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Next

     For a month, Egypt has been a magic mirror for America to behold its own wonderfulness, like a diorama of “Freedom and Democracy” out of a Kentucky creationist museum.  In this, our hour of national narcissism, we imagine a replay of Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and Yorktown – with a falafel on top – in the streets of Cairo in order to prop up our own disintegrating self-esteem, while committing arson on our national household.
     Also conveniently forgotten for the moment – because there’s nothing dramatic about nothing happening – is that a particular corner of the Middle East remained stable for thirty-odd years. Did we fork over $70 billion to Hosni Mubarak during that period so he wouldn’t start another war? Could be. But it was surely money better spent than the even larger nut we dropped all at once on AIG, Goldman Sachs, and a few other domestic fungi on the tree of liberty back home. And we’re still shoveling billions from the Federal Reserve into a claque of Too-Big-To-Fail banks in the form of a ZIRP loan carry trade under the pretense that they can use it to shore up their “reserve ratios.” A lot of people from New Jersey to Seattle need their reserves shored up, too, but they can forget about running personal ZIRP carry trade rackets out of the Fed’s loan window.
      Contrary to what some readers suppose, cynicism (as in, thinking the worst of everything about everyone) is really not my bag – though comedy is another matter. However, if ever cynicism was an appropriate response to something, it would be the initial throes of a political revolution. The early triumphs in and around Paris after 1789 must have been soul-stirring, but you could forgive a casual observer who caught the scent of trouble in the air – and what followed was a years-long dismaying merry-go-round of mis-rule that climaxed in the Reign of Terror and finally resolved a full decade later in the crowning of another absolute monarch: the emperor Napoleon.  Gazing back at all that, it really took France nearly a century to get its act together politically from the moment that the governor of the Bastille surrendered his keys.
     All forms of government in recent times find themselves in the same predicament: the mismanagement of contraction. Too many people and too many enterprises are competing for a contracting resource base. In many poor countries it expresses itself plainly as expensive food, or no food at all for some. The expensive food part of the story is already being felt in the wealthier countries, too, but the contraction expresses itself more in terms of money – many people do not have enough, or else much less than they were used to having, and at the same time the money that does circulate seems increasingly worthless. So we have the great debate over whether the contraction is deflationary or inflationary.
      That debate could not happen if money retained its essential meaning as a reliable medium of exchange, but the idea of what exactly money is, is becoming increasingly clouded everywhere as compound interest fails in the face of contraction. And as compound interest fails – in the form of loans that can’t be repaid – the banking system implodes. This implosion has been artfully papered over with enough accounting tricks so that many citizens do not even perceive it as being underway. The results are insidious: falling living standards, no role to play in the economy (that is, a job), and a shocking array of social pathologies ranging from nearly universal family dysfunction to men acting like babies to obscene discrepancies in income.
     The one thing that’s not contracting for now is the human population, inarguably in overshoot in relation to available resources, but population is a lagging indicator. Some people will still have sex, and produce the results of it, even when they’re starving. But meanwhile disease and strife creep into picture and you get the failure of public health systems, and military misadventures over oil or water, and after a while even a lagging indicator gets dragged into center stage. Of course, I’m persuaded that arguing about “overpopulation” is rather silly, since we are not going to do a goshdarn thing about it in terms of policies or protocols. (My own suggestion to make abortion retroactive has not been greeted with enthusiasm.)
     You could probably pick the next location in the Middle East revolution derby by pitching a dart at the map. Just about all of them are ready to go up in flames for one reason or another – that really boil down to dwindling resources. And then, there are the various beefs, grudges, and jealousies that could prompt conflict between them, too. Lots of folks, for instance, are probably wondering what Hezbollah aims to do with its impressive collection of rockets.
     I don’t blame poor Mr. Obama for trying to keep the lid on all this – which is arguably a conceit in itself – since the country that he is most in charge of whirls around a very impressive drain of hopeless debt and vanishing prospects. But my guess is that the next big event in the center ring of current affairs will be a First World money crisis. It is true that the stock market only goes up. And then, one fine day, a large, angry, long-necked bird unfurls a set of elegant black wings and goes honking off into a red sun, and suddenly you are in a new realm where the stock market only goes down… and certain sovereign bond rates soar with that angry bird… and things Too-Big-To-Fail fall on their asses and fail… and everything changes.
     We read this morning that Egypt is under martial law with a suspended constitution – a logical step, given the army takeover, but not something that makes you want to buff up your flag lapel pin and say a prayer for the ghost of Winston Churchill. Things are definitely in flux. Here in upstate New York, the sap is about to run in the diseased maple trees.
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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.

698 Responses to “Next” Subscribe

  1. Cabra1080 February 14, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    First!

  2. Zev Paiss February 14, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    Anyone up for a game of dominoes?

  3. Cabra1080 February 14, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Looks like the game of dominoes has already started – they are falling as we speak…

  4. timetobike February 14, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Excellent pithy write up as usual. By the way, the book advertised on the site, Interstate 69, is an excellent piece about a particular prospective Interstate (attempts to get it built and stop it from being built) as well as an interesting write up on how policies and politics actually work in the good ole USA.
    (I checked it out from the library, much to the dismay, I suppose, of the author.)

  5. Barter4Booze February 14, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Just a little farther North from where you are, Jim, was a sugar-bush that I used to hike home from school through when I was a kid. Sometimes, when the sap was running, I’d dump the full buckets onto the ground, much to my shame, years on.
    M. Brun occupied a 3 walled shack with a cot in it during Sugaring Season. I guess it made sense that he had only a few teeth left. the shack only needed three walls because the sap-boiler and the fire to stoke it occupied the space where the third wall would have been and produced enough free heat to keep the place toasty warm anyway.
    Although he’s been dead probably 50 years now, I suppose the sap boiler is still sitting there — just where he left it. I would not be surprised if on of his descendants occupies it once again real soon!

  6. Cabra1080 February 14, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Have you noticed the “Green Revolution” in agriculture is failing? Crop yields are way down. Also, seems fresh water is coming increasingly in short supply. Do black swans fly south for the winter?

  7. greyghost05 February 14, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Be Prepared ! Put a basket on the bike and pick up an extra set of tires and tubes. Be sure to get enough “Green Slime” to do as many bike tubes as possible. If oil goes north a bike will be great transportation. Get the gardens in when the weather permits. Stock up on lifes little things. Like toilet paper and tampons. 12ga shotgun ammo and .22 ammo will be in demand too. Have thhis stuff even if you don’t hunt,it will be great barter bait.

  8. Loveandlight February 14, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    What’s interesting is that it’s starting to falter even before the world oil production on which it depends starts to seriously contract in relationship to demand. Two causes of this I have heard proposed are 1) the effects on the weather of climate change and 2) the direct effects of tropospheric ozone resulting from fossil-fuel emissions.

  9. Tom Stephens February 14, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    “… if ever cynicism was an appropriate response to something, it would be the early throes of a political revolution.”
    You mean “skepticism?” Because if cynicism is an appropriate response to the early stages of political revolution, what’s the point of critical thinking? To prove we’re sharper than some revolutionaries? Big deal. If “cynicism” were truly appropriate in this context, the Wall Street casino thieves would be acting appropriately, as would hedonists who just go to the beach, and don’t waste time trying to understand our world and what’s happening in it…
    A dark post for a dark time (even considering the bright explosion of grassroots democratic revolution around Tahrir Square) this week… What do the month’s historic events in Egypt say about the US corporate empire? Why not just admit that in the face of so much volatility, predictions are probably futile? (I’m cynical about predictions…)
    The upheaval in the “Middle East” is another sign and way station in the long emergency… If ever a question were appropriate to anything, it’s “Which side are you on?” to the first throes of a political revolution… My answer: The People who are fighting back against the US corporate empire and its myriad injustices.
    I read CFN every Monday morning asap for your brilliant, incisive, trenchant take on a world gone insane, but the Egyptian revolution seems to have thrown you a bit off your stride. When millions of ordinary folks take to the street in conscious rebellion against the forces of reaction, neoliberalism and war, I say the appropriate responses are 1) celebrate and 2) solidarity!

  10. Großdeutschland February 14, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    3 weeks, Jim. 3 weeks. Not a month. 3 weeks. And nobody cares. Except Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour and you, apparently.

  11. Phil L February 14, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Thanks Jim,
    I don’t think I can stand one more ain’t democracy grand, fist pumping moment from Tom Friedman or Nicholas Kristof. Your post is a breath of fresh air.

  12. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Reading the front page of the AOL-Huffington Post was to look at the corn-pone Nazi thing right in the face. Three seperate headlines grabbed me right away…. Obama cuts will hurt poor, (Ann)Coultier calles for journalists to be jailed, and CPAC calls Planned Parenthood a “Criminal Enterprise”.
    As a gay man I sit in Vermont and watch as the wall gets built between here and Canada and I wonder at what point any self preserving gay, jew, or liberal should consider making the crossing…
    Meanwhile the Packers “won” the “Superbowl” and it hasn’t done a damn thing for the unemployed in Wisconsin… and the angry middle class is angry at the lower classes for messing it up (wonder who caused that belief to fester? Fox”news”?)

  13. enpassant February 14, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Mr. Kunstler, I believe that you are indeed a cynic, if you agree with Ambrose Bierce’s definition of what constitutes cynicism –
    Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. – Apparently, we could all use a healthy dose of this ‘cynicism’ stuff…

  14. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    I loved that book!
    Prayer- the act of asking the almighty to set aside all the natural established laws of the universe on behalf of one individual, confessedly unworthy.

  15. conchscooter February 14, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    History will always repeat itself because as Santayana pointed out we prefer not to know our history. If we did my neighbors wouldn’t have lined the streets a decade ago screaming in support of war in Iraq and waving little flags in support of freedom etc…shortly before enactment of the Patriot Act. Not one commentator, and I don’t watch television so I refer to writing persons, has connected our 1.5 trillion dollar projected deficit to the war budget. Instead we shred pensions, support for the poor and education and pile on public support for banking and watch the Republicans worry more about abortion than budgeting. Any loud protests on that one? Apparently not.Just a few of us on the sidelines wondering what collective madness looks like up close. I’d much rather be here than in Canada; they manage to look boring even as the world goes up in flames.

  16. Onthego February 14, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Food is the real crises. In this country, we now have a just in time food production system. In 1960 we had, as a nation, a three-year food supply on hand. Now, the Feds mandate ethanol food-for-fuel conversion and have stopped subsiding grain storage in the face of uncertain weather (at best). It is all too easy to see where we are headed.

  17. roberthildre February 14, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    This is how “new democracy” works. It is really like a tv show. Have wealthy people who wanna get wealthier. Hire writers to make stories people can believe. Hire “talent” to present these stories to common folk. Presto! You have a captive and sedated audience. Egypt will do exactly the same thing. Out with the nasty old leader, lets call him George, and in with the benevolent rightous savior, lets call him Barack. Different caricters, same game. Get use to it people. At least the violence is kept to a minimum and we can feel good for short periods of time. Just don’t plan on some kind of brave and beautiful new world comming about in our lifetimes. That will come only after a much greater disaster than the ones man will make on his own.

  18. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    mr kunstler, today’s post surpasses all words of praise. the other day i was thinking that you are on par with frank rich of the times, but really, you’re worlds above. thank you.

  19. RyeBeachBum February 14, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Jim:
    I agree that the money crises is next to hit. The Fed through its QE and QEII is engaging in wholes sale theft from the American people and indeed any one who earns or invests in the green back. QEII is destroying the worth and value of the labor and savings of the American people. The wealth that is left in the middle class, or in fact all but the new American Cleptroacy class is being looted to give to the bankers and their friends, when the people figure this out they will cash in their 401ks and savings hoard the goods that can be bought with this monopoly money and the economy will become barter based, aka Brasil, Argentina
    or Weimer Germany of days past.

  20. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    to men acting like babies
    We are all babies now. That is the way they want it.
    ‘I want to do it.’
    ‘You can’t stop me.’
    ‘Who are you to judge me?’
    ‘I’m as good as you are.’
    ‘You don’t understand me.’
    ‘I’ve got a right to.’
    ‘Do it for me now.’
    ‘You’ve got to.’
    ‘What have you ever done for me?’
    The unmistakeable infantile voice.
    I recommend Michael Bywater’s Big Babies: OR: Why Can’t We Just Grow Up?

  21. Goldbug February 14, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    The amazing thing is how few people know what is going on. Most people that read this site have at least a vague notion of reality but so many of my “normal” friends just look at me blankly or with a “call the men in white coats” look. Still it just means that there is still a chance for me to buy food, survival kit and precious metals for a bit longer before the roof blows off.

  22. Rabblechat February 14, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Now even France is calling for the Dollar to be replaced at the IMF. The dollar’s days as the default global currency are numbered and growing short… Folks when it goes its going to go quick.
    Greyghost was right; its time to stock-up on barter Items now while the dollar still has some value.
    I’d suggest stocking up on Vegetable seeds.
    Organic Heirlooms would be first choice, but I still buy and set back packs of the hybrid varieties. You can get them for $.50 to a dollar a pack and they will get you at least one season.
    Bottles of whiskey and vodka stay good for years and will be good for barter. Aside from the obvious use alcohol can be used to clean wounds and works as a pain killer.
    Its also a good time to buy hand-tools; Hammers, saws, hoes and shovels will be in high demand after the gas pumps run dry.
    http://www.rabblechat.com

  23. Newfie February 14, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    “As the throngs celebrated in Cairo, I couldn’t help wondering about what is happening to democracy here in the United States. I think it’s on the ropes. We’re in serious danger of becoming a democracy in name only.”
    “The Egyptians want to establish a viable democracy, and that’s a long, hard road. Americans are in the mind-bogglingly self-destructive process of letting a real democracy slip away.”
    says Bob Herbert at the New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/opinion/12herbert.html
    JHK and Herbert are not cynics. They are realists.

