I wouldn’t waste them. I don’t think children are supposed to be redundant human beings just because you had two. You’re supposed to act on their behalf, in their best interests. You’re on a foolish crusade for no good reason, over the health of your children. For what?
    Plenty of tetanus just waiting in your new farm, ready to turn a human child into compost. And the halo of your virtuosity isn’t going to protect them. In fact, tetanus thinks halos are chewy and delicious.

  341. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    “Are you going to be near Macon still? Or on the other side of the Mountains like you wanted to be?”
    We’re actually 100 miles south of Macon, in Tifton, farther away from the mountains. My grandparents are here, my mother, my sister and her two children, my uncle and his two, and an aunt and her two 30 minutes away. This is where everyone gathers for the holidays. Talk about tribing up.
    And I’m really, really glad to be getting out of the ghetto. You were right. We did good things, and our work is being carried on by two cool people, one of whom is black, but I did not enjoy myself there.
    Now we have room and time enough to do some really cool shit. And we fully intend to. I commented to my wife the other day that we haven’t spent the first night in the new farmhouse yet and already we have more fruit trees and herbs planted than my grandparents. And they are big time gardeners. Give me a couple of years…

  342. Bustin J December 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Ozone howles, ”
    So, now we gots to get working on designing a diesel chainsaw that won’t shake a man to pieces running the damn thing! ;o)
    Whats wrong with running a chainsaw on ethanol? Nothing wrong with it.
    (Like I said before, people with real talent will gravitate to engineering crazy shit like this! A very exciting time for creative young’uns.)”
    Running a compression engine in a handheld tool? No thanks. There is probably a great reason why this hasn’t happened. Probably has something to do with weight.
    If the future is kind, jobs involving chainsaw use won’t be widespread. If Suburbia’s shrubs grow ever higher thats where the whine of chainsaws will be heard. Alongside the blowers. Love those blowers.
    Sure beats fresh air and tweety birds!

  343. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    “You’re supposed to act on their behalf, in their best interests.”
    I am acting in their best interests. 3.5 billion years of evolution haven’t been improved upon by a century or two of monkeys tinkering in the chemistry lab. Sorry. Our temperate Eurasian genetic code has built-in immunity to temperate Eurasian crowd diseases. We’re about to step back to horse pace, so I don’t see a lot of trips to the sunny tropics in our future. No malaria on my holiday wish list I’m afraid. And all this in a regional population small enough to immunize itself permanently against the biggies (i.e.

  344. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    i.e. under the 350,000 people required to keep an epidemic bug moving around.

  345. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    “Plenty of tetanus just waiting in your new farm, ready to turn a human child into compost”
    Apparently reading isn’t your strong suit either. I already acquiesced to the tetanus shot since Mother Nature doesn’t possess a ready remedy for iron-induced lockjaw. Get it? You’re picking a fight with yourself, jagoff.

  346. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    “The question in my mind is how you keep them ignorant enough as they age in order to keep them from thinking you’re not a selfish asshole?”
    All I’d have to do is show them your asinine rantings about subjects you apparently have no real comprehension of. Then, for the millionth time or so, they’d hug my neck and thank me for actually understanding science, and for having the balls required to buck a malinformed system against such mighty odds.
    Jonas Salk created a cult. And you are a rube. Energy descent will fix both.

  347. trippticket December 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Good night all! Plenty of important things to ponder…and lots more medicine to get into the soil in the new garden tomorrow.
    Hippocrates himself declared, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food.” Who am I to argue?

  348. Bustin J December 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    SJM51 says, “”
    That was, um…. interesting. Heres one for you:
    There once was a SJM-51,
    Whose habits looked that of a nun.
    she blew up at the noggin,
    And went off a’ bloggin’,
    And nobody had all that much fun.

  349. progressorconserve December 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Treasure What You Have and Be Careful
    Twenty dollars per gallon for chain saw gas may be truly cheap, on every level.
    The amount of energy stored in a tree is amazing.
    I was out sawing down a tree this afternoon. It was a forty year old, short leaf, mountain pine tree. It was a stunted, grim thing growing close to the house, probably 40 feet tall and 10 inches in diameter – full of rosin and about as hard and heavy as rock.
    It was leaning opposite the way I needed it to fall. I put a rope on it, took a come-along, and put some pressure on it to make it fall the way it needed to go.
    Innocent stuff – I’ve done it hundreds of times. My wife came out to watch and help drag branches when I had it on the ground.
    It was a windy afternoon. It was getting late and I was hurrying a little. It was a brittle tree. I had a sharp new chain on the saw – something threw off my timing.
    Long story short – this tree fell about thirty degrees off from where I intended for it to go. My wife was standing in front of a little picnic table in the yard. We’d been joking about the tree hitting the table behind her.
    In a millisecond things went wrong. The tree hit the table and broke it into the ground. My wife had to jog sideways out of danger. If she had not been paying attention, watching me and the tree, and able to run – in the best best case tonight – she’d be in the hospital.
    Worst case – by the Grace of God – did not happen.
    I just had to share this story with the thread tonight. Treasure those you love. Be careful out there.
    And, the next time I saw down a tree close to the house, I bet my wife will back up a little bit further. 😉

  350. Nastarana December 22, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Thank you. My point is that corruption of private ethics and morals, as evidenced by rising illegitimacy, increased rudeness and even violence in personal conduct are symptoms, not causes, of social decline. When the big players don’t abide by laws or commonly accepted standards of decency, others think they don’t need to either. Even worse, Wall Street criminals were for the last two decades, objets of emulation and envy.
    You are right about tariffs, an essential tool of statecraft.

  351. Nastarana December 23, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    You were intended to feel bad and start buying like a good little allAmerican consumer. I don’t know, but I would think it an even bet that the person was related to someone who owned or worked in an overpriced booteekee.
    In every town, in every workplace, we have been subjected to the soft tyranny of what I call the Conservative Cultural Conformity Police. You were simply not respectable, and therefore not employable, if you did not wear makeup, and last year’s color wouldn’t do, follow fashion, cripple yourself with high heel shoes. All intended to keep us buying junk we didn’t need with money we didn’t have.
    Ever wonder why workingclass women tend to vote democratic? Hint, it’s not because we get largess from democrats. It is because the bossy cows making our lives miserable are republicans!

