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History is Not Your Therapist

     I suppose we’ll know in a few hours whether Colonel Muammar Gaddafi gets hung out to dry, Mussolini-style, from a lamp-post, or is mercifully handed a one way ticket to Palookaville, a.k.a. The Hague, where old despots go to eat French fries with mayonnaise and be judged. The rebels celebrating in Tripoli’s main square looked a tad ticked off about all the trouble it took to pry the old rascal off his throne. Over in Syria, Bashar al-Assad, the ophthalmologist who rules the place, must be following developments with a keen interest. (Perhaps he will hastily decide to re-open his medical practice in, say, Iraq.) Despite the bubbling of CNN news-readers, I suggest that we Westerners hold our applause until the world gets a clue as to who or what will govern Libya (or Syria, in the event).
     Besides, we have a sort of Man-Who-Would-Be-Gaddafi fresh out of the woodwork right here in the USA. I speak of Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Bush-Without-a-Brain clone who pulled off a kind of “hat-trick” of cretinism last week by 1.) announcing his disbelief in climate change science; 2.) announcing his disbelief in evolution science; and 3.) more or less threatening to lynch Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. The nation has not seen such a puffed up rogue take the stage since the days of Huey Long, but the rural idiocy that saturated Louisiana in the 1930s has finally seeped all over the country so that even people in once-literate Minnesota are represented by reality-averse evangelical maniacs. Candidates like Perry and Bachmann make a plain vanilla narcissist like Sarah Palin look at least capable of running a student council. What a low moment in America’s history. Don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s room for the bar to go further down.
      Otherwise, the weekend was notable for the complete and utter retreat from public view of European leaders charged with figuring out some way around the EU’s banking woes. The dirty secret is that there isn’t any way around these Alp-size heaps of broken promises, worthless certificates, overdrawn accounts, shiftless governments, and booby-trapped counter-party contracts. The people in charge are trying like hell to make it through the vacation season before the entire continent tips over, but then what? I’ll tell you: the chain-lightning of ruin will crackle across the Sargasso Sea and strike deep in the heart of JP Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citi, and all the other citadels of grift until blood runs out the bronze nostrils of George Washington’s statue on the portico of Federal Hall. I don’t begrudge poor Barack Obama’s attempt to eat a few ice cream cones at the seashore with his wife and two girls. Some presidents are just one-termers. History is cruel that way. But it also rhymes. Rick Perry may be as dumb as Ronald Reagan.
     Nobody can believe what’s happening. Nobody knows what to do. Well, here’s some straight dope: do you want to have an economy? Then prepare to cut your losses and move on. There’s so much to do “out there” in America, but the catch is it’s not the same as what we’ve been doing. Do you want to eat a few years from now? Get serious about reorganizing agriculture on a smaller, finer, more local scale. Believe me, there will be plenty of jobs. Only they won’t be like sitting in a cubicle writing a marketing plan for a video-game about the slaughter of gym rats from another planet. Do you want to be able to travel around this big country in a few years? Start working on the nearest reconstructable railroad line – and get over your techno-grandiose fantasies about running all the cars on algae, corn, or the plug in the wall. Do you want have some household goods in the future without sending an order halfway around the world? Figure out a way to make stuff in some North American place where there is running water for electric power.
     There isn’t a politician out there, including the Paul duo, who can really articulate the direction in which history is propelling us. This “recession-depression” narrative doesn’t even adequately capture it. This is the end of a certain way of doing things – the industrial growth-spurt fiesta. We’re in permanent contraction now. There are no technological rescue remedies that will restore the old economic regime. The banks are not working anymore because we can’t create more real wealth, and the wealth we pretended to create for thirty-odd years in the form of IOUs can’t be paid back into existence. We can’t fund any more senior golfing careers and a lot of people will have to just stop eating fried pork rinds, guzzling Pepsi Cola, and then waddling into the emergency room for consolation.
      Does this sound a little harsh? Surprise: history is not your therapist.  This is the New Age you never expected. Crybabies need not apply.
_____________________________

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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.

575 Responses to “History is Not Your Therapist” Subscribe

  1. Leibowitz Society August 22, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Now is the time to begin preparing for the future, and all the upheaval it will bring. Politics is a sideshow, economic news is taken with a grain of salt. We have a window and should use it while we can, while there is still some residual wealth left to put to good work making lifeboats.
    Visit the Leibowitz Society at http://leibowitzsociety.blogspot.com/2011/08/like-minds.html for information, news, and thought related to our coming dark age, as well as plans and discussion about how to preserve our ideas and knowledge through the impending collapse.

  2. bman August 22, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Thanks for the nice post, love the “history is not your therapist”. Although perhaps you were a bit harsh on the memory of Huey Long to equate his legacy with Perry.

  3. ozone August 22, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Thank you, James, for another fine commentary on the “slight pickle” we find ourselves in.
    I heartily applaud your writing this down; it’s time. The great contraction and crumbling will take place whether acknowledged or not. I would prefer to hang out with those who take into account realities that are biting them [quite painfully] in the butt; they’ll get over it and get busy:
    “Does this sound a little harsh? Surprise: history is not your therapist. This is the New Age you never expected. Crybabies need not apply.” -JHK

  4. elizabeth August 22, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Ok. Garden: check. Light rail: nope. Running water: check. But what if a drought comes and makes hydropower impossible?
    I don’t think Perry is stupid. He’s just bought and sold by the oil and gas industry.

  5. ozone August 22, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    To complement the Long Emergency curriculum, we’ll be showing this filmstrip today.
    Jessica? Draw the blinds, would you?
    Jody, get the lights.
    Now settle down. Tommy, quick poking Linda.






  6. Jack Waddington August 22, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    While we’re at it, and seemingly having to re-think life, let’s abolish that life squasher that has repressed us for eons … MONEY
    Jack

  7. pyates August 22, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    The contest will be between the European banks in their desperation and the new leaders of Egypt, Libya and Syria (and others new and old) when they discover that a new regime won’t solve their economic problems. Finances vs, economics.

  8. Dennis Novak August 22, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    No, seriously, he IS a very stupid man.

  9. noel bodie August 22, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    He could be a two-termed if Perry gets the nomination. I can see the ads now: “how did electing a Texas governor work for you the last time?”

  10. kulturcritic* August 22, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Here is my latest James!
    http://kulturcritic.wordpress.com/posts/the-world-as-belief-and-wanton-desire-ending-the-addiction/
    kulturCritic

  11. wisewebwoman August 22, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    I’m nearly there. With well water, partially off the grid with solar, acreage for growing. Fish off the sea in front of me (if there are no more oil geysers – a distinct possibility). I ceased writing on this a few years back. It was getting tiresome with the climate change deniers and the Invisible Cosmic Housekeeper in charge of everything including winning teams and selective cullings of Earth’s inhabitants.
    Why in heck are we travelling anymore? Shouldn’t our attention be focussed on Here. Now. Staying where our hands are, readying ourselves, making the future a Better Way? H’m?
    Of course Perry will get it. It is what we all deserve.
    Each woman for herself.

  12. bgoedecke August 22, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I live in San Francisco, California. California is constructed around large and unitary infrastructure. Besides the grid, the state is dependent upon large water infrastructure. Gasoline is produced in refineries centered either in LA, or in the nearby (Bay Area) ‘Iron Triangle’. The city of San Francisco is built for the most part on old sand dunes. If this infrastructure no longer functions, there will no longer be a San Francisco since there was never a reliable source of water here for a substantial population. The vaunted California ag would no longer produce given our climatic pattern (summer droughts). For the most part the native peoples did not have ag, depended on the salmon fisheries (mostly destroyed). We have to do what JK suggests, but, if Ca. wants to survive, it needs to find a way to maintain its infrastructure, at least in part.

  13. zen17 August 22, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    We have entered difficult times…if you are ready to heal your body and calm your mind try Zen Yoga

  14. Phutatorius August 22, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Here’s a little local railroad history for my small town in Michigan. Back at the dawn of the 20th century there was an interurban line that paralleled the NYC (I think) line between Lansing and Jackson. Naturally the interurban went away around 1920, leaving a still visible roadbed here and there. More recently the NYC became Conrail, then the Norfolk Southern, and about a year ago it became the Lansing and Jackson subsidiary of the Adrian and Blissfield Railroad. I guess that’s a familiar arc for so many formerly-busy rail routes. The good news that it’s still in daily use feeding the major east-west lines in Lansing and Jackson. The Adrian and Blissfield has a couple of pretty but apparently useless GP-9s while two leased LTEX locomotives do the real work, servicing the remaining rail customers along the line between Lansing and Jackson. -Phut

  15. progress2conserve August 22, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    - History Is Not Your Therapist -
    I like the title, JHK, and the post.
    Some are going to think that you have converted over the weekend into a screaming optimist, looking at a line like this:
    “Figure out a way to make stuff in some North American place where there is running water for electric power.” -JHK-
    That sounds so – - happy, and – - possible!
    But, without fossil fuels and (ahem, nudge – nudge) nuclear power – we in the United States do not have hydroelectric power to support even 6% of our present population at present consumption rates.
    It is possible that we in North America will again – someday – “make stuff….where there is running water for electric power.”
    But present trends continue unchecked.
    100,000 LEGAL immigrants enter the US every single MONTH.
    As the final reckoning on US overpopulation becomes inexorably, more disastrous.
    There are excellent organizations devoted to reduction in the growth of the US population due to immigration.
    JOIN one. The hour grows late.

  16. Cabra1080 August 22, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    In the 1950′s the railroads were undercut by the creation of the Interstate Highway System and cheap fuel for cars and trucks. With the notable exception of the government subsidized Amtrak, there is no longer passenger rail service in most places in the USA.
    I contacted the railroad that runs near my home and asked if they have future plans to restart passenger service (after 50 odd years of freight only service). They said they would consider passenger service if and when the situation occurred that makes that economically feasible.
    The major railroads in this country are private enterprises and therefore must make a profit in order to stay in business and pay dividends to their shareholders. They will not run passenger service at a loss. When conditions change – i.e. limited or no air travel and ten-dollar-a-gallon gasoline I think profit will return to passenger rail travel.
    So I think there is a future in passenger rail in this country, it just hasn’t arrived yet (Amtrak runs a few trains on leased lines at an overall loss).
    When push comes to shove I think they will even rebuild stations and platforms and add trackage as demand picks up – and almost certainly it will as gasoline and diesel prices skyrocket in the future. They may also put in place poles and lines above some rail lines so as to run electric passenger trains. There will probably be sufficient power to run electric trains far into the future even as it becomes less available for people in general.
    I still believe there is a future in passenger rail and it will replace air travel and Interstate Highway travel in a few decades as the main form of regional and interstate transport for both passengers and freight.

  17. piltdownman August 22, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    When I was a kid growing up in the sylvan Hudson Valley, an older guy I knew, a German immigrant, had his own small generator. It was powered by the stream that traversed his property. It didn’t supply all his power, but quite a bit of it. I remember thinking, “That’s cool!” and further wondering, “Why don’t more people do that?”
    Indeed.
    The future in unknowable, expect that, as you suggest, it will be far different than The United States of Cheez Doodles we see outside today…
    Meanwhile, enjoy this tongue-in-cheek jab at Obama’s seeming in ability to lead…
    http://mytabloids.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/breaking-sweaters-for-obama-campaign-gains-traction/

  18. kulturcritic* August 22, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Finally a succinct analysis Jim. Touche!! The only thing remaining is for the American people to run Obama out of town on a rail straight to the Hague as well.

  19. tstreet August 22, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    My only possible bone to pick is the assertion that Perry is dumb. Is he? More likely he is just ruthlessly obsessed with power and act as dumb as necessary in order to capture the moronic wing of the Republican party, which is now most of the party. But I don’t know. He could be just dumb with the college grades to prove it. But don’t discount stupid like a fox.

  20. RyeBeachBum August 22, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    What we need to do is make sure that at least our waterways are functional in the long term, the money that we still have needs to be put on upgrading our canals and the locks n our major waterways. For example the modern locks need Electric Power to run, each lock should be equipped with a hydro power plant so that when the grid fails the locks can still be operated.

  21. wardoc August 22, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    It obviously matters not which moron we “elect” to be POTUS. The outcome for our society will be the same; its now fully cooked in. The reality of the matter is that Kunstler is correct, we are at the end of an era. What he doesn’t fully articulate here, but does so in WMBH, is that the response of the entitled public, from the tatooed mutants to the suburban wuss boys, will be CRIME. If we can’t get what we want via credit cards and make work meaningless jobs, we’ll take it from YOU. We/re seeing the same process in Europe but it will be far worse here; Americans are far more pampered and have far more psychotic expectations about their glorious future. After all, the American lifestyle is non negotiable, according to one of our recent political goons.
    When the music (i.e. money flow) stops, and that time is rapidly approaching, all hell will break loose. Think in terms of a hybridization of the second Road Warrior movie and Clockwork Orange, without the cops.
    Lovely.

  22. Dennis Novak August 22, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    No, seriously, he IS a very stupid man.

  23. sevenmmm August 22, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Oh.
    I just love your comments.

  24. ccm989 August 22, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Well, JHK you are right on all counts. Quaddafi is out, the worldwide economy is sinking faster and Rick Perry is an embarrassment. We can all learn to grow food, generate our own energy, be more responsible for our health (after all, you are what you eat). We may have to give up our annual Caribbean vacations and our Hummers but we can survive without those. Millions have and we can too. What we can’t survive without either clean, potable water or knowledge (both the common sense kind and the intellectual kind). We’ll lose both those necessities if Perry gets into the White House. The Tea Party is living in its own fantasy world of superior white men who force the non-white races to become their willing slaves. The Tea Party is utterly convinced of its superiority, its right to rule and since it has no real leader, its answers to no one and is responsible for nothing.
    Evolution is not real, global warming is a hoax, the world is only 6,000 years old simply because the Christian Bible tells us so. Rick Perry or his female counterpart (and possible running mate) Michelle Bachmann are so far right, they make Ronald Reagan look liberal. Rick Perry claims he shoots coyotes while out jogging with his rifle. What a commando! Elect him and let the natural gas fracking expand without regulations! End education because kids hate going to school anyway! Ignorance is bliss! And you can put the little monsters to work at sub-minimum wage because adults cost too much! Read a frightening book called Nickel & Dimed about adults who work minimum wage jobs (sometimes two or more trying to make ends meet). It is a downward spiral where things can never get better. And if you are a single mother with a child in daycare, you are simply doomed. No matter how hard you work. The American Dream is only for the rich. And soon maybe everything worthwhile, like housing, healthcare, clean water, gasoline, uncontaminated land, fresh air, etc. will only be for the rich. Because they are better than everyone else and deserve it. I know this is true because FOX News tells me so.

  25. 3rd Generation August 22, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    “3.) more or less threatening to lynch Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.
    If that becomes a non-negotiable PROMISE, he gets my vote, I don’t care what else is or isn’t in his empty head.
    END THE FED. Do it today. Right Now. Order the tumbrils in. A long line of them in fact.
    IDIOT AMERICA

  26. mark August 22, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Yes ozone, you’re born a monkey… the tragedy is to die a monkey.

  27. ozone August 22, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Dance monkeys, dance!

  28. Desertrat August 22, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    While I agree with Kunstler about the future of energy as he has written, few in the public at large “get it”, and to speak of that view would lead to a loss in a political race for dog-catcher.
    But if Perry is so dumb, how come his policy ideas have Texas in better shape than most others when it comes to jobs? Better a job with poor or no health insurance than health insurance and no job. Health insurance doesn’t pay the rent.
    From a political power standpoint, the Texas governorship is among the nation’s weakest. Yet, his policy ideas have found not just acceptance, but benefits to Joe Sixpack. Being “in bed” with the awl bidness sure doesn’t hurt Ol’ Joe.
    Granted, I don’t understand all this “I found Jesus” thing. Call me an unaffiliated strong believer, but I stay quiet about what I believe. Folks should believe what they want; fine by me, but I have a negative reaction to a high noise level.
    Call Perry dumb, but by comparison to Obama he’s a bleeping genius…

  29. GAbert August 22, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Good one James!
    http://www.gwabert.com/

  30. newworld August 22, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    At least this week’s column spared us the “Children of the Kudzu” NASCAR rant. So speaking of being useful do you liberals find your “To Kill a Mockingbird” written by Truman Capote education and worldview implant becoming useless?
    Speaking of morons and sports entertainment, 2 attendees of a Forty Niners/Raiders game are battling life threatening injuries after being shot mutltiple times. No word if the “Children of the Corn” attendees at Michigan’s NASCAR race took their “honor” so seriously.
    I post this because now a good many of you are ready to abandon the Democratic strongholds of the cities for the vast rural hinterlands. But you have one problem, you sound nuts, and while sounding nuts at Daily Kos or the student union is acceptable if not encouraged sounding nuts while your new neighbors are the targets of wrath for their “bitter clinginess” is not going to work.

  31. bossier22 August 22, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    grades are not everything. i knew i guy who barely got out of high school who made 4.0 in college. he is now an excellent cardiologist. perry is not stupid but he is ruthless. i ‘d bet a hundred he does not believe half of what he is putting out these days.

  32. VegasBob August 22, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    I detest Rick Perry – he’s just a slick snake oil salesman. However, I’m now conflicted. I agree with Jim’s comments about Perry’s basic ignorance of reality, but then I think that anyone with the good sense to openly criticize the counterfeiting king, Ben ‘Bernokio’ Bernanke, can’t be all bad.

  33. lbendet August 22, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Thanks for your insight as always, JHK
    Yes, watching Libya play out this ouster of a dictator should make of an interesting soap opera drama this week. The problem as with so many of these countries is that they are unnatural union of opposing tribes who never should have been shoved together under one banner by the Western powers after WWII. They needed a strong man to keep the factions under despotic rule, but as in so many other cases we can point to from Yugoslavia etc., there will be a point when the ethnic differences will erupt, so peace is not assured. Oh, but cheers, gas prices will be going down!
    Bring out the Bush Royal family?
    Given that nobody wants to admit that the Global paradigm is a disaster and there isn’t enough energy to keep it going, we are in a state of inertia. We’ll just keep this illusion going until it crashes and burns.
    The Republic party had originally stated that Perry would be the sane choice against Bachmann. He would be espousing economic remedy for our woes. Unfortunately, instead he held a prayer meeting where everyone prayed for a better economy and all sorts of crazy comments were made–can’t keep t he lunatic fringe down for nothing–they have a voice and they’re going to make it loud and clear!
    At least two news outlets showed the uber-citizen, Bank of America in the form of an anonymous representative who did not introduce himself by name, telling Perry at a meet and greet that they would be sending money his way.–Ha, the curtain goes sideways and we see yet another playa with a populist twang—let’s go get the money grinders, what else can you do if you’re playing for the Banksters?
    Either we were going to put the banks back in their places take control of the wild west casinos that is the global banking system, or we are going to grid out money like Rumpelstiltskin turning hay to gold.
    What would Perry recommend instead? Very easy to counter the present President—not so easy to tell us how we get outta this.
    So when Perry crashes and burns who is left standing in the wings? Jeb Bush says he doesn’t want to run this time around, but with his Hispanic wife and his conservative track record and relative intelligence, he might just be the great Republican hope. Now I think it all depends on whether they really want Obama to do their dirty work and blame things on the Dems, or whether they want to take us down themselves.
    ps, Perry was once a Democrat—like fellow Texan John Connolly, there’s no zealot like a convert.

  34. djc August 22, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    By Wednesday I’m looking forward to next Mondays CFN. Nothing else needs to be said.
    djc

  35. Al Klein August 22, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Perry, Bachmann, Palin, et al. All ultimately irrelevant. That’s the reality of of our situation. Our salvation, if there is any, will be from our earnest understanding of our situation and quickly getting serious on a personal and local level. Get in shape. Eat real food with real nourishment. Grow some food if you can. Expect less. Make do with less. Be humble. Make peace with the realization that the world we have created for ourselves here in the US is unsustainable.

  36. Newfie August 22, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Very good Jim! Hilarious.
    I also got a laugh from an article in the Globe and Mail this morning reporting that Greece will experience “negative growth of five percent” this year. The financial analysts don’t have the word “contraction” in their vocabulary. So the economy still grows, but negatively. LOL. Anyway… if the Greek economy is contracting at a rate of 5% there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell they will be making all their loan payments.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/daily-mix/greece-growth-to-be-worse-than-thought/article2135160/

  37. cowswithguns August 22, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    As bad as Rick Perry is, I think Mitt “Corporations are People, My Friend” Romney is much scarier.
    Why?
    Because he could actually be elected — despite his Mormonism.
    Wall Street is all about Romney, and that should make us all very worried.

  38. Paul Kemp August 22, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    You can’t always get what you want, Jim. The Ron Paul campaign is the closest you’re going to come to sensible government from the present bunch of candidates.
    Better take the bird in the hand instead of hoping for something that offers all your talking points — unless you plan to run.

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  40. welles August 22, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Paul campaign is the closest you’re going to come to sensible government from the present bunch of candidates.
    Better take the bird in the hand instead of hoping for something that offers all your talking points — unless you plan to run.

    no you don’t get it, JHK is an avowed lover of the (Nothing)Left, that’s why it’s always ‘oh poor obama is faced with this and that’, or only very minor criticism.
    JHK’s seethes underneath with hatred for non-Left individuals, and never tires of writing about it.
    he is caught in the Left-Right Matrix & uses up his precious peak oil while likely gorging himself on big gulps and cheezits.
    has he ever planted anything, besides fifth-rate pulp novellas? (tho’ this week’s blog has some gems, gotta give credit where due…)
    peace peaceniks

  41. Phutatorius August 22, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Cabra1080 wrote:
    “In the 1950′s the railroads were undercut by the creation of the Interstate Highway System and cheap fuel for cars and trucks. With the notable exception of the government subsidized Amtrak, there is no longer passenger rail service in most places in the USA.”
    Also it was the loss of postal traffic that sealed the coffin on passenger rail. The rail post offices were an efficient system of mail delivery and toward the end the passenger rail lines were making more money from postal revenue than ticketed passengers.

  42. philm August 22, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    JHK,
    You do Huey Long a disservice. The T Harry Williams biography of the Kingfish is a great read. Back when old Huey was getting started on the political trail his two main issues were 1) Paved roads and 2) Free text books for school children in the Louisiana public schools.
    That was considered too radical for the reactinary powers that be that ran the state.

  43. k-dog August 22, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Newfie – good article. I also liked:
    “The truth is that a mix of domestic and external factors is intensifying the recession and this is our biggest problem,”
    Apparently this must mean something to someone but not to me. I’m too slow to know.

  44. newworld August 22, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Maybe it is just me but Libya has the potential of being a blood bath of recrimination between tribes. But it seems the British and French think it is gonna be all ok since there are news reports of “first dibs” on the oil business.

  45. radman August 22, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Jim,
    A special request for you. I’d really like to see you as a commenter over at Calculated Risk. I think your wit and wisdom would add some spice to that august group. I find myself starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms about noon on Monday as I realize I’m 7 days away from my next fix of JHK. Hope you’ll consider it. And thanks for waving the warning flags for all of us.

  46. Hamrage August 22, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    If Obama has created more war and reneged on his promises, wait till you see who the Republicans have lined up! Rick Perry believes evolution is a fraud and Michelle Bachmann is promising $2 gasoline! Lol Where she getting that from? An even more toxic landscape?? Last time I looked, shuttle is retired and there’s no hint of 1000 rockets ready to go to moons of Jupiter for prospecting…..

  47. orbit7er August 22, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Furthermore Huey Long forced Standard Oil to provide some payments to Louisiana for all the oil it had been extracting for zilch.
    That is how he funded his massive projects.
    Of course the roads part, while valuable in its time, was a bad idea as the oil runs out.
    And like so many other pols who just don’t get it,
    even though there are perfectly good tracks already
    going from Baton Rouge to New Orleans which could take traffic over the ever-expanding congested I-10,
    Gov Bobby Jindal axed the Rail project.
    While I was there though they were busily building something in the middle of I-10 which apparently
    they though they could afford :-)

  48. bailey August 22, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Saw you on Max Keiser Jim, great job. Great article but you don’t understand europe. Germany is doing fine, Italy’s impenetrable labyrinth worked against the US Hedge funds trying their financial terrorism…but having banked there, invested, we have the battle scars and mio marito’s half Italian! France, however, could be the lynch pin with all the toxic derivatives at societe….but still, europe has the gold, the trade and if need be, China behind to bail it out for now…
    EU might be on shaky ground, but it’s fine. And you also seem to forget that places like italy, the people (north, mostly, yes ) own their properties, they have gold, money stashed….different as with the US and UK where there really are far more pressing issues….
    I’ve been a liberal all my life, proud of it, but Ron Paul, does provide direction and understands the economic fix and IS actually willing to address it. Odd you don’t get that…libertarians are tricky but they do get economics. And most of our economic theories simply don’t apply in this global market…alas, the fix we’re in. But I bought a bunch of gold and it’s doing great, and it will continue to go up and up and up…..it’s not about a #, it’s about a dynamic.

  49. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown August 22, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    JHK, thanks. “hat trick of cretinism” made my day.
    Oh and btw, here in E. TN we have decent amounts of hydropower from the TVA lakes, but water situation seems to be going from “really good” to “cycles of drought and flood” the last 10 years or so.

  50. Zanrak August 22, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I just returned from 2 weeks in Ireland. They’re quite proud of Obama there, & speak affectionately about his visit in May. As he does have some Irish ancestry, the Irish were delighted when he claimed he was back to pick up his missing apostrophe. I noticed many many pictures of JFK from his visit in the early 60′s adorning pub walls from Dublin to Galway. The Irish really do want to keep the hope alive that “one of theirs” will do the right thing in a “tough situation”. They were saddened by my harsh words for the head mouth piece of our plutocracy.
    I also heard, on literally every Irish radio (RTE et. al.) talk show I caught, how the population is quite miffed about their economic situation. The joke is, is that the Germans tried twice to take over Europe with guns, but feck-it-all, now they’re gunna do it with debt. An owner of a card shop told me that everyone is beginning to think that two or three generations will be “lost”. Many unemployed young Irish people are heading to Canada & Australia. With the dollar currently worth about 3/4 of the Euro, no need for them to come here. Family dinners for 4 usually were in the range of $75 – $150, but there seemed to be no dearth of diners in many establishments. I saw/heard lots of Italians & other Europeans enjoying the sites & shops; some Americans, too. I guess if you can still afford to travel, you can cough up the dough for food, drink, & trinkets.
    Ireland has a land mass about the size of Indiana, but only 2/3 the population. I saw many many homes with gardens, chickens, cows, sheep & goats. Horses, too. I really think – JHK’s comment recently about Ireland drowning in their beers aside – that they’re particularly well-positioned to ease into The Long Emergency. Their rails seem to be operating, and they certainly don’t have to worry about water! It rains every damn day! And as far as the beer drinking is concerned, at least it seems that most adults spend some time in pubs – and not just saturday nights -talking about things – like politics – with their neighbors. They even sing together – frequently! I don’t see that kind of bonding happening much in America these days, except for young teens regurgitating vacuous pop lyrics in big anonymous halls. It was all quite warm and wonderful. You always felt like you were among friends…. No, they won’t be attacking each other when the gas prices – now about $9+ a gallon there – hit $20 or higher… I know all about the co2 & fuel costs associated with jet travel, but it’s gonna be sad when it’s gone….
    I’d been saving up “The Witch Of Hebron” for this trip. I think I enjoyed it more than WMBH. One thing that struck me in particular, was how most people had to come together, stick together, and be compassionate and supportive. In that world, no one gets far on their own. Supernatural abilities aside, the people of Union Grove & elsewhere simply wouldn’t survive with out a truly collective spirit of cooperation. I think Mr. Kunstler intended for that concept to be a fundamental observation for the reader. I think that people in the USA, friendly as they might be with some of their neighbors, have a long way to go in that department. I think the Irish are pretty much there.
    Anyone for a sing along? Just bring along some whiskey in an old jar…

  51. SNAFU August 22, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    James, Great essay; however, comparing Huey Long to the likes of Texans of the Bush?perry ilk is akin to comparing Obama to Palin. Huey was undoubtedly greedy and power hungry, as are most if not all politicians, but he was, in the opinion of historians, highly intelligent. From the “History Matters” web site comes the following tidbit about Huey:
    On February 3, 1934, he founded the Share Our Wealth Society and called on the American people to organize in order to accomplish the following objectives:
    1. Limitation of poverty to a minimum of a $5,000 family estate.
    2. Limitation of wealth to a maximum of $10,000,000.
    3. Free higher education for all, with a mental test instead of the tuition test. If men in the army can be fed, boarded and clothed while we teach them how to kill, we can do as much for our best minds while they are being trained to live.
    4. Employment for all by the shortening of hours.
    5. Full compensation for veterans.
    6. Old-age pensions.
    7. Great national development programs to absorb the unemployed.
    From Jan 1934 to Jan 2011 the US inflation was 1568.36% or roughly 15 times therefore Longs poverty minimum would be $75,000 in assests and his wealth maximum would be $150,000,000 today. Who could not be satisfied with $150 million in assets and who would begrudge the poorest $75,000 in assets?
    CONSERVATIVES or LIBERALS?
    SNAFU

  52. orbit7er August 22, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Down here in the Sunshine State in the “eye of the Hurricane” for a 2 week visit.
    Here in the Tampa Bay area they have gone totally nuts with endless road expansion which accomplishes nothing. When I lived here in the 70′s the main road for Dunedin, Route 580, was 2 lanes, 1 lane each direction. Returning to visit a few years ago it was then 4 lanes. Now it is 6 and 7 lanes!!
    A sea of asphalt!
    They have done handwaving to Green Transit by adding
    perilous “bike lanes” amongst the sea of asphalt.
    But these “bike lanes” besides consisting of only
    painted lines on the asphalt, are constantly crisscrossed every 100 feet or so by McDonalds, Taco Bell, Strip Mall, and road exits so that a daring bicyclist faces constant danger from cars turning into or coming out of all the Strip Mall fast food joints.
    All the same, amazingly enough, there ARE bicyclists, mostly hispanics but also others, who
    do use the bike lanes. I suspect that these are the people who already cannot afford cars and are forced to bicycle similar to the irony of gas station attendants back in New Jersey with their bikes chained by the gas station. The gas station attendants themselves are riding their bikes as they cannot afford the cars they are servicing!
    Meanwhile the vacancy rate down here makes New Jersey look like a cakewalk! There seem to be 50-70% of strip mall stores closed with for rent signs.
    According to the St Pete Times, Florida’s ranking on the National Tests for high school student’s
    knowledge was 48th….
    The only ray of hope is that loathing for Gov Rick Scott is universal and openly displayed even
    in this Bible Belt reality denying area…

  53. matt helm August 22, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    So you think Rick Perry is stupid? Well, try this stupid. The stupid we have to worry about are the stupid majority that elected Bush and then Obama. As to your insults about creation science: I challenge you, Kunstler, to express some of the legitmate arguments against evolution and just a few of the legitimate scientific arguments for creation. My bet is that you have not read a single book or article that presents same. You just knee-jerk suck up all the crap that gets peddled in pubic schools.
    I am confident that there is no way you could debate the creation argument if you were given that side in a debate whether or not you “believe” it. What this country needs in a leader might start with the knowledge that belief in evolution does not mean diddly squat moving electrons or any other technology that is useful to everyday life in your “world made by hand”. So quit the “hand-job” and read up.

  54. budizwiser August 22, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Candidates like Perry and Bachmann make a plain vanilla narcissist like Sarah Palin look at least capable of running a student council. What a low moment in America’s history. Don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s room for the bar to go further down.

    JK, that’s pure gold baby – November, 2012 – when the crazies come to the big screen and reality-TV looks more real than life.

    Believe me, there will be plenty of jobs. Only they won’t be like sitting in a cubicle writing a marketing plan for a video-game about the slaughter of gym rats from another planet.

    What – you mean my new job at the call center for Bank Of America might go away?

    We’re in permanent contraction now. There are no technological rescue remedies that will restore the old economic regime. The banks are not working anymore because we can’t create more real wealth, and the wealth we pretended to create for thirty-odd years in the form of IOUs can’t be paid back into existence.

    Succint – but you left out the part about one last gargantuan grand grift. One last “Q-JOB” to prop up the players and the suckers as well.
    The whole Greenspan Christmas gift will most likely arrive December 2012 – just in time for the new lackey in charge to tell us to pray for our sins………

  55. davidreese August 22, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Jim,
    What about Ron Paul?

  56. Patrizia August 22, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Yes, you are right.
    Italy has 2000 billions debts but the people have 8000 billions on their bank accounts…
    Italians are great in savings.
    One of my cousins visiting from California some years ago said:
    Now I understand you Italians are so thin. When it comes to meat, you eat one thin slice of veal, no big and thick steaks like us…
    With one of yout steak we eat one week (a family), but we eat a little bit of pasta, a little bit of salad or vegetable, a little bit of fruit.
    Three courses but all together not even half of what you eat.
    And we NEVER have left over or waste.

  57. davidreese August 22, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Great to hear about the rail lines. Here in Boston some of the old interurban lines are still in daily commuter rail use. If Boston didn’t still have them, the city would be in permanent gridlock.

  58. judetennessee August 22, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    James-wish you would quit picking on pork rinds as they are a wonderful zero-carb snack. However the Pepsi and all the other carb laden goodies will put you in the long-wait emergency room or the grave! If folks really want to prepare for the rough times ahead they need to read “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes so they can understand how to really eat in order to be healthy and to deprive “Big Pharm” and “Big Farm” of their obscene profits made from deluding the public since World War II.

  59. steve August 22, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Here’s a little local history from my hometown in North Louisiana. Huey Long built the first paved highway system in the State and funded the public schools with State money for the first time. He started a system of charity hospitals that for the time was a model for the nation and he did it with money he extracted from Standard Oil; money that had been used to buy the politicians. Did some of that money go into the pockets of his cronies, you bet! And why not; at least the people were finally getting some of it and is it so much different from the New York oligarchy getting it today? Not really, only Huey’s methods were a little rude and crude; definitely unacceptable to the artsy-fartsy Northeast types who have always ruled this country for their own interests.
    And, by the way, how’s it working out with our brilliant community organizer-in-chief? Maybe he should just keep on eating those ice cream cones and forget about coming back to Washington.

  60. endofworld August 22, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    being stupid or dumb does not count–having a set of values that have stood the test of time is all that matters-you can sound smart or sound dumb-its all the same-having values that work matter-

  61. theroadandthesky August 22, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    These days I’m continually reminded of the Jackson Browne lyrics from The Road and The Sky: Do you see those storm clouds gathering up ahead, they’re gonna wash this planet clean like the bible said, you can hold on steady, try to be ready, but everybody’s gonna get wet, don’t think it won’t happen just because it hasn’t happened yet.

  62. Alannala August 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    everybody is ready for a big change, but it doesn’t have to be in the form of the seeming apolcalypse that many people are creating. It could also come as a shift in consciousness, not a New Age shift, but simply a disidentification of the madness of our minds, at last to see it as madness. The Zen masters say it is that action alone that is the enlightenment. But don’t try to figure it out.

  63. Steve M. August 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    When Ike started the Interstate Highway System, it was meant to be a replacement for the old federal highways built in the 1920s. Highways like the Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) and U.S. 66 were no longer considered up to date Many of those U.S. highways used city streets and small-town mains streets as rights of way. Many of them slowly got decommissioned as the interstates replaced them. But Ike never meant for the interstates to replace passenger trains! He also wanted the interstates to go around cities like the autobahns in Germany, not through them. But what happened was that Congress didn’t allocate money for any kind of mass transit and congressmen representing urban districts only voted for the highway plan when they were promised interstates in the cities. Eisenhower wanted a subway system for Washington, D.C., which only became a reality after this death. That the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago, which destroyed the West Side, is named for him is a cruel irony; a freeway going through a big city and tearing up the neighborhoods was NOT wanted Ike wanted.

  64. Steve M. August 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Correction – . . . “a freeway going through a big city and tearing up the neighborhoods was NOT wanted Ike wanted.”

  65. Steve M. August 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Let my try that again: . . . “a freeway going through a big city and tearing up the neighborhoods was NOT what Ike wanted.”

