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In the Valleys of Blog

by James Howard Kunstler

     The psycho-historians must be having a field day with all the “taper” chatter fogging the valleys of Blog. The topic certainly presents a sticky hairball of a compound dilemma to anyone who cares about the fate of the nation. If the Federal Reserve tapers its monthly purchase of US Treasury debt paper plus a nearly equal amount of dodgy mortgage foam frothed up by Washington’s housing bubble machine… well, then, the equity markets will tank, or so the theory goes. If they don’t taper, they’ll permanently disable the function of the financial markets, and possibly blow up the global currency system.

     Of course, they recently demonstrated that tapering itself is not necessary to move the markets; a rumor of tapering will get the job done.  But that’s a theory for the moment, too, because by so doing the markets may have already priced-in any actual taper to follow.  Meaning that such taper talk probably won’t work very well in repeat applications.

    Outside the fetid terrarium where US economists live, like skinks kept as pets by bankers, other forces are in motion. For instance, there’s the non-theoretical, non-financial economy, which is now apparently based on the trade in tattoos, and the journey by automobile from the nearly foreclosed home to the tattoo studio, and to the hamburgers, pizzas, and fried chicken thighs consumed on each end of the journey. Judging from the sheer number of tattoos-per-capita, one might think that a certain tattoo saturation point had been reached in this country, unless the market can be expanded, say, to maternity wards where newborns can get full “sleeve” and neck jobs on Medicaid.

     Over in Europe, the members of the EU are being eaten alive by a carnivorous sub-species of giant financial hairball, and another theory says that whatever “money” can get out of there (while the getting is good) will flood into the USA, and more specifically into those very equity markets spooked by the chatter of tapering QE. Perhaps Fed officials (and their pet skinks) are hoping that some of that “money” will sop up whatever US Treasury paper the Fed tapers off buying. (After all, who else would buy the stuff ?) That would only be plausible, though, if the interest rates went up, which they might anyway. But if they do they would turn around and bite the US Department of the Treasury on its fat butt by increasing the percent of government spending needed to pay interest on debt to a level that would effectively put the government out of business — in which case we’d be in the grips of the same carnivorous hairball that’s eating Europe, and then all that “money” would have to find yet another continent to flee to. You see how complicated it gets? This is giving me the vapors. Anyway, those interest rates on US Treasury paper would have to go up a fat lot to compete with the allure of an equity market frothing toward the 20,000 hash-mark.

     Personally, I would not encumber my view of things-to-come in such a rococo maze of theoretical conjecture. Rather, I would settle for the simpler diagnosis that we’re just flat fucked, having made all the wrong choices on just about everything for a very long time. Speaking of wrong choices, the smartest money in the betting pool for the next Fed chair pick shifted strangely last week to the lugubrious figure of Lawrence Summers, who was the longest of long-shots just a week before. This is the same Lawrence Summers lately on the payroll of CitiGroup and other institutions utterly dependent on Federal Reserve policy. They had to find a revolving door big enough for King Kong to push Larry through. This is the same Larry Summers who remarked not long ago that Quantitative Easing was not an effective way to stimulate the economy. Apparently he did not notice that QE is wonderfully effective for juicing the tattoo economy because it produces vast new quantities of citizens who perceive themselves to be losers.

            Mr. Summers will be entering the scene the way Vincent Price used to enter a Hammer Studio horror film — reliably delivering some deadly unpleasantness. I don’t think a more perfect figure might be found for piloting the garbage barge of American finance over a Niagara Falls of consequence.

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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.

653 Responses to “In the Valleys of Blog” Subscribe

  1. Carol Newquist August 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Say what? Nothing will change.

    If it’s just me, yes, nothing will change except my standing on principle by withdrawing support. That’s important, and yet you overlook it.

    But I’m not alone, as this article reveals. Even immigrant advocate groups see this legislation for what it is….and yet janet doesn’t? Why would that be? Why does janet think she knows better than immigrants and the groups that represent their interests?

    http://socialistworker.org/2013/08/05/who-will-benefit-from-immigration-reform

    Who will benefit from “immigration reform”?

    THIS WAS the context when, at the end of June, the U.S. Senate passed S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act.” S. 744 is more or less an amalgam that reflects the demands of the three groups described above. (For a detailed account of what’s in the bill, see Justin Akers Chacón’s analysis.)