  24. ozone February 14, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    JHK sez:
    “For a month, Egypt has been a magic mirror for America to behold its own wonderfulness, like a diorama of “Freedom and Democracy” out of a Kentucky creationist museum. In this, our hour of national narcissism, we imagine a replay of Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and Yorktown – with a falafel on top – in the streets of Cairo in order to prop up our own disintegrating self-esteem, while committing arson on our national household.”
    ================
    Thanks for that… perfect.
    Got a maniacal cackle from me right out of the gate! Nicely done; I do so like the stinging, sharp-pointed-stick derision, and so well-deserved it is! :o)

  25. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown February 14, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Thanks JHK, great article today.
    Whether you call it cynicism or skepticism, we need more of it.

  26. progressorconserve February 14, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Another nice week’s work for us JHK!
    Thanks as always!
    Here’s one of my favorite parts:
    “However, if ever cynicism was an appropriate response to something, it would be the early throes of a political revolution.”
    -JHK-
    Posters are already quibbling over the use of the word “cynicism,” but I like it. In fact, probably any word other than optimism would fit the sentence quite well.
    We in the United States have it in our National DNA, or something, that history could have only turned out one way, and could have only favored the United States. We’ve got grand terms to validate this belief, such as “Manifest Destiny.”
    So we believe revolutions always end well and popular voting power in any other country will always favor US interests.
    Even as “US Interests” diverge further and further away from the Actual Interests of the Real Average US Citizens who actually plan to live and die here in the actual United States.
    A Cluster of Coitus, with none of the pleasure.
    Indeed.

  27. informedveteran February 14, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    “Lots of folks, for instance, are probably wondering what Hezbollah aims to do with its impressive collection of rockets.”
    Yeah, like defend themselves from all the donated US made weapons raining down on them from the peaceful people of Israel.
    Here’s a newsflash – The military here ALREADY runs things.
    The Pentagon budget + wars in Iraq and Afghanistan + nuclear weapons + veterans benefits + Dept of Homeland Security = OVER $1,000,000,000,000 a year. Defense spending doubled since 2001. Cutting spending on everything else is on the table, but not “defense”. I am very disturbed that Mr Kunstler and almost everyone like him is absolutely CLUELESS about this and the fact that we build weapons of mass destruction as a jobs program.
    Maybe there would be less unrest in the middle east if we didn’t prop up ruthless dictators just for the sake of precious Is ra el, and the “adults” in charge didn’t play Battleship with our 11 – $6 Billion Dollar 90,000+ Ton Nuclear-Powered CVN Deathstars and their battle groups (including my alma mater the Mobile Chernobyl) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_warships_by_nickname.
    As usual on this blog “All Men Are Created Equal” unless you are brown and speak Arabic.

  28. Loveandlight February 14, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    What makes me cynical is that the USA as a society has become so hideously corrupt and heartless. I believe in karma, so I think it’s pretty much unavoidable at this point that we’re in for a FUGLY reckoning.

  29. walt February 14, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    What is stunning about the corporatist nihilism in America is its brazenness. They hardly bother to disguise what they’re doing, either in offshoring jobs or greasing the greedy palms of Congress. I suspect this is the fruit of a 40 year campaign to racialize class war. Having persuaded every borderline moron with white skin that he or she is really an “entrepreneur”, they can now simply loot and pillage at pleasure. This is probably as it should be, a second and concluding act to a Civil War that is the determinative character flaw of this nation. As it turns out, Americanism is just a nice way of saying Fuck You to people who look different. As tribalism goes, whitness seems culturally weak. But it’s all we have.

  30. randomike February 14, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    “Here in upstate New York, the sap is about to run in the diseased maple trees.”
    You mean you are going out for a walk?
    ha ha ha just a joke, love the column.
    Mike

  31. Newfie February 14, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    “What makes me cynical is that the USA as a society has become so hideously corrupt and heartless.”
    You’re not alone. Have a look at Bob Herbert’s column in the NYT:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/opinion/12herbert.html

  32. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    {men acting like babies to obscene discrepancies in income}

  33. ozone February 14, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    (shhhhh, don’t want to get off-topic. I replied to one of your queries with some more speculative ramblings at last week’s CF… just so’s you know I wasn’t completely blind and dumb.)

  34. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    I would have thought the point of racializing class war was to persuade people that the war was about race rather than class. That should keep them nice and divided and fighting each other while the rich carry out their rapine.
    So what does “As tribalism goes, whitness seems culturally weak.” mean? I think you need to elucidate.

  35. ozone February 14, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Sweeeeeet, youse guys.
    http://www.alcyone.com/max/lit/devils/
    (JHK has probably read this “cover to cover”. :o)

  36. Smokyjoe February 14, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I’m waiting to see two things:
    1) Will the protesters wait for the Egyptian elections? I think JHK nailed it down about how we are still in the “giddy” stage of the post-Mubarak era.
    2) Will this brand of mass activism spread to Iran? Two years ago, it failed there. Will it come back with redoubled energy?
    Then things will get very interesting, and it wont’ merely be the Suez Canal at risk. It will be the Gulf oilfields.

  37. george February 14, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Weird things are happening north of the border too. Our Canadian brethren have thier own Tea Party to contend with, in the form of a reformed Conservative Party that has been purged of nearly all of its’ progressive and moderate elements and a growing taxpayers’ revolt that has put a calorically-challenged idiot in charge of its’ largest city. But let’s get back to Egypt and it’s restless youth. Over 60 per cent of the population in Egypt is under the age of 25. Close to a third of the adult population is unemployed. One in three Egyptians are illiterate. Only the wealthiest have access to health care and education. For the last half-century the government has indoctrinated the population with belief that all of Egypt’s problems can be laid at the feet of the Americans and Zionist agents. Do you really think, contrary to what the mainstream media has been reporting, that any new regime rising from the ashes of Mubarak’s government, will be favorably disposed to the Western governments that everyone, including supporters of the ousted Mubarak regime, and won’t use any tool at its’ disposal to exact revenge against those it holds responsible for their nation’s predicament?

  38. noel bodie February 14, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    The bob Herbert is worth a read, thanks for the link.

  39. lbendet February 14, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Yes and a happy Valentine’s day to you too!—and to all of CFN.
    Well, Walt it’s more a function of saying F—You to anybody that isn’t part of the top .5%, really. You can play at tribalism up to a point but everyone’s getting screwed. A kinder Gentler nation this is not!
    That out of the way, we return to basic themes as why this economic state of affairs is so dismal. When our big companies decided the US market was too small for them and wanted to go global with no holds barred, We broke rank with Bretton Woods and went from a gold standard currency to an oil fiat currency.
    The Sherman Anti trust laws were no longer enforced since those companies had to compete globally. We turned them into behemoths, at first merging with other companies and firing staff to make the bottom line look good. Great for the Globalism we were hell bent on pushing—now looks to me like we’re now in blowback territory.
    Since the “recession” of 2008 the people responsible are continuing to get government hand-outs I guess crime pays after-all. How can you expect any change when they’re doing so well in this corporate communist system?
    You should have seen Jamie Dimon squawking about how terribly misunderstood the bankers are, yesterday on TV. We’re really the good guys everyone wants to blame! Of course there was no mention of JP Morgan Chase being involved with the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Oh, how inconvenient that would be. That’s the media doing it’s job again.
    Once our financial magic trick was revealed to be a disaster we have been paying American tax-payer money to the tune of $trillions to International banks in order to keep this illusion of a world economy afloat. There’s still wealth to steal by the top echelon who are playing a zero sum game with the rest of humanity. The stock market is untethered to the real economy at this point. and is operating to the detriment of the real economy.
    Yesterday on CNN they had a panel speaking about the economy and one honest broker said that we cannot expect to see meaningful job growth with the present international trade laws in play. With no barrier to entry and the mantra of making the greatest differential by using the cheapest labor available, we cannot possibly grow jobs here. No matter what, we can’t compete with the low low wages of China and India. Plain and simple.
    Well speaking of the media, I copied a url on this site last night, but I’m afraid people didn’t see it, so I’ll post it again. Since the ongoing media soap opera has left the Gulf behind and nobody’s talking about that travesty still underway, It’s important to call MSM down on their lack of interest in this debacle.
    WHERE IS THE NATIONAL MEDIA COVERAGE?
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/note.php?note_id=163659443682836&id=138042086209818

  40. pedal pusher February 14, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Jim,
    I like the idea of retroactive abortion, but I prefer the term “post-natal abortion”. It has a more clinical ring to it, and thus may gain public acceptance more easily.
    Greg

  41. James Hansen February 14, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Adding to the problems afflicting the country is the occurrence of Big Biotec getting GMO sugar beets and alfalfa unrestricted use in the US. Obama threw the weight of the White House behind Monsanto to help defeat the Organic movement. Can I have my vote back now?

  42. Dip February 14, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Would you have been as cynical had you been around at your own nation’s moment of revolution?
    Maybe you think that $70 billion was well worth the price to keep a murdering monster in power who did your nation’s bidding. I’d imagine that your corporate government must be shitting itself right now and doing all it can to ‘manage’ the situation until another puppet can be annointed.

  43. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Since you’re asking, I for one don’t think it’s likely that any new dispensation in Egypt will be that favorably disposed toward the West and Israel. What of it? The population overreach (youthful demographic) that you allude to, which is not unique to Egypt, will likely have the same effect there as anywhere else: a concentration of minds on what practical matters can be embarked on close to home to stave off economic distress and political instability. In Egypt’s case, some means must be found to reduce the country’s dependence on wheat imports. This is how things are going to be from here on in: local, practical. As a practical matter, I expect the Egyptian authorities to allow human traffic between Gaza and Egypt to be much more relaxed.

  44. Mark February 14, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Up here in Bozeman Montana, the oblivion just keeps growing. Bozeman known as the last refuge for those that want to play all the time (ski, etc). Except these mid thirties folks, transplants from wealthier decaying areas like southern California and the like, have been duped. Having bought into overpriced housing with a economy almost soley built on the housing boom and a state university… they madly go about working 9-5, reproducing and driving monster Suvs as if the rest of the world and its indicators did not exist. I have never seen such a population explosion…. good time to have children I guess..?
    Bozemanites demand that this town provide their much needed big box stores with all the bells and whistles of modern corporate america. So much for the wonders of Nature, mountains, rivers, Bambie… all resources, of course, meant to be used, exploited, shot.
    Politics here is as watered down as it can get…. “should the town build another climbing wall?” or “what kind of flowers should we plant in the downtown planters?”. This is what a liberal focuses on here, try to bite off more than that and some hired men from Dick Cheney’s ranch south of here will ride into town and shoot you in the face. Or most likely, your neighbor wont talk to you again because “he’s difficult”.
    I myself have been trying my darnedest to promote smaller homes that are affordable,sensible, energy efficient. Homes that one wouldnt have to be owned as a slave of the banks… however to no avail, as I have been told several times “small has bad connotations”. So like many with higher degrees and knowledge of past times I read Kunstler to get a chuckle on yet another monday with no work to employ my small livestyle.
    You can read my thoughts on small living on my blog at http://greenovisionblog.blogspot.com/

  45. Cash February 14, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    George, you’ve said some stuff in the last couple weeks that makes me wonder. Are you a Toronto liberal? Because this is typical of the nonsense you get from Toronto liberals. And, regrettably, typical of the slop that passes for political discussion in Canada.
    The Conservative Party of Canada has enough dysfunction that you don’t have to manufacture stuff. I could elaborate at length but this really isn’t the forum for it and besides our American buds would get BORED.
    For our American friends, Reform has its roots in the Social Credit movement in the West during the Great Depression. Maybe George is confused.
    The Tea Party thing is an American phenomenon.
    What liberals and lefties in this place refuse to understand is that whereas the 1960s sunk deep roots in Eastern Canada, it was the experience of the Depression years of the 1930s that sunk deep cultural roots in the West.

  46. newworld February 14, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I’m going to start a Blank Slate Theory museum, and dedicate it to those selfless men and women of the left’s eugenics movement.
    Asoka will be giving tours as the tour guide.

  47. newworld February 14, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Egypt captures our “elite’s” attention because of Israel, but since those who guide Israel have no answers our “elite” has no idea. Tactical advantage to the Israeli rightwing, long term prospects, zilch. I’m not gloating either since who can love the clitoris hating head choppers (celebrate their diversity)?
    And the Kos Kiddie Kult (KKK) assumes that Islam means nothing, for shizzle. And then on the other hand the likes of Pat Robertson who will fight to the last jew, see what guile will bring?
    Two movies by a brilliant man come to mind, “Dr. Strangelove” and “Clockwork Orange.”