  66. FriendlyAquaponics August 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    [quote]Do you want to eat a few years from now? Get serious about reorganizing agriculture on a smaller, finer, more local scale. Believe me, there will be plenty of jobs.[/quote]
    Please check out what we’re doing to relocalize agriculture, using the most sustainable and efficient food production on the planet: [link=http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com]www.friendlyaquaponics.com.[/link]

  67. City Dog August 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    “We can’t fund anymore senior golfing careers…”
    Great idea, Jim. Now howsabout the government gives me back all the money they took from me over the course of an entire working lifetime. That should at least keep me in miniature golf!
    This hatred of people on social security is all well and good — that may well include your own flesh and blood, I might remind — but it’s dirty pool when a) they take your money and when it’s your turn you just get a flying digit; and b) you don’t even make enough — more and more people these days — to put aside anything more substantial than sofa lint.
    I hope we meet in twenty years, see how you’re doing!

  68. FriendlyAquaponics August 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Munged that comment – but please check us out! It’s all about local, organic food production, the EASY way!
    http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com

  69. third_martini_banter August 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Line of the week:
    “lot of people will have to just stop eating fried pork rinds, guzzling Pepsi Cola, and then waddling into the emergency room for consolation.”

  70. farmerhunt August 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Jack, you are absolutely correct. In terms of its consistent and steadfast companionship with pure evil, throughout the history of civilization, money trumps oil. When we stopped living at the “speed of foot” (“Spoot”?) and scaled up food production with agriculture, we enabled whatever self-destructive proclivities our hunter-gatherer ancestors possessed to metastasize to demonic proportions. The growth of our scales of existence has never stopped. In terms of our evolved history, this era, (which the ancients describe as, “The Fall”) has been but a blink of history’s eye. Our species has been headed down hill ever since . . . the constant acceleration of entropy. All oil did was kick start that whole process into overdrive. Entropy squared, so to speak.
    Think of it this way; why the scales imposed by civilization necessitated the invention of money. It was during this long, so very long period, when compared to the era of The Fall, that our entire, integrated sensorium, from brain to fingertips, evolved. (Keeping in mind that when it comes to evolution, survival is the operative frame. So, for the things we needed to survive, as we were confined to every limitation imposed by spoot, our genome got designed in such a way that our sensorium acquired the appropriate “reach” for that context, the context of spoot. Our vision, touch, etc., etc., were appropriate for observing the detail necessary for survival. Our brain grew large within the context of spoot, not civilization. But when we broke out of the forest on wheels, horses, the backs of slaves (All of civilization is slave-based. “There’s a bucket of blood in every tankful.”), the things necessary for survival, shelter, food, water, became increasingly beyond our evolved “reach” so that now, virtually everything I need, especially energy, has origins elsewhere. Our space/time genomic continuum suddenly got warped, literally. Cultural wisdom devolved into management.
    The “solution” to our reach problem has generally been money. Not working out so well!

  71. malthus August 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Now is not the time to start planning. It is the time to stop planning. We evolved from living a life of spontaneity to the life of planning and look where it has gotten us. Plan for the future, plan for retirement, plan for an education, plan, plan, plan. What hogwash. Stop thinking you can control the future by planning. All you do is write scripts and play it out like life is a movie. Live, live, live now. Things work out. The universe provides, all that stuff. Have faith in yourselves and you will thrive. Who gives a damn if the current state of affairs falls apart. Anybody with any neural activity between their ears know that things are and will always be interesting and they are much more interesting if you allow spontaneity to work its wonders.

  72. malthus August 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    “Spoot,” that is good. Fact is your whole take on evolution of the species is excellent. Thanks and have fun.

  73. malthus August 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    “and all the other citadels of grift until blood runs out the bronze nostrils of George Washington’s statue,” How else could this be better said? Couldn’t without changing the context. Perfect.

  74. Hamster August 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Malthus,
    My apologies for pointing this out, but actually it’s all about planning. We are such good planners because planning is a survival skill. Flexibility and adapting plans on short notice is also a survival skill.
    For example, I am currently in the middle of the harvest. My day job hasn’t gone away, and I am spending 20 hours a week on top of it, harvesting, processing and preserving. I planned it this way. Happens for about five weeks every year. I do it because I am seasonally employed but I like to eat every day. I may or may not have work in the off season, but baring catastrophe, I will have chow and some to share.

  75. welles August 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    There seem to be 50-70% of strip mall stores closed with for rent signs.
    According to the St Pete Times, Florida’s ranking on the National Tests for high school student’s
    knowledge was 48th….

    …US economy, torpedoed, sinking fast
    …US ‘education’, DEAD for the longest time now.
    …US’ ability to compete with better-educated, highly disciplined foreigners….haha, hahaha
    …US’ ability to kill people anywhere & at all times. AAA+
    buy some gold and relax while the ship o’ state goes down, good riddance to bad rubbish
    peace peaceniks

  76. Daniels August 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Jim, i gotta tell ya for all the apocalypse now commentary i still see a whole boatload of beachgoers, fair goers, end of summer shoppers doing their thing.
    As a longstanding reader i totally enjoy your rants but i would submit that you are way ahead on the timeline. Do not think for one minute that this country is going all iceland in the equation. Beaucoup nukes means to a certain extent we will determine our own destiny and those cards have a lot of mileage in them, and they aint close to being played.
    Obama is a failure but so would anyone else be. The fact is that the office serves corporations and that aint us. It doesnt matter who sits in the chair, cause the agenda doesnt change. In fact nothing will really change until a different form of govt is instituted.

  77. lsjogren August 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    city dog said:
    “Great idea, Jim. Now howsabout the government gives me back all the money they took from me over the course of an entire working lifetime. That should at least keep me in miniature golf!”
    They can’t give you back the money because they SPENT it for God’s sake. Don’t you follow politics enough to know how Social Security funds are handled by the federal government.
    You pay in, and they turn around and dump the money into the general fund. Oh yes, I forgot, they do have a phony “trust fund”, although it is not an actual pension fund, it is a set of IOUs. Perhaps the federal government can be persuaded to give SS recipients like you their money back by rewriting those IOUs into little IOUs representing what individual workers contributed to SS, and send them to those individuals.
    Anyone on SS complaining about the fact that the program is dying: I hope you were screaming bloody murder as the government spent the money you put in rather than set it aside in a pension fund. Otherwise you are hardly in a position to complain.
    By the way, don’t worry, you will get all your SS money that’s been promised to you. Of course, the US dollar will be worth as much as a used piece of gum stuck to the sidewalk, but at least you will get your dollars.

  78. welles August 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    what’s the with anti-money rant out here? stop with the nonsense already, money’s (often gold) been around forever because it serves a needed purpose, it makes things a whole lot easier when you want to acquire something efficiently.
    it’s when it’s adulterated & diluted that you get the wholesale falling apart of society we’re witnessing.
    notice how the non-adulterated, non-diluted money (Au) is doing very well. It’s actually just reflecting the debasement of paper currency, which isn’t backed by jack shytt.
    fess up.
    peace peaceniggs

  79. DeeJones August 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    The USA doesn’t need an analyst, it needs a good, swift kick in the ass.
    Face it, the USA is toast, but Empires don’t just collapse all at once, but slowly, over decades and centuries. Oh, OK, so the US may go down in a few decades, instead of centuries like Rome, but what we know of the USA will be nothing like the USA of the next century. A hundred years from now it will, after the oil runs out, the US will probably be six different countries. And all living locally and much, much more frugally. And perhaps more of a hand-maid tale…
    But anyway….
    Dee

  80. Jack Waddington August 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    J.H.K is of the opinion that we need an exchange system. No we don’t; life isn’t about exchange, its about GIVING and separately TAKING; the two are not related. We come into the world as babies … TAKING; we leave GIVING, Meantime, we sometimes give and then other times take. Ironically the idea was born over 400 years ago in Henley just outside London … until the powers that were, came in, and squashed it, There’s been several attempts to revive it since … so far ,,, without success.
    Jack

  81. metuselah August 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    notice how the non-adulterated, non-diluted money (Au) is doing very well. It’s actually just reflecting the debasement of paper currency, which isn’t backed by jack shytt.
    ==
    It’s backed by increasing energy inputs (oil being one). But that fiesta is coming to an end. James is correct, our finance system is predicated on the premise that new energy inputs will be found to cover the charges of interest. It worked for the last 300 years, but I don’t see how it’s going to work going forward given peak oil.

  82. welles August 22, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    You pay in, and they turn around and dump the money into the general fund. Oh yes, I forgot, they do have a phony “trust fund”, although it is not an actual pension fund, it is a set of IOUs.
    Yes, not a person in 10,000 seems to know this. The truth is that if you had taken the money and put in in an interest-bearing account you’d have SEVERAL TIMES what you’ll [possibly] get from SS.
    Who IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would put money in a bank for 40 years, then, when wanting to withdraw their money, accept being told ‘oh you can only get it out a tiny bit at a time, and if you die phuqq you your wife will only get maybe half, if she hasn’t been disqualified cuz we phuqqed with the eligibility rules hahaha.”
    it’s a blessed SCAM. Americans need to understand they are nothing but cash-cows for the politicos and elite that disdain them, look down on them, feed them with poison patriotism, and otherwise toy with them to effect their whims.
    the US….what a has-been of a country…(used to be Gr8 tho’, such are the vicissitudes of history….god bless ya roy rogers)
    peace peaceniks

  83. cbailey August 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Jim and all:
    This is why Tim De Christopher is going to prison. He’s speaking his mind, and he’s young. He’s telling the truth. Please listen to his speech from the April 2011 Powershift Meet. Pass it on to others. He deserves support.
    http://youtu.be/81EZUkYzrxU?hd=1

  84. malthus August 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Hamster, yes there is the school of thought that planning is survival. And there is a school of thought as I laid out. I will disagree with you that we are “such good planners.” If we were so good at it we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. Plato’s cave analogy comes to mind here.

  85. BeantownBill August 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I just looked over your website and it is very interesting. I have one question though: My wife and I are vegetarians and do not eat fish. Are fish a necessary component of your system, or can we grow veggies only?

  86. Neon Vincent August 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I’m glad to see you get pride of place. At least you post something of substance, instead of just yelling “first.”
    Speaking of substance, I’m glad to read Jim deriding all of the non-reality-based politicians, including Michele Bachmann. However, he neglected to point out that she promised $2/gallon gasoline if she were elected, or if he did, it got buried. That statement of hers, which was soundly ridiculed on CNN, reminded me of Jim’s prediction that Americans would be tempted to elect maniacs (later escalated to corn-pone fascists) who promised voters that they’d keep the entitlements of suburbia long after they were no longer possible. Cheap gas is certainly one of those entitlements, so Bachmann fits the mold.
    I blogged about that statement in “Bachmann on $2 gas and Kunstler on maniac politicians” on Crazy Eddie’s Motie News, along with some other gaffes and whoppers involving the corn pone fascists in American politics, what happens when infrastructure is neglected, and the celebration of doomed car culture that is the Woodward Dream Cruise. Those alone provided material for 16 posts last week. Surf on over!
    http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/

  87. Steve August 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Me too. i can’t start work on Mondays until i get my clusterfuck medicine.

  88. WestCoast August 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    “3.) more or less threatening to lynch Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. The nation has not seen such a puffed up rogue take the stage since the days of Huey Long, but the rural idiocy that saturated Louisiana in the 1930s ”
    WHY
    Defend bankers, or at least never mention as a class, from all attacks in spit of the fact that they are what enabled “the biggest misallocation of resources in history?”

  89. wagelaborer August 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    OK, we can’t live the profligate energy-wasting lifestyle that so many live now without fossil fuels. So what? We can live very decent lives without wasting so much energy.
    We can’t grow as much food as we do now without fossil fuels. So what? We grow FAR MORE food than we need, thousands of calories more than we need.
    Look around. What is the result of growing more food than we need? And of building communities that use fossil fuel instead of human energy to transport people and goods?
    We get obese people. And then we start burning corn in cars.
    It would not be the end of the world to live more modest lifestyles (as so many of us already do), grow just enough food to nourish us, instead of stuffing us like Christmas geese, rebuild our communtities to be walkable, and generally go back to pre-WW2 lifestyles.
    This is not the end of the world. Unless we continue burning every goddamn bit of fossil fuels we can drill or blast out of the Earth, or steal from other countries.
    THAT will be the end of the world.

  90. Neon Vincent August 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld to The Hague first.

  91. WestCoast August 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    George W Bush was very articulate when he was the govenor of Texas.
    He suddenly became part of the Dumb Show when trolling for votes from the Hillbilly Theocracy.
    Now that he is a private citizen he is most articulate.

  92. trippticket August 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    I’m plenty busy and not looking for a “real job”, but I did hear that job hunting sites like Monster.com et al have posted notices to the effect of:
    “If you don’t have a job already, don’t bother applying for one here.”
    Wow. What to do?
    Want my two cents? Doesn’t matter, I’m gonna give it to you anyway. Success in this transition has nothing to do with your stash of cash (nor gold actually), nor much to do with weapons. He who can live on the least, and who stores his capital in diffuse, hard-to-transport media (think fruit trees and firewood), wins.
    Come to my farm with your truck and your gun and you can rob me, yes, but you won’t get much compared to what I actually have, and I’m much more valuable to you alive than dead. I can feed you today, or you can cooperate with me and I can feed you indefinitely.
    Figs and fish trump bonds and securities every time. For 99.9% of human history this has been the case, and we’re finally, dear lord finally, returning to our senses.
    Here’s to the producing class! May we soon be free of a sizeable chunk of the kleptocrats.

  93. trippticket August 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Yes, Bush’s gubernatorial debates with Ann Richards in 1994 showed him to be the articulate aristocrat he should be with his background.
    “The Dumb Show” is an excellent way to describe the Hillbilly Theocracy…or the federal government in general really. I’m very much looking forward to restructuring at a far more local level.

  94. Qshtik August 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Munged that comment
    ===============
    I had to do a little research but thanks, Friendly, for bringing a new word to my attention.

  95. anti soak August 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Theres a guy in Santa Monicas who has plants/fish system…calls it ART..his names Aon Jon Lee..
    maybe websearch him.
    And WAGE:
    wagelaborer replied to comment from Buck Stud | August 21, 2011 12:39 PM | Reply
    Catholics actually have a lower birth rate than Protestants in this country.
    And Mexico’s birth rate has dropped dramatically.
    I think that Italy’s birth rate is also low, even if the Vatican is right there. [yes, since when do they go to church?]
    I think The Lowest BR on the planet are:
    Chinese
    Korean
    French
    Italian…
    and goodness knows what the last 2 id be like w/o Muslims in their countries breeding like rats.
    Muslims breed like rats!

  96. Bustin J August 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    What are we going to do with all this precious energy? Run the Visa/Mastercard/Macy’s parade? We already burn coal to make a light glow for the fishtank. We take energy sequestered by billions of years and evaporate it to heat the air in our homes where we pad around like pampered little pets.
    Peak hydro has already been reached. Climate change changes water delivery patterns. Disrupt streams, negatively impact fish. Food? Or power to turn on your laptop?
    Wardoc: “When the music (i.e. money flow) stops, and that time is rapidly approaching, all hell will break loose. Think in terms of a hybridization of the second Road Warrior movie and Clockwork Orange, without the cops. ”
    Thats not going to happen. You imagine all as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Lets be frank: most are sheep. We revert to animality when food, water and shelter run out and not before. Not because we don’t get to shop or drive our cars.
    Before that happens we’ll see a suspension of posse comitatus and nationalization of food networks. The government is not going to allow America on the whole to slide into a situation resulting in mass desperation. That would naturally cause the rise of movements that challenge the legitimacy of the government. Its all in the continuity plans.

  97. pequiste August 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    “and all the other citadels of grift until blood runs out the bronze nostrils of George Washington’s statue,” JHK
    The sanguinary imagery is reminiscent of one Enoch Powell. Like Cassandra of Troy, back in the 1968, he warned the U.K. about the recent English riots, some 60 years later, which cause billions of pounds of damage. And just think; it’s just a sneak preview.
    The infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech laid it all out for the British, and Powell (youngest brigadier in WWII and scholar of classics) was rewarded by being removed from the shadow cabinet and relegated to being called a racist.
    Now JHK makes makes a prediction about blood flowing in the precincts of lower Manhattan. Couldn’t say it is anything but a sure bet. The blame for the wholesale destruction of America’s industry, finance, economy and political system lay at the bronze and marble doorsteps of the Big Boyz of Wall Street. Will the old Baron Rothschild adage apply?: “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” Oh yeah, I forgot, Rothschild and his cronies are behind the dissolution of America. You are right JHK, histroy is not our therapist – it’s the roadmap to our awful future.

  98. SeaYoung August 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    We’re in permanent contraction now. There are no technological rescue remedies that will restore the old economic regime. The banks are not working anymore because we can’t create more real wealth, and the wealth we pretended to create for thirty-odd years in the form of IOUs can’t be paid back into existence.
    So, how far will the next Renaissance go?
    I am sure the Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, Mayans, Romans, Aztecs and other select advanced cultures thought (prayed and/or calculated) the technological magic of the day would surely allow perpetual advancement of wealth, science, and social understanding. Maintaining said lifestyle, with hopes of more for the future probably seemed a birth right. Though I hope they didn’t refer to living as “lifestyle”; consumer speak is irksome.
    Their magic was as technological as ours for the time. Their descent was slowly solar powered and probably lasted centuries. Maybe they didn’t even notice.
    Our descent appears much more rapid. Each passing day seems to bring further evidence of a world in decline with no “breather” in between debacles.
    How low will we go before the new normal is established? Mr. Kunstler is probably correct in that soon many opportunities will be available in agriculture and Animal Husbandry if Governor Perry is lucky.

  99. Bustin J August 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Teapot said “My only possible bone to pick is the assertion that Perry is dumb. Is he?”
    Elizbeth said, “I don’t think Perry is stupid. He’s just bought and sold by the oil and gas industry.”
    Sorry, but, anyone who thinks the world is 6000 years old is a dumbfuck.

  100. 8man August 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=176423
    Science is Arbitrary.
    What is the difference between E=mc^2 and W&%TR$ and any old scribble ? None, only what it means to an observer that is defined, conditioned and programmed according to arbitrary pain/pleasure circuits, to what the consequences of the symbols associated to interactions and events can mean for the observer, what it implies in terms of what the observer’s mind and memory and thought paths feels and thinks and imagines what will happen according to some fixed invariants like “last as long as possible (don’t die)” or “avoid pain as much as possible”, and how the observer is forced to interact with the environment according to his pain/pleasure circuits, etc.
    What we have is an infinite amplification of information, when information becomes significant, and it becomes significant only because it has consequences, implies direct pain/pleasure events on the subject that is “living” and “existing” within the world as “defined by the laws of physics” (but the laws of physics are a function of how the observer is designed: change the design of the observer and you change the laws of physics absolutely and completely, totally, no matter how brainwashed you are that the laws of physics are external absolute entities). So some quirk sequence of events, some quirk interaction like “throwing a person in fire” is irrelevant, is meaningless, is just a sequence of symbols, just equivalent to a random picture of pebbles on the street, but that particular sequence of events, that particuar interaction becomes infinitely important and significant and full of meaning and reality (when information becomes reality, becomes real, when information is no longer an abstraction but a real entity confirmed only according to some quirk pain/pleasure consequences and circuits) only because we are designed in a particular way, we interact with the world in a very particular but not absolute and objective way, but extremely quirky, flukey, arbitrary, a pure random circuit thrown into existence just because, for no deeper or further reason than that of Natural Evolution following some weird and random path and in the end defined us.
    Hence all of our science and logic, all the laws of physics exist only because they have meaning to our pain/pleasure circuits and invariants we impose on existence like lasting long and avoiding pain.
    But change the design of the “observer”, create completely new interactions and pain/pleasure circuits and thought paths, make it become a variant entity, no longer fixed as an absolute (as Man is the Measure of Everything: NOT, only this design of Man measures all, but change the design and you go into a new universe) and you get a whole new set of laws of physics, of universes, of realities, we only see a small slice of reality, reality is much larger, infinitely larger.
    On another note, I read of a TV CRT company that produced 2 million CRTs a year with only 2,000 people in 1985, imagine how many CRTs they could have produced with a million people! But this is EXCESS CAPACITY, the Technological Economy that creates Free Wealth through huge economies of scale. But that CRT company is dead, closed, no longer operating: and this shows how all of the innovation and novelty and technological “advancements” only exist to create a new stage for a new competition and fight and see who wins and loses: just like the IPAD is the new arena where to fight and see who wins (when it is way more primitve to all the high class software and applications UNIX workstations and PC software created in the 1980s and 1990s), all innovation really means is changes to create a new arena to make corporations fight and win the game of competition: the last fight is finished, the winner is Apple, now let us start a new fight and see who wins, etc. Change for change’s sake, not for the advancement or well being of all or the general good, but only for subjectivities to confront and compete against each other (Nokia lost, but won the previous fight) and so on.
    Always new items, always new changes, the fights continue forever, all new actors and items, but most of the items are useless crap, they only serve as a justification for the fight and competition, who brainwashed the most people of the “importance” of their new “device” or whatever.

  101. Belisarius August 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Jim
    As you have pointed out many times, the essence of the future is local. Local power, local production and local farming will soon be a necessity.
    Suggesting reasonable ways to salvage the collapsing leviathan (like fixing the railroads) is educational for some, but essentially futile. Those with power to implement them won’t listen, as such suggestions don’t fit the agenda, and/or make profits for this years bonus. If we could save it, would it be wise to?
    I’m not concerned with the standings in the prequalifiers for the presidential puppet playoffs. They are even less interesting than NASCAR or baseball.
    Does it matter if Perry is that stupid, or just regurgitating his cue cards? How smart does one have to be to read a teleprompter and sign when instructed? Paying attention to the politicos and voting just encourages the scam. We have better things to do with our time. For the most part IMHO, our efforts should be focused within walking distance.

  102. Bustin J August 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Corollary: because someone contradicts other, verifiably intelligent people, it becomes plausible that they are intelligent as well.
    For example, Rick Perry: “I think scientists manipulated climate data.”
    James Hansen “has stated that burning more coal and oil over the next few decades would probably lead to a climate that is unlivable for the vast majority of Earth’s species within the current century.”
    Therefore, lets debate whether we think Rick Perry is intelligent, because he contradicts James Hansen.
    Corollary: lets debate whether or not YOU are intelligent for contradicting the opinion of intelligent scientists.
    Corollary to the corollary: You like to think about yourself and fancy yourself to be intelligent.
    Triple Corollary: You fancy yourself magnanimous by granting latitude to people with patently absurd beliefs.

  103. Smokyjoe August 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    “Dance monkeys, dance!”
    Here’s a comeback: “A planet where apes evolved from men? Preposterous!”
    That’s Dr. Zaius from the original Planet of the Apes.
    Rick Perry, Mr. 6000-year-old Earth, would be a dumb version of Zaius, who was “Minister of Science AND Defender of the Faith.”
    The good thing about America’s not-so-crypto Christo-fascists is that 1) they’d have to take years to enact their tyranny and we’d either rally in Canada or fight them right here (ah, our armed nation does come in handy) OR 2) things will be so chaotic by the time Perry gets to work his evil that he’d never be much of a Fuhrer.
    One can but hope and keep a good stock of ammo, and friends. Don’t forget: no Peak Oiler is an island. How did JHK’s characters in Union Grove survive? They made allies, even unlikely ones.

  104. Smokyjoe August 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    “Sorry, but, anyone who thinks the world is 6000 years old is a dumbfuck.”
    Am *I* a fascist? I would not even let such flat-Earthers vote. They don’t know basic science: no voting for you, Mr. Flintstone…go ride a dinosaur with those ancestors 5500 years ago.

  105. SeaYoung August 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    “Better a (poor) job with poor or no health insurance than health insurance and no job. Health insurance doesn’t pay the rent.”
    That’s the choice in Texas? Doesn’t sound like a campaign promise to vote for…thanks for the heads up.

  106. orbit7er August 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Military-Industrial Complex.
    Today the whole Military-Industrial-Security Complex wastes $1.2 Trillion of our taxes between
    the Pentagon budget in 1 pile of loot, the Iraq/Afpak/Libyan/etc Wars in another pile of loot,
    Nuclear weapons buried in the Dept of Energy budget,
    the Veterans Administration to deal with all the crippled Veterans coming back from our Wars….
    Oh yes and the CIA, National Security Administration, TSA, Homeland Security Dept to protect us from dangerous shoes, underwear and shampoo bottles!

  107. bubbleheadMarc August 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    No one could possibly be any more stupid than Ronald Reagan. Some of these new politicians are as stupid, but that would be an achievement indeed to actually exceed him in the obliviousness department. And any future vehicles recharged off of the windmill in your backyard are going to weigh about as much as those quadricycles you see advertised in the back pages of Popular Mechanics. In other words, they are not really going to be automobiles. They are going to be cycles for lazy people who are disinclined to do their own pedaling. So yes, you are essentially correct when you insist that the motoring holiday is nearly over.

  108. lbendet August 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    BHM,
    Reagan’s own son, Ron said he started showing signs of Alzheimer’s when he was in the White house and two of his aids wrote a book a way back saying he was falling asleep during meetings.
    I would say that it might have been a disease, not necessarily an intellectual short-coming, though the two instances could have co-existed at the same time.

  109. wagelaborer August 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    But the attack on Libya is about to pay off!
    It’s not just the oil, or the gas, or the gold, or the stolen soverign wealth.
    It’s stopping the aspirations of the African people to overcome centuries of exploitation and to use their resources for the good of their people, instead of the enrichment of European and US elite.
    The ability to stomp on an entire continent by attacking one country?
    Priceless!
    http://sfbayview.com/2011/stealing-the-oil-gas-and-sovereign-wealth-of-libya/

  110. Vlad Krandz August 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Like it or not, no one ever came closer to redistribution of wealth in the Country than Huey Long. Needless to say, Leftists hate him since his wasn’t a world conquering Marxist Socialism, but rather a modest National one – one that didn’t hate the people and traditions of its own Land.
    He was gunned down by a Jewish doctor with no known strong or unusual political affiliations – perhaps a member of a secret society who drew the short straw? Marxism would have never triumphed if a sane socialism had done it’s work of reform first.

  111. Vlad Krandz August 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    The Caucasians of Africa also have rights. Khadaffi was trampling them by raising the Negro above them. He gets what he deserves. Now Islam will triumph. Anyone who believes in the “Arab Spring” is hopelessly deluded.
    Have you forgotten about the Alliance between Islam and the Left? You should be rejoicing. The Blacks have served their purpose and now it’s time to make use of Islam and Hispanics. Get with the program. Your sentimentality has been noted and will not be forgotten.

  112. Tomcat16 August 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Corn-pone Hitler has been found at last! His name is Rick Perry!

  113. bossier22 August 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    wage, you are so right about pre ww2 lifestyles. my mother grew up during the depression. one christmas i bought her a book about the great depression titled: We Had Everting But Money. she remarked that the title said it all. even my 1960′s childhood was vastly different than today. i pump water by hand for our horses and a few cows. i was sh—ing in high cotton when my dad finally put an electric pump on the horse pen well. we were not just surviving . we had plenty of fun. but in both cases we had a dominate culture and a much more civil and virtuous society.

  114. Vlad Krandz August 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    What if they come not to rob you but to live with you, off of the sweat of your back? Impossible? It’s called Feudalism and it is one of the models in Mr Kunstler’s novels. His was a nice, “voluntary” one. This is uncommon.

  115. daofirry2 August 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    hey, this is… interesting. The CEO of Goldman Sachs has just hired a top defense attorney. When I say “top,” I, of course, mean “top/bottom.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/us-goldman-blankfein-idUSTRE77L5VK20110822

  116. Tomcat16 August 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Here ya go: 7 ways Rick Perry wants to change the constitution. In particular pay attention to nos. 6 & 7. 7 Ways Rick Perry Wants to Change the Constitution

  117. paranoia_agent August 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Not for nothing, but Ill cast my lot with the “rural idiocy” over the urban intelligentsia any day of the week. You are much more likely to find people who grow their own vegetables, keep chickens, hunt, fish, make homemade wine, and are generally less attached to their I-pads and $300 Ed Hardy designer sunglasses, out yonder in “Jesusland” than you will in any redoubts of east coast/west coast urban sophistication and their assorted outposts in college towns sprinkled throughout the interior, places where they still think that “the green economy” and high-speed rail will bring the good old days back again.
    Like Hank Williams Jr said, “A country boy can survive”.

  118. Grouchy Old Girl August 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Fine post today, and for a change, some real discussion has been happening in the comments. Hope the trend continues.
    Meanwhile in Canada we have lost the leader of our only remotely progressive party, the NDP (New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, who died from cancer earlier today. His party had just won the most seats in Parliament ever and he was ready to take on the role of Leader of the Opposition. While he had an uphill battle to fight against the two right wing parties (Conservative and Liberal) he was our best hope for the future of Canada and the outlook without him is grim. A sad day for progressives all across the country.
    Now we are left with two parties that are almost identical in their policies and both beholden to the corporations who fund them. Hey, sounds like the USA and look how well that is turning out. This is the last thing we needed up here, now nobody will speak up for the common good. There will be a replacement for Jack, and he or she will have good intentions, but they won’t be Jack, and it was his hard work that brought them so close to power. RIP Jack Layton.

  119. Eleuthero August 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Desertrat said:
    But if Perry is so dumb, how come his policy ideas have Texas in better shape than most others when it comes to jobs? Better a job with poor or no health insurance than health insurance and no job. Health insurance doesn’t pay the rent.
    ****************************************************
    Neither does a minimum wage job and Texas leads
    the nation with 37% of the fulltime jobs at
    minimum wage. A minimum wage job pays, BEFORE
    taxes, $1200/month. A single person cannot live
    off that without eating cat food. A family man?
    Impossible.
    Texas is NOT in great shape. Besides having the
    lowest wages in America, their state government
    is about to get “sticker shock” when they get
    the poorest revenues ever because the torrid
    summer has decimated 55% of the cotton crop.
    Yes, health insurance doesn’t pay the rent but
    neither does a job that doesn’t pay a living
    wage for ONE … much less a family.
    E.

  120. BeantownBill August 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    To my way of thinking Perry is very dangerous because he’s either a big-time idiot or a big-time panderer or both.
    He’s an idiot if he really believes the Earth is only 6000 years old. That would be almost a complete refutation of science and the scientific method, which in these perilous times is very, very unwise.
    If he really doesn’t believe the 6000 year old theory, then he is a liar and one who lusts for power, which does indeed make him very dangerous.
    To outlaw abortion in times of severe overpopulation would just be the icing on the cake of our own destruction. To restrict marriage to just one man-one woman is mean-spirited and small-minded, especially when there’s many people who are willing to make other choices.

  121. Eleuthero August 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    The Reagan’s had a personal ASTROLOGER, for
    God’s sake. Old school Republicans were known
    for a kind of rock-ribbed common sense but the
    Reagans introduced New Age into modern conservatism. What a bunch of maroons.
    Their son Ron would have been an infinitely greater President than senile old Papa.
    Reagan was also the first President to run multi-
    hundred-billion dollar deficits. He was the first
    President run the neo-Marxist, imperialistic,
    neoconservative agenda of “remaking the world in
    America’s image”. It started with those
    outsized DoD budgets and the enormous corruption
    in that sector of the economy.
    If Reagan was a Conservative them I’m the Pope.
    E.

  122. metuselah August 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    How come no one is talking about Ron Paul? Talk about Ron Paul, you fsckers! He looks to be one of the few with some principle and integrity among your political bozos.

  123. lbendet August 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    E.
    You might be confusing my post with another because I wasn’t discussing anything but the possibility that Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer’s as far back as his presidency. (and thus his stupidity could be credited to the disease)
    But that said, I couldn’t agree with you more. He was miles apart from real conservatives. His “revolution” was a disaster for our economy. We went from being the biggest creditor nation to a debt colossus. It could be described as Neoliberalism meets Neoconservatism. (more like Dracula meets Frankenstein)
    We’re the victims.

  124. Tomcat16 August 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    He’s both… and he is very dangerous. This is a man who will do and say anything to get elected – a true sociopath. It’s not for nothin’ that he jumps into the presidential race on the heels of ‘leading’ the prayer rally. It’s all calculated timing. Rick Perry: “Not good for Texas, even worse for the country.”

  125. rocco August 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    JAMES, once again great insight and suggestions. History is cruel and in my conservative one newspaper town in western NYS, both right and left are blind. After 10 years of cold dark storage of my canned dry freeze foods, the flour, baking supply items, beans, rice, pasta, cereal,salt,all did well,BUT STAY AWAY from the freeze dried meats, not worth it, messy, veggies,and beans are the best,made frsh Italian bread with the 10 year old flour it did well. BUT, when no one else in your area is prepared, oh well Rochester will turn into Rottenchester.

  126. Hieronymo August 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    I and many others would prefer to
    goose step with Perry, rather than
    duck waddle with Obama.

  127. ctemple August 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Huey Long was a left wing sort of populist, who did everything he could to help ordinary people, in between being a crook. He was in no way a corprate shiil like Rick Perry or most of the modern Republican Party. Of course facts don’t seem to matter on here that much, when the yankees get going with their everything is the south’s fault bullshit. They believe in Jesus they must be crazy!

  128. AMR August 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    The CBS Evening News last night blew a charming puff of smoke up the national ass. Apparently the Santa Cruz Police Department has made “Minority Report” come to life with a new computer program that tells commanders to dispatch extra officers to areas where it has detected patterns of high crime.
    The teaser for the segment made the program sound like an Orwellian infringement on civil liberties. After watching the actual piece, though, my reaction was “no shit, Sherlock!” It was a glorified crime statistics analysis program. The only thing that sounded conceivably like an improvement over Comp-Stat was better code to crunch the raw data, and the segment gave me no reason to be convinced that this new program was any better than Comp-Stat. Perhaps it just pesters commanders and beat cops to follow its instructions more often than Comp-Stat does, in which case the program would be of no use to an alert force.
    Talk about technograndiosity! For as long as there have been police, good cops have been doing something pretty fucking close to what this program tells them to do. I can just imagine some inspector in Victorian London telling his Bobbies, “aight, chaps, I’ve been told that the pubkeepers around Oxford Circus are having trouble with assaults by the common drunks again. So keep an eye out in those parts.” Shit. If the last dozen crack-fueled street assaults occurred in the Tenderloin, perhaps the next one will be in the Outer Sunset? Or Park Merced? Or should the cops take a wild-ass guess and keep an eye out for crackheads on the warpath in–don’t say it–the Tenderloin?
    I suspect that even Comp-Stat does little that an alert group of commanders couldn’t do with pushpins on a wall map. These newfangled computer programs, like the maps that they replace, are only as good as the people using them. And when I consider that beat cops allegedly need the computer to tell them where the crime is, I have to wonder whether our police forces haven’t decided to hire oblivious incompetents who merely project a good image. I’ve always been told that performance objectives for beat cops normally included having a clue about what was afoot on their beats because they were paying some kind of attention and had some ability to detect patterns, but what do I know?

  129. AMR August 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Another weird situation on CBS, maybe a coincidence but maybe not. “60 Minutes” has recently been filling its broadcasts with old segments. It has always rerun segments from time to time, but it seems to be doing so much more frequently than it did a decade or two ago. Maybe I’m just watching it at the wrong time of year, but Leslie Stahl did recently report a new piece in which corporati complained that the US has a lower corporate tax rate than Switzerland, so it still has some original reporting capacity. I’ve recently seen broadcasts in which two out of three segments were reruns. It seems CBS is hunkering down and ripping itself off in order to save money.
    My cynical explanation is that the “60 Minutes” audience is becoming too old to tell the difference.

  130. AMR August 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    “Need to Know” on PBS is even more egregious than “60 Minutes.” It started ripping itself off after only a few months on the air. I assume that its audience skews to the elderly, since PBS in general does and since old folks vote; how many realize that “Need to Know” is a current affairs version of “Groundhog Day” I can’t say.

  131. metuselah August 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    AMR, instead of blowing smoke up our ass, why don’t you report to us on the list of crimes “cops” will not respond to because they’re too busy with the in your face shakedown of people, literally thieving from people by way of fraudulent confiscations and fines. Unlike the details relating to the gross corruption by congressmen, in this case a detailed list was actually provided and reported upon in the media and is available for the public see.

  132. bproman August 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Extra cheese please and don’t forget to supersize the cola.

  133. Qshtik August 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    We Had Everting But Money
    ================
    and a spelling bee blue ribbon
    we had a dominate culture
    ================
    dominant
    The school Boss went to did not use upper case letters to begin sentences. Pressing the shift key was considered a waste of time and energy.