    With few exceptions, S. 744 gave business and industry just about everything it asked for. According to Oscar Chacón, executive director of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), “The legislative agenda has been dominated by big business interests. That was certainly the case during the debates on health care and environmental laws in recent years, but it’s also the case in the immigration reform the Senate passed.”

    The border security industry also got all that it asked for, and even won some more. At the last minute, supporters introduced an amendment to garner more Republican votes. As the New York Times explained, “Half a dozen major military contractors, including Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, are preparing for an unusual desert showdown here this summer, demonstrating their military-grade radar and long-range camera systems in an effort to secure a Homeland Security Department contract worth as much as $1 billion.”

    All the extras handed to the corporations were taken from the undocumented and their families. The most optimistic predictions about the Senate-approved legislation figure that only about 60 percent of the undocumented could be legalized.

    What’s more, writes Justin Akers Chacón, author of No One Is Illegal, “Millions of workers would be able to transition to a “legal” status–but it is very far from full or even partial citizenship. It can be better understood as a carefully crafted strategy to create a subclass of workers without rights, made perpetually vulnerable by an austere and rigid set of immigration rules and regulations.”

  2. janet August 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    And as far as me providing personal examples of anything, nice try. I’m not revealing anything personal about myself to you or this crowd. I don’t trust any of you as far as I could throw you…

    Thank you for providing this information. It will go in your files. :)

  3. Carol Newquist August 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Thanks for your definition of fascism.

    You’re welcome, and thanks for conceding the U.S. and Obama are fascist. I know it wasn’t easy for you, but you’re a better person for it.

  4. Carol Newquist August 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Thank you for providing this information. It will go in your files. :)

    You might have to start a new one cuz the current one is overflowing.

  5. janet August 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    If it’s just me, yes, nothing will change except my standing on principle by withdrawing support. That’s important, and yet you overlook it.

    Point taken. I did overlook that. And your point is a valid one.

    I know you say you don’t want to provide any personal information, but I’m wondering if you are a socialist. (since you cited an SWP publication). Being a socialist would explain your anti-fascist tone.

  6. janet August 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    BHK said ominously: If this does not occur, and I hope it doesn’t, I’ll probably move on from this site.

    I would hate to see you go. You’ve always been straight up and contribute (and get away with) a POV that challenges JHK.

    But I understand how you could tire of repeated predictions that never come true. I’ve been on these JHK predictions since 1999 when I was enthralled with Y2K, and before that back to the 70′s with others and their predictions. It gets tiring after a while.

    I’ll probably only stick around one or two decades more myself.

    Been good reading your comments.

    Best of luck to you, Marlin.

  7. janet August 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    And ban your primary overposting Troll, JHK.

    In your dreams, sweetie pie.

    Ain’t nobody gonna get banned here, especially not posters who make on-topic and relevant posts which are tastefully constructed.

    You sure do seem to have a problem with freedom (“ban this one, ban that one”) It is surprising since you come from a military family where so many have fought and died to preserve my right to contribute to CFN. But then hypocrisy is commonplace on CFN. And racism.

    “…the aspects of our history and culture that have allowed the privilege associated with ‘whiteness’ and the disadvantage of ‘color’ to endure and adapt over time.

    A discussion of structural racism points out the ways in which public policies and institutional practices contribute to inequitable racial outcomes. It lays out assumptions and stereotypes that are embedded in our culture that, in effect, legitimize racial disparities, and it illuminates the ways in which progress toward racial equity is undermined.

  8. janet August 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Carol said: You might have to start a new one cuz the current one is overflowing.

    TMI.

  9. progress4what August 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    I am trulysorry for the Egyptian people. And I am concerned that “democracy” is a tenuous business – perhaps even here in the States where we have a 200 yeartraditionof it.

    Anyway – if the government ever feels sufficiently beseiged here, theevents in Egypt give some foreshadowing ofhow it will play out.

    And – - all the “anti-fascists” will run for cover.
    And – - all the recent immigrants will wishtheywere back home.

    “A trustworthy friend of mine put it to me the other day that our Western leaders are so sick of the demonstrators that plague G8 summits – where the usual “terror” warnings always apply – that they have an innate sympathy with policemen and a built-in hatred of protesters.”

    “and I suddenly saw what “state of emergency” means. Fear. No rights. No arrest warrants. No law.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/how-some-ordinary-egyptians-became-malicious-terrorists-8773354.html

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

    Don’t leave, BackRowHeckler. You’re one of the bestregular posters left here. Use JHK”S writing to getyourself energized.