  48. goldmund February 14, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    The trouble I have with “cynicism” as a way of life is that it negates all collective action before it’s even been tried. After all, it will only end badly, so what’s the point of even trying? Mr. Kunstler assumes that all revolutions will conform to the template of Paris, 1789, as surely as night follows day (has anyone noticed that Mr. K’s short term predictions have rarely been accurate?). Missing from his analysis are countless examples of successful, non-violent revolutions (civil rights, women’s rights, GLBT rights, environmental activism, such as the current movement to end mountain-top removal, on and on.) The revolution in Egypt did not come out of nowhere: it was preceded by years of labor union organizing and struggle. This is something worthy of celebration, in my opinion, not cynicism and fear. And to those of you who firmly believe that human beings are nasty to the core and there’s nothing we can do but stock up on guns and ammo, I would suggest a wonderful book by Rebecca Solnit called “A Paradise Built in Hell”. Faced with a crises, humans are more likely to help rather than hurt one another. We are social animals, after all, not loners. Mr. K and the rest of the cynics could learn soemthing from her…

  49. Cash February 14, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Then things will get very interesting, and it wont’ merely be the Suez Canal at risk. It will be the Gulf oilfields. – Smokey
    For a short time it will be the Gulf oilfields. But then the bearded firebrands, whose eyes are firmly fixed on the hereafter, are going to realize that until Allah calls people up, people have to eat. And no matter what the Beards say about sticking it to the west and being a martyr, people want their kids to eat.
    The problem is all they have in those parts is not much water, a whole lot of people, a whole lot sand and a whole lot of oil. If the Beards want to stay in power, if they want to eat, they have to sell the oil to buy food.

  50. WestCoast February 14, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    It’s noteworthy that
    “The Young Americans For Freedom”
    have just dumped Ron Paul from their endorsement list “because he is anti-war.”
    I guess it should be
    “Young Americans for Corporate Freedom to Water The Sands Of The Middle East With Your Blood”.
    The upcoming schism in the Republican Party should be delicious to watch.
    Say, I wonder if Rand Paul is against mountain top removal?
    Re overpopulation, how about eliminating the per child tax deduction for anything beyond #2?

  51. Buck Stud February 14, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Recoiling from contraction, try and envision that. Both words imply a response to fear, the one emotion that humans naturally avoid at all costs.
    Perhaps the word “contraction“ with all its associated imagery , e.g. , curled up like an impotent quivering heap in the corner of a room, needs to re-framed into something less dramatic. No doubt it is a perilous and dramatic time, with a lot of traumatic implications. But it is also a moment that cries out for the energetic mental and emotional stability of the surgeon and his scalpel. Leave the dynamics of drama to some weekend MTV hotel room filmed in Las Vegas.
    Maybe for “contraction” to be accepted, if not embraced, moral and realistic warriors such as JHK first need to climb into the ring of Semiotics. And who knows, land a punch that redefines contraction as expansion but in a different direction. A direction that penetrates into the realm of national and self-introspection minus the vacuity of a million meaningless commercial distractions.
    Deeper, and not necessarily higher…and a lot lighter too. That’s a weight reduction plan that I would eagerly embrace.

  52. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    {Having persuaded every borderline moron with white skin that he or she is really an “entrepreneur”, they can now simply loot and pillage at pleasure.}

  53. transfrontier February 14, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Well sir since you brought up my native homeland Kentucky (although I’m an expat living in the Vermont Hills) let me respectively give awareness of a democratic protest going on there right on this day. The great Wendell Berry (to whom many of you know?) along side many other artist & intellectuals from that commonwealth have been camped out in the office of the Governor for three days now. They peacefully protest the act of Mountain Top coal mining – which is destroying Central Appalachia!
    Wendell Berry Joins Retired Coal Miners and Residents in Kentucky Capitol Sit-in
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com
    http://www.kentuckyrising.blogspot.com/
    Most likely little will come from this, as we all know the “beast” must eat. Even it’s own until it founders it self to death.
    So, for our own personal “hope” we must all fight the “beast” ( you name your/our monster as you wish) but I think it wears a flag of stars & strips. Thank you
    Wendell Berry says it very well here.
    Wendell Berry – Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
    Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
    vacation with pay. Want more
    of everything ready-made. Be afraid
    to know your neighbors and to die.
    And you will have a window in your head.
    Not even your future will be a mystery
    any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
    and shut away in a little drawer.
    When they want you to buy something
    they will call you. When they want you
    to die for profit they will let you know.
    So, friends, every day do something
    that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
    Love the world. Work for nothing.
    Take all that you have and be poor.
    Love someone who does not deserve it.
    Denounce the government and embrace
    the flag. Hope to live in that free
    republic for which it stands.
    Give your approval to all you cannot
    understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
    has not encountered he has not destroyed.
    Ask the questions that have no answers.
    Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
    Say that your main crop is the forest
    that you did not plant,
    that you will not live to harvest.
    Say that the leaves are harvested
    when they have rotted into the mold.
    Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
    Put your faith in the two inches of humus
    that will build under the trees
    every thousand years.
    Listen to carrion — put your ear
    close, and hear the faint chattering
    of the songs that are to come.
    Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
    Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
    though you have considered all the facts.
    So long as women do not go cheap
    for power, please women more than men.
    Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
    a woman satisfied to bear a child?
    Will this disturb the sleep
    of a woman near to giving birth?
    Go with your love to the fields.
    Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
    in her lap. Swear allegiance
    to what is nighest your thoughts.
    As soon as the generals and the politicos
    can predict the motions of your mind,
    lose it. Leave it as a sign
    to mark the false trail, the way
    you didn’t go.
    Be like the fox
    who makes more tracks than necessary,
    some in the wrong direction.
    Practice resurrection.

  54. Großdeutschland February 14, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Don’t be silly. Jim is not a realist. He writes fantasy apocalypse fiction. It’s like Harry Potter for adults.
    A realist understands that when people are starving they die and their kids die of malnutrition or disease at a young age. If the population is exploding then they aren’t starving.

  55. nickel February 14, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    human population, inarguably in overshoot in relation to available resources
    If it’s inarguable, why do I feel it is, in fact, arguable? So let me play “cornucopian” to the doom-and-gloom crowd on this blog:
    – Life expectancy at birth keeps going up.
    – Human population has indeed been going up. However, world calories/person are also up about 10% since the 80’s. Basically, eating has never been so available and reliable in human history. Obesity rates are going up, not just in the western world, but start showing up in much of the world.
    – Birth rates have been going down for about 40 years all over the world, with parts of the world already in population decline.
    None of this looks like a world inarguably in population overshoot.
    http://faostat.fao.org/portals/_faostat/documents/pdf/world.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_Per_Person_Energy_Consumption.png

  56. newworld February 14, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Westcoast forgets the EITC for the poor to have chilluns. But the way the economy is going the former middle class will be the EITC’s constituency.

  57. Belisarius February 14, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    Ahh, yes, the sap is running..and i’m not finished tapping, so can’t stay for long.
    I suspect Jim is right about a financial crisis being next up. I’m guessing we see more than one such crisis this year, with the first occurring before the end of March. A stock market collapse as a result is surely possible (and overdue) but is about as predictable as a great quake on the San Andreas, Cascadia or New Madrid fault systems (all overdue as well). Since the Fed was formed by the banking cartel to serve its members, and the cartel “owns” both major parties, most of the government, the media, most major corporations, (etc. ad naseum); they will do their worst to keep the crooked casino open. Since they get to bill taxpayers (and their grandchildren) for this effort, it could succeed. Or not.
    A major quake on the New Madrid, OTOH, cannot be put off by a cartel, and could cut most rail, highway and pipeline supply that crosses the Mississippi for weeks to months. Worse, in the aftermath, national supply logistics may be managed by FEMA, who can’t even manage their own logistics. The best regional (haven’t found a national) look at this possibility is here:
    https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/14810/ImpactofNewMadridSeismicZoneEarthquakeso%20theCentral%20USAVol1.pdf?sequence=3

  58. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I agree with you. I think you’ll like Ran Prieur’s blog. In a crisis, our natural instinct is to help each other, not, as the cynics would have us believe, revert to an “every man for himself” default state. Take a look at this point Ran Prieur made: “Ordinary people are competent and decent when you strip away the system and the stupid roles it requires us to play. A catastrophe is a huge opportunity for us to learn to help each other as equals, for people suddenly free of jobs and cars and television to rediscover their aliveness, to come together and build something beautiful.”
    I believe that’s what was happening in Cairo. But what was happening in Cairo was “soft” power. You can be sure that the forces of “hard” power will find a way to co-opt it. In fact, they already are. Because in any conflict between the scrupulous and the unscrupulous, the unscrupulous alway win.

  59. ozone February 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    55.2 deg.F (and rising) on Feb. 14th, Valentine’s Day. Can you dig it?!? Wow, I had expected mebbe low 40’s, but this is stunning! (I know, I know, just another small and frequent anomaly…)

  60. J Lee February 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Three weeks to move from a corrupt president to a corrupt military dictatorship. The inevitable march of History. Hegel is laughing in his grave.

  61. Patrizia February 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    “What makes me cynical is that the USA as a society has become so hideously corrupt and heartless.”
    On the contrary, I guess that it is going the other way.
    Never, like today, USA has been so conscious of its own corruption and heartlessness.
    The average American used to sit down, in his home to watch TV, not caring a bit of how the rest of the world was living, that the poor part of it was obliged to work for 30 dollars a month to produce cheap merchandise, to guarantee the 5% of the world population a living standard that allowed him to consume most of the world’s resources.
    They begin to ask themselves what they did to the world, what building an Empire has cost.
    Now that the threat of low wages jobs, unemployment, homelessness, lack of food, lack of the security of a pension or health care, has arrived to US, has touched them directly, now they begin to open their eyes.
    They begin to see what happened to others and what will happen to them.
    They begin to understand the contradiction of wanting a green and unpolluted world and being the number first polluters, of talking about democracy and finding out they experience a dictatorship, of professing to respect human rights and enjoying a materialism built on exploiting other people’s lives, consuming oil drained from other countries and paid with blood, wearing clothes manufactured by the work of slaves.
    Whatever it was that brought the awakening of the US people, it is very much welcomed.
    Nothing good grows from a diamond, a lot grows from shit.

  62. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    for every calorie you consume an equalivant of 10 calories of oil is used to produce that one calorie….
    Buddy, your “compound intrest formula” only works as long as there is a bank.
    If you seriously need this education, perhaps you should start with a math formula that Marion King Hubbard found… then after you study for about five years come back and comment.
    Not up to the rest of us to educate you, just observe for about fourty years before you comment again.

  63. Joshua February 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Carolyn Baker reprinted an interesting column by Chris Martensen, which notes that Egypt has about tripled its population in the last fifty years and is still growing at about 2 percent per year. Meanwhile, the country is importing both food and fuel. And the Nile doesn’t look so full of water.
    Kind of makes the form of government look like an afterthought.

  64. Mark February 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    As to beer, burgers, and sparklers handed over to you by the wealthy. Just remember as long as you keep you mouth closed while chewing…. more trickle down economics…. and what a trickle it is. Around here people either work for the rich, the government, or a corporation. And with each there is a price. How about have some pride, ego, morals, ethics, balls…. and tell ‘em all to take a hike. You dont need there darn sparklers.

  65. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Lynn Shwadchuck’s comment is due right about now. Hey, maybe she choked on a righteousburger!

  66. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    I just can’t leave this alone
    Take Jim Bob Dugger http://www.duggarfamily.com/
    This douchebag has TWENTY children… and the typical American reaction to him is “if he can afford it, why not?”
    The deal is that if everyone on the planet has 20 children we will need 32 X 10 (to the 40th power) earths to support the population
    If each of Jim Bob’s offspring have 20 children, within a mere 6 generations there will be 24 BILLION Dugger offspring on the planet.
    Even if they don’t all have 20 in just a few decades they could populate Utah (just like Bringem Young did)
    so Mr or Mrs Cornicopia…. you’d better pray that there is a peak to all this reproduction… or live amongst the Duggers

  67. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    http://www.diet for peggy noonan dot com

  68. ozone February 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    “Don’t be silly. Jim is not a realist. He writes fantasy apocalypse fiction. It’s like Harry Potter for adults.” -Big/Greater Germany
    ====================
    So you visit this site for entertainment, talking-point ammunition, something to deride, masochism, what/why?
    If for entertainment, dandy. If to merely muddy the waters, please avoid commenting, it wastes [scrolling] time and bandwidth. (Or would that be the desired result?)

  69. ozone February 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    57.0 deg.F
    (Yes, the sensor is in the shade.)

  70. Belisarius February 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    48.0 F here (Central NH) very weird.
    OTOH 5 days ago @ 7 am 9.2 F and tonite’s low per NOAA is forecast as 8 F

  71. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    no
    http://www.dietforpeggynoonan.com
    that I can find.

  72. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    sorry Martin… it is total scarcasm.
    Peggy Noonan (spelling of last name?) being one of Regan’s speechwriters who is famous for her calls to “civility”…
    she is more passive aggressive than I am, and much more subtle than I will ever be.