  134. metuselah August 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    When the students are ready the teacher appears:
    Gerald Celente on the Alex Jones Show – 22 August 2011 – YouTube – http://goo.gl/eQqWe

  135. AMR August 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I will not do your bidding, especially if you use that tone with me. You are damaging your own cause by being so rude. If you believe that police shakedowns need more discussion, there doesn’t appear to be anything stopping you from providing specific examples yourself. Asset forfeiture laws would be a good place to start. They’re an appalling breach of due process. But you seem less interested in having a productive discussion about police misconduct than in using it as a pretext for an ad hominem attack on me as part of the pissing match that you insist on provoking.
    Why didn’t I mention extortion by the police in a comment focusing on media coverage of police operations not involving extortion? Because it wasn’t relevant. Big fucking surprise. Pathetically, by your logic my failure to accuse the police of extortion in the same breath with which I accused them of being oblivious to the point of incompetence, infatuated with gee-whiz techno gadgets, and doing a shitty job at recruitment proves that I’m propagandizing the public on behalf of bad cops. That’s pure rubbish.
    What I’m about to say is rude, but I’ll say it anyhow because given your own very disruptive habits it needs to be said. Now is an opportune time for you to shut your hole.

  136. Qshtik August 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    back in the 1968, he warned the U.K. about the recent English riots, some 60 years later
    =================
    the?
    2011 less 1968 = 43 years

  137. metuselah August 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    Pathetically, by your logic my failure to accuse the police of extortion in the same breath with which I accused them of being oblivious to the point of incompetence, infatuated with gee-whiz techno gadgets, and doing a shitty job at recruitment proves that I’m propagandizing the public on behalf of bad cops. That’s pure rubbish.
    ==
    How come they always have money for all latest toys particularly all the latest spy toys? How come that never entered your thoughts? How come they have trillions to give to foreigners and to saturate the planet with weapons, but nothing to provide people with basic services? You find my approach in questioning you to be rude, maybe so. Maybe it’s because I think you need a RUDE AWAKENING.

  138. Qshtik August 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    AMR, it is perfectly obvious to everyone reading these comments that Obtuselah is an asshole. My recommendation would be for you to cease the conversation with him without even announcing that you are doing so … and then stick with it.

  139. metuselah August 22, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    That’s not going to stop me from pocking your eyes out, until you fscks actually start seeing the truth.

  140. Qshtik August 23, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    That’s not going to stop me from pocking your eyes out
    =================
    poking

  141. surfeit August 23, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    The thing that is so annoying for me is that the average American is so clueless about this. Most either do not know what peak oil is, or they have already dismissed it. Instead they want to revolt over gas prices. They think the good ol’ days will come back once gas is cheap again. They think it’s just a matter of politics, drill baby drill. Absolute morons. The ship is sinking, and these idiots are my shipmates.

  142. ad_idem August 23, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Food for thought,…Saw THIS cat Don Peck on the tube last night promo’n his new effort Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It.
    Six Principles to Guide Our Recovery Efforts
    1. The problems created by the most-severe recessions are typically bigger and longer-lasting than they first appear. Every year that goes by while masses of people are trapped and idled due to housing woes and high unemployment is not merely one lost year–it’s a loss that’s paid forward into future years as well, an accumulating deficit of skill, character, and regenerative ability that will restrain America’s growth potential for many years to come.
    2. Again and again, our tendency in periods like this one has been to hunker down and wait for the bad times to pass. When bubbles pop and times grow hard, the animal spirits within all of us turn bearish, sometimes ungenerous, and deeply averse to risk. Unchecked, these sentiments can bias our thinking and actions in ways that are just as dangerous and counterproductive as bubble thinking itself.
    3. Historically, as a result of these first two factors, we have tended to underestimate the true cost of remaining in periods like this one, and to overestimate the risks of aggressive action to try to hasten recovery. The bias in periods like this one has usually been toward doing too little; if anything, it should be toward doing too much.
    4. This was not an ordinary recession, and ordinary responses will not fully end it. Boilerplate responses–cut taxes, raise spending–are insufficient given the nature and variety of these problems, and potentially dangerous if only bluntly applied. We need a combination of actions–some time honored, some novel–to restore our health.
    5. True recovery is not simply a matter of jolting the economy back onto its former path; it’s about changing the path. We are in the midst of a major, global economic transformation, one that is steadily thinning the American middle class. The Great Recession has brought this into sharp relief, and in some ways has given us a preview of where America’s economy is heading. Many of the deepest economic trends that the recession has highlighted will take decades to fully play out. We can adapt successfully to them, if we start now.
    6. Culture matters. A cultural separation is accompanying and reinforcing the economic sorting of Americans into winners and losers. Much of the nonprofessional middle class is slowly coming to resemble the poor in its habits and values; the rich are simply floating away from everyone else, not just financially but emotionally too. Both developments are profoundly unhealthy. Solutions to the problems of this era cannot be only economic. They must be cultural as well.
    JHK 4 PRES

  143. ad_idem August 23, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Food for thought,…Saw THIS cat Don Peck on the tube last night promo’n his new effort Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It.
    Six Principles to Guide Our Recovery Efforts
    1. The problems created by the most-severe recessions are typically bigger and longer-lasting than they first appear. Every year that goes by while masses of people are trapped and idled due to housing woes and high unemployment is not merely one lost year–it’s a loss that’s paid forward into future years as well, an accumulating deficit of skill, character, and regenerative ability that will restrain America’s growth potential for many years to come.
    2. Again and again, our tendency in periods like this one has been to hunker down and wait for the bad times to pass. When bubbles pop and times grow hard, the animal spirits within all of us turn bearish, sometimes ungenerous, and deeply averse to risk. Unchecked, these sentiments can bias our thinking and actions in ways that are just as dangerous and counterproductive as bubble thinking itself.
    3. Historically, as a result of these first two factors, we have tended to underestimate the true cost of remaining in periods like this one, and to overestimate the risks of aggressive action to try to hasten recovery. The bias in periods like this one has usually been toward doing too little; if anything, it should be toward doing too much.
    4. This was not an ordinary recession, and ordinary responses will not fully end it. Boilerplate responses–cut taxes, raise spending–are insufficient given the nature and variety of these problems, and potentially dangerous if only bluntly applied. We need a combination of actions–some time honored, some novel–to restore our health.
    5. True recovery is not simply a matter of jolting the economy back onto its former path; it’s about changing the path. We are in the midst of a major, global economic transformation, one that is steadily thinning the American middle class. The Great Recession has brought this into sharp relief, and in some ways has given us a preview of where America’s economy is heading. Many of the deepest economic trends that the recession has highlighted will take decades to fully play out. We can adapt successfully to them, if we start now.
    6. Culture matters. A cultural separation is accompanying and reinforcing the economic sorting of Americans into winners and losers. Much of the nonprofessional middle class is slowly coming to resemble the poor in its habits and values; the rich are simply floating away from everyone else, not just financially but emotionally too. Both developments are profoundly unhealthy. Solutions to the problems of this era cannot be only economic. They must be cultural as well.
    JHK 4 Great World Leader 2016

  144. Buck Stud August 23, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    In true Texas fashion, Perry seems to shoot from the hip and ask questions later. For instance, how will the military be funded if the federal income tax is abolished – from a Tea Party collection of Social Security checks?

  145. metuselah August 23, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    You are damaging your own cause by being so rude.
    ==
    Here’s another example to confirm your idiotic delusions of a turf war between the gov mafia bureaucracies, you dope:
    On Thursday, April 28, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that he had nominated Petraeus to become the new Director of the CIA[153] On June 27, 2011, Secretary of Defense Gates sent a note of congratulations along with his appreciation of Petraeus’ four decades of service to the nation and his continuing service in Gates’ former postion as Director of the CIA.[154] His nomination to become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was confirmed by the United States Senate 94-0 on June 30, 2011.[155]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Petraeus

  146. andrei_timoshenko August 23, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    It’s not a question of resources or ‘wealth’ (we, as humanity, are ultimately as wealthy as everything we can get to on the planet anyway…), it is a question of knowledge. To go back to the 17th Century-style economy dominated be small-scale farming and artisanal furniture-making we would need to lose over 3 centuries of knowledge. No reason for this to happen now. The world in 50 years may look very different from today’s world, extrapolated, but the future will not be the past.

  147. AMR August 23, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    Gridlock in Boston is bad enough even with Amtrak and the MBTA. I’ve driven there (I would have taken the T, but I was with my dad, who for some reason thought that public transit in Boston was unreliable), and the experience was as bad as any place I’ve been in the US. I’ve been in traffic clusterfucks in other US cities, but when they’ve reached Bostonian levels there has always been a lane or road closure or a special event nearby. So keeping the T was a very smart move.
    It’s a shame that LA allowed the corrupt bastards at Firestone and GE to willfully sabotage the Red Car system and force the county to reinvent the wheel when it decided that rapid transit was in order forty-odd years later. The LA MTA has so far restored light rail service on about 30 miles of old Red Car rights-of-way, with another ten or so miles currently under reconstruction and twenty or so in the planning stages, and about 25 miles on rights-of-way that it built from scratch. This system is entirely within LA County. The Red Car system had hundreds of miles of lines in LA, OC, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, for which the current level of service on Metrolink is a very poor substitute.
    The bus system in greater Los Angeles is no substitute. Much of it is stretched to the breaking point. I’ve personally had experiences with woefully overburdened runs on the LA Metro 20 and 40 lines and the OCTA 43 line. The 20 is proof that the Subway to the Sea project down Wilshire Blvd. to Santa Monica makes eminently good sense. The 43 is crowded enough that a subway line beneath Harbor Blvd. from at least Chapman Ave. in Fullerton to Triangle Square in Costa Mesa would not be a white elephant.
    Such a line would be expensive–if the LA subways are an indication, probably over $10 billion–but there is no way that Orange County NIMBYs would permit two lanes of one of their surface streets to be devoted to a trolley line. Instead, the fiscal hawks would freak out over the costs, joined by class warriors who don’t like paying for services for the rabble. Such a line would get plenty of passengers–late evening runs on the 43 are packed to the gills despite a half-hour scheduled headway–but that won’t win over an electorate with one of the most degraded senses of public interest in the country. (The stupid obstructionist donnybrooks surrounding John Wayne Airport and the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station/County Great Park are a good indication.)

  148. Eleuthero August 23, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    It’s ironic that Republicans love to associate
    themselves with moral rectitude yet it seems
    like most scandalous, hypocritical behavior
    comes from their members.
    Rick Perry turns out to have invested a lot in
    the porn industry. Michele Bachmann, a rabid
    get-the-government-out-of-the-private-sector
    screecher, was found to have accepted state
    government handouts for her business. Yet
    they continue their candidacies as if nothing
    happened.
    We love our criminals. We love our hypocrites.
    That’s why we love Britney and Paris and Lindsay.
    So low have we sunk as a people that VIRTUE is
    now the ultimate sin because it does not rouse
    us from our narcosis, our numbness, it does not
    make us feel as alive as ROTTENNESS. Rottenness
    is provocative and titillation must come from
    the OUTSIDE because we’ve become so stupid and
    unoriginal that it cannot be generated from
    WITHIN. We have no inner life. Comcast lives!!
    E.

  149. Eleuthero August 23, 2011 at 2:52 am #

    Metuselah said to AMR:
    Here’s another example to confirm your idiotic delusions of a turf war between the gov mafia bureaucracies, you dope.
    ****************************************************
    There are a few dopes on this site and AMR is
    so hilariously FAR from being a “dope” that your
    namecalling stands out as farce.
    You, Metuselah, are one of the very few real
    vitriolic numbskulls on this website and I’ve
    stayed mum for weeks while you call good people
    idiots and vulgar people like Fabian “men of
    God”.
    You’re the ultimate contrarian indicator on CFN
    on who is worthy of serious consideration. You,
    yourself, are an embarrassment to the idea of
    humane intellectual dialogue.
    E.

  150. 8man August 23, 2011 at 3:26 am #

    On delimitations: how are words subdivided, how far do they extend in space and time, what if the word existence had a trillion symbols, what if the word always changed, what if that word like any of hundreds of others needed to be said in a certain time, maybe a day or year or needed to be written in a certain size, how far does a word, concept or sentence – thought extend in time and space, how are they distinguished from each other, how does one word or thought flow into another, where are the delimitations, the repetitive patterns that make up thought, how do they become one different from another, why not change them, etc. A concept or word can last 3 years to say and the next sentence 3 seconds, and the next 50 years and the next extended in time and space and blended into each other, how items are delimited, how they are seperated and such. Modified minds will change all these delimitations, even just the thought of them changes them.
    Patrizia:
    On Italy, the place is a failed entity, has the worse housing bubble, real estate bubble ever that is waiting to explode, it has rent or mortgage prices like 1,200 euros a month with salaries of 800 euros a month, and home prices (for crappy one bedroom houses) 300,000 euros with salaries of 10,000 euros a year, 30 to 1, no place has such a huge real estate bubble, it will blow up, even though they don’t have property taxes because they are governed by real estate hogs and old hags, the place is doomed, failed, will collapse.

  151. AMR August 23, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    If we learn from the Amish, the future might be the past after all. If the shit really hits the fan, I imagine that the English (i.e., the rest of us) will be tripping over one another as they scramble to apprentice themselves to Amish farmers in exchange for three hots and a cot. The thinking will be along the lines of, “gee, their women are plump, while ours are cadaverous.” In Lancaster County at least, the Amish will gladly help out their English neighbors to the extent that they’re able with field hands to bring in the harvest and advice for a crash-course transition to small-scale growing, but there will likely be much weeping and gnashing of teeth among the Johnnies-come-lately (or should I say Jeremiahs-come-lately?), the suburbanites and city slickers with no farming experience or connections to the locals. There are some good reasons for the Amish to be clannish. It has served them well for centuries.
    Apprenticing oneself to the Amish is a very much better option than some of the alternatives in a dicey situation. For that matter, full, formal indentured servitude to an Amish family is a better option than starving in the midst of riots, the latter in no way being unlikely in many places if the power-down is mismanaged.
    On the other hand, the Amish will be of little help, regardless of how much they’d like to be, to farmers with a thousand acres of wheat ten miles from the nearest gas station. Those folks are likely to be up the dry crick and left to their own limited wits to find a way out of their binds. If the “farmers” in question are actually agribusiness contractors, their employers will probably just stop making payroll and allow untold hundreds of trainloads of wheat to rot in the fields if the cost-benefit analysis is unfavorable to harvesting the crop. In that case and the remaining locals don’t step up and start harvesting it, the military might have to step into the vacuum to keep the country from needlessly starving.
    The caveat is that this scenario assumes lower food prices than will probably be in effect and no scheme to give farmers priority for fuel deliveries. In any event, there will have to be one gigantic shift in thinking among food producers in these areas if fuel runs short in a hurry.

  152. AMR August 23, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    Very well said, if I do say so myself. Thanks.

  153. AMR August 23, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    The situation that you described in Italy is writ large in Great Britain. Housing price inflation in the UK is so severe that it has spilled over into touristy areas on the Continent, especially sunny parts of France and Spain within easy reach of the Ryanair network where Brits have bought vacation or retirement houses with their equity. I wouldn’t be at all surprised that this is driving real estate inflation in Italy as well, since Italy is also a popular vacation spot for Britons.
    This situation spells trouble for anyone in its path who isn’t wealthy. There is a terrible housing crunch centered in London and stratospheric consumer debt throughout Britain. One problem is that the British economy is weighted too heavily towards London and the Southeast, so that if there’s vacant housing stock elsewhere it’s probably in rundown, violent hellholes with decrepit economies.
    The Economist once claimed that the UK is the most centralized country in the world aside from North Korea. This was probably a self-deprecatory exaggeration, but it was based on a large kernel of truth, one that helps explain why so much of the rest of the country, the industrial parts of the North of England in particular, are chronically abandoned by the central government. In short, there’s a huge problem with regional imbalances within the UK, especially within England.
    The Continental spillover of the British housing boom is aggravated by Britain’s transport policy, which as often as not is bizarrely crackpot. This is a country where airfare from Luton to Carcassonne often costs less than train fare for a fifteen-minute ride on the Heathrow Express. Commuter rail services to London are apparently some of the most overburdened in Europe, not to mention prohibitively expensive (but credit cards make that a moot point–for the short term). A cursory look at the low-fare free-for-all at Stansted and Luton and the astounding gridlock and disorder at Heathrow shows that the country is utterly clueless about air transport. All in all, transport and housing in England are right royal cock-ups.

  154. Patrizia August 23, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    When you have a mortgage on your house which covers 100% of the money you paid, when the same house is worth 30% (or more) less you just walk away and leave the burden to the bank.
    When your mortgage covered 50% and the other 50% was your REAL money, you think twice before walking away…
    And there is another difference.
    In North of Italy the number of people for sq meter is much, much higher than in US.
    The price of the house also includes the price of the land.
    In Florida you still have a lot of land to build, in Italy NO.
    It is the same reason why an apartment on the beach with sea view in the nice places not only kept its value, but even upgraded it…
    Italy has places on the Riviera with prices for an apartment you could tremble thinking…
    But nobody sells…
    There will always be a rich Italian, or a rich Swiss or a rich German wanting to buy ” a place in the sun”.
    And, after a period of depression you always have a period of hyperinflation, which will mean that to build a house you will have to spend double of what you spend today.
    I even think that on the long run, it is better to invest in real estate in a nice place in US than buying gold, needless to say that the better located, the more chances you have to do a good bargain.

  155. AMR August 23, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    Yikes! Rick Perry in the porn business? That’s another Sweet Jesus on a Dinosaur moment. It’s sort of like American gunmakers selling arms to both sides in foreign conflicts, except that we’re the combatants and victims this time.
    The Clintons gave the GOP a run for its money with Whitewater, which was technically legal under Arkansas state law, but not under the law of almost any other state on account its being a despicable bottomfeeding con. It was a fucked up sort of mortgage racket in which the Clintons and their partners had a contractually stipulated right to claim 100% equity on any property and sell it to a third party if the original buyer missed a single monthly payment.
    Whitewater was remarkably similar to a fictional scam that Sinclair Lewis described in “The Jungle,” in which an Irish property speculator with buddies in the Chicago city government sold recently repainted but shitty, unsanitary houses to unwitting immigrants who didn’t understand the relevant legal documents, then evicted them when they missed a single payment and resold them to new marks. The main differences between this scam and Whitewater was that it preyed on poorer, somewhat more ignorant people, and that the Irish crook in this story always marketed the houses as “new homes.”
    It’s telling, and disturbing, that the Lewinsky episode stuck to Clinton but Whitewater didn’t. I take some comfort knowing that a majority in the Senate stood up to the sex scolds and refused to convict Clinton; that would have set an even worse precedent than the terrible one set by the House when it passed articles of impeachment. Still, it’s disgusting and a bit scary that a consensual tryst with an intern was ultimately treated as a much graver sin than a twisted scheme to get middle-class retirees to invest their life’s savings in real estate deals involving fraud by contract. It’s hard to find the words to describe how cruel and predatory Whitewater’s forfeiture clauses were. The Lewinsky tryst, by comparison, was nearly harmless. Hillary had become used to “bimbo eruptions” years earlier, Monica was over the age of consent (frankly, the only serious legal consideration concerning the age difference), she and Bill had a mutual attraction, and I’m not aware of any evidence that he used the power differential to prey upon her in any way (in contrast to his treatment of some women as governor of Arkansas). Many of the arguments that Clinton compromised White House security by giving Lewinsky unusual access were made so selectively and with such petty intent as to be specious; they came from junkyard-grade partisan attack dogs who didn’t give a rat’s ass about White House security in any other circumstance.
    You’re right about titillation. (Sidebar: you can’t spell titillation without “tit.” Heh-heh.) Real estate cons don’t titillate us, or apparently even work very many of us into enough of a lather to keep our attention, but the thought of the president’s face in an intern’s vagina titillates us greatly. It seems more than a few of us were excited to read the official bureaucratic write-up commissioned by the smarmy, bespectacled Ken Starr, and since when were prosecutor’s reports bestsellers? For a brief time, we at once had private and public sector versions of Pornosec. (Bad work if you can get it in either case: it’s said that writing pornographic copy is as gruelingly boring a job for writers as there is, because it quickly becomes the same fucking thing over and over and over.)
    Maybe what we need are government-run brothels and burlesque shows. They would cause less damage to the participants than the Clinton impeachment fiasco did to Lewinsky. Or maybe we could set up a permanent Pornosec, but hopefully staffed by MFAs instead of attorneys. Americans have an appetite for stories and movies about presidents, interns and cigars, have we not? We already have the NEA, so the precedent has been set for government involvement in really unpopular obscene art. Why not have the government produce wholesome, popular obscenity for a change?
    The reason why not is a sick one. We have a much easier time getting off on sex involving repression, transgression, shame and pain. $20 happy hour at the National Mall Whorehouse is a bit too healthy for our tastes. We’re looking for something more like a national S&M lounge-cum-Chris Hansen man cave. That’s a step too far for me.
    I really wish Mark Sanford would publicly tell the family values hypocrites to shut up and stop dragging our country into the gutter. Sanford obviously made mistakes, especially with his stupid story about the Appalachian Trail, but he took responsibility almost immediately. Since then, he has spoken about sex (and other matters) with an impressive grace and thoughtfulness that is almost entirely absent from our political class. He’d probably get more press if he were standard-issue religious right, a sanctimonious, hypocritical sadomasochist, but with a touch more conviction in his speech he could potentially get a lot of bad actors down off their high horses. He might disgrace Rick Perry to the point of forcing him to sell dirty magazines out of the back office of a used car dealership in Paint Creek, carrying on the classic American tradition of using a really dirty business as a front for a cleaner one.

  156. AMR August 23, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    Yikes! Rick Perry in the porn business? That’s another Sweet Jesus on a Dinosaur moment. It’s sort of like American gunmakers selling arms to both sides in foreign conflicts, except that we’re the combatants and victims this time.
    The Clintons gave the GOP a run for its money with Whitewater, which was technically legal under Arkansas state law, but not under the law of almost any other state on account its being a despicable bottomfeeding con. It was a fucked up sort of mortgage racket in which the Clintons and their partners had a contractually stipulated right to claim 100% equity on any property and sell it to a third party if the original buyer missed a single monthly payment.
    Whitewater was remarkably similar to a fictional scam that Sinclair Lewis described in “The Jungle,” in which an Irish property speculator with buddies in the Chicago city government sold recently repainted but shitty, unsanitary houses to unwitting immigrants who didn’t understand the relevant legal documents, then evicted them when they missed a single payment and resold them to new marks. The main differences between this scam and Whitewater was that it preyed on poorer, somewhat more ignorant people, and that the Irish crook in this story always marketed the houses as “new homes.”
    It’s telling, and disturbing, that the Lewinsky episode stuck to Clinton but Whitewater didn’t. I take some comfort knowing that a majority in the Senate stood up to the sex scolds and refused to convict Clinton; that would have set an even worse precedent than the terrible one set by the House when it passed articles of impeachment. Still, it’s disgusting and a bit scary that a consensual tryst with an intern was ultimately treated as a much graver sin than a twisted scheme to get middle-class retirees to invest their life’s savings in real estate deals involving fraud by contract. It’s hard to find the words to describe how cruel and predatory Whitewater’s forfeiture clauses were. The Lewinsky tryst, by comparison, was nearly harmless. Hillary had become used to “bimbo eruptions” years earlier, Monica was over the age of consent (frankly, the only serious legal consideration concerning the age difference), she and Bill had a mutual attraction, and I’m not aware of any evidence that he used the power differential to prey upon her in any way (in contrast to his treatment of some women as governor of Arkansas). Many of the arguments that Clinton compromised White House security by giving Lewinsky unusual access were made so selectively and with such petty intent as to be specious; they came from junkyard-grade partisan attack dogs who didn’t give a rat’s ass about White House security in any other circumstance.
    You’re right about titillation. (Sidebar: you can’t spell titillation without “tit.” Heh-heh.) Real estate cons don’t titillate us, or apparently even work very many of us into enough of a lather to keep our attention, but the thought of the president’s face in an intern’s vagina titillates us greatly. It seems more than a few of us were excited to read the official bureaucratic write-up commissioned by the smarmy, bespectacled Ken Starr, and since when were prosecutor’s reports bestsellers? For a brief time, we at once had private and public sector versions of Pornosec. (Bad work if you can get it in either case: it’s said that writing pornographic copy is as gruelingly boring a job for writers as there is, because it quickly becomes the same fucking thing over and over and over.)
    Maybe what we need are government-run brothels and burlesque shows. They would cause less damage to the participants than the Clinton impeachment fiasco did to Lewinsky. Or maybe we could set up a permanent Pornosec, but hopefully staffed by MFAs instead of attorneys. Americans have an appetite for stories and movies about presidents, interns and cigars, have we not? We already have the NEA, so the precedent has been set for government involvement in really unpopular obscene art. Why not have the government produce wholesome, popular obscenity for a change?
    The reason why not is a sick one. We have a much easier time getting off on sex involving repression, transgression, shame and pain. $20 happy hour at the National Mall Whorehouse is a bit too healthy for our tastes. We’re looking for something more like a national S&M lounge-cum-Chris Hansen man cave. That’s a step too far for me.
    I really wish Mark Sanford would publicly tell the family values hypocrites to shut up and stop dragging our country into the gutter. Sanford obviously made mistakes, especially with his stupid story about the Appalachian Trail, but he took responsibility almost immediately. Since then, he has spoken about sex (and other matters) with an impressive grace and thoughtfulness that is almost entirely absent from our political class. He’d probably get more press if he were standard-issue religious right, a sanctimonious, hypocritical sadomasochist, but with a touch more conviction in his speech he could potentially get a lot of bad actors down off their high horses. He might disgrace Rick Perry to the point of forcing him to sell dirty magazines out of the back office of a used car dealership in Paint Creek, carrying on the classic American tradition of using a really dirty business as a front for a cleaner one.

  157. AMR August 23, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Shit, a double-post glitch. My bad.

  158. AMR August 23, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Some are predicting that the next speculative bubble to burst in the US will involve student loan debt products. I consider this scenario plausible. We seem pretty close to the point at which investors holding student loan-backed CDO’s and the like take a Marine Corps boot camp haircut after one too many debt serfs decides that the prudent, edifying and healthy course of action is to drop off the radar for a while and take cash on the barrelhead for, say, trimming bud in Garberville.
    And damn straight the rational decision for many of these kids is to trim bud, at least if they can stand the bathing-optional culture (and, depending on the farm, being kicked out if they get pregnant, as happened to a woman I know). My sense is that the presence of Zeta-grade gangs in the hippie hills is exaggerated by the media and that most of the growers are at worst garden-variety paranoid property rights zealots. In terms of personal finances and dignity, what makes more sense: having a pound of flesh extracted every month by cold, condescending usurers, or being paid an extremely competitive wage by the equivalent of small farmers, likely in addition to free rent (take note, 8man!) and frequent offers of food, drink and doobie snacks? There is still some residual belief in the debt system among young conformists, as well as fear of crossing the government, but this system’s popular legitimacy is fading fast–if I’m reading the tea leaves accurately, very, very fast.
    Dropping off the grid in this fashion is also a good way to avoid paying rent to predatory landlords. Two examples: the largest property management business in Eureka, PPM, is a barely disguised criminal syndicate, and one of our high-volume individual slumlords, Floyd Squires, is busy turning neighborhoods where he owns properties into Detroit-by-the-Bay. I expect that a student loan crash will cause the residential rental sector to take a good kick in the nuts, which PPM and Squires richly deserve but many others don’t. The real hit will be in areas with young populations, such as Denver.
    If inflation is an indicator of unsustainability, college tuitions are due for a serious correction. Just as housing prices did until recently, they are quickly rising out of the reach of median-income households. Hence the student loan racket, which is a parallel version of the mortgage racket, aside from its debts not being dischargeable upon declaration of bankruptcy.
    From the perspective of actual education, this sort of debt crash may be a good thing. A lot of what goes on at our colleges and universities isn’t education but disingenuous bottomfeeding and fraud. The for-profit schools that advertise on TV are the most notorious (“I’m the director of nursing at the Mayo Clinic, and I am a Phoenix”), but they’re far from the only brazen, disgraceful ones. My Alma Mater, which straddles the second and third tiers of small liberal arts colleges, has about $100,000 in endowment funds per student. Normal, decent people would show some gratitude for the ability to defray several thousand dollars’ worth of costs per student annually just from interest and dividend income. My Alma Mater’s administrators, however, treat this amount as grounds for an inferiority complex relative to the likes of Swarthmore, which has more $400,000 per student, and greedily demand more from everyone within earshot. Even their betters at Swarthmore are pikers compared to Williams, whose endowment has over a million dollars per student.
    For institutions whose avowed purpose is cultivating in their students a life of the mind, they engage in incredible shows of smoke and mirrors and make incredibly brazen, hypocritical demands of their students to suspend critical thinking for sales pitches. It’s to their great discredit that with almost no exceptions they play the games encouraged by US News and World Report, whose hackneyed bullshit quantifying the unquantifiable has pathetically become the gold standard for most prospective students and their parents in the US. (Reed is the only competitive college I can name offhand that doesn’t play this brainless game.) These schools have all the grace of an insecure twit sulking because his Lexus is older and cheaper than his neighbor’s Lexus.
    It’s worthwhile for every prospective student or parent to consider whether the purpose of an education is to get an education or to become chummy with slick networkers who have been disembrained by smarmy institutional pitchmen. If it’s the former, student loans are most likely a waste and a dangerous trap. If it’s the latter, they’re probably a needlessly high price of admission to a racket, and the kiddos should angle for a discount. After all, isn’t one of our cultural watchwords now “name your own price?” There might be some good, old-fashioned fraud or extortion rackets free for the taking, possibly even lawful ones. Also, if such hucksterism again becomes the province of unpolished penny-ante shysters, we might begin a rectification of names without even trying.

  159. andrei_timoshenko August 23, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    But this is exactly what I was trying to argue about. Unless the troubles we run into are cataclysmic, with effects so large in scale and so quick in timeframe as to disrupt not just our technology but our way of *doing* technology (think more along the lines of uncontrollable plague, asteroid strike, or major thermonuclear war…), any transitions will have us relying on more technology rather than on less technology.
    The most important metric for a society’s capacity to flourish is its agility and adaptability. True, agility decreases as complexity increases (especially if it is complexity of a highly centralised type), but agility also decreases with falling technological levels.

  160. AMR August 23, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    Suddenlink lives, too. I must get two or three junk mailings a week from those bastards pestering me to “Switch and Save” because “Switching is Easy!” And because my grandmother watches a lot of TV and I’m one of her caretakers, I regularly see their whiny, grating, downright offensive commercials every ten minutes. “Life can be hard.” No shit, especially when a faux-sympathetic asshole with a childish keyboard riff and a chorus of truly awful female vocalists are on the idiot box telling us to buy cable that probably 80% of the audience already has! Rarely does a day go by that I’m not of a mind to strangle their marketing team en masse.
    One of the real headslappers recently has been an ad for UFC fights on pay-per-view. My first reaction was: how the hell can the UFC audience afford to pay piecemeal to watch that crap? I see these people around town pretty often, and they’re of the dregs. My next reaction was: shit, these cash-strapped fools are willing to pay a surcharge to watch UFC instead of paying nothing extra to watch equally violent garbage? What on God’s green earth does that say about their mental state?
    Granted that television advertising has always been a medium for sleaze, we have some really weird spots on the air in Eureka. Lately one of our funeral homes has been running an ad on our PBS affiliate, saying that “promising excellence and delivering it are two different things,” all to the tune of a very derivative, repetitive Dixieland jazz riff. (The home has a billboard on 101 south, too. Maybe business is tight on account of DIY death arrangements, because it ain’t on account of no one dying.) The ironic thing is that by the time the audience receives that excellence, or not, it won’t care, and it won’t have to listen to that particular crappy music, either (unless Satan is on a mean streak, I guess).
    We also have constant advertisements from our casinos. All three of them. There’s a fourth, really sad, seedy one just over the Del Norte County line in Klamath. That’s four Indian casinos for a combined population of under 164k, according to the US Census. The three casinos in Humboldt make themselves look like magnets for the beautiful people, which like most casinos they certainly are not. I really can’t understand why people would keep returning to crappy gambling joints on account of patently misleading spots that result in a letdown upon arrival at the real thing. That dynamic seems to go beyond credulousness before bullshit artistry, into the realm of cognitive dissonance.
    Just as bad as the casino spots, but for different reasons, are the constant ads for cancer treatment and open-heart surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka. Some of the testimonials are worryingly stupid, to the effect of: “It’s a caring, sophisticated hospital in a small community. I can’t see why anyone would go anywhere else.” Uh, because the hospital is advertising open-heart surgery like it’s a mom-and-pop grocery? Perhaps some of the staff had a wee bit of trouble getting clinical appointments at hospitals such as Stanford or Valley, where the recruiting pools are exponentially larger? This doesn’t mean that the care is substandard; I’ve heard mostly good stories from credible sources; but it’s just bizarre to claim that this backwater hospital is the epitome of cardiology and oncology precisely because it’s the hometown joint.
    It reminds me of a billboard that I saw on US 22 in Allentown, PA in 2004. It had a faint floral pattern and flowing cursive script, of the sort found on a condolence card, with the words:
    “Brain Surgery: There IS an Alternative!”
    Nope, for some there isn’t.

  161. lbendet August 23, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    E.
    What I’ve always said about the Republicans is that they live in the land of what should be instead of what is. They have put themselves in a corner claiming “family values” to be all theirs and the other party and mixed economies as godless.
    They have conflated Capitalism with god and liberty, but we know it doesn’t work that way.
    They set up standards that they can’t possibly live by and over-simplify all issues so that even a five-year old could parrot them, but again they really don’t solve any problems plaguing this complex global entity.
    It look more like in Freudian terms a reaction formation to their own weaknesses from which we all suffer to some degree, but when you look at what they say and what they do, there is a great schism.
    Michele Bachmann claims to have become a tax lawyer so she could keep an eye on the enemy. She claims to have tried hundreds of cases, but in reality she tried two!
    She hates government but gets subsidies for her farm and her effeminate husband’s religion-based gay cure center. She follows his directives and says that is mutual respect.
    Rick Perry wants you to believe he’s a regular guy, but big banks like BofA will be contributing big money to his campaign and he will dutifully not look into any impropriety they commit.
    It has ended up that liberty (no regulations) for the top tier means lawlessness and is stepping on the freedoms of 99.9% of the rest of us.
    Campaigns are more about marketing and advertising PR than dialog and discussion of how we remake international trade laws to create a climate for employment.
    First you have to admit that we are in a global economy. Then you have to describe what economic philosophy has inculcated the culture, think tanks and education for the past 35 years. (Milton Friedman-Neoliberalism). And most importantly real campaign finance reform. Less in and out the revolving door lobbying for corporations and foreign entities.
    Before you do that there can be no effective change from the downhill trajectory we find ourselves in.
    Why, we would even begin to discuss peak oil and what that means for our way of life. Now wouldn’t that be special.

  162. progress2conserve August 23, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    The presidential nominating process in the US is all about spin, lying, and pandering. This is baked in to the two party system like flour is baked into a cake.
    And third party candidates act only as “spoilers.”
    Witness Perot – in the BushI/Perot/Clinton decision.
    And consider the role of Nader in Florida – the state that gave us BushII and the Hanging Chads.
    So all of these guys who are successful, including Obama, pander to the fringe to get the nomination, and then triangulate like all Hell to the middle and the big business donors – once elected.
    No wonder we’re messed up.
    That was news to me about Bachman’s husband and his gay reformation clinics.
    http://www.thenation.com/article/161883/michele-bachmann-husband-ex-gay-therapy
    These Bachmans are not normal people.
    =======
    Good dialog, by the way – Lbend, E, and AMR!

  163. wagelaborer August 23, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    I just heard a fascinating interview on the radio with a guy named David Graeber, or something. He wrote a book called “The first 5,000 years of debt”.
    He says that money was not invented as a medium of exchange, the way we were all taught. He says that credit was invented before money.
    He says that humans have gone back and forth between money as credit and money as an object, and that we’re doing it again, in high speed since the US went off the gold standard in 1971.
    He pointed out that since that happened, debt has exploded, not just in the US, but all around the world.
    He says that this is unsustainable and it always has been, so that’s why our ancestors invented the concept of Jublilee, that messicanic always mentions.
    It was pretty interesting, and I plan to get the book.
    We tend to look at things from our own perspective, so to take a long view is a refreshing change.
    I don’t totally buy it, since way back in 1870 Marx pointed out that capitalism leads to debt swindles and then collapse, long before 1971.
    And I was taught by my parents, who lived through the Great Depression, caused by the over-production of capitalism and the over-extension of credit in the 1920s, not to get into debt.
    But still. Pretty interesting.