    Try not to regard him as the Oracle of Delphi.

    • Janos Skorenzy August 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      It goes deeper and darker than that: the Western Elite are allied to the Muslim Brotherhood for their own sick reasons. They need them to destablilize the whole region. Democracy horrified the Founding Fathers. Look at Egypt to know why.

  10. Q. Shtik August 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Bullshit. I know the government is corrupt and enthralled to the corporations. – “Carol”

    It should be either “enthralled by” or “in thrall to” the corporations.

    Don’t ask me to explain why. I just know.

    • ozone August 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      LOL! Good one.
      Of course, now you’ll be hectored to provide a justification for posting a non-explanatory criticism that contains no statistics or in-depth analysis…

      How dast you “just know” things! ;)

      Shame and humbuggery!

    • Elmendorf August 19, 2013 at 2:33 am #

      You can tell a sophomoric intellect by the attempt to use sophisticated words in incorrect ways. We all make typos or have a moment of absentmindedness where “their” becomes “there” but “Carol” is in a league of “her” own via the condemnation of you yet still secretly asking for your affirmation of her “depth”.

      The two entities (or are they the Borg?) are both a source of tragic fascination. They represent a creeping pseudo-sophistication that I see even in the narrowly educated college grads of today. Janet is fabulous at quoting scientists and cut-and-pasting from their work but I doubt the woman knows the difference between a joule and a jewel.

      E.

  11. Q. Shtik August 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Newquist says that her sentences would have fewer errors of structure if she re-read and corrected them before posting. But how can you correct an error without knowing it’s an error in the first place? – Titchfield

    So true, Titch.

  12. Q. Shtik August 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you for providing this information. It will go in your files. – Ja’Soka to “Carol”

    You should use the collective singular: “your file.”

  13. progress4what August 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    “All the extras handed to the corporations were taken from the undocumented and their families.” …carol’s link…

    That’s a very good article – but I’ll disagree with the excerpt above.
    Because most of the “taking” isfrom lower middle class and lower class US citizens – especially native born minorities.

    Theundocumented have the option to go back home to their families.

  14. progress4what August 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    “Ain’t nobody gonna get banned here, especially not posters who make on-topic and relevant posts which are tastefully constructed.”
    …Ja’Soker…

    That’s my point exactly.
    JHK has every reason to ban you. And he should.

  15. progress4what August 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Here, ozone.
    I’ll repeat this in case you missed it on the previous page.

    “One has to conclude, ozone is himself a racist by virtue of his complicity via his silence.”….”carol”…..

    Here a racist
    There a racist
    Everywhere a ra…cist

    Old Mc”Carol” lacked a dictionary.

    E I E I OOO.

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

    Maybe you can figure out what this dimbulb is talking about, O3.

    • ozone August 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      Diversionary, distractionary crapola.
      ‘Soaky and Carol are just playing each others’ foil and have no problem painting anyone with unearned, undeserved or patently false labels. “When did you stop beating your wife?” (Guilty until… always, as you’re busily trying to disprove an innuendo.)

      It’s an old and hoary story:
      “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.” -Mark Twain

      …Which would be the entire point of the exercise.

      • progress4what August 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        Thanks, O3, I needed that.
        I think I’m done ’till next week.
        My bet is that JHK will write on the parallels between Egypt and the US.

        And that he will finally ban his primary Troll.
        The one who just said, “600th!” Which is a lot like “First!”

        This banning would put a scare into JHK’s secondary Troll.
        Does he even have a tertiary Troll?
        Can’t be me. I mostly agree with the guy.

      • K-Dog August 18, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

        Read your link to:

        “You Won’t BELIEVE What’s Going On with Government Spying on Americans”

        But are we ever going to get to the good stuff? Spies do more than look. When is a news report going to mention pots being stirred and gropings. People not getting jobs, people getting incredibly bad luck while others sleepwalk to fortune.

        Lots more than peeking over hedges going on.

        Where is the courage?

        ****************************************************************************

        A moments reflection reminds me that only one news source really has any courage at all in this whole affair. It’s not even American. American news, bought and paid for, souls dammed to burning fates.

        I answer my own question. – K-Dog

        • ozone August 19, 2013 at 8:48 am #

          Interestingly enough, the story about Glenn Greenwald’s partner being held for questioning has become a front page story. Regardless of spin, people can now see the blatant intimidation going on here. Nosiree, this ain’t just looking/snooping/peeking! This would be out and out threatening.