  352. BeantownBill December 23, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    With regard to our current economic difficulties you are right on that it is the result of too much easy credit. But I have a fundamental difference with you on your attitude about its consequences to people who took advantage of that credit.
    I used to think like you, to my sorrow, that since people ought to take responsibility for their actions if they overspent, well, that’s their problem.
    It’s oversimplifying the issue. If people go see a lawyer, they tend to follow the lawyer’s advice. Why? Because lawyers are supposed to know what to do. They are the legal expert. The same goes for mortgage lenders and mortgage officers. If they tell you you can afford a loan to buy a home, well they ought to know. Plus they just showed you figures that prove it.
    So predatory lenders are in part responsible for the real estate bubble. Wall Street is even more responsible. It knowingly packaged and securitized junk quality mortgages that were AAA rated and passed them off to gullible investors like pension funds. That’s criminal. And who rated the CMOs the highest quality? The rating agencies who looked the other way for their Wall St. clients. That’s criminal, too. If Moody’s (to name one) said a given CMO was AAA+, why, they’re the experts, so it must be true.
    By securitizing and selling mortgages, the secondary mortgage market greatly opened up, which allowed lenders the ability to create loans for truly uncreditworthy customers. And these lenders could give a shit about how it would effect the borrowers when they got into trouble.
    LingLing, TZATZA, JimJim or whoever you really are, it would be nice if you would show a little compassion – that’s supposedly one of the things that distinguish humans from the rest of the snimal kingdom.

  353. Iona Laundramat December 23, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Tifton? Lawd Amighty! Son, I do declare you are now livin WAY down below the gnat-line! You evah come through Bacon County you’d best stop by fuh some corn bread, turnip greens, ham hocks, buttered beans, the works! And that’s a coat odor! Ain’t got no gay rats down here neithuh! Now turn off that lat bub and get some sleep.

  354. BeantownBill December 23, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Tripp, I know you’re gone for the night, so maybe you’ll reply later.
    You said:
    “Jonas Salk created a cult.”
    It’s funny you mentioned Salk because I was one of the original “Polio Pioneers” that got the polio vaccine as a test subject in 1954. One day in school, my class was herded into another room and inoculated. One batch of children was the control group, and another got the real thing. I was later informed I got the vaccine and was issued a special certificate, signed by Jonas Salk himself.
    Now, as an adult, I realize it was unconscionable, IMO, to inject young children with parts of a potent virus. But you had to appreciate the times. Every day in Massachusetts the radio announced how many new cases of polio in the state were diagnosed.
    I’m not sure how I feel about vaccine innoculations in general. I’ve never gotten a flu shot in my life, despite all the exhortations for me to do so. I do believe there’s something wrong about the concept, it just seems dangerous. On the other hand, it does seem to mostly work. But at what cost?
    I wonder to this day if some of the aches and pains I occasionally get have something to do with the polio vaccine (rather than aging), just as some people who got polio all those years ago and recovered, seem to have developed polio-like symptoms as adults.
    What do you think?

  355. BeantownBill December 23, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    Should be “animal”.

  356. tucsonspur December 23, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    Yes, the Howard Dean I have a scream, I lost a dream speech. That vocalization, once translated, embodied much of the human condition.
    It possessed no real guttural g-force if you will, decibel levels and all that aside. Instead, it was more of a shrill, hollow howl, simultaneously replete with false hope and enthusiasm along with the disappointment and embarrassment of a grand dream’s devastation.
    It’s subsequent reticulation and imprecation certainly disequilibrated Dean’s political future, along with the vote tally of course. He was exposed as being all too human.
    Thank you all for your informative and entertaining posts, especially those concerning the world’s racial realities.
    I retreat to the withdrawing room of an old year, and as for the new, “quo Fata vocant”!

  357. Bustin J December 23, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    Trip, just because there is going to be an energy descent does not mean we will live in the 19th century. Eliminating Jonas Salk from your home-school curriculum will not prevent them from ultimately realized that you were in fact putting their lives in God’s hand. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I is a crazy mo-fo?”

  358. LewisLucanBooks December 23, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Ibendet: Thanks for the compliment. Appreciated.
    I keep my head up and nose turned to the wind. To quote the signs outside the tent revival that rolls through here from time to time I try and read the “Signs! Miracles! Wonders!” I ask people questions and listen. I make the round of the blogs (Suburban Empire seems to have bit the dust.) Knowing full well that when the SHTF it’s all going to be a crap shot. As someone said about the civilian population of Europe during WWII, “You ran right, you lived. You ran left, you died. It was all luck.”
    Interesting you live in NYC. I’ve never been east of Minnesota, but I’ve always been fascinated with the Big Apple. I have a print of Georgia O’Keefe’s “Chrysler Building” on my bedroom wall. I recently realized that I’m in love with a NYC that no longer exists.
    “Millay in Greenwich Village,” Samuel Delaney’s “Time Square Red, Time Square Blue,” Frank O’Hara’s poems (I go here, I go there), Cadmus’ paintings and “February House.” The last is really interesting. In the late 1930s to about 1945 several interesting people shared a house over in Brooklyn. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Thomas Mann’s children, Carson McCullers and … Gypsy Rose Lee! Auden helped her with her mystery “The G-String Murders.” Later turned into a popular movie. Jane and Paul Bowles stayed for awhile.
    I’m sure there are things just as interesting happening in NYC right now, but I always seem to pick up on them in hindsight.

  359. lbendet December 23, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    LLB: Off the beaten path of this thread
    You could write a dissertation on that era of NY artists during a very vital time in history. Today the art community is more disparate without a real core group that you can point to.
    As the city has “gentrified” and become more expensive, it risks losing the creative people that have always contributed to the NY environment of experimentation and expression. I always said that if you make it too expensive for artists to live here, you’ll be left with a boring population with no other interest than making and spending money. The creative would then have to move to the outskirts, which many have.
    The other night I attended a calligraphy demonstration by a Japanese woman and her family at a gallery with whom I want to show my work with again. They have a good balance of East-West sensibility.
    The Japanese woman had studied calligraphy with a great master, but now is very free-form about her approach. Her large brushes, once belonging to the master were laid out on the floor along with watered down paints and rice paper. Ritual played a large part in her demo, she even sang (lucky for us she had a good voice). I was struck by the inherent integrity of the work, since she had such a strong background from which to draw.
    What I enjoyed almost as much as the demo was the people who attended. A mix of academia, the family’s marketing people and some real characters (I love characters). In the end I felt that the NYC I always loved was still there, after all.