  73. Schwerpunkt February 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    It is interesting that MSM is picking up more of the story about the loss of our industrial base, financial boondoggles, and loss of resources to feed off of. Not that this may change the direction we are headed since whatever it happening, it cannot be prevented with one “victory garden” or a few people going off the grid.
    Nevertheless, the drum of doom that is debated, considered, and discussed on this site and others seems to be spilling over into the Sheeple population and I think that may be a good thing…. We may stop inventing stupid complex systems to avoid the fact that the world gets hot and cold and food is related to this.
    Now, I do believe in the power of the Sheeple to find a way to create a “doom bubble” and sell more corn chips until the market implodes, but….
    My own nattering babobism of negativity at
    http://schwerpunkter.wordpress.com

  74. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    God, I hate passive-aggressive. Always a hazard in women-dominated professions.

  75. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    “The deal is that if everyone on the planet has 20 children…”
    They don’t. End of story.

  76. asia February 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    from yday…Vlads post:
    Or consider the job situation: why are we still bringing in a million immigrants every year to this country when we have a double digit level of unemployment with no relief in sight? And that’s just the legal immigrants!
    The Elite want America to be a chaos of conflicting peoples. To the extent Americans are Americans to that extent their privledged position is threatened. And of course they love the cheap labor of the illegals. If all the illgegals were amnestied, they would still try to bring in more for the cheap labor. That it’s not sustainable doesn’t seem to bother them – again their allegiance is obviously to Globalism in general and to other places in some cases. No argument can be made at this point in favor of

  77. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    “They begin to ask themselves what they did to the world, what building an Empire has cost.”
    Aside from the U.S Virgin Islands and possibly Puerto Rico, just what the hell does this “Empire” consist of?

  78. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    “It’s noteworthy that
    “The Young Americans For Freedom”
    have just dumped Ron Paul from their endorsement list “because he is anti-war.”
    Maybe they have noted that with the Mid-East of fire, it may be impossible to avoid a war. And that anyone that rules out the possibility of war isn’t paying attention.

  79. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown February 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    The empire is legion. Baseworld. Carrier Groups. Billions spent in Egypt. and so on. At least until the Great SuperPower MeltDown™.

  80. sevenmmm February 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    How did you go from “clusterfuck” to “goshdarn”? Huh, must be getting soft.
    I don’t have much hope for the people here in the US. In a world of diminishing resources, let me know when all the trees are gone in NY State. Or, all the mountaintop coal. Either will be a sure sign it is over.

  81. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    ” How about have some pride, ego, morals, ethics, balls…. and tell ‘em all to take a hike.”
    Of course in order to do so one must be ready to go to work for one’s self.

  82. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    “The empire is legion.”
    You list expenditures. What countries fall under the umbrella of American empire?

  83. dubiousfacts February 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Call me a starry eyed optimist but I have been very impressed by the determination, intelligence and self restraint shown by the protestors in Egypt. This is a revolution fueled by the consciousness raising and organizing power of the new communication technologies available to even the least of us. It need not end in new brutalism or take decades to be effective – that’s an old model. A street mob that organizes its own encampment and tidies up afterward is a new phenomenon, I would argue.
    This inspiration is proving to be highly contagious and, combined with food prices and climate change consequences, may possibly represent a global revolt of the poor and exploited against the bilious billionaires and demonic dictators currently in charge.
    Meanwhile here at home our own prospects diminish daily. The opportunity costs of failing to prepare for the foreseeable future of radically higher energy and food prices are mounting inexorably. The tired squabbling over gay marriage, climate crisis denial and Obama’s birth certificate reveal us to be nation of moronic procrastinaors. Other countries (and not just China)are opening sleek energy efficient high- speed rail routes on a monthly basis. This should be viewed as a national security issue worth cutting the military budget in half to achieve.
    Instead we cut funding for insulating homes, extend tax cuts for the elites and squander billions building more weapons of mass destruction. Republican dinosaurs think high speed rail is a Commie plot and Planned Parenthood is a socialist conspiracy.
    Sigh. Will the time ever come when we are willing to Stand Up Like an Egyptian and demand an end to the 48 years of oppression and deception that started in November of 1963?

  84. g-minor February 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Jim,
    You wrote: (My own suggestion to make abortion retroactive has not been greeted with enthusiasm.)
    Au contraire. It is the path we have unwittingly chosen. Retroactive abortion for all.
    g

  85. helen highwater February 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Cash – What is this “Toronto liberal” and “liberals and lefties” crap? You don’t have to live in Toronto and you don’t have to be a liberal or a “leftie” to be able to see that Herr Harper and his neo-Cons are the absolute worst government Canada has ever had. Yes, there IS a “Tea Party” in Canada, and they are Harper’s right-wing base, even if they don’t call themselves that. Their philosophy is “I’ve got mine, to hell with everyone else.” They want to dismantle all the things we fought for over the years, including our health care system which makes sure that every Canadian has health care whether they can afford it or not. They would love to abolish gay marriage and legal abortion and bring back the death penalty. They are building a whole bunch of new prisons and buying billions of dollars worth of fighter jets (untendered contract) from Locheed Martin. They are really big on corporate tax cuts. They took us from a surplus to a deficit in no time flat, and they are tying us so closely with the US that when the US goes down, Canada will definitely be going down with it. Harper just negotiated a “security perimter” deal with the US that most Canadians haven’t even heard of, and he’s busy with a “free trade” deal with Europe. Most of what they are doing we don’t even know about, because of their secrecy. And our Bank of Canada is run by a Goldman Sachs alumnus.

  86. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown February 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Japan and Canada spring to mind. Probably a lot more. Iraq certainly. Arguably Saudi Arabia.

  87. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Easy! Um, first, I have to ask, you’re not really an awkward Jewish guy in drag, right?
    Anyway, what the American empire learned, is that it’s much better to run an empire of influence rather than one of land, which the preceding empire, the British, learned to its cost. Forget real estate. It doesn’t work that well. For one thing, you can’t stop people from breeding, unless you forcibly kill them, and that’s a serious PR headache. Anyway, killing people never works. Look at it this way: it takes a decade at least to educate a person, but a baby is born from a minute of mindless distraction. Put another way, I could produce a whole person after five minutes of drunken disarray in a tent, but it takes twenty years of subsidized education to produce an educated someone who can fill in a tax form and do jury duty. So if you try to “own” a land and educate its people, as the British tried valiantly to do, their motive horribly mixed up between imperial venality and Christian morality, you will end up taking all the blame and none of the credit.
    Americans are much smarter. Ask me how.

  88. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    “Call me a starry eyed optimist…”
    You are a starry eyed optimist.
    “This is a revolution fueled by the consciousness raising and organizing power of the new communication technologies available to even the least of us.”
    The revolution was fueled by no such thing. It was fueled by too many unemployed young men and food price inflation.
    “Meanwhile here at home our own prospects diminish daily.”
    Oooops. So much for your optimism.
    “…48 years of oppression and deception that started in November of 1963?”
    Sigh….if only St. John had not been assassinated. Everything, in every way would now be perfect.

  89. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    “Japan and Canada spring to mind. Probably a lot more. Iraq certainly. Arguably Saudi Arabia.”
    Fucking Japan? After kicking their ass and rebuilding their infrastructure we sent W. Edwards Demming to their shores so they could kick OUR asses on the manufacturing front. The amount of US debt that they hold is second only to China.
    Canada? Yeah right. They almost succeeded in giving us socialized medicine and completely wrecking our entire economy.
    Iraq? We are the only country on planet earth who has NOT made an oil and gas deal with Eye-rack.
    Saudi Arabia? Apparently you missed the photo of Dear Leader bending from the waste and kissing King Abdullah’s ring.
    Nice try. You have tidily proven my point.

  90. helen highwater February 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Anyone who doesn’t believe in population overshoot hasn’t been paying attention. Egypt imports 60% of its grains, 40% of all its other food. All delivered with fossil-fuel powered ships etc. They have 400 square meters (that’s about 400 square yards for you Americans) of arable land per person, and 2 inches of rainfall a year. Their population has doubled since 1980. The only reason they are still eating and reproducing is because their country had oil to export and this brought in money so that the government could import and subsidize the food. Now oil production is declining, the money isn’t rolling in, and people are going hungry. Hence the revolution. The same thing is going to happen in Mexico, soon probably, and in many other countries that have larger populations than they can feed. Your figures don’t work if you look at individual countries. And yes, people who don’t have enough to eat still have babies, unfortunately. In fact, in countries where infant mortality is high, people have more babies because they don’t know how many of them will survive to take care of them in their old age.

  91. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown February 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Japan is our bitch for sure, no denying that one at all. You think they’d buy all our debt otherwise.

  92. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    You have the longest undefended border. With Canada. It burns! It burn!

  93. loveday February 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Great post again this week. I am also a little dismayed at how events played out in Egypt, Mubarak held on to ensure he got away clean with his loot, now we hear he is in a coma? How convenient. Now the people have to contend with a military that has superficially supported them, but the gloves are coming off with the suspension of the constitution and martial law being implemented. El Baradei better come up with something good very quickly.
    As to the situation in Canada, yup they are in serious trouble there, have been ever since Harper prorogued parliament and no one peeped or at least not loud enough to put a stop to that bit of chicanery.
    Take care folks and stock up on the popcorn, the show is about to get much more interesting.
    loveday

  94. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    “Japan is our bitch for sure, no denying that one at all. ”
    You are a MORON. They buy our debt for the same reason the Chinese do. After selling us a boatload of shit they have to park the dollars somewhere. In the past buying our debt was a safe bet. It ain’t any longer.

  95. dubiousfacts February 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Cutting yet lacking substance. As I said I see room for some optimism in the quality of the Egyptian revolution. Of course unemployment and rising prices (hmm, look around you) were part of it. I see not so much in this country, largely due to people like you who see didactic debate, world weary sarcasm and putting nonexistant words into other peoples mouths as their most worthy contribution.
    JFK was not a saint but he certainly saved our asses when he refused to follow the urgings of the Joint Chiefs and the NSA to make a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union in 1961-62. Had he not been murdered by his successor, who also managed the assassination “investigation”, it would not be a perfect world but it had a chance to be a far better one than the one that unchecked militarism and a banana republic election system has given us.

  96. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    “The same thing is going to happen in Mexico, soon probably…”
    Which is exactly why we need to cut all of the PC bullshit and get our border buttoned down and do it NOW. Because when all of the Mexican social services that are funded by oil revenues are cut, all hell is going to break loose.

  97. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Okay, I know who Tootsie is. Tootsie is OEO. It’s the same gelatinous emotional blackmail.

  98. Cash February 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Aside from the U.S Virgin Islands and possibly Puerto Rico, just what the hell does this “Empire” consist of? – Tootsie
    That’s been my question for a long time.
    If you guys are an empire then why the hell are you paying Mubarak, fer Christ’s sake, 1.5 billion per year?
    This is mind boggling. You make me laugh. You guys have all these institutions of higher learning and you don’t even know Empire Building 101?
    OK it pains me to say this but apparently you heard it here first:
    Step One: if you are an empire you get other people to pay YOU. That’s the benefit of being an empire. You collect tribute. A worthy empire makes others shit their pants in fear. You do not pay Egypt. They pay you. You may not even have to ask.
    You, as the empire or as the conqueror, DO NOT pay anybody, neither the conquered nor the merely afraid. Why? Because if you do you look like a FOOL. You’ll have people lining up to be conquered. Why? Because you’re stupid enough to pay them.
    Step Two: when you conquer a patch of land and if it’s fertile what you do is you dig holes in the ground and you shoot as many local guys as it takes to make the folks understand that they lost. And then you bury the bodies in the holes. Why? So you don’t have trouble with resistance. You also find this idea developed in courses like Warmaking 101.
    Step Three: now pay attention because this is important: you parcel out the best land to your own people. And don’t ask why. Because if you do you are one dumb fuck and don’t deserve to be in the empire business. Now please, spend some time on this because if you don’t understand this you won’t be an empire. Just to clarify, you do not BUY the land, you STEAL it.
    A general note: empire building is about collective self glorification but it’s also about being profitable.
    There’s more, but American friends, if you can just get your heads around Step One, Step Two and Step Three you will understand the most important aspects of empire building.
    One other thing, as a citizen of what a lot of you guys consider to be a vassal state I have a question: why aren’t you paying us? I am a subject of the American Empire (or so a lot of you want me to think) and you’re paying Egypt. I want my cut. NOW.

  99. helen highwater February 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Well gee Canada has had socialized medicine now for about 50 years and so far our economy seems to be doing fairly well. Better than yours, anyway.

  100. pentro February 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Your cornucopian view rests on a shaky foundation.
    Statistics alone do not prove much of anything. Thanks to Google and the Internet, with a few minutes of searching you can find copious statistics that superficially buttress any viewpoint. You could just as easily take the opposite view and state that (depending on which source you use) that between eighteen and thirty thousand children will starve to death in the next twenty-four hours, and this figure is getting worse. Therefore: We are all doomed. Statistics have their uses in research, but cherry picking the ones you like doesn’t work.
    Statistics are also rearward looking. Of course population is rising and more food is being grown. We are on the upward side of a population boom caused by our discovery of fossil fuels. Once that energy source is mostly exhausted, the statistics will change quickly for the worse. In the influenza epidemic during WW1 the life expectancy in the US dropped something like 18% within one year. In our situation statistics have little predictive value. In another ten or twenty years looking back won’t be such a rosy view.

  101. CynicalOne February 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Mark,
    Sounds like the preferred drink in Bozeman is Kool-Aid ;-)
    What “bad” connotations?

