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Bank Shot

     The banking authorities were shocked – shocked - to discover last week that an awful lot of mortgage paper in this country is not quite in order… appears to contain, er, irregularities… seems less than kosher… frankly, exudes an odor like unto dead carp or, shall we say, a heap of dead carp the size of the building at 3900 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. Any day now we will hear that… mistakes… were… made. 
     Is it indelicate to say that the USA as an enterprise has its head so deeply and firmly up its ass that the all the proctologists alive on planet Earth could not extract the collective cranium from the collective cloacal chamber even with the aid of a Bucyrus-Erie 1060-WX bucket-wheel excavator? Like, where were we the past ten years? Surely not everybody in the nation was doing bong hits while playing Grand Theft Auto, or watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey, or downing tequila shots and Percocets in the parking lot of the Talladega Superspeedway, or cooking meth in the family room, or whacking it to Internet porn, or searching for “excitement” in one of America’s 450 commercial gambling casinos. 
     Did nobody, for instance at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, review any of the paperwork fluttering in from places like Countrywide or Ditech and scores of other boiler rooms where mortgages were hatched like Peking ducklings?  There was an awful lot of it, I’m sure, but aren’t there a lot of seat-warmers at Fannie and Freddie who collect their salaries for the express purpose of reading mortgage documents? Was nobody the least bit suspicious about the mysterious flurry of “restaurant employees” and “lawn-care technicians” buying million-dollar condominiums with no money down at terms that would make a three-card monte dealer weep with laughter? After all, they had to sort and bundle all these contracts for the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan and Citibank – the list isn’t that long, but you get the picture….
      And speaking of these august institutions, didn’t anybody in the divisions charged with assembling complex securities composed of mortgages, or composed of bets against bundles of mortgages, or composed of some notion of something dimly related to a rumor of mortgage lending – didn’t any of these expensively-educated chaps or lasses pause a moment in their aardvark-like labors of bonus-seeking to withdraw their snouts from the moist ground where swindles pupate and at least goggle in self-admiration at the fantastic legal novelty of their endeavors.
     And what of the numberless agencies, federal on down, starting with, say, the Office of Thrift Supervision, or the Comptroller of the Currency, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, or the chairpersons of a dozen senate and house subcommittees on matters related to finance, or the various inspectors general from sea to shining sea or the attorneys general of all fifty states plus the US Department of Justice, or the countless fiduciary officers of the pension funds who tripped over each other buying all the tainted paper churned out like so much Purina Rat Chow – or, for Godsake, a lonely loan officer here or there with something resembling a conscience?
     Nobody in the USA noticed anything the least bit fishy. And now all that epic rot has eaten through the last hanging tendrils of the banking system. And the whole shootin’ match is fixing to seize up and blow like a Chevy Big Block Super Stroker 632 engine that some clown has poured karo syrup into.
     But, sadly, I can only return to the trope of cranial rectosis. And when your head is in such a dark place, it’s hard to see the truth, let alone tell something you can’t even see. And sadly too, the truth is that this ghastly mortgage fiasco was a fraud that the whole nation perpetrated on itself in a tragic rush to get something for nothing. Since the failure of authority is complete, it’s now up to nature to act as the arresting officer. She’s a harsh mistress. She’s going to kick our ass. 
     I’m sorry, but I don’t see anyway out of this. With fraud absolutely everywhere in our banking system, like some advanced metastatic cancer, financial metabolism comes to a sickening stop. Nobody can buy or sell property. Nobody can trust any American financial institution. Money can’t circulate. Nobody will be able to get any money. It won’t be long before that translates into nobody getting any food. We may be a nation of clowns, but as Lon Chaney famously observed a while ago – when explaining his technique of horror movie-making – “…there’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight….”
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About James Howard Kunstler

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

544 Responses to “Bank Shot” Subscribe

  1. asoka October 11, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    First!

  2. asoka October 11, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    JHK said: “And sadly too, the truth is that this ghastly mortgage fiasco was a fraud that the whole nation perpetrated on itself in a tragic rush to get something for nothing.”
    This is a direct attack on capitalism. What is someone doing when they “buy low, sell high”? They are doing absolutely no work, producing nothing of value, and hoping to get something for nothing.
    The stock market is just legalized gambling.

  3. Tony1790 October 11, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Unfortunately, this pending crack up will be yet another reason to have a bail out, the only problem is now that the Fed is #2 holder of government debt, how long before the #1 holder gets tired of this sleight of hand and cuts off all “real” credit? At that point, with the only buyer of our debt being ourselves, then isn’t the currency totally worthless and will we be able to buy anything on the open market (oil, foreign goods, rare earth metals)?
    I’m going to start drinking, I think.

  4. Laura Louzader October 11, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Actually, Kunstler, MANY people noticed, very early on.
    Many of us commoners noticed, though no one would ever heed some person who only wanted a decent home yapping about prices escalating beyond affordability. Little did I know that it didn’t make any diff whether or not I could “afford” it according to the rules I grew up with.
    And many “experts” noticed. Paul Volcker noticed early on, and issued dire warnings which went unheeded. So did Elizabeth Warren and Kevin Phillips and many other prominent financial people.
    But there were too many people having too good a time, on every level. All the secretaries buying $300K condos with IO loans (I actually KNOW these people) and the guys setting up loan shops here in Chicago and staffing them with former waitresses, to do cash out refis on 3-flats and loans to buyers for 6X their income. As soon as a new mega-highrise went on sale in the South Loop, flippers would take out blocks of 20 or even 40 condos with no-down IO loans, to flip. Most of these flippers had no assets or credibility, and oftentimes no jobs. Real estate agents and mortgage brokers never made so much money, and you didn’t need an Ivy League degree to participate and really clean up in a very short length of time.
    But that’s the story of our whole credit-based economy for the past 35 years. We in the G20 countries have run on delusions fueled by debt creation for the past 35 years, and everybody really senses that the minute we come to, we aren’t going to feel good at all.

  5. ctemple October 11, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    Fifth!

  6. Bigus Dickus October 11, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    As a hindsight junkie, I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s history books. Doh!

  7. Pulelalo October 11, 2010 at 1:36 am #

    Jim, Years of great posts, and wonderful writing, but lately you seem to be losing focus. I suggest you pick up a copy of Michael Lewis’ THE BIG SHORT as it provides a detailed explaination of how this mortgage mess happened, and frankly continues to unfold. I believe your extended time on the Road is wearing you down and you are becoming just a bit hysterical. Perhaps the Witch of Hebron has cast a spell on you.

  8. mika. October 11, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    Thieving lying fraudsters. That pretty much sums up what most Americans are all about. The whole fscking country is one giant thieving enterprize. When you point this out, there’s no shock. Just some mumbling of a resignation. Because people know. They always knew.

  9. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    A colleague of mine is an English teacher.
    He reports that on essay assignments the
    predominant theme of students, from Gen-Y
    to Boomers, is that morality is for
    “suckers”, that beating the other guy to
    the punch bowl is what life is all about.
    In all of human history, such attitudes
    come very, very close to the end of such
    civilizations and certainly augur their
    collapse. The comic irony of the weird
    materialism of the YOUNG is that their
    largesse has all been dumped in their
    laps by stupid, spoiling parents and they
    appear to believe that God will simply
    keep those Benjamins coming to their wallet
    from some cosmic Mummy and Deddy without
    their having to be competent at ANYTHING
    and, of course, without their having to
    have a code of ethics.
    Our bankers merely echo the corruption of
    our population. It’s ordinary and normal
    for the citizens of various Gomorrahs to
    look for people who have “robbed” them
    while they, themselves, secretly envy the
    robbers and wish to be robbers rather than
    robbees. Envy produces the greatest anger.
    E.

  10. SoylentGreenAU October 11, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    This is astounding stuff to follow. I wonder if our situation in Australia is “different” as many here wish it to be or not?
    On my wage I can’t even dream of buying a house, a modest house. I can barely afford my 2 bedroom 1960′s era apartment rent. The median price is 10 times my salary. That can’t be good.
    “And sadly too, the truth is that this ghastly mortgage fiasco was a fraud that the whole nation perpetrated on itself in a tragic rush to get something for nothing.”
    That sounds a little like what is happening here.
    Not that it matters. The Mushroom cloud of financial woe will drop it’s fallout everywhere.
    Nobody here wan’t to talk about it. It’s all good mate!

  11. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    Dear Soylent,
    As my posts convey, we’re in a global
    Dark Age. It’s not localized to any
    country or any single institution in
    any country. It’s really like a
    “Gomorrah-fication” of the world.
    Hence nothing makes sense.
    A moderate home in America (and I presume
    Australia, too, in better times) used to
    be 2X the household income. Now, homes
    that sell for 4X household are considered
    to be “bargains” yet as recently as the
    1980s this would have been considered
    bonkers.
    It’s all due to the idea that even necessities,
    like a roof over your head, are “commodities”
    that should be sold to the highest bidder. It’s
    the “Las Vegas-ication” of the entire world
    economy.
    If the Depression was any indication, we can
    all expect hard economic times to lead to
    more scams, more unaffordability, and more
    privation. You see … the developed world’s
    sociopathic CEOs feel that all of us workers
    ought to be happy living at the same level
    as a Chinese peasant. Of course, their own
    standard of living is protected. Their
    companies lose money so they fire a thousand
    soccer moms and increase their own salary.
    What used to be stark embezzlement is now an
    “executive perk”.
    E.

  12. eightm October 11, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    There is a new line of thought emerging recently that says that the generation of people who were born – lived from 1950 to 2000 was the exception, a quirk case of “better future”, “stable employment”, “increasing wealth”, etc. and we shouldn’t expect it to be that way anymore: that all of the history before and all of the history after that time was and will be dominated by poverty, uncertainty, no health care, pensions, jobs etc.
    This is a typical right wing – conservative – protect the rich and don’t give anything to anyone who isn’t a superstar, or who somehow “deserves it” ideology based on a form of resource scarcity myth: there is not enough health care, jobs, houses, etc. for everyone. The 60s – 70s are over, that was an exception, expect to be poor and not have anything anymore.
    And everyone is easily buying it, really believes that we have all these debts, that health care must cost oh so much money, that there is not enough for pensions, that there is not enough houses, everything must increase in price, colleges must cost ever more, etc. They are all brainwashed in all of this BS, they all approve all this BS.
    This is false, the truth is the exact opposite, there has never been a time of greater wealth, excess capacity, technology, know how, etc. and possibility to give the basics to a very small amount of humans, only 10 billion which is nothing at all compared to how how much wealth and productive capacity we have sitting idle.
    This wealth, this possibility to give everything to everyone was achieved by the application of Science and Technology towards production, this is the end result, the success of 100 years of Research and Innovation and Services and trillions of dollars invested worldwide in knowledge that have finally achieved the goal to give all to everyone (while they always talk about more research and innovation, the real problem is to distribute equally the results we have achieved, otherwise what is the talk of research and innovation all about anyways ?)
    But we have a cave man right wing thug ideology that wants everyone to believe that we have all these huge debts, that there is not enough wealth and jobs for everyone: bottom line is if you don’t give the free salaries and cheap rent homes to everyone, the rich will just hog it all up, that money isn’t going to go anywhere better, so either it is distributed to all or only a small minority will rob it.
    We need free salaries, cheap rents, high quality homes, free health care and especially HUGE SCALE PROJECTS THAT EMPLOY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. It is much harder for all those unemployed to sit idle 8 hours a day instead of working towards a common goal. People want and need jobs, they are not lazy slobs.
    And even if there is a minority who wants to sit at home and watch TV all day or play video games, well guess what ? an entire industry employing millions is based on other millions being idle and consuming movies and TV and video games. We have had enough of this “hard work”, “you are lazy”, “you have to earn it and deserve it” BS and guilt complex, because if there weren’t millions of idle people consuming, entire industries would not exist and millions more would become unemployed.
    Another myth is democracy (attacking the Chinese with nobel prizes), so the idea is you can all fight amongst each other as long as the basics and what really counts is not guaranteed : jobs, health care is optional but you are free to fight and argument all your different views and lifestyles, what a ripoff.
    And also we fight absurd wars, we fight wars with one hand tied on our backs, we have to be careful to be “good” and not kill “civilians” in Afghanistan: when what we should do is either carpet bomb the whole country back to the stone age (and give them democracy) or just get out, like the russians did, since they knew that you can’t win a war there.
    We need huge government – and private company conglomerates creating huge planet size and solar system sized projects hiring millions for things like billions of skyscrapers on Venus, billions of giant ocean liner ships and zeppelins all across Jupiter and Saturn since they are ocean – gas planets.

  13. eightm October 11, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    Either we are fighting and working against nature, on conquering it or subduing it or we will end up fighting each other as in war: the huge excess capacity we have and so many unemployed will discharge this capacity in wars if we don’t start huge projects.

  14. bubblesthecat October 11, 2010 at 5:54 am #

    The American psyche will choose warm fuzzy action over strict fiscal response to the financial mess they’re in. Palin will be voted in as the next president because she will been seen to be fighting for the continuation of the cheeze doodle economy. Her policy platform will consist warm fuzzy Oprah type screaming and not one one person in the mainstream media will be allowed to question it or want to in the vain hope that she can fix it which she cant because she’s dumb just like you. The mortgage crisis happened not due to fraud it happened because those in charge simply were out of their depth.

  15. SoylentGreenAU October 11, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    I totally agree Eleuthero, Totally, with everything you said.
    I guess my post was trying to point out that we are no different. The scam has a different accent down here, and maybe a few skewing influences like the resource boom, but the end will be the same. Booms go Bang.
    What frustrates me completely is the cost of marginal land here. The going rate seems to be around 1000 bucks per degraded and useless acre.
    No creeks flowing through, nothing, no trees even.
    Just a dust bowl waiting to happen. I and my wife would like to leave all the madness behind. But we have no debt, but no capital either.
    I used to have a prime mortgage, before things got stupid, but the ex fixed that( I’m better off now with a good wife though). I refuse to even contemplate buying any land/homes at current prices.
    Perhaps if you can time it right it would be good to get the ideal bug out block(even sub prime loan), who is going to come and collect when TSHTF? Then grow food.
    Good luck guys. We are all going to need it.

  16. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    “What frustrates me completely is the cost of marginal land here. The going rate seems to be around 1000 bucks per degraded and useless acre.
    No creeks flowing through, nothing, no trees even.
    Just a dust bowl waiting to happen.”
    From what I understand, land in Australia was priced in English rates of the day it was settled. Never mind that fertility is far lower down under, or that the population density has never been anything like that of England. Or, like the US, that the whole of the continent was already occupied by indigenous people.
    As a permaculturalist I talk to Australians regularly, and some of the brightest stars in Australian permaculture own farms so affected by decreasing rainfall and increasing salinity that they are actively looking to expatriate as we speak.

  17. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 6:35 am #

    JHK said: “could not extract the collective cranium from the collective cloacal chamber”
    Just a point of scientific clarity here. A “cloaca” is different from an anus. An anus expels only solid waste material (typically), and implies the existence of seperate plumbing for the liquids. A cloaca is both in the same vent, like a chicken has, or a sea cucumber.
    Perhaps you’re suggesting that your countrymen are some sort of lower life form, devoid of standard primate pipework?
    Anyway, nit picked.

  18. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 6:41 am #

    “didn’t any of these expensively-educated chaps or lasses pause a moment in their aardvark-like labors of bonus-seeking to withdraw their snouts from the moist ground where swindles pupate and at least goggle in self-admiration at the fantastic legal novelty of their endeavors.”
    Aardvark-like labors of bonus-seeking?
    Classic.

  19. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    “The documentary, like so many IFC movies these
    days, seems to glorify freakishness as an end
    in itself.”
    My mode of thinking has changed so radically in the last 2 years, and I’ve become so confident in a worldview that is so novel, yet so broadly appealing, that when I see these freakshows with their tattoos, piercings, crazy hairdos, and off-the-wall motorcycles/Pokemon VW bugs/whatever, that I have to ask my wife, ‘what exactly makes these people so different?’ ‘What part of their worldview makes them that unique?’ ‘Do they have a story that’s actually worth hearing?’
    My guess is probably not. Nothing to see but a storefront. You want radical let’s talk about the current transition from agriculture, linear scarcity, and sky gods, to horticulture, cyclical thinking, and pantheism.

  20. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    Your post puts paid to the idea that there
    are any “utopias” out there. Among my
    intellectual friends, one of the topics
    of the day is the idea of a hidden Shangri-La
    … a “hiding place” that no one else has
    discovered. I’ve long maintained that
    everyone might as well stay put and the
    words I’m hearing from Aussies, South
    Americans, and Europeans is that ALL of
    these places are degrading socially and
    ecologically and economically.
    It’s good to hear some straight talk from
    an Aussie about the difference between
    reality and hype. Australia is not really
    a good place for a boom given that the only
    sustainably habitable places are the cities
    at the extreme rim of the country … maybe
    ten percent of the total acreage of the
    country. Yet it has been much hyped along
    with N. Zealand as a safe harbor. I guess
    not … and it shouldn’t surprise the
    realists on this site.
    Also, I think McLuhan’s media-created “global
    village” is here with the net result that
    people the world over are getting very similar
    sensory inputs from the same screens. This
    leads to world homogenization and the creation
    of a planet full of consumer androids.
    Sure, there are still regional differences due
    to leftover historical and cultural traditions
    but the new, postmodern, mass-media, meme-based
    cultures are getting more and more like each
    other and less and less idiosyncratic. I see
    that at the school where I work where the
    immigrant Chinese, Russians, Vietnamese, and
    Indians seem to be vying to see who can
    “out-American” Americans.
    They learn very quickly how to be mad dog
    capitalists with tattoos and entitled
    attitudes. The tragicomedy is that this
    “learning” is coming just before an era
    which promises to turn all of us into
    Aborigines and NOT several billion Warren
    Buffets.
    E.

  21. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    You’re right … they do NOT have a
    coherent message worth listening to.
    Rather, they just have highly
    individual personal stories which
    highlights their “victimhood” and
    narcissism.
    It’s the Jerry Springer phenomenon on
    a massive scale. It’s like our new
    culture’s message is: “If you’re an
    axe murderer, a perv, or a cheap
    provocateur you’re entertaining but
    if you’re a great thinker, a great
    writer, a great scientist, a great
    engineer, or a great musician, you
    are a crashing bore.”
    Look at the way the media have made
    a hero out of Mike Tyson. I mean, this
    dude has been on dozens of talk shows
    and has been given roles in many sitcoms
    because being a thug is way, way hip and
    tres chic. The man beats up on women and
    old people so, the thinking appears to go,
    he must be fascinating.
    Loudness of being has been turned into a
    religion. Even Rome was never this fucked
    up. That’s why I see the human race going
    through a keyhole because the current degree
    of self-absorption destroys people’s ability
    to have relationships and the sheer lack of
    cooperation guarantees lack of survivability
    at scales even as small as a neighborhood.
    Selfishly … I just hope I’m pushing up on
    daisies before the inevitable occurs. Maybe
    EightM is right and there’s enough of everything
    for everybody. However, even if he’s right
    (I don’t believe it myself), you need critical
    masses of competent, strong, noble people to
    carry out the equitable distribution of all
    these goods, services, and entitlements that
    might service ten billion people. I see
    humanity, on the whole, heading in the
    opposite direction from competency and
    nobility of spirit/character.
    E.

  22. welles October 11, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    let’s talk about the current transition from agriculture, linear scarcity, and sky gods, to horticulture, cyclical thinking, and pantheism.
    nice one trippy. y’all folks seeking fertile land, we got plenty fer ya here in brazil, just plant, sit back and watch it grow, then sell. i recently spoke to the seller of a 15,000sq.ft plot with a humble 3 bedroom house (spartan by our standards) who wants $20k.
    just a fer instince…
    with a piece of land like this, you can grow and sell:
    1)sugarcane
    2)bananas
    3)organic eggs,chickens,chicks
    4)palm trees for the palm hearts
    5)sweetsop fruit
    6)anything else that grows
    best thing is u just “set it and forget it”, plant and walk away, hardly any tending necessary
    far as i know this stuff doesn’t degrade the soil either. plus you’ll provide some work for the locals, great way to do the boy scout thing of leaving a site better than you found it.
    just sayin…
    oh trippy, i too have come to the conclusion that i’d rather worship trees than some man from the middle east (tho’ i really like that jesus fellow), trees i get, they give me everything and i love them, plus i see, you know, “His” fingerprints all over nature [except crocodiles are the devil's spawn lol].
    for those of you who can’t sleep well, get a passion fruit and blend it superwell, drink, sit back and enjoy the soundest, healthiest sleep you’ll naturally get.
    welles out
    ps jhk writed reel well this week finly, but big fukkin DUH ennywun with a brain knew this was the case, and PLENTY of smart honest types forewarned this calamity, see peter schiff, ron paul etc, and you Left-Right fools stop yer yappin’ how it’s the Progressives/Republicans whose folt it is, yer just being played like a cheap violin, corruption knows no Party.

  23. Unconventional Ideas October 11, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    And when people don’t get food, they starve and, well, we all know the next step.
    Perhaps it’s now prudent to make peace with mortality if we haven’t already; to live meaningfully and with a conscience; to make the lives of those around us happier.
    Whatever we can do before the tsunami hits…

  24. nothing October 11, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Jimbo! Relax. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. We offer several free college degrees that you can print out and display proudly. You will like our economics diploma from the Zoloft School;
    http://www.thenothingstore.com
    All our government commissars have such degrees.

  25. radman October 11, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    This post merits consideration for a Nobel Prize for Literature. Keep ‘em coming!!

  26. Desertrat October 11, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    “We need huge government – and private company conglomerates creating huge planet size and solar system sized projects hiring millions for things like billions of skyscrapers on Venus, billions of giant ocean liner ships and zeppelins all across Jupiter and Saturn since they are ocean – gas planets.”
    Huge government got us into this existing fiscal mess by enablement and encouragement of the bankster gang. And it’s given us the TSA and other highly-efficient units.
    You’d have it get involved with huge projects? The millions who would be hired would be working for the government, consuming money–not working in the private sector, producing wealth. Your projects would take decades just for the Environmental Impact Statements.
    And we don’t have the money, anyway. We’re not just broke, we’re bankrupt.
    Lastly, from indifference I’ll concede “right wing”, but you mis-characterize small-c conservative quite horribly. FWIW, not many small-c conservatives are much affected by this present fiscal kerfuffle–except for the government-induced consumer price inflation.

  27. ssgconway October 11, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    I smiled at the loveliness of the prose used to describe such ugliness. Yes, the whipa** is coming, as Kipling told us it would in “The Gods of the Copybook Headings.”

  28. lbendet October 11, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    More Park Sausages, Ma!
    The situation we find ourselves in is the result our collective delusion called deregulation and free markets. Our big export to the world other than war is financial “services”. Don’t forget we screwed the global economy not just our own. It remains to be seen how they will extricate themselves out of this disaster capitalism we’ve been pushing.
    We’ve created very intricate sausages of CDO’s which have not been sorted out or absorbed back into the economy. This also applies to a model of manufacturing where the cheapest labor determines where parts are made globally.
    It’s no wonder to me that the bankers didn’t bother to examine the particulars of the mortgages they were handling. We’ve got cultural ADD and you’ve got people who can’t concentrate on reading anymore. Ever notice how many mistakes people make in the medical industry for instance. If you’re not right on top of all the details, you’re screwed.
    Last night 60 Minutes had a great segment on the super computers which are now running the stock market and how the market crashed for a few moments last spring. The little guy doesn’t stand a chance in this environment where a mere nanosecond can make a difference whether you can make a killing. There are winners in this game, and they’re always the same players (GS etc).
    So the toxic assets are just lingering in the background, being kicked down the road until it can’t be anymore.

  29. ffkling October 11, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Wow, “Welles”, you present quite a different picture from the Brazil I recently saw. As we flew over Brazil at night all we could see was fire burning from horizon to horizon as the land robbers slash and burn/bulldoze virgin forest just as fast as they can to make way for cattle ranches (after a few years of fertility, the land is abandoned and then used for marginal purposes like cattle) and monoculture palm oil plantations. Have you traveled to the north of Brazil lately? Prolonged drought as a consequence of clear cutting all surrounding forest is now the new norm and presents a vision for the future as the Amazon basin is converted into a dust bowel.

  30. Phillyboy October 11, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Does anyone know where I can get a used Bucyrus-Erie 1060-WX bucket-wheel excavators?

  31. popcine October 11, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Visitors to this site will also be interested
    in a couple of postings currently found at
    http://www.321gold. com.
    The Moriarity piece is a legal opinion about
    foreclosures. Foreclosure consists of the owner
    of a mortgage asserting a claim. If the owner
    cannot be named, nothing can be done. Well, there
    is no owner! Securitization means a lot of people
    with little tiny ownership interests. The origin
    of the problem is years and years ago. They tried
    to put the name of the registry that kept the records as the owner, but this is a falsehood.
    Ordinarily, Congress would change the laws to let the banks escape. But there’s an election coming up; Obama’s trying to figure out how to be a champion.
    The essence of the problem is that title must be somehow reestablished. What a mess! This really is the end. The major banks could be extinguished by this, which would be light at the end of the tunnel, so let’s hope.
    The other piece is by Gonzalo Lira, who describes the point of view of some real-life homeowners, who got the run around from the HAMP program for their underwater home, and then a letter from the bank with no signature or contact. These are people who want to do the right thing, for whom the only practical and reasonable action left is to simply stop paying.
    This author also described, based on his experiences in Argentina, how hyperinflation begins. It is a cascade of fear that could start in a single hour. Specifically, a run on US Treasury bonds. This is important, you really should see this:
    http://gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-hyperinflation-will-happen.html

  32. MoneyMouth October 11, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    ” Any day now we will hear that… mistakes… were… made.”
    JHK, you used the “Past Exonerative” !!
    The Past Exonerative is quite popular among politicians and bureaucrats.
    I first heard of this new grammatical “voice” while listening to one of our regular commentators on a Vermont Public Radio program.

  33. ffkling October 11, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    And what happens to those tribal communities who refuse to sell their Garden of Eden in exchange for a Toyota pick-up, shotgun, and chain-saw? They are simply massacred. I saw a report on ABC News “Nightline” about the murder of an entire tribe with only the bullet ridden old chief and two old women to survive, but at least they managed to kill eight of their attackers in the process. The land baron who financed this tragedy remains free- I wonder why? My God, has greed so infected mankind that nothing is off limits?

  34. newmoon October 11, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Jim, both this week’s and last week’s post were brilliant and hilarious. Thank you for doing what you do. I look forward to your posts every Monday.

  35. doomster October 11, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Reminds me of the “build-up” to the invasion of Iraq. Everyone letting media commentators do their thinking for them and avoiding any consideration of logic (like how, for example, a military that didn’t even control the north of Iraq could attack the U.S.) The build-up to the mortgage crisis was less obvious and the acceptance of it was even more complete.

  36. welles October 11, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    wrong, most of those fires caused by dry conditions and lightning. sure theres forest thieves doin’ their thang, but that 1980s the amazon’s dying hype….mostly overblown…lots of reforestation going on here, you’d think the same of the US if you overflew california or jellystone during their annual fire festivals. media loves to paint it black tho’ ain’t it so, and more fun that way….
    ain’t no mad max dustbowl happenin’ here, come see for yoseff

  37. tzatza October 11, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    “What is someone doing when they “buy low, sell high”? ”
    There are two sides on each trade, moron. That is how it works. You are such a fucking simpleton, on so many levels it is astonishing.

  38. MisterbadExample October 11, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Jim–
    Yes of COURSE people knew what was going on. by late 2006 the steam had gone out of the housing boom and the Wall Streeters were pulling away. Then came Magnetar in 2006, and they bought up the riskiest parts of the mortgage market while betting that the debt obligation bonds would fail. By late 2006 ‘everyone was in on the joke’. And this is the part that turns the housing downturn into an economy-eating monster.
    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/sites/all/play_music/play_full.php?play=405
    The NYPD doesn’t have enough black-and-whites to hold all the Wall Street miscreants who should be perp-walked for this.

  39. tzatza October 11, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    “And everyone is easily buying it, really believes that we have all these debts, that health care must cost oh so much money, that there is not enough for pensions, that there is not enough houses, everything must increase in price, colleges must cost ever more, etc. They are all brainwashed in all of this BS, they all approve all this BS.”
    Ok, fucking genius, so tell us, where is the money? Who is going to pay for all the shit you think people are entitled to?

  40. denker October 11, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    What time do I have to get up – to be first¿
    I want to be first…
    FIRST!!
    ———————-oOo———————-
    Not that you’ll read post no. thirty odd, JH Kunstler, but every SIV (Structured Investment Vehicle) was sealed with the stamp of approval of a rating agency. Fitch, Moodys or S&P.
    These were by no measure inexpensive stamps. Risk assessed by PhD tauting actuaries; these bundled spectrums of crap to mediocre mortgages; PLUS insufficient mortgage guarantee insurance; metamorphosed SIV’s into top grade stuff! Relied upon by the BUYERS (the BUYERS literally and figuratively, bought the crap!)
    The buyers saved themselves a few pennys in the dollar, to rather rely on the seller’s agent!
    A BIG MISTAKE!
    GEEZ, these BUYERS where the super duper asset managers, earning commission and performance fortunes handling other peoples’ money.
    Why would they bother?
    Yet even a tremulous meth addict knows not to trust the seller’s hype. LET THE BUYER BEWARE – never accept the seller’s agent. You don’t need to go to Harvard to know that?
    But that overlooks the other half of the SIV scam – the mortgage guarantors were corporations owned by the SIV selling banks! To the buyer – the product was insured/guaranteed. …and nothing could go wrong.
    They had to be, to be removed from the selling banks balance sheet. They had to be, for the banks to comply with BASEL II. They had to be, to comply with strict banking regulation.
    But banking regulators failed to see that mortgage guarantors had to be totally independent of the selling banks.
    The banking regulators stuffed up!
    In this manner, ENRON was the microcosm to the SIV macro global market collapse. For sadly the regulators did not learn from ENRON.
    So be it.
    Not to worry, in twenty years time, when this is all sorted out, and everyone has forgotten to continue laughing at the US – China will rule, and to the world, most of this will be a faint memory.
    A simple regulatory error.
    A pithy mistake…

  41. ffkling October 11, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    You must be living on another planet. I spend almost half the year working in South America and the wave of mass extinctions now occurring in Brazil and around the world is well documented. Anyone who doubts the loss of rainforest need only to look via Google maps. We are now living in the midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction Event-more plant and animal species are going extinct now than at any other time since the die-off of the dinos 67 million years ago. No amount of prayer, denial, or technical cornucopian hubris will change the reality of the situation. Regarding “reforestation,” who will reforest the intricate web of biodiversity that previously existed? Check the facts with The National Academies of Science.