          This, from the ‘paper of record’, on this very stupid move by the keepin’-us-safe folks:

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/18/glenn-greenwald-guardian-partner-detained-heathrow

          Sure, it’s just ‘good business’ by The Guardian, but the battle has been engaged without a veneer of deliberate legality. (Detained on suspicion of terr’sm, of course.)

  16. janet August 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Does he even have a tertiary Troll? Can’t be me.

    LOL! Nobody gonna be banned, except in your dreams. Relax.

  17. Janos Skorenzy August 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Aristotle, “nothing imperfect or maimed should be allowed to grow up.”

    Vampire Lord of Siberia, “What is broken must be broken.”

  18. janet August 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    P4W said: “My bet is that JHK will write on the parallels between Egypt and the US.”

    =========

    Sick. Twisted. Perverse. Mentally ill.

    On August 14, the Government of Egypt declared a State of Emergency that includes a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

    Has the USA declared a curfew?

    Egypt just elected a Muslim government in fair elections.
    The USA has never had a Muslim government.

    The Egyptian military just overthrew the elected government.
    The USA military has not overthrown our elected government.

    The Egyptian government has just shot down hundreds of nonviolent, peacefully assembled citizens.

    You guys are fucking crazy to be talking about “parallels” between the USA and Egypt.

    • Neon Vincent August 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      P4W said: “My bet is that JHK will write on the parallels between Egypt and the US.”

      He might mention it, but I think two other topics would be more likely. One is the 10th anniversary of the Blackout of 2003, which serves as a reminder of our continuing energy insecurity. The other is the hype about the Hyperloop, which is as clear an example of what he derides as “techno-narcissism” as made last week’s news cycles.

  19. Carol Newquist August 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Once again, ozone and Q. Shtik add nothing of substance and run interference. Losers. Stick to the subject or shut up.

  20. janet August 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    One is the 10th anniversary of the Blackout of 2003, which serves as a reminder of our continuing energy insecurity.

    The tenth anniversary is a non-story. The industry responded and corrected what caused the blackout. And they didn’t stop there. They went on to make the grid stronger.

    Maintenance spending for overhead lines increased an average of 8.2 percent per year from 2003 to 2012. In the period before the blackout, from 1994 to 2003, that spending grew 3 percent on average per year.

    Spending on transmission equipment also increased. From 2003 to 2012, utilities spent an average of $21,514 per year on devices and station equipment per mile of transmission line. From 1994 to 2003, spending averaged $7,185 per year.

    The number of miles of transmission line remained roughly the same, suggesting new money was mostly spent on equipment to make the existing system stronger and more responsive, according to Ventyx analyst Chris Tornow.

    • Neon Vincent August 19, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      At least you merely disagreed with me instead of calling me insane. That’s a hopeful sign.

      BTW, great stats. Got a source with link for them?

  21. janet August 18, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    HIGH POWER DENSITY BATTERY ADVANCES

    The researchers estimate that the membrane-less flow battery may be able to cost as little as $100/kWh—a goal that the US Department of Energy has estimated would be economically attractive to utility companies.

    This work represents a major advance of the state-of-the-art in flow batteries. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the data presented here represent the highest power density ever observed in a laminar flow electrochemical cell by a factor of three, as well as some of the first recharging data for a membrane-less laminar flow electrochemical cell.

    Although previous work has identified the appropriate scaling laws, the result presented here represents the first exact analytical solution for limiting current density applied to a laminar flow electrochemical cell, and serves as a guide for future designs. The HBLFB rivals the performance of the best membrane-based systems available today without the need for costly ion-exchange membranes, high-pressure reactants or high-temperature operation. This system has the potential to have a key role in addressing the rapidly growing need for low-cost, large-scale energy storage and high- efficiency portable power systems.

    William A. Braff, Martin Z. Bazant, and Cullen R. Buie. (2013). Membrane-less hydrogen bromine flow battery. Nature Communications.

    • Elmendorf August 19, 2013 at 2:38 am #

      Janet,

      Please stop your cut-and-pasting the thoughts and ideas of scientists as if you know WTF they are talking about. Since you’re suddenly a battery expert and an expert in photovoltaics, how do you propose to get rid of toxic substances like Cadmium Telluride and/or Arsenic?