  102. Großdeutschland February 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    @ Ozone –
    Fuck you.
    I’ve been reading this blog and commenting here for a very long time. Because you haven’t seen the handle before is your problem. Why I come here is irrelevant.
    Stop playing Clusterfuck cop and go read a book, asshole.

  103. Grouchy Old Girl February 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Don’t worry about a wall being built between Canada and the US, our fawning Prime Minister just met with Obama and made commitments to something called “blending” the border. To many of us, that means us selling our pitiful souls as well as all our oil, water, electricity and wheat to prop up what’s left of the USA a little longer.
    Only problem for you is that our PM doesn’t much care for gay people, his fundamentalist christian beliefs don’t fit with choice of any kind.
    Doesn’t really matter though, we’re just as screwed as all of you in the long emergency.

  104. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    “Okay, I know who Tootsie is. Tootsie is OEO. It’s the same gelatinous emotional blackmail.”
    Holy fucking shit! The man is a genius. (Not)

  105. helen highwater February 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Hey tootsie, it wasn’t me that said that.

  106. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Okay… I see somebody (besides me) had a bowl of Argue O’s for breakfast today.
    No, not everyone on the planet has 20 offspring… if they did (and they all survived) I wouldn’t have room to type this (and you wouldn’t have room to respond) remember that episode of the origional “Star Trek” with the people all smooshed up from overpopulation?
    If every one living right now popped out twenty kids the population would be 1 trillion four hundered billion.
    The person I was correcting (not you) was stating that the earth is able to support the current rate of growth forever and there is no evidence what so ever that there are about 6 billion too many of us to carry for the long term.
    I assume that such optimisum can only come when one thinks that the earth has a creamy oil center, and a giant HEPA filter to take care of the afterburn.
    Do you think either condition exists??
    (far from the end of the story)

  107. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    “Okay, I know who Tootsie is. Tootsie is OEO. It’s the same gelatinous emotional blackmail….”
    So dubious facts is an ironic handle? ( Fucking idiot.)

  108. Workdove February 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Its not all bad. Egypt is going from a fascist authortarian state to being a democracy with elections in September. This is the birth of a new nation type of event, that would make the American founding fathers proud.
    I personally would feel more comfy taking a vacation to Egypt if it is a democracy, watch how tourism rebounds after September.
    If most other arab states follow Egypt’s lead and become secular democracies, that’s got to be a good thing in somebody’s playbook!

  109. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    ” Had he not been murdered by his successor…”
    So dubious facts is an ironic handle? (Fucking idiot.)
    Please disregard previous post.

  110. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    “…but the gloves are coming off with the suspension of the constitution…”
    You mean the one that held them in good stead all these years?

  111. Grouchy Old Girl February 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Since when was the achievement of civil rights, women’s rights etc. done without violence? Take off the rose coloured glasses my friend, no revolutions happen without it. I’m not condoning it but it appears to be a fact of our history.

  112. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    OOOHH OEO… tell me, are you given a goverment salary to stir up shit? Are you a brownshirt?
    Or just another moron?

  113. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    “Its not all bad. Egypt is going from a fascist authortarian state to being a democracy with elections in September. This is the birth of a new nation type of event, that would make the American founding fathers proud.”
    Really? Well could you please provide the name of the Egyptian equivalent of Thomas Jefferson? Could you point out the documents that outline the Egyptian Constitution?
    If the Egyptian people are lucky this may turn out to be what you describe but for you to declare it so beforehand is naive in the extreme. Only time will tell.

  114. erikSF99 February 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Informedveteran quoted and said:
    “Lots of folks, for instance, are probably wondering what Hezbollah aims to do with its impressive collection of rockets.”
    Yeah, like defend themselves from all the donated US made weapons raining down on them from the peaceful people of Israel.
    —————-
    And you can add this quote:
    “Also conveniently forgotten for the moment – because there’s nothing dramatic about nothing happening – is that a particular corner of the Middle East remained stable for thirty-odd years. Did we fork over $70 billion to Hosni Mubarak during that period so he wouldn’t start another war? Could be.”
    I guess making sure that Mubarak didn’t help out the Palestinians each time they were bombed & murdered by the Israelis is “stability”. I guess making sure that Mubarak didn’t squawk each time the Palestinians were betrayed in the phony “peace process” (aka: ‘give us more time to build more settlements and steal more land’)is one definition of “stable”.
    Bombing Lebanon and aiming at civilian infrastructure is NOT “starting a war”. Obliterating Gaza is NOT “starting a war”. Only “Muslims” start wars. I get it. Avi Shlaim in his book “The Iron Wall” written in 2001 details how Israel has NEVER wanted peace and threw away or destroyed any chance of peace whenever it came up. The recent release of the Palestine Papers you can read about at Al-Jazeera prove this beyond doubt. The Israeli Fatah puppet-leaders were willing to totally betray their own people to achieve peace and STILL the Israelis said no.
    The irony of all this is that you need to read articles by Israelis (for example, the great octogenarian peace activist Uri Avnery) or ex-Israelis (Gilad Atzmon) or Israeli online papers: http://www.haaretz.com or Israeli academic research such as Avi Shlaim’s book noted above or Shlomo Sand’s book “The Invention of the Jewish People” to get the day-to-day and historical truth that Americans are forbidden to learn. One brave American exception is Norman Finkelstein, especially his book “This Time We Went Too Far – Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion”.
    To me what is sad is JHK’s insistence on seeing the U.S. as a legitimate “policeman” in a place we have no business being. He becomes one more voice for the global US-NATO empire and its wars which cost trillions of dollars and millions of lives. I just don’t see how this fits with The Long Emergency understanding that our lives need to become “intensely local”. The first worldwide empire is about as far from “intensely local” as you can get.
    I don’t understand why JHK wants Obama and our leaders in business, schools and industry to begin a national program for dealing with Peak Oil (which includes downsized/reformed banking and the revival of our small towns, family farming and the manufacture of something other than weapons of mass murder and destruction) when his backing for the U.S. world police role means a demand that we continue everything that is destructive to local life–whether that life is in Ohio or Wisconsin or Lebanon or Belarus.
    We either want to go down with our empire or we want to end the empire of our own free will and re-localize.

  115. montsegur February 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    As an aside for Ozone, Großdeutschland, besides being a political concept, was also the name of certain German mechanized units of the Second World War. Like some of the SS units, the “GD” units (primarily the division with that name) have attracted a sort of fanboy following among some history buffs.
    Cheers

  116. nickel February 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    So, you heard of a guy with 20 kids. I know dozens who have none. No need to whip yourself into outrage. The kids have a roof over their heads? They eat? So what business of ours is it? Ever heard of live and let live?
    Overall, the US birth rate is slightly below replacement. In much of the western world, the rate is way below. In the rest of the world, birth rates are plummeting. Worrying about overpopulation when mankind has never been better fed is worrying for worrying’s sake.

  117. Grouchy Old Girl February 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    What a great column today, it even made me laugh a couple of times. Thanks, Jim.

  118. popcine February 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Yes, as you rightly observed:
    “fungus”, on the Tree of Liberty,
    yes.
    But what about the Saudi’s admitting they have
    40 percent less oil than some believed?
    The following is quoted from the “Zero Hedge” web site:
    Did WikiLeaks Confirm “Peak Oil”? Saudi Said To Have Overstated Crude Oil Reserves By 300 Billion Barrels (40%)
    … can be the “Holy Grail” moment for the peak oil movement, Wikileaks has just released 4 cables that may confirm that as broadly … from its embassy in Riyadh show. The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi …
    Story – Tyler Durden – 02/09/2011 – 06:56 – 604 comments – 0

  119. Zev Paiss February 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    Wise words GreyGhost – for longterm food supplies may I suggest http://zevpaiss.myefoods.com Taste great, easy on the wallet and could make you some cash if you like. Basic good food for unstable times.

  120. SeaYoung February 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Jim,
    Who’s your pick for the 500? Next weekend is Redneck High Holy Week you know. Time to warm up your pokes at the cornbread and grits crowd.
    My pick: Bill Elliott, ’cause he irritates the rest of the country when he speaks with that deep down southern Appalachian drawl.
    Celebrate winter’s passing southern style!

  121. LewisLucanBooks February 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Suburban Empire: I miss your blog. Was a regular reader. I have friends in Essex Junction, VT. Anywhere near you?

  122. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Um… Hel-lo… I’m a fag with no babies….my parents only had one
    You took the state of Utah right out of the union there bub.
    Salt Lake City (GMSA) had .7 million (metro Provo to Ogden) for 2000 with a growth rate that will leave the Salt Lake Valley with a projected population of 5.8 million by 2025 with less than 1% of that growth coming from outside areas (people moving to Salt Lake)
    The average Utahn has 4.2 children, is likely to live 81.3 years (longest of any state), is more likely to be able to read than someone from Idaho, and that person will consume 73% more green Jello than a person from a non LDS state.
    say what you want about statistics, but I forsee a problem with finding enough fresh water in Utah to make all that green Jello.

  123. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    “But what about the Saudi’s admitting they have
    40 percent less oil than some believed?”
    Old news. Matt Simmons wrote about it back in 2005 in his book:
    Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.

  124. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    “… I forsee a problem with finding enough fresh water in Utah to make all that green Jello.”
    Let them eat cake.

  125. Cavepainter February 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Do the math. Well OK, if you insist on the fuzzy math of Mathew 14:13-21, which has a guy named Jesus feeding a mass of over 5,000 (not counting the women and children in attendance) with only 5 loaves and 2 fish maybe the earth could accommodate its current human population for another day.
    Beyond tomorrow though, I doubt that even most Creationist would be willing to “bet the farm” on it – the farm being the United States.
    Mom Nature’s math is rigorous, allowing no hedging to reassuring fantasies – neither those of Bronze Age origin or current ones contending that America stands to be the world’s savior either by military intervention or by absorbing the globe’s distressed over-population.
    Numbers done faithfully (may I say) show dim prospect for other than collapse of humanity’s out of tolerance population growth. Humanity’s survival looks spotty at best — restricted to localized “spots” where some margin of balance remains between carrying capacity and population (given further grace of not being betrayed by vagaries of looming climate change).
    Even though “Bible thumping” remains a common form of exhortation in America our nation suffers a schizoid of essentially secular beliefs, but no less delusional or fervently embraced than are mystical faiths.
    One pole of this schizophrenia of beliefs holds that power to remedy the distress of global overpopulation resides in a gesture by America much like Moses waving his staff before the Red Sea, but in this case though all national policy going forward to be framed as atonement for perceived awry policy of the past. Specifically, absorb unlimited immigration, made more catastrophic against America remaining as one of those “spots” by the added caveat that the ultimate number must be politically correct with proportionate representation of all skin colors, ethnicity and religiosity. Hoo boy!
    The other faith is that of trans-national corporate capitalism enforced globally via American militarism, perpetuating “on earth as it is in heaven” as magically as that other guy’s Bread and Fish trick.
    Referring again to Mon Nature’s math, both are studies in American Exceptionalism as grandiose delusion and no less fanciful as any tale of the Harry Potter series or Noah’s Ark.
    Maybe this is the cul-de-sac of human evolution: Inability to escape the adaptive quirk encoded into us by evolution that allowed the human species to survive to this point, but which has now become disadaptive.
    Our big neo-cortex allowed us to translate sensory input into concepts as tools for understanding. Co-evolving in that mix was self concept, accompanied by understanding vulnerability against natural forces – uh yeah, mortality. That necessitated coping strategy concepts of projected super natural forces and entities that could be called upon to intercede on our behalf.
    Essentially, is this capacity for denial of reality’s harshness too much our nature?

  126. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I’m in Burlington. And thank you for the nice compliment, it made my day!
    I gave up the blog, it was fun for awhile, but it cost extra $ I didn’t have to spend. (narcissism is a luxury item you know)

  127. goldmund February 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I don’t wear rose colored glasses, but I think you wear blood-stained ones. Please tell me who, within any of the movements I mentioned, took up arms? The violence has always come in reaction to these revolutionary movements from the ruling classes who largely control governments and their police-state apparatus my friend. I believe you’re confusing violence with resistance. The civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, the gay rights movement and the environmental movement are all non-violent movements that have employed non-violent resistance to acheive their goals, and society has been profoundly changed as a result. I believe in non-violent resistance because it is the most effective avenue of change. Violence only begets more and greater violence. If you think that’s naive, then fine, but it must feel awfully lonely in your bunker…

  128. LewisLucanBooks February 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Click on my handle, and drop me a line. We have a lot in common :-) .. Lew

  129. erikSF99 February 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Cash replied to Tootsie:
    “You don’t even know Empire Building 101?
    “OK it pains me to say this but apparently you heard it here first:
    “Step One: if you are an empire you get other people to pay YOU. That’s the benefit of being an empire. You collect tribute. You do not pay Egypt. They pay you.”
    Cash, your idea of empire is so not-20th Century. Read “The New Empire of Debt” by Addison Wiggin and Bill Bonner, “Super Imperialism” by Michael Hudson and “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins.
    You ARE paying the empire. You’ve been paying since the 1920s. The money flows to the financial class via never repayable debt payments; the money flows to the financial class via local industry sold on the cheap to the financial class; the money flows to the financial class via debt payments on credit cards, student loans and mortgages–even U.S. citizens pay tribute to the financial class. We may have benefited in the 50’s and 60’s but those days are long gone.
    And any country that doesn’t agree to pay tribute becomes “anti-democratic” (ask Belarus) or a threat to our lives (ask Iran) or gets encircled by U.S. military bases and ships (ask Russia and China).
    “Paying tribute” means subservience to the IMF & World Bank and destruction of your local economy with all of a nation’s wealth and labor devoted to rentier debt payments: ask Ireland, ask Latvia, ask Greece, ask the citizens of the U.S. and ask those long familiar with this: any country in the third world.
    With over 1,000 military bases around the earth and the deliberate morphing of NATO into history’s first worldwide military alliance along with the U.S. policy of Full Spectrum Dominance (that is, weapons in space and cyberweapons along with land, air & sea forces) all in support of a financial tribute/rentier system, it’s a little disingenuous to say the U.S. doesn’t have an empire.
    As for your comment:
    “Step Two: when you conquer a patch of land and if it’s fertile what you do is you dig holes in the ground and you shoot as many local guys as it takes to make the folks understand that they lost. And then you bury the bodies in the holes.”
    I would say that the 7 million Iraqis and Afghanistanis who’ve lost their lives fills the requirements of your Step 2. See “The Muslim Holocaust: The legacy of American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq” By Jack Balkwill http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_6739.shtml
    And, Cash, regarding your comment: “A general note: empire building is about collective self glorification but it’s also about being profitable.”
    This is a perfect description of the American-NATO empire.