  42. Lost-in-North-Dakota October 11, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Purina Rat Chow?

  43. tzatza October 11, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    ” The banking authorities were shocked – shocked – to discover last week that an awful lot of mortgage paper in this country is not quite in order… appears to contain, er, irregularities..”
    Not really, Jimmy. they weren’t shocked one little bit. But they acted shocked and you bought into the act. What is going on now is the “paper irregularities” are allowing the banks to avoid having to write down the losses held in their portfolios.
    Here’s how it works Jimbo. The banks and the rating agencies said houses were worth “X”. Turns out they were not. They were really worth ” negative X”. Now borrowers are defaulting. The banks are being forced to take possession of these homes and sell them at a loss. The paper losses that everyone has been talking about are becoming actual losses. These actual losses must be reflected on the banks books. That does not bode well for bank stocks.
    By saying there are “paper glitches” the banks can slow the process down. They are trying to buy time. But you have been fooled into thinking that slowing down the process is good for homeowners and bad for banks. It is no such thing. It is exactly the opposite because until housing costs can fall to a level where they begin to sell again, our economy will remain frozen.

  44. denker October 11, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Soy le Entgre Enau
    In OZ you hang upon the thread of Rudd’s bank deposit guarantee. But if rates climb, as they will, defaults will overwhelm that grand governmental gesture, and once that wall is cracked, the flood will spew forth…
    And the Rudd guarantee only has worth while resource prices remain high.
    So hold your breath, house prices will plummet, and if, after that, you still have some cash saved and a job, you’ll pick up housing bargains from Bondi to Wagga Wagga …

  45. alohavagabond October 11, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    JHK – you still have it wrong, just like last week This isn’t like you. There is a good story here, but you haven’t said a word about it. This is a procedural issues with the foreclosure process, and has NOTHING to do with what is in the mortgage file. Of course, you know this, but you haven’t mentioned it. Why? Just doesn’t fit the story line?

  46. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown October 11, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    And the whole shootin’ match is fixing to seize up and blow like a Chevy Big Block Super Stroker 632 engine that some clown has poured karo syrup into…
    Great writing this week, thanks. I had no idea that those big blocks were up to 632, I quit paying attention around 472 or so… that’s just crazy ridiculous, but I’d expect no less from the clown-nation, moonlit or otherwise.

  47. budizwiser October 11, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    JK – kind of phoned this week’s post in?
    Oh well, not to worry – part of the big picture is that the “picture” is just so god-damn big and complex that all the little pieces just go along with it – either because they are making money off of it – or too stupid to see how “it” will eventually affect them.
    Coming home from a long bicycle ride last night, I stopped at a convenience store for a radioactive burrito and a half-quart of gatorade.
    Watching the store’s clientele stop in for their fix of gas, beer, smokes and lotto tickets – I was reminded instantly of what the “rest of America” was doing while I was cycling all day.
    One women, who sat in her GMC Suburban with a handful of lotto scratch-offs continued to let her rig idle as she strained to read the cards by dome light.
    Remarkably, she had gone through so many cards that she reentered the store to cash-in for some more scratch-offs and perhaps another dollar.
    Meanwhile some “immigrants” huddled at the corner of the store with bigger plastic grocery sacks filled with who knows what.
    Looking across the gas-pump islands – it happened that not a single compact vehicle or smallish sports car was fueling. All in all – in the fifteen odd minutes I was there, at least five cases of beer and several hundred gallons of fuel pumped.
    Another great day in America.

  48. networker October 11, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    tzatza, I am pretty sure that Jimbo knew the bankers weren’t actually shocked. You seem to have misread his satire.

  49. bigview October 11, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    “…there’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight….”
    Oh the Horror, the Horror.

  50. Barter4Booze October 11, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    Just in case anyone might not have a Bucyrus Erie bucket-wheel excavator readily in mind:
    http://tinyurl.com/392mgot

  51. george October 11, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Wasn’t DiTech a get-rich-quick scam dreamed up by a bunch of former executives over at the former General Motors, now affectionatly known as Government Motors?

  52. ozone October 11, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Laura,
    Sure, most of us who had no “vested interest” in the flipping saw the huge dangers of overvaluing and bundling (plus the commodification of every-fucking-thing).
    But guess what? “We” had no credibility BECAUSE we were yelling warnings. Those who stood to make the most out of this massive fraud control all the outlets of “information”. What do we expect to hear from these outlets?
    This is what JHK is intimating. All the institutions of “legitimacy” are false fronts and frauds. Yep, they’ve overplayed the hand. How the “little people” ultimately respond is the big factor that these institutions dread pondering.
    There really should be no wondering on the “why” of our descent into a secret police state. (Two “benefits” here: Satisfied authoritarian yahoo asswipes [good Germans]; and oppression and silencing of “wrong-thinkers”.)
    They’d better keep the food (cheez doodles) comin’ though! Be a heap o’ troubled without that.

  53. Al Klein October 11, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    The behavior of the financial crowd is very easy to explain. It’s not that they are stupid or are unable to understand. It’s because they are utterly amoral. That, frankly, is the consequence of the curricula of today’s B-schools. They have been taught to make decisions in a moral and ethical vacuum. Lying and cheating? Only a problem if you get caught! And getting caught is the consequence of not having the right connections: there is no connection between getting caught and actually having done something wrong. However, one could say that the financial crowd made one big mistake. They were so good at implementing their schemes that they have actually wrecked the system! They have “worked” the system to death.
    It will be interesting to see the outcome of all of this. Remember – the financial mess is not the only issue to concern us. We have peak oil to contend with. Perfect Storm? Maybe.

  54. Nickelthrower October 11, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Greetings,
    As I’ve written before, I provide media services to Fortune 500 companies and various government agencies. I spend my days sitting in resorts with the most powerful people in the world. Usually, I’m forced to sign non-disclosure agreements as the Ceo’s, CFO’s, CIO’s and the Senators and House Members meeting with them are not keen on having their discussions made public.
    Well, luckily for you Deutsche Bank didn’t have me sign such an agreement.
    So, I spent the last three days listening to companies pitch to hedge fund managers. These were not small companies but names everyone here would instantly recognize. The pitches were coming from the CEO’s or CFO’s of these companies.
    Three things surprised me about this meeting.
    All companies (at least the 20 or so I listened to) grew their profits since the crash of ’08 and did so by decimating their workforce. These guys do not pull any punches at these meetings and made it clear as to how they obtained their profits. Second, all of them plan on continued growth regardless of what the greater economy has in store for us. Third, all the presentations I listened to made it clear that the job cuts ARE PERMANENT.
    See, the efficiency forced on these big companies is seen by these guys as a blessing. All of them went on and on about innovation and technology and other labor saving tricks that will keep down labor costs.
    So, everyone that thinks that the labor market will pick up again if things “return to normal” is really mistaken. These guys have learned to live without so many workers and the growth that is demanded (absolutely demanded) by the big investors will not allow for an expanded workforce.
    It is Game Over for the service industry worker.
    Oh yeah, on Saturday I did a one day conference for a government contractor that specializes in security matters. Can’t say who it was but you guys are gonna love the Police State that is being planned for you at the moment. Let me just say this: there wont be much of a need for prisons anymore. . .

  55. Paul Kemp October 11, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    The message I get from this week’s reading of the Kunstler tea-leaves is that we are a civilization about to die of extreme over-complexity. In the bureaucratic warren that is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the wage-slaves minds boggled at the bullshit they were paid to shovel — and they fell back on pursuing their own selfish pleasures, rather than looking at the Big Picture (which is what they were being paid to do).
    It’s a hard life being a bureaucrat. From the outside, it may look like the perks, pay, and vacations are good, but the work of dealing with all the inane paperwork is hard on a worker-drone’s psyche. They don’t live long in retirement, from what I’ve seen of the frustrated U.S. Forest Service folks I’ve known.
    So, yeah, I agree we’re about to experience a breakdown of most of what we’ve come to depend on: our medium of exchange, our system of division of labor, and most importantly, our food production and distribution system.
    The question is, “Are we prepared for it?” Are we going to go on avoiding the questions of where to go and what to do to avoid the chaos that is impending?
    I enjoyed “budiswizer’s” vignette of the folks handing around the convenience store, letting their big rigs idle while they frantically scratch off lottery tickets, hoping to find salvation. That’s pretty much the picture I get of a society in denial — that doesn’t see what’s about to hit them.
    When the SHTF, we had best be ready. Check out my new video about preparing your health for the day when we have no more health care system:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Roaminnose

  56. erikSF99 October 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Thanks. Makes the JHK’s post that much better.

  57. San Jose Mom 51 October 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Eleuthero,
    You couldn’t pay me to see that so-called documentary! It calls to mind the recent news item about the Stanford professsor’s artwork that was on display in Colorado that depicted Jesus getting a blow job. Some woman went in and destroyed it.
    I’d expect someone from Stanford to act more responsibly and not alienate their audience — but apparently lots of postmodern artists feel no obligation to contribute to the common good.
    This news story brings to mind the some artwork in the 80′s (I think)–a photograph of a plastic crucifix submerged in urine and titled, “Piss Christ.” Reaction to this type of art dramatically downsized funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
    Striving for the good, the true, and beautiful has been lost by most of society. Sad.
    SJmom

  58. Pepper Spray October 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Will we go about our business and ignore the stench? This just keeps getting deeper and no one stands and proclaims they have had enough.
    Where is the outrage? Or is it that we are all a bit shamefaced about our complacency?

  59. helen highwater October 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Uh, tzatza, Jim was being sarcastic when he said the banks were shocked. Maybe you haven’t been reading him long enough to understand his sense of humour. (yes, that’s how we spell humour in Canada)

  60. philski October 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    “cranial rectosis” aka “dingleberry ring arond the neck”

  61. Dickmobile Mojocar Corp. October 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    It is amazing how Cliff High (WEBBOT PROJECT) predicted the abandonment of faith in the powers that be back in the beginning of September. I see Forclosuregate as the driver. Cliff wasn’t as specific. Congress and the Senate tried to pull a fast one. They got caught. Obama was forced to veto or go down in flames. Now anything beholden to the Banks will look like a sell out. I see a Fed-Banksters vs. State Rights AG suits dust up coming with more talk of secession. This government is of, by, and for the Corporation. After the election you will see how complete the takeover is. They will paper over this one for the banks faster than you can charge your bogus Chevy Volt with 600 lbs. of Chinese rare earth elements for the batteries. Federal creditability is history.

  62. Smokyjoe October 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    When you hear about a moratorium on foreclosures, it’s gotten bad…I have this vision from the film Brazil, where one family has never paid a cent stays in their house, while the elderly neighbors, one payment from retiring their 30-year note, get evicted b/c some goon in the bank was rubber-stamping docs while getting a blow-job.
    Why the hell should I continue to even pay a mortgage?
    Ah, well, those who can squat in their homes at least won’t be on the street to come after us, like the last scenes of West’s Day of the Locust.
    Cold comfort as it all crumbles, anyhow.

  63. mika. October 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    You couldn’t pay me to see that so-called documentary!
    ==
    And yet, my dearest prude of a hen, when I call these faggots, faggots, and explain that their psychological perversions and deviancy are death to society, you jump to their defence like a programmed PC automaton. I wonder if our prude of a hen, when she looks in the mirror, does she see a prude of a hen, or does she see a hypocrite and a prude of a hen.

  64. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst October 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    JHK said.
    “Nobody in the USA noticed anything the least bit fishy. And now all that epic rot has eaten through the last hanging tendrils of the banking system. And the whole shootin’ match is fixing to seize up and blow like a Chevy Big Block Super Stroker 632 engine that some clown has poured karo syrup into.”
    I say,
    I knew what was happening, and knew many who knew what was going on, but chose to look the other way. I knew of several cases where people were getting $500,000+ ninja loans. I also used to have one of those rather large adjustable rate loans which I technically shouldn’t have had. I also had a plan B. I could see and hear the clock ticking. I had the good sense to sell in 2006. Just about everybody was involved! Like a classic Agatha Christie novel everybody had a hand in the murder of the United States. Unfortunately, it could be just a matter of a few weeks before the we see the second and final global financial volcano blow!

  65. PRD October 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    The “Shocked, shocked” line refers back to a famous line in the film Casablanca, in which Captain Renault exclaims his disbelief that there is gambling going on in Rick’s Place. This is delivered by a French character using a stiff British accent – go figure. Immediately afterward, he is handed his winnings. It is the classic line of disingenuity. See the scene here:






  66. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    I can’t read between the lines very well. I need things spelled out.
    What do you mean when you say that we won’t need prisons?
    I assume that you mean that they are just going to execute people, but it that seems unlikely to go well.

  67. informedveteran October 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    There is actually a LOT of outrage out there. Our media does not cover it. It would offend their corporate paymasters. See Danny Schechter’s Documentary (or Crashumentary – as he calls it) Plunder: The Crime Of Our Time. When you have Ally bank as the sole sponsor of NPR’s Planet Money, is it hard to see why protests against Wall Street get no coverage in our media? Ally is currently neck deep in foreclosuregate and their ombudsman sees NO conflict of interest there.

  68. ASPO Article 1037 October 11, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Hugo Chavez announces $5 Billion for railway upgrades in Venezuela.
    Mass extinctions in rain forests was predictable, as with the financial meltdown. This poster has long & frustrating history with smug greenies like Jan Lundberg (Culturechange) and the League to Save Lake Tahoe over need to emphasize railway application for environmentally sensitive places like Lake Tahoe. And the Brazillian rain forest.
    The sages of environmentalism have rejected railway mode in the solution set for decades, calling electric railways unsightly while supporting buses and overhead cables and monorails. Everybody wins, guideways out of the way, buses justify more roads…
    In the case of the rain forests, Culture Change and Sierra Club et al called railway “too industrial” for the rainforests. Thanks for the memory…
    It comes to mind, the Mormons are unique among the Christian denominations with concern about storing victuals for hard times. Like Joseph in Egypt… Moreover, Mormons seem to have controlling interest in truck lines and railroad companies. Now, if we can get corporates like Home Depot & Wal-Mart to join up and push for rebuild of dormant railway corridor? Is Daniel 4: V-15 a railway prophecy for wounded America? Comments, bible students?
    Railway rebuild outline is seen at peakoilDOTnet articles 374 & 1037, in ASPO Newsletters 42 & 89 respectively. See “tahoevalleylines” postings at theoildrum. Book, “ELECTRIC WATER” (New Society, 2007) is good cop companion to JHK’s “Long Emergency”. Jim K, please review for the “Daily Grunt”?
    Last note for the environmentalists, particularly the bicycle cadre: Wheelmen legacy includes the paving revolution, for bicycles not cars, see the history of politics of American road expansion in early 20th century- Good-bye trolleys, hello cars. -Good-bye bicycles. History repeat is at hand as we see the bicycle people resist rebuild of dormant rail corridor across America. The stakes are higher this time, girls & boys. This time, try to think several moves ahead…
    OK Doomers, back to you!

  69. W.I. Tobedone October 11, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    “Is it indelicate to say that the USA as an enterprise has its head so deeply and firmly up its ass that the all the proctologists alive on planet Earth could not extract the collective cranium from the collective cloacal chamber even with the aid of a Bucyrus-Erie 1060-WX bucket-wheel excavator? Like, where were we the past ten years? Surely not everybody in the nation was doing bong hits while playing Grand Theft Auto, or watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey, or downing tequila shots and Percocets in the parking lot of the Talladega Superspeedway, or cooking meth in the family room, or whacking it to Internet porn, or searching for “excitement” in one of America’s 450 commercial gambling casinos.”
    HaHaHaHa. Jim – you nailed it on the head with this one. I always love your posts, but this one takes the cynical cake. I suppose even O’Bummer was on Qualudes and gin when this was happening. HaHaHaHa, let’s salute the “city on the hill”.

  70. W.I. Tobedone October 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    BTW, HaHaHaHaHaHaHa! “the USA as an enterprise has its head so deeply and firmly up its ass that the all the proctologists alive on planet Earth could not extract” it. HaHaHaHaHaHaHa, think of the wars, the deficit, poverty, it really fits! HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

  71. Mr. Purple October 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    “The stock market is just legalized gambling.”
    That’s kind of an insult to gambling. There’s far less herd psychology and variability in gambling than in the stock market.

  72. Gregg October 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    One distinction people often fail to make about fascism is the inversion of morality and more importantly, criminality. One of the less salient features of a fascist state is how sociopathy becomes legal and moral behavior becomes the target of attack. One need not look any further than the story of Brooksly Born and the rush to deregulation over the past few decades. Deregulation is just a euphemism for criminality. Born was savaged by, among others, one Larry Summers who insisted that the derivatives market not be regulated and Ms. Born should butt out.
    Our monetary system is the greatest threat to the class of people who trade labor for sustenance. Without money no commodities change hands. Without wages, working people don’t eat. We are forced by law to pay rent on the same currency in which our wages are paid. We are put out in the streets for the sake of higher returns on capital in a foreign labor market. A system on which so many people depend for their very lives should not be subject to manipulation by an elite class of social parasites. Excuse me, but did I just refer to bankers as parasites?

  73. asoka October 11, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    informedveteran said: “There is actually a LOT of outrage out there.”
    Reading the comments, it is kind of amusing to see so many white folks angry … angry ’cause they ’bout to be poor white folks.
    Welcome to what Black Americans have suffered for centuries. Now you know why the racists like to call Black men … “angry Black men” … you angry now, too, ain’t ya?
    Don’t like being stepped on? Don’t like being yanked around by the bankers? Blacks have been there, done that, mistreated by whites for centuries.
    It will be interesting to see how y’all gonna react to your enslavement by what informedveteran calls your “corporate paymasters.”
    Be careful about getting too “uppity” now. Best just lower your eyes and say “yes, massa” because the “corporate paymasters” also control the security forces, the same ones who sicked the dogs and fire hoses on civil rights workers, but much better armed now. Keep calm. Stay centered and nonviolent. Or die. Your choice.

  74. John66 October 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Remember the vacuum tubes that you used to see in the old bank teller windows?
    What would be wrong with UPS or FedEx using that simple technology in delivering packages?
    Me thinks that would be better than having fleets of delivery trucks going around all day and night.
    The pipelines for these vacuum tubes could be laid out discreetly and environmentally.

  75. informedveteran October 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    The documentary I cited actually has lots of Black Americans in it, since most of the subcrime mortgages were targeted at minority communities.

  76. eightm October 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Money is just a place holder, a set of rules for social behavior, these rules can change in anyway at anytime, just like exchange rates: I remember the British pound losing 50 % value overnight about 2 years ago, for example, it is always arbitrary, man made rules, not metaphysical, so therefore there is more than enough money for everyone and everything worldwide: there are 100 trillion dollars in banks worldwide not knowing what to do except repress people by letting housing (a basic RIGHT, not an entitlement) cost so much.
    It doesn’t matter if companies are private or government ruled, if they are managed efficiently they can do miracles, just like the mostly government managed NASA sent a man to the moon in 8 years in the 60s.
    We need supersized projects with much challenges and complexity, zeppelins in the center of Jupiter and Saturn, transoceanic ships across Jupiter and Saturn, Man trips with rockets on the Sun and towards its center, etc. Great projects for the common good and not for the puny Bill Gates or Larry Ellison that haved robbed billions…

  77. eightm October 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Money is just a place holder, a set of rules for social behavior, these rules can change in anyway at anytime, just like exchange rates: I remember the British pound losing 50 % value overnight about 2 years ago, for example, it is always arbitrary, man made rules, not metaphysical, so therefore there is more than enough money for everyone and everything worldwide: there are 100 trillion dollars in banks worldwide not knowing what to do except repress people by letting housing (a basic RIGHT, not an entitlement) cost so much.
    It doesn’t matter if companies are private or government ruled, if they are managed efficiently they can do miracles, just like the mostly government managed NASA sent a man to the moon in 8 years in the 60s.
    We need supersized projects with much challenges and complexity, zeppelins in the center of Jupiter and Saturn, transoceanic ships across Jupiter and Saturn, Man trips with rockets on the Sun and towards its center, etc. Great projects for the common good and not for the puny Bill Gates or Larry Ellison that haved robbed billions…

  78. informedveteran October 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/03/fbi-warns-of-mortgage-fraud-%E2%80%98epidemic%E2%80%99-seeks-to-head-off-%E2%80%98next-sl-crisis%E2%80%99.html
    “Nobody in the USA noticed anything the least bit fishy.” Really????
    Apparently the FBI was calling this an epidemic of mortgage fraud as early as 2004.

  79. Desertrat October 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Sorry, asoka, but I know quite a few old white guys who are irate about all the thievery, but the only harmful imnpact to us is that of consumer price inflation. Many of us saw it coming, griped to anybody who’d listen, and were ignored by the bubble-mob.
    My house has been paid for since the day I moved in, back in 1993. I don’t care what the real estate market does. No debt. Land and water, should I have to mess with providing my own food. Plenty of practical skills.
    And I’m just one of many whom I know.

  80. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    The other night I had a angry young black man as a patient. He had a right to be angry, the cops had abused him.
    I ended up in a confrontation with the two white asshole cops, because I wanted to treat the guy like a human being.
    Once I did, he calmed down and was cooperative.
    I called his dad to come, which caused another cop uproar.
    The interesting thing is how calm his dad was. I would have been screaming, if it was my kid, but you’re right, he stayed calm and rational, even when the cops were irrational.
    Just before they left, one of the other cops came up to me (we have beaucoup cops for a small town). He was black. I thought he was involved with the whole thing, but he very quietly told me that he had no power, he was just a soldier doing what he was told. I think he appreciated my standing up for the victim, because he couldn’t.

  81. k-dog October 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Surely not everybody in the nation was doing bong hits while playing Grand Theft Auto

    I’ll not pass judgment on Grand Theft Auto but I’ll take issue with the negative characterization of bong hits. What is in the bong is an atoxic nonaddictive herb that when consumed has no negative physical effects. We are all looking for a narrative that will make sense of things. It’s human nature to try and explain reality but often we don’t care if the narrative makes sense or not. We stop the probing and the explaining as soon as we get enough of a narrative to make us feel good, actual validity seems does not matter.
    The reason for this is to provide endless amusement for the big guy. These bankers are the equivalent of short order cooks from your local diner who slide eggs dropped on the floor onto clean plates to protect their bottom line and to keep their jobs.
    I think I made a pretty good sentence there for a bong hit if I do say so myself. I wonder if two will work better or if I’ll be too stoned to write anything at all.
    I’d find out but I have dragons to slay.
    Free the weed.

  82. eightm October 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Another interesting thing is how companies and everyone buys into the BS of “marketable skills”, “skill set”, “training” etc. when no one on earth knows what kinds of jobs are needed: because there are no skills needed since there are no real jobs needed, it is just a strategy to make the unemployed feel guilty and always feeling he is missing some skill, so it is his fault he can’t work. And yet everyone believes this crap… but it is an excuse for companies not to hire always saying the workers are not up to the challenge.

  83. anglo October 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Tsa tsa,
    Are you totally fucking thick or what ??
    More importantly, what has happened to Qschtik ??

  84. MHarris October 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Dude, like, the market’s up today. Can’t we just chill?

  85. anglo October 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    sorry about the mis spelling Q

  86. k-dog October 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    It’s particularly amusing to have all kinds of exactly the right education training and skills that should leak to steady paychecks and watch as others claw and scramble to obtain the exact marketable skills that your unemployed ass spent years acquiring and which are now worthless.
    But enough amusement, one should never forget that education is a business that profits by selling you knowledge, not by giving you marketable skills. In America the system is based on free enterprise and the wisdom of the markets. The free market will correct the discrepancies and contradictions between the fact and fictions of marketable skills in due time.
    Of course it will be after you are dead but that’s how the wisdom of the market works.

  87. fairguy October 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Has anyone noticed that the Swiss Franc is now worth more than the USD, up ~20% since June 1st?
    Just under a decade ago a greenback was worth 1.80 CHF.
    I’m thinking of following the Zurich gnomes.

  88. John66 October 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I’ve been poor all my life. I have no sympathy for the rich.

  89. Workdove October 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    A barter economy is still possible. People traded hens for plow shears long before the invention of money or credit. Woe to bankers living in places like New York who have nothing of value to trade, other than stacks of worthless deritives paper for fuel or toilet paper.
    In terms of real estate, could you imagine if aliens came down from outer space and said basically- hey we planted our flag here 80 million years ago, we own all the property and resources and you are all squatters here.

  90. anglo October 11, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Wagelabourer,
    You seem to spend an awful lot of time on this blog whingeing about all that is indisputably lousy about the behaviour of a large portion of the society at large.
    You seem to me to be a very intelligent and perspicacious woman judging from what I read on your own blog which leads me to wonder why you bother.
    I seem to remember someone asking you how you stay sane in that bloody country.
    How do you ?????

  91. welles October 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    folks, get Small.
    Small house for $20k – http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/
    small stove
    small orchard
    small garden
    hell you can put in a giant lcd if u want
    remarkable how much you can grow in a sq. foot
    a REAL marketable skill is teaching urself to build a few solar panels to power some of your stuff
    real other skills involve doing shyte like getting a few animals to make you some eggs, meat,
    milk…hell, who needs the SYSTEM if you ARE the system to an extent?
    you already work to get the things i mention above, y not let nature give it to you almost free? free meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit/berries
    jeezis peeple stop kvetching and plant One thing today, you peeps really overblow this whole Big Bruther thing, sure there’s more cams than people in the country, but you can have lots of Phun building stuff, planting and harvesting, and doing it with yur nayberz, it’s a natural anti-depressant getting together for a whiskey around the fire with yur neighbors when it’s damn cold outside.
    U can have the Internet and also live a bit like it’s 1836 at the same time, it’s damn fun & educatory.

  92. myrtlemay October 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    And I see a classy, intelligent, elegant, well-spoken lady who probably should bitch slap your sassy ass. I’d pay some serious cash to see that happen.

  93. cogdis October 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m not great at reading between the line either, but one take on that teasing comment could be that a lot more people will be under house arrest or even serve their sentence at home.
    This may be a reasonable way to restrict non-violent offenders and avoid the cost of incarceration at an institution. The use of the internet to facilitate monitoring of these offenders may be what this guy wants us to infer.

  94. anglo October 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    hehehe,
    So well said.

  95. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    You are right about that and it has been that way since the mid eighteenth century.
    g

  96. piltdownman October 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    @nickelthrower -
    Thanks for the insiders insight, not that I’m surprised at all. The company I work for blew off a raft of people and we all know none will ever return. It is indeed a perfect solution for management. They got to slough off older (read: high salaried) workers and any malcontents, without fear of reprisal. At the same time, the remaining employees are scared shitless and will do anything necessary to keep their jobs. CEOs are laughing all the way to the bank!
    @Eleuthero
    A college instructor told me today that, when asked on a test about the origins of radio, he credited “Mark Kony.” COLLEGE STUDENT…
    And…I recall when a friend did a documentary about 15 years ago on “piercing.” He thought it was all edgy and cool. I thought it was a pointless exercise in the banal; interviewing lame-ass morons who thought that self-mutilation had “value.” It was just a circle-jerk, as the documentary you mention must be.
    As most research now shows the entire scam of self-actualization, self-esteem building is what we all knew; bullshit.

  97. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    At least Americans don’t crucify people the way the Romans did. In what state are you located E? I have seen demonstrations of such attitudes since about 1981 or so, and more-so by about 83. Am in Sacramento, Ca.

  98. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    E, while such attitudes are common in the first and second tier colleges, they are not representative in society as a whole. Moral relativism is another one of those values that is not likely to be successful from an evolutionary standpoint. Also a lot of morality and personality is sexually selected. Most people do not want to mate with, have relationships with, bring up children among, and have for their family depraved, sadistic, dysfunctional freaks.

  99. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    I wrote a piece at my blog today that you might enjoy.
    http://smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com/2010/10/love-of-money.html
    Cheers!

  100. budizwiser October 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Much like the mess in the finance sector – what’s waiting to be spelled out is who, how much will be affected by the resource shake out.
    Anyone even remember the oil future run-up just as the bank/paper crash became apparent?
    In our short history of civilization, we’ve never had technology setup so many interdependent systems necessary to comfort, and during rough, even life itself.
    Like, my slice-of-life story earlier, none of these millions of dim-wits will notice anything until the power goes off or there are lines at gas stations.
    The part of this story yet to be dtermined, are empty shelves at the markets and thugs taking whatever they need or want – as soon as its dark out.
    If we could bring back the independence and personal responsibility of the 1890s – car,trucks and air conditioning/central heating wouldn’t
    be so important.
    How many in the Northeast can weather a winter without natural gas or fuel oil? How many is the desert southwest can make a summer without central air?
    The angst of CF nation is being aboard a ship of fools and having no say in how the ship is steered.
    Hey, I’m happy most of this kind of crap won’t transpire for 10 or 15 years, what I can’t understand is how fucking clueless and muted the youth of this country are.

  101. mika. October 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    That’s the first honest thing you said since I started visiting here. But even that was full with malice. There’s a deep seed of hate in you, asoka. It is what animates you. And what animates your “love” for jihadis. You love them because they hate us and want us utterly destroyed. Instead of believing in people and trying to educate them and encourage them to reform, you scheme to destroy them utterly. It is evil and craven.

  102. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    This has been going on for at least 40 years now. It is impressive that there is still so much left to burn!

  103. welles October 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    have any of you folks thought of looking for Gold, now that it’s $1350 an ounce and prolly’ll be several thousand dollars an ounce by the time things get sorted out???
    it’s heavy as heck, one little flake’ll bring you a tenspot or sawbuck, plus it’s taxman-free so your is yours you earned it.

  104. mika. October 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    And I see a classy, intelligent, elegant, well-spoken lady who probably should bitch slap your sassy ass. I’d pay some serious cash to see that happen.
    ==
    Me too. :)
    We are all equal, lady or no lady. And I intend to treat everyone as equals. Being female does not engender you to special privileges or special delicacy. Kapish?!