  164. Buck Stud August 23, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    “Just as bad as the casino spots, but for different reasons, are the constant ads for cancer treatment and open-heart surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka.”
    One of these days, and perhaps that day is already here, a credit check will be required before surgery will be performed on a prospective patient. And for good measure, throw in the house as collateral, too.
    There’s many ways to ‘thin the population’ which seems to be such a grave concern here on CFN. Of course, a little creativity is required but what better way to start than entwining medical care with the good old fashioned American business practice of a credit check. And if one doesn’t qualify for an apartment, house, or surgery, well obviously they deserve to die. It’s a Josiah Bounderby wet dream.

  165. San Jose Mom 51 August 23, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    In the early 1980′s I worked at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The Texas Medical Center is a huge complex — two medical schools, many famous hospitals (MD Anderson, for example). The Life Flight helicopter landed on the roof of a regular, expensive hospital that was 30 yards from the county hospital, Ben Taub. During the flight, the EMTs would perform a “wallet biopsy” to determine if the patient should go to Ben Taub, or not.

  166. wagelaborer August 23, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    My co-worker had to mortgage his house to get the money to treat his partner for his heart condition.
    That house was paid off, but now he owes a bunch of money.

  167. insufferable August 23, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Name all the people you want, name all political parties you want, and come up with millions of reasons why all of you are right. Whether you are conservative, liberal, straight, gay, happy, depressed, republican, democrat, rich, poor, urbanite, suburbanite, or farmer. We are ALL in this together. We all are suffering, in our own worlds, and NO ONE is able to pick up the pieces of Humpty Dumpty again. Whether you have a plan to go into the past, present or future to solve this problem of the downfall of America, it seems as though there is NO WAY OUT. We are going to suffer, and to those who blame others for this problem, just remember, you are probably right. But in the middle of this muck and mire, we all stand together. Its the only way to win. United, together even if in misery. Maybe that is way so many people enjoy reading Jim’s comments every week. NO ANSWERS…JUST A GROUP OF US PEOPLE ….REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OUR WORLD HERE IN AMERICA. If we could all just meet somewhere, we might feel even better,..you know…a face with a blog….

  168. Patrizia August 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    I just finished reading a very interesting article
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/08/17/why-amazon-cant-make-a-kindle-in-the-usa/
    it explains what really happened and how China became the first economic power and will stay the first for long, unless the US wakes up.

  169. rippedthunder August 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Once again O3 a fine video link,! Last week I was a mote, now I am a monkey, what will it be next week a maggot,?haha All these M words make my head hurt!On another note who wants some vegtables. I’ve been puttin’ em out in front of the house and I can’t even give the stuff away. so much for hunger in America. I don’t even think the soup kitchen will take them this time of year. When it rains it pours!I a be cannin’ but I can’t keep up. Not only that but I nearly lost the end of my thumb with my slicer.

  170. rippedthunder August 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Ron Who? He Seems like a fine fellow but he does not have a chance. He is not bought and paid for as far as I can tell.

  171. rippedthunder August 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I suppose if I stacked up cheezedoodles out front they would disapper in minutes. After all who wants organic vegtables when you can get free cheezedoodles.

  172. rippedthunder August 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Hey O3, did it ever occur to you that Linda wanted to be poked?

  173. rippedthunder August 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I just ate a brandywine tomato sandwich with arugala on home baked whole grain, with fresh mayonaisse and I had an orgasm. How’s that for a visual image! I am such an asshole.

  174. budizwiser August 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Hey Kids, Uncle buddy here – asking questions –you can make up the answers.
    I’ve been trying to come up with what the real “end game” will look like. My limited intellect is trying to collect any information that would give clues so as to where and how and on what scale one could survive or otherwise prosper if in fact paper money societies go all ga-ga sometime after the next elections.
    So my take on the situation is that much of the mass production of staples will fail when supply chains are disrupted. So the common wisdom is that urban areas will be more Clusterfucked than rural area with local farm and stock supplies.
    So my questions are: If actual agricultural output was limited to the production levels of the 1940s or 1950s – and the transport of these commodities was limited in scope to that of the transportation activities of the ’40s and ’50s – just how many of the US – assuming they had financial wealth would be able to be supported?
    I’m thinking these models for “communities” or co-ops or whatever are supposed to provide sustainable staples are pie-in-the-sky fantasy.
    I’m thinking that sometime within 10 or 15 years the US population will faced with declining agri-productivity that may resemble the output of the “50s…… So how many people were served then?
    Any comments – won’t the guns take the butter away?

  175. San Jose Mom 51 August 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    That sandwich sounds like heaven on earth! I made red beans with rice last night, using a very old southern recipe. Planning to heat up some for lunch later today.

  176. wagelaborer August 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    There was a great book – “Eating Fossil Fuels” that talks about this stuff.
    When the USSR was destroyed, Cuba and North Korea no longer had access to their subsidized oil.
    Cuba turned to organic agriculture, gave land and seeds and help to people who wanted to farm, and, after a couple of rough years, is doing pretty well and feeding all their people.
    North Korea uses its limited funds on military expenditures, while the people starve.
    Which way will the US turn?
    Hmmmm

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  178. lbendet August 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Hey guys,
    I’m working on a project on my computer and suddenly I felt shaking. Thom Hartmann in Wash., DC felt the same thing at the same time!
    There’s an earthquake on the east coast. Don’t know how big an area it affected–but lets just say the cats are not happy.
    It’s really scary in a high-rise let me tell you. Hope I don’t feel anything more!
    ——-
    Wage, knowing what we all know about the priorities of this country, you know we’re going the way of N. Korea.

  179. Dasviking August 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Yes we felt it here in Allentown…lasted about 30 seconds or so…….first time i felt one……someone says it was a 5.8′er

  180. SeaYoung August 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Felt shake in NC. Word is that Thomas Jefferson is extremely pissed and was doing more than spinning in his Charlottesville, VA grave.

  181. bossier22 August 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I was training there in the early 80′s too. the conventional wisdom if you were in a car wreck was to go to Ben Taub’s trauma center. Then transfer out as soon as you were stable.

  182. SeaYoung August 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Quake or thomas Jefferson sending a message from his resting place in Charlottesville?

  183. Bustin J August 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    The earthquake has dislodged all the ticks from the stampeding deer herds of New England and they are now roaming the countryside looking for human hosts.

  184. budizwiser August 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Perhaps I should study Argentina?
    I just don’t see any good way out. When things get ignorant – I wonder if I’ll cut in line.
    This garden crap -ain’t happening. Way too much input for any real returns.
    And horses don’t plow 30 acre fields , I think…
    I’m just saying – where’s a workable scale – could a “state” make it – maybe Kansas or Nebraska?
    The “local” crap don’t add up – no one I know is running their own power plant – nor are they harvesting bushels of anything – unless they use machinery……

  185. trippticket August 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    “Cuba turned to organic agriculture, gave land and seeds and help to people who wanted to farm, and, after a couple of rough years, is doing pretty well and feeding all their people.”
    And the ones who couldn’t stomach it took to life rafts on 90 miles of open ocean. It’s a big social driver to be sure. Budizwiser is stuck in a fraternity of thought that can’t imagine tidal shifts in the way we do business. Yes, gardening as it stands today doesn’t pencil out, but to throw in the towel and say damn, we just can’t do this, is suicidal. Look at the bookshelves of anyone serious about making it through the keyhole and you’ll find works on seed saving, cold storage, butchering, tanning, woodlot management, nutrient cycling and soil food webs, etc.
    One thing these guys forget is that the industrial system is dead in the water without cheap abundant oil. We find an alternative or we don’t, but we don’t sit around wringing our hands about how the current iteration of gardening is a non-answer. There is no alternative to getting on with business at a much, much more local scale. And if I could take a stab at bud’s question I’d say that ultimately we’re heading back toward tribal political organization. We can fight and fret about the smaller, but still large, political organizations between here and there, or we can save ourselves the trouble and just start building our tribe now. Tough news I’m sure, but that’s where we’re headed in my opinion.
    By the way, Wage, there’s a good chance we’ll be picking up a cart and harness and a horse trained to use it soon. For free. People are cutting their expenses in very wrong-headed ways. I blame the official obfuscation for that. There will be a lot of blood on their hands in the end, I’m afraid.

  186. Bustin J August 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Bud sed, “Hey Kids, Uncle buddy here – asking questions –you can make up the answers.
    I’ve been trying to come up with what the real “end game” will look like. My limited intellect is trying to collect any information that would give clues so as to where and how and on what scale one could survive or otherwise prosper if in fact paper money societies go all ga-ga sometime after the next elections.”
    I’d like to address this ‘end game’ formulation. First, I think climate change is “baked in”. That means the end of all life on Earth, as far as large mammals like us are concerned, within this century or early in the next.
    “So my take on the situation is that much of the mass production of staples will fail when supply chains are disrupted. So the common wisdom is that urban areas will be more Clusterfucked than rural area with local farm and stock supplies.”
    That is not necessarily true. The staples are stuff like corn and so forth. I don’t think people should be concerned about starvation. Supply chains get disrupted, prices go up, people get ornery, the government subsidizes or otherwise stabilizes food prices, probably via stabilizing supply chains. The critical element is energy for transport and processing. The average American will get a ration card. But commercial/industrial conveyances will get special dispensation (to keep vital services going).
    It is the large urban populations that will get serviced quickly because the legitimacy of government is dependent on the mass of people, urban areas having greater mass. In other words, government will be committing suicide by letting urban centers go without food. And the gov. will not be committing suicide. The gov. has command and control scenarios and protocols. It also has the military, which is not a democracy.
    All the bundle-up retards with the food hoards, guns, and bibles are simply marinating the sunk costs of their predilection to believe the end is near and they won’t be fed. Ridiculous.
    The farther-term threat is again, climate change which in a runaway scenario makes it very hard to produce the amounts of food the world needs. The reason why gov. takes climate change seriously as opposed to your average god-fearing citizen is that the gov. is an entity with contingency plans, intelligence, and analysis. Your average Joe has no intelligence, analysis, or credible contingency plan.
    “So my questions are: If actual agricultural output was limited to the production levels of the 1940s or 1950s – and the transport of these commodities was limited in scope to that of the transportation activities of the ’40s and ’50s – just how many of the US – assuming they had financial wealth would be able to be supported?”
    The answer is all of them. The USA is a net exporter of food, we’re the world’s biggest. We could easily feed ourselves on 1950s production numbers. What will complicate things is the fact that our trade deficit will soar and our trading parters will bitch to the WTO that we aren’t selling enough food. But in the case that this scenario is unfolding, its likely paper money is already kaput and so is obligations and international trade rules.
    “I’m thinking these models for “communities” or co-ops or whatever are supposed to provide sustainable staples are pie-in-the-sky fantasy.”
    I’m not sure what you’re referring to.
    “I’m thinking … the output of the ’50s…… So how many people were served then?”
    US food served far more people than our total population in the 1950s. We ran huge surpluses. We had so much food the feds built facilities to store commodities in to try and stabilize the prices. But even before that, we were swimming in food. During the great depression, my grandfather remembers the local effort to control deflation as the feds bought livestock and then slaughtered and buried the carcasses.
    Consider how much food the USA produces- it is a fantastic amount of food. Sure, we’re doing in unsustainably, and in ecologically unsound ways. But you could feed Africa on our compost piles. The amount of food thrown away every day is staggering.
    The wild card is climate change and it will come with waves of heat and pestilence, drought, fracked aquifers, depleted aquifers, etc. and so on. The dust bowl could easily return- has returned in fact, to some areas.
    I really don’t have any suggestions on places to run to or strategies of avoidance. We have to take this thing head-on and somehow turn it around. The status quo and largest economic market on earth is standing in our way, the most powerful business and economic interests. This is the time for brave and resolute action, and all we have is shit-for-brains Rick Perry or do-nothing Barack Obama. We have Bernanke, Geithner, Goldman Sachs, a corrupt SEC, DEA, EPA, FBI, IRS, you name it.
    But the worst thing we have is the corn-fed electorate. These people have the right to vote, but they don’t deserve it. And I think there is a deep personal awareness of their inadequacy, buried deep in the subcutaneous fat cells.

  187. trippticket August 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    “The “local” crap don’t add up – no one I know is running their own power plant – nor are they harvesting bushels of anything – unless they use machinery……”
    Not harvesting bushels of anything yet (except okra), but I did plant 115 woody fruit-bearing perennials last spring, and plan a similar effort for spring ’12. I’ve lost a few of them, but I still have at least 110 alive and happy after a dry, brutal summer. A summer we’re getting through in south Georgia without A/C I might add. This system is also entirely contained within 1/2 an acre, excepting a few pecan and walnut seedlings, so access to acreage shouldn’t be your first rebuttal. It’s all managed organically, drawing on the manure of small livestock – chickens, ducks, and rabbits – embedded in the system, wheat straw from a local producer, and the natural fertility building capabilities of the plants themselves.
    It’s not perfect, nor is it a closed system just yet, but there’s no harm in using the energy we have access to currently to build a system that won’t require it in the future. Conventional food production relies on the recurring importation of fertility and pest-fighting chemicals; my system is generating those things on its own, and will only get better every year from here on out. It shouldn’t be hard to see the wholesale difference between the two philosophies. One of these is sustainable, although it will require many, many more of us to be involved hands-on (I think 80% or more), and one is not, no matter how many people are involved.
    Information- and experience-intensive, you bet, but the alternative is pretty shitty.

  188. San Jose Mom 51 August 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    You are right about Ben Taub. If I remember correctly, “Mad dog Maddox” was head of the trauma unit. He spent years in Vietnam treating worst-case battle wounds. I worked in Baylor’s public affairs office. We arranged educational luncheons from time-to-time and invited the wives of wealthy donors. Once, Mad dog was the speaker and he showed truly graphic slides to these women while they were eating. Big mistake.
    What training did you receive in Houston. I did
    “stupid training.” I financed my ex-husband’s medical school educational experience.

  189. trippticket August 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    This is all assuming, of course, that government will still function at all. An awfully big assumption in my opinion.

  190. messianicdruid August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    “He says that this is unsustainable and it always has been, so that’s why our ancestors invented the concept of Jublilee, that md always mentions.”
    First, our ancestors didn’t invent it. They were given the Law, and the Law commands it. It is an incredible blessing that the antinomians reject.
    Second, a lot of folks are just beginning to recognize it is the only way to get things straightened out. Our whole economic system is built on usury. And worse, most of debt is fraudulent. They loan you pieces of paper or electrons in a computer, and when you can’t collect up enough chips to pay up, your real wealth is confiscated. Theft.

  191. trippticket August 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    “What if they come not to rob you but to live with you, off of the sweat of your back? Impossible? It’s called Feudalism and it is one of the models in Mr Kunstler’s novels. His was a nice, “voluntary” one. This is uncommon.”
    The possibility has crossed my mind, but I can’t dwell on the neagtive or I will become paralyzed.
    Personally I think this is toxic thinking of the growth paradigm, not the contractionary one.

  192. Buck Stud August 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    “Marxism would have never triumphed if a sane socialism had done it’s work of reform first”
    You keep flogging the horse of Marxism as if was alive and kicking. But it’s mot even a dead horse; it’s a stuffed toy. Get serious.

  193. Bustin J August 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Tt said, “One thing these guys forget is that the industrial system is dead in the water without cheap abundant oil. We find an alternative or we don’t, but we don’t sit around wringing our hands about how the current iteration of gardening is a non-answer. There is no alternative to getting on with business at a much, much more local scale.”
    If you look at the situation from the top-down, the idea of everyone gardening doesn’t make economic sense. We’ll turn from industrial specialization? That would destroy the productive capacity of the worker. It flies against the already-established layout of populations and real estate.
    The USDA will be shuffled under the administration of the department of defense before the country lapses into blubbery. DHS will direct the DOE to load the fuel using special Ag-industry tickets. Anyone wanting to steal fuel will be facing the US military. Farms are already subsidized to the max. A formalization of this relationship would ensue. The US government can simply seize farmland, but it won’t need to- the gov. makes possible the prices you’ll get for your crop… when it also makes possible the fuel for your machines, the fertilizers, and etc. the gov. farmers will basically be gov. employees. If they don’t like it, they can fuck off. If there is any kind of food crisis, the government can suspend the constitution using state of emergency procedures.
    Look at Ag and see if you can find the “free market” at work.
    Field labor is all imported (although prison labor is increasing). Their sub-standard wages are essentially subsidy. The prices are subsidy. All the materials- subsidy. Most farms aren’t running cash surpluses- most are barely viable businesses operating on generous grants, loans and other subsidies.
    Its complete bullshit that Agriculture is a free market. Tariffs and taxes, subsidies, and cyclical models of leverage and bankruptcy. Its a FIRE-infused model of complete insolvency. Basically, when you get to the bottom of it, the real economy doesn’t matter to agriculture- there is no free market. Ag is tightly and completely controlled by the gov. as it is directly tied to the legitimacy of the gov. And the military, acting as the gov., can seize all the oil it wants, and force its troops to enforce whatever means necessary to keep it going. Sure, it would be messy in terms of Ag corporations being nervous about the gov. moving into the executive boardroom. But Ag. is already in bed with the government.
    Oil and gas shortages and price hikes are going to suck only for people that use it as a disposable commodity. It will become dear if you want gas to drive to the grocer’s, but subsidized if you need it to run a tractor, or deliver food commodity.
    Long-term, climate change makes food, getting food, or growing food a critical issue with real potential to cause harm in all sorts of ways. But America can deliver food to the people on 1/20th the amount of energy with some wise use- enforced by the full power and authority of the state.
    Thats what I think will happen. Its also possible that we could have a severely weakened government, due to a people’s mandate electing Rick Perry or others who would place the vital issue of food, food production, and prices directly in the hands of corporations. If that were the case, you can rest assured we’ll be fucked, because corporations have to power or authority to sequester for themselves exclusive access to energy.
    If people are forced to pay the premium price of fuel, where fuel prices are set on the open market, and we have rich people who want to drive their cars vs. people who have to eat, you start down a road which ends in the de-legitimization of government. This is why there are 44 million people on food stamp assistance. Because 44 million people starving in the streets might induce regime change. And paying their meal ticket frees productive capital, drawing largely on food surpluses that ordinarily have no real value.
    As far as people gardening, I doubt it. Most people rent, don’t have access to land, or water for that matter. The landscape is simply unsuited to gardening most everywhere practicable. The people are disconnected from the practice and discipline of growing things. The personal economics doesn’t make sense for lots of people.
    Our situation is, we have a minority of people with most of the open land. and those people don’t do shit with it, because there is no money in Ag. We already produce way too much food. And the people with land, the relatively wealthy, aren’t going to be sharing their shit with “sharecroppers”. The other big landowners, the churches, federal, state and local governments, have no incentive. Personal gardening is something a tiny subset of the population does. some of them love it. Most of the population would not be able to hack it. Imagine the productive capacity of America in an industrial sense, if we had to grow or gather our own food. I’m all for making the baby-boom generation walk the plank and get out there to hoe a row but they’re mostly too far gone.

  194. progress2conserve August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    “The reason why gov. takes climate change seriously as opposed to your average god-fearing citizen is that the gov. is an entity with contingency plans, intelligence, and analysis.”
    -bustinj-
    So, you really think the US government is giving climate change the serious attention it deserves?
    I see no evidence of that at all.
    If the government were taking climate change seriously, shouldn’t we be seeing some serious action to mitigate climate change? I see nothing.
    No – check that – I see active government involvement in 100 different areas that will actually make climate change worse.
    So – we as a country continue to build road based infrastructure and “drill, baby drill” while we wait for good times to return.
    And we continue to pack in 100,000 fresh new legal immigrants every month.
    That which is unsustainable, won’t be.

  195. Bustin J August 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    tt said “This is all assuming, of course, that government will still function at all. An awfully big assumption in my opinion.”
    Well, its easy for me to imagine having been around the military my whole life. There is a command and control structure that exists outside of Congress, that only answers to the Commander in chief. This Organization can and will seize whatever it wants to operate. It can hold its members without pay, and has the capability and organizational acumen to move large amounts of stuff all around the world. It has the firepower to demolish any threats to its agenda.
    While we, civilians sit around wondering about the problems of our lives, they have already established protocols for the scenarios that keep us up at night. They have secret strategies already in place. And when these rational plans are ordered, they come from the top-down, and there is no messy town-hall meeting of a bunch of individuals with their private dilemmas, private properties, or unique worldviews… orders go down the pike and the soldiers obey those orders or they are subject to summary justice.
    Yes, I am still talking about the “government” in the strictest sense of the word. Come hell or high water, in other words, the 5th Battalion is not going to fall apart like a bunch of whiny consumers whose days and weeks are suddenly free of obligations because the DOW farted. They are not going to fall apart as everything else is falling apart because theirs is an organization and discipline that was built to survive any situation.
    If you take the 5th battalion and strand it in the middle of “The Road” level chaos, the chances are that the 5th battalion will be the best organization to be a part of for miles. Name another organization that will function in the absence of government. Imagine Washington DC nuked. The military is like a cockroach and will exist. The Early 21st century “end-game” has been well-prepared for. The 1000 bases ringing the planet ensures the continuity of the government.
    Corporations will fail and flail, and the government could go down, but, we’re talking about an institution with the widest possible latitude. In peace time, the military seems anachronistic. In crisis, the military is capable of anything at all. How will the 5th battalion get fuel? How about sending a trained team of guys with machine guns to take care of that? Need a place to sleep? Water? The military has the power and authority to take what it wants, when it needs to. You can’t kill it. Its older than civilizations.
    People holding up with their guns and cache hordes are absolutely delusional to think they can stand up to the military and a military mandate. So are corporations that might think they have the right to their assets. Not so.
    Complete clusterfuckage may ensue, bringing with it deployment of US military on US soil, military government, and the like, but, isn’t that just a continuance of business as usual. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_line_of_succession#Current_order
    #1 is essentially a military post, a backup Commander in Chief.
    #4 is the velvet glove
    #6 is the secretary of defense
    #9 is agriculture, ahead of commerce, labor, HHS, HUD, transportation, energy, etc.
    Its a nice summation of the architecture of the state isn’t it? We fundamentally have a military government, if not a military society.
    A lot of talk about clusterfuckage fails to recognize the centrality of the military in figuring the scenarios of the future. You have to factor them in if your analysis is going to include all the relevant players.
    When the military is factored in, it becomes a huge factor against general chaos of the spiralling kind. I think people just forget the military is there. I happen to live near one of its massive city-size bases. They have their own culture, their own area codes, post offices, get their fuel from special places, have their own airport, their own language and own codes of justice and law. The rest of society is just a big consumer orgy, a joke, a completely disorganized society whose sole purpose is to fulfill its transient desires.

  196. trippticket August 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Read Chapter 4, “Buddhist Economics” in E.F. Schumacher’s book “Small is Beautiful.”
    Got to run. Wish I had more time. I’ll get back to your replies soon as I can.

  197. progress2conserve August 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    End games -
    Good question Budizwizer -
    Answers will vary -
    I think our government sees what the will of the average citizen wants to see -
    Good times continue!
    (or good times return, if your life presently sucks)
    I think reality is less hopeful. Absent some sort of economic shock, or geopolitical shock, or terrorist shock, or climate/meteor strike shock -
    How about we just continue on our present course.
    In a decade gas and diesel will be at $10/gallon, with all that entails for living expenses and food costs.
    In a decade, we’re got a population of nearly 350,000,000 – with more unemployment, more underemployment, more third worldly characteristics. And the overpopulation will tend to concentrate in cities, which gradually become less and less pleasant places to live.
    In two decades, we pass through 400,000,000+.
    We are no longer a net food exporter.
    We finally get serious about US population control.
    It is far too late, for the US and for the World.
    And it could have been avoided – at several points along the way.
    Sorry, bustinj – if the government has viable long term contingency plans – they should have been implemented 20 years ago.
    Those Powers That Be – are as stupid as the average Joe – and much more greedy.

  198. asoka. August 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned Rick Perry wrote a book that was published less than a year ago, in Nov. 2010.
    In his book he says Social Security is unconstitutional and should be completely eliminated.
    Somehow I think that alone will prevent him from receiving enough votes to become president. Perry will have to defend his written words.
    Here is the book title:
    Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington. (New York: Little, Brown, 2010. )
    It also in interesting to note how these supposedly “anti-government” people (like Ron Paul) have been living off government salaries for years.
    Perry says he want to save America from Washington. And the way he wants to do it is to become one of the highest paid government employees in Washington. Nice, but no cigar.

  199. pojones August 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    JHK wrote: ..”hat-trick” of cretinism last week by 1.) announcing his disbelief in climate change science; 2.) announcing his disbelief in evolution science; and 3.) more or less threatening to lynch Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.
    I would reverse the order of these three items. Indeed, AGW has not been proven to the satisfaction of many scientist. As far as i’m concerned the Cap and Trade market that some are trying to develop would create a financial instrument that would make the phony derivative market products look like bars of gold in comparison.
    I have the utmost respect for JHK’s Peak Oil predictions, but I think he -and those of you who agree with him about AGW – should reexamine your position and review the geological record instead of trusting in the numbers that fall out of the IPCC’s flawed computer models.

  200. progress2conserve August 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    “Indeed, AGW has not been proven to the satisfaction of many scientist.” -pojones-
    I don’t know, po. The science looks pretty certain to most of the mainstream scientists involved. Naturally, there are outliers who disagree – many of whom work for Peabody Coal and ExxonMobil.
    But let’s leave all of that aside. Even without Anthropogenic Global Warming – Isn’t NOW the time to reduce fossil fuel demand in the US – to try to leave some in the ground for future generations of US citizens?
    I do agree with you about Cap and Trade – that’s nothing but a plan to enrich the banks and the already rich.

  201. Doc Holliday August 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    America is scared.
    They cast about for someone to blame.
    Blame Obama. Blame a Mexican. Blame a Jew. Blame a Liberal. Blame a School Teacher. Blame a Union Member. Blame a Black person.
    Blame anyone but ourselves.
    Enter Rick Perry. Enter Michelle Bachmann. Enter Sarah Palin. Insert name____________
    Go right ahead my “conservative” friends.
    These people will indentify your enemy for you so you don’t have to think about what has happened to us and you won’t have to shoulder the blame.
    And you will probably get what you want and maybe what we all deserve. Maybe the sociopath Perry, the Bible Thumper Bachmann or God knows who else.

  202. insufferable August 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    EARTHQUAKE ANYONE?

  203. bossier22 August 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I went to dental school there. UTDB. When was the last time you were back there? If it has been awhile, the place is even more gigantic now and much nicer. I couldn’t even find where my ghetto apartment stood back then. Town homes and high rises replaced the old urban environment of the late 70,s / early 80′s. A new dental school is under construction. M.D.Anderson demanded the space of the old building. I did an oral surgery rotation at Ben Taub. It was a fairly crazy place. Fun for a young guy learning.

  204. asoka. August 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    What you don’t hear Perry or Bachmann or Palin say is we should TAX THE RICH. I was pleased to learn that nurses’ unions in the United States have been particularly outspoken advocates of a financial transactions tax.
    As they put it: “Heal America. Tax Wall Street.”
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/a-sales-tax-on-wall-street-transactions/?ref=business#preview
    “…short-term trading has increased enormously in recent years, with no positive impacts on economic efficiency.
    Our current tax policies favor speculative investment in financial instruments over productive investments in human capabilities.

  205. lbendet August 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    For all of you who like Max Keiser, he’s interviewing Catherine Austin Fitts again today and also addresses the SEC squelching of investigations…
    Catherine Austin Fitts who Pappa Bush administration describes the coup d’etat that took place in this country which destroyed the good operations of government and turned it into a criminal enterprise—Remember I called it Myer Lanasky’s Murder Incorporated last year?
    Well I wasn’t too far off. Fitts described attempts to poison her, or trying to run her off the road as she tried to do her job honestly.
    Great interview a must hear.

  206. DeeJones August 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    “I’d like to address this ‘end game’ formulation. First, I think climate change is “baked in”. That means the end of all life on Earth, as far as large mammals like us are concerned, within this century or early in the next.”
    Have you read the recent articles about how species are moving to the north? One interpretation is that climate at the poles is going to be getting a bit warmer. So sorry for the poor polar bears, walruses, et al.
    But as I have mentioned before, am glad to be out of Madhouse USA. You really have no idea how insane that place is until you have lived outside the asylum for a while, the place not only is really is being run by the inmates, but by the most sociopathic ones at that. But as you also commented above, its probably going to end up run by the military in the end.
    Say goodby to democracy now.
    Dee

  207. Vlad Krandz August 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    For sane people, you’re right. But our Academic Elite are not sane and continue their love affair with Marxism. So what? Well they have an alarming tendency to get into high positions in goverment these days – many of the Czars are Marxists. And in any case, they continue to influence young minds in Academia.
    And beyond all this, they have triumphed as “Cultural Marxism”. You are a Marxist, you just don’t know it. You believe all Cultures are equal? Except White Culture of course? Marxist.
    You believe that Environment is everything and Genetics nothing? Marxist.
    You believe that Whites are “the Cancer of Humanity”? Marxist.
    You believe all races are equal except for evil White People? Marxist.
    You believe that we “owe” something to these other races? Or at least some White People do, not you of course? Marxist.
    You believe that you are one of the “good” White People – not like those red neck scum and Corporate assholes? And that to prove your goodness you would support their persecution and humiliation by Blacks and Browns? Marxist.

  208. metuselah August 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Catherine Austin Fitts is da bomb! A really sharp and perceptive brain.

  209. progress2conserve August 23, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-parry/37941/the-dangerous-reagan-cult
    This one’s for you, Wage.
    And to 1980 – when the first big nails went into the coffin of the American Dream.

  210. San Jose Mom 51 August 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    When I lived in Houston we lived on Shakespeare Drive–just a block from “The Village” near Rice University. Rent for our 1 bedroom apt. was $200. I rode my girls bicycle to work in a dress because paying for parking at TMC was too expensive–it was only just a mile away. I haven’t been back since probably 1990–and that didn’t really count because I was on a business trip and had layover in Houston. Some friends came up and had dinner with me.
    I liked the community spirit of Houston. It was fun being able to walk over to the zoo during lunch hour. Also, Henry Taub (Ben Taub’s nephew and caretaker) was a major benefactor of Houston and a big donor. He would call the public affairs office on a regular basis and give us tickets to the ballet and symphony. I took advantage of that on a regular basis!

  211. metuselah August 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    He Seems like a fine fellow but he does not have a chance.
    ==
    Yes, that’s what the msm presstitutes (hat tip: Gerald Celente) keep telling us. Now I wonder why them gov mafia msm presstitutes would say such a thing.

  212. bossier22 August 23, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    The Rice Village is still a cool area. Much too cool for $200 rent now I’m afraid. Houston is an hour and a half from me. It is great to go for a weekend but I don’t think I could live there now. I am used to peace and quiet. I was watching five deer in my yard this evening(regular visitors) and it is sometimes hard to believe there are 4million people just 90 miles away.

  213. metuselah August 23, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    You, Metuselah, are one of the very few real vitriolic numbskulls on this website and I’ve stayed mum for weeks while you call good people idiots and vulgar people like Fabian “men of God”.
    ==
    I did not call AMR an idiot. I called him a dupe, a dope, and his illusions about the gov mafia idiotic. I called YOU an idiot. And I stand by that call.
    As for Fabian, I very much admire his unrelenting contempt for you. In him, it’s not even intellectual. It is a natural instinct. A natural instinct, which I casually commented, can also be observed in our ancient prophets and their attitude towards the establishment’s propaganda priestitutes, aka, you.

  214. San Jose Mom 51 August 24, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    Four million in Houston!!!! That’s incomprehensible. I recall that the traffic was nasty 30 years ago. Do they still have Weingartens grocery stores in Texas?

  215. Vlad Krandz August 24, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    Thanks Doc. All those groups have played their part in our now accelerating decline and fall. Conservatives have too with their focus on money before Citizens. But the Liberal contribution has been the greater. Past a certain point, Liberalism just becomes Communism and Treason. The Democratic Party reached that point decades ago.

  216. AMR August 24, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Last week you referred to the GOP presidential field as “people who want to start meetings with prayers on the one hand and people who look like they want to be fucked by a thug while being bent over a Harley on the other.” As the latter part of that comment has sunk in for several days, I’ve realized that is extremely perceptive and timely. We might as well be blunt about the underbellies of these theocratic freaks. Also, as much as I strive for precision, you’ve shown that a bit of poetic license can be a very useful aid to a rectification of names by demolishing false cover stories used by neurotic hypocrites.
    Take the Bachmanns. Regardless of their personal sexual proclivities (my gut feeling: beyond the family values pale, but not particularly kinky), there is something well and truly disordered about their obsession with homosexuality. Maybe the lady doth protest too much (the lady being Marcus, not Michele). The business about wifely submission is creepy, too. The chauvinism to which Michele is catering with her talk of deferring to her husband on major decisions is so extreme even within the family values community that probably well under a quarter of conservative Christians really subscribe to it. If she hadn’t mentioned it, I would have assumed that it was by now a slander by the secular left based on long-gone holdouts of Victorian hysteria or Arkansas hillbilly bigotry.
    The idea of someone as brash and self-confident as Michele Bachmann deferring to someone as openly meek as her husband is just ludicrous. I guess the couple have some neurosis about her wearing the pants in the family, but I assumed that Todd Palin had put paid to the notion of quiet but proud meekness and domesticity on the husband’s part being some kind of embarrassment for a Christian Republican family. It takes a special kind of neurosis for a political couple to get so worked up about this supposedly inverted marriage dynamic in a political environment in which the right wing doesn’t give Sarah Palin any flak for being “nontraditional.”
    Christine O’Donnell is another special case. Maybe she’s just playing a con on pious neurotics struggling with sins of the flesh; I can’t really tell how much of her own chastity rhetoric she actually believes.
    She is definitely either playing a con or totally oblivious to her own hypocrisy when she carries on about the importance of the work ethic and financial responsibility. At the time of her senatorial campaign, she hadn’t held down a regular job in years, she had recently been mooching off a boyfriend who paid her rent, and her personal finances were a disaster. I haven’t heard whether she has begun putting her fiscal house in order now that she has released a book.
    O’Donnell is basically a lazy hedonist, but, it’s worth noting, fairly intelligent, intellectually curious and well-spoken. This personality explains why she was for years a regular television guest of Bill Maher’s. Of course, the general electorate in Delaware saw what trouble her laziness, political inexperience and avowed extremism spelled for a senatorial candidate, so they elected Chris Coons, who might well not have been handsome or charming enough to win in a race against the average opponent, but in this case had Democratic Party affiliation and gravitas on his side.
    Even now that she isn’t running for office, O’Donnell continues to harp on the need for Washington to live within its means, just as American families must do. It’s total bullshit. American households are heavily indebted and wouldn’t be able to survive at current prices without debt. Not going into debt is effectively a luxury for people who are wealthy, frugal to the point of true hardship, or lucky or savvy enough to live in a place with a low cost of living (mainly for housing) and have some sort of employment. These categories do not describe very much of the American population, and it’s easy to be poor, painfully frugal and still in debt.
    O’Donnell is doing more than just performing a snow job on self-righteous fiscal scolds, however. She is appealing to a pernicious, cruel version of the Protestant work ethic, in which practically every communication from the help to higher-ups amounts to “yes, Massa, I’s woykin’.” The plantation mentality in this country has never been just for Dixie. Absurdly, this is from an obvious chronic mooch. Thankfully, she was definitively called on her bullshit during the general election, but there’s something wrong with a society in which a major political party nominates someone so disingenuous and hypocritical about fiscal matters to run for statewide office. It’s bad news to leave fiscal policy in the hands of officeholders whose rhetoric about fiscal responsibility is simply false.
    O’Donnell the anti-masturbation crusader proved to my satisfaction that she’s a hedonist when I learned that she had gone out drinking and carousing with a group of twenty- to thirty-something adolescent bachelors in Old City, one of the backup spots where my Philadelphia drunks used to take me for nights of intemperance, sexual titillation and intellectual degeneracy. This was circa 2004, when she was in her mid-thirties.
    She ended up spending the night with one of the boys and getting quite frisky with him. This is where the story gets pathetic, but only to the discredit of her companion. They were both completely comfortable with each other until he took off her panties and saw pubic hair. The description he gave the gossip mill that first reported this story was along the lines of “apparently she hadn’t heard of waxing.”
    My reaction upon reading that was “dude, grow the fuck up.” I recognized the type. I know it well. These are guys who brag simultaneously about their obsession with tits and ass and their disgust at the mere thought of women menstruating, defecating, or having hair anywhere that it’s considered customary to shave or wax. This misogyny is commonly known as “bro culture.” It’s vulgar, meanspirited, hypocritical and plainly stupid.
    Worse, it is very prevalent among young party animals, mostly guys but fairly often girls as well. I’m glad to say that I know quite a few young women who give bro culture’s enforcers the open, direct ridicule that they deserve, but unfortunately I also know a number who participate in it, or in its equally stupid feminine equivalent.
    When someone like Christine O’Donnell goes out on the manhunt, she should go home with a well-adjusted, respectful man who knows how to relate to women, not an ostentatiously squeamish, willfully infantile loser. I don’t blame O’Donnell for keeping bad company; I’ve kept worse, and the losers are whack-a-moles on the drinking scene. I blame the losers for infesting the drinking scene and driving away decent people. Alcohol isn’t the cause in this case; it’s the catalyst, and the reaction waiting to be catalyzed is one that would be banished to the dark margins if knuckleheads weren’t allowed to assert themselves as the dominant social force.
    Women like O’Donnell are probably better served by looking on Craigslist or Ashley Madison for shy, sane Christian guys in search of some discreet, easygoing action. Feelers can theoretically be put out in church circles for such people, but that’s a voyage into a minefield of demeaning gossip and censoriousness. In my experience church is definitively not an extant reservoir of misogyny and cluelessness around members of the opposite sex. As long as one stays away from the really nutty throwbacks–Five Point Calvinist absolutists, Arkie backwoods Baptists, FLDS polygamist village cultists, etc.–the church dating pool is a pretty promising one, and staying on the down-low using back channels can prevent exposure to gossip.
    Oops, there I go advocating the corruption of good Christian bachelors, or causing scandal, as it’s known in the Catholic Church. Oh, well. Christine O’Donnell putting out for a very appreciative, undersexed churchgoer doesn’t register as a scandal, in any sense of the word, compared to the average newsworthy church sex scandal. Or to some of the impersonal, weird, or downright twisted stuff in the national porn collection. Or to bro culture.
    Perhaps the most insightful thing I’ve ever heard about the celibate life came from an Orthodox priest who said that the key is to “love the virtue.” Hating the vice isn’t enough; natural attraction to the vice is stronger than the countervailing moral revulsion. It’s only when love for the virtue is stronger than love for the vice that maintaining the virtue really becomes feasible.
    We Americans focus on hating the vice, and Christine O’Donnell is one of the spokeswomen for our neurosis, shame and hypocrisy. We’d all be better off if people like her left the preaching to the contentedly celibate and themselves quietly took one or more boyfriends.
    Hell, if Christine O’Donnell is presently doing the latter, I say, more power to her. As hypocrisy goes, I really don’t find that idea at all offensive.