  360. budizwiser December 23, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Please take a moment to share your comments regarding the content of the music video link below.
    A Country Boy Can Survive
    The way I see it, beyond the obvious stereo-typical conflicts that exist between the “city slickers” and the “country hicks” – this video really goes to the heart of a “mindless” portion of the US population that really does idolize farce over logic or reality.
    Please, just watch and listen to two minutes of the video, and tell what’s wrong with this picture? How would one go about creating an music video that pushes back at the ideas and content of this piece?
    Or continue banal rhetoric about race or women as necessary.

  361. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    J, why don’t you believe in the vaccines you tout so highly? If you and your children have had yours, what’s the harm in other people choose not to?
    Have a little faith in your decisions, my friend.

  362. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 10:27 am #


  363. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    If per capita resources are tightening up, aren’t we doing you a favor with our so-called ignorance?

  364. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown December 23, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    I don’t know, bud, that song and video always rubbed me the wrong way a bit. I live in the country, and I think most of the people I know here would like to think they are the “Country Boy Survivor” from the song, but the sad fact is most of them are as dependent on the Happy Motoring lifestyle as anybody else, only its even more sprawled and spread out, with folks driving their diesel duallies to jobs 50 miles away.

  365. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    “just because there is going to be an energy descent does not mean we will live in the 19th century.”
    I have no intention of living in the 19th century. I’ve collected all the wisdom of the past and compiled a pool of knowledge that I feel capitalizes on the best we’ve ever had on offer. The vaccination racket just doesn’t have a place in that picture in my opinion.
    Permaculture is, for all practical purposes, an attempt to retain as much first-world standard of living as possible in the face of a radically changing energetic reality. Not an effort to move back into the trees. I just don’t think you see the ecology of the situation clearly. This could get very bad very fast if we aren’t prepared.

  366. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    “but the sad fact is most of them are as dependent on the Happy Motoring lifestyle as anybody else”
    And point to a farm that produces actual food in any real sense of the word. Sure, they produce tons of #2 field corn, or soybeans, or tobacco, or cotton, or wheat, but they are every bit as dependent on the system as the rest of us. These things aren’t dinner; they are ingredients for processing plants.
    And modern farms are biological deserts too. They would probably require MORE rehab in the biodiversity department than cities and suburbs full of herbs, flowers, and vegetable gardens would.
    Corn is a nightmare for bees.

  367. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    “And that’s a coat odor!”
    I wonder how many of these Yanks can even figure this one out!
    You got it, Iona…

  368. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Bill, I think it’s horrible that they injected you like that as part of an experiment. Like this was Auschwitz or something. I’m sorry.
    But the reason I think the Salk vaccine created the vaccine cult that it did was because it was successful to some degree. That and Roosevelt’s prominence. Successful for whom is debatable – after all polio is a Eurasian crowd disease and most Eurasians should possess genetic immunity to it – but the successes were highly publicized I’m sure. Does a high concentration of Indians and black folks in the success column ring true in your memory? They certainly wouldn’t possess the genetic aversion to it.
    And here’s another kick in the pants for you. Even the flu vaccine industry, in it’s peer reviewed literature anyway, notes a mere 1% success rate from their vaccines. In other words, 99 people out of 100 are not helped by the shots whatsoever. And the deleterious effects are never reported. Surely they are higher than 1%, at very least.

  369. ozone December 23, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    “I just had to share this story with the thread tonight. Treasure those you love. Be careful out there.
    And, the next time I saw down a tree close to the house, I bet my wife will back up a little bit further. ;-)” -PoC
    Yessiree! Although the wife didn’t seem to worry a whole lot about me being up here [alone] murdering trees for about 6 months to get a road in and clear the site. Nothing within 35′ of the house. (I have but one desire when digging a cellar hole; room to swing the machine 360 degrees.) It’s usually not an option, but it was my place after all, and certainly no lack of woods!
    You’re absolutely right that things go wrong in the blink of an eye when cutting trees. I won’t even attempt it when there’s a hint of wind anymore, my odds are getting thinner. And I never get complacent about my “skills”, cause even after probably thousands of cuttings and buckings, ya just never know.
    …By all means; preserve the wife! ;o)

  370. ozone December 23, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    That’s right, Bustin, plenty o’ howlin’s up hyar of late. They’ve kept their distance so far, but I do believe they’re on the increase (coyotes).

  371. SNAFU December 23, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Howdy Wage, Per your post to Bustin J:
    “Perhaps your sexist eyes are unable to read female-produced ideas.”
    Agree it does appear that Bustin has psychological hang ups when it comes to human male female intercourse.
    “I suggest that we pay a substantial sum to people who voluntarily sterilize themselves.”
    Unfortunately we of the enlightened clans of the Earth have decided, via the prodding of TPTB, to pay substantial sums to ENCOURAGE the addition of new consumers at an exponential rate. How much is a substantial sum IYO?
    “Almost everyone I propose this too agrees that it would work.”
    Is this a mathematically rigorous statistical sample?
    “In my line of work, I see dozens of unwanted pregnancies, and, thanks to the crazy Christians, women seem to think that simply carrying it to term is their only responsibility.”
    Dozens/day/week/year? Current estimates are the Earth’s human population is INCREASING at roughly 2.4 humans per second. It is not only the christian women, their loony menfolk are just as hard over. However; so as to not irritate the true believer christians I will sweep all of the true believer religious cults into the same pile of ignorance.
    “These women, and many low-life men, would be very willing to trade future pregnancies for a large cash sum.”
    My non mathematically rigorous sampling of the human inseminators and incubators here in the NY Northcountry belies this contention. When I shop for my vitals at the Price Chopper in the local town, betwixt my farm and Fort Drum, it appears to me that every other couple dragging small human critters about with them are on Food stamps (now a debit type card), WIC or whatever other subsidized trough they can belly up to. What really burns my ass is when I climb into my 1993 E350 with 370,000 miles on it I observe many of those on the dole human pro-creators climbing into their 2005 and newer SUV’s.
    “No coercion, no armed men, no draconian policies needed. Just good old US dollars.”
    So your premise is that the US can afford to bribe every swinging dick on Spaceship Earth to voluntarily stop having human offspring. In a word, BULLSHIT! Perhaps you think that if the US controls the US population that will correct the overpopulation problem for the entire Earth; again, BULLSHIT! Bustin J and I see eye to eye on this point; non voluntary sterilization via food or drink additives for every swinging dick on the planet. Sperm frozen in LNG can be stored likely for more than 100 years, plenty of time for normal human attrition to radically reduce the the Earth’s human population to rational levels.
    Is this an easy concept to embrace? Fuck no if it was easy the human species would not be facing the high probability of extinction in the very near future (roughly 100 years). Fucking around the edges is a waste of time because humans have evolved with a highly pleasurable mechanism to assure procreative survival, FUCKING! Now that we (well a few) have recognized that unrestrained human procreation is going to culminate in no humans and not much fauna larger than a cockroach left on Earth when we gasp our last, it is time to use that highly vaunted brain. Thinking as did Genghis Khan is not a rational concept, we cannot all add to the gene pool and think the Earth can support all. The IEA estimate that peak oil occurred 2005/2006 ought to have been the wake up call; WHERE THE FUCK IS IT? WHEN IS IT GOING TO OCCUR? Global warming renamed “climate change” what more evidence is needed to illustrate downplaying of critical problems by TPTB?