  105. willow October 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Why does the Kustlermeister bother? I pray to Evolution and Fate that he doesn’t read these comments, because I infer from the tone and content that even the pitiful crew of the Faithful doesn’t get it.
    We had our chance–with the tidiest and most honorable contract that could be hoped for among our fellow creatures–and we blew it by turning on our allies as soon as we sniffed the Devil blood oil.
    We have lost our honor and our minds. Dark age ahead.

  106. Stephen October 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    I think the banks should pay their price for this even if that means that the homeowners may have a defense in court to foreclosure and the person keeps their house! If enough people win they will learn their lesson. Already MERS has lost some cases in Ohio, Kansas, and other states because of lost notes and the homeowner said “produce the note” and MERS was not the true owner.
    I also fault our regulators. According to William K Black who used to be a banking regulator and is now a Law Professor, he mentioned that the FBI knew of the mortgage fraud problem back in 2004. The FBI transferred its agents in bank fraud to counter terrorism and were never replaced. This meant this mortgage fraud crisis was looming and no one stopped it. See this clip:






    BTW, William Black was the bank regulator who uncovered and busted the Savings & Loan Crisis in the 1980s and 1990s and is author of the book “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One”.

  107. asia October 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    the only place i watch the idiot box is at the gym..so i dunno know ‘the simpsons’…i recall as soon as the harvard grad who made? the show got it on the air a child imitated what was on the show,with tragic results,their house burned down and children died…
    the only reason i know of this is because i read it in ‘the times’….

  108. sancho-2 October 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    hey guys, at least the SEC has gone after Larry Wilcox (the one that was not Ponch on Chips) for some kind of “penny stock” deal. guess the regulators are finally stepping it up protecting the public and all.

  109. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    What you are saying is true but people don’t give a shit.

  110. mika. October 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Excellent post, Gregg.

  111. mattg October 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Mr, K,
    By far the funniest blog since I first saw you on TED. In contrast to some I find this to be one of your more finely focused peices.
    I myself was offered a $650K mortage in 2005 and although no financial genius managed to guess that would probably lead at minimum to peptic ulcers. Maybe I might dare imagine not everyone is completely asleep at the wheel of their lives? Anyway very hilarious quips- worthy of Wooden Allen even.
    M

  112. Bill Simpson October 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    If you want to see why the world economy may collapse, all you need to do is watch the CNBC TV special ‘HOUSE OF CARDS’ by David Faber. CNBC often runs it on National Holiday 3-day weekends to fill time when the stock market is closed. IT IS A MASTERWORK, and award winning. It starts off slow, but hang in there, you will be SHOCKED TO SEE THE LEVEL OF CRIMINAL FRAUD THROUGHOUT THE MORTGAGE ORIGINATION PROCESS. Lying on a loan document IS A FELONY ! Where are the prosecutions?

  113. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Ok. I just voted. Figured it would be a good idea to have folks vote consistently in a manner that would help various retreaters and autonomous interests better deal with the political state of affairs.
    Proposition 19
    This is the iniative that allows folks to have marijuana for their personal use.
    I voted a definite yes.
    Proposition 20
    This keeps elected representatives off the redistricting commissions. I voted yes in order to reduce partisan gerrymandering.
    Proposition 21
    This establishes annual vehicle registration fees to help support parks and wildlife. I voted yes in order to reduce driving and help the environment. Also the folks who drive are relatively well off and can easily afford this.
    Proposition 22
    Prohibits the state from borrowing or taking funds used for transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and services. Initiative Constitutional
    Amendment
    I voted yes for this to enable the governments to have more flexibility. Sometimes funds need to be transferred between levels of government. Too much money is spent on transportation, especially redundant roads.
    Proposition 23
    NO NO NO NO
    Suspends implemnation of control law (ab 32) requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, ….
    Proposition 24
    NO
    Repeals legislation that would allow businesses to lower their tax liability.
    Proposition 25
    Changes legislative requirement to pass budget and budget-related legislation from 2/3 to a simple majority. Retains 2/3 vote requirement for taxes.
    I voted yes because the 2/3 requirement prevents the state legislature from passing a budget efficiently.
    Proposition 26
    Requires that certain state and local fees be approved by 2/3 vote. Fees include that address impacts on society or the environment caused by the fee-payer’s business.
    I voted a very strong No on this.
    I bet some of those businesses are those that sell jet skis and off-road vehicles that should not even be produced.
    Proposition 27
    Eliminates state commission on redistricting.
    Measure B
    This measure enables utility rates to come up.
    I voted yes due to principles of reality. People produce too much garbage and use too much water and energy. If they have to pay more, then they won’t waste too much. Providing these services costs a lot of money and people should pay for what they cost.
    Measure C
    Enables taxes to be charged on the revenues earned by medical marijuana-providing business.
    Yes.
    No

  114. empirestatebuilding October 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    I was up in your neck of the woods this weekend and I did not see any signs fo the collapse. I’ll keep looking, but so far the collective rose colored glasses seem to be working.
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  115. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Sounds interesting. I figured the stock market could do well with an unemployment rate around 20%. So, are they planning on having a lot of people k8lled? One of the big concerns at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division where I used to work, despite the costs of the programs, was killing people relatively cheaply. I think I heard such concerns raised specifically in the warheads branch of the ordinance division along the lines of making delivery vehicles better, faster, and cheaper. That was an even bigger concern for the nazis when running their death camps and I think why they favored starvation, and cyanide gas as means of killing people since bullets were relatively expensive. The English had the same concern in dealing with the Irish in the 17th century. There were some among the English who wanted to exterminate the Irish but such policies didn’t get very far because “it would cost too much.”

  116. flying picket October 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    “”Nobody in the USA noticed anything the least bit fishy.” Really????
    Apparently the FBI was calling this an epidemic of mortgage fraud as early as 2004.
    Informedveteran, James isn’t writing a text book. Satirists tend to use a broad sweep. He uses the word, ‘nobody’, satirically. He’s referring to, ‘everybody who’s anybody’ (according to their own grandiose view of themselves). And, James knows it was wilful blindnessand all the more blind for being a moral blindness.

  117. budizwiser October 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Here is the answer to the current problems.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/american-people-hire-highpowered-lobbyist-to-push,18204/
    Only, I hire lawyers to petition the courts to prosecute legislators.

  118. flying picket October 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    WAGELABORER, I think the poster might have been referring to some kind of prison camps.
    I seem to remember reading on DU some time ago, during the Bush years, that these mysterious compounds were being built in various places.

  119. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    Why were the cops after this guy anyway?

  120. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Unfortunately the k-12 system does not work that way and is particularly inflexible and irrelevant in terms of what it delivers and oppressive in the way it is structured.

  121. SqueekyFromm October 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    Sooo, what it all boils down to is a lack of suspiciousness by Americans. Which I find interesting, and TOTALLY STUPID, because we have been getting lied to like dogs by our Presidents, and others, since at least 1919.
    Did you know that we even had a Woman president for a while???
    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter
    (Nooo, I am not that one!)

  122. asoka October 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Mika said: “That’s the first honest thing you said since I started visiting here.”
    Thanks, Mika, I appreciate your support.
    Since Tripp did not answer my question about permaculture, I will ask you. I have access to a piece of land 15′ x 40′ and want to know what kind of permaculture experiment I could do on 600 sq. ft. of semi-arid land at 5,700 altitude. The only thing on it now is an apple tree.

  123. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Maybe it’s a “California thing” TBU re
    moral relativism but I see it all over
    the streets of Palo Alto, SF, San Jose,
    etc.. I also see it when I go back to
    visit my Dad in Philadelphia in the
    shopping malls (same goofy clothes,
    same body markings, etc.).
    I know that there’s this “silent majority”
    (to dig up an old Nixon phrase) of decent
    people but I, personally, think that this
    level of “decency” is a standard deviation
    below where it used to be.
    My proof?? Why are the Boomers letting
    their kids wear piercings and tattoos??
    Why is gambling now “recreation” whereas
    as recently as the 1970s it was considered
    something that only seedy people did in
    alleys?? How did “home flipping” become
    a national sport?? Note that I’m not
    hypothesizing anything here. I’m talking
    about mass phenomena indulged in by all
    ages and all economic statuses.
    I think JHK is right in claiming that Las
    Vegas is our symbolic town because it
    represents two things that were frowned
    upon only a generation ago: 1) The
    something for nothing mentality, and
    2) Modernism has made “bad” coequal with
    “good” so it’s okay to buy a house, put
    nothing into it, and try to find a sucker
    to get an immediate 10% profit.
    Believe me … I’m well aware that the
    world still contains people with old
    school virtues, modesty, and common sense.
    However, painting with a broad brush,
    “decent” isn’t nearly as decent as it
    used to be.
    E.

  124. treebeardsuncle October 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Maybe you could grow some pine and jumjper for firewood with a 50-year rotation.

  125. SqueekyFromm October 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    The piercings and tattoos are how people express themselves now. My Goth friend Belladonna wrote a poem about it, and finally explained it to me.
    http://squeeky-squeek.blogspot.com/2010/10/words-of-prophets-by-belladonna.html
    (I didn’t want to copy the whole poem here.)
    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  126. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    I enjoyed the piece, Tripp … it’s nice to
    see a person staring reality in the face yet
    not flinching about the repercussions.
    I especially enjoyed the part about solar
    panels requiring Indium and Hafnium and that
    they’re call RARE EARTH elements for a reason.
    Very few people can acknowledge that the
    primary vehicle for world sustainability is
    FAR FEWER PEOPLE. On this issue, both the
    “green” types and the anti-green “cornucopians”
    (who believe the earth has infinite EVERYTHING)
    are absolutely alike.
    E.

  127. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    I trust, SJM, that you remember the turd
    Jesus as well. :-) :-)
    I truly believe that life imitates art and
    the art of the last thirty years or so is
    ANTI-ART. It’s part of the postmodernist
    idea that everything is in the eye of the
    interpreter and there really isn’t any
    qualitative “good” or “bad”.
    I believe HISTORY is the testbed for what’s
    good or bad and the garbage passing for good
    painting and good music sets a bar that’s
    damned near on the ground.
    E.

  128. asoka October 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    TBU, thanks for the suggestion. I was thinking more of having food I can eat during TLE and TSHTF.
    A 50-year rotation would be very low maintenance, but would not provide food when the grocery shelves are empty due to peak oil/no oil/no trucking/no fertilizer/no pesticides/no nothing which is fossil-fuel based.

  129. DeeJones October 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    You know, with the talk about dumping the dollar as the world reserve currency, it sorta makes you wonder what the PTB have in store for us:

    The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

  130. Kurt Cagle October 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    But … but … the DOW topped 11,000 today! The economy is just fine, the housing problem is only a little bitty one; we’ll have it all worked out by next week, tops.
    The knives are beginning to come out. The hedgies and TBTF are laying off their top gun talent – you can’t pay bonuses when the only trading going on is computer noise playing with the fumes of volume. Until now, while there has been fraud aplenty, too much of it fell under the vagaries of “bad investments” – now, the legions of class action lawyers have something solid to chew into, even as the system itself collapses.
    The Tea Party will take over Congress in the Fall (pun deliberate), and will likely start by launching a grand jury investigations into Obama as a prelude to impeachment. Whether he is actually innocent of any wrong-doing is irrelevant – there’s nothing like impeachment proceedings to skewer an opponent. Political appointments will grind to a halt, budgets will grind to a half, and what little good the Dems have done will be slashed as the crazies go about gutting everything.
    I’m guessing we will have 21st century version of Smoot-Hawley Act passed by veto override within the next couple of years, cementing the Neo-Depression, even as things go to hell in the next month as the tremors of mortgage-gate begin to shake the foundations of those “healthy” banks and hedge funds that haven’t already been put into zombie-hood by the FDIC’s inability to handle even a small bank now. Have you noticed that while the number of banks being “closed” each Friday by the FDIC has been rising, they are VERY tiny banks?
    We’re close to the edge now. Securitization is dead, and with it, the bond markets. The prime market is next, as even more mortgages slip underwater because prices undergo another 20-30% decline in value because no sales can be completed. Credit ratings become meaningless as the credit machine stops altogether – again; it’s not the first heart attack that kills, it’s the second.
    Ah well. Keep writing. I think a prequel to World Made by Hand could be instructive, one that looks at the collapse process in the cities and suburbs themselves.

  131. SoylentGreenAU October 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Hi Tripticket,
    I have a permaculture cert myself, so I am interested in land. There is nothing here that is affordable and worth buying. Whats the url to your site again?
    So I’m stuck in the city doing I.T. and will join the horde I guess when the time comes.
    If I could expat I would.
    @denker – I hear you and agree with that analysis.
    The houses may be useless at the point you speak of due to social chaos, but hey…

  132. tzatza October 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    “Uh, tzatza, Jim was being sarcastic when he said the banks were shocked. Maybe you haven’t been reading him long enough to understand his sense of humour. (yes, that’s how we spell humour in Canada)”
    Oh for fucks sake are you really this stupid? It wasn’t that I didn’t get Jim’s irony. What I was trying to point out was that Jim is completely missing what is reallty going on. Banks have gladly stopped ejecting those who are late in their payments for the simple reason that to do so and to then sell those homes for lesser values would force them to take losses on their books. The government is gladly playing “watchdog” to the whole fucking scharade appearing to be looking out for the little guy.
    Nobody wants to take the necessary hit to have their portfolios reevaluated for fear of investor flight. The governmental regulatory agencies play along knowing full well that at SOME point reevaluations must take place so the economy can begin moving again. But someone else, you know, a little futher on down the line can take the hit. Just so it doesn’t happen on their watch. The fable is that “improper paperwork” has caused a slow down in delinqent mortgage ejections. The truth is the fear of actual portfolio devaluations is the real story. Capiche?

  133. latchkeykid October 11, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    The only thing that could possibly be cooler than declaring “first” would be to grunt the words “me first” while driving through the take out window at Chik-fil-a.
    Yeah, you can get a tattoo with that.

  134. San Jose Mom 51 October 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Eleuthero,
    Last week my kids were off school because of San Jose Unified’s furlough. My husband and I took the kids up to San Francisco to see the second part of the impressionist exhibit at the de Young Museum. It was spectacular–especially the VanGoghs. The whole family left in a state of bliss.
    Except for the outside architecture, the deYoung is a treasure. They have an outstanding collection of American art, and the temporary exhibits are top notch. The deYoung’s curator has a personal relationship with the director of the Musee deOrsey, which is undergoing renovation and that is the reason we have the opportunity to see this exhibition. Apparently, the deYoung is the only museum in America that he would trust to take care of these paintings.
    Talk about art that will stand the test of time….
    SJmom

  135. Kurt Cagle October 11, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Nickelthrower,
    I work in IT (system architecture), and have been convinced for years that the automation process would result in the state we were in long before we got to the Peak Oil stage. What I find worth contemplating, however, is that for the most part the techies are usually smarter than the suits.
    The suits in general see the obvious benefits of automation – the vast bulk of most of the jobs out there are ones that can readily be automated quite easily. What they don’t understand is the consequence of automating those jobs to their own bottom lines – that when you automate enough jobs, there is no way for the people who are downsized to actually have enough money to buy the goods or services that you provide, while the pool of those who do shrinks rapidly.
    Meanwhile, most techies are problem solvers by nature. They will go for a while looking for jobs with diminishing returns, but after a short time (compared to the overall population) they will also recognize that the system is collapsing, and that they would be better off applying their talents to alternatives, even if only for themselves.
    What’s more, most techies are frankly not invested in the system to the same degree as the suits. The Business as Usual world evolved in the 1950s along the command and control structures of the military in the aftermath of WWII. The techie world is just now really coming of age, and stresses networking and distributed actors rather than hierarchy and consolidation.
    What’s failing now is the Boomer ideal, and its icons the CEOs and Gordon Geckos of the world – precisely the parade that you saw making their pitches. They wouldn’t be making those pitches if it weren’t for the fact that the banking system, the source of cheap credit that let them pay for that automation in the first place, was now on life support. When a company slashes labor, it usually does so indiscriminately, and it is usually the best and brightest (techies) who recognize that it is better to get out with a decent severance package early than it is to get a pink slip when you can least afford it, when you’re health has been wrecked and your neck deep in debt.
    The funny thing about software and hardware is that it decays over time, as business requirements change, as hardware fails, taking with it system critical functionality, and as the $15 an hour PHP programmer has to wade through increasingly out of date and poorly documented software written by the $20 an hour PHP programmer before he was fired. Once that fails, so do your company functions, your payroll and accounting functionality, your sales systems. Fire your creatives and expensive IT people, and you find that it becomes harder to replace them as more and more of them realize that they have to work for themselves.
    There are a lot of programmers out there, a lot of people who know how the system works. I rather doubt that the new world order will in fact work out the way that those who believe they are in power expect.

  136. mika. October 11, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    I wish I could help. Although I have an extensive background in chemistry and biology, it does not extend to any practical knowledge as it concerns agriculture or permaculture. As a youngster, I did have some schooling in agriculture, but that was long ago, prior to high school, and is now long forgotten.

  137. asoka October 11, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Kurt Cagle said: “The Tea Party will take over Congress in the Fall”
    LOL! Thanks for the laugh, KC.
    The Tea Party was the biggest gift the Democrats never expected, splitting the vote on the right, giving the Democrats a chance to win.
    If Democrats retain control of the House and Senate, even by a slim margin in each chamber, they will have won the night. They may have lost 8 or 9 Senate races and lost over 35 House seats, and been clobbered in Governors races from coast to coast in advance of a redistricting year, but they will have won the midterm election.

  138. Diogenes October 11, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    I’ve almost finished reading Woodward’s book “Obama’s Wars”.
    Woodward depicts Obama as a man who is basically pushed around by the Pentagon and the Generals. After 8 years of the war in Afghanistan and while contemplating a surge of US troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. civilian and military leadership couldn’t even articulate what the objectives of the war should be. Eventually, they decide that the objective should be to “degrade” the Taliban. What does “degrade” mean? Shocking! It’s as if everyone now just wants to put on a uniform in the civilian and military realms and role play. Everyone is pretending. Like a play. It’s all gone MAD!

  139. asoka October 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Mika said: “I wish I could help.”
    Thanks anyway, Mika.
    Since you said you were Israeli, I thought you might have had some practical experience in Israel, which also has semi-arid climate, and has done tremendous work with drip-irrigation systems (at a depth of 50cms.) in desert agriculture.

  140. bproman October 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    The fine print is now so small that you need a microscope to read it. Besides the majority are too busy on their handheld gadgets ordering some sort of mass produced animal product as they hurry to their alloted seat to watch some sort of modern sporting event where a big screen can tell them what’s happening. With technology like that, who needs to read ?

  141. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    What makes you think I’m sane?

  142. mika. October 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I’m a city boy, through and through. Also, Israel has multiple micro-climates. So what works in south will not work in the north. I would not consider Haifa, the city I’m from, as having a semi-arid climate (more like subtropical). Prior to the planting of Eucalyptus trees by zionist pioneers fighting malaria, there were many swamps in low-lying areas.

  143. mika. October 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    ..what works in ^the south..

  144. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Expired registration.

  145. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    War is nowhere near disease as an efficient mass killer.
    The flu killed many more than WW1.
    Personally, I think that’s why they dug up a flu victim from the permafrost and replicated the virus.
    Idle curiosity, my ass!
    http://www.nytimes.com/1998/02/08/us/alaskan-victim-of-1918-flu-yields-sample-of-killer-virus.html

  146. Agalia October 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    This all reminds me of a former student who took a course from me about 2006. She was a self-described wild woman who prided herself in lacking moral compass–a loud, bodacious redhead with big boobs who after a couple of shots and beers would without hesitation show the patrons what perfection is all about. Well, she graduated and a few months later I ran into her at a local dive. She was staring into her beer looking rather depressed. She told me she had just quit her job after two weeks. I asked what she had been doing. Working at a chop shop and committing several felonies a day. I was confused. To the point, she had gotten a job packaging and reselling loans in our area. I frankly could not figure out what the heck she was talking about–never heard of such a thing. I couldn’t really understand the issue or why what she was doing was illegal. As usual, she called me a dumbass and ordered a shot. Then she looked at me and said, this is too sleazy for me, so I quit. Now, although I was clueless, coming from her I knew it was bad. I finally get it.

  147. progressorconserve October 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice post this week, JHK. And you are certainly correct that the US and a large portion of the Globe are in a horrible financial situation.
    But I spent the weekend with an old friend in a neighboring state – watching college football and catching up. The guy’s a real estate attorney. He tells me his business volume is down 50% year over year from 2006 to present.
    DOWN 50%, but somehow I find this reassuring – compared to some of the gloom and doom we’re hearing right now. Real estate business continues in one small southern town.
    And if RE shuts down their family has a little garden already, and access to hundreds of acres of TVA swamp behind the house (and yeah, it’s a large *lawyer type* house ;-) ) – and a teenage son who can hunt and fish – even if his dad, the lawyer, isn’t very good at that sort of survival type thing.
    I do believe life’s gonna go on in some fashion – even if it’s not what we might hope for or expect.

  148. asoka October 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Thanks, Mika. I really admire the work Israel has done.
    Maybe Tripp will answer my permaculture question, and/or the two books he recommended: Gaia’s Garden and Teeming with Microbes.

  149. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    “Since Tripp did not answer my question about permaculture, I will ask you.”
    Not 5 minutes ago I remembered that you had asked this question, and that I had left you with a big goose egg! Weird. And embarrassing. It’s not like I don’t like talking about permaculture!
    Asoka, 600 s.f. is damn near perfect for an extended fruit tree guild a la permie style. If there’s room I might add another major tree, a cherry, plum, or apricot perhaps. If not, prune that overgrown apple back, and do it anyway! (If it were me I’d have at least 4 varieties of fruit crammed in there.) Gaia’s Garden will tell you the rest, but I think it’s safe to say that your culinary and medicinal palette in that space will improve dramatically. For starters, mints, aliums, daffodils, comfrey, artichoke, yarrow, nasturtiums, dill, fennel, and clover all support and compliment fruit trees in the rose family. And they can all be grown within the dripline of the trees, taking up zero additional space. Just prune the fruit trees to be a little more open. They produce just as much fruit.
    Sorry for the delay, and I hope you enjoy building this. I expect pics at your earliest convenience;)

  150. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    A little more google research turns up this article about the swift and painful death of 7 monkeys they gave the resurrected flu to-
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/flu-research.htm
    Cheap and effective, there is nothing like disease!

  151. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    The cool part is that I didn’t even have to take my feet off the footstool to access Gaia’s Garden! Great resource. And usually handy.
    Oh, and just for clarity’s sake, the other title is Teaming With Microbes, instead of Teeming.
    Cheers.

  152. jackieblue2u October 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    I was thinking the same thing. the answer for me is TOO EARLY.
    it might vary, JHK is on East Coast Time. I am on PST.
    Don’t know I mean I don’t pay attention to the times, but now I may have to. NOT.
    Asoka is on his own time…..just kidding Asoka People DO tend to pick on you. I AM just having fun.
    Wonder are you Aries or Leo, the Have to be first and best…..I am one of them, if ya believe in all that stuff…..
    I just FEEL that TSIHTF big time. Especially while driving. People are RUTHLESS.
    GREED HAS taken over too many peoples priorites.
    “The first word baby learns is MORE.” Don Henley.
    the Eagles. GIMME ALL YA GOT. I WANT IT I WANT IT.
    I am too tired to move and try to find land etc. to survive on and then who wants to if it’s gonna get that bad sounds like Waterworld. I see it coming. Kevin Costner gets it.
    So many others don’t.
    We aren’t in Kansas anymore and I think we were only led to believe we ever were.
    oh well…..whatcha gonna do ghostbusters.
    sad situation. and very maddening also.
    the Gangs are taking over in CA and I don’t know why more MEN don’t just take THEM out.
    In the midwest I bet they’d have a field day with them.
    I don’t understand this place anymore.
    “not first” not even close.

  153. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    “I have a permaculture cert myself, so I am interested in land.”
    Jeebus Key-riced! Does everyone in Australia have a PDC under their belt?? What I wouldn’t give for a world like that!
    Of course, as you are well aware, you can practice permaculture anywhere, with or without land. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a hectare or three for you.

  154. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I like tattoos that are artistic. Skin is just a different medium.
    Some tattoos are absolutely beautiful, IMO.
    I don’t like jailhouse tattoos, especially the hate/love finger ones, and the teardrops. They are not art. They are advertisements that warn people away from you.
    Just saying.

  155. mika. October 11, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    If there’s room I might add another major tree, a cherry, plum, or apricot perhaps.
    ==
    And an orange, a lemon, and an olive tree. No civilized person should be without these.

  156. progressorconserve October 11, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    The following is an excerpt from one of my favorite investment analysts. He has a FREE newsletter. I have no reason to be shilling for the guy – he has a sense of humor and wide ranging intellect – and his thoughts might resonate with some of you CFN types who have interest in business.
    http://www.frontlinethoughts.com/pdf/mwo100110.pdf
    ============
    “Among the societies we describe as democratic capitalist there are vast differences in the bargains and hence in the nature of economic activity. America tolerates levels of instability, crime, inequality and pernicious religious zealotry that Europeans and Japanese consider absurd, but it gets in return a much more dynamic entrepreneurial system of wealth creation. Japanese willingly accept levels of social conformity that Westerners consider bizarre, but achieves a high level of social stability and tremendous success in economic areas (such as high precision manufacturing), where self-disciplined social cohesion is a plus”
    ============
    Whether we like it or not, this is a good analysis of the chaotic business climate in the States – I consider it as starting with the *Reagan Revolution,* but I tend to blame lots of things on RR.
    I agree with 8M when he says we need better national GOALS – but I’m not sure we’re ever going to get them in time to help the generations alive today.

  157. asoka October 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Thanks, Tripp. I’m also going to get a book on desert gardening to know what will grow at that elevation in that kind of climate.
    Does permaculture allow container gardening or greenhouses? Or is that too artificial? I’m thinking in the winter, when there is snowfall, I have to have an alternative to the 600 sq. ft. plot.

  158. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    The date 10/10/10 got me thinking about growing shit for some reason, so yesterday I planted 3 varieties of broccoli, Red Russian kale, Valentine lettuce, Fantasia Swiss chard, a Mesclun salad mix, Purple Globe turnips, spinach, mustard-spinach, mustard, radishes, and cabbage.
    Oh, and I like to plant those big-ass Daikon radishes as a fertilizer treatment. Let those deep forearm-sized roots rot in the ground. Talk about a deep shot of biomass!

  159. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    That makes sense, tzatza, but aren’t the only moratoriums in the 23 states where they have judicial review of the paperwork?
    Because that would belie your theory.
    But I could be wrong.

  160. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    “And an orange, a lemon, and an olive tree. No civilized person should be without these.”
    I have 3 olives – Manzanilla, Lucca, and Kalamata – all hardy to about 14 degrees. Still working on a micro-climate appropriate for 20+ degree citrus minima, but I’m adding 2 ferro-cement cisterns next spring, and thinking that might be my spot, nestled up against 3500 gallons of water. Got my eye on a Meyer lemon and a Satsuma Mandarin.
    But me civilized? That’s a leap;)

  161. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    “Does permaculture allow container gardening or greenhouses?”
    Permaculture allows for whatever you think is ethically appropriate. Is it more ethically appropriate to invest the energy in a greenhouse, or truck food in from warmer climes? Fukuoka might have something cross to say about growing food in greenhouses, but he’s not here to voice that objection.
    God rest his soul.

  162. asoka October 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    ProCon said: “I consider it as starting with the *Reagan Revolution,* but I tend to blame lots of things on RR.”
    Reagan did start the tax cuts for the rich, which did lead to budget deficits.
    Many people wish we could have the 1950′s back again… but Eisenhower had a 91% tax rate on the wealthiest Americans … and we had money to pay for things in the 1950s.
    Under Richard Nixon it went down to 70%. Then Reagan lowered it to what, 50% tax on rich.
    Duh! Lowered budget inputs lead to budget deficits.
    President Obama’s plan to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — from 35% to 39.6% — does not make him a socialist. It makes him fiscally responsible.
    Or we could just continue to lay off police, fire, teachers, etc. and “shrink government” … idiot Republican/Tea Party/Conservative/Libertarians.

  163. k-dog October 11, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Based on his reaction to my mention of the blog when I met him last week I would say he reads enough to maintain a sufficient disgust concerning the subject.

  164. asoka October 11, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    CORRECTION:
    Reagan did CONTINUE the tax cuts for the rich, which did lead to budget deficits.

  165. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Hey Mika, Israel has become sort of a hotspot for permaculture over the past decade. One of the two founders, David Holmgren, has taken a particular interest in your state. You should try to catch his spiel next time he’s in-country. My personal hero, and my son is named after his son. Brilliant man.

  166. mika. October 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    But me civilized? That’s a leap;)
    ==
    Hehe. Well, you got your eye on a Meyer lemon and a Satsuma Mandarin, so you can’t be that bad.

  167. k-dog October 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    in fifty years you won’t be here so it doesn’t matter what you plant on it.

  168. asoka October 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    k-dog, for the next thirty I hope to be here, so it does matter what I plant on it, because I want to eat during the next 30 years … in my five hour eating window each day.
    Fast-5 Lifestyle
    http://www.fast-5.com/content/about

  169. jerry October 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    James, from what I understand, they all went out for a very long lunch all at the same time!!
    It is my belief that what is needed is a grand jury investigation, that will also look into the foreign investment into the Republican elections via the Chamber of Commerce.
    The fraud is so wide spread that the elite really don’t give a damn. They believe that fraud is an acceptable part of doing business in America.
    It is all a rotting tick eating from inside the host–being all regular type Americans.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  170. mika. October 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    I don’t know, Tripp, I think it would better to save that seat to our farm boiz. :)

  171. k-dog October 11, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    How about a rabbit snare? The grazing area of a single rabbit must be much larger than the postage stamp(no offense) you plan on cultivating. You actually hare-vest from a much larger piece of land. Maybe you could grow some carrots next to the snare to attract the critters, and for stew once you get em too.