  217. AMR August 24, 2011 at 2:23 am #

    Rick Perry seems like the sort of sick bastard of a salesman who would hawk anything, and I mean anything, out of a back room in a sketchy warehouse by the railroad tracks in Abilene: guns, slaves, schematics for defense infrastructure, a pharmacopoeia of mind-altering substances, murder contracts, stolen car parts, human organs….
    I wish that were a fantastical exaggeration, but when push comes to shove it’s impossible to really exaggerate the evil of a person who takes pleasure in imprisoning and executing the innocent and aggressively obstructs efforts to test DNA for potential exoneration.

  218. metuselah August 24, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    In peace time, the military seems anachronistic. In crisis, the military is capable of anything at all… The military has the power and authority to take what it wants, when it needs to. You can’t kill it. Its older than civilizations.
    ==
    1) Without money to pay soldiers there is no army, there’s only deserted military bases.
    2) Without morals and national unity there is no army, there’s only a mercenary force.
    3) Given 1 and 2, a military force becomes a source seeding chaos and conflict, opposite of that which you argue.
    The military is NOT older than civilizations. The military is a byproduct of civilization. Particularly, it is an institution that guards the wealthy and their privilege through corruption of the underprivileged class who do not understand this and therefore serve in the military.

  219. AMR August 24, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    That’s a scary scenario, and one worth considering seriously given the degree of reckless, cruel thievery surrounding American medicine today. I do not, however, think it will become completely pervasive.
    I know quite a few current and retired hospital staff, mainly nurses and physicians. I have no doubt that most of them went into and remained in their professions largely for altruistic reasons. Money is a consideration, but they aren’t cold mercenaries. When I hear them evaluate facilities where they’ve worked, they rarely talk about the pay or benefits. They talk at length about the sort of patients that presented, the quality of their colleagues, and the amount of support or sabotage that they received from administrators and insurers. They hate dealing with utilization review staff and billing.
    Medicine, nursing and other skilled health fields attract less than their fair share of sociopaths given their relatively high salaries. This is because sociopaths like either abusing people for the fun of it, which is strongly deterred by colleagues and professional organizations, or making easy money. Many clinicians find their jobs gratifying or even enjoyable, but one thing they are not is easy in any normal sense of the word. They involve various combinations of blood, pus, shit, piss, healthy flesh, damaged or diseased flesh, cantankerous patients, distressed patients, disturbed patients, violent patients, and all sorts of complicated diseases and treatments.
    The sociopaths and insecure social climbers in medical care therefore tend to worm their way into UR and administration, to the detriment of patient care and the utter annoyance, if not desperation and anger, of decent clinical staff. As a result, many decent clinicians make dedicated efforts to evade, obstruct, bully or abandon UR and admin shysters. Sometimes these efforts have a real effect, such as facilities with benevolent administrators being fully staffed with competent clinicians while those with malevolent administrators are understaffed with rejects. This doesn’t mean that anyone at the crappy facilities gets a clue and undertakes reforms: the ones left behind are often too dense and self-referential to observe and act accordingly; but it does mean that refugees from their malicious mismanagement are able to keep good facilities in operation.
    There are no limits to the depraved schemes that UR and administrative cretins will try to implement, but many of these schemes are implemented over the strenuous objections of clinical staff and result in morale nosedives, mass defections, financial quagmires and the like.
    There are also a lot of people involved in health care who find ways to treat poor or indigent patients with some combination of charity, cost reductions, fundraisers and payment in kind. It’s woefully inadequate to the scope of our medical deficiencies, but it’s a start.
    Another thing: administrators and UR staff may be ass hats, but few are total idiots when it comes to money. If a patient presents for treatment with cash on the barrelhead, they are highly unlikely to refuse it or question how it was acquired. If they have to write some fiction for regulatory forms, they’ll concoct a plausible story.
    The real deterioration in medical care is likely to be in our prisons. God only knows what will happen to prison health care if funding gets tight and oversight wanes.

  220. Eleuthero August 24, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    AMR said:
    I really wish Mark Sanford would publicly tell the family values hypocrites to shut up and stop dragging our country into the gutter.
    ***************************************************
    Why is it that overtly noisy moralists ALWAYS
    seem to have far more skeletons in their closets
    than half the crack ho’s in the USA?? It’s
    fabulous material for a farce about the state of
    our White Trash Republic.
    The Republican Party is just loaded with these
    cretins … anti-immigration people with Mexican
    nannies, family values guys with major porn or
    extramarital hanky-panky, anti-government people
    like Bachmann getting biz handouts from the
    state, etc..
    Of course, as you point out, we’ve got to be
    fair … Elliott Spitzer, Clinton with the
    Whitewater Affair, etc.. However, Republican
    moral hazard seems to go right along with the
    hypocrisies of the Red States they run. The
    Red States have higher divorce rates, lower
    rates of high school graduation, higher crime
    rates, higher use of antidepressants, and the
    list hardly stops there.
    Remember, I’m an OLD SCHOOL conservative, not a
    progressive liberal … and I find the GOP to be
    an absolute embarrassment to any and all
    conservative principles in the Constitution.
    The theocrats don’t like separation of church
    and state. They put riders on bills just like
    Dems. (like subsidies for tobacco farmers in
    Kentucky). Republican Presidents were ALL worse
    that Clinton for fiscal prudence and, frankly,
    created most of the preconditions for the mess
    we’re in now.
    Indeed, I can imagine several members of CFN
    think I’m a progressive liberal but this
    appearance is created by my mortification over
    what’s become of the relationship between the
    GOP and the Constitution … or LACK THEREOF.
    E.

  221. Althea8w August 24, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    “Aitor Throup has advised,1 the 20th Anniversary Edition of C.P. Company’s a lot of,1 iconic section,What kind of handbag should I get my wife,1 – the Goggle or Mille Miglia Jacket. To bless,1 both the past and future of this jacket the aggregation,1 is hosting a special exhibition at their showroom in Milan during the 2009 International Furniture Fair. The exhibition, which has been curated by Aitor Throup, appearance,Canada Goose Vests Men Sale,1 the new design as well as 20 Mille Miglia jackets selected from the C.P. Company archive.”

    Beinghunted has uploaded a feature, showcasing the exhibition, the accomplished,1 models of the anorak,Canada Goose Sale,1 and of course gives a abundant,1 attending,1 at the new Aitor Throup jacket.

    C.P. Company celebrates the 20th anniversary of their famous 1000m Goggle Jacket. For the appropriate,1 break,1 they invited Aitor Throup to design this years jacket and already,1 afresh,1 the designer proofed that functionality and design can go duke,1 in hand.

    Share

    Check out the C.P. Company 1000m Goggle Jacket by Aitor Throup after the jump.

  222. Eleuthero August 24, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    The thing which made me give up cable was the
    profusion of “reality shows”. I mean, watching
    an episode of “Millionaire Matchmaker” or “The
    Real Housewives of Atlanta” creates intense
    psychological nausea.
    The “Real Housewives …” shows all devolve into
    bickering sessions between hyperreactive bimbos
    over trivial “sins” of their neighbors and
    friends. Meanwhile, their very REAL vapidity,
    greed, vanity, and superciliousness (without
    basis, of course) show how far the decorum and
    morals of the middle class have fallen. However,
    as I’ve said in many a post, virtuous people are
    not PROVOCATIVE enough for ratings and so our
    media will continue to reinforce every vain,
    stupid, base, greedy, and silly aspect of our
    “silent majority”.
    The “…Matchmaker” show is high parody. This
    New York City Yenta, Patti Stanger, acquaints
    two millionaires per show with a bevy of
    shallow golddiggers. Stanger, now 50 and NEVER
    married herself, acts like she’s all about old
    school values like chivalry, femininity, etc.
    but she swears on TV like a longshoreman. This
    woman is an unbearable, shallow bitch (indeed,
    the C*** word is not vulgar when applied to her
    she’s so unbearable). Her primary aides in her
    office are a guy with a Mohawk and his pink-haired, tattooed girlfriend which just add
    more Kafkaesque unreality to this train wreck of
    a show.
    It’s either this kind of dreck or the one-star,
    endlessly recycled movies on the Encore channels
    and the like. Why Americans with little
    disposable income pay $90/month (once they’ve
    lured you in with the teaser rates) for these
    horrors is beyond my reckoning.
    E.

  223. Eleuthero August 24, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    AMR said:
    This misogyny is commonly known as “bro culture.” It’s vulgar, meanspirited, hypocritical and plainly stupid.
    **************************************************
    I totally agree and the “bro’s before ho’s”
    ethos is a pathetic batch of sour grapes because
    it’s usually applied by idiotic, BroWorld/DudeWorld types when they can’t get
    their way with a woman.
    However, the scary thing to me is that women seem
    to INTENTIONALLY PICK these knuckle-draggers for
    sexual liaisons and long-term relationships!!!!
    I’ve noticed that over the past forty years of
    my social life that the number of women attending
    bars as a percentage of people in the bar has
    declined dramatically. This speaks well of
    them. Maybe women, except for the desperate
    tattooed 300 lb. whales that are still in bars
    in profusion, have figured out that the
    Neanderthals in these joints aren’t worth a
    moment’s conversation much less a mating ritual.
    Still, it’s scary to see who middle and lower-
    middle class women are picking to be the father
    of their children.
    E.

  224. Eleuthero August 24, 2011 at 4:51 am #

    Metuselah said:
    As for Fabian, I very much admire his unrelenting contempt for you. In him, it’s not even intellectual. It is a natural instinct.
    ***************************************************
    This is YOU reaching for a conclusion by claiming
    a sort of spiritual ESP that’s patently impossible
    on the internet. JHK banned him and it’s palpable
    that the dialogue on this site has improved since
    Fabian departed.
    Guys like you have so much SPIRITUAL HUBRIS that
    you think you can see past reason and find smut
    and that you can ignore piles of ROT to find
    “instinct”. You’re a legend in your own mind.
    E.

  225. Eleuthero August 24, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    I also want to add that besides your spiritual
    hubris, you also have selective attention because
    Fabian didn’t have “tunnel vision” when he aimed
    his vitriol.
    There must be thirty people on this site he
    labelled as “asshats”, “fucktards”, “morons”,
    “idiots”, “dickwads”, and the rest of the
    gamut of kindergarten turd-throwing.
    It is fine to disagree, even vehemently, with
    the points people make about politics, energy
    issues, economics, or life in America without
    DEHUMANIZING THEM. People who resort to vulgar
    namecalling are simply announcing the paucity
    of their arguments. And, indeed, his average
    dismissal of his rhetorical adversaries, who
    would write five or six paragraphs to try to
    reason with this knuckle-dragger, were dismissive
    one and two-sentence screeds shameful for a
    3rd grader full of the power of saying his
    first cuss word without being punished by his
    parents.
    You’re just not a very bright guy, Metuselah,
    which is why you, too, don’t act in a Godly
    way by actually trying to refute people with
    a LINE OF REASONING. You “refute” people with
    wrath and vulgarity. You’re Satan trying to
    appear as “The Fighting Jehovah” and most of
    this site sees this rightfully as parody,
    farce, and self-embarrassment. You’re the last
    to know as most un-self-aware people are.
    E.

  226. Pucker August 24, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    E. wrote: “Still, it’s scary to see who middle and lower-
    middle class women are picking to be the father
    of their children. ”
    What do you think of eugenics?

  227. Patrizia August 24, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    My whole life has been living the future and living the present in view of the future.
    Needless to say that in times like this my main reading has been about collapse.
    And what better example than the previous collapses?(1929, URRSS collapse)
    What will be?
    How to be prepared?
    First you must think with a “post collapse mind” and NOT as you would react today.
    First thing: how to save what I have, or better, what will I need that I can prepare now?
    Many invest in gold.
    Currencies will collapse, so gold will be the new currency.
    Now, what do you think you need mostly when there is no money, no state, no welfare, nothing?
    To whom do you sell your gold?
    Who will need gold?
    You will need food and a place to live.
    No or little energy will mean you need a place where you do not need too much energy and you can produce it.
    So: no gold, but may be a house.
    A house in a place not too cold, with a piece of land where to grow my food, fruit trees, may be a few chickens, or a pond with fishes and geese.
    Second: some solar panels or a wind turbine.
    May be, if I lived in US a good buy could be a house in Florida.
    But not Miami or a fancy place.
    Not even on the beach.
    A place where with a little money you can buy a nice house and a good piece of land.
    Then, as I said, solar panels and so on.
    If the collapse really comes, who will live better:
    A financial guy with a lot of gold in a safe in a bank, living in a penthouse on the top of a skyscraper which cost him a fortune just in electricity for the elevator, or me, in my small house in a sunny place, with my kitchen garden, my chickens and my geese?

  228. AMR August 24, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    I’ve become convinced that Clinton gets much less than his share of the blame for the current economic mess. A number of serious blows were dealt to the country’s long-term economic welfare on his watch, often with his encouragement or support. The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, the boneheaded encouragement of financialization and the dot-com “new paradigm” (i.e., instead of making useful things and providing useful services for one another, we’ll bullshit each other and buy stuff from China and Mexico with the proceeds), and the aggressive offshoring and feckless industrial policy exemplified by NAFTA and the mad rush to the PRC (not just democracy, but also labor and environmental law with Chinese characteristics) come to mind.
    True leadership in the face of this frenzy would have involved calling certain people naive, if not totally nuts: the dot-commers for promoting alchemy as a substitute for economics, the FIRE sector cheerleaders for advocating that the populace divide into a salesman/speculator class and a slightly poorer but still prosperous class of servants (as a shady tenant of my parents’ once said, “everyone in Thailand has a servant”), and the historical ignorami for insisting that the lessons of leveraging and risk from the Great Depression no longer applied. Instead of providing leadership, Clinton encouraged and aggravated this foolishness. He was akin to dad telling the family that they just struck it rich when in fact the money came from pawning their property to a criminal syndicate. The folly and shortsightedness were astounding.
    You’re right about Clinton’s fiscal policy, though. He ran the bail pump and kept the ship from taking on water for a change. Successfully arguing that tax increases aren’t always job-killing socialistic ruin looks like a huge achievement from the current vantage point. Reagan, Obama and the Bushes deserve much more blame than Clinton for feckless fiscal policy.

  229. 8man August 24, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=176423
    [quote="kowalskil"][quote="nameta9"]
    … Hence all of our science and logic, all the laws of physics exist only because they have meaning to our pain/pleasure circuits and invariants we impose on existence like lasting long and avoiding pain. …
    [/quote]
    .
    I tend to disagree. Suppose all of us disappear due to an epidemic. Laws of physics will still control the planet, and the rest of the solar system. Science and logic are in our brains, but laws of physics exist independently, even before they are discovered by humans. This is one of self-evident truths to most scientists.
    .[/quote]
    A group of persons, with their decoding of the universe, establish the laws that are valid for that group of persons, or better that group of entities designed and configured in a certain way, or better that particular combination of Mass – Energy, Matter a Man Brain is compared to other combinations of Mass – Energy in which the Man Brain is swimming. there is nothing fundamental, or absolute in the way the Man Brain is configured in terms of Matter compared to any other chunk of Matter. Hence, the Man Brain has no absolute reference to declare what the laws of physics are “independent of itself”, or when the Man Brain is “no longer around”: they are arbitrary, undefined, non existent and exist only when an observer declares them and lives them through particular circuits of pain/pleasure that make the information become real (as in if there where no consequences of pain/pleasure, there would be no information, nothing significant compared to anything else, only the particular configuration of pain/pleasure connected to interactions with the external world, and the decodings and information remembered through the experience and memory of the events provoking the pain/pleasure define the “laws of engagement of the observer with the observed”, the “laws of physics”, the universe).
    So a set of “same observers” define “laws of engagements”, any other new set of observers designed differently would define new “laws of engagement” and so on. And then that set of 3 observers or 3 trillion of “same observers” (but they could all be different, hence no “common laws”) is just a chunk of Matter measuring other chunks of Matter: change that chunk of matter made up of the observers and you change how that new chunk of matter measures other chunks of matter, hence new laws of physics.
    But mostly, the laws “independent from us” are at best valid only for a few billon or trillion years, and then they are no longer, or if the observer lived in snapshots of a second every hundred years, the laws would once again be differen and so on.

  230. 8man August 24, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=176423
    [quote="kowalskil"][quote="nameta9"]
    … Hence all of our science and logic, all the laws of physics exist only because they have meaning to our pain/pleasure circuits and invariants we impose on existence like lasting long and avoiding pain. …
    [/quote]
    .
    I tend to disagree. Suppose all of us disappear due to an epidemic. Laws of physics will still control the planet, and the rest of the solar system. Science and logic are in our brains, but laws of physics exist independently, even before they are discovered by humans. This is one of self-evident truths to most scientists.
    .[/quote]
    A group of persons, with their decoding of the universe, establish the laws that are valid for that group of persons, or better that group of entities designed and configured in a certain way, or better that particular combination of Mass – Energy, Matter a Man Brain is compared to other combinations of Mass – Energy in which the Man Brain is swimming. there is nothing fundamental, or absolute in the way the Man Brain is configured in terms of Matter compared to any other chunk of Matter. Hence, the Man Brain has no absolute reference to declare what the laws of physics are “independent of itself”, or when the Man Brain is “no longer around”: they are arbitrary, undefined, non existent and exist only when an observer declares them and lives them through particular circuits of pain/pleasure that make the information become real (as in if there where no consequences of pain/pleasure, there would be no information, nothing significant compared to anything else, only the particular configuration of pain/pleasure connected to interactions with the external world, and the decodings and information remembered through the experience and memory of the events provoking the pain/pleasure define the “laws of engagement of the observer with the observed”, the “laws of physics”, the universe).
    So a set of “same observers” define “laws of engagements”, any other new set of observers designed differently would define new “laws of engagement” and so on. And then that set of 3 observers or 3 trillion of “same observers” (but they could all be different, hence no “common laws”) is just a chunk of Matter measuring other chunks of Matter: change that chunk of matter made up of the observers and you change how that new chunk of matter measures other chunks of matter, hence new laws of physics.
    But mostly, the laws “independent from us” are at best valid only for a few billon or trillion years, and then they are no longer, or if the observer lived in snapshots of a second every hundred years, the laws would once again be different and so on.

  231. AMR August 24, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Wow. Damned if that isn’t a travel guide for pop culture hell. It’s a sort of meeting of Rick Steeves and P.J. O’Rourke to chronicle the fall of Rome. I’ve seen some nasty TV, but I’m glad I’m not the one who ventured into those corners of the underworld. Thanks for the tour.
    It’s easy not to notice just how much excellent programming there is on cable television. The problem is that the sheer volume of footage is so enormous that the good stuff gets buried in a pile of mediocrity, stupidity and utter vileness. I’m very much impressed by some of the programming on A&E, USA and Turner Classic Movies, for instance, but large swathes of bandwidth are devoted to garbage: showboating cooks and general contractors; quackish psychologists and physicians, sometimes with histrionic studio audiences; the nearly disbarred former prosecutor and vicious, unhinged slanderer Nancy Grace; besotted, self-described “guidos” who were warned to behave or get lost by none other than the mayor of Florence; documentaries in which prisoners bully visiting juvenile delinquents (A&E–I meant “some” literally); meatheads bloodying each other with folding metal chairs; ad infinitum.
    This crap is popular, as you say, but I see another, possibly less sinister reason for the proliferation of this garbage: rot is much cheaper to produce than quality television. (That is, if Charlie Sheen isn’t deemed essential to one’s sit-com; a “bro” needs to pay for his whores and freebase, after all!) The only competent people needed to produce rot are cameramen and editors, who are a dime a dozen; everyone else can be utterly talentless. The stuff is so cheap to produce that it can be tailored to every conceivable subtype of sick puppy and then some.
    Let’s look on the bright side, though. The authorities are considering canceling next year’s Raiders-49ers preseason game on account of this weekend’s shooting spree and meathead brawl at Candlestick Park. That means that the ground rules still only allow for the professionals to get injured. On the other hand, I saw a guy sporting a Raiders hat today, a red-sky-at-dawn ill omen in these parts. It looks like it’s time to hunker down for another white trash winter.

  232. 8man August 24, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    “Italy has 2000 billions debts but the people have 8000 billions on their bank accounts…”
    There is alot that can be said about this, but anyways:
    I think the real number (as those 5 major EU countries are similar, UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy) is 500 billion euors in banks (some 10 million families have 50,000 euros of money saved) and the 30 million homes in italy, of assumed value (hugely overpriced and a huge bubble!) of about 150,000 euros could be 4,500 billion euros, hence in all 5,000 billion euros (same for the other EU countries).
    But this money is blocked, isn’t going anywhere, can’t be “invested in new jobs” or endeavors, can’t and especially won’t do anything, this money, especially the value of real estate is killing the economies by making it hard to open stores (high rents and costs), hard for young people to rent or buy, etc. This money is not an “asset”, it is actually a “liability”, it is used as a weapon to kill the weak and the economy, it is used to hurt people not to help people, this is because these real estate owners are all old hags, all old Hogs, all useless craps, that want to keep the prices high and in this way killing the future generation.
    It would be correct for the real estate prices in all of the EU to go WAY DOWN, REALLY WAY DOWN something like 3 bedrooms houses or apartments should be valued at NO MORE THAN 50,000 EUROS in ROME, PARIS, LONDON, etc.
    This won’t happen because the owners suck, simply suck, should be punished by huge property taxes (but aren’t ever going to be because the banks “assets” depend on hugely overpriced “real estate”), the same for the USA and JAPAN.
    Kill real estate values, kill owners, kill the myth of property …

  233. messianicdruid August 24, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Insert name___P_o_g_o______
    “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

  234. welles August 24, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    So a set of “same observers” define “laws of engagements”, any other new set of observers designed differently would define new “laws of engagement” and so on. And then that set of 3 observers or 3 trillion of “same observers” (but they could all be different, hence no “common laws”) is just a chunk of Matter measuring other chunks of Matter: change that chunk of matter made up of the observers and you change how that new chunk of matter measures other chunks of matter, hence new laws of physics.
    …seems to me you’re stating that “everything is relative”, yet in an absolutistic format that may contradict your premise.
    how can you state a definitive truth about the laws of physics if you too are just spouting from a perch of relativity?
    peace peaceniks

  235. 8man August 24, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    In fact I worship contradiction, I accept and consider contradiction a higher form of reasoning. But this absolutes based on relatives based on absolutes etc. are something I am well aware of and have often called them “Infinite Recursion” of Metaphysical entities, etc.
    That is why “Our Mind is Always Wrong”, “There is No Truth” and other things I have said in all of my posts: study them all very carefully from nameta9 ilovephilosophy…

  236. 8man August 24, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=176433
    I saw an IPAD. Once again confirmed, there really is no “progress” anymore, just different combinations of the same old crap, over and over again, to give the impression that it is “something new” and “cool” and worthwhile, etc, so everyone buys into it, it is defined as “new and better” from the outset, not from what it actually “does”. The software is the same old PC software that has been perfected over 20 years ago, no real high class UNIX workstation software, the touch is way worse than the “mouse”, but the mouse is “out of style now”, etc.
    What it really shows is that what is really important is to create a new arena where corporations can “compete” which means, disperse money and resources and man years and energy simply to waste time, to not produce anything, to just see who is stronger and the winner, etc. Nothing constructive here, nothing accumulative here (all these products are based on being flashy, a lot of gimmicks, a lot of “eye candy”, a lot of “games” (as in fun and games since we no longer have anything serious to do anymore, like building Rockets and Skyscrapers) just like candy to little children, and that is the level of worth).
    We need to build Skyscrapers, Cars, Trains and High Speed Trains, BUSES, Houses, Atom power plants, Atom smashers and Particle Accelerators, Rockets, etc. All real things, things you can touch, and we need to substitute the Man Brain with a decent Machine that isn’t looking for fights (as in competition and innovation (change for change’s sake, just to see who wins the next fight, as if people are always enemies and they are all proud of their sunjectivity, what pukes, what craps, kill all people!)).
    After so many decades of “Innovation” and “Science and Research” and all, what has been achieved is the pukey IPAD, incredible, and Economic Collapses, Poverty, Accumulation of cash in always the same Rich Hands, and all. What an incredibly low “productivity” society, what a trashy civilization, a failed civilization from the outset.
    From:
    http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/08/history-is-not-your-therapist.html
    “Get serious about reorganizing agriculture on a smaller, finer, more local scale. Believe me, there will be plenty of jobs.”
    Also, JHK, there won’t be “plenty of work”, by going back to the Stone Age, there will be real Mass poverty and nothing to do just like rural India and China (that is why they prefer the 18th century sweatshop factories and industry instead of the “fruits of the land”).
    Idle, Joblessness, Free Time is the real story of this Economic System thanks to the Technological Economy creating Free Wealth all by itself: but instead of using the wealth to build Skyscrapers and colonize the Solar System, we use it to beat each other up as in “competition” and to build pukey IPADS and such.

  237. 8man August 24, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=176433
    I saw an IPAD. Once again confirmed, there really is no “progress” anymore, just different combinations of the same old crap, over and over again, to give the impression that it is “something new” and “cool” and worthwhile, etc, so everyone buys into it, it is defined as “new and better” from the outset, not from what it actually “does”. The software is the same old PC software that has been perfected over 20 years ago, no real high class UNIX workstation software, the touch is way worse than the “mouse”, but the mouse is “out of style now”, etc.
    What it really shows is that what is really important is to create a new arena where corporations can “compete” which means, disperse money and resources and man years and energy simply to waste time, to not produce anything, to just see who is stronger and the winner, etc. Nothing constructive here, nothing accumulative here (all these products are based on being flashy, a lot of gimmicks, a lot of “eye candy”, a lot of “games” (as in fun and games since we no longer have anything serious to do anymore, like building Rockets and Skyscrapers) just like candy to little children, and that is the level of worth).
    We need to build Skyscrapers, Cars, Trains and High Speed Trains, BUSES, Houses, Atom power plants, Atom smashers and Particle Accelerators, Rockets, etc. All real things, things you can touch, and we need to substitute the Man Brain with a decent Machine that isn’t looking for fights (as in competition and innovation (change for change’s sake, just to see who wins the next fight, as if people are always enemies and they are all proud of their subjectivity, what pukes, what craps, kill all people!)).
    After so many decades of “Innovation” and “Science and Research” and all, what has been achieved is the pukey IPAD, incredible, and Economic Collapses, Poverty, Accumulation of cash in always the same Rich Hands, and all. What an incredibly low “productivity” society, what a trashy civilization, a failed civilization from the outset.
    From:
    http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/08/history-is-not-your-therapist.html
    “Get serious about reorganizing agriculture on a smaller, finer, more local scale. Believe me, there will be plenty of jobs.”
    Also, JHK, there won’t be “plenty of work”, by going back to the Stone Age, there will be real Mass poverty and nothing to do just like rural India and China (that is why they prefer the 18th century sweatshop factories and industry instead of the “fruits of the land”).
    Idle, Joblessness, Free Time is the real story of this Economic System thanks to the Technological Economy creating Free Wealth all by itself: but instead of using the wealth to build Skyscrapers and colonize the Solar System, we use it to beat each other up as in “competition” and to build pukey IPADS and such.

  238. budizwiser August 24, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    OK – all is well – the Army will make sure the farmers get diesel and I will not starve.
    Clusterfuck solved….
    However, now – I mean right now – I discovered that the AC unit outside keeps “shutting” off after a few minutes.
    Its 85- fucking degrees inside – and the forecast is for 101 and indexes above 110. I live in a brick oven in an urban area.
    OK – as long as I have some fruit trees – I will just “chill” by singing hymns and waiting for fall.

  239. progress2conserve August 24, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Procedural questions -
    Olde69 – Why, WHY, F*cking WHY, man???
    Why do you double post so much?
    You may be brilliant – but your repetitiveness signals a form of digital diarrhea – that is not attractive, and is best ignored.
    To the thread at large – What’s with all the spam, all of a sudden. I translated the first post out of Italian and it made slightly more sense. But these latest posts are already in English, and make no sense at all.
    Try this gem:
    “We love it,Canada Goose Canada!
    The new Visvim Spring/Summer 2009 Jackets are now available in the honeyee.store.
    Detailed image follow after the jump.
    Share”
    That’s not English, is it?
    It looks like JHK is going to have to go to some sort of digital filter on these comments, before too long.

  240. asoka. August 24, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Wanna get away?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/23/homesteading_n_934323.html?ir=Green
    Getting “off the grid” is a challenge.

  241. welles August 24, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    …not an answer. you’re saying you’re absolutely right that everything is relative….does not compute
    the oscar wilde quote about all generalisations applies, i think
    peace peaceniks

  242. bossier22 August 24, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    AMR, A good assessment of health care workers. Most do actually like what they do. I know I do. If I didn’t I would open a chain of liquor stores. It would be a lot easier. Even though I am not especially smart or talented I made it in the profession because I was interested and motivated. My son, on the other hand, is super smart. He doesn’t want to anything thats hard though. Maybe that will change when he faces the job market after graduation in December.
    Back to hospitals. They are extremely top heavy with administration. Anyplace you don’t have to do any real work is where the money is in medicine. I know a guy that went to work as an administrator with no experience or training in the 90′s. Nor did he have an educational background. He climbed the ladder during health care company mergers and retired with a pile of money about ten years ago. Most of the companies he worked for went belly up, and our rural hospital where he started is now closed.

  243. progress2conserve August 24, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Nice post, boss. And you too, amr.
    “Anyplace you don’t have to do any real work is where the money is in medicine.”
    -bossier22-
    You can change one word in that sentence and find the origin of all our problems as American Style Free Market Capitalists.
    “Anyplace you don’t have to do any real work is where the money is in ______________.”
    Fill in the blank with almost any word that implies something productive should be occurring.
    manufacturing
    construction
    education
    defense contracting
    management
    banking
    finance
    prostitution
    Maybe it is a problem that is as old as human societies – the grifters and thugs rise into positions of power.
    Although it does seem that management styles and pay scales in the US have exacerbated the problem to the point that our genuinely productive middle class is doomed to disappear.
    Maybe we didn’t notice it in the US when the economy was in it’s heavy expansionary phase from WWII until 1980.
    But it sure is hard to overlook, now.

  244. WestCoast August 24, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    AMR, I would like to see you write your own blog. Your comments on administration and people and the place you live are so good and so readable.
    ? What is UR in relation to healthcare? University Research? Every abbreviation should be explained at least once.
    Looked at those Canada Goose down jackets, what a bunch of chink crap peddled by a spammer. This is the material equivalent of junk TV.

  245. progress2conserve August 24, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    “What is UR in relation to healthcare? University Research?’
    -west, to amr-
    I wondered about that acronym myself, west.
    I read it as “uman resources,” and it made sense to me. What say you, AMR?

  246. bossier22 August 24, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Naive would be a good way to describe immigration policy since 1965 also. We over populated the country, then sent jobs to China. Gosh, I think I made it 4 or 5 posts in row without mentioning immigration. A new record.

  247. newworld August 24, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Now that the special forces types from NATO have lead one group of Arabs to glorious victory, when does the butchery begin?
    From one end of the “Islamic world” to just about the other end its butchery, and just a coincidence this is the oil producing region that actually exports a sizable quantity. (Malaysia a small amount and it is close to China, no monkeyshine allowed there)
    And the nutters want to export this monkeyshine to Iran, poor Obama caught in these cross winds of interests. The Shiite crescent caught in a vise.

  248. bossier22 August 24, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Those real housewife shows are pitiful. I have more respect for ladies working at mustang ranch. They at least are honest about how they make their living

  249. Joe Palooka August 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Kunsler writes, “I don’t begrudge poor Barack Obama’s attempt to eat a few ice cream cones at the seashore with his wife and two girls.”
    But what about “peak oil” and the terrible waste the by the Obamas, who could have saved taxpayers a load of money by taking one jet instead of two to fly up to Martha’s Vineyard for vacation. Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived before President Obama, who arrived in the evening along with the family dog Bo.
    The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s solo trip included the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to go with her. She also had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.
    This is not the first time she has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ tab. Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.
    The king and queen of selfishness and hypocrisy.
    How about the blog writer, or one of his liberal hero worshipers, finally admitting that Obama is way out of his league and is simply enjoying an all-expenses paid 4-year vacation on our dime.

  250. rippedthunder August 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Hey Boss, I have a REAL houswife and if you don’t respect her I will punch you in the nose. Of course she does not have her own TV show, just a ton of work to do around the house that I won’t do! :o)

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  252. bossier22 August 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    I have a wife too. We are both working all the time. Except when we are playing. Funny about the work around the house that you won’t do. I’m guilty there some too.

  253. jackieblue2u August 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Holy **** !
    The Best ever by JHK. I couldn’t have said it better myself ! In a million years even.
    Not like we have even close to that.
    I have sensed this since beginning 20 years ago.
    Then found his books, the rest is history.
    He is right. Cut your losses.
    Now I will get around to reading all the rest, and see what’s going on around here this week.
    JB

  254. Buck Stud August 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I hope I didn’t imply that health care professionals are inherently greedy. I certainly don’t believe that to be true in the vast majority of cases; however, I do believe they are corralled by their own set of extenuating financial circumstances, e.g., medical liability insurance, college loans, slow paying insurance and clients etc, etc. Of course, there are some fabulously wealthy physicians and specialists but they typically let the front office personnel deal with unpleasnatries of declining treatment.
    BTW, I don’t deal with Craiglist personal ads anymore. A friend introduced me to OKCupid (a free service) and I find it far more revealing and entertaining – especially since so many of the women choose to utilize the journal option .