  372. wagelaborer December 23, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    I have seen that video before, and it’s a farce.
    Look at the good ol’ boy sitting on a fossil fuel powered boat, singing about how independent country folks are. Ha! Wait until he has to start rowing!
    Who provides the ammunition for all those guns? Where are they going to get gas to haul their fat asses around on their four-wheelers?
    Skin a deer? Yeah, that’s why there are deer processing places in every town.
    The pathetic truth is that these guys really do think that they are independent, that they in no way depend on society for their needs.
    That’s why they vote Republican, also.
    And two little old ladies in a church in Anna, a small town in Southern Illinois (Ain’t No Niggers Allowed), were brutally attacked by a good ol’ boy with a hammer. They were almost killed.
    The paramedics said that they’d never seen injuries so bad, except in car wrecks, of course.
    Of course. The carnage from car wrecks in an accepted part of American life, while we fret over “terrorists” behind every tree.
    Anyway. That video is kind of scary, because those boys DO have enough ammunition stored to make a good start on their killing sprees.

  373. wagelaborer December 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Well, SNAFU, I pulled a number out of my hat and came up with $6,000 for women and $5,000 for men.
    Most people are living hand to mouth and that would make a difference in their lives, while being nothing compared to the cost to society of providing medical care, schooling, DCFS services and the rest.
    The rest of the world is not under our control, and Americans account for the biggest destruction of our ecosystem, so I think that we need to concentrate on ourselves.
    You may not realize this, but most people get sterilized eventually anyway, from my admittedly non-scientific experience.
    Even one of the women with 9 kids who I wrote about in my blog is now sterilized.
    I think that my idea is feasible.
    Your idea. Not so much.

  374. BeantownBill December 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    You really think the media of that time would care to expound on whether the vaccine had an effect on blacks and Indians? Nah. I don’t remember any mention.
    Concerning flu shots, I wasn’t aware of the 1% effectiveness rate, but it doesn’t surprise me. My parents dutifully took their annual shots; my father never got the flu, even before he started with them, but I remember my mother caught the flu a couple of times after getting immunized. I’ve always believed it was because of the shots. Anecdotally speaking, if my parents were typical, then I guess that particular side effect rate was 50%. And there are other side effects, too. Given that the influenza virus is highly mutable, immunizations seem a waste of time.

  375. trippticket December 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Do you think they’ll get pissed off when I tell them that my style of food production doesn’t rely on government entitlement programs like theirs does? No price supports, no school lunch programs to buy their leftovers, no fossil fuel subsidies, no…

  376. budizwiser December 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    So if one accepts that the US social landscape is so diverse as to include the possibility that there will never be a popular consensus for preparing for Peak Oil, or any perspectives that suggest the need for national cooperation for progressive actions: how does this affect some one like JK, or you or me with respect to our individual opportunities for maintaining life-styles compatible with comfort and sustainability. {take that Fauknerian sentence lovers}
    In other words, if there is little or no chance of developing political will for progressive governmental actions at a national level, how does one go about identifying individual or locally based strategies?
    Do you have a favorite commune? Is it comfortable? Sustainable?

  377. wagelaborer December 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Also, you, like many people, assume that people have kids for the AFDC money and food stamps.
    The women I referenced in my blog, with close to 30 kids altogether, don’t get any money for those kids, since they are taken away at birth, or shortly thereafter.
    Food stamps are a kind of agricultural subsidy, medicaid is a health care industry subsidy, rent help is a landlord subsidy, etc.
    Very little actual cash actually flows into the breeders’ hands. They are mostly a conduit to keep certain parts of the economy going.
    $6,000, on the other hand, (or whatever it would take), is real money.
    And I think that EVERYONE should get it, not just the poor. Although most young people fall into the “poor” category.
    It shouldn’t be targeted at the poor, because rich kids actually use more resources than the poor anyway.

  378. The Mook December 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    That song is basically right on when you are talking about forty-plus hicks. The people who say mobs of hungry people will be invading home gardens are probably right, but these thieves are in for a rude awakening when they stop at a logger/hunter/mountain man’s garden. But for a more accurate look at the new generation of hicks, who are much like their city cousins, please listen to Hank Williams III’s tune, titled: Crazed Country Rebel. Your probably best to stay away from these guys too. In conclusion, I’d say that song rings less true every day.

  379. The Mook December 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    They have tons of ammo. The deer processors are for the city boys who come up to hunt. I never saw the video so I was speaking out of whatever they say. Ignorant? Anyway it’s no different than all these shrieking females singing about love. They are like Michael Jackson when he was five singing about heavy petting.