  172. wagelaborer October 11, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Did you see that Hungary is hauling in the owner of the sludge pond that failed into the police station for questioning?
    Does this sound as absurd to other Americans here as it does to me?
    I literally cannot picture that happening here!
    Smoking pot, yeah. They’ll kick down your door, shoot your dog,and terrorize you kids.
    But causing widespread environmental damage, killing people and destroying property?
    Never!

  173. k-dog October 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Seriously though Brassica Rapa might have possibilities.

  174. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    “You actually hare-vest from a much larger piece of land”
    This idea has tons of merit. I’m always looking at secondary and tertiary harvests on my small plot. My favorites of course are bat houses and pigeon coops to harvest phosphorus from the area, and tall trees to harvest windborne fertility (dust). And if times get lean my old pecan tree is a world-class squirrel attractor!

  175. Andrew MacDonald October 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    The writing is on the wall, and it’s not just JHK who’s putting it there, though he puts it more entertainingly than most.
    So what we gonna do about it, in our own blocks and neighborhoods to save our own and our neighbor’s bacon? The two are related. The problem we have is, among other things, a reflection of the breakdown us useful human connection where we live.
    A few ideas at http://www.radicalrelocalization.com. As soon as you start thinking about what to do, rather than watching her go down, new ideas do pop up. If we act on those, a whack more come and so it goes.

  176. trippticket October 11, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    “I enjoyed the piece, Tripp … it’s nice to
    see a person staring reality in the face yet
    not flinching about the repercussions.”
    Thanks for the props, E!

  177. jim e October 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    If only they had bad Amortization…Off topic and a few weeks back… Hell Hole revised…”The removal experience in Georgia, where militia troops engaged in a rapid and often brutal round up of Cherokee in the Spring of 1838, endures as the most notorious event on the Trail of Tears. But the sites where most of the military associated activity occurred are vaguely known, and the factual history of the round up has been clouded by the bitter legacy of the event.”
    “DeKalb County, Alabama was established January 9, 1836 from land that was ceded to the federal government by the Cherokee Nation and is named for Baron Johann Sebastian DeKalb, an American Revolutionary War hero. The county seat is Fort Payne, a name derived from the fort that was built during the forced removal of Indians along the Trail of Tears, as commissioned by Captain John Payne.”
    “Sheffield, at the Spring Creek boat launch and park area was also recognized as one of the Colbert County sites of embarkation, by riverboat and barge from the southern side of the Tennessee River en route to Waterloo, Alabama, on the north side, during the historical relocation of Eastern and Southern United States Indian Tribes, known as “The Trail Of Tears”.”
    “Donna Jean was born in Sheffield, Alabama.”
    She is the only lady that was “playin in the band”. I suspect her family cried “Black Dutch”.






  178. Eleuthero October 11, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    It’s just a damned shame that they took
    a beautiful building, the De Young itself,
    and turned it into something that looks
    like scrap metal. How do municipalities
    justify spending tens of millions to make
    a building look WORSE than the original
    by an order of magnitude!?
    I agree … the Musee D’Orsay was well worth
    the twenty-five bucks. Sometimes I wish that
    I’d lived in that era even though life was
    MUCH harder.
    I guess the entire world of that day had only
    about 750 million people. It almost seems like
    they were ten times LARGER (in terms of SOUL)
    that the petty consumer droids of the 21st
    century.
    E.

  179. asoka October 11, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    k-dog said: “You actually hare-vest from a much larger piece of land.”
    My hares will not wear vests … only monkey suits.

  180. k-dog October 12, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    But you will have a vest of hares, cold nights at that altitude I’d think.

  181. treebeardsuncle October 12, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    Ok. You are right. I chalk it up to television being introduced at a young age since the 1950′s. However, America is not as decadent as the Roman empire. We don’t have gladitorial games and public executions. Also one can’t say of Americans as a Celtic lady said of themselves and the Romans ‘We consort with the best of men in public while you allow yourself to be debauched by the worst in private.” On another note a girl named Cathy from chorus who saw me in chorus when I was taking that class for a bit with her came on to me later that year in 8th grade. I was put off by the rose tattoo she had on her arm near her shoulder. That was 25 years ago. The mother of my second child has a number of tattoos. Am not sure where women got the idea that it was such a great idea to cut their hair short, get tattoos, and get fat. I can tolerate the first two, but will not accept women who are much overweight. Anything more than about 140 pounds for a woman who is 5 2 and 160 for a lady who is around 5 6 is too much.

  182. treebeardsuncle October 12, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    You are correct on all counts. How do you actually expect the “world to work out?”

  183. jim e October 12, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    The banking authorities were shocked

  184. treebeardsuncle October 12, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    I forgot about that. Olive trees do well in a Mediterannean environment. Could try figs too. I don’t think you have enough space for a goat though.

  185. treebeardsuncle October 12, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    That is because pot/hemp is a threat to the paper, alcohol, and agri-business lobby. Those chemical sludge ponds are just threats to insignificant irrelevant people.

  186. treebeardsuncle October 12, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    50% of folks on Wall Street expect higher bonuses this year.
    http://lifeinc.todayshow.com/_news/2010/10/11/5272886-many-on-wall-street-expect-a-banner-year-for-their-bonuses#comments

  187. Cavepainter October 12, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Now wait a minute EIGHTM, we can’t create more land, more resources, more wilderness, more habitat for humans and other species, more open space, more water, more places uncrowded, more places of solitude. The whole world is becoming a refugee processing center because ther are just too many of us. Redistributing global population will only destroy what’s left of intrinsic livability where it still exist. If the remaining level of livability here in America is to be preserved we must arrest population growth by aiming all immigration policy at zero population growth. Get real!

  188. LewisLucanBooks October 12, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    You gardeners and permaculture folks might find this interesting. Grow pineapples in northern climes!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple_pit
    I ran across the story of The Lost Gardens of Heligan years ago, and the pineapple pits stuck in my mind. The gardens website is pretty interesting. There’s a book about the gardens floating around out there somewhere.
    It takes tons of horse shit to pull this off. But it also works on a smaller scale with less exotic plants. I recently went to an estate sale and out back was an old, obviously hand built greenhouse. Not too large. Concrete footing, brick walls to about 3 feet high and the rest in glass.
    What I noticed was a brick “box” running along the entire length of the greenhouse. I suppose it could have been a cold frame. It had been cleaned out, but enough residue was left in the bottom to determine it had been full of horse shit at one time.
    This is in western Washington state. We have months long periods where there is no sun. If it’s not raining, the sky just hangs there, lead grey. And, we do have our cold snaps. 12 to 17 degrees f. for a couple of weeks at a time. Ya have to be a native to love it!

  189. LewisLucanBooks October 12, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    This is an interesting interview with Joe Bageant. He talks about the outlawing of marijuana, the whys and where-fors. Synthetic cloth and plastics made from chemicals replaced lots of hemp cloth and cordage.
    Bageant talks about Henry Ford making a car body out of soy and hemp. Somewhere there’s supposed to be footage of him taking a sledge hammer to it. Bounced back and damn near took out old Henry.
    That whole story may be a spoof, but Bageant seems to believe it.
    But the bottom line is the chemical and oil industry demonized hemp to insure there wouldn’t be any competition to their products. You have to smoke a ton of industrial hemp to even get a buzz and it’s nasty, harsh stuff.

  190. LewisLucanBooks October 12, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    Yikes! Sorry guys. Left out the link.
    http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/10/brisbane.html

  191. Nickelthrower October 12, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    Greetings,
    Businesses openly admit that the 80% 20% maxim is true as they derive 80% of their profits from 20% of their clients. They would be more than happy if the other 80% of the people just went away. This is true for cruise lines, restaurants, casinos, cell phone companies – you name it.
    Given the current business cycle, these businesses have cut as much staff as possible that used to deal with the non money making group of clients. I have noticed that they are focusing on the minority of people that still have money.
    Take cruise lines for example. Some cruise lines have walled off parts of their ships and turned them into floating palaces. Now you can buy a 5000sqft apartment that has access to a private pool, private gym and private clubs. Also, you never need be bothered by those pesky tourists as they have no access to your guarded floating villa.
    These cruise line floating apartments are not cheap but it seems to be a better way to get a lot of money fast rather than trying to please tight-fisted senior citizens.

  192. Patrizia October 12, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    What happens now is nothing else than what happened in 1930.
    Instead of stocks people borrowed money to buy houses that hey would have sold in the very near future getting double than what they invested, paying back loans and having a good profit.
    That is what I did in London.
    Instead of paying the rent I bought a house borrowing money, selling it one year later with 50.000 pounds profit.
    I was lucky I sold it in 2003.
    If I had done the same in 2008 now I would find myself in the position to pay a mortgage which would be much higher than the house´s value.
    What most people fail to understand is that it cannot go forever growing…that a house after being over evaluated can loose its value, that the number of buyers lowers when prices get too high compared to the income.
    But ther is a very simple way out of it: devaluating the dollar.
    And this will happen.
    The houses´value will be the same, but much lower, the wages will be the same, but more people will have a job, because it won´t be profitable to import from China.
    America will begin to produce again, the standard of living will lower (but people have to understand that what is nice is not always granted).
    Well, America is too big to fail.

  193. Nickelthrower October 12, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    I can’t read between the lines very well. I need things spelled out.
    What do you mean when you say that we won’t need prisons?
    I assume that you mean that they are just going to execute people, but it that seems unlikely to go well.

    Greetings,
    No, I did not mean that they plan to execute people. There isn’t a lot of money to be made by executing people.
    What is heading our way is greater privatization of the prison and parole system.
    See, 911 funneled a lot of money into companies that worked on things like voice and face recognition or data mining firms. These companies pounded a lot of that money back into research and development and with the blessing of the state how now developed some very serious total information systems that can damn near predict a crime.
    These guys have tons of government money and they have used it in ways that the police and FBI have not.
    I’m saying that it may not be necessary to house any non violent offenders anymore because they can be monitored 24/7 in real time. They can be screened for drugs, eavesdropped on or given “pain compliance” all from an automated system – all of it remotely.
    Of course, these systems will eventually be used on everyone as that is the real target audience.

  194. eightm October 12, 2010 at 2:53 am #

    The mistake is to think that there is some kind of “external reality”, that there are external rules that will make the US “blow up”, etc. that the stock market “will go down” because people can’t find jobs, etc.
    Nothing further from the truth, there are no rules, only instantaneous adjustments, only decisions forcing things to be anyway a majority of controlling elements decide to make them be: the US can go on for 1,000 years like 2005 and even more so, there is no limit, anything goes, as long as the controlling elements decide, and with their free will, force reality to conform to the way they design it: everyone else is just programmed to play according to the rules and believe in them, but the rules are not metaphysical, they are arbitrary, man made rules, valid in this time (may be valid for centuries or just a few days, like when everyone was saying the Euro was “going to die”; and now a few months later its value has increased by more than 20 % on the dollar, etc.).
    There is no such thing as “wealth creation” by private corporations or competition, or dynamic economies, etc. they are all make believe figments of the imagination that have some vague relationship to power structures in that some people have more power on others, can fire or hire others for no reason at all, aside the reasons they make up as being valid.
    Reality is essentially a construction: what we really have is a world with 10 billion people, with a huge potential for building (especially given how much can be automated and optimized by technology), we have constructed a huge database of knowledge in all endeavors, we can extract and manipulate the natural resources we have (especially given how genetically engineered bacteria can generate oil and energy and anything else you can imagine, microrobots that can build skyscrapers in a few hours, nanorobots, etc.) that it is really absurd that so many people only see limitations, only see pollution, global warming, economic crisis, etc.
    We today can essentially do anything: and that is the real problem, we can have any goal and easily achieve it, it is actually very easy, in fact TOO EASY , that civilization does not know how to deal with it, can’t accept it, can’t except the complete free lunch science has given us, so we fight and argue and create instabilities of all kinds, and fake “economic crisis” to not face our complete and total responsability on how we want our existence to be.
    The biggest free lunch of all is INFORMATION, there has never been so much information and knowledge and so many people involved in creating it as today through the internet: and in fact the monetary value of information will become zero, so all this talk of innovation and services and research which is essentially information will have zero value because it will cost zero, hence it will be the biggest free lunch imaginable. Books, music, blogs like this, all kinds of research, ultimately technology and all the basics like homes and food will be free, cannot cost anything anymore because the system is so rich it doesn’t know what to do with itself.
    But you all keep on thinking we are doomed, we are going into the dark ages, energy is finishing, we have to grow some crap in our backyards, etc. Genetically altered plants will grow trillions of tons of every kind of food completely for free for trillions of people, and you guys all still think like 18th century Amish…
    We need solar system sized projects to keep all those billions of minds occupied, Zeppelins inside the Sun, Zeppelins inside Jupiter and Saturn, we need trillions of people, we need mega population explosions to colonize the solar system and eventually the galaxy, get over it, science and technology have achieved Nirvana, now you have to have the courage to use it for the common good and overcome this cave man system of Capitalism and economy…

  195. Eleuthero October 12, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    TBU,
    You’re a conservative. A book that might
    interest you is “The End of History and
    the Last Man” by Francis Fukuyama”. The
    essence of the book is that modern people
    have “little souls”. We aren’t even capable
    of the grandeur of Roman decadence because
    we just aren’t that imaginative.
    That’s my theory, too. Yes, the Romans had
    flophouses and vomitoria … one only need
    watch Fellini’s “Satyricon” to get a sense
    of the perversion of that age. However, the
    tragedy of this “Leaden Age” is that people’s perversions aren’t even giving them very much
    pleasure. They’re ZOMBIES.
    Look at their dress and mannerisms … stoners
    with all black clothes shuffling around without
    girlfriends, passions, hobbies, or anything
    except “hanging out”. I never thought I’d
    live to see an era when my fifty-something
    and sixty-something friends had more moxy
    and joie de vivre than an average 25-year-old.
    Well, that age is here!!!!
    E.

  196. Eleuthero October 12, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    They’d better get those higher bonuses
    this year before Elizabeth Warren shuts
    off the tap and/or they start getting
    shot by vigilantes.
    I fully expect public rage to ramp up
    way beyond Tea Party dimensions to the
    point where a lot of plutocrats just
    end up becoming like Mexican plutocrats
    … living in “compounds” with private
    armies.
    E.

  197. Eleuthero October 12, 2010 at 3:10 am #

    Tattoos are for life. That’s why they
    are CHEESY because they represent a
    provocative, yet self-destructive way
    of distinguishing oneself from others.
    What about distinguishing oneself by
    acquisition of SKILLS?? It takes too
    long and these people usually have the
    attention span of a goddamned fruit fly.
    Self-destructive because if they’re in
    an area that can’t be covered up the
    person is crippling their entire employment
    career.
    How about the simple idea that this kind
    of vanity is bad and modesty of presentation
    to the public is good? Or is that just not
    “hip” enough.
    E.

  198. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    “They can be screened for drugs, eavesdropped on or given “pain compliance” all from an automated system – all of it remotely.”
    Morning, Nickelthrower. One problem I have with this argument is the same problem I have with regular manned missions to Mars. It requires a massive increase in energy to accomplish, which as you know is generally not where we’re headed. 300 million people is still a lot of folks to keep tabs on, no matter how desensitized we’ve become by federal deficits in the brazillions.
    Another issue I take with this line of logic is the idea that computer technologies can be yoked to create some sort of “weightless economy,” one that runs on very little energy. You’ll have to ask the computer folks here if that’s how it works. I’m a total technophobe myself, but I’ve never observed any net savings of energy or time from the introduction of “time/energy-saving devices.”
    Fortunately I think, from my angle anyway, your prognostication arises from our past culture of fear, and contractionary energy physics probably won’t work that way. Just my .02

  199. lbendet October 12, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    I’ve finally had time to read through most of the posts this morning–I’ll be late for work, but E., you’ve made some really valid comments in the last two days.
    But one thing that hasn’t been mentioned clearly is that starting with Clinton, the neoliberal Deomocrat and continuing with “W”, the Neoliberal Republican there was an agenda set forth called “The Ownership Society”, so described by “W”.
    When the bubble burst, There were mortgage handlers at banks who claimed that they got their marching orders from the top down.
    The housing market and everything connected with it from the cheaply made Chinese furniture and home accoutrements was a ruse to keep the people happy.
    As our jobs were getting destroyed through take-overs and off-shoring, the American people were not supposed to catch-on that their standard of living was being undermined, so let’s let them think they still can attain the “American Dream”, even if they are working for way less than they should have been, if this form of Capitalism hadn’t taken hold. No everyone can own a home. What could be democratic than that, I ask you?
    Well, folks, there was something for everyone in this and it is essentially why nobody complained!
    Quite an arrangement, wasn’t it and so good while we allowed ourselves to be fooled into thinking the post industrial economy could work. Then, of course all good things come to an end–and what are we left with?
    What we have here in my opinion is a global form of Trotsky re-engineered to flow money to the top from the masses, destroying Labor rather than building economies of strength.
    Thanks Milton Friedman! What a clever guy–so you read Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution.

  200. mila59 October 12, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    Asoka, check out Tripp’s blog at smallbatchgarden.blogspot. I’m sure he’d be happy to answer your question there. Much less cluttered.

  201. messianicdruid October 12, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    “…only decisions forcing things to be anyway a majority of controlling elements decide to make them be…”
    And if you happen to disagree with the “controlling elements”, because you have discovered they are usurping, power-hungry mattoids, guess what?






  202. Prelapsarian Press October 12, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Add to the list of early warners economist Dean Baker. Back in the spring of 2002 I heard him talk about the housing bubble, all the shenanigans that was promoting it (along with Greenspan’s deliberate manipulation of interest rates to create it in order to finesse the dot.bomb crash), and the fallout that would result. Robert Kuttner has been on to it for several years as well.
    Basically, it has all been a massive takeover of the real economy of goods and services by the FIRE sector. Most of our “money” now goes to debt service. Real wages have dropped steadily for 37 years, and the rabble have been kept in line by giving them credit instead. Convince them that their houses are inflating in value so they’ll take out even more loans on the “equity.” Let government and the real economy starve, while more and more resources are funneled off to FIRE.
    The game’s over. Banksters have squeezed all the debt service out of this economy that they can. On the bright side, they won’t allow the complete trashing of the currency of a country that has a state-of-the-art military and no democratic checks on its use by the most easily-controlled population in the world.
    Michael Hudson is probably the best economist to read on all of this.

  203. San Jose Mom 51 October 12, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    TBU,
    If you don’t mind my asking, who are you voting for for governor and senator?
    I find Barbara Boxer really shrill and annoying. I think Fiorina is smarter and well-spoken, but having been an HP employee, I have bitter feelings about her. I was surprised to learn that her dad was a federal judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
    As for governor, I’m going to vote for Brown. I think Whitman has a personality disorder.
    SJmom

  204. Prelapsarian Press October 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    The poem seems to be referencing the Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkle — “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, tenement halls, echoing the sounds of silence.” Where the bleak environment of modernity once screamed anomie and incoherence, now it is painted individuals who scream it.

  205. alwaysnothing October 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    This entire planet has become one big insane asylum. There are two types of crazies on it. One is just the normal type of nut like most of us, and the other are the criminally insane who run things. Really to bad we the nut cases do not see the criminally insane for what they are. The only thing good about all of this is that the word doomed rolls of the tongue so easily.

  206. asoka October 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    While CFN is saying “we are so fucked” or we are fucked because of the “the laws of physics” what is happening… in the real world … is people are going about solving the energy problems.
    As I have said so many times and will repeat again: these problems are not intractable and the solution will be multifaceted and synergistic. Wind power is just ONE FACET of the solution.
    BEIJING (AFP) – Wind power could meet about a fifth of the world’s electricity demand within 20 years, an industry group and environmental watchdog Greenpeace predicted in a new report released on Tuesday.
    The global market for wind power grew 41.7 percent on year in 2009, beating average annual growth of 28.6 percent over the past 13 years, said Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, or GWEC.
    China ranked second in the world in installed wind generating capacity in 2009 and was the largest buyer of wind technology, Sawyer told reporters at the launch of GWEC and Greenpeace’s Global Wind Energy Outlook 2010 report.
    “We would expect China to continue to be the largest market and perhaps even be the (overall) largest market in the world by the end of this year,” he said.
    The report’s “advanced scenario” — its most optimistic outlook — projects the world’s combined installed wind turbines would produce 2,600 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity by 2020 — equal to 11.5 to 12.3 percent of power demand.
    By 2030, wind energy would produce 5,400 TWh — 18.8 to 21.8 percent of the world’s power supply, the report said.
    “For more than the last 10 years, the actual performance of the wind industry has exceeded our advanced scenario every time,” said Sawyer.
    Under the advanced forecast, 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions would be saved each year, the report said.
    This would increase to 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 saved each year by 2030.

  207. Nickelthrower October 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Greetings,
    Back in early 2002 I did a gig for Intel. It was all pretty hush hush but they were trying to figure out how they were going to meet the mandate that all voice, text and other communications be recorded and stored. These guys had “toys” that I still have not seen on the market 8 years later – things right out of a science fiction movie.
    The point is, I knew in early 2002 that Uncle Sam planned to begin recording all of our communications. I also knew that they had some very advanced technology which the rest of us didn’t have.
    Now, the security company I did work for has ALREADY created the infrastructure needed to, quite literally, imprison you in your own home. They do not need to build any additional systems. The only part left for them is marketing to State and local government.
    Just to really freak you out, I’ve seen with my own eyes the nice chip that will go in your thumb that holds all of your records – drivers license, passport, medical records, xrays, banking information, credit cards and you can transfer cash to your thumb also. It already exists but I was listening to politicians and CEO try to figure out how to get the public to accept it.
    BTW, they are going to start with a biometric key fob.

  208. zendiego October 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    holy bat guano, I am still gathering up the sorrid bits of masticated wallet (soylent?) which I had to quickly grab from my groin region and hold between my stained whites in order to stomache this technocrat drivel.
    Trekkies are harmless enough playing with tribbles, but to roleplay as some kind of egalitarian imperialist proliferating the human disgrace to the rest of the universe seems like you may have landed in a mushroom field where the collective masses imagine the greatness of being a tiny ant amongst the great weeds of opportunity. The towering forest of endless bounty, a cornucopia of unimaginable hope.
    I took a pill once, it was a happy pill…I am not happy.
    Good luck with your Galactic Tour De Force…leave me a couple sweet potatoes on the way out.

  209. Cash October 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    An insane asylum but some of it is actually quite funny.
    I read that so many of these toxic mortgages have been sold and re-sold so many times that in many instances mortgage service providers aren’t sure which institutions own which mortgages. That is just hilarious. At least I thought so.

  210. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Asoka, one of the most glaring fallacies of logic in your not-as-sunny-as-you-think disposition is the fact that readily available energy just creates more humans. You talk about this like it’s simply a matter of pollution, when that is just a symptom of the real problem, which is too many humans altering their environment in deleterious ways.
    Since we are a biological population that does indeed follow those dastardly Laws of Nature, our population is governed by energy just like any other. We harnessed the power of coal and then, perhaps more importantly, oil, and our population exploded to 7 times the typical human population. Human numbers have hovered around 800 or 900 million, maybe a billion during a benevolent climate period, for millenia before that.
    Considering that our brains were fully modern at least 50,000 years ago, it would be arbitrary and capricious to suggest that we had simply never had the opportunity to expand like we have before 1830. When Siberians crossed the Bering Strait into North America 12,000 years ago it took very little time to cover the landscape from the retreating ice sheets in Canada to Tierra del Fuego. But the reason the population didn’t explode any more than it did was because we lived according to the planet’s background energy. We were part and parcel of a finely-tuned biological system.
    We have since departed from that equilibrium based on fossil energy alone. Even if we invent no other technology to run our computers and refrigerators, our population will still crash at some point. And the longer it takes the worse it will be, hence the reason I think your position is pretty dark.
    I don’t know, perhaps wind turbines are appropriate for a transitionary phase, from our current, extremely abusive position to one once again based solely on photosynthesized solar energy. Maybe it helps. I’m not sure. But to suggest that we can keep doing what we’re doing in perpetuity because we found a way that may or may not produce as much smoke, from cradle to grave, is myopic. It’s like saying that electric cars will solve our happy motoring dilemma. It’s a fantastically incomplete accounting system.
    If you are going to practice permaculture, this is the first thing you should work on. That, if there is any chance of saving us from ourselves, it will be because of behavioral innovation, not technological. As I said in my blog posting yesterday, there’s no such thing as free energy, because more free energy just creates more humans that eat, drink, and excrete, at bare minimum, and increasingly feel they require a computer, cell phone, and car too. These are not needs that can be met forever, even the food and drink part.
    Now if YOU want to install a small turbine on your little adobe house in Arizona, then by all means do it. Maybe you can keep it working long enough to provide you some sense of comfort and normalcy for your remaining years. But 37 year olds like myself, and more importantly, 2 year olds and infants like my children, will be asked to do something very different if they want to live.
    I applaud the personal sacrifice you’ve made on the planet’s behalf. I wasn’t able to do it. So thank you. But this prattle about free energy is essentially meaningless, regardless of statistics, and I couldn’t hold my tongue any longer.
    All my best.

  211. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Amen, Zen! When 8M speaks I cower in terror at the ugliness of his imagined reality. If I though about nothing else for the rest of the year I doubt I could come up with a system so brutally inhumane and unrealistic as the one he describes.

  212. Cash October 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Wind power could meet about a fifth of the world’s electricity demand within 20 years, an industry group and environmental watchdog Greenpeace predicted in a new report released on Tuesday. – Asoka
    Yeah, you can count on what an industry group predicts. You can be sure that there’s no spin, no distortion especially when it involves their bottom line and executive self interest. You should know by now that bullshit is the chief corporate stock in trade.
    I agree with Mika about your malice and hate. But the people you hate have a space inside your head rent free.
    I see up here Quebec separatists still bitter about indignities, real and perceived, inflicted on them by les maudits anglais decades ago. They apparently haven’t noticed that the Westmount Rhodesians are long gone, that Quebecers have been maitres chez nous in Quebec for the longest time, that Quebecers ran Canada for decades, that the Quebec agenda drove the whole country. The country has moved on but separatists haven’t.
    Separatist Quebecers are living in the past and so are you. Racism is evil and ugly. It corrodes and degrades a society. Let it go.

  213. asoka October 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Tripp said: “But this prattle about free energy is essentially meaningless, regardless of statistics, and I couldn’t hold my tongue any longer.”
    Tripp, for people who need light and can ban the darkness with wind energy it is not meaningless. For people who need hot water and can have it with wind energy, it is not meaningless.
    Too often we judge from the first world perspective, and paint the picture as if it one or the other: behavioral or technological change. Both can happen at the same time. Technological advance does not have to equal more people, as you imply.
    In 1978, years after I had gotten my vasectomy, China’s birth control, one child only, became a basic national policy. I was on board with that from day one. I thought the USA should have copied China the next day.
    But we didn’t and world population has continued to grow.
    So, yes, we recognize population growth as a problem and we try to support humane policies to limit population growth… but we don’t ignore the fact that those already here have needs. If those energy needs can be met with zero emission wind energy… that would be much better than burning coal or oil.
    It is still incredible to me how a bit of good news about energy can be received on CFN as if it were toxic and hate-filled. (see Cash’s and Mika’s comments)

  214. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I’m very much looking forward to the day when all the armchair ecologists are gone. Especially the ones with political science degrees and a viewing audience.

  215. D R Lunsford October 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    There were three things in my experience, all from decades ago, that told me things were rotten to the core in every aspect of life.
    One – the rise of pseudo-science, and I don’t mean Laetrile and astrology. I mean things like supermassive black holes (never seen but made the cause of ALL), inflationary cosmology (in principle untestable), and string theory (so out of touch with reality that it cannot even be said to be wrong), and the huge surge in science popularizations with religious overtones (usually Zen or some other “artistic” religion).
    Two – trying to argue with self-styled environmentalists regarding the relative dangers of nuclear power vs. alternatives. Science and rationality had long since fled from their addled minds. One might as well argue with a potato.
    Three – the enormous increase in jail populations combined with law-and-order zealotry, universally embraced, as embodied in the MADD campaign, which is just a form of Puritan cleansing undertaken under a socially acceptable cover story.
    Examples in all three categories can be cited in the years since. Things are not improving.
    And now we discover that banking itself is nothing but a massive Ponzi scheme. Indeed, there is nothing left to build on.
    I knew in the 80s that our way of life was doomed. I envied the Russians, who were rid of their moribund society while ours was still festering.
    For years I lamented the passing of a golden age, before I realized there had never been a golden age. Something wicked this way came, and it wasn’t yesterday.
    -drl

  216. John66 October 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    All of the quantitative easing in the fucking world isn’t going to do one bit of good until the banks start lending the additional quantity. Bottom line. On the flip side of that, the effect on the dollar will be nil, simply because the money still hasn’t been lended by the banks. The banks are nothing more than more vault space to put all this additional quantity. When it’s lended out and it hits the economy, then we can start talking about inflation.
    But right now, the federal deficit and the trade deficit are the two big killers of the dollar. And as long as politicians in Washington continue to borrow when they should be taxing and as long as they keep the defense budget where it’s at, nothing is going to change and the dollar will continue to fall.
    The only conclusion that I can logically surmise is that the people WANT their assets to be severely devalued.
    I would even go out on a limb and say that the inflation that would normally occur as a result of a weak dollar would be completely consumed by weak demand.
    The bipolar economic existence of a weak dollar with weak demand will be our fate.

  217. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    “It is still incredible to me how a bit of good news about energy can be received on CFN as if it were toxic and hate-filled. (see Cash’s and Mika’s comments)”
    It’s because it’s not good news! It’s industry drivel and imagined hope. Energy beyond photosynethesized solar energy is not a NEED. We didn’t evolve with it so it’s extraneous. It’s a comfort. One we’re all too used to, and somehow think is humanity’s inalienable right to possess.
    I fully expect and hope to not have electricity by the time I’m an old man, because I know the alternative is death. If not for me then for my children. Unfortunately that makes me the optimist in this dialogue.

  218. John66 October 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    For instance, does anyone remember the way oil spiked up to $150 due to… the weak dollar and then went back down due to…weak demand?
    I think that was a precursor of things to come.
    In other words, if the economy was an organism that could talk to us, it was saying, “Even the weakness in your dollar is not bigger than the weakness in your demand.”
    Take THAT, inflationistas!