  255. jackieblue2u August 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Good thinking.
    I wonder about the AG industry, I am south of you, where most of it is, and yeah if that goes we are in big trouble. probably are anyway cuz they would feed other countries first, cuz more money to be made.
    and we’d be right here starving.
    Our infrastructure is in horrible shape.
    Santa Cruz County is a nightmare on the main streets. Pot holes (and pot heads!) ha, everywhere.
    And the salmon thing, was diplorable. People caused that. Bad decisions, and in the end it that was ruined along with the jobs at Pacific Lumber and those jobs by some asshole Texan, who cut and ran. part of the S & L scandal of the 80′s. A Maddening story.
    JB

  256. jackieblue2u August 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    going to run errands now. drive on those roads,
    more to come later, you’ve been warned.

  257. Ixnei August 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    “I challenge you, Kunstler, to express some of the legitmate arguments against evolution and just a few of the legitimate scientific arguments for creation.”
    I LOL-spurted a whee bit-o my drink out da nose, reading this drivel. Are you “reefer”ing to gaps in the fossil record, or to *alien intervention*? I’ve not seen a single logical (or “legitmate”/scientific) argument, either for creationism, or against evolution. Me thinky thou art’st k00k (troll, definitely – I bit!). You do realize, that evolution can be proven, over and over, in week-long experiments (perhaps even hours-long now). One need only look to evolved micro-organisms/viruses that become more resistant/virulent over time. I believe you just can’t face the fact, that this same technology (genetic mutation rate) can be used to show how differing ethnicities/races can all be traced back to common ancestors – Dance, Monkey, DANCE!!!
    I heard the poast office (LOL!) is looking to cut costs, by slowing the transit rate of certain packages. I’m guessing this is going to be accomplished, by reverting from air/truck mail back to the old-fashioned, cost-effective rail-mail. I saw a bit on CNBC about how a rail car manufacturer, headquartered here in Portland, OR (cars mfg’d in Mexico, of course), has been seeing their orders skyrocket in the past few years. Perhaps all you train-spotter visionaries might see your dream come true sooner, rather than later!

  258. budizwiser August 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    OK OK – AC had a bad capacitor – all is well – thank you so much – Internet community – I feel so much better knowing you all gave a shit about me.
    Now back to the racist, sexist sophomoric shit – you know the stuff where you string a few fucking alliterative adverbial phrases together and feel like you just wrote Moby Dick.
    I’m gonna go somewhere else and bitch and moan about the price of cheese.

  259. Confusionism August 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Nice try Matt Helm. We all know your real name is Kirk cameron.

  260. Puzzler August 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    I took a break from CFN for a while to let my scrolling muscles recover. So I drop in to see how it’s going and find:
    1. The racists are still choking their chickens.
    2. 8man is still leaking his/her techno-fantasies
    out of every orifice — plus the extra treat of double-posting and triple-posting.
    3. Chinese spam about handbags and jackets?
    Some posters are interesting to read, but this site on the whole reminds me of the kid digging through the pile of manure trying to find the pony he wanted.

  261. messianicdruid August 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    “I’ve not seen a single logical (or “legitmate”/scientific) argument, either for creationism, or against evolution.”
    http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_idtheory.htm

  262. ElleBeMe August 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Always a day late and a dollar short it seems when I comment – but I have to say I agree 100% with this week’s column.
    I do not always agree or find the discussed news events worth a pixel, but this week is spot on.
    Our society on full-automatic is running outta steam and unless you have the brains to make it without your remote, you’re SOL.
    So if you like cheezy poofs – better learn how to make them from scratch.

  263. messianicdruid August 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    “In a remarkable quote given to the Times, Kathryn Wylde, the Fed board member who ostensibly represents the public said the following about Schneiderman:
    “It is of concern to the industry that instead of trying to facilitate resolving these issues, you seem to be throwing a wrench into it. Wall Street is our Main Street — love ’em or hate ’em. They are important and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them unless they are doing something indefensible.”
    This, again, is coming not from a Bank of America attorney, but from the person on the Fed board who is supposedly representing the public!
    This quote leads one to wonder just what Wylde would consider “indefensible,” given that stealing is pretty much the worst thing that a bank can do, and these banks just got finished the longest and most orgiastic campaign of stealing in the history of money. Is Wylde waiting for Goldman and Citi to blow up a skyscraper? Dump dioxin into an orphanage? It’s really an incredible quote.”
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/obama-goes-all-out-for-dirty-banker-deal-20110824

  264. Bustin J August 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    PoC said, “So, you really think the US government is giving climate change the serious attention it deserves?
    I see no evidence of that at all.
    If the government were taking climate change seriously, shouldn’t we be seeing some serious action to mitigate climate change? I see nothing.”
    Politics is tricky. There is a fuck-ton of work been done already on climate-change. Go find your state’s government documents archive. Its all there, volumes and volumes of studies and research, in all sorts of departments- EPA, DOE, DOT, DOE, DOD, NASA, USA corp-engineers, etc. and so on.
    Pols don’t talk about it because they know they would only inflame the flat-earth coalition of ignorance that runs strongly through the rural areas of the country.
    Pols that tell people that the EPA is bad, federal government is bad, also say climate change is a fraud, and that we shouldn’t prepare or prevent it. They get elected because they cater to people who don’t have the intelligence or imagination to understand the science.
    So pols tiptoe around it. They organize meetings to try and figure out how to protect the moron contingent of America and the world from themselves. They waste critical time trying to just figure out how to implement changes that require sacrifice and social and political will that extends beyond a 4-year term. And they face the full power of corporate PR and lobbying efforts at the same time, spreading lies and illusions.
    But those efforts are on-going. The hard work of identifying the problem has been done and no one with a brain disputes it. The unsolved problem is how to educate a democratic society on the issue and get it to adopt sacrificial measures to accomplish the goal of saving their asses from an existential threat that doesn’t seem to have any relevance to their day-to-day existence.
    This is a huge problem, a world-wide problem. But it is especially critical for the USA to move forward, because our activity is the main driver of the pollution that is causing the problem.
    As it stands, climate change is now largely discussed in strategic circles, its programs on a holding pattern until they can figure out a way to even attempt a practical solution. So far all they’ve done is moved in the powerful and influential business circles and tried to form a broad coalition among major polluters and industry to get them on board.
    They have not asked for a broader cooperation, because that would literally be asking people to sacrifice. And asking people to sacrifice is political suicide. It will only result in a new crop of pols who are going to be even less likely to ask for sacrifice.
    The aspect that is interesting to me in the military. The military views all politics as futile. They view civilians as sub-human morons. As soon as a civilian steps into the military sphere, he gets shaved and physically dominated in a 12 week program of beating the civilization out of him. After which, the person is capable of something he is not capable of as a civilian, namely, to obey his superior (smarter, more knowledgable) officers, and sacrifice (do whatever it takes). Military training eliminates or neutralizes the stupidity of the civilian and creates a person whose self-interest is subordinate to the greater good. So it is no wonder that the military views civilians as ‘Sheeple’.
    The military views scientists as equals. Science is a discpline, it works toward the greater good, the practice of it is a sacrifice, there is a subordinate results-based heirarchy, and so on.
    This is why the military employs or funds half of the scientists in the US. This is why the military doesn’t blink when scientists lay out the global warming problem. It calculates strategic plans, and is concerned with reality. Reality is a realm explicated by science, not rhetoric. Militaries don’t run on rhetoric. They don’t run on politics.
    The military takes its huge budget and runs complex simulations of the atmosphere using Earth-orbit satellites and high altitude instruments. Believe me, they know what the fuck is going on. They know the extent of Arctic ice loss. They know and understand the threat that it poses.
    Strategy at the highest levels uses all available intelligence. It is realistic; it is practical. If the US military sees climate change on one hand, and an epidemic failure of world governments to address the problem, the strategic plan reflects those practical realities. In other words, the military plans for the kind of future that we’ll have, not the future they “think” we’ll have.
    The military position is simple: climate change will occur because stupid civilians and their stupid politicians are going to CAUSE it to happen, and are not going to stop it from happening.
    Thus, citizens will get the future they deserve- a hard, bitter life in an unfriendly, unlivable environment. The military will simply exist as an institution. Probably the last- after the DOE is largely absorbed as a DOD sub-set, after the EPA is disbanded because the environment can’t be saved. Paper money will be useless because civilians couldn’t stop the financial rape, and it will survive democratic, elected government, who promulgated the fantasy that the electorate can somehow safely steer the ship of state. The military paradigm reflects the ultimate truth: the mass of people are stupid and easily led by evil and stupid people.
    The serious attention has been paid to climate change. The end result is a managed strategic retreat to locales with exploitable resources for the continuance of the US government through the military. Everyone else is absolutely fucked unless clueless citizens around the world pull back from the relentless exploitation of resources and habitat, which our current quality of life depends.
    That would require the world’s economic system to operate under completely different rules. Essentially, life-boat rules. Conservative rules, not liberal economic rules. A world-wide economic crisis resulting in uniform and worldwide poverty managed by careful planning structures might be the only way to separate people from their wants to focus on their needs.

  265. AMR August 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Tattooed 300-lb. whales? Now, now, I think you mean BBWs. They aren’t fat and unattractive. They’re big, beautiful women, and they know it.
    I can’t describe how many hugely obese women have personal ads on Craigslist. At times the majority are self-described BBWs and women who sound pretty good until the bit about 5’5″, 250 lb. It can be beyond belief. One lady, who had one of the more coherent, well-written personals that I’ve seen, brazenly wrote that only thin guys need apply because “two fatties don’t mix.”
    A lot of the bars and clubs that I’ve frequented have had a large female presence, sometimes a slight female majority. Unfortunately, many of the women at these places are too coquettish, fickle and psychotic to give consistent signals about what they want. It’s often nigh impossible to tell whether they’re horndogs, sexually manipulative mooches, straightforward manipulative bitches or what. The guys with whom they dance dirty are, as you probably assumed, usually assholes and punks. I’m afraid to set foot in the seedier joints in Eureka because the ones in the dives on the Arcata Plaza look like rapists.
    I rarely go to bars unless I’m on a date or expect to run into friends. Otherwise, I don’t like spending the money to drink alone, and the cheap joints around here are lost causes.
    It occurs to me that the American bar scene may be yet another manifestation of our sexual repression and hypocrisy. There’s no disguising that a lot of people of both sexes at meatmarkets are there to fondle, be fondled or get laid. They aren’t there to be chaste and holy.
    The problem is that it’s generally considered bad form, if not weird, to be sexually forward in any manner that might be considered sane, honest or empathetic. A main purpose of these places is to facilitate various forms of sexual intimacy between casual or new acquaintances, but it’s considered a breach of etiquette to act as if getting frisky at a bar is part of a balanced, fulfilling social life, something that might as well be undertaken while clearheaded and fully capable of giving consent.
    It’s as if the first rule of drunk sex club is nobody talks about drunk sex club, even while at drunk sex club. Instead, etiquette demands that all casual encounters take the form of a sexual assault or of an outburst of dissolute, preferably blacked-out drunkenness. If you test the waters by checking to see that a prospective make-out buddy appears receptive or by incrementally getting frisky during a coherent conversation, you’re probably a creep or a slut. Cool people unilaterally shove their tits in strangers’ faces or grab their hips for a summary crotch-on-ass massage–crucially, without asking permission or taking care to infer that it exists. Consideration is rudeness; insensitivity is politeness.
    Obviously, any standard friends-with-benefits arrangement is a class act compared to this morally inverted free-for-all. Fuck buddies usually end up communicating and engaging with each other on various levels, so these relationships can build interpersonal skills that are useful in settings other than prisons, drunk tanks and psychiatric hospitals. Just don’t tell the children or the church folk, lest they get the twisted idea that premarital sexual behavior isn’t always dirty, degrading and dangerous.

  266. loveday August 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    hey jim and gang
    Sorry so late this week been away awhile. I don’t know Perry may be on to something there, hell he might even get elected on the platform of simply -lynch Bernanke, think about it, short sweet and easy to understand.
    And by the way this country has had enough so called ” therapy” recently, it’s time to pull up your big boy and girl pants and get busy.
    Take care all, the big contraction has begun.
    loveday

  267. AMR August 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Very good points in the first paragraph. We’re fucking over our physicians and surgeons, and severely fucking over the rising generation of MD’s with the student loan and tuition rackets. The ramifications of this situation are already becoming disastrous, and on the current course they’ll only get worse. The outcome will be, as the sober cynics of the Hershey Medical Center diaspora like to say, not world-class care, but Third World-class care.
    We’re set up to see ever more patient care provided either underground by MD’s looking to avoid liability and billing difficulties or by PA’s and various sorts of nurse, who may become the only clinicians left who can afford to pay their extraneous costs without charging rates that only the wealthy can afford. The docs may be forced out of necessity to do what Tom Lehrer’s apocryphal acquaintance did out of avarice: “He decided to become a specialist, specializing in diseases of the rich.”

  268. bossier22 August 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    That is a hilarious and interesting post. I went through that lifestyle after my divorce in 1990 . It goes a lot better if you don’t try too hard. I’m sure I could not handle it now.

  269. San Jose Mom 51 August 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    The bar scene you describe sounds horrible. I met my husband at HP Labs. (The ex-husband I put thru medical school I met at church in Palo Alto.)
    I would suggest hiking clubs and mutual interest groups. Have you tried “meetup.com”? They have all sorts of different fun activities…singing, salsa dancing, philosophy, etc.
    I went to a bar once when I was single with a girlfriend. I didn’t like it all–the vibe creeped me out. My nature is to be very cautious.

  270. AMR August 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Utilization review. I spelled it out once in the original post but not in direct reference to the acronym, so I could have been clearer.
    ProCon: I like the idea of ‘Uman Resources. Silent “h” or not, HR is a magnet for Dilbert world losers of the malicious and destructive sort if ever there was one. Sane, normative people would call such a department “staff” or “personnel,” as they in fact did until just about the time that self-esteem poppycock became ascendant and the extended “Me Generation” started playing hardball with the productive working and middle classes in earnest.
    Whenever I hear the phrase “Human Resources” I imagine one of those sappy, stupid motivational posters bearing the words “Our people are our greatest resource. Unfortunately, they are also our only resource that demands bathroom and meal breaks and time off to care for sick relatives.”

  271. bossier22 August 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    I think I borrowed $9000 to go to dental school. I have been told todays dental students are in student loan debt 100K to 300 K. On top of that everyone wants to practice in the same place. Namely the big cities. There is both tremendous need and opportunity in small towns. You might make less money but it is a much nicer life IMO. I don’t see how they see light at the end of the tunnel with that much debt.

  272. bossier22 August 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    The bars are creepy especially for women. I always liked going to a bar best with my buddies to have a drink and play pool without having to worry about hooking up. I would have to become a recluse if faced with that situation at this point.

  273. budizwiser August 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    I read the Taibbi Blog – and these activities truly are beyond fiction.
    What I still don’t understand is how we have any attempts at enforcement.
    I can’t figure out how the mobsters even pick and choose a need to respond or defend. I had heard that Congress was going to pass a bill making all mortgage banking activities between 2004-2011 non-criminally enforceable. A sort of “don’t even bother attempting prosecution “get out of jail” free law.
    I think what we read and see in government really has become the only reason for these people to show up for work. There exercises seem to be pointless by any other measure.

  274. asoka. August 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    BustinJ, nice post. You say “The military views all politics as futile. They view civilians as sub-human morons.”
    But then, when the military shows itself to be incompetent and incapable of winning conflict after conflict, the military has no compunction about saying: “Our hands were tied by the civilian leadership,” even though civilian leaders (i.e., congress) gives them every single BILLION dollars they ask for … and more.
    In my opinion, you are romanticizing the military and painting it in a far too positive manner. For a more realistic assessment just look at the acronyms that originate in the military, like SNAFU and FUBAR. Look at the incidents of death (the military killing its own) by “Friendly Fire.” They tell a better story of military incompetence.
    I’m not even going to mention military corruption and the inability of the military to even account for BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars.

  275. WestCoast August 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Those jackets are not goose down, they are Tianamen Square pigeon feathers. Stop spamming this with your slave labor made Chinese junk.

  276. asoka. August 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    CORRECTION
    the military has no compunction about saying: “Our hands were tied by the civilian leadership,” even though civilian leaders (i.e., congresspersons) give them every single TRILLION dollars they ask for … and more.
    It only takes a couple of years to reach a TRILLION dollars in defense spending. DOD and CIA are our largest out-of-control government bureaucracies.

  277. AMR August 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Kyrie eleison, my grandmother’s hospital roommate is currently watching a Lifetime murder special featuring one display after another of human bones arrayed on what appears to be either a mahogany or dark velvet background. It’s punctuated by commercial breaks to inform the audience of upcoming episodes of “Project Runway” (a good example of the “faggotry” that Vlad critiques) and age-defying face creams.
    Hell, I guess I’d rather watch that than ponder the disintegration of my own digestive tract. I know I’d rather watch it than constantly think about grandma’s broken leg, bone metastases, and alternating pain and morphine-induced fog. Also, we’re upon that time of the day when the alternative is–Lord really have mercy–Oprah.
    The bad part is that a lot of the people watching the weirdness and histrionics of daytime television are not stuck in medical facilities.

  278. AMR August 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    How would you rate Jimmy Carter as a conservative president? I’ve come to think of him as having briefly bridged the gap between the decent, sane parts of the left and right, using genuine, understated common sense instead of divisive showboating. I also think he has been very unfairly maligned over the Iran hostage crisis, over which he had precious little influence, and for not having had the vain, slick stage presence that we now expect of our politicians. Carter’s place on the political spectrum isn’t a particularly salient point for evaluating his presidency, but I consider it a potentially useful reference point for determining what the hell has happened to politics and the political spectrum in the United States.

  279. AMR August 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    More glimpses into the abyss, this time on TLC: a segment about adolescent Siamese twins conjoined at the abdomen; “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” (I guess because I was so fat it didn’t register?); “Big Sexy”; and, for those who like to watch child abuse gussied up as early socialization into high society, “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
    I’m occasionally called a fatty chaser, and there’s some truth to that, but TLC is offering up the wrong kind of fatty. Forget for a moment that I don’t like to go beyond Rubenesque, and most of these ladies are a bit beyond. These women are making showy, exhibitionist displays of narcissism in the vain hope of compensating for their loneliness, neediness, insecurity and underdeveloped social skills. I can tolerate prisoners watching that garbage as a substitute for skin flicks or nursing home patients watching it because they find their aides a bit thin for their tastes, but anyone else? Hell no. It’s a goddamn social mud pit.
    As far as “Toddlers and Tiaras” is concerned, anything to do with pre-teen beauty pageants obviously caters to pedophilia. That’s one blanket statement that I’m comfortable making. Repressed pedophilia, maybe, but it’s self-evident that the stuff is absolutely twisted. It seems that Jon-Benet Ramsey wasn’t an object lesson for the people who needed one. I always thought we had social services agencies and child protection laws for parents like that.

  280. AMR August 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    New rule: those who enjoy being administrators will be automatically disqualified from administrative positions.
    It might not work, but neither does the current disaster.
    Alternate new rule: promotion to an administrative position will result in a 25% or greater pay cut from the most recent subordinate position held by the applicant and a pay grade at least 25% lower than that of any of the following positions: charge nurse, medical attending, lead physical therapist, pharmacist, tenure-track faculty member, and head librarian. Adjust the percent figures if you like, but preferably upward for efficacy. This will do much to weed out the dolts, who aren’t in it just for the glory.
    Second alternate new rule: all administrative positions will henceforth be part-time with flat per diem compensation. This will either weed out the meddlesome idiots and assholes because the jobs are oh-so-underpaid or give them an incentive not to fuck up the works for everyone else by spending too much time doing their jobs.

  281. progress2conserve August 24, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    “New rule: those who enjoy being administrators will be automatically disqualified from administrative positions.”
    -amr-
    I like it AMR, I like it a lot!
    Seriously, though – your pay percentages plan sounds good, too – but it probably runs into some basic belief of human nature – as follows:
    “I MUST MAKE MORE THAN THOSE I SUPERVISE.”
    Of course the corollary to that, in a logical world, would be,”I must have educational credentials greater than, or equal to, those I supervise.”
    But, this idea would make more sense, and be easier to enforce, in a medical or academic setting – than it would in the “real world.”
    Of course then, I guess, doctors would be supervised only by others who at least had the credentials to be doctors. Of course, crappy doctors would go into administration – either to make more money, do less work, or (hopefully, at LEAST) do less damage.
    Most smoothly functioning (large?) systems have a hierarchical pay and credential system in force – the military comes to mind, as Bustin suggests – and the military can survive anything. ?? ???
    Bustin, you OK? You don’t sound like yourself.
    Good posts, amr! Keep ‘em coming.

  282. jackieblue2u August 25, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    I can tell you that in an area like *this* anyone who needs a fucking computer program to KNOW where the high crime areas are is a complete IDIOT, or just too young to know, and if they are that freaking young and INEXPERIENCED why are the out there so called protecting us.
    If they don’t know ‘how’ to see or what to look for what are they doing and how are they able to even be hired as police ? scary. punks with guns and power over us, and brainless most of them. Definitely no life experience.
    The whole thing is weirder and weirder.
    the system takes care of those in the system, I am beginning to think. Cops can only act AFTER a crime has been committed.
    I am a law abiding citizen and still I can’t stand most Police and CHP.
    This area is small. Any moron know where the high crime areas are and might be. duh. Maybe I could see it in a large metropolitan area, for training purposes.
    Might as well have ROBOTS for police.
    oh I mean PEACE OFFICER.

  283. AMR August 25, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    As I see it, a percentage pay cut is much more feasible than the enthusiasm test. The enthusiasm test would be completely impossible to implement uniformly on account of the ability of applicants to cater their bullshit to job-specific requirements, which the admin applicant pool is dangerously good at doing, as well as its capacity to keep enthusiastic but good candidates from falling up through the cracks on occasion. A uniformly applied pay scale, on the other hand, is one thing that even Bernie Madoff can’t bullshit. (That’s another reason why Madoff didn’t take jobs with official pay scales, although he may have one now in North Carolina.)
    Your comment about educational credentials is unfortunately exactly how the Dilberts trying to take over nursing think. These are people who consider master’s-level academic work more important than floor experience for charge nurses. Unlike medical boards, boards of nursing need to rein in degree inflation by reestablishing the RN/associate’s diploma as the terminal degree for generalist practices. Nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or nurse anesthetist degrees might be appropriate requirements for charge nurses in more specialized clinical services. These are bona fide, meaningful advanced clinical credentials. Bachelor’s through PhD credentials, however, show little evidence of being more than a pot of shit allowing social climbers to add feathers to their caps.
    Keeping the idiots and fit-throwers out of the way is an important goal for anyone interested in reforming medical care. The California Medical Board does its little part by inviting doofus MDs to do things like moderate roundtables of twits and then write headslapping reports about the results in its Journal. (“A roundtable of the Medical Board convened at the Radisson Hotel in Stockton on April 1, 2004 to discuss the hypothetical case of Dr. Smith….Members of the roundtable agreed that Dr. Smith should not have stolen morphine from a crash cart on Floor 5-Med/Surg at Fresno General Hospital and abused it by administering it to himself, as doing so was a violation of the California Penal Code and the ethical standards of the Board….”) These junkets are idiotic, but they’re useful temporary diversions for the participants, and no one is forced to read the insipid Journal write-ups (although they can be great Kafkaesque fun).
    The trouble starts when funding is spread too thin and one of these docs is forced to return to Fresno General for a bout of mercenary practice on Floor 5, where he can inflict his boorishness, incompetence and laziness on patients and colleagues. (E. will agree with me even more than I agree with myself that the roundtable moderator is none other than Dr. Smith.) There just isn’t enough money to keep the entire F Team out of the way of their victims in the real world.
    St. Joseph’s isn’t doing as good a job at idiot abatement, as evidenced by its “Blueprint for Excellence.” This document is riddled with inexplicable references to metric paper size standards and Japanese business management theory. Its very name leaves good people with only two options: run for the hills, or hole up on one of the medical floors and hope that the administrators, consultants and working group sycophants forget how to find the elevators.

  284. jackieblue2u August 25, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    We have no inner life / lives.
    Another true statement.
    keep ‘em comin’. love the way you see it all and are able to verbalize it, I never could verbalize well.

  285. jackieblue2u August 25, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    I think it’s that too many people are losing touch with themselves and the younger generation probably will have a harder time because they came in when all this electronic stuff already here.
    I believe their brains are wired differently, and I do not envy them, well maybe their youth, but not the times.

  286. AMR August 25, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Actually, large cities are often exactly where cops are able to become most familiar with their beats. The most important factor is population density, followed by patrol headcount. In densely populated cities–San Francisco, Chicago, New York, etc., but also smaller cities including Lancaster, PA–the average street cop has a very small assigned beat, measurable in acres rather than square miles. These cops have to keep an eye on, say, a five-block radius around the corner of Geary and Van Ness instead of a fifty-square-mile area in the boonies around Watsonville. Cops are much more likely to be within easy striking distance of crime scenes in San Francisco, or the city of Santa Cruz, than in rural Santa Cruz County. Also, if the neighbors give a damn about public order, they’ll have a much easier time keeping enough eyes on the street to deter criminals in an urban neighborhood than a rural neighborhood.
    These are all just theoretical conditions that are shot to hell if the residents or cops are exceptionally bad or exceptionally good. In places like Eureka, infested with tweakers and creepy cops, the usual result is garbage in, garbage out.
    Any society needs to remind its cops that they’re civil servants and are expected to act accordingly. We’ve been having trouble with that lately in the US.

  287. AMR August 25, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    You might want to read “Breaking Rank,” Norm Stamper’s memoir of his time at the San Diego and Seattle Police Departments. He described what sounds like a pretty effective effort at SDPD to drum racists, misogynists, sexual predators, crooks, provocative street punks and other rogues out of the force in the 1970s. The book is a bit preachy but pretty much free of bullshit as far as I can tell.

  288. Pucker August 25, 2011 at 1:45 am #

    To all you male Clusterfuck-ups out there in the soon-to-be, Planet of the Apes Forbidden Zone, please send us more stories about your sexual relationships with American women. Peak Oil, and Peek-A-Boo….

  289. Intelligent Design August 25, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    Why does JHK seem so religiously opposed to Intelligent Design? Even the High Priest of Darwinian Evolution, Dr. Richard Dawkins, believes that life was designed by an intelligent entity. Watch the documentary “No Intelligence Allowed” and you can hear him say it yourself, unambiguously–he believes that space aliens did it! “The theory of evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups. This theory has done nothing for the advancement of science, it is useless.”–D. Bounoure, Director of Research for the French National Centre for Scientific Research (Le Monde et la Vie–October 1983)“Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century . . the origin of life and of new beings on earth is still largely as enigmatic as when Darwin set sail on the Beagle.”—Dr. Michael Denton, Microbiologist and M.D. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 358.Interesting site

  290. Eleuthero August 25, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    AMR said:
    Kyrie eleison, my grandmother’s hospital roommate is currently watching a Lifetime murder special featuring one display after another of human bones arrayed on what appears to be either a mahogany or dark velvet background. It’s punctuated by commercial breaks to inform the audience of upcoming episodes of “Project Runway” (a good example of the “faggotry” that Vlad critiques) and age-defying face creams.
    ****************************************************
    Lifetime and their movie channel explicitly bill
    themselves as “family” channels and they
    explicitly go out of their way to avoid showing
    SMOKING and DRINKING. Yet most of the movies
    on LMN are what Harlan Ellison, the great sci-fi
    writer, called “knife-kill flicks”. Every damned
    movie is about deceit, betrayal, murder, and
    mayhem … but the perps don’t SMOKE.
    In a real sense, watching Chelsea Handler say
    “fuck” every paragraph in her comedy show has
    a lot more integrity that these stations that
    have “antiseptic” killers than don’t smoke.
    I’d rather watch crank-skank Drew Barrymore
    smoke her three packs of Marlboro Reds every
    day than watch this garbage.
    Yet this irony, vulgarity masquerading as family
    entertainment, is rife on cable. The “Millionaire
    Matchmaker” yenta, Patti Stanger, cannot get thru
    a half-dozens sentences without an “F” bomb. Yet
    she bills herself as looking for old school girly
    girls and virile men.
    The fashion shows, alas, have a truly hysterically
    funny faggy style … like Joe Zee’s “All on the
    Line” show. Many minorities take advantage of
    newly-won positions of power by using nepotism
    to increase their ranks artificially. Zee brought
    his boyfriend, quite openly, into a high-ranking
    position at Elle.
    My point is not to denigrate homosexuals (I think
    sexuality is determined by about age 12 and is
    NOT “chosen”) but to illustrate how some
    minorities vindicate their critics by manifesting
    the very behaviors that got their group criticized
    in the first place. Joe Zee talks and acts like
    a total “queen” and I’ve known many homosexual
    men who detest this stereotype because of the
    way it paints the entire demographic with a
    broad brush.
    E.

  291. Patrizia August 25, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    “Kill real estate values, kill owners, kill the myth of property …”
    And what kind of investment?
    Stock market?
    Gold?
    Or simply Kill capitalism…here in Germany they still remember quite well the DDR and I guess there is no discussion about going back.
    The value of a currency can be zero (but you have to make another, I do not think it realistic to exchange eggs with salad and so on..)the value of a house never.
    Because you NEED somewhere to live, and if it doesn´t exist, somebody has to build it.
    So, let´s assume the value of a house is the cost of the land and the cost you would have to pay to build it.
    Well, actually, the cost of building a new house in Italy is much higher than the cost of a house already built.
    If there is no demand, you can have your house unsold, or if you really need the money you can sell it for less than the real value (the cost of building).
    But in places like Italy the offer is not so much bigger than the demand, you may have problem to SELL because the buyer has no money and cannot get a mortgage, but you CAN rent it, because the guy who cannot buy, still needs a place to live.
    In Florida you have million houses that were “second homes” “holidays homes” if people do not have money to buy them, they also do not have money to go on Holiday.
    And you pay high taxes on them
    The Italian state decided NOT to tax houses, and that in my opinion was a good decision.
    You should pay taxes on money you earn, not on properties when you have no revenues from them
    If you are unemployed you can still survive growing your food and animals.
    If you own your house you do not have expenses.

  292. Eleuthero August 25, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    AMR said:
    I’m occasionally called a fatty chaser, and there’s some truth to that, but TLC is offering up the wrong kind of fatty. Forget for a moment that I don’t like to go beyond Rubenesque, and most of these ladies are a bit beyond. These women are making showy, exhibitionist displays of narcissism in the vain hope of compensating for their loneliness, neediness, insecurity and underdeveloped social skills.
    ***************************************************
    You, too, eh?? I’ve always like women with
    “extra padding”. However, like you, there’s
    a vast difference between Rubenesque and
    morbid obesity … between 170 pounds on a
    5’4″ girl and 300 pounts.
    Physicians speak of anorexia as a disease of
    distorted body image. However, I don’t think
    psychiatry has a classification for women over
    300 pounds that wear thongs to a bar and with
    more “art work” on their body than on the
    ceiling of the Sisteen Chapel.
    It’s ON THE GROUND in the streets where observers
    can see what’s happening to the American public.
    And it looks like almost TOTAL moral decay. Even
    people without garish public presentations have a
    standard deviation less conscience than a couple
    of decades ago. An example: Who puts insurance
    info on another car these days if you hit
    someone’s car in a parking lot? That figure used
    to be around 80-90%. Now you almost FAINT if the
    person DOES leave info.
    E.

  293. AMR August 25, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    There’s something else that disturbs me about St.Joseph’s. Why is the only sectarian hospital in the county (supervised by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange) also the only one that broadcasts advertisements all the time? The purpose of these ads is obviously to poach business from Bay Area hospitals, so why don’t Humboldt County’s other hospitals run similar ads to poach business from St. Joe’s? I hear nary a peep on the air from Jerold Phelps, Mad River or Redwood Memorial; all three are within St. Joseph’s catchment area, and the latter two are squarely within the Eureka media market (Garberville, where Jerold Phelps is located, is on the edge for advertising but closer to Eureka than to any other regional commercial center).
    Another way of asking this is why an order of nuns is managing the business operations of its hospital through a superficially heartwarming but rather sly and crass marketing campaign that appeals to the small-town myopia and ignorance of the local community. I can say for a fact that the Heart Institute at St. Joseph’s is attempting to poach customers from other Catholic hospitals because my grandmother had her heart surgery done by a highly recommended surgeon at Seton, a Catholic hospital in Daly City. The constant refrain of the commercials is that there’s no reason at all to go out of town (usually implying the Bay Area) because St. Joe’s has just as good staff as any other hospital and–dear hearts and gentle people, hark!–is “a caring hospital in a small community.”
    Shit. I’ve been referring to patients as “customers” and “business.” How crass and uncaring. But I didn’t learn to do that on my own, did I?
    The “Blueprint for Excellence” isn’t just metaphorical. St. Joseph’s is currently on a building spree, constructing a very large addition to its already large physical plant, with no plans in the works to decommission the old buildings. Maybe this is actually farsighted and prudent, since Humboldt’s population is aging, but it sort of has the look of a white elephant. The other thing is that the countywide population is increasing slightly, but Eureka’s is decreasing, so the other hospitals will probably have better locations.
    The customers get to pay for this important capital investment, grandiose waste or whatever it is. Actually, we all pay a good chunk of it through Medicare. Grandma’s total hospital bill after she broke her hip two years ago topped $46k for orthopedic surgery and two and a half days on Med/Surg. Uncle Sam picked up most of the tab, as he did most of the $203 daily bill at Seaview, an understaffed dive of a nursing home that is owned by an unadulterated for-profit chain based near Los Angeles.

  294. Pucker August 25, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    E. wrote: “However, I don’t think
    psychiatry has a classification for women over
    300 pounds that wear thongs to a bar and with
    more “art work” on their body than on the
    ceiling of the Sisteen Chapel.”
    Did you hear the one about the 2 drunk guys sitting at a bar when a fat woman walks in and says: “Whoever can guess my weight can have me!”
    One of the drunk guys at the bar looks over his shoulder and replies: “I don’t know…300 pounds?”
    The obese woman responds: “Close enough….”

  295. AMR August 25, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    You often write of things that would have appalled the longshoremen of yesteryear, so here’s one: a 900-odd-pound fellow in England who had his first two or three square meals each day by lunchtime and was unable to leave his house without a moving crew. The litany of food that he recited–”I’ll usually start with a plate or two of fish and chips, then maybe some chocolate…”–was absolutely jawdropping. His family and physicians were attempting an intervention (you don’t say!), and a camera crew was there to film the sorry spectacle for voyeurs on both sides of the pond. (I don’t believe for a moment that there aren’t legions of demoralized, dispossessed people in the postindustrial wastelands of the north of England watching that shit, not to mention the much-discussed “chavs,” who are evidently analogous to our White Trash.)
    It might be a good idea for a longshoreman to visit from the past and talk some sense into the dude, along with whoever is enabling him by bringing food. (Just not Marlin Brando; he coulda’ been a contenda’, but not after he started eating like a real longshoreman.) “Hey, get your fucking ass up! You’re supposed to fucking work after eating all that shit!” It would be rude and crude, but so are the very health and life of anyone who eats to such wretched excess.
    One thing that old-school longshoremen got right in their lives was a holistic balance between exercise and eating. They ate like hogs but had normal cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and low rates of heart disease and diabetes. Aside from beating the living daylights out of their joints, they were quite healthy overall, precisely because their jobs were so physically demanding. We’re sorely missing that balance today.
    I agree that Chelsea Handler doesn’t hold a candle to the nonsexual, PG-rated pathos that floods cable television. We’re talking about people literally killing themselves with their disordered, compulsive eating, and doing so with chronic help from sidekicks who have terrible judgment and no willpower to set boundaries. We’re talking about Jim Croce underworld ballads illustrated with Jeffrey Dahmer bone collections.
    Handler talks about that one time when she took a shit at a party but there wasn’t any toilet paper, so a really hot guy whom she wanted to bang lost interest after seeing skid marks in her undies. Say what you will about the crassness, vulgarity, or yuck factor of that story, or about the mental state of people who find it titillating, but there really isn’t anything disordered about it. Some of her stories are a bit worse, but I haven’t seen any that are depraved. No room on Lifetime for her.