  380. Buck Stud December 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    We should only be so lucky to have some of that arcane 19th century technology readily available. Typical of the “Advanced Man” mindset, many think it is more difficult to forge ahead innovatively and acquire new knowledge than it is to recover wisdom and technology from the past. I’m not so sure about that. In many ways, it is harder to go back, just as it is more difficult to recreate the fleeting period or act of genius. Ask any improvisational performer to make an inspired moment or creation happen again and they’ll ask you why you think they’re God.
    So how will the 21st century former Cubicle Man respond when his last shovel breaks in the midst of TLE.? Will he finally break out his copy of The Classic Period of American Toolmaking 1713-1930 ? What will he do when he discovers the very wide gaps between the lines of information that only the oral tradition can fill? Will he Google the dead from their graves and demand an update? Too many old souls took their wisdom and knowledge to their graves because Cubicle Man deemed it too anachronistic to bother.
    As an aside, my grandfather told me his mom used to light candles on the Christmas tree while his father stood nearby with a wet cloth to douse the tree before it caught on fire. That was the Christmas tree light show. A momentary spectacle to be sure, but one that the lively and aware nervous system, devoid of constant electronic media bombardment, might have appreciated.

  381. The Mook December 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Merry Christmas to all. I am going to Ft. Lauderdale now. I hope that thing that used to be out up here, is out down there. Feel free to use my shovel while I am gone.

  382. progressorconserve December 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Interesting choice of music video for us to analyze, Bud.
    I’ve always enjoyed the song, always will. I had never seen any video appended to this particular piece of musical artistry until you flagged this one to our attention today.
    The first problem is that the video does not match the lyrics. Unless I overlooked it, there is no buck-skinning or trot-line running in the video.
    Beyond that, neither the video nor the song is attempting to address energy descent or peak oil in any manner. The song was released in January 1982. At that time – interest was up and the stock market was down. Also there was some concern building that New York City was a fearful place and that our right wingers and the Ruskies were going to conspire to destroy civilization, ANYWAY.
    Point is, 29 years ago was a different time in America. And there have been more *survivability* built into country boys, as a general rule, three decades ago – than there may be now. The reasons for this may be worthy of future discussion.
    Wage is correct that we’ve now got a bunch of people running around in fantasy land and voting Republican – who probably wouldn’t hold it together for a week if the lights went out and the food stopped flowing.
    And it’s a sure thing that there were approximately 100,000,000 (WOW) fewer persons living in these United States back then. That alone will change the equations of survivability – peak oil – peak food, and a whole peak bunch of other things.

  383. wagelaborer December 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    I read somewhere that some Chinese immigrants were starting to return to China.
    And that we now have fewer Mexican immigrants than before.
    It is true that a lot of that growth from 1982 was immigration.
    How many will stick around for the collapse?

  384. Cash December 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I’ve said the same thing about ludicrous house prices in the Toronto and Vancouver area. I’ve also been laughed at as a naysayer and rube. Everyone “knows” real estate always goes up. Well I guess my fellow Canucks kinda missed what just happened in the US and kinda forgot when we had a property bubble 20-25 years ago in Toronto that blew up with disastrous consequences. I was working for a property developer at the time so I saw the entire debacle unfold from up close. So now we’re doing it again. We never learn. And yeah I regularly crack up when I hear that debt levels are supported by increasing asset prices ie “wealth”. Sure it is.

  385. progressorconserve December 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    SUAFU and Wage –
    Interesting little dispute, guys. And you two are more or less on the same side, in comparison to the bulk of humanity.
    SNAFU, I’ve said twice now that I’d be on board with your idea if you could figure out how to pull it off. You have not yet addressed the sociopolitical or the PRACTICAL aspects of implementation, at least in the 1/2 year that I’ve been on le thread CF.
    This leads me to envision (this is humor, now, so y’all laugh out loud, LOL) stealth bombers rigged with aerial spray rigs, overflying the populous regions of the globe like crop dusters – at night, under the radar, and supersonic. What kind of aerodynamics are associated with a spray rig, anyway??
    I’m afraid that the sad fact of the matter is that we will have no control over the globe unless we can implement something in our own country first. America has always lead by example, not coercion.
    Now, say there are 50,000,000 women in the US of child bearing age. (I think women are the target audience for some obvious reasons – but someone can try to change my mind.)
    At $5000/sterilization that only comes to $250 billion. And that’s a ONE-time expense.
    And it’s less than we spend on the BushII wars, the BushII tax cuts – and many other ill-advised things, that are on a RECURRENT BASIS.
    Now, I’ve got to go saw up some more trees. I swear sometimes it seems like those things are growing!

  386. wagelaborer December 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Our local weekly paper used to publish a local historian, talking about local history.
    One time she quoted from a journal of the 1880s, I believe, and they referred to a local family known for its stupidity and brutality.
    Hey! I know some of their descendants!
    And one time, when they hit a deer with their car, and I pointed out that state law allowed them to eat that deer, the man of the family scornfully told me that he had no idea how to butcher a deer.
    I’ll bet his grand-daddy did!

  387. LewisLucanBooks December 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Well, I suppose a country boy can survive, if they get their ass out of the Walmart and back to the woods.
    Looks like where I live except we get more rain. And, all that glaring. Don’t see much of that around here. I used to hang with a bunch of country boys. I just kept my mouth shut and listened. Learned a lot. I thought of them as the Cracker Barrel Boys. Mostly real nice, but there was one or two that I thought of as “snakes.” The ones I hope someone puts down immediately after TSHTF.
    Oh, and all those 4-wheel drives, ATVs and motorcycles? When gas gets short or too expensive, they’ll make great planters for the front yard.
    Another thought? There’s money in media that polarizes.

  388. LewisLucanBooks December 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    “…swinging dick…” reminded me of a conversation I overheard between two 20-something white trash boys. The ones that when they move they have this odd strut. Easy to spot.
    Neither had a vehicle in evidence or brought up in conversation. Once they got past body-building in their one-upsmanship conversation there was only one place left to go. The one with eight kids trumped the one with only six.
    So, sterilization? Not when the little social currency they get is from breeding. Won’t fly.