  130. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    “let them eat cake”
    not without Ice cream… this is Utah we are talking about here!

  131. bossier22 February 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    there is more to life than being ‘well fed’. over populaltion to me refers to quality of life not just life. i cant imagine living in a country as overpopulated as egypt. but with mass immigration and resource scarcity we are getting there. it is only our native born population that is at zero growth.

  132. Laura Louzader February 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Suburban Empire, I loved your blog and missed it.
    Your website does cost money, I can see. I would personally only do a dot.com type website for a commercial purpose.
    But you can get a Google (blogspot.com) or WordPress blog for free. I have three- one very active and the other two “parked” for other purposes and to be used later. Why not do that, instead?
    Hope to read more great posts from you again sometime soon.

  133. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    greyghost, i used to use the same nick. it’s a transliteration of my name.

  134. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    as for predictions of scarcity, surely all will come to pass. to me this eventual deprivation imperes living life to the hilt right now.
    for example, it’s an atrocity, the extermination of beluga. we variously knew and did nothing. still, i remember when i was a kid, this one time at a restaurant in a western connecticut town, i had a caviar & sour cream omelette, the surprise of it, the taste of something new. caviar of course is gone, but i have memory nonetheless. and so with america’s golden age of consumerism, the roadside attractions… when it’s gone i intend to enjoy its memory.

  135. nickel February 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    When challenged with the best, most relevant and reliable figures over the actual situation on planet Earth regarding food and population, most overpopulation worrywarts generally concede that, yeah, okay, SO FAR, there is no indication of an actual deterioration in the food supply, in fact, mankind has never had it so good. Ever. I mean, yes there are countries that are still on the edge, and there can be local trouble, generally in areas that are disconnected from the global economy and infrastructure, but overall things are improving IN SPITE OF population growth.
    BUT they will say, we are the guy falling from the skyscraper overheard saying: so far, so good. We are about to make hard landing. Just wait. The system will collapse under the weight of its own contradiction. Any time now.
    So it’s always, not this year, but next year. Year after year after year.
    Should I trouble the faithful that the great pumpkin may never come?

  136. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    When you’re gone I intend to remember Oranur, that other, earlier, form of hysteria.

  137. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Please. If you don’t think that the riots in Watts, Cleveland, Detroit, Wash.D.C etc. etc. had anything to do with the civil rights movement you are denser than lead. Ditto the spiking of trees from environmentalists as well as burning down houses under construction, that in the warped minds of some enviros, should not have been built in such pristine areas. Truth is bout the only non-violence I can cite from recent movements would be tea party gatherings and I’d bet a dollar to a donut that that won’t last much longer.
    There are always misguided elements both in movements and sent by the opposition to foment violence. Remember Altamont? It was the Stones’ West coast answer to the Peace and Love fest of Woodstock. Whomever hired the Angels for security had no idea that Peace and Love would not be on the playbill that day.

  138. asia February 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    what a bunch of S#it..
    with 2? 3? million immigrants a year the US population has increased by 50% in much less than my lifetime.
    what canards.

  139. asia February 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Is yr name a pun on ‘HELL OR HIGH WATER?’.
    What did you think of Trudeau?

  140. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    I challenge you to tell me honestly that your experience is of living on a planet. Go on, tell me. Is it like a planet to you? Really? Or is it more like motoring to your nearest strip mall? Pretty much a two-dimensional experience except maybe not that all that much, being as how you don’t notice the sky or the ground while you’re burning up the gas to your nearest deli. Hey, I’ve got an idea: why don’t you hoof it next time. That’s right, buster, take a walk. Does it seem like a planet to you, or just a bunch of blocks crowded with weirdos, acid heads, and alienated fucks just like yourself? Just asking.

  141. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    “Is yr name a pun on ‘HELL OR HIGH WATER?’.”
    No, she just doesn’t know how to hem pants for shit.

  142. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    “Hey, I’ve got an idea: why don’t you hoof it next time. That’s right, buster, take a walk. ”
    Easy now gramps. Niclel might tell YOU to take a hike. (A long one. Off of a short cliff, no less.)

  143. Vlad Krandz February 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    Cash – read both eric’s post and Martin’s. The outer form has changed but the game remains the same. The old forms of empire didn’t usually benefit ordinary people either – except for “jobs” in the army needed to maintain it. In fact often the colonies end up ruining the the Core – as has happened in England with London now Londonistan and Englismen assaulted for their White skin. As for the changes: the White Man’s Burden and Christianity have been deleted as Martin said. Now it’s all abou the $$$$$$$$$$$.

  144. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    “…since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007, we have posted over $5 trillion in deficits.
    For the record, that’s more combined non-inflation-adjusted red ink than the United States of America had created in all of the years of its existence prior to that point.”
    Thanks Mr. President!

  145. dubiousfacts February 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    China and India are the crux of the population problem. While other poor countries will just starve we have successfully inoculated these 2 economies with the Western disease of consumerism. As they reach for our level of material comfort, car ownership and central heating/AC they will scour the earth of every last mineral and gallon of oil, just with their present numbers. How fortunate that we taught them the wisdom of the Western way. Soon they will be alienated city dwellers bereft of a sustainable life support system or a spiritual philosophy, just like us.

  146. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    “Soon they will be alienated city dwellers bereft of a sustainable life support system or a spiritual philosophy, just like us.”
    You’re right. I think you should give up all of your shit and all of your evil ways to compensate for Chindia.

  147. Qshtik February 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    the space where the third wall would have been
    ===========
    fourth wall?

  148. Wrenandox February 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    JHK said “(My own suggestion to make abortion retroactive has not been greeted with enthusiasm.)”
    I’ve been reading him for years and this is my first comment because this is my favorite line yet! And there have been a lot of good ones.
    Thanks, James!

  149. nickel February 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    My turn to go huh?
    You don’t have kids? Fine. I don’t either. I never thought you had 20 kids. That guy is an aberration. There are way more adults with no kids in the US than there are who have 20. Or 5 for that matter.
    Things that can’t go on forever… don’t. Meditate on that for a few minutes.
    I did say there is no evidence that the current level of population is an issue. World human population has grown for the last 250 years. Human knowledge and technology has grown even faster. As a result, we humans are, overall, also safer, freer, materially way richer, healthier and better fed than we were in the late 18th century.
    Is there a limit to human population on Earth? Of course. I never said that population growth can go on indefinitely. What is the limit? I don’t know. I don’t see evidence that we have crossed, or are close to crossing, a threshold.

  150. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    You shouldn’t have held back. This blog is seriously starved of misanthropic commentary. Haven’t you noticed? We’re knee deep in Cheerios floating on the milk of human kindness. I for one am nearly delirious with all the good cheer that echoes round about here, over and over, about what a good thing it is that we murder thousands of unborn children every year. Cherry-flavored children! Drowned in milk! Cheers!

  151. Vlad Krandz February 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Did you see “Children of Men” with the little Black Kid as the Christ Child? But the good part: English soldiers fighting and defeating Muslims who didn’t want to be deported. Fortress England: truly inspiring. (not Britain – England fell when the King ceased to be King of the English but of Britain; Empires kill their home nation) Similarly, we must become Fortress America. We must conquer our own Country – a Reconquista in other words as the Spanish took back Spain from the Muslims and Jews centuries ago.
    As for over population: we are already at the rate of negative growth so it’s not our problem at all but other peoples. Another good reason to keep them out. Of course we will suffer the effects of world wide overpopulation and should encourgage others in the right direction. But we can’t dicatate – and we shouldn’t expect too much. They will have to learn the hard way since we can’t keep funding their stupidity and refusal to use contraception.

  152. endofworld February 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    buy golf if you are rich-silver if not-i have tripled my money on 3000 americans silver eagles 1 ounce coins-will at least triple in the next couple of years

  153. endofworld February 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    gold(and golf if your poor or rich!)

  154. Canadian Grizzly February 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    I’m here in Kissimmee, Florida with my wife and daughter, on vacation from Canada. I’m 68. I’m okay financially. We went to a “dollar store” near us. On the way there we were stopped waiting for a light to change. In the middle of the lanes, walking on the white lane marker was a young man holding a cardboard sign about a foot square which read “Just got laid off! Wife and kids need food. Please help me! Donate anything!”
    When we got to the “dollar store” there was another man rummaging through the garbage can outside eating what looked like a half loaf of used bread.
    What the hell kind of country do you have down here? Another man in the store was wandering around like he belonged in a mental hospital. People act like nothing is out of the ordinary. Is this what you call a decent, caring citizenry. You people are a disgrace to humanity!

  155. San Jose Mom 51 February 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    The other state dish in Utah is Funeral Potatoes!

  156. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    “You people are a disgrace to humanity!”
    Well then go fucking home, fucktard. (By the way, did you help any of the folks that looked like they could use some?)

  157. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Here’s the deal… aint no one gonna stop fucking anytime soon. We WILL be trying things your way no matter what I comment here…. (ie people are fucking, breeding, and using oil to eat, myself included in all but the breeding) so the population, that will surpass 7 billion this year (double the 3.5 billion that were here when I showed up 42 years ago in 1968) and will continue to grow throughout the remander of the oil fiesta.
    if in 42 more years we are all comfortably driving Suburbans here in the USA, and there are 14 billion people surviving as well as they are today scattered about the rest of the planet, I will buy you dinner at the Ruth Chris’ new flagship location in Camden, New Jersey.
    for anyone who is interested I am blogging at times at http://www.newjerseyprime.blogspot.com
    and it says adult content because I say fuck alot

  158. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Children of Men asks all its viewers to accept the new British racial stock as being black. It’s that blatant. Favorite part: the character played by Michael Caine getting shot in the head after lackadaisically muttering only a few lines. Would that it were always the case. Caine is the very epitome of a lazy actor playing himself. And cockney is long out of fashion. Shoot. Him. In. The. Head.
    Less lazy, but, at least to me, just as blatant, is BBC propaganda as usual. Last night I watched The Secret World of Pain, a documentary about a subject that is by turns scientific and of interest to any person who is at least faking being alive. This is how BBC propaganda works: The voiceover says something about how WE are ALL subject to this or that, and flashes a pic of a black. Its drearily predictable. “All of us have pain sensors in our butt.” Flash a pic of a black. “Every human has motor neurons …” Flash a pic of a black.
    When it happened a third time, as I predicted it would, I turned it off. Thanks but no thanks. I wanted to watch a documentary about leading-edge science on pain management. I didn’t want to be treated to a series of images designed to manipulate me. Do you see the problem? It’s not the message. If the English want to commit racial suicide, I don’t even care any more. It’s that they insult my intelligence with this shit. How stupid do they think I am?

  159. nickel February 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    weirdos, acid heads, and alienated fucks like yourselves
    Excellent ones! I think I will print out that description and hang in on my cubicle. Makes me feel like i’m in a biker gang or something.
    Let me lie down in the psychiatrist couch Dr Hayes…
    OK so actually I’m a city dweller, don’t have a car, bike to work, live in a walkable neighbourhood, hate malls and shopping, so I am probably a weirdo or an alienated fuck to some. But I basically do not do drugs – unless alcohol counts. And I program computers for a living so I am clearly double extra boring. No kids, so all clear with the overpopulation police.
    I spent a pleasant week-end with a sister who picked me up for a visit to our brother in Ottawa, cross-country skiing together in the parc de la Gatineau, enjoying the outdoors and the freak changes from blizzard to blue sky and back again. The next day we went skating on the Rideau canal, along with fellow human beings who seemed happy to be out, though some might have been alienated, or perhaps on hard drugs or even beaver tails, hard to tell. There is definitely something fishy about all those volunteers for lost children.
    I run marathons so I think I could handle hoofing it to the nearest deli – in fact I do my errands on foot or by bike.
    Good enough?
    How about you, fellow commenter?

  160. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    “my don’t we have a hand across our ass today Doloris Clayborne”

  161. mow February 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    ” this domain has been seized by homeland security due to truth infringement “.