  296. AMR August 25, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    You often write of things that would have appalled the longshoremen of yesteryear, so here’s one: a 900-odd-pound fellow in England who had his first two or three square meals each day by lunchtime and was unable to leave his house without a moving crew. The litany of food that he recited–”I’ll usually start with a plate or two of fish and chips, then maybe some chocolate…”–was absolutely jawdropping. His family and physicians were attempting an intervention (you don’t say!), and a camera crew was there to film the sorry spectacle for voyeurs on both sides of the pond. (I don’t believe for a moment that there aren’t legions of demoralized, dispossessed people in the postindustrial wastelands of the north of England watching that shit, not to mention the much-discussed “chavs,” who are evidently analogous to our White Trash.)
    It might be a good idea for a longshoreman to visit from the past and talk some sense into the dude, along with whoever is enabling him by bringing food. (Just not Marlin Brando; he coulda’ been a contenda’, but not after he started eating like a real longshoreman.) “Hey, get your fucking ass up! You’re supposed to fucking work after eatin

  297. AMR August 25, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    Ha! I like it.
    Fat-bottom girls, you make the rockin’ world go round!

  298. Ixnei August 25, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    “Nice try Matt Helm. We all know your real name is Kirk cameron.”
    Close, but no cigar! 50% is still an *F*. It’s Kirk Picard.
    And you can tell your druid friend that I’m shocked someone received a degree with that thesis drivel, suggesting information only exists within intelligence. I suppose someone was quantum-mechanically-*watching* as the galaxies formed in the universe, and as solar systems formed in galaxies. Measurement resolves state – a human eye is not creating this measurement – solid matter “interfering” is. So be sure you understand that the tree does in fact fall in the forest, whether a human eye was there to see it.

  299. metuselah August 25, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    You’re such an idiot, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. You’ve internalized all the nazi/fascist core values, including eugenics, but you don’t even realize it. You call people ‘trash’, people that have given you propaganda parrots and your nazi/fascist system the finger. But calling people ‘trash’, that you don’t consider to be DEHUMANIZING. When Fabian dismisses you fscks as morons and idiots, that all of the sudden that injures your inflated ego. It “DEHUMANIZES” you.
    There’s no intellect or curiosity residing in you, “EL TORO”. What there is, “EL TORO”, is a coward with an inflated ego. I have little doubt that in nazi germany, you would have been a nazi school teacher examining your pupils skulls for “non-arian” traits and “defects”. The best way to describe you is as a Kafkaesque nazi parody. A twisted nazi fsck blindly serving the US nazi/fascist empire while somehow fancying himself to be an anti-nazi.

  300. Eleuthero August 25, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    It’s people like YOU who were given the
    discriminating wisdom to tell the difference
    between wheat and chaff, garbage and gems,
    at birth but you’ve spurned it as “racism”,
    “hate”, and other poison-dripping epithets.
    Why don’t you start another “Cultural Revolution”
    like Mao, or Pol Pot, or Stalin and kill anyone
    even vaguely of an intellectual bent. After all,
    intellectuals would call the thugs of Nazi
    Germany and Stalin’s Russia WHITE TRASH but you’d
    be there to condemn those people as “haters”.
    You’re one of the few remaining THUGS on this
    website … not AMR, not me, not Wagelaborer,
    not ANYONE BUT YOU.
    I’m a “coward”?? And how do you arrive at that
    fantastic supposition?? Guys like you just apply
    a label and because you’ve anointed yourself as
    a sort of GURU you are not obligated to back it
    up with a line of reasoning which us mere mortals
    have to do … if we are to have an ounce of
    integrity.
    A coward, on a blog, HIDES from discourse via
    namecalling. That’s YOU, chief, not me!!!
    Now that Fabian is gone, YOU are the biggest
    coward on CFN. Now, go and hide behind your
    keyboard and throw some more turds at me from
    your kindergarten sandbox, okay?
    E.

  301. Eleuthero August 25, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    AMR said:
    I agree that Chelsea Handler doesn’t hold a candle to the nonsexual, PG-rated pathos that floods cable television. We’re talking about people literally killing themselves with their disordered, compulsive eating, and doing so with chronic help from sidekicks who have terrible judgment and no willpower to set boundaries. We’re talking about Jim Croce underworld ballads illustrated with Jeffrey Dahmer bone collections.
    ***************************************************
    Exactly!!! Chelsea Handler has a certain weird
    integrity in her trashiness because she doesn’t
    try to pass herself off as a goody-two-shoes
    like the Elliott Spitzers and Michele Bachmanns
    of the world.
    Oddly enough, it’s often TV like Oprah that tries
    to be “edutainment” that I detest because these
    people have as much corruption and trash in their
    lives as Chelsea but act as if they’re life
    coaches.
    Look at PBS pledge drives where they routinely
    trot out videos of Deepak Chopra, Daniel Amen,
    and Wayne Dyer as “enlightened” broadcasting.
    I wouldn’t give PBS a dime at this point. They
    sponsor greedy medical quacks like Amen on a
    channel that’s supposed to support the beacon
    of REASON above all.
    I’m not saying that I love Chelsea Handler but
    in the grand scheme of things I prefer an honest
    profligate to a lying virtuecrat any day.
    E.

  302. messianicdruid August 25, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    “A sort of “don’t even bother attempting prosecution “get out of jail” free law.”
    Obama is anticipating a need for donations.
    “They will get away with it, at least in this life. “They” are the Wall Street usurers, people of a sort condemned in Scripture, who have brought more misery to this nation than we have known since the Great Depression. “They” will not suffer for their crimes because they have a majority ownership position in our political system. That is the meaning of the banking plea bargain that the Obama administration is pressuring state attorneys general to negotiate with the titans of the financial world.
    It is a sellout deal that, in return for a pittance of compensation by banks to ripped-off mortgage holders, would grant the banks blanket immunity from any prosecution. That is intended to short-circuit investigations by a score of aggressive state officials, inquiries that offer the public a last best hope to get to the bottom of the housing scandal that has cost U.S. homeowners $6.6 trillion in home equity in the past five years and left 14.6 million Americans owing more than their homes are worth.”
    http://whatreallyhappened.com/node/131670

  303. lbendet August 25, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    M.,
    I was going top write about something else, but I have to tell you I yelled at the TV this morning after hearing Richard Stengel of Time Mag, say that this economy won’t get off the ground until we take care of the housing debacle.
    Well that’s very well and good, but what’s his prescription? Tough love for the homeowners. That’s right, dismantle many homes and throw the bastards out, I say (says he).
    No mention of the criminal banks, oh no. They are untouchable, so go after the victims. Works every time.

  304. lbendet August 25, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Neoliberalism NATO style
    One of my favorite writers on the web, Pepe Escobar wrote a great one this week on Asia Times Online. Worth reading and worth bookmarking this URL. He is smart, savvy and very insightful.
    [Instead of neo-conservatives, we had humanitarian imperialists.]Thank you Samantha Powers wife of Cass Sunstein.
    He writes about the model of disaster capitalism as it pertains to the “Arab Spring” and specifically to Libya as we backed the Europeans who wanted to get their hands on the Libyan oil infrastructure and that which we all bombed to build up again in a world recession.
    [Anyway - from oil to rebuilding - in thesis juicy business opportunities loom. France's neo-Napoleonic Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's David of Arabia Cameron believe they will be especially well positioned to profit from NATO's victory.]
    He also says that even the Saudis well get in on the act with none other than the Bin Laden group developers of infrastructure.
    This article is a must-read if you want to understand the Military/Financial hegemony of the US and Europe. I recommend you all take a look-see.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/others/Escobar.html
    Today’s article is excellent as well.

  305. ozone August 25, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    MD,
    Good description of what’s going on with ANYTHING having to do with high-powered malfeasance.
    Burn the evidence; then there’s nothing to prosecute and no perpetrators to reveal!
    That, to me, is the desired result. An enforced amnesia, so we’ll never get to the bottom of the rapine. Hide the vampires day-time resting-place coffin well, otherwise they’ll be found with a stake through their heart and their head separated from their neck.

  306. ozone August 25, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Here’s another link to that same article:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28931.htm

  307. messianicdruid August 25, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    “No mention of the criminal banks, oh no.”
    He is definately a tool.

  308. 8man August 25, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    “The Italian state decided NOT to tax houses, and that in my opinion was a good decision.”
    On the high density in the Italy, UK, EU, this is BS, just build 10 story buildings, but it isn’t even necessary since the population is not growing there anymore and they have a huge amount of empty homes everywhere. By using only 10,000 sq km ( 1 / 30 of the area of Italy or the UK) and ten story buildings, you could easily host 1 billion people in 300 million 100 sq m homes. But the imposed and fake and politically and culturally induced “resource scarcity in homes” is assigned just because, for no real structural reason, just because the stronger powers that be and the majority of property owners and such simply WANT IT LIKE THAT, it is their simple choice against the minority that can’t pay such high prices in rents and mortgages, it is simply their will power, their power against that of the weaker party, nothing else, no reason, just their quirk arbitrary pukey will power that wants that. Well, kill them, that is all that must be done, kill the property owners or tax them hugely, kill them with taxes, thieves and hogs and old hags, hate them with all your guts. Especially London, all pukey 2 story homes, tear them all down and build 10 story buildings cocks, crush them!
    Italy is choke full of empty homes on beaches and small towns and all, you wouldn’t believe how many empty homes there are, they should be taxed hugely, they should be taxed at least 1 percent their value a year, so a house that is worth 100,000 euros should pay 1,000 euros a year in tax and such (and anyways even this level of taxation is way lower than a lot of parts of the USA – the “capitalist” country go figure, in New Jersey a 100,000 dollar house may pay 3,000 dollars a year in propery tax). The same for Spain and the UK, the UK should really crush their property values, how I hope they collapse wildly, how I hate that they want so much money for houses in London, kill them, kill the property owners, crush them, burn it all down, pukes, hogs, old hags, egotists!
    High Real Estate prices is just egotism, is just a power relationship, the richer – stronger (and often just a little bit stronger) can crush and beat up and force the weaker party to pay what the richer party wants, end of story.
    The game of hiking up house prices in London, New York City, Tokyo, Paris and Rome is just the same old fight and competition over and over again, millions of families bought, or where able to buy the houses – apartments – whatever from the 1950s to the 1990s thanks to expanding economies, salaries that got higher, debts, accumulation of capital that is solidified into house prices, etc. and forced everyone to buy since “renting costs just as much as a mortgage”, banks made money by the interests, private renters made money by hiking up rent prices and so on.
    But the truth is, there is no justification for high Real Estate costs, it is just a random price assigned by the stronger party to crush and force the weaker to pay more. Hence kill the property owners, crush them, tax them hugely, build millions of houses so as to flood the market (but there is no need since there are 15 million empty homes in the USA and 20 million empty homes in the EU from Lisbon to Moscow), kill high real estate prices.
    And these high real estate prices don’t do any good to the economy at all even though all the economists are so happy and say that it is so great that house prices increase ((therefore making it harder for young couples to rent or buy or open or rent stores and such, this is what really drives the economy and makes people buy more furniture and goods since they have houses and such), go figure, what turds and pukes, kill the economists and their bosses, the banks that make billions by robbing money from the poor and hiking up real estate prices and such).
    But this shows that “growth” and “redistribution” is not what all the economists and politicians want. They want to hog up as much money as possible just because, to crush the weak, kill them all, kill them all these old hags and old pukes, kill them, and kill house prices, etc.

  309. metuselah August 25, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    vaguely of an intellectual bent
    =
    What intellectual bent? Mindlessly parroting an adenda that’s passed on to you from above? Please. You can take your “intellectualism” and stuff it.
    Did you EVER question WHY the curriculum is what it is? Did you ever question why that proto-nazi “Plato” is always idolized and never critiqued for what he was, a proto-nazi.
    You called me a thug for pointing out the obvious. You called me Satan for daring to question the system, its imposed mannerism designed to subdue and zombify. Then you call me a child because I don’t show the great “intellectual”, a mindless establishment sock-puppet, his due respect. And then you complain that it’s me that likes to label people because I called you an idiot.
    I called you a coward because you live in nazi germany and you know it. The US is nazi germany. The only difference is that what was done in nazi germany was done openly, whereas what’s done in the US is done on the sly.

  310. Patrizia August 25, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    May be a few nuclear boms?
    You would solve the problems, no houses, no people, no politicians, no animals…
    May be you could ask to go to Mars, it would probably be easier, there you won´t find houses or houses owners or economists or politicians.

  311. Cash August 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m not sure that a lot of the victims were all that pure with the profusion of liar loans.
    But the greater blame goes to the banks, Wall Street and the real estate industry with their steady line of bullshit about real estate always increasing in price and if you don’t buy now you’ll never be able to get into a house.
    Blows my mind that the mortgages changed hands so often that they don’t even know what bloody bank owns what mortgage. Purchase and sale docs weren’t done so now you have a proliferation of after the fact fraud with signing mills falsifying the paper trail. Not only that but the mess is so huge that there are houses being foreclosed on that are actually free and clear of debt.
    I don’t think this mess is fixable because I don’t think that there is any will within the banks to fix it. I think US banks are basically financial corpses inextricably buried under layers of balance sheet line items that their executives have no comprehension of whatsoever.
    Go into any line item on a bank balance sheet that has the word “derivative” in it and I defy anyone, be it bank management, CPA firm that allegedly audited it or government regulator, to tell me what the hell is in there. I’ll bet that no one that should have a clue actually has one. I’ll bet that none of the above has any working knowledge of those contracts, that none of them has any earthly idea what those things are worth or what kind of risk they pose to the bank’s existence.
    I’m not just dumping on American banks. Ours up here are just as caked with that sort of shit. We have six big banks. Some are global giants whose failure would seriously shake the world financial system. Way too much destructive power in way too few hands. If it were up to me our big six would be the small twelve. I would get out the chainsaws and get at it.

  312. SNAFU August 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Howdy Bustin, In general I concur with many of your ideas; however, when you claim intimate knowledge if the US military and then state: “Militaries don’t run on rhetoric. They don’t run on politics.” I question the veracity of your contention.
    I spent 10 years active duty USAF holding Enlisted ranks of E1-E3 and E5 and Commissioned ranks of O1-O3 as well as 17+ years working as a DoD engineer for the USAF, Army and Navy at various locations during my working career.
    A military is a conglomerate of rhetorical and political functionaries from the civilized (or not) rhetorical and political culture of which it is a subset.
    As a simple point of fact the following quotations illustrate the politics involved in US military promotions at the O7-O10 ranks:
    “General officers are nominated for promotion by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the Senate. You can’t get more “political” than that. The services hold in-service promotion boards to recommend officers for general officer promotion to the President. When vacancies occur (a general officer gets promoted or retires), the President nominates officers to be promoted from these lists (with advice from the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the applicable service, and the Service Chief of Staff/Commandant).”
    Like the other commissioned officer ranks, Congress limits the number of General Officers that can serve on active duty.”
    For the edification of those sans military experience:
    General Officers (Flag Officers) are those in the paygrades of O-7 through O-10. Fewer than one percent of career officers will ever be promoted to Flag Rank.
    O-7 – One Star. Brigadier General. Rear Admiral (Lower Half) in the Navy/Coast Guard
    O-8 – Two Stars. Major General. Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in the Navy/Coast Guard
    O-9 – Three Stars. Lieutenant General. Vice Admiral in the Navy/Coast Guard
    O-10 – Four Stars. General. Admiral in the Navy/Coast Guard
    SNAFU

  313. Patrizia August 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Cash, explain me.
    It is clear that somebody like me cannot understand and wouldn´t have been able to understand.
    But if you work in a bank and you have to deal with something, is it possible that, in the case you do not understand what it is, you do not even enquire, ask?
    And how can you believe that the price will go on forever?
    How can you give a mortgage without even enquiring if the person can pay?

  314. rippedthunder August 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Yea ,I heard that one.

  315. rippedthunder August 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Been There, done that. We had a dude in town who was maybe a half ton? We had to open the wall and carry him out on a 3/4″ sheet of plywood. THE PLYWOOD BARLY HELD! Thank god it was american made. We had to slide his ass into the box after we removed the stretcher mounts. The thing that killed me was this guy could not even get out of bed, yet his family would feed him KFC and pepsi all day. I don’t think he had had a BM in maybe 6 months. I actually felt sorry for the sumbitch’! Some people ‘U jus can’t reach!

  316. Cavepainter August 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Speaking of JHK’s latest post title:
    Hey folks, this is the 21st century wherein humanity must face objective reality without sentimentalism. Doing so requires reframing the label “terrorist” to include people who cling to beliefs and myths compelling high birth rate. With regard to the US, that’s translates to a complete rethinking of our immigration policies.
    Our national population growth over the past 50 years has been driven exclusively by high immigration/refugee influx from Third World Countries. In effect, people who, because of archaic beliefs and practices rooted in circumstances of centuries past, have higher birth rates than do people of Western nations having more science based education systems. Unless we reframe immigration policy and enforcement within that recognition then we are destining our nation to that now being experienced in the horn of Africa and other similarly overpopulated regions.
    The reality of our age is that the cultural diversity “celebrated” by sentimentalist amounts to no more than a husk – a hull remnant of the circumstances from which each evolved but now is carried on like “theme park” artifice – “shtick”, really. Problem is, like so much of current entertainment distraction it is lethal.

  317. anti soak August 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    JIM….Please get rid of the ‘clothing spams’
    and spammers.

  318. anti soak August 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    ‘The reality of our age is that the cultural diversity “celebrated” by …..’
    It was intentional, this destruction of the USA
    by ‘endless immigration and diversity..
    I am told anyone can get on welfare in California, you dont have to prove citizenship.

  319. Laura Louzader August 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Hello Cavepainter.
    Yours is the best comment on the thread.
    There is no way our physical resources can be spread to cover a larger population and no way our science-based ethic can survive the massive influx of people from backward, primitive, tribal cultures.
    Sorry, everyone, but some cultures and philosophies really ARE superior. As other people have remarked elsewhere, every culture in the world has had racism, slavery,oppression of women, dictatorship, and state-sponsored brutality and injustice.
    But only Western Civilization has a philosophy of liberation and values the individual human apart from his or her race, sex, creed, or ethnic origin. The West has been the crucible of all humanist values and the philosophies that created and justified them.

  320. anti soak August 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    I have not been at this blog much.
    I tried installing some software and it blocks
    this site [I guess].
    I get ’403 error’ when I attempt to get here..
    am at the LIBRARY posting today!
    Luv from Soviet Monica, the sustainable city.

  321. anti soak August 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    ‘The king and queen of selfishness and hypocrisy.’
    So what else is new?

  322. anti soak August 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    In Florida there are so many children hurt or killed, By Haitian parents beating the evil spirits out of them.

  323. asoka. August 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    O-7 – One Star.
    O-8 – Two Stars.
    O-9 – Three Stars.
    O-10 – Four Stars.
    ———————–
    It sounds like elementary school culture has carried over to the military. To confirm I would need to know: are they GOLD STARS?

  324. asoka. August 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Bush versus Obama on Dictator Removal
    Bush:
    Go it alone,
    4,500 American military killed and
    TRILLIONS of dollars spent.
    Obama:
    Involve NATO,
    zero American military killed, and
    BILLIONS of dollars spent.
    On Obama’s watch:
    no terrorist attacks on USA soil.
    On Bush’s watch:
    9/11 with 3,000 lives lost.
    So far Obama has proven to be the smarter President.

  325. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    The military has probably prepared for every eventuality except one, in my opinion. I doubt there’s a good systems ecologist with a high enough rank to matter in their discussions. Problem I see is, the US military is part and parcel of the apex of the longest food chain mankind’s activities have ever supported. It functions because of the masses/energy underlying it lower down the food chain. As I’ve pointed out before, every higher link in a food chain requires a nearly exponential increase in energy in order to support it. The US military is certainly no exception. When the lower-lying support for a structure deteriorates the upper limit is on precarious ground. It’s on borrowed time really.
    There is always the chance that some quantity of industrial agricultural production can be supported solely for the purpose of feeding those who are friendly to military causes, hired soldiers and aide-de-camp types, I admit that, but more and more people will be functioning outside of this military-industrial structure every year from here on out, as energy (in whatever form) becomes harder to capture and retain. The military will eventually just run out of the “money” needed to do its thing with declining support. I’m not the only one in this country who has decided it is more noble (or at least smarter) to make no money than to support a life-threatening political structure.
    You can certainly demonize me for that, and I take this possibility quite seriously, but ultimately the rules of natural systems win out. Whether I and my family are there to see it or not, a world that survives on planetary background energies, and not on anomalous fossil energy lottery winnings, will not support imperial political structures like the US military.
    Agriculture begets
    State begets
    Monotheism begets
    Military Solidarity
    Growth has been over for 5 years now. Agriculture, as an entire social construct, not just the farming part, fails without growth. The rest will invariably follow. My advice is to just get out of the way. Even the military worshippers. Natural law is not on your side.

  326. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    I was looking a globe yesterday and was amazed to really sit down and sort out all the countries that didn’t exist when I was in grade school in the late 70s and early 80s. The Czech Republic and Slovakia were Czechoslavakia then, all the “stans,” plus Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were part of the Soviet Union, etc.
    Balkanization is the order of business for our time. It’ll be curious how it pans out in the States. Will it go as “quietly” as it did in Bosnia? Or, thanks to our extreme oil-based overextension, will it all just collapse back to something completely different this time?

  327. Buck Stud August 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    I am told anyone can get on welfare in California, you dont have to prove citizenship.
    – I don’t know who told you that, but a thirty second Google search indicates otherwise:
    http://www.calfresh.ca.gov/PG841.htm#citizen

  328. Cash August 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    And how can you believe that the price will go on forever? – Patrizia
    People are sheep. They believe what they are told. And if everyone is saying the same thing it can’t be wrong because all these people can’t be wrong.
    If real estate “experts” on TV tell them that real estate “always” goes up, they believe it. They don’t ask whether the real estate “expert” might have some economic interest in telling them this. And a homeowner will believe it. It is music to their ears.
    Similarly, even after major stock market indices in Canada and the US have gone pretty much nowhere since the year 1999, “financial advisors” at major Canuck banks whose job it is to sell you mutual funds, will tell you that stock markets “always” go up in the “long run”. If 11 years of no price gains isn’t the long run I don’t know what is.
    But this assertion is unquestioned because everyone “knows” it’s true. Never mind facts that might contradict the accepted wisdom. In the period 1965 to 1982 stock market indices did the same thing as nowadays and inflation wiped away stock values. But everyone ignores that. It took until the mid to late 1950s for stock values to regain their 1920s values. And everyone ignores that too.
    Same thing in Canuck real estate. We have the mother of all property bubbles inflating here to the point where the governor of our central bank, whose job it is to blow sunshine up everyone’s ass, is sounding the warning. But everyone ignores him. We ignore what just happened in the US to real estate. We had a major real estate calamity in the 1990s in this city and in the 1980s in Alberta which financially wiped out a great many families. And everyone ignores that too.
    We have enormous powers of self deception. And we have a great many people here whose job it is to lie like absolute hell.
    I saw a commenter on a business news show say with a straight face that we need exposure to equity markets because interest yields are so low. IMO the average family needs exposure to equity markets like they need a hole in the head.
    Banks are run by criminals that are concerned only with their bonuses. Average bank employees do what they are told, understand that they aren’t to question the procedures laid down for them. If the boss says do not question one damn thing on a loan application (because the boss’s bonus depends on the volume of mortgages written) then employees do as they are told. Because if they don’t, if they ask common sense questions, they will be fired so fast their head will spin.
    How can you give a mortgage without even enquiring if the person can pay? – Patrizia
    Because everyone “knew” that there’s money out there. Somehow. Maybe it grew on trees. Maybe there were magic fairies with money. And everyone knew that if people didn’t pay it wouldn’t matter because real estate prices “always” go up, delinquent loans could be refinanced or alternatively foreclosed with no loss to the bank because the increase in the house price would cover any amount owing.
    So much for that theory. But nevermind. Sooner or later the real estate bandwagon will crank up again and everyone will have forgotten this disaster.

  329. welles August 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    ..c’mon, things are really getting better???
    who out here has *any* misplaced faith in gov’t???
    c’mon, you’re better than that….
    the country is toast under the last dozen or so ruinous presidents, this shill included.
    peace peaceniks

  330. Bustin J August 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    dossier22 said, “I think I borrowed $9000 to go to dental school. I have been told todays dental students are in student loan debt 100K to 300 K. … I don’t see how they see light at the end of the tunnel with that much debt.”
    At some point in the last 20 years, my tender coming of age, I saw the real estate bubble and the numbers inflating. I would open the newspaper and look at real estate prices. I couldn’t wrap my head around the numbers. I couldn’t imagine ever affording it. But furthermore I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to live in those neighborhoods, in those cities. Now I can’t imagine needing all that space, all those rooms, all that stuff. By extension I couldn’t imagine spending my life in the kind of hard work that such sums of money require, or even the lengths of time it would take to accumulate all that money, or the onerous burden of the monthly obligation. So I never went down that road.
    As for today’s college grads, well, they don’t understand the numbers either. Student loans, when you’re a student, feel like free money, and even $20,000 is hard to comprehend when your monthly expenses are around $1000. If 20k is incomprehensible, 40k isn’t much more incomprehensible. The difference between 100k and 200k? There is no difference in terms of real, not-paper based life experience. Ditto for any number beyond 1*10^5
    asoka said, “BustinJ, nice post. You say “The military views all politics as futile. They view civilians as sub-human morons.”
    “But then, when the military shows itself to be incompetent and incapable of winning conflict after conflict, the military has no compunction about saying: “Our hands were tied by the civilian leadership,” even though civilian leaders (i.e., congress) gives them every single BILLION dollars they ask for … and more.”
    I don’t know what you’re referring to in that quote, if it is a generalized example of a standard political excuse for something or whatever, it underscores the point that, the military is in and of itself the arbiter of its own performance. If they release such a statement it is political in nature and not a rationale.
    What is new to the modern military is their “civilization-building role”, with contractors and corporate partners. Obviously this has not been perfect in regards to Iraq or Afghanistan. There is something about the modern milieu that is different from the civil-building adventures of the 1940s-50s. In those days there would be a corps of civilians who would show up in overwhelming force after the unconditional surrender. Now you have regular military officers doing a lot of organizational crap. Today, you have to pay a huge premium for those services of individuals who can find lucrative compensation in the private sector. And the existence of general insurrection in those countries makes the barrier higher.
    So it seems to me that this is naturally a sound strategy as we head closer to the end game. You’ve got the firepower and tactical supremacy, and now we’re practicing the in-house techniques of building and maintaining civil societies and their infrastructures. The end result will be a super-powerful group of men and technology that can tear down and build up.
    Perhaps in the future all societies will be governed and administered by their respective militaries. The formal separation of powers is all fine and dandy as long as the system is afloat- but past that- you might need force and chances are- history shows- the sheeple will follow along. We already worship the military, with the parades and shit. We take kids when they’re young and really get them into the idea of defending America. Everyone is already mentally prepared to genuflect.
    The military understands military situations best. I think that is obvious. Mistakes were made in the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. But in the kicking-ass part of the project, it was a monumental achievement. Never before in history as so much ordinance been placed so precisely on such a small patch of forehead.
    “In my opinion, you are romanticizing the military and painting it in a far too positive manner. For a more realistic assessment just look at the acronyms that originate in the military, like SNAFU and FUBAR. Look at the incidents of death (the military killing its own) by “Friendly Fire.” They tell a better story of military incompetence.”
    But the military IS romantic. Look at the fucking dress uniform.
    Military incompetence is inevitable because the military is comprised of human beings. It is the military system which is formidable and resilient. Yeah, there are friendly fire accidents, but there is also systematic functions which investigate and mitigate them.
    The military is worth studying because its archtypal form predates corporate entities, democracies, modern bureacracies, and so forth. It goes to the heart of what feminists might call “patriarchy” or what social scientists might refer to as the general instinct toward the formation of power heirarchies. The military is a formalized form of basic human organizational motif, an institutionalization of underlying assumptions about social roles that exist everywhere in the “civilized world”.
    “I’m not even going to mention military corruption and the inability of the military to even account for BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars.”
    More to the point, the military simply refuses to account for what you underestimate as the total amount of capital invested into the military. It is clearly worth much larger than the current 4-5% GDP, if you include the industrial output of military-contract associated development. Then the black budget(s) of all kinds assumed to be equal to the nominal annual budget.

  331. Bustin J August 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    tt said, “This is all assuming, of course, that government will still function at all. An awfully big assumption in my opinion.”
    Sure it will function. As long as someone is delivering the mail… but seriously, look at all the post-peak “survival town” groups and so forth. A large part of their organization is interfacing with local governments and gov. bodies. There will always be formalized hierarchies.
    The military is ideally situated to survive. You might think that in a full-blown deleverage of reality, rational gov. employees, going unpaid, might find no reason to continue working. But look at Orlov’s evidence from Russia, in that people simply carried on without the paycheck. As the gov. is the military and vice versa, these “employees” have guns and will travel- to the next place with food, water and shelter. That becomes a paycheck of sorts. A gun is a job that anyone with two arms and a brain can have in shitty parts of the world; if the whole world goes shitty, well, thats a lot of job openings.

  332. Bustin J August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    E-tab said, “Why Americans with little
    disposable income pay $90/month (once they’ve
    lured you in with the teaser rates) for these
    horrors is beyond my reckoning.”
    Well, drugs are illegal and hard to get. TV is the escape-function endorsed and approved by TPTB. And it is effective. I remember one show on Fox about 10 years ago when REALITY TV was getting into full swing- it was called “The Swan” or something- the premise was they took 8 or 10 really fugly girls who agreed to get full-body plastic surgery so they could be the beauty queens they believed they were in their heart.
    Something about it was just amazing- I couldn’t tear my eyes away. At the end of the season I was out of my seat, applauding. There are far too many fugly people in the world and plastic surgery proved itself to be the fulfillment of our aesthetic ideals. It really was the show that launched a thousand face-lifts. It proved what everybody accepts deep-down. Beauty IS skin deep, and thankfully, the epidermal layer is amenable to significant re-engineering. Beauty is a gift that makes everybody happy, especially the person who is beautiful.
    Some people think that ugly people should be happy. I am one of them. The government should pay for plastic surgery. I’d estimate it would take a fraction of GDP for a decade to make Americans as attractive as, say, Brazilians. And when we get there we’ll have advanced the field to the point where we can to pre-natal interventions and no one will have to suffer the indignity of not being beautiful.

  333. asoka. August 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    BustinJ, bad post. You say: “I’d estimate it would take a fraction of GDP for a decade to make Americans as attractive as, say, Brazilians.”
    I have traveled all over Brazil from Manaus to Igazu Falls. All the money in the world could not change the hearts of Americans to make them as attractive and warm and generous as Brazilians … the beauty Brazilians have is both outside and inside. Plastic surgery can’t change the inside.

  334. asoka. August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    CORRECTION
    Iguazu Falls

  335. metuselah August 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Pat Condell: Europe needs a revolution http://youtu.be/s3u9LB32YYM
    Same applies to the US.

  336. AMR August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    The sheer mindlessness of the New Age “healing arts” can be stunning.
    One of the things that worried me as I spent more time on the West Coast after spending my teen and college years in Pennsylvania was the widespread belief in channeling energy through crystals. My first real exposure was in 2009, over the Fourth of July weekend in Grass Valley and Nevada City, when I saw an aging hippie wave a piece of amethyst over a little boy’s third eye and found a gem shop selling specimens that allegedly helped “communicate with angels.” (I couldn’t understand why that wasn’t done with an elongate specimen pointed upward, as a sort of antenna, but I’m not versed in these things.)
    This experience crystallized, as it were, my vague unease with references I had been hearing in Ashland, OR, to the “healing arts,” an assortment of everything from massage therapy to pseudoclinical psychobabble that was evidently for many Ashlanders an adequate substitute to the “health sciences”. The semantics can exaggerate the reality in these cases, but popular belief in anything resembling empirically based medicine had clearly been waning in Ashland. Ashland has recently become known nationally as a center of anti-vaccine agitation. I went to a town hall meeting hosted by State Senator Alan Bates, himself an MD, that was hijacked by yahoos on the warpath not only against vaccines but also against water fluoridation, which one man said the Nazis had used to create a more docile population. These people were alien ass-rape crazy. It wasn’t Pol Pot shooting the physicians, but the underlying social dynamics were too close for comfort. Many in the audience were hopping mad and held a worldview that dismissed medicine as a conspiratorial pot of shit. These people had read some paranoid quack rubbish and were now ready to throw away five hundred years of science that had painstakingly lifted their part of the world out of the Dark Ages. Bad, bad news; barbarians within the gates.
    Another bit of Ashland nonsense, one that I was occasionally pressured to take part in, was neurolinguistic programming, or NLP, a life coaching program that allegedly helps people communicate more effectively but in practice seems to help them nitpick petty verbal slights and prolong arguments. Some of its premises are reasonable, but NLP as I saw it practiced was a regular New Age nut fest. As a pathologist whom I know exclaimed when I described it, “You realize, that means learning how to talk!”
    It’s almost always wealthy places where this sort of garbage finds a loving home. I’ve been told that Australia has a lot of crystal freaks, as do parts of Western Europe. I’ve come to think of this foolishness as evidence for the ancient Chinese view of history as an inevitably cyclical affair, in which case I’m afraid we’re at the wrong part of the cycle. This is why I’m occasionally tempted to go to nursing school in Poland. It’s a lark, but Poland at least looks like one of the few stable places that is in the right part of the cycle, post-Soviet but not yet infected by the New Age.

  337. AMR August 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    In the 1990s a widebody living in Lebanon, PA, a high-eight-hundred-pound lady if memory serves, had to be hospitalized. The Lebanon Fire Department tried to devise a way to get her out of her house through her front door but gave up because she was too fat to maneuver down the stairs. The LFD ended up dismantling a chunk of her second-story wall and removing her from her bedroom using a forklift or something of the sort.
    A few years ago I saw a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about an obese, sickly, reclusive middle-aged man who was found dead in his row house several days after the fact. This dude had a fully plumbed toilet in the middle of his living room.
    I’m getting hungry. Time to order out for a Double Down sandwich–but shit, you can’t get one in Eureka any longer now that Church’s has taken over KFC’s old franchises. I guess I’ll have to walk to the hospital cafeteria instead and eat stuff that won’t kill me.

  338. Bustin J August 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Safnu said, “Howdy Bustin, In general I concur with many of your ideas; however, when you claim intimate knowledge if the US military and then state: “Militaries don’t run on rhetoric. They don’t run on politics.” I question the veracity of your contention.”
    I’m aware of the appointment of senior officers by political leaders; however, my point was more of a nod toward the saying “An army runs on its belly”.
    The larger sociological point was that, for human beings, organizational structure is key toward goal-reaching. In free societies these are ad hoc, or corporate.
    The military’s socio-organizational functionality is not ad hoc, it is delineated. Lets sat TSHTF. An aggregate group of civilians construct ad hoc strategies toward goals. Lets imagine how messy that might be with ad hoc heirarchy, no formalization of strategy. Given 100s of situations, how many evolve successful responses?
    The military, stripped to a zero-level of energy intensity still has the assets of an organizational structure with all the rules required for efficient operation.
    So a zero-energy level world might reduce freely available calories. In a military organization under those conditions, you can imagine a team of guys ordered to plant corn. As long as the non-physical, social component of military training is there you can expect some results.
    In an civilian organization you can’t just order a team of guys to plant corn.
    In addition, the military unit has other martial options. For example, the team of guys ordered to use guns to go seize corn.
    Once the training is done, it doesn’t take excess energy to maintain.
    In Trip’s energy decline scenarios as well as on a basic level of rationale, anything mentally stored should keep its value as everything else evaporates or depreciates. The military training is a mental asset, a technology in the same way the Amish mindset and training is the technology that so many admire.
    Its been my contention for a while now that it is not stuff which will maintain value, but non-stuff (knowledge gained through FREE TIME and CHEAP ENERGY). The military has lots of stuff, certainly, stuff that can’t run without energy, but much of it is purposeful. And the military trains in zero-energy situations, trains to get skills in self-reliance, survival, and so on.
    The internet was created in a similar way. The military scientists asked, how can we create a technological network that can be broken apart and still function? Similarly, you can strip the military of funding, cut all its communications, but you still have a basic training, a basic organization, and these aren’t reducible unless you leverage truly extreme conditions. And then you have to truly distribute all the negative effects. Its not going to happen. The military will always exist. Lets say the economy tanks and there are no jobs. This just means no incentive to quit the military.
    Lets say total calories available per capita goes down drastically. Who is organized and capable of reducing overpopulation by direct means? The military. Lets be gentler and say that the social order needs some force to keep people from cutting in the soup line. Military provides service, gets soup first.
    Some things are amenable to powerdown. Militaries have been viable historically whenever there has been enough surplus to maintain them.