  219. messianicdruid October 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    “Michael Hudson is probably the best economist to read on all of this.”
    This, is, indeed a fortunate choice.
    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/living-economies/532

  220. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I generally agree with you about our future possibilities and that we shouldn’t be pessimistic. BUT, you have to be more accurate and realistic in your postings.
    First, the world’s population is around 6.9 billion, not 10 billion, a significant difference; I don’t know where you are hiding the other 3 billion people. In Astronomy, you can be cavalier with large numbers, but not for the purpose of this discussion.
    Next, you have to distinguish between “super-science fantasy” and the real progression of scientific advancement. There will not be zeppelins inside the sun. The temperature and pressure there are so gigantic that nuclear fusion takes place. If, in some future, we were able to be inside the sun, I could only think that it would be for scientific reasons. I do not foresee blimps filled with tourists or colonists floating inside.
    The same can be said for Jupiter and Saturn – blimps inside them will be possible, but why on Earth (I mean Jupiter) would many people inhabit a gas giant, except to be a tourist trip or scientific expidition, when there are so many other bodies to live on or in?
    With advancements in science and guided technology, the Earth can support more people, but not the thousands upon thousands of billions (i.e., trillions) more you talk about. Neither can there be trillions of skyscrapers.
    The problem I have with your postings is that you are coming across as a science-fiction-reading teenager. This bothers me because I’m trying to get people that subscribe to this blog to be able to speculate about the steps needed to get to a higher-tech and wonderous future, rather than chuckle at a wild-eyed kid’s pie-in-the sky ramblings.
    I’m sorry that I probably hurt your feelings; my intentions are to educate, not castigate.

  221. Cash October 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    It is still incredible to me how a bit of good news about energy can be received on CFN as if it were toxic and hate-filled. (see Cash’s and Mika’s comments) – Asoka
    If there were genuine good news I would take it as such but as soon as I see the term “predict” in the same sentence as “industry group” my bullshit detectors go into full scream mode.
    I see any communication from the corporate world as worthless drivel (to use Tripp’s apt terminology). I don’t see it as hate filled. Toxic? Yes I can go with that. Bullshit is toxic. It is meant to twist people’s thinking, manipulate them.
    I don’t know enough about Greepeace to comment on them. But I pissed my life away in the corporate world. What I saw there was a culture of bullshit.

  222. tiff_girl72 October 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    First time comment. Jim seems right about the level of intellectual dishonesty out there. No one knew of this fraud?
    Not likely. People need to start holding these overpaid hucksters accountable.
    http://www.grievancesofthepeople.com

  223. Funzel October 12, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    I can not believe what I just read on Bloomberg.Salazar lifts ban on deep sea drilling.Who is this treasonous Hoodlum,was he elected,where does he come from?Does he carry two passports?Since when does a single individual decide the fate of America,putting us in danger of additional major life threatening circumstances by lifting this ban.This guy needs to be hanged before he does any more damage to America.This decision of deep sea drilling should be on a world wide ballot,since not only the gulf states are involved,but a host of other nations as well.Tell me, all you “highly educated”people wasn’t it enough of an insult to put this illegal alien in the white house,being overrun by breeding hordes of Mexicans and the financial disaster and corruption we have??

  224. Cash October 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    QE is like pushing on a string because so much of the North American economy has been gutted through offshoring. No amount of monetary easing will right this ship. Offshoring is a phenomenon based on differentials in wages and other costs of doing business in foreign jurisdictions plus barriers to trade imposed by China.
    We were supposed to believe that North American workers would move up the “value chain” as industries and white collar occupations were moved to slave wage jurisdictions. What value chain? There was none to move up. What replaced the productive economy was real estate and financial speculation. What QE will do is more of QE has done in the past: encourage more speculation. We’ll get more asset bubbles and busts, nothing more.

  225. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I just had to reply. You said:
    “…if there is any chance of saving us from ourselves, it will be because of behavioral innovation, not technological.”
    This is the crux of my difference with you. I believe it takes BOTH behavioral (or social) and technological innovation.

  226. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    One of my two favorite songs of all time.

  227. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Pseudo-science is laetrile and astrology. It’s also belief in ghosts, being kidnapped by aliens,much of alternative medicine, perpetual motion machines, the 6,000 year-old Earth and many other things.
    Supermassive black holes, by definition cannot be seen directly, but with careful measurement, can be implied to the exclusion of other possible objects. Evidence (and nearly proof, if you believe in the Big Bang Theory) for inflationary cosmology has been found. String theory helps describe the universe, but can’t be proven yet because our technology isn’t advanced enough at present. Isaac Newton dscribed the theory of gravitation, yet never saw a gravity wave.
    My point is, your 3 examples are science-based, not psudo-science. I hope you are not one of those who don’t believe in evolution because it’s just a theory.

  228. asoka October 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Tripp said: “I fully expect and hope to not have electricity by the time I’m an old man, because I know the alternative is death.”
    Hyperbole and pessimism. If I hadn’t seen the YouTube of Doherty’s tractor, I would be tempted to throw in “Luddite” … but I don’t think that is you, Tripp.
    Have you ever lived in the third world without hot water, without electricity? I have, and it’s not fun.
    If a way, many ways actually, can be developed to provide hot water and electricity to the billions of people in the third world, without contributing to polluting emissions, I am all for it.
    The feeling I get from some on CFN is that “they” can’t have basic amenities because there are “too many” of “them”. We have water and electricity, but “they” cannot. Malthus or carrying capacity or population biology or whatever is given as the reason. I’m not buying it… and the world is not waiting for our permission.
    Some CFNers pooh-pooh green shoots and want to prevent America from getting clean energy, to prevent Obama from succeeding. But they can’t stop China from getting clean energy and leading the world, or Germany from getting clean energy or Denmark or anyone else. WMBH types are only hurting Americans.
    Yes, the population needs to be reduced. Yes, energy consumption needs to be reduced, especially in the First World. But there is no stopping developing countries from developing clean energy sources and providing basic amenities for their citizens.
    I like you, Tripp, and admire permaculture philosophy. Permaculture is not inconsistent with human comfort, even for the Third World.

  229. Vlad Krandz October 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    You should be happy – it’s the new tribalism. Aboriginality has been packaged for the young Whites. Soon they will have bones in their noses – animal ones at first but later, who knows. Everyone should read “Lord of the Flies” and realize the reality of the stick sharpened at both ends. Poor Piggy – they took his specs to make fire for the feast. And when they couldn’t catch a pig they went after Piggy.
    It was in cognizance of all this that good traditional societies evolved taboos and laws. Thus the Sioux hated the Pawnee for their cannibalism and the filth of their nascent cities. Traditionals know how low man can sink and seek to guard against it. And these kids think that by ceasing to be Western, anything goes. They’ll learn or end up with Piggy. The West WAS an amazing experiment in personal freedom that was only possible because so many people had a profound respect for basically good laws. And even when they were outdated, they provided a good starting point. But by trying to reform the Law, we were tricked by the Marxists and Illuminati to throw it all away – and with it our Civilization.
    Made it to the Northwest. You were right – it’s cold already and the forest is not as full of life as the Hardwoods back east. But it is beautiful, the air is fresh, and the people are much more traditional and wise than in Massachusetts. Can you imagine anyone being stupid enough to elect Barney Frank or Barack Obama?

  230. Bustin J October 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Doing bong hits while playing Grand Theft Auto?
    Check.
    Whacking it to Internet porn?
    Check.
    Bong hits are justified. I didn’t cause the trillion dollar deficit. Or the wars.
    Whacking it to Internet porn is, research indicates, practically essential in the bone-dry sexless wasteland of modern America.
    Face-to-face personal communication between strangers is rare and getting rarer.
    Dating women is a never-ending job interview.
    Modern women are developing a generic set of personality traits distinctly corporate in nature, because their new lifelong love relationships are with corporate brands. The new “provider” is not a biological man but the companies that facilitate their living their femininity to the hilt.
    A man will buy a truck and some toys and that’s about it over the course of his life. A woman is a consumption machine, devouring cosmetics, clothes, accessories, as well as directing the purchase of real estate, the cars, and by controlling the decision to make babies, is the decisive element of consumption growth.
    Modern women’s lives are one long chat session (Gossip about people they know) with a bunch of chores (Work, children) and vivid fantasies (TV, magazines) and finally, continuous self-evaluation compared to women they know (usually negative-minded since the fat-building legacy of their female genetics discourages them from physical effort). And of course, eating, lots of eating.
    Relationships? Capitalist in nature, of course. Transactional, parasitic, functional, stylized, and without true emotional intimacy. The population of modern women have been actively selecting a type of modern man who has the traits they are interested in: servility, domesticity. The kind of traits one selects a pet dog or cat for. These are corporate traits. This has been the genetic legacy of the industrial era.
    These new, modern men are perfectly evolved to impregnate the new, modern women. Although you’d be uncertain how, since their generally spherical shapes indicates they would have some difficulty putting Tab A in Slot B.

  231. progressorconserve October 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Wage, when you say:
    =========
    “Did you see that Hungary is hauling in the owner of the sludge pond that failed into the police station for questioning?
    Does this sound as absurd to other Americans here as it does to me?
    I literally cannot picture that happening here!
    Smoking pot, yeah. They’ll kick down your door, shoot your dog,and terrorize you kids”
    ============
    Wage, I agree with your points. But I’ll argue about the CAUSES with you and others.
    And I don’t believe it’s really because Diego Brands wants to sell alcohol – and Exxon wants to sell chemical based clothing instead of hemp based clothing.
    From where I sit – never having been a cop, but with plenty of friends and family in law enforcement – we’re just seeing institutions and individuals acting in their own selfish best interest.
    For example, a drug bust is straightforward, because courts AND juries, AND the public at large consider drug users to be *bad* people. On top of that, police agencies at all levels get lots of money and property by *forfeiture* when drug crimes are involved – so agencies at all levels push drug enforcement.
    I’m not saying I approve – I’m very liberal – even pro-drug use, for my own self.
    If it were legal, I’d have a raised bed of “medicinal” hemp in the garden and a frame of seedlings in the greenhouse for the winter.
    AND I’d have some ‘shrooms growing at the edge of the woods down toward the creek.
    Problem is, in Georgia, FBI, DEA, GBI, and multiple overlapping branches of local law enforcement would happily conspire to TAKE MY HOUSE, my bank accounts, and everything else for doing any of these things..
    And my kids and their friends are far more anti-drug than I am – considering work related random testing to be OK, for example.
    Someone mentioned MADD upthread. I don’t know where this pressure for draconian enforcement arises – but society seems to approve – and therefore I don’t see it getting any better any time soon.
    Maybe the US has just gotten too big, the individuals TOO self-absorbed. Enforcement against a polluter, a la Hungary, is just TOO, TOO complicated for us to handle any more.

  232. progressorconserve October 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    BeanBill,
    You are fighting the good fight for scientific accuracy on CFN with DR and 8M and I appreciate it very much.
    I’m finding myself in agreement with some of 8M’s ideas, but the hyperbole does get in the way.
    =============
    And I was unsure why DR lumped laetrile and black holes in the same category. Your comments and questions are quite justified, in my opinion.

  233. lbendet October 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    messianicdruid replied to comment from Prelapsarian Press | October 12, 2010 3:04 PM
    Both cited Michael Hudson as the best economist to discuss this. I concur his website has been part of my education for the past few years along with Henry C.K. Liu (Roosevelt Inst.) and Naomi Klein for insights into this form of Capitalism that she calls distaster capitalism.
    http://michael-hudson.com/
    http://henryckliu.com/
    http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

  234. Goldrodor October 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    __ __ __ __ __
    \ \ / / / \ \ \ / / |
    \ \/ / / /\ \ \ \/ / |
    \ / / /–\ \ \ / |
    || / / \ \ ||
    || — — || O
    – –

  235. San Jose Mom 51 October 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Lunsford,
    Speaking of science/zen….have you read Gary Zukov’s, “The Dancing Wu Li Masters.”
    Ugh.

  236. asia October 12, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    ‘The West WAS an amazing experiment in personal freedom that was…’
    Yes freedom isnt free …I get disgusted when i hear ian masters on KPFK..always goin after [his term or close] WHITE CONSERVATIVES !!!
    and i get a kick when his predictions are wrong..
    the titanic is sinking…..
    which state did you settle in and what does an acre of farmable land sell for?

  237. asia October 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    come on…new age books have sold into the mega millions….
    Ken wilbur never appealed to me..him and adi da:
    Ken Wilber and Adi Da Samraj Endorsement: inspired by Ken Wilber’s continued endorsement of Adi Da Samraj (Da Free John) and failure to denounce him despite…blablbabla

  238. ctemple October 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Couldn’t have said it better Doc, good work.
    I especially liked, ‘dating women is a never ending job interview’.

  239. asia October 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    dupont family is very rich and powerful….this infos been in the open for decades

  240. San Jose Mom 51 October 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    I consider Greenpeace to be a quasi-terrorist organization. There always hanging out in front of Whole Foods, buggin me and others with their self-righteous propaganda. I respond to them saying, “I have no respect for your methods.”
    Wind power needs 100% back-up by another means of power generation, so I really doubt that it will be a significant factor in the future. Wish it weren’t true, but there’s no way of knowing when/if the wind will blow.
    SJmom

  241. mika. October 12, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Michael Hudson is just another gov mafia economist, dressed up in a commie uniform. Whether the government mafia is dressed in commie uniforms, nazi uniforms, fascist uniform, socialist uniform, American corporatist uniform, etc., it’s all the same. It’s the same government mafia thieving thru taxes, thieving thru the issuance of currency and inflation, thieving thru fake social mandates, and war. It’s the same! People need to realize this and stop falling for the false dialectic. There’s absolutely no difference between communism, socialism, nazism, fascism, corporatism, etc. It’s the same scam dressed up in a different uniform.

  242. messianicdruid October 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    “Good luck with your Galactic Tour De Force…leave me a couple sweet potatoes on the way out.”
    Will the last American to leave Babylon, please bring the Flag.

  243. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Boston said: “This is the crux of my difference with you. I believe it takes BOTH behavioral (or social) and technological innovation.”
    Then said:
    “I generally agree with you [8M] about our future possibilities…”
    Considering your alliances, I’m feel OK about our differences.

  244. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Or “I feel OK…” perhaps?

  245. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    “Can you imagine anyone being stupid enough to elect Barney Frank or Barack Obama?”
    I’m going to assume you’re in Idaho, because Washington is just as blue as Mass. So you like it, eh? Me too. Except for the racist enclaves in north Idaho. And the dry, dry climate and short-ass growing season. What exactly are you guys going to do for food, fiber, and fuel out there? Regeneration times are pretty looooong.

  246. Diogenes October 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    I’m afraid that the US government structure has become highly dysfunctional. According to Woodward’s book “Obama’s Wars”, the Generals call the US President “The First Customer”.
    The Generals basically have their hands in the cash register as beneficiaries of lucrative defense contracts and tell the US President what to buy. The First Customer has to buy their product, or else….
    A couple of years ago, the Hong Kong newspapers reported a problem with stores in Shenzhen, China that held customers hostage in their store until they bought something.
    The US President’s cabinet is supposed to consist of people who give hime “advice”, but, basically, this “advisers” are leaders of commercial enterprises/bureaucracies that pressure the US President to buy their stuff.

  247. Diogenes October 12, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    US politicians and the US government don’t exist to solve the people’s problems, rather, they exist to buy the stuff of the various commercial enterprises/bureaucracies, the most powerful of which are the US investment banks and the Pentagon’s defense contractors. The US President’s “advisers” are basically just sales people who tell POTUS what to buy.

  248. Barbara Celarent October 12, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Jim, countless commentators observed the financial irregularities well before it blew wide open. They just weren’t on CNBC, CNN, or any ‘official’ news outlet. Instead they were called nuts, conspiracy theorists, doom and gloomers. The cheerleaders in the respected news venues are either abysmally ignorant or intentionally obtuse. They didn’t and still do not admit that THEY GOT IT RIGHT.

  249. treebeardsuncle October 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi, E.
    Actually growing up I did not know I was a conservative. I actually thought I was something of a liberal. I cared about protecting the environment, and did not approve of people keeping all the money for themselves and corporations making as much as possible at the expense of health, safety, environment, the well-being of working people etc. What makes you think I am a conservative?
    I may check out that book.I agree with you that people are boring these days. But 2 generations of watching television, and getting attached to electronics does make them even more boring than they were born to be. I don’t think bronze age German farmers were that decadent either. What makes you think the Romans had bigger souls than modern people do? I translated parts of the Satyricon. It reminded me a bit of life in San Francisco.

  250. Laura Louzader October 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Wind and solar both look increasingly like a two barrels in to get a barrel and half out.
    As you have pointed out, wind needs a fossil fuel backup, as it is intermittent and unreliable. So does solar.
    Wind and solar require massive land footprints for plants that have the capacity to generate equal to fossil and nuclear.
    At its most economical, wind cost about 3x what power from a Gen3 nuke costs, and that’s only if the farm is large enough to realize some economy of scale. Same with solar.
    Solar uses copious quantities of water. And you don’t want to live within a mile of a windfarm because of the noise.
    Wind and solar “work”, sort of, on a small scale, but it is very expensive electricity. I recently costed out an array for a 1500 sq ft house comparable to my mother’s suburban home, and came up with about $30K minum for an array sufficient to provide 200KwH a month. I am a single person and use about 80KwH, very minimal usage, and a family would use more like 150KwH-200KwH for a minimally comfortable life. Given an average cost from a utility of .09 a KwH, you can see that you wouldn’t be able to justify the cost of the array if it lasted 30 years. Which it won’t- the components tend to degrade over time.
    If we want to have an electric-powered rail system, and have the power available for minimal comfort, we will need to go nuclear. The waste does not need to be a problem. I repeat-there is no such a thing as nuclear waste. In France, fuel is recycled, and uranium fission produces many isotopes that are “rare earth” materials, and very valuable in nuclear medicine and manufacturing. Then, there is the thorium cycle, which would produce no waste and be a vast improvement over the latest Gen3 uranium plants in terms of safety, economy, and security. The only thing keeping us from developing the LFTR is that there are so many stakeholders in the nuclear industry as it is currently constituted, who would lose big in the shift to thorium, that they present a large obstacle to the commercialization of the LFTR, the greatest nuclear technology yet, and one that is ready to go commercial.
    You can’t uncook an omelet and return it to its original state as a half-dozen fresh eggs, and we are no way, no how, going back to pre-technological times with their waste of bio-fuels. We would deforest the rest of the world so quickly it would become a desert, and I also believe that the human population would collapse so quickly that we would go extinct. We MUST do whatever we can to shift to a more elegant and advanced energy regime, while eliminating our current waste and wasteful abuse of technology.
    We can’t continue as we have for the past 80 years, but we cant turn the clock back to 1875, either.

  251. lbendet October 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Mika,
    How is Hudson just another gov mafia economist?
    Can’t figure out how you come to that conclusion, but ok…
    Looks to me like he’s trying to help countries like Iceland etc. to break away from the obligations to the banksters. (British banks) He’s anti world bank, anti IMF anti-debt peonage That seems like anti-mafia to me.
    His analysis on economic history suits me, just fine. Very anti-neoliberal and I don’t think I have to tell you what I think of that.
    I don’t care a wit about ideology or what label you want to put on him, his take on what’s happening in the global economy has a different focus and it make sense to me.
    We are watching this global economic disaster unfold slowly through time and how it effects
    each part of the world. I’d rather read him that Nial Ferguson Chimerica theorist any day.–Now that’s mafia!

  252. Laura Louzader October 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Dear Bustin,
    Hate to start a Gender War here, but you clearly don’t know the same women I do.
    I have met the women you’re talking about, and they’re matched by men who have to have a new $75K car and trophy mistress every three years, who plunk down as much as $2000 (two thousand, that is NOT a typo)for a bottle of wine in the VIP room of some overpriced downtown restaurant, and whose “few toys” are $200K boats, $2000 cameras replaced every two years, and have hobbies like mountain climbing and scuba diving requiring vast arrays of overpriced equipment and lessons, and the occasional rescue from the side of some mountain. If the guy is in a more ordinary income bracket, say the typical blue collar type, he will spend his income restoring his ’65 Chevy to high perfection while his wife’s income pays the bills, or spends half the family’s take-home on fishing tackle, auto tools, or materials for some other costly hobby that in no way benefits his family.
    Women are no better than men in the matter of consumption, but they’re no worse. I could buy my place with 40% down, furnish it with high quality stuff, and have enough left over for one good piece of jewelry, a few nice clothes, and a wonderful array of survival supplies for what the typical male spends on a car every 3 years or so.

  253. mika. October 12, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    How is Hudson just another gov mafia economist?
    ==
    Hudson is a marxist economist. Basically, a commie. He rails against the rentier class, but the biggest thieving rentier class of all is the gov mafia. Trading one thieving mafia crime family for another is not the solution. The solution is to get rid of the gov mafia altogether.

  254. mika. October 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    We are watching this global economic disaster unfold..
    ==
    Who the fsck cares about the global economic disaster? How is that any concern of mine or yours?

  255. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    I haven’t made any alliances on this blog. And why wouldn’t you feel ok about our differences? 8M’s heart is in the right place, he just needs a little mental restraint. As I’ve said before, we need science and technology to help us continue on as a civilization. Our society can get better environmentally and morally. I hope I can be around a lot longer, because for me, learning more about the nature and wonders of the universe while loving and being loved by a few select people is where it’s at. I feel badly for you if you are pessimistic. Then all you would have to look forward to is struggle and strife.

  256. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    I’ve always felt women are amazing people, much superior to men. I’m a man, and I base my opinion on many years of watching men and women in action. To me, it’s just a fact.

  257. progressorconserve October 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Laura,
    Nice response to Bustin.
    Thank you!
    “Hate to start a Gender War here, but you clearly don’t know the same women I do.”
    And I’ve certainly known flawed personalities who were hyper-consumers – of both (all) genders.
    So is it Tit for Tat in the gender wars?
    Or is it, as Mika would say, Tst for Tat?
    Now that’s a little joke. ;-)

  258. mika. October 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    all you would have to look forward to is struggle and strife
    ==
    Struggle and strife are the price of liberty, Bill. The founding fathers knew this, and said so. Also, struggle and strife are not a signs of pessimism, but signs of optimism! Optimism that obstacles to liberty can be overcome.

  259. mika. October 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Or is it, as Mika would say, Tst for Tat?
    ==
    Actually, mika would say, titsup. (As is, total inability to support usual performance).

  260. trippticket October 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    The weird part is that it’ll probably be different everywhere. Some towns are more malleable, or more cavalier, or more conservative. Portland, OR, is a completely different kind of town than Macon, GA. Why I’m here I’m not sure, but our work is getting noticed already, so I’m hopeful that we can get useful preparations in place in time to help a population as resistant to change as this one. We change radically or we have a wholesale collapse I think. Those are our choices.
    Not that I don’t think we have a chance. That’s why I preach what I preach. I just think most of us are still wasting a lot of valuable time trying to figure out how we can carry on with our destruction of the biosphere, and not coming to grips with the fact that we have to stop. Just stop. Then if we get really good at being still, who knows, some of us might actually make it through the keyhole event!
    Better chances for some of the folks around here than the general population I’d say.
    But I will definitely wish you good luck with your Thorium. Surely staggering new levels of budget deficits every year from now on, at every level of government, can be bundled and collateralized for a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure overhaul.
    PS [I was behind the idea at one time too].

  261. progressorconserve October 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Laura,
    I appreciate your input on CFN
    AND
    I’ll more or less agree with you when you say:
    “Wind and solar both look increasingly like a two barrels in to get a barrel and half out.”
    But I think you need a correction factor for present subsidies and FUTURE dollars.
    Massive army’s of power industry lobbyists are busy selling you, me, and Congress on the idea that fission nuclear is the only way to go.
    They *may?* be correct – but they are causing other possibilities to be ignored and marginalized.
    And there is ZERO doubt that fission nuclear costs will go up a lot – because uranium is a finite resource.
    Solar PV costs could go down if arrays were dispersed in various ways, and most energy sources, including nuclear, have very high water usage.
    You may be right about wind, but it does work in the right areas – and pollution saved is pollution saved.
    The jury is still out on thorium – wonderful in theory, but with immense technical problems.

  262. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    No, Benjamin Franklin said “Eternal vigilence is the price of liberty”. A life of struggle and strife can happen to both a pessimist and an optimist, but at least an optimist is striving for something.

  263. progressorconserve October 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    armies – my bad – don’t know where that came from
    maybe because the Army’s lobbyists are involved in all of these machinations, as well??; :-)

  264. mika. October 12, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    Thomas Jefferson:
    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ..And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

  265. progressorconserve October 12, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    Thomas Jefferson:
    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.”
    yeah, Mika – that’s why my Southern forebears thought the War for Southern Independence was long overdue – and why they were sure they would win.

  266. asia October 12, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    I cant find SJM post about ‘greenpeace’…see SEASHEPERD.ORG for more info on GP.

  267. BeantownBill October 12, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    This is a quote about how to react to an oppressive or bad government,not a statement that we should live a life filled with strife and struggle. I will grant you this is a great quote, and a great manifesto for action in today’s America.

  268. mika. October 12, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”
    In other words, give back Caesar’s (the state) instruments of slavery.
    Revolutions are bloodless. It is the usurption of revolutions that is blood drenched. The most potent weapon is the tongue. The banksters and the tax collectors can finance imperial armies, crucifixes, spies and propaganda agents to turn history upside down, but their thieving system, ultimately, is untenable.

  269. Kiwi Nick October 12, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    The comic irony of the weird
    materialism of the YOUNG is that their
    largesse has all been dumped in their
    laps by stupid, spoiling parents

    My daughter asked for a $20/month mobile phone (cellphone) plan. I said no (currently we fund $10-15/month prepaid).
    She said 4GB/month (internet) is nothing. I said we’re doing better than random people in the suburbs who can’t even get broadband.
    And then some friend of hers, courtesy of parents who spend up large on phone plans, calls her mobile and yaks for hours (we don’t pay for incoming calls, most people would spend 46c/min to call our mobiles).
    JHK: We may be a nation of clowns. Sorry Australia beat the US to it. You don’t know what morons live here. Morons like this:
    Girl: I don’t want to fax it coz it’s my only copy. They might not fax it back.
    Friend: Yeah, better not risk it.

  270. mika. October 13, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    This is a quote about how to react to an oppressive or bad government,not a statement that we should live a life filled with strife and struggle.
    ==
    When have we lived under good government? There’s no such thing as good government.

  271. progressorconserve October 13, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Saying:
    “Revolutions are bloodless. It is the usurption of revolutions that is blood drenched.”
    Does not make it true. Unless ALL revolutions in the history of mankind have been usurped.
    Remember, Mika, the victors write the history books. We all view the past through a distorted lens.
    ===========
    southern soldier: General, what happened? You said before the war that we could have whupped them Yankees with corn stalks.
    southern general: We surely could have Soldier. But they wouldn’t fight that way.

  272. mika. October 13, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Unless ALL revolutions in the history of mankind have been usurped.
    ==
    You’re beginning to catch on.

  273. Kiwi Nick October 13, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    you’ll pick up housing bargains from Bondi to Wagga Wagga …
    Bondi … hmmmm … I want. I’ve got a grand!!!

  274. BeantownBill October 13, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    Yeah, so true.

  275. mika. October 13, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”
    In other words, give back Caesar’s (the state) instruments of slavery.
    ==
    Debunking Money: Money, Myth, and Machiavelli | Council on Renewal – http://goo.gl/mrmm

  276. asoka October 13, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    asia, SeaShepherd broke away from GreenPeace because GP was not confrontational enough.
    Sending someone to SeaSheperd for GP would be like sending someone to the Michigan Militia for the Republican Party.

  277. asoka October 13, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Intel’s chief executive Paul Otellini took a minute at the start of today’s earnings conference call to praise Apple’s iPad, but said Intel has every intention of ultimately winning the category. … “Apple has done a wonderful job reinventing the category,” he said during Tuesday’s conference call. “Will they impact PC sales? Sure, at the margin they probably will,” he said.
    Wal-Mart Lands Agreement to Sell iPad: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it will start selling Apple Inc.’s iPad on Friday at hundreds of stores throughout the U.S. WSJ.com
    Yeah, like WalMart is “at the margin”????

  278. wagelaborer October 13, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    Oh, that I knew.
    I consider the uproar about immigration and the uproar about muslims to be part of the propaganda.
    http://wagelaborer.blogspot.com/2008/01/do-you-hate-muslims-and-mexicans-more.html

  279. wagelaborer October 13, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    OK, it’s funny that you would think I think that it’s hip to have body art.
    I personally don’t have tattoos or piercings.
    I have inadvertently offended people who ask why I don’t have pierced ears by explaining that I think it’s barbaric to puncture your flesh and hang pieces of metal from the puncture wounds.
    Obviously, I didn’t pierce my daughter’s ears, as I didn’t mutilate my son’s penis.
    I just said that some tattoos are works of art.
    What’s more, I like some graffiti.
    I like the murals in LA that replace the taggings that are boring.

  280. asoka October 13, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    It’s a conspiracy!
    Now the sneaky industry propagandists have the Lakota believing in solar energy for heating homes:
    http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/news/native-americans-solar/
    Some on CFN keep saying solar energy is impractical or not cost effective, yet hundreds of thousands of existing home installations seem to say solar works.
    Who to believe? Those who are doing the work, creating alternative energy infrastructure, and harvesting clean energy from the sun… or skeptical posters on CFN?

  281. wagelaborer October 13, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    What’s the other one?

  282. wagelaborer October 13, 2010 at 2:50 am #

    OK, funny post, but I agree that you’re looking at the wrong women.
    Years ago, my co-worker, newly engaged, told me that words of wisdom from me kept her from despair.
    Part of me was “what, me? words of wisdom?”
    And part of me was “which of my many words of wisdom inspired her?”
    The answer- she was complaining about the lack of suitable men and I said “You only need one”.
    That kept her going.
    I pass that on to you.

  283. wagelaborer October 13, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    I mostly agree with you.
    Police use drug busts to augment their income.
    A cop here in town ran for sheriff on that very platform – that he would arrest more people and take their property in order to lower taxes.
    And the younger generation, including my own kids (!) are maddingly complacent about infringements on their privacy, as you say.
    On the other hand, marijuana use is widely accepted as harmless at the same time that throwing users into prison is accepted.
    It’s some kind of reverse lottery thinking, I guess. Sucks to be the ones that lose.
    And it certainly could be both a conspiracy by competitors in the 30s to outlaw pot and a vested interest in the infrastructure that’s grown around the prison-industrial complex since then.
    Money to be made then, money to be made now.
    And to hell with the people whose lives you’re destroying.