      I trust you’ll run around the Internet and schlep something over here that’s the unique thought of yet another scientist(s) whose work you couldn’t possibly understand.

      Shape up or ship the hell out.

      E.

      • Elmendorf August 19, 2013 at 2:41 am #

        Oh, I’d also like your thoughts about the serious shortage of Tellurium to make those Cadmium Telluride solar cells. So we’ve got a double whammy. Not enough to make endless “solar cities” and waste that’s WORSE than many radioactive substances.

        E.

  22. Q. Shtik August 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Stick to the subject or shut up. – “Carol”

    The subject is your poor writing and it will be the subject of Jim’s essay tomorrow morning.

  23. janet August 18, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Or maybe the Indian rupee falling to a record low on Friday since that’s a negative story. I’m sure it won’t be about Japan because there is too much good news there. Japanese exports rose in July at the fastest annual pace in nearly three years as the benefits of a weak yen finally started to take hold, and brisk sales of cars and electronics to the United States, Asia and Europe showed a recovery. Japan is not going toward WMBH, and that’s not good news for CFN.

  24. Carol Newquist August 19, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    So true, Titch.

    No, not true. When you pointed out my being superfluous, you were correct. If you noticed, I didn’t argue your point, but instead explained why I was superfluous. I was hasty and posted too quick before proofreading and editing. You are also correct in your correction of my inappropriate use of enthralled. Thank you for the correction. That wasn’t sloppy, that was just plain wrong on my part. I am guilty as charged. I still contend you and Titchy are incorrect on the other matter a while back and yet neither of you will concede that point. Although I did partially concede it was not a prepositional phrase, I justified adequately the use of the singular, nonetheless. As a grammar umpire, you’re doing a piss-poor job calling this game fairly and objectively. You’re the C. B. Bucknor of CFN.

    By the way, I’ve waited all this time for someone to correct JHK’s obvious mistake in this week’s post, and yet no one, not even Q. Shtik or Titchfield, caught it, or if they did, they were too chicken shit to say anything. Oh well, double standards abound; that’s what racists are all about.

  25. Carol Newquist August 19, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    The subject is your poor writing and it will be the subject of Jim’s essay tomorrow morning.

    Great! I can’t wait. Learning makes life worthwhile, my mother used to say.

  26. Carol Newquist August 19, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    I think you all are way off on your predictions about JHK’s weekly post. I believe it will be about the new evidence that’s surfaced supporting the accusation that Princess Diana was murdered by Prince Charles. Titchfield is diligently proofreading and editing it as I type this.

  27. Carol Newquist August 19, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    You can tell a sophomoric intellect

    The way I tell a “sophomoric intellect” is someone who uses the word “sophomoric” inordinately. You use this word entirely too much. Please consult a thesaurus rather than insulting one.

  28. progress4what August 19, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    “It might shock many of our readers for me to assert that, of all the countries in the world, hardly any two are more closely related than the United States and Egypt, but there are striking historical similarities between these two nations. In a very broad manner, Egypt is the United States’ older brother, and there are important lessons to be learned from older brothers. This is certainly one of the reasons many more Americans should visit this ancient land.”
    http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/soulmate.htm

    You deliberately debate settled questions to no purpose.
    You deliberately derail worthwhile points.

    You are a Troll, Ja’Soker.

    • Neon Vincent August 19, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      I can do better than that.

      “With more than 600 people killed and almost 4,000 injured from clashes between Egyptian security forces and Muslim Brotherhood protesters, the country’s democratic prospects look dismal. But while the violence is largely framed as a conflict between Islamism and secularism, the roots of the crisis run far deeper. Egypt is in fact on the brink of a protracted state-collapse process driven by intensifying resource scarcity.”

      http://qz.com/116276/at-the-root-of-egyptian-rage-is-a-deepening-resource-crisis/#!

  29. janet August 19, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    touregypt.net/

    featurestories/

    soulmate.htm

    I wonder why a tourist agency might say the USA and Egypt are soul mates? You are trolling, P4W.

  30. janet August 19, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Neon said: “Egypt is in fact on the brink of a protracted state-collapse process driven by intensifying resource scarcity.”

    Exactly. And the USA is not near collapse. Which is why Egypt and the USA are not soul mates. Dozens of detainees were massacred (by that I mean systematically murdered) while in custody. Has that ever happened in the USA? Has there been wholesale slaughter of prisoners in custody. We are no where near a break down in law.