  339. Buck Stud August 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Speaking of NLP, I always found the practice of “Firewalking” to be particularly silly, especially after I read up on it a bit:
    http://www.ironmaidencommentary.com/?url=album13_dod/firewalking&lang=eng&link=albums
    I rank it right up there with the “unbendable arm” of Aikido – not all that impressive and very easy to learn. Nonetheless, the workshop participants get a quick hit of confidence (or at least for a fleeting moment), but I wonder how much of it transfers to other endeavors. In other words, a firewalker gets good at opening a workshop wallet and shrieking hysterically in the victorious aftermath, but I doubt that same fearless mindset will remain on the north face of the Eiger.
    Moreover, many of these workshop ” warrior priests” become insufferable optimists, with a “can-do” sanctimony that makes me want to join the losing team just to be rid of their annoying presence.

  340. AMR August 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Eureka is a microcosm for fucked up housing priorities. It clearly has a poorer and worse-managed housing situation than some places I’ve been.
    For one thing, housing prices are dropping but still out of proportion to the local jobs base and the overall quality of life around town. Before the price crash they were wildly out of proportion. There’s not a hell of a lot around here. It’s nearly 300 miles to either San Francisco or Sacramento, the nearest cities of any real consequence. (It’s dangerous to remind some of the locals about this because they can’t understand why Eureka and Humboldt County aren’t just as wonderful as any other place.) The natural resources underpinning most of the local economy have been shot to Kingdom Come: the shellfish catch is stable but has never produced very high tonnage, the salmon fisheries are in truly perilous condition, and the forests are either old growth within protected zones in parks (which is how they had better remain) or new growth with small, marginal returns.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, the city of Eureka is a shit hole. There are some decent neighborhoods, especially around the hospitals, but practically everything west of about F Street and near the waterfront east of the jail is rundown and sketchy as hell. Those are two big chunks of the town, and the weirdos often spill over into the better neighborhoods.
    There is a substantial glut of residential real estate on the market or simply abandoned. A flagrant example is the Down-Towner Motel, a boarded-up, weed-strewn eyesore that takes up an entire city block along E Street just south of downtown. Its owner is paying quarterly nuisance abatement fees to the city and trying to find capital to demolish it, but no one will loan him the money. Our hometown billionaires, the Arkleys, evidently find that project too discreet and uncontroversial to finance as a philanthropic effort. So the thing just sits there, falling apart while the city fails to address its very serious problem with homelessness.
    At the same time, houses sit on the market for months, evidently without attracting interest and often without the sellers making meaningful reductions in asking prices (a drop from $269k to $264k is not meaningful). Similarly, a number of rental units have had vacancy signs up for months at a time. A few months ago squatters accidentally set fire to a fairly sizable Victorian across from the Nazarene Church on E Street. I wouldn’t have guessed that that house was abandoned, so there are probably others around town that are in the same discreet zombie state.
    During the boom, the asking prices for low-end residential real estate were a joke. At one point the cheapest house on the open market was a $125k country shack and adjoining woodlot/redneck landfill on the edge of a gulch on the shitty part of Harrison Street, north of the medical district. We’ve had some nasty shit go down in the alder scrub, and that’s not just the speculation of Boo Radley’s neighbors. We have at least one data point in the late Michael Anthony Borcalli, aka Michael Dragon, whose body was found mutilated in another gulch just south of 15th and M Streets. Borcalli and his killer (Dragon Slayer?) were homeless campers living in a place beyond the writ of the law, to Borcalli’s ultimate ill end. Basically, you don’t want to set foot in most of Eureka’s greenbelts, especially at night, unless you’re ready, willing and able to put a crank fiend in the ICU.
    There is no good reason to be categorically opposed to expanded public housing in an environment like Eureka’s. I’ve described the Squires hovels, and generally speaking the rental properties around here are dives owned either by crooks or lazy bastards. Our projects, by contrast, appear much better built and generally pretty pleasant, at least from the outside. We need more of that.

  341. metuselah August 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Is That All There Is?
    - http://goo.gl/GseB

  342. crrhogger August 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Another excellent piece, Jim. I hope that I live to see the day that all those rail lines that were abandoned come back to life. I agree, even though I am a full-time railroader, we don’t need so-called high-speed rail. We have had in the past, and have now, high speed rail. A lot of people forget that the Pennsylvania Railroad ran it’s crack passenger trains at over 100 miles per hour with regularity. The speed limit on the Atlantic Coast Line’s passenger trains was 110 miles per hour on those long straight tangents in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

  343. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Agriculture begets
    State begets
    Monotheism begets
    Military Solidarity
    The lower cannot stand without the higher.
    When the people’s retirement savings disappears, when they lose their homes, when social security vanishes like a fart in the wind, when they lose their access to cheap food, and when they lose their very faith in god, how and why would they band together against a gardener employing more people than anyone around who is engaged in “the old ways”? That would be the equivalent of people storming the Hamptons – the declining versus the ascending – which we’ve all seen is a non-starter.
    Successful people are adaptive people, people of foresight. Who could have imagined Facebook 10 years ago? What a silly notion! If it’s your foresight against mine, let’s dance. People of your persuasion don’t scare me. Just like I would say to my grandmother who thinks the QM-based Aquarian New Age is self-evident, and that we can co-create the world we envision by our focused intention, I say this:
    If I must stand against Newton (which I wouldn’t choose to do), then it is my “co-created intention” to bring the industrial world to its knees, for the sake of human health and longevity. Regardless of how painful that might be in the short term.
    Only time will tell who is the seer, and who is the sucker. May the best permaculturalist win;)

  344. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    I’m hanging out for a few extra minutes this week, and I got to tell you guys, we’re three weeks beyond the statistical hottest day of the year and it’s still bloody uncomfortable living without A/C. I’m trying to be steadfast, and for my part I won’t give up, but summer here in south Georgia is irrepressible. And way too long. I look forward to regular fresh greens in January, enabled by this mild climate, but Jesus, 4 months (so far) of sticky heat is hard on a spoiled industrial man. I hope this gets easier…

  345. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    You folks along the eastern seaboard prepared for Irene? Could you spare me just a bit of rain, perhaps??

  346. progress2conserve August 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    Hey Tripp -
    I believe one of your and my first conversations on CFN last year was about dealing with the Georgia Heat.
    One of the greater joys of living without AC in the summer in Georgia is awareness of subtle temperature differences. The shade of an oak grove vs. the shade of a pine grove.
    (pine’s hotter, btw – for you sad souls who never get outside in the woods in the heat)
    Watching the lightning on the horizon
    Hearing the thunder, hoping for the rain
    Knowing that cooling winds blow nearby; please
    Rain for the field, cool air for the joy of cool.
    Oh well, a poet I ain’t.
    I think the hardest part of dealing with the summer heat – is having to deal with AC.
    Because your body adapts to cool indoor air at the bank or the library in a hurry – and then refuses to re adapt to the heat.
    Next thing you know – you’re running the AC in the truck going back home – so when you get out, the house feels 3 times as hot as it would if the truck AC didn’t work.
    ==================
    We tend to run some AC up here, for humidity/mold control as much as for anything else. (Well, a cool happy wife is a thing of joy, also.)
    I keep trying to figure out a way to use my 62 degree well water for cooling. Still working on that one.
    Did you ever check out your well capacities and all that?

  347. rippedthunder August 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Come on AMR, don’t try to bullshit a bullshitter. I’m not sure wher ya live but you can probably order a double cheese with pepperoni! from a Dominoes down the block. . Pack it on dude , when the pickin’s get slim you all be wantin’ the extra weight! Just be sure ya got the water to carry thg weight.! I be a cummin’ round to putcha on a spit! Hahahahah, I am a sick bastard. One of my best buddies just had major MCI.poor bastard died at 54. 4 kids Sumbitch!!

  348. rippedthunder August 25, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Hey Tripp, Hang in there . soon you will be in the cool season and we will be up to our nipples in snow again. We’ll probably get flooded worse than Diane in’55 but at least the ACOE built a few dikes and levees to save our sorry asses. Finally some of my taxpayer dollars gone to decent use. Even though I live in a flood zone the bigheads thought ahead. I won’t be gettin any deep loam out of this one however!.

  349. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    One of the greater joys of living without AC in the summer in Georgia is awareness of subtle temperature differences. The shade of an oak grove vs. the shade of a pine grove.”
    First of last week we had 3 days of dry, coolish weather, no more than 90 degrees. It was absolute heaven. I got more work done in those 3 days than in the two weeks previous. But I’m not sure anyone else around here really noticed. How perceptive are the people, like you, who have spent time living in the elements! I’m proud to be joining the club, painful as it can be sometimes, because that club is made up of people who can differentiate subtle pleasures that the masses tend to gloss over, like a moving average. I think that will come in handy.
    Surely an appreciation for the subtleties of the natural world is one of the things that oil has stolen from us. And that we will soon regain.

  350. AMR August 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Believe me, I know my way to the China Buffet, Don’s Donuts and Burger King, and I know how to eat. I’m the default dumping grounds for family leftovers, as it’s well known that I’m a hearty, happy eater and a proud member of the clean plate club. You won’t be chainsawing me out of my apartment, though, since I like being ambulatory, make an effort to keep myself that way and do have a measure of restraint around food. My usual trick is to disobey grandma’s advice and skip breakfast, since inertia has a way of taking over once I start eating. From time to time I do bouts of vineyard, winery and woodlot work for my relatives in Oregon, too. Some of my neighbors, on the other hand, can barely navigate the stairs at the age of forty. I’ve heard that a number of tenants have left my building early in body bags, and looking at some of the health wrecks they left behind I can see why.

  351. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    Those three days also left me in a really foul mood when they went away. But maybe it’s time I had more variation in my world. I’m not sure being “even-keeled” all the time is all that normal.

  352. progress2conserve August 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    “While we, civilians sit around wondering about the problems of our lives, they have already established protocols for the scenarios that keep us up at night. They have secret strategies already in place.”
    -bustinj, concerning the military-
    I’ve been trying to reconcile two sets of disparate, yet believable, ideas that you have generated on CFN over the past weeks, Bustin.
    1. Runaway global warming, originally triggered by humans, is already occurring. It will continue to increase, until natural feedback loops involving CO2 and CH4 are triggered, and then breached. By approximately 2100 AD (ACE?) the surface* of the Earth will become untenable for complex multicellular life. Monera and simple fungi will rule the surface of Planet Earth, as they did 3 billion years ago. (BC, or BCE?? – if one believes that sort of thing. haha!)
    2. The US military is capable of sustaining itself far beyond the collapse of anything that looks like the US civilian governing apparatus.
    The US military has strategies for everything.
    ===============
    *surface – That’s the key word, here, right? Surly the military has some agency, SOMEWHERE, that has contingency plans for an Earth surface that will not support human life.
    We’ve got something over 2 MILLION active duty and reserve military getting a paycheck, right. If somebody, some damn where, all up and down all of those chains of command – is NOT working on contingency plans like these – - -
    Then we, the taxpayers, are really getting ripped off – worse than we thought.
    ————–
    I don’t know, bustin. The military operates off of mission and orders. I’m not so sure the mission would be said to survive the death of all humans on the surface of the Earth.
    Interesting ideas, I’ve got to admit.
    Thanks!
    And my guess would be the Air Force would be leading the charge in planning, here – for military life to go on underground. But do their plans go long term enough? Will there be enough reproductive age women down there.
    Most importantly, will these women be cute?
    And will there be enough bbw’s to make AMR happy?
    Inquiring minds want to know!

  353. rippedthunder August 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Hey Tripp, Me again , sorry to be a pita, Its thunder and lightnin’ all night now. the ground is soaked. If we get another foot on sunday im gonna come down your way with a tanker full of the H2O and dump the shit on your lawn! It’s been rainin’ here for WAY too long. My squash is rotten, my beans are rotten, my maple tress are drownin’ for crise sakes. The best plans of man are ruined by old mom nature in weeks. Rant Over.A few days ago things were great. Now everything has end rot. How do ya stop it?

  354. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Yeah, 7 months of pretty decent weather is a fine reward for 5 months of suffering. No snow down this way, but we did have some bitterly cold days last winter around Christmas. If you can count 20 degrees, high humidity, and 20 mile an hour winds as bitter. Felt shitty to me!
    At least we can grow some food during our crappy weather, eh? Okra and eggplant get old, but eggs keep coming in the heat, where they don’t always in the cold, as does fresh milk, and a few tomatoes and peppers. Pears seem to flow in from all sides ’round here in August. If that watermelon will finish off soon I’ll count it a win. Really looking forward to broccoli again by the holidays, and our first taste of asparagus next spring.
    The silver lining so far seems to be Tuscan kale (the best kind I think) staying fit through the heat of summer! For me and the rabbits. Y’all stay safe up there, brother.

  355. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    We are so damn vulnerable to nature’s whims I wouldn’t know where to begin! One dies in the surf, another in the sand. Maybe there is some merit in being lukewarm…but you’ll have to ask the Christians; I’m far too fired-up for my cause to answer that charge.
    Only thing I can come up with is diversity. I suppose that’s how it’s always worked. Tomatoes die of blight, but cattle graze on the surplus. Damn, I guess we’ll have to eat beef and mushrooms this year.

  356. trippticket August 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Some of my neighbors, on the other hand, can barely navigate the stairs at the age of forty.”
    My wife turned 39 today. One of her birthday wishes was to hang out at my grandparents’ house, in the AC where we could bake potatoes, grill steak, and drink, without having to build a fire, while they are out of town. But she is 5’9″, 128 lbs, and lives constantly with unforgiving nature. I’m 11 months younger, and about 10-15 lbs heavier than I’d like to be (6’3″, 220 versus 205). But I can’t imagine being 40 and incapable of navigating the stairs…how sad.
    Oil has been very hard on us, I think.

  357. progress2conserve August 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Tripp and Ripped -
    My potatoes gave up in the heat a couple of weeks ago – I dug about 20 pounds total from the 8 plants.
    So, not quite as good as I had hoped, but not bad for a first effort. And thanks for the potato suggestion in the first place, RT, several months ago, now. I don’t know when I would have thought to try them if I hadn’t read your suggestion on CFN.
    I’ll try again next year – I’ll just be sure to plant really early, and/or look into heat tolerant potato varieties.
    Tripp – you’ve got to try peanuts next year. I planted just a few individual seeds – purchased as raw Virginia peanuts at the local grocery store. My biggest plant is well over 2 feet in diameter. I bet it’s set well over 100 peanuts. I keep pulling them up by the stolons and eating them green and raw – delicious!
    Peanuts are legumes – so they don’t need as much in the way of fertilizer. I just threw my seeds in the clay here, then mulched the heck out of the plants so they’d have a place to set fruit “underground.”
    Like RT’s potato crop in mulch – which is what gave me the the idea.

  358. progress2conserve August 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    While I was researching BustinJ’s ideas, I came up with this little gem, from Tommy Franks, from 2003.
    “Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.”
    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/11/20/185048.shtml
    I know the military has contingency plans – but it’s still strange to see a staff level officer talk so bluntly and publicly. And it’s strange how little attention this interview attracted from the press in 2003.

  359. Buck Stud August 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    The eighth commentator on Krugman’s blog makes a very interesting point regarding promoting the general welfare articulated in the Preamble of the Constitution:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/pre-reading-for-jackson-hole/
    Somehow, I doubt this will garner much consideration, especially in Clusterfuck Nation. Indeed, beyond the weekly Luddite prescription, self-grooming and dissimulation seems to be the
    most frequent activity.

  360. Pucker August 26, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    Can any of you Clusterfuck-ups out there in the looming, Planet-of-the-Apes Forbidden Zone, give me the 5-day “Ugly Forecast”?
    I just looked out the window of my 32nd floor office building, and,…man…it’s look’n pretty damn UGLY out there! Lots of UGLY situations…Lots of UGLY people…Just down-right, pert dern, UGLY!

  361. AMR August 26, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    The “general welfare” argument makes sense to me. It’s entirely consistent with the arguments that I’ve made in the past about the need for a sense of commonwealth. Infrastructure is something that has to be effectively bought by the government building it using tax dollars, and now is a great opportunity to buy it at a discount and put more dispossessed people to work at the same time.
    The problem–and boy, oh boy, is it a problem–is that the very language of “general welfare,” “commonwealth,” “noblesse oblige,” or whatever one wants to call it has become utterly alien to a critical mass of the electorate. Barack Obama might as well address the nation in Indonesian.
    The only remedies are through leadership. This leadership can be from the top down or from the bottom up, but it simply has to be present in some form. Otherwise the electorate will sink deeper into the angry, entitled narcissism and parochialism that is conveniently offered by politicians and entertainers as a model of virtue.
    Remember, the private sector creates jobs and wealth. The public sector destroys jobs and wealth and steals your money to subsidize bus service for poor people. The help should be on their own to get to work because it’s un-American not to make them pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Wealth-creating private-sector taxis are a better solution to the transportation needs of busboys and chicken dressers.
    All right, I took some license, but that’s the subtext of the standard GOP fiscal platform. People who have been materially blessed in life need to stop believing self-serving ideas that cater to their bigotry and avarice, but that change of heart won’t just magically happen.

  362. Eleuthero August 26, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    Goofy said:
    Then you call me a child because I don’t show the great “intellectual”, a mindless establishment sock-puppet, his due respect. And then you complain that it’s me that likes to label people because I called you an idiot.
    ***************************************************
    This is my last response EVER to your internally
    generated and imagined drivel. Any person with
    ANY literacy whatsoever who has read my posts
    over the last two years knows that the very, very
    last thing I am is a “sock puppet” for the
    “establishment”.
    Which “establishment” is that?? I’ve criticized
    what’s become of education, the government, and
    modern methods of parenting. Which part of the
    “establishment” am I acting as a PARROT for???
    This is why very few people on CFN take you
    seriously. You invent attributes for people
    that they don’t even remotely possess and then
    demonize them based upon these ridiculous
    inventions of your demented imagination. I
    say you have SCHIZOTYPAL PERSONALITY DISORDER
    because the REALITY of me as conceived by just
    about this entire site is certainly not your
    description in that HILARIOUS post.
    I’m amazed that you can feed and clothe yourself.
    You’re CLINICALLY insane.
    E.

  363. Eleuthero August 26, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Pucker asked:
    What do you think of eugenics?
    ***************************************************
    I think it is a HIDEOUS MONSTROSITY. Your question itself is a not-so-cleverly hidden
    attempt to try to TRAP me into giving some
    neo-Nazi type of answer. Are you Metuselah??
    Well, whether you are or not, I believe that the
    government has no place in anyone’s vagina, testes, ova, or sperm. I may have serious
    problems with the black and Hispanic communities
    but I believe in the Constitutional Principle of
    the sovereignty of the individual … PERIOD.
    E.

  364. AMR August 26, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    Dude must have been a spry eight-hundred-pounder after his intestinal C-section. That’s no fib, either.
    Well, maybe it’s a bit of a fib, but here’s a brief obstetrics case report for comparison: A woman went into labor four or five days after her last bowel movement. With much difficulty and in the most intense pain she had ever felt, she passed a rock-solid turd the size of a large summer squash. She was sure that it was the baby, and the delivery team had to go into overdrive to get her to keep pushing and comfort her since she had been admitted too late for an epidural. Mother and baby came through fine in the end, and mom went home with a brown paper bag containing the largest piece of shit her obstetrician had ever seen in more than a quarter century of practice. The butt baby occupies a place of honor in mom’s freezer to this day.
    This happened to a very physically fit and active young woman who was constipated for less than a week. Your supersized Masshole friend must have had the mother of all distended intestines. What you described was six months of sending a bolus of Colonel’s Original Recipe down the pipe, draining it of water, squeezing and repeating. On the positive side, he may have been too immobile and impacted to get a hernia, but that’s just an semi-educated guess. In any event, calling all thousand pounds his body weight is like saying that an accurate weigh-in can be achieved by dumping chicken and biscuits into a trash compactor and shoving the result up one’s ass. Which is one hell of a nasty image, but subtly less damaging to long-term health than taking it by mouth: similar intestinal damage, lower risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
    Spring cleaning of the nooks and crannies might help Tiny lose a few pounds, too. It’s amazing what impressive results can be achieved by deferring cleaning until detritus falls off in dramatic chunks.
    With reference points like these, I imagine I’ll make a decent nurse.

  365. Eleuthero August 26, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    AMR said:
    It’s almost always wealthy places where this sort of garbage finds a loving home.
    ****************************************************
    In the late stages of dying empires, the mandarins
    of the population take their opulence and leisure
    time for granted. They may, in FACT, be down to
    their last thousand dollars but they won’t do
    without cable, an Iphone, and wifi on their Mac.
    That’s how spoiled we are. We don’t know what
    suffering is.
    Poorer and/or more primitive peoples have to
    cope with REALITY on a more direct level than
    opulent people. When their kid gets sick, they
    don’t have the luxury to try homeopathy,
    reiki, aromatherapy, or any one of dozens of
    quack “medicine” … whose practitioners charge
    an arm and a leg. The kid needs antibiotics
    or a vaccination. So they do it.
    In a very real sense, the most delusional people
    in America right now are the upper-middle and
    upper classes. People who know that their next
    ten thousand meals are secure don’t need to
    worry about spending, say, $3000 to get a SPECT
    scan from the incredible quack DANIEL AMEN to
    see which of the seven kinds of depression they
    have (categorizations which, of course, Amen
    invented).
    The debauchery of mandarins has always been an
    “endtimes” indicator for the long-run future of
    a civilization. That indicator is flashing a
    bright vermillion RED in the USA. When PBS, a
    station watched mostly by those same upper-middle
    and upper class people, feature QUACKS on their
    pledge-drive weekends … you know our culture
    is going stark raving MAD.
    E.

  366. 8man August 26, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    Just hire millions of people to do nothing at all. Just put them in offices, skyscrapers and pretend that they are “doing something”. The real story of this economy is Free Wealth, Free Time, Idle, etc. The real story is There is Nothing Left To Do Since the Technological Economy has reached a Level of Productivity, of Efficiency, of Huge Economies of Scale, of Automation and Optimizations, destined to keep on increasing ever more rapidly, such that any real Work or Labor is simply Not Needed, is Redundant, Not Necessary. So the only way to redistribute the profits and free wealth and gains that the economy generates automatically is to give out Free Salaries (and the corollary Cheap Rents), just give out the money.
    Everyone, especially the economists and politicians and all think that there are “structural” reasons why free cash can’t be given out, that there are “productive” reasons, that a simple linearity our mind loves to think is always operating like more work means more production – money, etc. that you can’t “have something for nothing” and such. Well this is FALSE, is no longer operating, is obsolete, technology has completely changed the name of the game, but people in general, everyone just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that you “don’t need to work anymore to live”,that this mechanism is overcome, obsolete, no longer operating, they can’t believe that this linearity is no longer operating, it is just too extreme and radical for most people to think that what we have is essentially a free lunch since Science and Technology have overcome most of (about 80 %) of the productive and work and labor problems humanity has always had.
    But especially, since all transfers of money going on today are just arbitrary quirks, are just random decisions some people with more power have to move money from one place to another from one group of persons to another, since this transfer of money is not based on anything objective, structural, productive, no real technical reason, but just the simple random will power and quirks and desires of the powers that be, then hiring millions to redistribute trillions of dollars of money that is going into the same old hands over and over again is completely logically justified: it is just as justified as handing over trillions of dollars of profits to fat old hags, hogs and pigs who have never done an hour’s worth of “real labor” in all of their life (but they always chant about the necessity of the “work ethic”, the “you have to deserve it”, you need super fine and special “skill sets” and all such BS and lies).
    People have to overcome the psychological and cultural barrier: we need Free Salaries, Cheap Rents, hire millions to do nothing at all, to just stare out of the windows of skyscrapers, just pretend to work (that which is being done today, but in stealth mode). Of course, since the impact would be too radical, you can invent a lot of fluffy things millions of people can do in the skyscrapers, but the really important thing is you have to give them salaries, the higher the better, the more money the better, the less of any kind of real work they do the higher the salary so they can consume products and buy like crazy, buy a new car every year, new homes, trillions of skyscrapers, trillions of rockets, trillions of everything, superproductivity, superproduction all automatic, Automatic For the People.
    But JHK and most people want to go back to the stone age with all of Nature Loving and crap (and helping to keep on stuffing the rich with trillions of dollars that they have no idea how to spend).
    TOBOR AN APE

  367. AMR August 26, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    RT, those were moot points for you and your lift team, obviously. EMT and fire training doesn’t include abdominal surgery in the field to remove needless dead weight and spare lift boards the stress. Considering the prevalence of morbid obesity, though, maybe it should.
    I speak only partly tongue-in-cheek. Transfers of the morbidly obese present some very real dangers to first responders and members of hospital lift teams, and in a respect needlessly so because morbid obesity is basically a cultural artifact created by a combination of nutritional overabundance and stupid sociological decisions.
    Actually, the real mistake you guys made was not realizing that it wasn’t a job for plywood. A job like that requires old-time New England maple carpentry. Between the Shakers, Norm Abram and Bob Vila, you guys are covered. Bob might even be able to give you a line on some quality Craftsman construction equipment and/or surgical tools to get the job done like a pro.
    Hell, you aren’t the only sick one around here. Then again, I’m not sure that these ideas are capable of causing any more damage than the Scooter Store. “Medicare will pay for a scooter or power chair, at little to no cost to you! That way, instead of asserting any agency in your own health and mobility, you can sit on your ass for the rest of your days while your muscles atrophy!” Some ideas actually are harmless; others just sound that way.

  368. 8man August 26, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    From:
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=176423
    From:
    http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/08/history-is-not-your-therapist.html
    dude says:
    “…not an answer. you’re saying you’re absolutely right that everything is relative….does not compute”
    I answer:
    Some things can be said about this, but in general what is said is only something saying the same thing to itself over and over again because we can’t perceive or distinguish any other world outside of our logic – language. But on a scale from 1 to 1000 of similarity and difference of Man Brains for example, the most similar Man Brain to us containing modified circuits could be 1 and for that Man Brain we can imagine that it is living in a new universe with new laws of physics. For the Modified Brain Mind corresponding to 2, we can probably no longer say anything at all about it, not even if it exists or where it exists, if it is in a point of space and/or time or anything else: in short our logic, our language, the principle of non contradiction breaks down, the limits of the observed universe are reached, so this chunk of Matter corresponding to a slightly modifed Mind Brain (but hugely different from ours through a huge amplification of differences since by changing the mind and its neural circuits, every slight change completely changes all possible reference systems in an extremely radical way) that then relates to other chunks of matter, that interacts and exchanges information with other chunks of matter lives, perceives and exists in something totally unconceivable for us, something simply undefined, infinitely different and far away from even the idea of it living in a new universe with new laws of physics. You can imagine what happens on the scale at 40 or 500 or 1,000.
    In other words, our descriptions and language and logic can only deal with things similar to us, with things our mind can decode, but modified minds, nay, simply new chunks of matter configured in completely different ways interacting with other chunks of matter are outside of our range, cannot be dealt with in any way, cannot be a symbol within the symbols our language and thought deals with (unless we force it to be defined in a certain way, unless we force it, but by forcing it we are just making it all up, like even saying “modified minds enter new universes”, every word is defined and logical, but only to us…).
    In a sense, only subjectivity exists, there are no absolutes, our mind configuration is a subjective quirk interacting with the universe. But since we can’t get out of the absolute represented by the neural circuits and thoughts and paths hardwired in our Man Brain, we can’t see how arbitrary and subjective it all really is. And then by using our very language and thought all we say is wrong from the outset, or neither wrong or right, simply a random association of symbols with other symbols just because, simply a random association of fake, made up information with other fake made up information.
    But even all of the above is meaningless, worthless, is irrelevant, is just a game of language trying to get out of itself, but unable to, logic trying to be more than it is, to extend its range, when its range is limited by the very use of logic.
    Therefore, stick wild chemicals and wild symbols, wild signals in the ball of meat that the brain is, just think about it, just lie to yourself, create the Instant Singularity on the fly, escape reality, kill reality, be wrong, always be wrong, misunderstand everything, just say lies, make up everything and assign it as true, love “fake”, kill “being right and true and false”, go crazy, be subjective and irrational like crazy, go man go, enter new universes and laws of physics, go man go, be god, kill god, contradict yourself like crazy always, go man go, always win, you win always, go man go, you can do it.
    Worship Contradiction. Be as Contradictory as Possible. be as Wrong as Possible.
    First gear, it’s all right, second gear hold on tight, third gear you’re out of sight! Groovy man, groovy…
    TOBOR ATE MAN

  369. lbendet August 26, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    E.
    The debauchery of mandarins has always been an
    “endtimes” indicator for the long-run future of
    a civilization. That indicator is flashing a
    bright vermillion RED in the USA.
    Dmitri Orlov claims that those who suffer most in collapse are the upper middle class who have the most to lose. I would say that the who new age and counter culture after the original anti-war movement of the late ’60′s-early 70′s went into a strange illogical bent. Remember the crystals? I used to think California was the worst in that aspect.
    Those things although self-indulgent are less frightening to me than the fact that the people running this country are completely delusional and we the people have no say in what choices this country makes. I was listening to Paul Craig Roberts this week and he was saying they just don’t get how much trouble they’re in.
    In France, the wealthiest citizens have offered the government a 3% increase in their taxes to help their country out. That’s what we should have seen here, but that will never happen with this crazy ideology they have. No matter what statistics you show them, their fantasy economic system cannot be questioned. They are completely anti facts, anti science and on the road to utter self destruction–but they’re taking us down with them. No wonder they like Perry. He’s their man.
    Warren Buffet seemed like a sane person talking about raising taxes for the wealthy, but in the same week he’s about to give BofA billions to keep them afloat. Is this guy on drugs? Who makes that kind of choice to bolster-up a sinking ship?
    In the meantime We’ll be batting down the hatches here preparing our terrace and apt. for the hurricane. Hope it’s not as bad as they think….

  370. lbendet August 26, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Bill McKibben arrested
    I apologize for not reading all posts this week, but I don’t think I saw anything about environmentalist Bill McKibben on the postings in the last few days.
    He was arrested as he was involved with dissent hoping to block authorization for the construction of an oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas defiantly continued their sit-in outside the White House.
    This is a two-week demonstration that will fall on deaf ears as the desperation to keep this shin-dig going will supersede all other considerations.
    [The activists oppose the proposed 1,700-mile tar sand oil pipeline called Keystone XL that runs from Alberta, Canada, to the eastern part of Texas. According to Reuters, the pipeline would double tar sands production in Canada to 1.8 million barrels a day. Environmentalists say the extraction of oil from the tar sands would contribute carbon emissions to the atmosphere and destroy 740,000 acres of boreal forest.
    Construction of the pipeline is pending an executive decision from President Barack Obama. Protesters are asking the preside.]
    McKibben has written several books on global warming and was on the same show, “Prophets of Doom” along with JHK on the History Channel a few months ago.

  371. messianicdruid August 26, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    “Those things although self-indulgent are less frightening to me than the fact that the people running this country are completely delusional and we the people have no say in what choices this country makes. I was listening to Paul Craig Roberts this week and he was saying they just don’t get how much trouble they’re in.”
    I take it the “they” refers to both groups?

  372. messianicdruid August 26, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    How it should be done is the question. Signing up for debt/usury to build infrastucture on behalf of a free people is stupid, and leads to bondage. We need to stop doing stupid stuff.
    http://jinfiesto.posterous.com/how-to-seem-good-at-everything-stop-doing-stu

  373. lbendet August 26, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    you got it, M. but you should know that by now. Did you see my second posting about the oil sands pipeline?
    (that said, the Republicans should be coming up with someone sane to run for President. My theory is they don’t want to get in. Obama is doing everything they want anyway and he can take the blame.–I say that Presidency thing is a hot potato.–that is if they’re sane enough to get the picture.)

  374. lbendet August 26, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Speaking of unreality and cultcha in NYC. On the local news they just had a segment on people buying up super expensive designer rain boots for this hurricane event. They are not only over-spending on themselves buying themselves high-heel rain boots but on their young daughters as well.
    They think this is fun and glam games.
    Many years ago I was on my way to a client during a Nor’easter. Suddenly I found the wind was pushing me so hard I had to run. A dog was in my path, so I knew I’d have to break the run and my only choice was to fall.
    My pants were torn and my knees were scraped pretty hard. I spent next half hr at my client’s getting my knees tended to and got a tetnaus shot the next day.–Now that’s reality!!

  375. ozone August 26, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    “Construction of the pipeline is pending an executive decision from President Barack Obama.”
    LB,
    I think we know how the pen will scribble in such situations. Anything blocking the cruel gears of the corporate machine will be “cleared away” by this president (as with previous satraps).
    It’s my belief that the days of peaceful protests are about over. Unless done in HUGE masses, any demonstration will be promptly ignored. (Witness this pipeline protestation.)
    TPTB are waiting for [and desiring] violent protests, as that will allow for the crackdown to impose “law-n-order”. It’s good for the state s’cur’dy (tm GWB) apparatus.
    We all know, deep down, that’s there’s only one response to official state terrorism that’s ordered up by the oligarchy, and that doesn’t require speeches, signs, bullhorns, or [losing] clashes with brownshirt cops.

  376. metuselah August 26, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Which “establishment” is that?? I’ve criticized
    what’s become of education, the government, and
    modern methods of parenting. Which part of the
    “establishment” am I acting as a PARROT for???
    ==
    You really are something. Even after it’s been pointed out to you, you still continue with your idiotic and cowardly denials. Who do you think you work for? Ever heard of ED.GOV? What do you think it’s for? Who do you think sets the agenda as to what propaganda fscks like you get to parrot and brainwash people with? Who decides what books are used and what’s included and what’s excluded from those books. Who decides what’s taught, what isn’t taught, how it’s taught, and by whom it’s taught? Who has the monopoly on these decisions and on the decision makers?

  377. messianicdruid August 26, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Complex Specified Information?
    http://www.whatabeginning.com/Misc/Wonders/P.htm

  378. San Jose Mom 51 August 26, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Pucker,
    Maybe we could solve the US’s deficit problem by enacting an “ugly tax.” If you wear spandex and you weigh over 140 pounds it’s going to cost you. If you build a McMansion it’s going to cost you. A big box store will cost Walmart a fortune in ugly tax. Tattoo taxes will make cigarette taxes seem miniscule.

  379. ozone August 26, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    I’m afraid Bustin’s scenario of the military taking pretty much whatever they want is quite plausible.
    What they’ll DO with the forage is another thing. Mostly waste it, would be my guess. You think your average ‘murkin civilian is fat and happy? How ’bout Baskin Robbins “supportin’ the troops” in Iraq?
    From what we’ve seen, the military is far outside its’ area of expertise in this “nation building” exercise. (When cultural intelligence is nil or ignored, bad shit coalesces.) The military’s “mission” is to kill people and break things; those are the things they’re good at.
    However, they’ll never lack for merc’s. Why work for your food, when you can be a member of a parasitic organization that just commandeers it from those who do the work to create it? That will be an addition to the job description:
    1. Break things.
    2. Kill people (and other living things).
    3. Take (steal) the product of those [now dead] peoples’ labor.
    Not sure how long that can continue, but in the end, I see it collapsing under its’ own weight, by virtue of the sheer volume of supplies demanded.
    While I’m gnawing at this bone, will somebody (preferably rational) tell me why most of the volunteers are from the “southern” states, and why so many of the bases exist there as well?
    Curious to know what propels this [unjustified] fealty to the central gummint.

  380. ozone August 26, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    I’d just like to add [as another wonderment in the Clusterfuck-ian firmament] that old-spidey-69′s devolution into writing (or cut-and-pasting) copy for some Chinese-supplied, Italian winter-wear company has me intrigued as to what medications he’s being fed, and in what dosages.
    (Other insane folks, like myself, want to know!)
    Best of luck, All…

  381. ozone August 26, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Curious to know what propels this [unjustified] fealty to the central gummint. -that guy
    Could an improved standard of living be one of the major enticements for the “participants”?

  382. ozone August 26, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Lay on the comfy couch, and tell me alllll about it…
    Phil Rockstroh on the 70′s:
    “Our mode of being, even then, revealed our obsession with comfort, the devices of escapism and an avidity for insularity — our right to the pursuit of numbness. We were fledgling Weimar Republicans, clad in faded, frayed bell-bottom jeans…primed to surrender freedom to the corporate/national security state for the illusion of safety and control.” -PR
    Damn! He said that out loud, in plain print!
    Dr. Phil and JHK most definitely see WTF is goin’ on, and it ain’t pretty. I have been apprised that hubris and marketing are not saving graces. “Idiot Wind”:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28946.htm