  284. eightm October 13, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    “We were supposed to believe that North American workers would move up the “value chain” as industries and white collar occupations were moved to slave wage jurisdictions. What value chain? There was none to move up. What replaced the productive economy was real estate and financial speculation. What QE will do is more of QE has done in the past: encourage more speculation. We’ll get more asset bubbles and busts, nothing more.”
    But that is the point: in order to move up the value chain you need huge projects, like man missions to Mars, many manned missions, huge new supercomputer projects, skyscrapers, ever higher goals, challenges, transoceanic ships on Jupiter and Saturn, etc. You can invent thousands of high class projects and use billions of people as manpower towards these high class – common goals.
    But the puny egotistical capitalist doesn’t give a crap about projects like these unless he can make a big profit: and a big profit he can make, if governments decide to invest huge amounts of money in them and hire millions of workers. But you have this ideological brainwashing that has been going on for the last 30 years, after the moon landing, that small is beautiful, governments are bad, big compaines are bad, small companies are good and productive, the small guy in his garage will invent the next breakthrough since big companies and governments are corrupt and stupid and so on.
    There is this idea that the individual is better than large scale organizations: but the individual is just as egotistical and corrupt and inefficient as much as the inefficient organization: you need large goals, money is just make believe, just like the debts are make believe and profits are make believe, the whole idea of economy is just a make believe construction to ripoff poor people, there is no higher truth or value in small companies versus huge governments and companies planning huge space missions.
    There is no external reality as in something that is more than the aggregate of a group of instantaneous, arbitrary, and casual interactions between individuals according to their perceived gain/loss. Therefore all these pseudo – metaphysical ideologies that profess hire and fire to make the economy better, invest in “innovation” (never saying exactly what on earth they are talking about), competition will “improve things”, etc. is just BS and all false. You improve things by doing them explicity, give free salaries, cheap rents to all, a job and free health care to all and create huge projects, and enough with this “I deserve more than the slob next door”, because I am better or worked harder, or am superior: no you just do as much as you can and work hard FOR THE COMMON GOOD, FOR THE COLLECTIVITY.
    You will be rewarded if you are really superior and worked harder with more cash (cash is king), but this doesn’t give you the right to crush the poor slobs by denying them houses and health care and huge projects that they all need to give meaning to their puny lives.

  285. Eleuthero October 13, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    LBendet wrote:
    “What we have here in my opinion is a global form of Trotsky re-engineered to flow money to the top from the masses, destroying Labor rather than building economies of strength.
    Thanks Milton Friedman! What a clever guy–so you read Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution.”
    ***************************************************
    I love it when you get on one of these jags
    where you really “see outside of the box”.
    Most folks are locked into this idea that we
    still have a two-party system and that the
    Dems are really the “workers’ people” while
    the Repubs are “big biz”. They are ALL “big
    biz”.
    Now that the Supreme Court has sanctified the
    buying of elections, the ruse of two parties
    is baked into the cake. They ALL get big
    money from Wall Street and Big Pharma and
    Big Ag. Perhaps the Repubs also get Defense
    and Oil while the Dems get Teamster backing
    but if that’s the big diff then I submit that
    it is all smoke and mirrors.
    Well … today Mr. Obama has finally played
    the Class Warfare card to much applause. The
    problem is that if this were credible he’d
    have played it during the entire time when
    his buddies Timmy Geithner and Ben Bernanke
    were busy taking over the banking system and
    hand-delivering gazillions to some while
    determining that Lehman had to die. Obama
    is playing the class warfare card AFTER the
    greatest heist of the American people has
    already occurred.
    Now the stock market is rising while retail
    investors are OUT … just like they want it.
    They don’t want an enlightened middle class.
    An enlightened middle class would be all over
    them like Alan Grayson was all over Lloyd
    Blankfein.
    SO the main beneficiaries of the current nominal
    Dow blastoff are, again, investment banks getting
    first dibs at Bernanke’s huge injections into the
    banking system. It’s frontrunning which is a
    felony … unless Fed-sponsored.
    E.

  286. Eleuthero October 13, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    Wage,
    I didn’t think you had any piercings but
    I was just rebelling against the idea that
    it’s “art”. Of course, we live in a universe
    of “Black Swans” and once in a blue moon a
    tattoo truly IS art. But even when it IS
    art, it’s still cheesy vanity that’s there
    for good (who get’s ‘em erased? Not many.
    while the owner’s skin gets full of cellulite,
    wrinkles, and liver spots.
    I have had about 10,000 students in my teaching
    career and it is quite remarkable that only ONE
    out of about 1,000 tattoo’ed students has ever
    been in the elite in my classes. One!!! That
    selfsame vanity is also a tipoff about the
    entire rest of their (low) character.
    People don’t like to believe in such simple
    observations but tattoo/piercing people are
    just narcissistic, entitled DOPES. The
    exceptions merely prove the rule.
    E.

  287. Eleuthero October 13, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    D.R. … could we not view the decline in
    the testability of Physics theories of the
    last half century be just another “Dark
    Ages” symbol? Why should Physics be spared
    a decline that has afflicted music, art,
    computer science (which is now just a bunch
    of fads and gizmo worship), economics, and
    all the rest? It hasn’t been spared.
    Physics, like tattoos, is now meant to be
    PROVOCATIVE … with or without evidence.
    And you’re right … string theory hasn’t
    produced one idea which has been subjected
    to an experiment. It’s mathematical masturbation.
    They can’t even agree whether the universe has
    10, 11, or 26 dimensions. Then there’s offshoots
    like “M Theory” and “Brane Theory”. That’s
    true intellectual decadence … a derivative
    of a theory that isn’t a theory at all because
    it cannot be tested.
    Most of the visual astronomy books in bookstores
    are just nice pictures with captions which aver,
    with great authority, that M87 has a two billion
    solar mass black hole at its center. Frankly,
    even plain, old stellar mass black holes are
    not absolutely proven though the evidence is
    strong.
    Science has become just another pop culture.
    E.

  288. trippticket October 13, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    I’m going to try to say this in a simpler way for all the people out there who know better than the ecologists who study this stuff. I’ve already said it a couple times, but maybe this’ll register.
    The planet’s human carrying capacity was under a billion before the fossil fuel revolution, when each of those 900 or so million people lived extremely low-impact lives. No electricity, no cars, no plastic, no nothing but food, education, religion, art, and community. The planet didn’t mind us back then because we functioned within typical biological parameters.
    Now we have 7 times that many people, and more every day expecting to be part of the jet set,
    “needing” a car, cell phone, and computer to “survive”.
    What about that seems sustainable? Even if we cut our per capita energy consumption ten-fold, we’re still what, a hundred times the usual carrying capacity on an energetics basis?
    Boston and 8M are right in a way. If we are to continue this madness it will require more planets. Not sure 8M has heard about the massively dense, acidic, poisonous atmosphere on Venus, where he wants to put up “trillions” of high-rise buildings, but to “fix” that would require energy on a scale we’ve never seen before. Likewise, 40 years after the moon landing we’ve managed to put a couple of rovers on Mars to take some pics and soil samples, but manned missions are nowhere near routine, considering we haven’t sent the first person yet.
    Personally it makes me a little nauseous that it’s so easy for them to dismiss our Mother Earth in favor of killing the rest of the universe, and why? So we can make reality shows on another planet? So we can eventually poison the water and soil on these worlds too?
    We haven’t got much to offer a living system really, so I don’t see why it’s so important that we attempt this. And it’ll never happen. Go back to your Star Trek reruns. It’s fun to think about I guess, so enjoy what you’ve got, because it’ll NEVER HAPPEN.
    And now my involvement in this asinine discussion is over, and I’m on my way out to help build another community garden this morning. Somebody’s got to be responsible in all this. Damn.

  289. lbendet October 13, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Mika said:Hudson is a marxist economist. Basically, a commie. He rails against the rentier class, but the biggest thieving rentier class of all is the gov mafia. Trading one thieving mafia crime family for another is not the solution. The solution is to get rid of the gov mafia altogether.
    LB: Mika,
    One more thing about the Hudson issue you put out there.
    You have to care about the world economy because it’s another war front of the US financial hegemony like it or not. What we are doing to other countries is indicative to what we are doing here. If you want to know what’s happening here, then you have to look at the global picture, because obviously we can’t generate jobs in this present system and the financing for them here because we’re part of this global picture. The Chamber of Commerce, WTO are there to make the transnationals ever stronger at our expense.
    Government is corrupt in all kinds of ways, but mostly it is behaving like the retarded handmaiden of the corporate elite. We need to find a balance between the concerns of the people and business, but it’s all going to one extreme now.
    The rampant privatization of all aspects of life here is beginning affect us in very bad ways. You must of heard of a man in Tenn. who didn’t pay his $75.00 one month for the fire dept. and they let his house with pets burn down. Now that should scare you. I know I don’t want to see things slide in that direction.
    Privatization is way more costly than taxes, because it needs to keep building profit. That means that if you didn’t pay taxes on any service, you would be paying through the nose for basics, like the fire dept. or police, etc.
    While you reduce someone with a broad brush as a commie, I don’t think you see his value as an economic historian and someone who is explaining the mechanics of how the global banksters are using disaster capitalism to destroy the public sector of those countries and siphon out the value of the natural resources and the savings of the people leaving them strapped with debt.

  290. Martin Hayes October 13, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    I thoroughly enjoyed Bustin’s polemic but, seeing as how I’m domesticated, I thought I would run it by my wife, who is a graduate of the Vancouver School of Advanced Feminism, and this is what she said:

    Aside from the issue of categorisation, which renders any attempt to generalise across millions of people problematic, there is the point that if women are consumption machines, surely they are selecting for income potential as much as anything else in a mate. Someone has to pay for the children, glossy magazines and fancy food.

    Given the nature of capitalism, income-generating potential is pretty much antithetical to the values of servility and domesticity he highlights. Any given woman would have to select one option above the other: income potential or domesticity. I really can’t make any sense of the idea that domesticity and servility are corporate traits.

  291. San Jose Mom 51 October 13, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I’m with you Wagelaboror, I don’t have pierced ears either. When I turned 30, my husband gave me some diamond earrings, so I had them pierced. Problem is that I have long hair and wear it down, thus no one can see my ears anyway. When I had babies, they loved to grab at shiny objects, so I took the earrings out permanently and haven’t worn them since.
    SJM

  292. Diogenes October 13, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    The Ethos of our day:
    “Fake it until you make it.”
    (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, from Bob Woodward’s “Obama’s Wars”, p. 292)

  293. lbendet October 13, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    They say we get the politicians we deserve.
    E: Your post was right on target.
    “Now the stock market is rising while retail investors are OUT … just like they want it. They don’t want an enlightened middle class. An enlightened middle class would be all over them like Alan Grayson was all over Lloyd Blankfein.”
    It’s like a grade B script and one can only wonder why people aren’t seeing this. They have truly decoupled the stock market from “National” economies, while using supercomputers that the average guy can’t possibly compete with.
    Ah–but that’s the point isn’t it? In this form of “Capitalism” where building the better mousetrap isn’t in the cards anymore, competition is out! That’s why Lehman had to go. GS needed the whole field to itself and Little Lord Blankfein rules.
    During the cold war we needed to win the hearts and minds of the world and hold our system up as the great opportunity for all. What we didn’t realize when “we won the cold war” is that the middle class actually lost.
    Presently our education system has fallen to new depths, we have no moral standards or business standards and fundamentalist religion really worships money.–Will not provide an answer to social morality.
    This election is most depressing as the caliber of politician is below the average American and if elected, will only sink this country further into the abyss.

  294. progressorconserve October 13, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Wage, I think we’ve found the nub of the problem in your statement:
    “And the younger generation, including my own kids (!) are maddingly complacent about infringements on their privacy, as you say.”
    Wage, I’m pretty sure that in a *race to the top* of liberal thought – that you would beat me, but not by very much.
    And yet our kids (mine are 23 and 26) have been thoroughly assimilated by current belief systems.
    WTF???
    One conclusion I draw is that EDUCATION (propaganda?) WORKS. Kids who receive a lifetime of “drugs are bad, OK” messages will internalize the messages to the point that they HAPPILY, complacently?, give up personal freedom.
    And that will work on terrorism in adults, or most anything else – -.
    And Tripp, hold on to your hat when your kids hit their teens. If TS hasn’t HTF by then – you will probably be getting them cell phones and various other “essentials” of modern life. Sorry ’bout that, Dude, it seems to be baked into the gene pool.
    Maybe there’s a workaround to all this – but my and Wage’s child raising experiences seem to argue otherwise.
    But HEY, it’s raining in the mountains and life is good – - – - although filled with mysterious twists and turns!!

  295. asoka October 13, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Wish I lived in Calif. to vote for Gov. Moonbeam:

    Prop. 23 would effectively repeal AB 32. Brown said he supported AB 32, and called out Texas oil companies for backing the proposition. “The people who are crying are two oil companies in Texas and a big petrochemical conglomerate in the Midwest,” said Brown. “They’re putting up all the money. Yeah, they don’t want to deal with it. One of them said, ‘My God, they’re going to use less oil in California. You bet. We’re going to use more California sun and more California wind, and we’ll get it done.”

    Love that final phrase: “we’ll get it done.” A politician openly talking about using less oil and using more alternative energy sources.

  296. BeantownBill October 13, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    If we’re talking about songs, Bette Midler singing “The Rose”.

  297. D R Lunsford October 13, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Uranium is not a finite resource in a realistic way. There is enough of it to fuel standard (non-breeding) reactors for tens of thousands of years. With breeding, there is enough nuclear fuel to last hundreds of thousands of years. Truly whatever “runs” this Universe has provided this material to us – and the moral dilemma it represents – and said “Make up your minds, if you have them still.”
    -drl

  298. progressorconserve October 13, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    One of us is mistaken concerning supplies of uranium.
    “A prominent use of uranium from mining is as fuel for nuclear power plants. As of 2008, known uranium ore resources that can be mined at about current costs are estimated to be sufficient to produce fuel for about a century, based on current consumption rates”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining
    By contrast, the US has coal reserves for about 200 years, at current rates of consumption.
    Please elaborate, DRL.

  299. D R Lunsford October 13, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Not so. One, general relativity as it exists now is only tested in the vacuum, that is, Rmn=0 is tested but Rmn = 8pi G Tmn, is not. It is very unlikely that GR as it stands is completely correct, probably a first approximation to a better theory that does not have its intrinsic problem of horizons and singularities. However these pathologies, instead of stimulating research toward a better solution (I have one for example), are made the centerpiece of an entire universal worldview based on a sort of religious mysticism. It is not science as it was once practiced. To give an egregious example of the consequences – Fred Cooperstock showed that even a correct application of GR to a galaxy showed that it had a non-Keplerian rotation curve. This research is completely ignored, the wrong approximation scheme is practiced without thought, and the wrong answer is concluded, viz. that dark matter must exist. The same wrong approximation is applied to the entire universe and presto, dark energy is needed. It is not real science. It is remarkable how deeply these pseudo-facts have penetrated into the consciousness of interested lay-people. It is frightening when the very people who should know better, become the priests in a new form of religious mysticism.
    -drl

  300. D R Lunsford October 13, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Please don’t cite the Wikipedia as a source – it’s embarrassing.
    Exploration for uranium has been extremely limited because there is plenty of it for the current uses (weapons and reactors) basically there to pick up, enough to last into the foreseeable future. Demand will obviously create more widespread exploration. Therefore naive extrapolations from current known resources is untrustworthy. As a chemical element, uranium is as common as zinc. There are certainly vast reservoirs of high-grade ore waiting to be discovered when it becomes imperative to do so, and more low-grade ore which is today rejected as too costly to process. But as a final resort, there is basically a limitless amount of it disseminated in sea water and crustal rock, and the only downside is the cost of extraction. Because it is very heavy, extraction is a mere technical exercise. Once a thriving nuclear infrastructure is in place, the energy needed to do this extraction will be at hand.
    Of course this is all moot, as better fission technologies are already known, extending even conventionally tallied resources into the distant future. All that is required is the moral skill to handle the downside – waste and weapons.
    By all measures, fission is a universal, limitless source of energy.
    -drl

  301. progressorconserve October 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Wikipedia is an excellent source for discussions such as this because it is OPEN to public verification.
    You are talking about many energy sources that *may* or may not be made to work on a realistic scale.
    I am talking about conventional mining of conventional uranium.
    There’s a lot of gold dissolved in sea water, but it is not practical to extract it for value derived.
    Same for uranium.
    100 years and we’re done.
    Burn coal for 100 more.
    Then we’re really done.

  302. The Mook October 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Tripp, I bought the two books you suggested in last week’s postings. What I want to know before I have a chance to read them over the winter is whether I should/can put a good layer of cowshit on my garden before I till it under in the next few weeks. Thanks.

  303. D R Lunsford October 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    This is the very same pessimism that dominated the Dark Ages. It is born in fear, nurtured by ignorance, and enforced by authoritarianism. Its expression is stridency and lack of doubt.
    You have no vision – I can imagine vast solar evaporators to mine the minerals in seawater constantly and without input other than from the burning Sun. Since so little uranium is needed to create a power source, once constructed this infrastructure would require only maintenance and would basically provide free fuel essentially forever.
    At some point the race will need to do things based on some imperative other than profit. Then we will lose your mediaeval pessimism and move forward into the future.
    -drl

  304. asoka October 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    ProCon said: “Wikipedia is an excellent source for discussions such as this because it is OPEN to public verification.”
    Which also means it can be edited by anyone. Rush Limbaugh found out Wikipedia is NOT an excellent source of information precisely because it is OPEN to editing by third graders.
    Unfortunately for Rush, he broadcast information to the nation taken from Wikipedia … information that had been edited to include false information.
    Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Wikipedia itself warns about its unreliability.

    As with any source, especially one of unknown authorship, you should be wary and independently verify the accuracy of Wikipedia information if possible. For many purposes, but particularly in academia, Wikipedia may not be an acceptable source; indeed, some professors and teachers may reject Wikipedia-sourced material completely. This is especially true when it is used without corroboration.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citing_Wikipedia#A_caution_before_citing_Wikipedia
    I am fully aware I am now citing Wikipedia on the unreliability of Wikipedia.
    Here is the Rush Limbaugh episode:
    http://bit.ly/avbA1Q
    Rush Limbaugh relied upon the source cited by Wikipedia, an article in the Pensacola News published on June 31, 2003.
    Too bad June only has 30 days and the Wikipedia citation was also bogus.
    Don’t ever rely on Wikipedia when the veracity of your information is important. Corroborate.

  305. Laura Louzader October 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I believe the uranium will outlast the coal.
    There is indication that we are at Peak Coal production. Now, we have enough to last about 100 years at CURRENT RATES OF CONSUMPTION.
    However, consumption is due to ramp up about 5% a year. Remember the Rule of 72- it goes for resources depletion as well as interest paid or collected on money. If consumption increases 5%, the current supplies will deplete in about 14 years.
    There is no resource we cannot quickly tear through, except for fissionables, which produce other resources. Nuclear technologies are in their infancy. We have only begun to explore the energy-producing capabilities of not only fission, but radioactive decay.
    And the technical problems of the LFTR have mostly been solved. India, which has huge amounts of thorium (which is plentiful everywhere) is not waiting for our approval to exploit this technology. We’re just not hungry and desperate enough yet, and we have too many entrenched people who stand to make too much money off building expensive Gen3 light-water reactors.
    Nuclear will not solve all our problems, especially if we continue to waste and overbreed. There is no getting around overpopulation- eventually there just isn’t enough of anything to go around. But the nascent nuclear industry is our best shot at retaining some of the benefits of advanced technology. We really don’t have much else.

  306. asoka October 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    This is the very same pessimism that dominated the Dark Ages. It is born in fear, nurtured by ignorance, and enforced by authoritarianism. Its expression is stridency and lack of doubt.

    Preach, brother Lunsford!
    VERY nice summation of the attitudes of certain people who shall remain unnamed.
    As for the uranium/coal debate, one word: Thorium.
    Why obsess about uranium availability as if it is the only source of nuclear fuel? Thorium is readily available and has been successfully used in nuclear power reactors.
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf62.html

  307. mika. October 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Privatization is way more costly than taxes, because it needs to keep building profit.
    ==
    We need to clear on what we mean by privatization. I think your definition of privatization is corporatization. That’s not my definition. When I say privatization I mean privatization. That means no corporations involved. Just you and your non-licenced health care provider.
    Non compulsion is a very important first step to reform. Most people will choose to opt out completely by living healthy, and actually thinking about the corporate poisons they are allowing into their bodies and into the environment. At a start, this rethink will put an end to the corporate food and agro industry. Citizenation, de-corporatization, and de-governmentization, will also put pressure to end copyright law, corporate welfare regulations, and other legal nonsense that subsidizes the law mafia and protects the corporate mafia to the detriment of ordinary citizens.

  308. mika. October 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    While you reduce someone with a broad brush as a commie, I don’t think you see his value as an economic historian and someone who is explaining the mechanics of how the global banksters are using disaster capitalism to destroy the public sector of those countries and siphon out the value of the natural resources and the savings of the people leaving them strapped with debt.
    ==
    It is a snake eating its own tail. Which brings me back to my earlier point. I don’t care about the global economic disaster. The worse the global economic disaster, the better. Blankfein is right. He is doing god’s work. My only request is faster, please.
    With Michael Hudson, again, we need to be carefull not to fall into the trap of a false dialectic. There’s no difference between the marxists and the fascists. They all work within the same system of power derived by force. They all follow the central bank welfare/warfare model.
    See my earlier comment: Debunking Money: Money, Myth, and Machiavelli
    Council on Renewal – http://GOO.GL/MRMM

  309. mika. October 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    We need to ^be clear..

  310. trippticket October 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Mook, put the cowshit on your garden and maybe reconsider the tilling. Teaming With Microbes will tell you a lot of cool stuff about keeping organic fertility in your soil (probably the only choice at some point, might as well practice!), and one of the best ways is to let microbial communities develop around the rhizospheres of your garden veggies. In other words, the intact rootzones are like planets of microbes that have the fertility cycle spinnig hard by the end of the season. When you till you reset the game for them, and all those symbiotic connections have to be rebuilt the following season.
    My dad’s a big tiller. He won’t listen to me, but if you will I promise it’ll make a difference. If you cover that manure with straw you’ll have the most incredible soil you’ve ever seen by spring.

  311. The Mook October 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Thanks. Will follow your directions. One other thing, do I till in spring?

  312. george October 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    In an interesting article in Monday’s Globe and Mail, Canadian journalist Lawrence Martin made the point that much of the success of neo-conservative populist movement’s like America’s Tea Pary, Canada’s Conservative Party and England’s BNP can be attributed to their effective use of “guilt by association.” Every right-wing populist from Rush Limbaugh down to card-carrying neo-Nazis label anyone who deviates from their orthodoxy as somehow mentally challenged or less-than-human. It is an effective tactic and one I believe accounts for the Tea Party’s success. By effectively using every dirty trick and underhanded tactic at their disposal, they are making a bad situation worse and ensuring that our transition to a post-peak oil civilization is as painful as possible.

  313. San Jose Mom 51 October 13, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Progressorconserve,
    I don’t think the school propaganda about drugs is effective. I’ve never heard the words from my teenagers, “Well if Nancy Reagan said ‘just say no’ thirty years ago, then it must be a really swell idea.”
    The only thing my kids have mentioned are seeing brain scans of people who take meth, cocaine and the really bad drugs. That makes an impact.
    But pot….ugh. It’s everywhere. Teens can send a text message and have it delivered faster than pizza.
    SJM

  314. Vlad Krandz October 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    I’m in Idaho near Couer d’Alene. But it’s only a base camp – you can’t just climb Mt Everest straight away. I plan to explore the Northwest from here, ultimately settling “deeper in and higher up” to quote from C.S Lewis. Couer d’Alene is way too close to the White Barbarians of Spokane for it to be any really safe haven. But it’s a good begining. Whole days go by without seeing any Blacks.
    The Illuminati seem to be getting ready to pull their ace card. They are preparing to stage a false flag greater than 9/11, a scam more stupendous than global warming. Have you heard about the planet Gliese (584g I think)? “A noted scientist” said he’s sure there must be life there. Recently other “noted scientsits” have reported signals emmanating from Gliese. They are coming. Recently a Malaysian woman was nominated as ambassador for the Planet Earth just in case Et’s show up. Interesting timing – could there be a connection? They may be planning a faux invasion a la H.G Wells.

  315. Kiwi Nick October 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Joke: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates having a friendly(?) chat.
    BG: I went to a bank yesterday to talk about a loan.
    SJ: What do you need a loan for?
    BG: I don’t, the bank does.

  316. Shah_Kenaw October 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    Oh your poor fool!
    This is not the failure of authority.
    It is it’s final victory!

  317. Shah_Kenaw October 13, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    And quite clearly that of Reaganomic education.

  318. CaptSpaulding October 13, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Has anyone read the article on the Tea Party in Rolling Stone? The Oct 14th issue. Matt Taibi writes a good article. A lot of his style reminds me of JHK as a matter of fact. I’m just curious to know what others thought of it

  319. lbendet October 13, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Taibbi’s article was great, really showing the discrepancy of peoples attitudes and the reality of their situation. Hypocritical to the nth degree. You just can’t make this stuff up, but that’s why things are the way they are in this political arena.

  320. lbendet October 13, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Mika,
    I think you’ve clarified your position well, and I understand your idea of privatization better than I did before.
    Can’t agree with everything you say, but thanks for explaining.

  321. treebeardsuncle October 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    No, I don’t mind your asking. People can ask me how I vote. I voted for Jerry Brown, for the Greens where I could, and the Democrats where I couldn’t. I can’t stand either of those crazy bitches, Meg Whitman or Boxer and CF is an evil sociopathic villain. What makes you think MW has a personality disorder and which one do you think she has? PDs are very common. Think at least half the population has at least one of them.
    Would like to get away from the republicans and the democrats. Proportional representation is needed. Americans are gutless, apathetic, fools.

  322. treebeardsuncle October 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Well, can they push this stuff without having the public accept it. There are chips in pets and id bracelets for kid. I bet they will start with children in the guise of helping prevent adbuctions and better enable their returns. Soldiers and other folks owned by governments will be next. Then various categories of the infirm.
    g

  323. mika. October 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Proportional representation is needed.
    ==
    Proportional representation would be a good way to break the two colors one party system. Statists hate it because it allows for fluidity in the political system and the airing of new political ideas.

  324. mika. October 13, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    lbendet, I have a strong feeling we agree on more than we disagree. From what I’ve read, you’re 90% there.

  325. San Jose Mom 51 October 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    I have a hard time believing that half the population has a PD. I’d say 25%.
    I think Whitman is a narcissist. At Ebay she shoved her PR person into a table when she was frustrated. It’s public record. Not a sign of healthy boundaries IMO.
    I KNOW there are plenty of silicon valley CEO types that have major personality issues. Up until I was 38, my career was in high tech PR, both corporate and agency. Oh the stories I could tell! I’d take these executive types out on press tours and do my best to help them keep their heads on straight. Sociopaths, paranoids, OCD, I should qualify for graduate degree in pscyhology.
    SJM

  326. rippedthunder October 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    hey SJM, this site is filled with bad vibes, I get depressed reading this stuff all the time, Check out







    I went for a ride in the Berkshires today, the trees were ablaze in a cacophony of color and the sky was a cloudless blue. The temperature was about 70 degrees. What a day to be alive!! Autumn in New England is unbelievable. We have a long winter to look forward to, but I enjoy that also. I love a good hot wood stove and some homemade applesauce!! Chill Baby, Chill!

  327. DeeJones October 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Kind doods, on the subject of uranium, there is actually no need to mine any more of it; if we convert all the U & P in our current stock of nuke warheads, we would have hundreds of thousands of years of fuel.
    Or we could just set them off over each major city and solve our problems that way too…..
    The choice is ours! What do you think we will choose? Uh, I am actually kinda scared at what the choice will be.

  328. rippedthunder October 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    no peeyou (P&U) over my city please. the local government is already full of sh** and spending stimulus dollars as if there is no tomorrow. I fear for future generations. Just in my town of 40,000 people we are spendind over $100,000,000.00 American Reinvestment and Recovery Funds. Mostly on bullsh## highway jobs!!!!!!!!!!! Two bridges and tearing out the trees and widening the roads by 4 feet. YOOHOO!!!!

  329. DeeJones October 13, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Oh, nickle tosser, as far as getting people to accept wearing ‘Home Arrest’tm ankle bracelets, or some other kind of tracking/punishment (w/ builtin taser) device, the programs has been in place for what, like 20+ years with kids getting finger printed at school, then fingerprinted even before they go to school. Now they all get Lille’ Tyke cell phones with GPS. So what else is new. The gov can trak just about every cell phone made now, (how old is yours?) Shit, they can track every pc, laptop or netbook, if its got power on.
    If you are under 30, the gov already has your f-prints on file,and probably your dna too. Since you have a cell phone or iThang, they know right where you are, right now. Look up, flip that Sat off! Smile while you do it tho….
    Say, anybody keeping track of whats happin’ at the ASPO US conference? Some mighty interesting stuff. Check it out.
    Dee J signing off….

  330. progressorconserve October 13, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    DR. Laura, Asoka and others,
    NOW you’ve all got me defending realists and Wikipedia, of all things.
    And Jeeze, A, no one should use Wikipedia as a single source, OR pretend it is a primary or scholarly source. It is a good place for a quick first look BECAUSE it is vetted for bias by the public on a daily basis. VERY FEW websites or sources of any type can honestly make a statement like this.
    So here are some authoritative references:
    http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/reports_and_publications/statistical_energy_review_2008/STAGING/local_assets/2009_downloads/statistical_review_of_world_energy_full_report_2009.xls
    Link above shows that the US has 224 years of coal reserves at current rates of consumption if exports are reduced to zero.
    http://www.nea.fr/press/2008/2008-02.html
    Link above shows that world reserves of uranium are 100 years at current consumption rates.
    Care to guess were these links were found?