  31. progress4what August 19, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    “I wonder why a tourist agency might say the USA and Egypt are soul mates?” …ja’soker Troll…

    You are not stupid, Soker. Quit pretending to be.

  32. janet August 19, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    P4W, quit spamming with your calls to ban people. You contribute nothing of substance to CFN.

  33. progress4what August 19, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    How many Egyptians thought – two months, two years, two decades, two centuries, or two millenia ago – that today’s events could be happening in Egypt?

    That is the question.

    And that is the question that you are deliberately obfuscating.

    And that is why you are the primary CFN Troll.

    And that is why JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER should ban you.

  34. janet August 19, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    P4W distracting again: “You are not stupid, Soker. Quit pretending to be.”

    =========

    Asking a critical thinking question based on provenance of a URL is not pretending to be stupid. Stop insulting people here and start contributing something of substance.

  35. janet August 19, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    And that is why you are the primary CFN Troll.

    And that is why JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER should ban you.

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

    We got it, P4W. You think I am a troll. You say it week after week.

    But JHK appreciates my contribution to CFN, so week after week he ignores your calls to ban.

    How long are you going to pester the man?

  36. Carol Newquist August 19, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    It might shock many of our readers for me to assert that, of all the countries in the world, hardly any two are more closely related than the United States and Egypt, but there are striking historical similarities between these two nations.

    This wins the award for the most asinine thing ever posted here. Seriously. WTF? Ironically, there are some similarities between Egypt and the U.S., but not in any way intimated, implied or specifically stated by the author of that garbage. Let me elaborate. The diehard conservatives such as prog and many others here who call for a return to tradition are very much of the same spirit as the Muslim Brotherhood. Reading between the lines of Orlov’s prose, it’s a wonder why Orlov is not a member of the MB. I don’t know, maybe he is in secret. If not, he might as well be, and the same can be said for many of you numb nuts.

  37. progress4what August 19, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    It’s not that I “think” you are a Troll.
    You are an internet troll – as that word is defined.

    You and “carol” are both, also, completely wrong to be referring to my posts as interntet “spam” – as that word is defined.

    “But JHK appreciates my contribution to CFN, so week after week he ignores your calls to ban.”
    -…Ja’Soker…

    If JHK paid attention this comment thread – he would not appreciate your contributions.

  38. BackRowHeckler August 19, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Obama spent yesterday golfing with Larry David. Think they discussed monumental events in the Middle East, which is up in flames? Probably not. David is a comedian so they were probably just yucking it up and having a good time. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Nuns are being dragged out of Catholic Churches and paraded thru the streets (yesterday), Coptic and Catholic Churches are vandalized and burned, and Christians are hiding and running for their lives. There was a time when these acts would evoke a note of protest from the Pope, from the US President, from Kings and Prime Ministers in Europe. Further back armies might be mobilized to protect fellow Christians and Christian Sites. When Nietzsche said God was dead in the 1880s he meant the elite in the West no longer believed in a Christian God and all bets were off, all standards of behavior and restraint abandoned, and, in the future, anything goes. From our vantage point in 2013 we can see how prescient Nietzsche was.

    That reminds me. Any of you CFNers down for the Million Muslim March on Washington scheduled for 9/11? I hear its going to be a helluva time. There will be a Code Pink and Owser contingent in the parade, so there is your in. Only thing, at breakfast, don’t expect bacon and eggs. They will be serving up something different.

    –BRH

    BRH

  39. Carol Newquist August 19, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    How many Egyptians thought – two months, two years, two decades, two centuries, or two millenia ago – that today’s events could be happening in Egypt?

    Egypt has been a place of turmoil and internal strife for the entire time frame you’ve laid out, so I’m sure many weren’t thinking about today’s events when today’s events were unfolding for them day in and day out THEN.

    I don’t think resource scarcity is entirely to blame for Egypt’s strife. Certainly it plays a part, but I believe it’s still only a small part….maybe not for long, though. Just like Egypt, Japan relies heavily on all manner of imports and yet we don’t see nearly the strife in Japan that we do in Egypt. Both are equally restricted by a dearth of indigenous natural resources and by consequence must rely heavily on imports, yet Japan is still relatively stable whereas Egypt, as always, is in turmoil. Egypt’s wire that holds the anger in is very rusty and insecure, and comes loose time and again. Japan, not so much.

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