  389. Cash December 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    I agree with you that Roosevelt was determined that Nazi Germany was going to be defeated but not over the dead bodies of US servicemen if he could help it. Meaning he was happy to let the USSR and the Commonwealth do the fighting. So, until Pearl Harbour and Germany’s declaration of war on the US, Roosevelt pretty much sat on his thumbs and gave all aid short of help. He looked after the interests of the US as he saw fit.
    As far as the length of time it took to get the invasion of Normandy going, they had to move gigantic piles of equipment and men and German U boats were sinking ships during one stretch faster than the allies were building them. The Canuck navy was responsible for getting convoys across the pond and pretty much made a mess of it. We started with a miniscule navy in 1939 and within a few years built it into a force made up of hundreds of ships. But there was a really long ramp up and in the meantime the u boats ran circles around us. It was a close run thing.
    Stalin also bitched about the length of time to get the thing done but I don’t find fault. For one thing the US, the UK and the other allies were democracies more sensitive to casualties than the dictatorships in Germany and the USSR that drove slave armies headlong into suicidal charges, especially the USSR. Stalin had absolutely no respect for human life whether it was German or Soviet. Toss up in my mind who was worse, him or Hitler. But the allies didn’t have too many chances to do it right and couldn’t be so careless with their soldiers lives because their respective publics would not tolerate it especially since the slaughter of WW1 was such a short time before. The long and the short is that the USSR bore the brunt.

  390. progressorconserve December 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    OK – baking bread – wife gone – trees will have to wait a while
    You referenced “glaring,” in the video. I had to go take a second look. That’s not glaring, man.
    Them’s just my peaps. That’s the way us white folks look when we’re trying to look like we know how to survive. 😉
    Or more accurately, that’s what hired actors and actresses try to look like when they are trying to impersonate rural white folks trying to look like they are trying to survive – or something.
    You are correct that there’s money in media. And polarization sells.
    Makes me want to go take another look at some of that gangsta killa rap. If we could help some of our “lost youth” understand that those stone cold eyes in those things are really the eyes of hired actors who are PAID to glare.
    But let’s not stop there. If we could help some “lost adults” understand that Beck, Hannity, et al are really paid actors – instead of leaders –
    Man! This get’s complicated in a hurry!
    Merry Christmas

  391. lbendet December 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Charles Hugh Smith posted an excellent blog today:
    One of his best—Really worth a read:
    The Last Christmas in America
    Great analysis on how the economy and oil have effected each other since the mid 1970’s.
    [Reagan] …. heralded a “lower taxes, higher permanent deficits” ideology that is now accepted as the norm: deficits don’t matter, even when they reach the trillions, because our good friends the Gulf Oil Exporters and Asian exporters will buy all our debt forever and ever, keeping interest low forever and ever.
    Why anyone would count on that is beyond me…

  392. Bustin J December 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Bill o’ Beans says, “I wonder to this day if some of the aches and pains I occasionally get have something to do with the polio vaccine (rather than aging), just as some people who got polio all those years ago and recovered, seem to have developed polio-like symptoms as adults.
    What do you think?”
    Trip? Let me fill in for Trip. He thinks modern medicine is a crock of shite and prefers the alternative system that survives on the placebo effect and the gullibility of people to voices of authority- especially when they’re hurt and scared. So naturally, your polio vaccine caused your current symptoms. The bad doctors did it.
    BTW, modern medicine (which changes in response to facts and findings) is quickly moving toward a consensus that “Age” is not a symptom- of anything. Aches and pains have rational causes and happen to all sorts of people besides venerated elders. Go talk to an M.D., or several. Then go get a hot stone massage from your local heavy-breasted hippy chick. I guarantee you’ll feel better.
    Trip says, “J, why don’t you believe in the vaccines you tout so highly? If you and your children have had yours, what’s the harm in other people choose not to?”
    I believe in the vaccines, I’ve had all my shots. Whats the harm in other people choosing not to? It depends. Its an issue that means more to you than to me, after all, I don’t have any ego investment in your children. To me, they fade into the abstract population number. How could I explain the relevance to you?
    Diphtheria was common and killed many people between 1850-1950. Vaccinations provide the adaptive immune system with a chemical signature that ensures that their specific antibody response is appropriate for that chemical signal. Without the signal, the adaptive immune system has no antibodies at the ready, and, because response is contingent on the physical limitations of cell division and replication, it can take up to a week before the immune system has enough antibodies to kill the invaders. The mortality rate in unvaccinated people is high because the virus is very quick.
    First, it attaches itself to the lining of the throat, penetrating those cells.
    Then, it makes a potent bacterial toxin which destroys neighboring cells, leading to more food for the bacteria to use to multiply.
    Because the bacteria can replicate so quickly and produce so much toxin, it usually kills within 5 days, too late for the immune system to mount a defense.
    Death is characterized by the lining of throat turning leathery, prolonged and acute agony. All the while, the victim is highly contagious.
    Its in the environment and people are exposed all the time. Practically no one experiences symptoms because they have been vaccinated. You could give your children Diphtheria, but they could not give it to you.
    The question of the welfare of children is interesting to me because their is much ambiguity on the topic. Without a doubt, children are the most-abused class of people in our society, the ones who have the least recourse when asserting their civil rights, and so, there is a social imperative to protect them. If your kids die for your beliefs it won’t be the first or last time, unfortunately. The Law has held parents accountable in some cases but the burden of proof is difficult to account for.

  393. BeantownBill December 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    BTW, just today I read that the placebo effect is helpful, even if the subject knows they are getting a placebo.
    I’m not against modern medicine. I’m not a dogmatic anti-medical establishment person. I just think that there’s a lot of other factors present in medicine besides efficacy of treatment, such as politics and making money, among others. You have to take these into account when obtaining medical help. To blindly accept whatever doctors throw at you is dogmatism as well.
    I also knew someone would bring up the diptheria vaccine. Should have known it would be you.
    Think about this: Just because some vaccines do work, and over large numbers appear to be a net benefit to the population, doesn’t mean all vaccines do more good than harm. Medical treatments often produce clinical side effects only after years have passed, and the efficacy of some treatments and procedures can only be determined years later by statistical analysis.

  394. BeantownBill December 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Age indeed is not a symptom, but it does produce symptoms. Medical science states that aging is a real phenomena and apparently has a variety of causes, like unraveling of teleomeres, cosmic ray mutation, oxidation, etc.