  331. messianicdruid October 13, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    “Every right-wing populist from Rush Limbaugh down to card-carrying neo-Nazis label anyone who deviates from their orthodoxy as somehow mentally challenged or less-than-human.”
    Are you trying to make-believe this is unique to the “right”?

  332. progressorconserve October 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    I’ve got nothing against thorium – but there are going to be fearsome technical challenges because of required operating temperatures and other considerations.
    http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/19093.asp
    Fusion power works well, too – especially for blowing up cities, but DAMN – talk about technical challenges when you try to control it!
    Personally, I like dispersed PV solar coupled with conservation – that’s what I plan to have on my roof prior to SHF – or just to try to stick it to the power company – if possible, and if TS never HTF.
    Failing that I’ve got Tripp’s vision of permaculture and a herd of goats!!
    So, just call me a optimistic realist.
    Or is that a realistic optimist?

  333. wagelaborer October 14, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    EXACTLY! Prog, you’re so right.
    When Vlad, et al, scream about immigration, I am sanguine, knowing that our culture sucks in all people and turns immigrant children into all-American.
    But when it happens to mine!!!
    My son lived for a while with the son of an environmental lawyer, a published author on environmental law.
    They ran up a $400 electric bill, and my son couldn’t pay his part of it, being laid off.
    If it had been just him, I wouldn’t have paid, but I wasn’t about to let the rest of his roommates have their electricity turned off, so I did.
    Then I went over to their house. They had every damn light in the house on, in the daytime(!), and little party lights on outside, from the party the night before. The air conditioner was on and a window was open.
    I was like a crazy woman! Flipping off lights and screaming about environmental responsibility.
    OK. So we had a food coop in town, which started small and then grew. It was in middle of town, which is also the Black part of town.
    So the management made the decision to move it to the outer part of town, to a sprawling shopping center with acres of parking lot.
    Of course, I opposed this, but they said that potential customers wouldn’t go to the black part of town. And it turned out that they were right, their business has picked up in the “suburban” area.
    One of the original participants felt strongly about this also, and opened a very small natural foods store in the original location.
    This is how fanatic I am. I go to the small store, only going to the coop (I’m still a member) when the small store doesn’t have what I want.
    So I’m telling the store owner my tale of woe, how my son, brought up by a energy saving, environmentally conscious mother, and his roommate, brought up by environmentally conscious parents also, lived in electrically profligate wastery.
    She looked at me and said “I feel your pain”.
    Remember that this is a person that has spent her life working for organic foods, local business, and cooperative organizations.
    She said “My daughter shops at WalMart”.

  334. wagelaborer October 14, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    Something that really bugs me is when people pierce their infants ears.
    And then send them to daycare.
    As you say, babies pull at earrings, and many of them rip them right out of their co-daycare participants ears.
    It’s one thing to choose to pierce your own body.
    But when you insert a handle into your baby’s ear that allows another baby to rip that lobe in two – that’s just wrong!

  335. Eleuthero October 14, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Yes, education has sunk to a surrealistic
    low. At my community college in CA which
    is predominantly Asian, they are actually
    trying to coerce English teachers NOT to
    give essay assignments.
    Eisenhower warned of the “Military-Industrial
    Complex”. I think the MIC is far less dangerous
    than college-educated numbskulls forming a
    balkanized America where “culture” is
    declasse’ and education is only for the
    creation of money-making engines in life.
    It’s like Huxley’s “Brave New World” where
    everyone is an idiot savant and there are no
    conversations … only Saturday grope-fests
    in dark theaters. Education is the PRIME
    participant right now in creating soulless
    narcissists with no drives save for money,
    gizmos, and getting laid occasionally.
    The educational administrative establishment
    looks at students as “revenue units” and they
    don’t even talk about “excellence” in their
    addresses to the public. They speak more
    about the “compassion” of letting EVERYONE
    into college and making teachers placate
    total numbskulls while stiffing the elite.
    It just has the feel of a monster putting his
    soon-to-be victims up in a 5-star hotel before
    herding them up and roasting them over a spit.
    Meanwhile, the peasants will fall for the ruse
    of mistaking a meteoric Dow Jones Industrial
    Average for real economic success and wonder
    why they are still jobless or vastly
    underemployed. I guess if people are made to
    feel sufficiently bad about themselves, they
    will look at government as a kindly father
    here to rescue them.
    That “rescue” could be something like a FEMA
    detention camp for the financially ruined or
    a Calcutta-like future with hordes of homeless
    lining every street. I just do not believe
    this movie has a happy ending.
    E.

  336. Shakazulu October 14, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    “but you guys are gonna love the Police State that is being planned for you at the moment. Let me just say this: there wont be much of a need for prisons anymore. . .”
    The chip thing. It will be a cold day in hell when they get me to wear one, but I can feel the chill in the air already. 1984 scared me when I read it. Never dreamed I’d live to see the day I’m in it.

  337. Eleuthero October 14, 2010 at 2:30 am #

    JHK has his critics on this site but there
    are few posters here who have his awareness
    of the absurdity of the US financial position
    right now.
    Heli-Ben is inflating the currency to death
    in a non-goods-producing economy. I guess
    he figures that the little we sell ought to
    be cheap to foreigners. What in hell is he
    thinking? This is our great “student of the
    Great Depression”??
    Meanwhile the real, U6 unemployment rate is
    17.1%, jobs keep getting lost (one month
    mainly from private industry, the next mainly
    from government but … whatever) and health
    insurance keeps rising and we’re still trying
    to kill Osama bin Laden. Are we being ruled
    by Wahhabist moles destined to destroy “the
    Great Satan”.
    We sure as hell couldn’t get there any faster
    if it was true.
    E.

  338. Shakazulu October 14, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    “Recently a Malaysian woman was nominated as ambassador for the Planet Earth just in case Et’s show up. Interesting timing – could there be a connection? They may be planning a faux invasion a la H.G Wells.”
    Vlad, you are as far out as you can be and still be in America. What happens next is anybody’s guess, but I wouldn’t put nothing past the Hollywood crowd running things. Maybe have a ET show up and say if we just turn our heat down to 65 they won’t zap our planet. Something like that.

  339. ctemple October 14, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    I went to junior college about ten years ago part time for three years, and I don’t recall one intelligent conversation from other students the whole time I was there. Once in awhile I would overhear teachers saying something intelligent, but never students. It was always about new tattoos, or piercings, or taverns.
    That was a pretty good rant you had going there, one time on here I likened Jimbo to Cornell Woolrich, the author who wrote many dark stories about crime and an unpredictable and often hostile world. Woolrich wrote in the depression and World War 2.
    I think thats what we’re doing on here, trying to describe whats going on, and a lot of what we see doesn’t look all that good.

  340. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Wage, would you email me? I have something I’d like to talk to you about off-line.

  341. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    “Also, struggle and strife are not signs of pessimism, but signs of optimism! Optimism that obstacles to liberty can be overcome.”
    Here here!

  342. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    “do I till in spring?”
    By then you’ll have read Teaming With Microbes and the answer will be nice and clear. Can’t wait until you read about the origins of tilling!! It’s a real eye-opener…

  343. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Vlad, having lived in Spokane on a few different occasions, and marrying a woman from there, I take exception to your “White Barbarian” comment! Most of the folks there would say the same thing about you Hayden Lake types!
    Beware the Illuminati!! They’ll be tracking your carrots next with their genetic ID nanochips that “want to be found” like the one ring. Come on, guys. Enough of the cloak and dagger. If we all start a revolution from the bottom up there is nothing “they” could ever do about it.

  344. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    “They” wield their power only by your acquiescence. When you stop participating their advantage is lost. That’s when “they” will scream the loudest about how they already have you by the balls, and resistance is futile.
    I ain’t buying it, and I never will. They will only beat me when they pry the heirloom seeds from my cold dead fingers!

  345. mika. October 14, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    If we all start a revolution from the bottom up there is nothing “they” could ever do about it.
    ==
    Hear, hear!
    All is required is a change of mind and a change of heart. Those with arms send back to the enemy’s camp, ’cause that’s where they came from and that’s where they belong.

  346. asoka October 14, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    E. said: “Are we being ruled
    by Wahhabist moles destined to destroy “the
    Great Satan”.”
    Not yet.
    For now the Wahhabists are content to send millions of dollars to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for use in influencing our election outcomes.
    Using the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launders the funds and is an indirect way to destroy the Great Satan, while remaining undetected, covered by Citizens United anonymity of donors.
    Brilliant plan, really.

  347. asoka October 14, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Tripp, do you buy the heirloom seeds or do you save them from the plant, store them, and recycle them in the next planting?

  348. San Jose Mom 51 October 14, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    I watched this clip! Donald Sutherland is a hoot!
    Thanks, SJM

  349. San Jose Mom 51 October 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    We have a friend that has taught accounting at Evergreen Community College for decades. He’s going to retire next year. He’s tired of the poor-quality work. He makes his class write business letters, and is usually horrified with the results. They can’t accomplish writing tasks that a high school freshman should be capable of undertaking with success.
    SJM

  350. San Jose Mom 51 October 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Wagelaborer,
    In regards to babies with pierced ears, we are on the same page! I reluctantly let my daughter pierce her ears when she turned 12.
    The worst thing I’ve seen are the ear “gages” (sp?), where kids stretch their earlobes and have giant holes in them. It’s gross, and I’m told they smell really bad.
    Long gone are the good old days when long hair was an act of rebellion. It was so easily fixable — unlike tattoos, giant earlobes with holes and the like.
    Many years ago, I recall a recent college grad who asked for an informational interview on how to get a job in the industry. He came into my office in Palo Alto, and I told him to get rid of his pony tail.
    SJM

  351. BeantownBill October 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Not so not so (= so).
    The fact that general relativity is not a complete theory because it does not reconcile gravity with the other 3 fundamental forces doesn’t make it a kind of religious mysticism. You want a kind of mysticism, think of quantum mechanics. Relativity is a great step towards formulation of a GUT theorum. Knowing general relativity is incomplete has stimulated other scientists to try to take a next step forward. String theory is just one description of an attempt at a GUT theory. I disagree that this process is pathological.
    BTW, Cooperstock’s work has not been ignored. Vogt and Letelier analyzed a galactic disk with regards to Cooperstock’s work and concluded that the disk contains exotic matter, including possibly cosmic strings.

  352. Cash October 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    It’s not unique to the “right”.
    George: what’s really annoying is the aggressive stupidity coming out of the US. A year or so ago there was a discussion of security problems by some senior govt people like John McCain. McCain said something to the effect that the 9/11 terrorists came out of Canada “as we all know”.
    As exactly who all knows? This is John fucking McCain talking, presidential candidate, not exactly a small player. Same sort of shit came out of Janet Napolitano. Who the hell is she? She’s only boss of Homeland Security.
    The mind reels. Where the 9/11 terror boys came from is basic, basic, basic and, it bears repeating, fucking basic information. There’s no way in hell to defend yourself if you are a moron. There is no army, no matter how big, that can defend you if your top govt officials are idiots. IDIOTS. Do they act, do they formulate policy on the basis of these idiocies? I wonder, and I have to think that they do.
    It seems that, in the US, there are different brands of stupidity. What brand of stupidity you swallow defines where you sit in the American political spectrum. For instance, it ain’t Democrats that claim Obama is Muslim” or “Obama is a foreigner”.
    Repeating idiocies, especially in public, preferably on network television, establishes your ideological bona fides and qualifies you for membership in the group.
    You don’t necessarily have to believe an idiocy, in fact, it’s almost better if you don’t. It shows that you so adhere to ideological orthodoxy that mouthing moronic ideas publicly causes you no outward or, even better, inner discomfort. The more the idiocies defy common sense and established fact the better, the more the speaker is celebrated and hailed as “one of us”.
    Repeating in public this “9/11 terrorists came from Canada” garbage is a bit different. It shows you are a rock ribbed American ready and willing to ignore obvious, documented truth in defence of … In defence of what exactly? Beats me, maybe American collective self image. But I guess that in the American political bestiary it shows you are a true blue, red blooded American through and through. This kind of shit is like glue that unifies, that right, left and centre can believe. Bullshit but nationally unifying, non ideological bullshit.
    Having said all this, up here in Canada we have our own idiocies that I won’t bore you with. Well maybe I’ll bore you with just one. Liberals are trying to paint the so-called “right” in this country as Tea Partiers. It is utter nonsense but to repeat this nonsense in defiance of common sense qualifies you as a bona fide lefty: progressive, hip, intellectual and level headed. Not like the retrograde, anti-intellectual, hot-under-the collar, cranky old white guys from the West and rural areas that right wingers supposedly are.

  353. treebeardsuncle October 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    HI.
    Actually on a cnn poll, most people who responded, about 66%, were in favor of removing the ban. People don’t care about the evironment. They prefer to destroy the biosphere for their convenience, especially their driving convenience. What do folks care about? They don’t care about right and wrong, other people, long-term goals, the past, family, history, community, a sense of place, continuity, purpose, phylosophy, plants and animals etc. What do they care about? They care about driving too fast regardless of the circumstances, constantly in huge suburban assault vehicles. Notice how the initiative to replace plastic bags with paper is likely to fail because customers and especially grocery management is opposed to spending a few cents more to enable that switch. Get realistic. People are going to destroy life on earth and the ability to support life on earth within the next few centuries for the sake of overpopulation, religion, economics, profit, status-seeking, and convenience.

  354. treebeardsuncle October 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Speaking of with, Freeport McMorran Copper and Gold and Southern Copper have been souring lately and will continue to do so, based on expectations of QE and the resultant inflation.

  355. treebeardsuncle October 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    That is true. You are my favorite poster here by the way by far, even more than Kunstler. I look forward to the rare and valuable comments. This is not empty flattery. I am largely here to read your posts. I am not here to see the empty drivel and the technological boosterism of so many others.
    g

  356. asoka October 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    ProCon said: “DR. Laura, Asoka and others, NOW you’ve all got me defending realists and Wikipedia, of all things.”
    I think I can settle this whole Wikipedia issue with one declarative (and true) sentence:
    I, Asoka, edit Wikipedia pages.
    Now, you decide if Wikipedia is reliable or not.

  357. Cash October 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I know where your teacher friend is coming from. I’m a retired accountant. In my working life I reviewed a lot of work including a fair bit of written matter. Some of the stuff I saw horrified me. I saw people with degrees in business admin that could not write a coherent paragraph. I did not have time to give classes in remedial writing.
    My question is how the hell did these donkeys ever get INTO university never mind OUT of university with degrees. When I was an undergrad I saw the same sort of thing so it’s not a recent phenomenon. I remember one guy that was supposedly an ace in mathematics. The guy wrote like a 10 year old.
    How did they write reports, how did they write essays, how did they write exams, how could they possibly pass?

  358. mila59 October 14, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Now there’s a place in the ether where you and I come together in COMPLETE agreement.
    That’s the depressing part of the whole shebang.
    The majority of people care only about themselves and their immediate gratification. That majority will ruin us.

  359. treebeardsuncle October 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    You speak well, but refer to only a subsegment of females, particularly middle class white females who live in suburban metropolitan coastal regions.

  360. mika. October 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I think I can settle this whole Wikipedia issue with one declarative (and true) sentence:
    I, Asoka, edit Wikipedia pages.
    ==
    LOL!
    That is the fscking scariest thing I ever came across. Seriously!

  361. welles October 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    rumors of the death of civilization are greatly exGGERATED

  362. progressorconserve October 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    “I, Asoka, edit Wikipedia pages.
    Now, you decide if Wikipedia is reliable or not.”
    =========
    That’s very good to know, A. Now if you will kindly tell me which entries you have edited this week I will change them back to TRUE!
    LOL!
    All seriousness aside ;-) – the open internet is a vast wasteland of unedited, unverified *truth.*
    Wikipedia is a nice starting point in any search.
    Anyone on CFN is welcome to refute my Nuclear Energy Association link which states the world has uranium supplies for “at least” 100 years.
    http://www.nea.fr/press/2008/2008-02.html
    This link came from Wikipedia. You can go to Wikipedia for more information on uranium extraction and uses.
    Some say reality has a bias toward the political left – others say toward the right. I have a bias toward truth. Even knowing its limitations, I consider Wikipedia to be the greatest thing since canned beer and sliced bread – or something equally hyperbolic and overstated.
    Anyone care to suggest a better *verified, unbiased??* website than Wikipedia for general use???
    We will wait with interest.

  363. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    “Tripp, do you buy the heirloom seeds or do you save them from the plant, store them, and recycle them in the next planting?”
    As with all areas of life right now I’m in transition from one way to another. I buy heirloom seeds, and I’m harvesting some of them, trading for some, and I also grow hybrids for certain things that just do a lot better from hybrid seed, like broccoli.
    And by the way if you’re looking for a super-precocious green for fast addition to your diet, there’s a mustard-spinach hybrid that’s up to the task.

  364. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    “That majority will ruin us.”
    But isn’t that why you and I, among others, come to a forum like this? To promote a world of simplicity and survival? But from a grown-up perspective that doesn’t mince words about the direness of the situation? I can tell you just from emails I’ve gotten from people who read this blog but don’t participate, that our message is being received. That permaculture is making sense to people on a cellular level, and being explored and adopted. And then those people influence others in a positive, simple, and hopeful way. Just as I was influenced by the ones before me.
    We can cower from the task or we can engage it.

  365. Cash October 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Tripp: a question. I’m a non-scientist whereas I believe you are one if memory serves.
    I see you mentioned a hybrid spinach/mustard green. At which point do you separate something like this (which sounds human bred) from GM foods?
    Like I said I’m a non scientist so patience please but it sounds to me that unless a hybrid occurs in a natural setting without humans messing with the reproductve process then essentially you have genetic modification.
    If this is so then most dog breeds, cows, sheep, barnyard fowl etc are also creations of human generated genetic modification. Or am I carrying this too far?
    It seems to me that there’s a lot of noise and heat over GM foods. I don’t even know how to define GM, I have no opinion as to whether it’s good or bad but it seems to me that, in general, the more noise and heat, the less fact and common sense. It seems to me that this has turned into a left/right issue, plus, it seems to me that with this issue as with others the people that know the least talk the most.
    Just wondering what you think.

  366. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    To much to say about that to take up space here, but I’ll post a piece about it very soon at my blog. Been on my mind lately actually.

  367. trippticket October 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Too much…

  368. asoka October 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    ProCon said: “Anyone care to suggest a better *verified, unbiased??* website than Wikipedia for general use??? We will wait with interest.”
    CITIZENDIUM
    http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Main_Page
    Every contributor is approved, unlike Wikipedia, and contributors write under their REAL NAME, accepting responsibility for the veracity of what is written.

  369. Cash October 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Great, I’ll watch out for it.

  370. asoka October 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Tripp said: “And by the way if you’re looking for a super-precocious green for fast addition to your diet, there’s a mustard-spinach hybrid that’s up to the task.”
    If it grows at 5,700 feet…
    Thanks for the recommendation.

  371. asoka October 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    ProCon said: “That’s very good to know, A. Now if you will kindly tell me which entries you have edited this week I will change them back to TRUE!”
    Half my changes stick, the other half get changed or deleted entirely. From one week to the next I never know if the entries I have edited will be the way I improved them, or if someone will come along and change the whole article and omit my changes.
    That is the point I am making about the unreliability of Wikipedia: it is a buzzing, blooming confusion of information with the false mixed in with the TRUE.

  372. BeantownBill October 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Politics is bullshit. Instead of discussing how each part of the political spectrum is crazy, incompetent, stupid or idiotic, I say we move on. I refer you upthread to Mika’s post in which he presents Thomas Jefferson’s quote. Let’s be proactive and figure out how to bring the whole, rotten system down.
    Responding to various posts, E’s description of the quality of higher education is right on. Historically, college was for bright, privileged persons. Children of serfs didn’t learn to write, study history, etc. Later, bright commoners also got to attend university. But today,the goal is to ship off as many children as possible to college, regardless of the quality of their intelligence or abilities. Kind of gives egalitarianism a bad name, doesn’t it? The main purpose of the meat-packing house aspect of higher education is to provide corporate or political fodder for business and government.

  373. BeantownBill October 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Correction: Responding to various posts, I think…
    Damn dangling participle.

  374. exokie October 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    SJM51 -
    Please post some stories of silicon valley CEOs with personality disorders. I’d like to see what others have put up with in the high-tech sector.
    Tom

  375. asoka October 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    ProCon said: “Anyone on CFN is welcome to refute my Nuclear Energy Association link which states the world has uranium supplies for “at least” 100 years.”
    Given that the decay half-life of uranium
    238 is 4.47 billion years, I’d say we are going to have uranium around for a bit more than 100 years.

  376. george October 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Can somebody please tell me why the right-wingers out there always play the “you started it” argument when anyone from the center or left question their methods? The left is not blameless when it comes to playing dirty politics, but can you tell me of ONE, just ONE, instance where the Democrats have made dirty politics rather than policy the center of their national campaign platform the way Republicans have since 1980. Truth be told, if Democrats had embraced left-wing fringe movements like The Nation of Islam or Earth First to the extent that the Republicans have embraced The Tea Party, Right-To-Life or the Christian Coalition, they would be pilloried in both the mainstream and conservative media. And by the way, WHY does Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell get a free pass from BOTH the mainstream and conservative media when they display their ignorance in debates or interviews while Democrats are criticized for even the most innocent of transgressions? Will someone please defend me?

  377. asoka October 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    george asked: “WHY does Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell get a free pass from BOTH the mainstream and conservative media when they display their ignorance in debates or interviews while Democrats are criticized for even the most innocent of transgressions?”
    Here’s another question: why is it OK for Tea Baggers to dress up in Nazi uniforms and reenact Panzer division military victories, but it is not OK for Muslims to build a community center that includes a prayer room?

  378. asia October 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    what does acreage cost?
    do you work?
    are you rich?
    any idea on where you will settle???
    just now on the web ‘news’ of whoppi [shes such a creep] outraged by o’reilly…what a circus!
    give em circuses and bread!

  379. Shakazulu October 14, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    “women’s lives are one long chat session (Gossip about people they know) with a bunch of chores”
    Having been down the road of marital bliss I now thoroughly distrust anyone who says “relationships are hard work.” Which actually meant I wasn’t doing what I was told or behaving as expected.
    Having been freed from the need for modern women by no longer having the capability to make love every hour on the hour due to age, I have found peace. Real tranquility.
    Just lay off the internet porn. It will not satisfy any more than the cash eaters in skirts will. Try getting a mail order bride; preferably one who’s never watched Oprah.

  380. mika. October 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Damn dangling participle.
    ==
    Do you still visit Maggie’s Farm?

  381. Bustin J October 14, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    That is interesting, Shakazulu.
    Doing what you’re told and behaving as expected are the corporate values.
    First: the man must be servile, that is, produce a surplus of income, effort, or otherwise time and energy to whatever task it is necessary to keep the contract with the female.
    Second: the man must be domesticated, that is, fully committed to the the tabled agenda.
    Women spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not the man is committed to her agenda. She notes of what decisions are agreeable with her taste. The larger “Gossip” groups are think-tanks and study groups forming a super-intelligence that finds analogues in the architecture of governments, corporations, religions, and the internet. Women’s “intuition” is a networked emotional hyper-bridge to a land of purely subjective experience.
    These are the only metrics with which the breeding females of our species arrange procreation. The most honest and intelligent among them will admit anything greater as sheer luck in terms of the value of their individual partnerships.
    Men and women pass each other like ships in the night. Occasionally, one rams into the other blindly annihilating both.
    I can’t wait to read more about the “Bitch of Hebron” in JHK’s latest book… :)

  382. Bustin J October 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    “OK, funny post, but I agree that you’re looking at the wrong women.
    Years ago, my co-worker, newly engaged, told me that words of wisdom from me kept her from despair.
    Part of me was “what, me? words of wisdom?”
    And part of me was “which of my many words of wisdom inspired her?”
    The answer- she was complaining about the lack of suitable men and I said “You only need one”.
    That kept her going.
    I pass that on to you.”
    Wagelaborer, allow me to interpret your female babble:

    I simply can’t. Sorry.

  383. BeantownBill October 14, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Are you mixing me up with someone else? Maggie’s farm? Am I missing something?

  384. treebeardsuncle October 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Remove the televisions from your properties and then see there is less of a problem with kids picking up untoward attitudes and wasting money on pointless things.

  385. BeantownBill October 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    How about a new political paradigm: No political parties? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m sick and tired of all these political ads, which are insipid and negative. I can’t wait for the election to be over. We still have almost a month to go. Groan!

  386. Bustin J October 14, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    “Women are no better than men in the matter of consumption, but they’re no worse. I could buy my place with 40% down, furnish it with high quality stuff, and have enough left over for one good piece of jewelry, a few nice clothes, and a wonderful array of survival supplies for what the typical male spends on a car every 3 years or so.”
    Dear Laura:
    Personally, I can’t imagine what a woman would find attractive about a man, other than his material wealth. Then again, I’m not a biological woman. I suppose I would need big booster shots of estrogen to feel what’s so great about the drooling idiot in the passenger’s seat.
    Without those goggles, all I see is one mounting the other in a ridiculous spectacle. I say the woman’s on top, you say she’s on bottom. Either way, the thing’s all about her.

  387. treebeardsuncle October 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Ok. So if a right theory were concocted, is it likely that the ideas of dark energy and matter could be jettisioned? Some dark matter is just non-luminous ordinary matter. Would the idea that the universe is dissipating into a state of zero density and temperature and maximum disorder also be disregarded? Do you think the idea of the resurection, and immortality associated with the omega point discussed in Frank Tipler’s book The Physics of Immortality is also impossible? I am still hoping to continue consciousness by linking the brain to other entities and especially by adding and substituting material within it. I figure the continuity of awareness is an integral part of developing immortality.
    g

  388. Diogenes October 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    AMERICAN ETHOS — A POEM
    “Fake it until you make it.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from “Obama’s Wars”, p. 292.
    [Hillary Clinton look-alike on stage dressed as a "DOM" waving a large purple dildo. The drummer strikes up a beat, and the funky bass player joins in.]
    Hillary breaks into song waving her large purple dildo:
    “Fake it…
    Until you make it…
    Fake it…
    Until ya make it….
    Shake it…
    Until ya bake it…
    Take it…
    Until ya stake it…
    Quake it…
    Until ya break it….
    I said ya gotta Fake it…
    Until ya make it…
    Fake it…
    Until ya make it….”
    [Repeat]

  389. DeeJones October 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    Oh, just freaking great, TBU is going to get a USP port installed in his “brain”, and upload his consciousness to an Ipod. Lets hope the batteries die before it gets plugged into something else. I DON’T want a coffee maker with a racist consciousness.
    Thats almost as funny as: ‘Men and women pass each other like ships in the night. Occasionally, one rams into the other blindly annihilating both.”

  390. mika. October 14, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I’m sorry, Bill. Your voice sounded familiar.

  391. progressorconserve October 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Tree,
    You also have found the nub of a problem:
    “Remove the televisions from your properties and then see there is less of a problem with kids picking up untoward attitudes….”
    No doubt – but it takes two individuals to conceive a child – usually individuals in their 20′s, who have been exposed to TV their entire lives and simply accept it – and have no hope of fighting it.
    I HATE what TV does to little kids – and to most of the rest of those who watch it.
    But I can’t get my loving wife of 29 years to let us cut out the satellite service to the house – even when we’ve got this internet thing to replace it.
    My less than 2 year old grandson is already being assimilated by the US consumption machine.
    You guess TV is the only REAL reason the US is so hated around the globe?
    Anybody want to go blow up a TV transmission tower? (Note to FBI, GBI, and other agencies of law enforcement – that’s a *weak?* attempt at humor – Tha, tha, tha, that’s all, Folks!)

  392. progressorconserve October 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Another nub of another huge problem, BTB:
    “How about a new political paradigm: No political parties?”
    The two party system has lead us into our present state of dysfunction.
    The candidates who survive the primary process to win nominations these days tend to qualify as certifiable Fruit Loops.
    And I hate to insult a fine old sugar cereal in this manner.

  393. asoka October 15, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILE MINERS NEVER ASKED
    So here are the questions that a social historian would ask about the sorry episode, and which I never heard anyone on television news ask during all the wall to wall coverage [of the rescue of Chilean miners]:
    1. What were the miners mining? (A.: Gold and copper).
    2. Did the high price of gold and the fact that the mining company was close to bankruptcy cause the company executives to cut corners?
    3. Are the mine owners guilty of criminal negligence?
    4. Why did the San Estaban mining company reopen the mine so quickly after an earlier tunnel collapse severed the leg of a mine worker?
    5. Why is there no accountability for the mine owners?
    6. Is George W. Bush-style deregulation of the mining industry by the Chilean government part of the problem here?
    7. What is the influence of big gold and copper corporations over US policy?
    8. Are copper and gold mine owners stronger in relation to workers and have they escaped government regulation because the US engineered a coup in 1973 to destroy the Chilean Left?
    9. Was the San Estaban mining company’s ability to marginalize the union and to disregard input from the workers rooted in American-imposed corporate privilege?
    10. In other words, was the trapping of these workers in the first place Richard Nixon’s and Henry Kissinger’s fault?
    SOURCE with links to answers: http://www.juancole.com

  394. progressorconserve October 15, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    Maybe I’ve got a better bullshit detector than average – I have no problem using Wikipedia for quick ideas and quick research.
    There is honest editing in Wikipedia and there is obfuscation:
    ===========
    “Half my changes stick, the other half get changed or deleted entirely. From one week to the next I never know if the entries I have edited will be the way I improved them, or if someone will come along and change the whole article and omit my changes.
    ===============
    I christened you “the resident impediment” some weeks ago because of the way you strained at gnats while swallowing camels. You seemed to think that harsh -
    Would you prefer to be known as “the obstinate obfuscator?” And don’t get all insulted. As you’ve said many times, this is all just “divine play.”
    Seriously, Wikipedia can be seen as humanity seeking to describe Truth. To say that this search is flawed and will always be filled with error and evil is to say the same thing about humanity itself.
    I refuse to do that.

  395. progressorconserve October 15, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Bustin,
    You don’t like women much, do you?
    =========
    “Wagelaborer, allow me to interpret your female babble. I simply can’t.”
    ==========
    If you were Buddhist, one might say that you may face many future lives as a woman.
    If you were Christian/Muslim/atheist/Jewish/agnostic/whatever, one might say that you may face many future lives as a Buddhist woman. ;-)
    And to quote a favorite female contributor of mine:
    “That kept her going.”