  162. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    OEO/Tootsie… sweetie, darling… what is with all the name calling? Seriously, are you the guy who gets thrown out of the bar after the second sip of beer because you start hurtling around insults like a four year old who has had too many snack cakes?
    Is your wife out of town and you have gotten into the Jose Curevo again and have no one else to abuse?
    Did we get all amped up on Glenn Beck and WWE before we logged on??
    or did the government forget to pay for our Prozac???
    Did we mix up our toothpaste and hemmorid cream??? PMS? Diaper rash???
    I want to know… what exactly IS with all the hostility toward everyone else?

  163. Martin Hayes February 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    You went to Ottawa? You even mention Ottawa? I take it all back: You’re delightfully boring. I still think talk about “the planet” is pure fakery. There’s a reason people thought the world was flat for, oh, I don’t know, most of human history. It’s because that’s the way it seems. When people start talking about the planet, I’m as sure as I can be that they’ve taken leave of their senses; it’s not they way we experience day-to-day life unless we are astronauts or spend all our waking hours on some or other long-haul flight to nowhere. Dig?

  164. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    {I’m here in Kissimmee, Florida with my wife and daughter, on vacation from Canada.}
    ————–
    frickin canadians in florida, can’t figure out a car wash.
    what i want to know: when are your geese going to stop pooping on my golf course?

  165. Canadian Grizzly February 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Dear Tootsie, You are the “fucktard”. Your ability to communicate is limited to gutter language. See….your’re just ordinary trash. I’ll bet you live in a 1968 Pinto eating a bag of cheese doodles for supper. Your’re pathetic! You’re the one that didn’t give a rat’s ass about the people I talked about.

  166. MarlinFive54 February 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    I’ve been watching Glenn Beck.
    He’s saying pretty much what JHK wrote in his blog, almost word for word.
    How do you like that CFNers?
    Jim, is Beck one of your ghostwriters?

  167. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    We’re AMERICANS… hey, you didn’t see us out beating them with clubs now did you? Allowing the unwashed heathen to go through the garbage IS our charity (go to the dumps our military uses in Iraq… our troops shoot people for going through our razor wired and guarded garbage… even if they are starving and we have edible food in the dump -from the movie ‘Inside Iraq’ available from Netflix instantly to your pc)
    The way we look at it is if Jesus wanted theese people to get help, he would have made them rich!
    Because Jesus didn’t make them rich, they must be doing something that pisses Jesus off.
    And if we do anything other than let them “help themselves” (ie ‘get a job’) we risk pissing Jesus off…. DUH, don’t you Canuk’s know ANYTHING about COMPASSION???
    Watch Joel Osteen… he says that Jesus WANT us (who can afford television)to be rich!!! HAL A LOU YA!
    That means Jesus wants THEM to be poor! See, you have us pegged all wrong… we’re acutally GOOD people, cause JESUS don’t make bad people rich!!

  168. Canadian Grizzly February 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Reply to Orionoir. A clean car from Canada is hard to see down here. You see…..I just drove 1,200 miles to come down here and spend $2,000 dollars ($2,100 U.S.) to get some good Florida sunshine after a couple of months of -30F. up home. You….wouldn’t have the balls to even go outside in that weather! Canada geese? Its a “North American” bird. What the hell! Did you think we invented the bird…..you idiot! You’re another slack-jawed yahoo who hasn’t got a brain!

  169. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Really??? I missed JHK ranting about Acorn, Tiller the baby killer, George Soros, Fascist commies…and the crying chalkboard.
    Somehow I doubt that Jim has cable… I doubt it very much.

  170. ozone February 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Now you’re gettin’ it.
    It’s the same coprophagic, emotional cripple as always.
    Soon, very soon…

  171. Bustin J February 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    $0.05 Says, “Overall, the US birth rate is slightly below replacement. In much of the western world, the rate is way below. In the rest of the world, birth rates are plummeting. Worrying about overpopulation when mankind has never been better fed is worrying for worrying’s sake.”
    Mankind, as you put it, has actually been ‘better fed’- the trend reversed several years ago after falling below 1,000,000,000.
    Ask the 1,000,000,000+ people who will be short of food today. Stop complaining.
    Poverty Claims a Child’s Life Every 4 Seconds. Stop worrying about it.
    You are wrong, the US’s growth rate is above replacement. But don’t worry- be happy.
    CanGriz said, “What the hell kind of country do you have down here? Another man in the store was wandering around like he belonged in a mental hospital. ”
    Yes, REAGAN and other agents of the rich shuttered the state-paid homes for the mentally ill. These were places set up as impressive places in their own right, and fulfilled the function of giving people in need of mental respite dignity and worth. They had bakeries and machine shops, and had a full schedule of events for the folks. REAGAN and the REPUBLICANS axed their funding and ordered them shut; many others protested the cruel treatment, but, many BADPEOPLE in the US sat on their hands and did nothing; that legacy survives today.
    REPUBLICANS argued at the time that the institutions were slavery; indentured servitude, forced labor, and so forth. The lawyers couldn’t figure out how to keep lawsuits from happening. And many of the buildings had fallen into disrepair and needed financing. Too bad- the US needed to manufacture more minuteman missiles.
    Griz also said, “What the hell kind of country do you have down here? Another man in the store was wandering around like he belonged in a mental hospital. People act like nothing is out of the ordinary.”
    Griz, Americans don’t know what “quality of life” means. Our gladitorial-arena style of Capitalism, mixed with our streak of Puritanical self-righteousness is what produced the man on the street with his sign, and the man behind the store looking for bread.
    Americans, for instance, will never realize that dumpster-man and cardboard-sign man probably didn’t want to end up that way- many Americans will simply say they are lazy with no further analysis. They will be accused of being hangers on and worthless. The Puritanical streak is a streak of pure meanness with much in common with India’s Karma concept. In America, we believe bad things happen to bad people. We are obsessed with perverted justice.
    We’ve learned to deal with beggars and the mentally ill in our faces all the time. We as people are conspicuously disempowered. You might notice Herbert’s column linked above where he talks about how we are losing our democracy- Herbert is in denial like most people- we never had it.
    Americans simply go about their lives in haste and earnest because there is no safety net and they know it. If you fall off the ass-end of the social ladder there is nothing to stop you.
    My modest proposal may have a chance of working: the Canadian public standing up and scolding us. Some entity has to provide that function from the outside. Canada has a lot of credibility in these terms- it just might work.
    America is a state that would hold public floggings and executions if it wasn’t afflicted by a false piety and guilt.

  172. Bustin J February 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Workdove flew in, “Egypt is going from a fascist authortarian state to being a democracy with elections in September. This is the birth of a new nation type of event, that would make the American founding fathers proud.”
    Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
    And define “Democracy”.
    The founding fathers wouldn’t be proud, they’d be skeptical.

  173. ozone February 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Ah, “the desired result” then. (As[s] per usual.)

  174. ozone February 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Thanks Montsegur!
    Fun facts! ;o)

  175. Jill February 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    This morning there was a sign posted at my grocery store advising us that due to storms in Mexico we can expect limited availablity and high prices for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash for the next couple of months.
    I’m starting tomato seeds on my balcony this weekend. Last year we had no summer. This year we had no winter. Keeping my fingers crossed for my garden.
    Mother Nature bats last.
    Jill in Berkeley

  176. Bustin J February 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    dub-fax says, “As I said I see room for some optimism in the quality of the Egyptian revolution.”
    I’ll put my pessimism up against your optimism and we’ll see what washes out.
    Here is my shorthand, rule of opposable-thumbs for societies.
    It springs from a simple maxim: Are the majority God-believers/religious? If so, read: crazy. The question is, can crazy people achieve democracy? The answer is no. If it was yes, miracles would be possible, therefore overturning the rational arguments of Hume, et al., and forcing everyone to go back to the blackboard for a re-jiggering of cause/effect epistemology.
    Case in point: the present time, in which there are no elected leaders of the country and the parliament has been dissolved.
    From these ripe peaches, or should I say, nascent ashes, you posit the rise of some Phoenix from the grave that was once the cradle. Some think it was always the grave.
    No country on Earth is a true democracy; neither my vote or any other every made a difference in an American election. The state is fascist pure and simple. Or did you believe, were you once a perfect, honorable sod? You smiled at the blue-hairs, drew closed the privacy shroud, and punched a chad? Perhaps you felt the agony of victory or the thrill of belief? Who cares?

  177. nickel February 14, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Indeed US population is growing, because of immigration, not natural population growth.
    Is there a canard in there somewhere?

  178. BeantownBill February 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    BJ, I don’t agree with many of your postings, and you seem to have a somewhat sarcastic attitude (to me), but today you’ve written really good posts. Maybe there is hope for you yet (as if my opinions mean anything to you).

  179. nickel February 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    suburbanempire,
    Not up to the rest of us to educate you, just observe for about fourty years before you comment again
    I am somewhat older than you. I remember the 70s. Paul Ehrlich, the Club of Rome. Stand on Zanzibar, Soylent Green, remember that? Headlines in the magazines: who will eat in the year 2000? Experts’ verdict: not many. Year 2000 has come by. Reality: most people were eating better than ever.
    Remember Limits to Growth? Earnest, concerned, educated men. Their forecast: we will have run out of oil in 1992. Abandon hopeless basket cases like India, and concentrate on places where it might not be too late.
    Ever spent time analyzing how they got it so wrong? They had the tables, the growth rates, the proven resources. Are you so sure you’re much smarter than they were?
    Could it be that the problem was their assumptions about definite resource reserves, rates of population growth and a static technological state? What makes you think you’re not making the same mistakes?

  180. MarlinFive54 February 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Suburbanempire;
    No, Jim is ranting about NASCAR, neck tattoos, cornpone nazis and Sarah Palin.
    It depends who’s ox is being gored.
    Any of you NE CFNers wanna join me this weekend in a Daytona 500 NASCAR celebration. Big bowls of cheesedoodles, cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon … we’ll vicariously enjoy that Florida sunshine while, here, it’s 15d.F outdoors!
    Bill Elliot is my favorite, too. Back in the 80’s Elliot broke the NASCAR land speed record when he took a supercharged Dodge to 230mph at Talladega. The car literally became airborn so after that Nascar regulated the speeds down to a more sane 190mph.
    Best thing, Sunoco provides the racing fuel free of charge!

  181. ozone February 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    C.P.,
    I realize it’s akin to playing whack-a-mole when attempting to take away the cornucopians’ fantasy-bottle, but thanks for trying anyway.
    Have we “insulated” ourselves into extinction? Maybe. How do we explain a devout desire for the return of Nazi glory by wannabe SS swooners? Is it the ultimate in a control and power fantasy? (Well, okay, the uniforms are really kewl, especially with jodhpurs and the riding crop.)

  182. BeantownBill February 14, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    To me, Americans are stupid – not necessarily genetically stupid – but stupid in the sense that most of us seem to have very poor critical thinking skills. Are we really that dumb, or is our education system so ineffective? Or is our culture so controlling and overwhelmingly vapid as to preclude the possibility that the population is able to use their minds?

  183. nickel February 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Helen,
    People are sometimes surprised to see the figures, but fertility rates have been going down pretty radically for decades now.
    Fertility rates in some cases are already below population replacement (let’s say 2.1 children per women) in unexpected places:
    1967 70 80 90 2000 2010
    Iran
    6.81 6.58 6.65 4.82 2.22 1.89
    Thailand
    6.04 5.58 3.39 2.14 1.82 1.65
    Peru
    6.61 6.31 5.01 3.83 2.93 2.51
    Tunisia
    6.83 6.42 5.19 3.50 2.08 1.71
    Mexico
    6.78 6.72 4.71 3.44 2.70 2.10
    etc etc
    Some of these countries will experience serious problems with a rapidly aging population in the not so distant future.

  184. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Do I remember the Seventys??? LOL
    I remember Haldeman, Erlichman, Mitchell, and Dean (what they say is not what they mean)
    The Bodder Meinhof, ETA, Sadat and Began, oh and let me not forget Nixon (“sock it to me?”) Kissenger, and Zbiginew, (you know, Mica’s dad), the Iran Hostage Crisis, and long lines for gas with even/odd plate days… my first political awareness came from being allowed to stay up to watch the monologue on Carson before fireing a barrage of questions about current events and jokes I didn’t get, at my father (for another hour) to extend my time up… I started this at age 5, It worked like a charm for extending bedtime, and had the side effect of an A in Social Studies every quarter.
    By the time Regan came in I knew the background of most of the cabinet within a few months (before the internet.. I had to spend hours in a library)
    My parents had only one kid (me) and spent alot of time explaining how they thought the world would be buried in disposable diapers by 1999 or 2000, they were off on that one too.
    I was not allowed to see Soilent green until 1982 and the advent of Beta.. and I think I referenced an episode of some old star trek dealing with Over Pop earlier… that was the 70’s for me too.
    and like I said earlier… this is just stupid to argue about in comments… what ever will be will be, and it will happen no matter what you or I think.