  395. dolfen December 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Unfortunately the “rotten to the core establishment” has thoroughly smelled the place up with its continued insistence on manipulated banking, finances and fossil fuels. To assure their continued dominance over the masses they have once again robbed the middle class of any accrued power they may have had by structuring the current financial collapse. In doing so the oligarchs have moved trillions of dollars of wealth that accumulated from the middle class to the upper 1% who brazenly yet stealthfully continue to destroy the underpinnings of a true democracy. Congress is populated with their minions and there is little hope unless a true third party arrises. Thomas Jefferson is said to have stated that we need a revolution every generation in order to assure that our democracy remains vital. A third party could be that revolution. I’m afraid from what I can ascertain the Tea Party movement allowed itself to be corrupted and used by the very forces that want the status quo continued. So what’s to be done?
    One would be to look for viable alternative energy production sources. And I’m not speaking of those espoused by Dr. Chu of The Dept. of Energy which is nothing more than a front for the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. Invest in these new emerging technologies and level the playing field by removing unfair depletion allowances and other unjust supports to have for years kept a dirty energy production system from any competition. Another would be to demand total transparency in all financial dealings from banking to the stock, bond and derivatives markets. Crank up our education system so it once again produces world class graduates in mass. Rework the federal tax laws so they favor building a strong middle class without consuming ourselves into oblivion. Favor businesses that put people on the bottom line and do it in a manner that fortifies the environment as opposed to destroying it. All these things and many more will not happen under the current administration or with those that are in Congress.
    Its time for a revolution. Its time for a third party that will represent the bottom line – the people. Its time the sleeping masses wake up. Its time to take re-establish the democracy envisioned by our forefathers. If not now, when?

  396. ozone December 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    “Well I guess my fellow Canucks kinda missed what just happened in the US and kinda forgot when we had a property bubble 20-25 years ago in Toronto that blew up with disastrous consequences. I was working for a property developer at the time so I saw the entire debacle unfold from up close.” – Cash
    Hmmm, did they happen to be in the loo when that metastasized? ;o)
    You’re right; if there’s somethin’ for nothin’ being offered (um, a fraud), the past is not to be mentioned or peeked at.

  397. ozone December 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    “…deficits don’t matter, even when they reach the trillions, because our good friends the Gulf Oil Exporters and Asian exporters will buy all our debt forever and ever, keeping interest low forever and ever.
    Why anyone would count on that is beyond me…”
    Ahhhh, they will [and we wil count on it] because we just want it to be Pretendpretendpretend-don’twakemeup.
    No wonder opiates are in such fulsome demand in the good ol’ usofa, eh?

  398. ozone December 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    “Age indeed is not a symptom, but it does produce symptoms.” -Beans
    I’d say so! Ultimately, the worst side-effect/symptom of all! ;o)

  399. Vlad Krandz December 23, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Check out this selection of revolutionary music from South Africa. No glaring – just relaxed, happy hatred of Whites. Great footage of Mandella singing a kill Whitey song. Also footage of Whites singing kill Whitey songs. Is there no limit to the degredation of our People?

  400. progressorconserve December 24, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    Catchy tunes, no doubt.
    If you search for degradation of any race – I am sure you will find it.
    Then check this out.
    I had no idea there were still white people in South Africa. But I was misinformed. Whites are there and continue to thrive.
    Video shows that 20% of the country is white and whites control 87% of the income and assets.
    There is also an active white supremacist party in South Africa. And a white separatist movement thrives there – raising the question to me – to where would they separate themselves?
    Looks like plenty of Hell wherever you look, Vlad.
    There are also surprising amounts of Peace and understanding to be found on the surface of our tortured old Planet – including in South Africa.
    Maybe it all depends on what you are looking to find.
    Merry Christmas, Vlad.

  401. Bustin J December 24, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Trip growled, “I already acquiesced to the tetanus shot since Mother Nature doesn’t possess a ready remedy for iron-induced lockjaw. ”
    It didn’t? News to me. Were you aware that requires a booster every 10 years? How old’s them chillun? What about yourself? Whens the last booster you’ve had? Dying to know, dying to find out.
    Trip pointed to the sky and said, “If per capita resources are tightening up, aren’t we doing you a favor with our so-called ignorance?”
    Per capita resource tightening up doesn’t mean we have to die. We have to grow brains.
    Trip also professed, “I have no intention of living in the 19th century.”
    False! You are a subsistence farmer who distrusts “science”. Ipso facto, you live in the 19th century. (I assume you are reading this on a newsreel.)
    Trip commiserated, “Bill, I think it’s horrible that they injected you like that as part of an experiment. Like this was Auschwitz or something. I’m sorry.”
    Beano is goddam Hero! By the way, aren’t you doing your own experiment on your own children? Playing chicken with single-celled organisms?
    Trip also kicked us in the pants without a condom on, “Even the flu vaccine industry, in it’s peer reviewed literature anyway, notes a mere 1% success rate from their vaccines. In other words, 99 people out of 100 are not helped by the shots whatsoever. And the deleterious effects are never reported. Surely they are higher than 1%, at very least.”
    Yeah. I didn’t take the vaccine this year either. The fact is, you’re lucky if you catch the flu and die from it. Unfortunately, it happens enough to be a real, albeit small chance. Even more remote if you’re in the most “robust cohort”. Even then, though, the flu could kill you if you were going down with diphtheria to begin with.
    The question of the effectiveness of vaccines and their suitability is a good one. I give this year’s CF Nation 2010 Most Important Poster to you, Mr. Trip Ticket. Lets have a round of applause. >klap