  396. BeantownBill October 15, 2010 at 12:32 am #

    Procon,
    I never liked Fruit Loops, actually. Being into chocolate, I always got off on the name “Count Chocula”, if not its nutritional value and taste.
    Seriously though, wasn’t it George Washington who warned, “Beware of political parties”?
    Here’s a few suggestions (out of many) for political reform:
    Ban organized political parties. Change the Constitution to bring it into alignment with 21st century life. Have term limits for elected officials for the purpose of eliminating professional politicians; something like one 6 year term for president and v.p., one 4 year term for senator, one four year term for representative. No reelection campaigns. That limits politicians to 14 years of elected national offices. Impliment a 5-year ban of elected officials and cabinet departments officials from working with corporations in fields directly related to their congressional committee memberships. In effect, make elected officials hold office because they really want to be in public service.
    If anyone else has more ideas, I’d like to hear them.

  397. San Jose Mom 51 October 15, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    Hey, Obama!!! Grow a backbone OK? I can’t believe he put a stay on the “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” ruling.
    And Obama, get us out of Afghanistan. We’re not going to catch Osama, the place is an medieval hellhole and their is nothing the US can do to change that.
    Grumbling,
    SJM

  398. Laura Louzader October 15, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    Bustin, I wonder how many men there are out there who think the only thing they have going for them is their dough? Sad.
    Men have a lot going for them to make them attractive to women that have nothing to do with money per se. Yes, we like a man who makes a decent living, but most women don’t demand “wealth”. What we want is someone who contributes and doesn’t destroy the household economy with gambling, drinking binges, car wrecks, and craziness… just like a sane man only asks that his wife be reasonably economical and not run up $50K of cc debt on personal extravagance.
    I have talked to thousands of people about their money and I find that neither sex has anything to feel superior about in matters of economy and resource management. It really doesn’t matter whether you fritter your money away on little crap, or blow it all out in one monster extravagance. We only differ in HOW we waste and mis allocate, but we all waste, overspend, and mis-allocate.
    I also haven’t found that either sex is more “moral” than the other. The only difference I can see is that women are less prone to physical violence because their lack of muscle tissue puts them at such a disadvantage in combat. Violence doesn’t serve us as well as it does men, that’s all.
    As someone remarked a few years back: “women are not from Venus and Men are not from Mars. We’re both from planet Earth. Deal with it.”

  399. asia October 15, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    I have a Bachelors in health science from a university…uni degrees and common sense are 2 different things…
    ‘If this is so then most dog breeds, cows, sheep, barnyard fowl etc are also creations of human generated genetic modification. Or am I carrying this too far? ‘
    were genes spliced? mercury injected? cells from aborted babies used?
    ‘If this is so then most dog breeds, cows, sheep, barnyard fowl……’all the reason more to not eat them!
    animal genes in plants
    hearts from pigs grown to be put into humans.YUK

  400. asia October 15, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    I read thru both of yr posts and say ‘ you are both fools’…and you enabled yr sons infancy to go on….gee…are you paying for his post grad studies?

  401. BeantownBill October 15, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Because I dislike rascists, I won’t reply to their comments here. I wish they’d go away. They constitute a small percentage of CFN bloggers, and we know who they are. Why don’t they get each other’s e-mail addresses and backchannel themselves to their heart’s content, and spare us having to read their hate-mongering?
    The same goes for women-haters, gay-bashers, etc.
    I don’t mind people with opinions different from mine, but I have no patience with haters.

  402. asoka October 15, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    ProCon said: “And don’t get all insulted. As you’ve said many times, this is all just “divine play.”
    If only you knew the truth of which you speak.

  403. BeantownBill October 15, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Also add to your list many of today’s grains, which resulted from early civilizations’ selective breeding. I’m not sure if breeding is the correct word, or if has resulted in genetic modification, but many of today’s fruits, vegetables and cereals don’t look like their ancestors of 12,000 years ago.

  404. progressorconserve October 15, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    “If only you knew the truth of which you speak.”
    If only you knew the truth of which I speak.
    If only you knew the truth.
    If only truth spoke.
    If only truth.
    If
    If only one of us would give the other the last word.
    Word :-)

  405. asoka October 15, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    ProCon said: “If only you knew the truth.”
    I don’t want to know the truth… especially when you go making it a capital T Truth.
    Knowledge ain’t all that important anyway. It is sufficient to simply be… and enjoy… and play.

  406. networker October 15, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    Good god, so many comments, so little time.
    Asoka,
    As for what to do with your 15 x 40 plot, just start it. Plant some heirloom seeds, plant some starters, look for local sources of good composted manure (any possibility of getting chickens?), Google how-tos (you know how to do that!)and info about food plants that survive well at that altitude and just begin learning. In the gardening world, book knowledge only takes you so far, and it literally takes years to learn your own patch of land – how much sun and natural rainfall does it get, when is the first and last frost… there are far too many variables – climate, growing zones, weather, pH and soil composition, various cultivars, pests, diseases, etc. – and you will learn far more by doing than by reading or having someone tell you what to do. The natural world itself will teach you, (whether you like its lessons or not) You could also get yourself a portable greenhouse or cold frames as well, to extend your growing season.
    And for the love of god, STOP with your babble about how technology will save us. I already totally debunked your silly b.s. about smart grids two weeks ago – not that you listened. Maybe you will listen to Tripp? You certainly should, as he explained it perfectly to you. You SERIOUSLY need to learn about energy, and believe it or not, gardening is an excellent way to begin that lesson. You are utterly and completely missing the point, repeatedly, every week. And please dear god stay away from those Wikipedia pages…
    Tripp, my favorite soil amendment is rotting Comfrey leaves – they also have a long taproot and are extremely hardy and prolific – a continuous, perennial (I am zone 4) source of excellent fertilizer. And btw, your comment that, “the idea that computer technologies can be yoked to create some sort of “weightless economy,” one that runs on very little energy” is ridiculous, is entirely correct. I feel your pain, vis a vis asinine discussions.
    Speaking of which, Kurt Cagle, thanks for backing up so much of what I said to Asoka on the JHK post from a couple of weeks ago. (I am network engineer and I just quit my soul-sucking job.)
    TBU, I feel I must alert the presses as to your preferences in women, as I cannot doubt that there are surely teeming masses of them out there just waiting to fulfill your every need. Hell, you could ask JHK himself for pointers; his view of women is as myopic as it gets, and he has the marriage record to prove it :) Perhaps you could take out an ad? Or impose strict guidelines upon some poor unsuspecting mail-order bride. You may “only need one” but I sure do pity that one…
    That being said, you never cease to amaze me with some of your other comments. Do you find that you experience cognitive dissonance at times?
    LewisLucan, Joe Bageant rocks.
    eightm, are you on crack?
    BustinJ and ctemple, like JHK’s sexism isn’t enough? What is with all the whining? Oh wait, I get it, women just don’t want… YOU.
    Well said, Laura L.

  407. lbendet October 15, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    A new day, a new subject:
    Well, guess who’s coming to Texas
    Yes this is the flip side of globalism. With the outsourcing of our jobs we have made China so deliriously liquid that they are snapping up energy assets everywhere including here. This is China is now investing in Texas oil and gas assets.
    But first:
    Quoting from Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times: “Meanwhile, in the new Great Game in Eurasia, China had the good sense not to send a soldier anywhere or get bogged down in an infinite quagmire in Afghanistan. Instead, the Chinese simply made a direct commercial deal with Turkmenistan and, profiting from that country’s disagreements with Moscow, built itself a pipeline that will provide much of the natural gas it needs. ”
    …. The Chinese would then build a Pipelineistan link from Gwadar along the Karakorum highway in Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass – another overland corridor that would prove immune to US interference. It would have the added benefit of radically cutting down the 20,000-kilometer tanker route around the southern rim of Asia.”
    OK, I copied these paragraphs just to make a point of what’s going on in the Af-Pak region. I noticed on the blog someone asking why we’re in Afghanistan. Check out all the pipelines for natural gas and oil being built in Central Asia!
    Looks like we fell into pissing through valuable blood and treasure for what? Don’t even think that we were trying to get Bin Laden! If we wanted him we would have gotten him, but he was better as the unattainable, so we could continue there. Imagine if we got him in the first week, then what would our excuse to stay there be. Would the American people like to hear that our troops were protecting Chinese mining operations there? (as described by Erin Burnett on Morning Joe)
    But even Escobar can’t keep up with this stuff, State Owned CNOOC, China’s energy giant is buying into a $ multibillion stake in 6000,000 acres of South Texas with ambitions to further expansion here in the US. The full investments will come to around 22 billion and the Chinese feel this gives them opportunity to learn new technologies to mine some of their own hard to get gas deposits. Analysts think there will be less resistance to these investments as China can provide the money for for more development to cash-strapped American companies.
    From article in Houston Times:
    “China has increasingly been looking to the Americas for raw materials it needs to sustain the boom. As private investment dwindled with the global financial crisis, the cash-flush Chinese went on a regional shopping spree.”

  408. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Comfrey is far and away one of my favorite plants! I had one last season, 4 this season, and I’ll have at least a dozen next season. (Unfortunately I planted one of my 4 in a spot it didn’t like.) It bears repeating that it has a deep extensive root structure that effectively mines subsoil minerals, storing them in the aerial leaf and flower structures, especially potassium. It’s a great source of potassium. I chop my comfreys back to the ground 2 or 3 times a year and fertilize fruit trees with the biomass. As you know it grows back rapidly to a big robust herb ready to do it all over again in about a month, month and a half. (Although I tend to let it rest a bit between).
    Thanks for the backup about gardening and network systems! I’ve always felt that the idea of a weightless economy was completely farcical, and not worth spending time on.

  409. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Treebeard, you can’t just adopt a new persona for public acceptance. Upthread you issued a list of your ideologies, which sounded pretty much like me, and subconsciously asked everyone to replace their image of you as a racist, sexist, money-grubbing misanthrope with something more closely resembling my gentler character. If that’s truly who you are, then wonderful. But only schizzos change gears that fast. Slow is sane, my friend. Even when it comes to improving your character.

  410. Martin Hayes October 15, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Chris Floyd and Arthur Silber both endorse Michael Hudson. I won’t let either of these estimable gentlemen do my thinking for me, but their endorsement shows I’m thinking in the right direction.

    There’s absolutely no difference between communism, socialism, nazism, fascism, corporatism, etc.

    This statement is at best sophomoric and is certainly fatuous.

  411. mila59 October 15, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Well, yes and no. I come to the forum to find like-minded souls…and read some people’s comments in particular (yours, Wage, Beantown, Enviro, some other). And learn. I totally agree with you that working towards a brighter future is the only thing we can do. Just feel kind of hopeless sometimes. But I’m totally getting onto the permaculture wagon. Got my books on order. Hope to learn something this winter.

  412. asoka October 15, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Networker, thanks for the advice.
    I am listening to you, and Tripp, and will have a garden as a way of learning more about energy. I believe in permaculture 100%.
    I will not stay away from editing the Wikipedia pages. As I said it is an unreliable source with much information still to be corrected and sourced.

  413. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Since there seems to be some interest in this hybridization vs GMO question, I’d like to throw my 2 cents in as well.
    Bill is right in that most of today’s food crops don’t look much like their wild ancestors. At first our selection for certain traits was subconscious, as we brought home the crop material we preferred, and “planted” it around our homes. Often qualities like consistent annual germination were unconsciously selected for, as those genes became the reliable ones for our purposes. Most plants actually prefer to spread their germination out, even over spans of years, in order to increase their chances of survival, but that makes them undesirable for our purposes. Through time it became more and more normal to consciously select for desirable traits, up to the point where today we get grain crops that mature on the same day at the same height above the ground for easy combine harvesting.
    From a deep evolutionary perspective, however, species-restricted gene transfer (which allows for this kind of controlled breeding work) is a fairly recent development. I haven’t put in the research time this morning, so I don’t have a time frame, but in geologic terms, “the norm” would be for DNA from any other source, inter-kingdom even, to recombine with a reproducing orgnism, presenting novel traits for the next generation. This was just how DNA evolved. So in that respect, genetic modification in the laboratory is neither novel nor monstrous. It was Nature’s way for the bulk of life on Earth.
    Most of today’s crops would be screwed without our assistance – regular water, fertilizer at the right stage in the life cycle, etc – which is where permaculture diverges significantly. We are actively incorporating, and developing, low-energy, low-input perennial crops in our food systems. The goal being, that in about 5 years we are left tending a small plot of annual veggies that we can’t do without, and for which there is no perennial alternative. The other primary divergence is that permaculture is seeking INCREASED species richness in the garden, not predictable homogeneity from a few major crop species. Ask the Irish how that homogeneity worked out for them…
    Which is why I’m here in the United States today, writing about this subject! We learn from our mistakes or we repeat them, right? Many of the crops I’m introducing to my system would be pretty foreign to a world accustomed to corn, rice, and wheat. Who here is familiar with Woo Chai, chufa, achira, skirret, yacon, or Good King Henry? Or with the idea that many of our common natives have tasty edible variants? Like hibiscus, chicory, watercress, and prickly pear cactus? Some of you for sure, but a lot of my garden will not be recognized as “food” when the turnip bandits finally arrive;)
    The main point I’m trying to make is that genetic modification doesn’t scare me as much as it does some. That said, I’m not interested in eating that stuff either, and I think it’s an enormous injustice to the public to ban labelling it. I prefer to modify my crops the way we’ve been doing it since the dawn of agriculture, by selection of desirable traits to pass along to the next generation. That slow is sane thing again. But I don’t feel hostage to the big agribusinesses either, since I mostly get my seeds and starts from small players with my interests in mind. Monsanto’s not stressing about patenting GMO Good King Henry.
    And the best part about this approach is that it will reintroduce a larger variety of species, and therefore mineral and vitamin nutrition, to your diet, greatly increasing brain and immune function. It is my sincere belief that we have the problems we have today, health- and culture-wise, largely because we eat 5 species of carbohydrate garbage for the majority of our calories. Agriculture was a boon to our numbers, not to our health, or our ability to think in complex ways. And to me GMOs are nothing but a new (and largely unnecessary) low in that quantity-over-quality trajectory.

  414. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    One point of refutation for Vlad and Treebeard on the wild ancestors or our crops:
    Where you guys and I come from, barley and wheat are the main grain crops, and they have barely changed from their ancestral form. In fact, in Palestine sedentary life arose before agriculture because of the quantity of high-quality wheat and barley growing wild in the area. Makes dense population, surpluses, and writing a lot easier to achieve than did teosinte, corn’s ancestral species, which required thousands of years of intensive breeding work to become what it is from the 1/2″ rock-hard-seeded grain it was in central America when it began.
    That and the fact that no animal (llama? guinea pig?) ever pulled a plow, cart, or war chariot in the New World before the arrival of Eurasian horses and oxen.
    It certainly wasn’t an inborn genetic superiority.

  415. welles October 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    And the best part about this approach is that it will reintroduce a larger variety of species, and therefore mineral and vitamin nutrition, to your diet, greatly increasing brain and immune function
    ….now this is good stuff. itz got me wundrin
    wether the very intellygent ‘ancients’ of 50-100 yrs ago derived their abundant dosages of common sense [horse sense] and erudition from both a varied diet of hardier grains/plants as well as their well-documented discipline.
    when you read the speeches of Lincoln and the leading lights of his era & you marvel at their effusive intelligence, grasp of the language, their rock-ribbed logic & persuasiveness.
    trippy, have you noticed your mind clearing up since reverting to more ancient, and varied, grains etc?
    btw, nothing more interesting than seeing all the multicolored potato varieties w/twisted shapes and diff’t degrees of bulbousness. far as i recall there’re ca. 150 varieties? of which the irish relied on about one?

  416. mila59 October 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Welles, this is a very, very interesting point you bring up. I’ve been convinced for several years that our limited diet (mostly corn “products”) is what is making Americans FAT, rather than just eating more and exercising less. Your post really makes me wonder about actual brain capacity and function. Not only did Lincoln and other notables make those amazing speeches — Edward Everett spoke for over two hours at Gettysburg — but thousands of “ordinary” people stood and listened to them! Without a bathroom break or a plastic water bottle! Ordinary citizens of limited formal education were actually listening to, or reading in the newspaper, the text of these long-winded speeches. Look at newspapers from the 19th century — they printed all that sort of thing, and tremendously long “letters to the editor” (by anonymous writers) on various controversial topics of the day. It’s amazing how far we have strayed.

  417. asoka October 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    mila59 said: “Look at newspapers from the 19th century — they printed all that sort of thing, and tremendously long “letters to the editor” (by anonymous writers)…”
    mila59, I did not know newspapers of the 19th century would publish anonymous comments. I think anonymity is part of why we have such crude discourse (including on CFN)these days.
    Our local newspaper editor has no patience for anyone who complains anonymously. “They’re like people who mutter at you on the street, they’re either crazy or they’re cowards.” Sounds a little harsh but probably contains more than a grain of truth. His philosophy was perhaps best described as “put your moniker where your mouth is.”

  418. welles October 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Ordinary citizens of limited formal education were actually listening to, or reading in the newspaper, the text of these long-winded speeches. Look at newspapers from the 19th century — they printed all that sort of thing, and tremendously long “letters to the editor” (by anonymous writers) on various controversial topics of the day.
    ….our vocabulary, i.e. our ability to process & engage in complex thought, has shrunken commensurately with our mal-ingestion of oversimplified modern farm products.
    everyone please get out your 19th century primer & take a gander at anything Dickens wrote. there you will find multiple nested dependent clauses that demand meticulous mental attention/retention in order for the thoughts to come to fruition.
    Remember now that Dickens’ works were blockbusters in their day, with swarms of folks gathering on the docks as English ships landed in New York with the latest installment of Bleak House etc.
    So….the extremely ‘high’ level of quality in literature was not inaccessible at all to the common folk. Seems it was part & parcel.
    Makes a mockery of the fools that espouse throwing money at education…

  419. Cash October 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Agriculture was a boon to our numbers, not to our health, or our ability to think in complex ways. -Tripp
    I read somewhere that anthropologists have unearthed human skeletons in the Eastern Mediterranean and what they found was that people’s average height declined appreciably after the spread of agriculture ie ave height went from something like 5’9 to 5’6″ over a span of about 3,000 years after the inception of agriculture. No doubt this reflects lousier health after people changed lifestyle and went from from being tall, robust hunter-gatherers to half starved/malnourished farmers.
    I also read that the average height of modern day people whose ancestors have been farming longer than others are quite a lot shorter ie people in southern Europe are shorter and skinnier than people in northern Europe whose ancestors started farming thousands of years later than those in the south.
    This sort of brings up the issue of epigenetics. According to what I read (mind you I’m no scientist) DNA is not the only game in town when in comes to determining how the organism looks and functions. There are apparently other factors involved in transmitting characteristics from one generation to the next ie the chemical environment surrounding the DNA molecule can determine what characteristics are expressed in the organism and to what extent. The strange thing is that environmental factors like diet affect the composition of this “envelope”. The characteristics of this envelope can be also transmitted from generation to generation.
    So what you eat apparently determines not only your characteristics but future generations also. Lamarckian ideas live on apparently. But maybe I’ve got this a bit or a lot garbled. Like I said I’m not a scientist, I spent my life in accounting.

  420. wagelaborer October 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Well, I was trying to give you hope, but I’ve read your posts, and I believe that you’re hopeless.
    Consider my gesture of friendship withdrawn.
    Or is that too difficult for your mind to comprehend?

  421. asoka October 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    PALIN SAYS DEMOCRATS LIVE IN UNICORN LAND

    “California would need to create more than four million jobs over the next 10 years to keep up,” Palin said. “Does anyone seriously think that the liberal policies of Pelosi and Reid and Obama — heck a Boxer and a Brown — are going to be able to turn this around and get the job done.”

    Only problem is Clinton created 22 million jobs in his eight years. Bush had a net job loss in his eight years.
    You can’t trust the Republicans in fiscal matters. They deregulate, cut taxes on the rich, and break the budgets with lucrative external government contracts. They look for ways to get rich personally … and to hell with the middle class.

  422. Cash October 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Look at what was invented in the 19th/early 20th century.
    Internal combustion engine, rail transportation, electric light, electric motors, powered flight, refrigeration, telegraph, radio, television, mechanization of agriculture, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics…you could go on and on.
    What have we invented that was remotely as transformational as those inventions above? You want to talk “new economy” you have to look back a hundred plus years.
    I think what we’ve done in recent decades is puny. The internet in my opinion is exceedingly small potatoes in comparison. Space flight maybe?
    So are we mental midgets in comparison to those days?

  423. mila59 October 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Asoka, my understand of the “anonymous” tag in the olden days (both 18th and 19th centuries) was that it was a form of modesty of the writer back then. One didn’t draw attention to oneself. People generally knew who the writers were in a city like Boston, but they didn’t sign their names. They used pseudonyms or the “anonymous” handle. It’s just developed into a different sort of thing nowadays, with different meanings, I guess. I’ve used the “anonyous” tag in postings on other sites/blogs when I can’t figure out how to sign in! I’m technically challenged that way.

  424. mila59 October 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Whoops, that should read “my understanding…” sorry.

  425. welles October 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    …the Internet is a souped-up telegraph wire in essence, but still ranks as a transformational invention re commerce, communitization/globalization, rapidity of scientific exchange et cetera.
    the next step will certainly entail bringing the ‘telegraph wire’ closer in yet, i.e. implanting s.th. enabling us to interface w/each other perhaps via thoughts.
    we’ve gone from smoke signals to virtual reality experiences, all are attempts to form a mental mesh with others, interesting to ponder.

  426. Cash October 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Only problem is Clinton created 22 million jobs in his eight years. – Asoka
    Clinton did no such thing.
    If you want to give him personal credit for such a thing then you also have to give him the blame for laying the groundwork for the financial messes we have nowadays.
    During the Clinton administration Greenspan was busy with his printing presses creating liquidity like there was no tomorrow and he was busy with other supposedly wise men preaching the doctrine of unfettered markets. And Billy Boy listened. So as a result we had the tech and telecom bubble and bust during his tenure. During his administration it was decided to not regulate derivatives and we all saw how that worked out. Last but not least Glass Steagall was repealed which essentially signalled to Wall Street that Washington was uninterested in the pillaging of America.
    If Clinton paid more attention to the business of running the country instead of fooling with interns we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today.

  427. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    “we’ve gone from smoke signals to virtual reality experiences, all are attempts to form a mental mesh with others, interesting to ponder.”
    Interesting, and ironic, considering that all these communications devices have created an ever-widening chasm between actual human interaction. Look at us getting to know each other here. Welles, you’re a lovely, sort of tan-colored border with black and green words around this little white box where we chat in between forays to the garden and the market. Nice to meet you.
    How silly is this?

  428. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    “So are we mental midgets in comparison to those days?”
    Richard Heinberg points to 1850 as “peak innovation”. He says big inventions, per capita, peaked in 1850, and have been riding a steady bell curve down ever since.
    We used to invent lightbulbs and phonographs in the carriage house, nowadays it takes several PhDs, a billion dollar R&D facility, and government backing to make a tiny advancement in a tiny field.
    I’m with Heinberg on this one.
    Tripp
    PS – Apparently Thomas Edison never approved of his phonograph being used to play music! It was supposed to be used respectably as a dictation recorder. Damn it.

  429. welles October 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    ….variety’s the spice of life. you get electronic interaction & face2face at the agora, consider urself lukky.
    trippy, have you noticed more clear thinking since you began eating older grains & strains?
    here in brazil there’s tons of fruits & vegetables you don’t even know what to call, i love the variety. eat it all up, can’t help but get a good smattering of essential stuff inside of you. damn but don’t the natives look good too….

  430. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Cash, you’re absolutely right about the decrease in stature resulting from the shift to agriculture. I think it was something like 5 inches. Apparently the Turks still haven’t regained their pre-agrarian height. The rest of us have only surpassed our pre-ag height because of oil. Famine was apparently unknown to hunter-gatherers. I’ve read that the average hunter-gatherer utlized over 150 species of plants regularly.
    A 6-fold increase in tooth decay, and a new suite of degenerative diseases, including arthritis, also tagged along.

  431. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    “trippy, have you noticed more clear thinking since you began eating older grains & strains?”
    This was the next thing I was going to answer, from your earlier post, but yes! For sure. Although I’ve done more switching from newer grains to something else, like nuts and seeds, than switching from newer grains to older ones.

  432. asoka October 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Cash said:

    During the Clinton administration Greenspan was busy with his printing presses creating liquidity like there was no tomorrow and he was busy with other supposedly wise men preaching the doctrine of unfettered markets. And Billy Boy listened. So as a result we had the tech and telecom bubble and bust during his tenure. During his administration it was decided to not regulate derivatives and we all saw how that worked out. Last but not least Glass Steagall was repealed which essentially signalled to Wall Street that Washington was uninterested in the pillaging of America.

    So, you want to attribute the creation to 22 million jobs to what?
    Greenspan printing money? Did we stop printing money under Bush and that’s why Bush lost jobs?
    Unfettered markets? Did we have fettered markets under Bush and that’s why Bush lost jobs?
    Glass-Steagall repealed? Was Glass-Steagall reinstated with Bush and that’s why Bush lost jobs?
    No regulation of derivatives? Did derivatives get re-regulated with Bush and that’s why Bush lost jobs?

  433. messianicdruid October 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    “If anyone else has more ideas, I’d like to hear them.”
    RE ELECT NOBODY
    [ keep it simple }

  434. Bustin J October 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    One question about Chilean miners I never hear asked is how similar their experience was to countless incarcerated people in the U.S. who are thrown into dark holes for much longer than 69 days and without the benefit of media attention, let alone other human beings.

  435. trippticket October 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    I forgot to comment about the epigenetics thing, and I’m on the way out the door to the ATL for the night. Very cool subject. I’ll get back to you on that one!

  436. Bustin J October 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    You’re right, Progresso Soup. I don’t like women much. Or men. Rack it up to experience.
    I’d like to hear you deny that criticizing women is taboo in our culture. Its as taboo as criticizing one’s mother. Unless criticism is funneled into an acceptable foil, like jokes about “women drivers” and so forth, it will always provoke that Freudian urge to protect mommy in the class of men whose self-concept is of the white knight/damsel in distress vein.
    So when I throw down the argument that this culture is built by women, for women, and controlled ultimately by women, you’ll jump up and defend them from responsibility like the robot you are.
    You can ram your Buddhist fantasies up your ass, BTW.
    The principal problem of humanity in respect to the environment is the fact that demand (consumer appetite) determines the rate at which natural resources are turned into garbage. This rate is the critical factor in whether or not we will have a livable planet 100 years from now. And demand is driven, ultimately by women. We believe, facetiously, that men are in control, but this was always an old device used to keep the male ego properly inflated so it doesn’t break down digging itself into early cardiac death.
    You and others seem to advance the sentiment that women are largely banal. Well, have you ever heard the adage about the “banality of evil”? Its true! The political and personal lack of accountability of females is frankly untenable. We are raising generations of kids who, in one half, resist any responsibility and another half, who blindly follow the custom of uncritical support of the other. In the short term, this is an acceptable arrangement for both parties. But on a global scale, at the population densities we are facing, in longer term assessment, absolutely fatal. Of course, all this consumption has no immediate, local effect and therefore will continue.
    That men are just as banal is a dodge. That women hate me and I hate them is also a dodge.
    It is also a dodge to throw irrelevant anecdotes at me, couched in assumptions about my motivation or character. (Wageslaverer)
    These are questions of the “when did you stop beating your wife?” variety. Wageslaverer’s anecdote is of that variety, which assumes I am looking for a mate (which I am not!) and can’t find one (have to disqualify bitches daily!).
    Being hammered by the “weaker sex” sure is tiring me out. I feel just like the planet after being raped of its mineral resources for personal communication devices so gossip can continue 24/7. I feel just like threatened species having their habitats destroyed so women can continue their solipsist navel-gazing in extreme levels of comfort to the end of their natural lives. I feel just like dreams of little children for a livable planet crushed under bulldozers driven by the addled XY-bearing slave class who will move heaven and earth for a half hour of access to a vagina.

  437. Debit October 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    This is not a result of ignorance, but a combination of unrestrained greed, lax regulations, and a crapload of ideology making virtues out of irresponsibility. On top of all that, the society of ours have been dominated by two ingredients: Super-greedy and morons. Try making a batch of apple sauce with rotten apples!
    Hmmm … maybe we should change the name of the great nation of ours. How about either Moronic States of America or United States of A$$wipes?!? While at it, why not revise our constitution to fit with our not so spectacular reality? Forget democracy: Plutocracy instead and change our governmental procedures accordingly to fit within the framework of plutocracy. Form should follow functions, including legal system.
    The problem right now is not so much about the crap that has already turned into a deluge (the filth has already risen above our waistline), but we lack the kind of leadership necessary to even clean up the filth, let alone an overfilled gold-plated toilet known as the financial market.
    In the meantime, the fantastic society of ours has become all but too comfortable with the stench and does not even want a whiff of fresh air!

  438. Eleuthero October 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    I have friend who came out of retirement at
    De Anza to teach two English classes. He
    said that these classes would not have passed
    FIFTH GRADE ENGLISH from his childhood.
    And you know something … I not only believe
    him but I also do NOT think his “fifth grade”
    analogy was hyperbole. It was accurate.
    I’m retiring for the same reason as your friend
    at Evergreen. The interpersonal fatigue of
    constantly dealing with critical masses of
    talentless losers eventually leads to real,
    physical ILLNESS.
    I’ve had more infections and inflammations in
    the past few years than my first TWENTY put
    together. I don’t think it’s just aging or
    a coincidence. The job is getting to me.
    That’s why I’m calling it quits after this
    year.
    E.

  439. BeantownBill October 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Cash,
    First, could you be more specific about your cutoff time for innovation? Some of the discoveries you state took place in the 1920′s, which I would classify modern times (only 85 or 90 years ago.
    Second, what is your definition for what is transformational? Seems there’s a lot of leeway in the interpretation.
    To my mind, from the mid 20th century to date, we have had many transformational discoveries, inventions, etc., some of which are:
    the transistor
    discovery of DNA
    nuclear fission
    fiber optics
    the laser
    x-ray and infrared telescopes
    the big bang theory
    heart transplantation
    planetary exploration
    the reason f