  402. trippticket December 24, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    J, with this post you can consider my half of this conversation to be over.
    I am a scientist, how ’bout you? I studied tons of biology, chemistry, physics, and anthropology in college – fairly well rounded you might say. Which admittedly could have something to do with my belief that the future belongs to the generalist. Me!
    And so far that seems to be holding up. Just this week I’ll be moving from a 1/4 acre urban ghetto plot with an old busted house into a big 3/2 farmhouse on 300 acres to help the owners transition from industrial cotton production to something a wee bit different. Something a little more appropriate for the future. They saw a talk I did back in November and felt an ideological connection to my philosophy. And it obviously has nothing at all to do with the higher-energy, higher-tech, hydroponic, vertical, protein paste nonsense that you seem to hold weekly religious services to promote.
    Good news is, energy itself will guide the transition. Energetic realities won’t really care what you or I believe will happen. The new ways of our contractionary future will unfold as they wish, with or without our approval. Only thing we can hope to do is adapt appropriately. For my part, I see the intimate correlation between natural systems and human systems, and since I believe humans are a natural biological population like any other, and subject to the same energetic tidal movements, I believe that we will obey the natural order of things, just like yeast and rhinos. Whether we like it or not. I also believe that the insane amount of free energy we’ve had access to for the last 7 decades or so has produced most of the problems we see around us in society today, just as excess energy in the garden creates disease and pestilence.
    So I view my relationship with the biosphere from a completely different angle than you apparently do. Every time I take a step down the energy mountain I find my constitution to be healthier, happier, and more resilient. It’s nothing like a step backwards; it’s an amazing step forward every time. I hope you can feel that one day. Save for a rainy day? No, rainy days are paydays. Days when we can sit on the porch, have a cold one, and watch the garden grow. Life as you understand it isn’t a given. It’s just your mental construct of the world. And to be frank, I hate it. I’m glad it’s ending. I’m glad I’m not subject to more of your set’s control and brow-beating. You may be excused from the table now.
    To clarify, one last time, my position on vaccines, my children have had the tetanus/pertussis vaccines, because my extremely extensive research on the subject suggests that they are the 2 most destructive problems for which we have limited ability to fight in more natural ways. I stretched the truth a bit because I’m not certain that we should even do that, and I don’t want to be a bad example to anyone. We are exposed to most germs most of the time, and robust immune systems are the only way to remain healthy. I know how vaccines work. You aren’t enlightening me. You’re just annoying me. And you haven’t changed my mind about anything because you haven’t presented me with any novel information. That’s when science evolves, and scientists too – when we incorporate novel information.
    If you could take home one thing from my philosophy I would make it this: that peak oil = peak exploitation, and the planet began to recover the moment we traversed the peak. And by planet I mean humans too. I can tell that you aren’t beyond peak in your own life because you still operate from a growth perspective. That’s as plain as Barack Obama’s ears. When it really hits you it will change you for the better, forever. In more ways than you could ever imagine.
    Bon voyage!

  403. Cash December 24, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Tip ‘o the hat to you. I’ll bet just there’s you and a hundred other people on this continent that can still make their own clothes.

  404. Lisa V December 24, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Excellent post.
    This temporary break out of nature due to chip energy is over. It was like a jump: high but not much moving ahead. And now we are lending and continue our journey. Humans will have to recover natural skills or learn them anew. I don’t believe there will be much harmony among humans, but at least there will be harmony between humans and nature. After the chip oil is over – there would not be anything that can rape the planet at a scale we did in our “glorious” decades.
    Of course if we don’t blow up the planet before…

  405. Cash December 24, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Merry Christmas to all.

  406. wagelaborer December 24, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    OK, you agree that the nuclear family is not the best way to organize child-rearing, and I agree that sexual freedom doesn’t lead to political freedom, or vice versa, as expected by those in the 19th century. I also agree that turning children over to the state to raise is not ideal.
    Must be a xmas miracle. We agree on 3 things.

  407. wagelaborer December 24, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Thanks, Cash, but someone else made the fabric, the thread, the pattern, the sewing machine and provided the electricity.
    I was not self-sufficient!

  408. Eleuthero December 24, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    I think you busted Bustin’s chops in
    the most gracious sort of way. Nicely
    Bustin J is a “scientist”, in my opinion,
    in the same mold as Doctor Strangelove. 🙂 🙂
    In this second Dark Ages, science itself
    has devolved and we look to it as our new
    God … including worship of pseudo-sciences
    like MEDICINE.
    I think you’re absolutely right that the germs
    for nearly all pathologies are in the air all
    of the time and a strong immune system is the
    only real defense against those microbes. And
    good food and clean air enhance one’s chances
    greatly in the process of strengthening that
    immune system.
    I’m glad to hear that you’re out of urban blight
    and into a wonderful piece of land all your own.
    Merry Christmas!!

  409. SNAFU December 24, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    “So, sterilization? Not when the little social currency they get is from breeding. Won’t fly.”
    Voluntarily hell no. That is why I propose involuntary sterilization.
    I hear tell that folks in pseudo democracies, such as the USA, appoint (in theory elect) smaller numbers of folks to be authorities for the governing of all the folks under the auspices of such pseudo democracy. So goes the theory all must follow the rules (laws) laid upon the land by the authorities. We all know that is a crock of shit. Therefore my premise is a food/drink additive (perhaps a genetically engineered modification to the growing of) that would eventually get to even the “special” folks in society.

  410. Eleuthero December 24, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I think the yearly flu vaccine has always
    been a bit of a scam. It usually contains
    more than a dozen (somewhere around 15)
    weakened strains of recent flu viruses.
    The problem is, of course, that it does
    NOT contain strains that have mutated or
    brand new strains. Moreover, the carrying
    agent for flu and other vaccines, thimerosal,
    contains mercury and the link between that
    substance and autism is by no means resolved.
    One would think that a causal link to autism,
    whose incidence has SHARPLY increased, would
    at least make the pharma industry PAUSE until
    there is total resolution on the issue. As
    is often the case, the CDC is waffling on the
    issue. I always thought “safety first” is a
    more scientific frame of mind and not “let’s
    pretend until we prove”.

  411. Buck Stud December 24, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I think there is a lot to be said for “the Generalist“ as Tripp mentions. The following article touches a bit on this, specifically the entrenchment of modern day ‘Guilds”. I don’t agree with much of what the author writes, but the comments are tremendous:

  412. lbendet December 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    “I always thought “safety first” is a
    more scientific frame of mind and not “let’s
    pretend until we prove”.—E.
    Welcome to the world of no regulation and profits to the enth degree. That’s what happens when government is no longer the watch dog, but the agent of big pharma.
    Just to change the mood—Want to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

  413. SNAFU December 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Well Wage you have castigated others on this blog for failure/inability to read so I won’t do same to you; but I will point out that I was not suggesting the use of existing medical procedures to accomplish the massive sterilization program I am suggesting.
    “Well, SNAFU, I pulled a number out of my hat and came up wit