  185. messianicdruid February 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    “That means Jesus wants THEM to be poor! See, you have us pegged all wrong… we’re acutally GOOD people, cause JESUS don’t make bad people rich!!”
    One man, one family driven from the land; this rusty car creaking along the highway to the west. I lost my land, a single tractor took my land. I am alone and bewildered. And in the night one family camps in a ditch and another family pulls in and the tents come out. The two men squat on their hams and the women and children listen. Here is the node, you who hate change and fear revolution. Keep these two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each other. Here is the anlarge of the thing you fear. This is the zygote. For here “I lost my land” is changed; a cell is split and from its splitting grows the thing you hate–”We lost our land.” The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and perplexed as one. And from this first “we” there grows a still more dangerous thing: “I have a little food” plus “I have none.” If from this problem the sum is “We have a little food,” the thing is on its way, the movement has direction. Only a little multiplication now, and this land, this tractor are ours. The two men squatting in a ditch, the little fire, the side-meat stewing in a single pot, the silent, stone-eyed women; behind, the children listening with their souls to words their minds do not understand. The night draws down. The baby has a cold. Here, take this blanket. It’s wool. It was my mother’s blanket–take it for the baby. This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning–from “I” to “we.” – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath

  186. BeantownBill February 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Marlin, it would be cool to meet some of the CFNers in person, but I really have no interest in NASCAR. Sorry. Now if you said the same thing about a Red Sox game, I’d give it strong consideration. I can’t remember where you’re from. Either CT, NH, NY, VT or Western Mass? I was in CT Saturday at Foxwoods. Close friends of ours have a house on Lake Winnisquam in NH that we occasionally visit. Vermont is a state I don’t get to often.

  187. messianicdruid February 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Important and timely article:
    http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=10725

  188. Newfie February 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Evidence of population overshoot may come later this year. A potentially disastrous wheat crop failure is brewing in China. If that happens the Chinese will be buying serious amounts of wheat on the world market. This will create a wheat shortage. There will be riots in poorer countries and maybe a few governments will collapse. The Empire may be overrun by hordes of starving Mexicans.

  189. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    {Daytona 500 NASCAR celebration}
    ——
    marlin, i may be passing through your valley this weekend… i would accept the invite for sure, but i am uncertain whether the missus will be traveling with me or not… if she is, odds of visiting an internet friend are nil. (she thinks *all* my internet friends are in actuality the same fat hairy guy in new jersey who is an incredibly fast typist.)

  190. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh yeah.. I don’t remember “them” ever saying we would be OUT of oil by 1992, (citation please)
    I do remember “them” saying that we would get most of our oil from the undesireable OPEC states by 1992. That didn’t happen because the north slope and north sea came in, and the resulting price plummet for crude set the once mighty cartel on a course of falsifying numbers, and compeating with their former bid-ness allys
    As for your other “point” on my gross ignorance of the population doomers of the time…. they didn’t have AIDS in ANY of those charts.

  191. MarlinFive54 February 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Beantown Bill et al;
    Aw I was just Busting yer guys balls about NASCAR and Beck. I know alot of people here hate both of them … thought I’d mention them for the hell of it.
    Beck and JHK do say many of the same things, however, I’ll stick with that. Same destination, different ways of getting there. Beck is the only national media figure I’ve heard discussing Jim’s books. (favorably)
    Many of you would be surprised at the interest in NASCAR and autoracing in New England. Its not just a southern thing.

  192. WestCoast February 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    There is nothing wrong with a family having 20 children–as long as they all live in one house, use one vehicle, raise most of their own food, conserve water and energy so that they don’t use more than a normal family of four etc. It’s important that the twenty continue this lifestyle after they get married. Just think of the savings from all living together in one family compound. Why the body heat alone would heat the place…
    It’s time to stop subsidizing breeders by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit for more than two children. Mr. Obama, are you paying attention? Yet another way to balance the budget.

  193. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    I love you.. that was PERFECT!
    My dripping sarcasm was from the now.

  194. Headless February 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Ahh…thank…uh…Ok. You Jim! I thought I’d never get home today. Couldn’t get here soon enough. Kunstler Monday and a shot of Jack, and I’m feeling I can make it a few more days–maybe not a whole week now, but at least a few days.
    Damn it’s stupid out there…

  195. asia February 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Food riots have been going on for some time.
    Egypt imports food! [ from where, with what? US
    aid?].
    Erlich was just interviewed in the newspaper saying ‘Since my book 300 to 400 million have died of starvation etc so how wrong were my predictions?’.

  196. asia February 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    The Chinese civilization has been way too materialistic for a long time. Long before Mao.
    Not sure we taught them anything except what fools the west is for ‘free trade’ [I blame Clinton].

  197. asia February 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    HH,
    What I read is that most of the peeps there are under 25, so the populations more than doubled in 25 years.
    That most live on 1$ a day or less…so how do they pay for food imports?
    That 1/3 is illiterate.
    95% of women are victims of genital mutilation.
    I could go on but you get the picture.

  198. ladelfina February 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Italy is an American outpost. There are over 100 US military installations here. Italy does not say “boo” without US say-so.

  199. asia February 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    The Grateful Dead were to blame.

  200. ladelfina February 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    “Italy is an American outpost. There are over 100 US military installations here. Italy does not say “boo” without US say-so.”
    This was in response to Tootsie…

  201. orionoir February 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    {drove 1,200 miles to come down here}
    ———
    grizzly, it’s okay, i forgive you about the geese. i mean, it’s not like you personally told them to come down here.
    are you familiar with the saying “a guest criticizing the food”? it makes more sense in yiddish.
    i thought the food was pretty good in montreal, but what a hassle it was getting a glass of ice water. what’s not to understand, water, with ice in it? what is it with you people?

  202. asia February 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Visit L.A……anywhere in L.A.
    The 99 cent store at Pico and 31[?] in Santa Monica.
    With all the muslim and mexcian workers and weird shoppers.
    I asked a little ‘old world’ guy outside..
    are you russian?
    said he ‘no polish’!
    You Canuks have it easy.
    The US has like 3 million homeless.
    20? million illegals.
    10? 20? million amnestied.
    50 million Latinos.

  203. WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot February 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    I really like your post re: Facebook. To hell with that status whoring fakeass bullshit.
    I would also like to say I agree with Vlad Kranz on many issues-despite the fact that I’m an atheist.
    If you can’t see the sicko masochism of Western (white) civilization in these last few decades before its collapse, well, you don’t see the whole ugly picture.
    These times of excess and hubris have caused us to institutionalize the destruction of beauty and truth.

  204. ozone February 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Thanks M.D.
    Quite the holistic overview!
    When comes our particular “vintage”? :o(

  205. asia February 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    ‘Worrying about overpopulation when mankind has never been better fed is worrying for worrying’s sake’
    Having read the Erlich interview I agree with him!
    NEVER HAVE MORE STARVED! 400,000,000.
    .

  206. helen highwater February 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    To those who continue to believe that world population is declining – a quick Google search found this: The world’s population is now more than 6.8 billion and continues to grow by 83 million people per year. During the last half-century, the world’s population more than doubled. Between 1960 and 2010, the world population rose from 3 billion to 6.8 billion. In other words, there has been more growth in population in the last fifty years than the previous 2 million years that humans have existed. Currently the rate of population increase is 1.2% per year, which means the planet’s human population is on a trajectory to double again in 58 years. So if world population is going to double again in 58 years, how can you say it is declining?? And do you really think food production is going to keep up with that increase? Hello…

  207. ladelfina February 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Nickel, You Are Insane.
    OF COURSE there is deterioration in the food supply. I sense it over the course of just a few years here in my adopted home of Italy. There are FEWER mushrooms, LESS sheep’s milk, GARLIC from China, Seafood is frozen, pitiful and scrawny, from the Indian Ocean, nowadays. The restaurants try to hide the lack of decent seafood and other real food sources, but fail.
    Reading about tuna fishing derbys in Rhode Island in the 1970s… OOPS they don’t hold them anymore since there is no tuna!
    Who is paying you? to spread ridiculous disinformation is what I want to know…

  208. Buck Stud February 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Marlin,
    How do you take the noise? I never could understand why people willingly subject themselves to such obnoxious aural intrusions, be it a race car event, or the rap boom-box on the street.

  209. empirestatebuilding February 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    i don’t think the heavy stuff is gonna come down for a while…
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  210. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    “I’ve been watching Glenn Beck.
    He’s saying pretty much what JHK wrote in his blog, almost word for word.”
    Easy Marlin. You observation is the path to banishment. I’ve been trying to point this out for months and the only one here that seems to notice is old Jimmie hisself. He can’t handle the truth.

  211. San Jose Mom 51 February 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    That Mrs. Dugger must be out of her cotton-picken’ mind. With 20 children it means that means she’s been pregnant for 15 YEARS. I bet she’ll have false teeth by the time she’s 45. But I guess she thinks the Lard wants her to do, “multiply and replenish the earth.” Whatever.
    The mega-mom that irritates me most is Octomom with what….14 kids altogether? That woman has a screw loose. I think they yanked the medical license of the fertility doctor that implanted all those eggs at once.
    SJmom

  212. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    “Dear Tootsie, You are the “fucktard”. Your ability to communicate is limited to gutter language. ”
    Really fucktard? Well you just used the same term. At least I’m not a plagerizing fucktard.

  213. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    “I want to know… what exactly IS with all the hostility toward everyone else?”
    I guess there are really just a bunch of assholes in this old world. Where do you see you self falling in line?

  214. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    “You see…..I just drove 1,200 miles to come down here and spend $2,000 dollars…”
    You really are an idiot aren’t you? Next time just send me the two grand and stay home.

  215. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    ” REAGAN and the REPUBLICANS axed their funding and ordered them shut…”
    Wrong. It was the ACLU and their ilk that claimed that these folks were being institutionalized and as such it was inhumane treatment. Nice try…wrong facts.

  216. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    “It springs from a simple maxim: Are the majority God-believers/religious? If so, read: crazy. The question is, can crazy people achieve democracy? The answer is no.”
    Ooops, another fact fuckup. Our founders were believers. As a matter of fact, fucktard, our founders credited certain rights directly to God. And these rights being granted by God could not be abrogated by man.
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”
    Now shut up, finish your milk and cookies and go to fucking bed.

  217. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    “That Mrs. Dugger must be out of her cotton-picken’ mind.”
    Not really. She’s quite cogent, reasonable, and a hell of a mother to boot. You only need to watch about 5 minutes of their show to ascertain this. 20 kids ain’t my cup of tea but there is nothing remotely crazy about Mrs. Dugger.

  218. James Hansen February 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Hey Tootsie, in spite what people say about you, there is nothing wrong with you that could not be cured by a strong man with an axe handle.

  219. progressorconserve February 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    OK, I’ve been reading through the thread this evening – trying to see if there is a theme being established –
    Overpopulation is bad. 200,000,000 US citizens were probably a sufficient number in 1975+/-, which was when I became aware of the Zero Population Growth idea. And my wife and I certainly did our part – 2.0 kids; therefore fewer offspring than the 2.11 children/couple that ZPG would find optimal.
    The fact that there are now 312,000,000 mouths to feed in the US, is distinctly NOT my fault, nor the fault of my family. The fact that souls continue to pour over the borders and out of the airplanes at the rate of 1,000,000 LEGALLY per year into the US is completely BEYOND EXPLANATION to any person, anywhere on Earth, who understands reality.
    ================
    Someone keeps mentioning how well fed the world is, right now, this very day.
    Someone else mentions how Just In Time inventory management has spread its pernicious tentacles into food supply and delivery.
    Let all these trends collide and hold onto your hats, people. Crop failure for a year in one of the World’s “breadbasket” regions, coupled with a demanding, HUGE and GROWING United States population.
    I’ll be glad I’m in the States with a garden and chickens – but it’s still gonna be ugly everywhere.
    Seven years of plenty
    Seven years of famine
    An ancient story – Let’s hope it will never come true on a global scale –
    But I’m not seeing redundant global food stockpiles and backup systems.
    Anyone want to point out a year’s worth of food for 7,000,000,000 souls, piled up somewhere – just in case?
    All systems fail.
    Large systems fail with catastrophic results.

  220. Bustin J February 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Toots blew, “Our founders were believers. As a matter of fact, fucktard, our founders credited certain rights directly to God. And these rights being granted by God could not be abrogated by man.”
    My thesis is that no country ever was or had a democracy; American ‘democracy’ is ans was no exception. At the time our bat-shit crazy anscestors formed the republic, a huge proportion of the state was disempowered from the democratic process.
    If you doubt that thesis, examine the defintion of democracy:

    Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

    The “supreme power”, vested in the people, was in absentia from the conglomeration of principles in that time. By necessity, a successive revolutions had to take place. Their partial successes and failures inform the government we have now. And what a government! A democracy that shakes in its boots when civilians gather with signs and placards. A democracy that bars access to power by design. Recall Ross Perot’s call for ATM voting: quite possibly the closest philosophical call with real democracy this country ever witnessed.
    Do you drive a car made in 1950? No? What is it about cars from 1950 that they were so imperfect as to not be up to date in 2010? The same can be said about our government. Many people walk around pretending that the form and function of a human technology, incept date 1776, could not have been materially improved upon. Thus it is that we have our ridiculous executive branches of government convening so far from the their constituents, inhabiting a gallery where a gavel is banged ritualistically and everyone pretends this clown show is a practicable expression of the will of the people.
    Ha!
    Technology has absolutely destroyed the rationale for having a bunch of semi-professional clowns make decisions for citizens. We can do so directly through ATM-style boxes.
    Traditionalists will hew toward caution against such a scenario because they are federalists, not true supporters of democracy. Democracy, in its purest form would bend over backward to give every single person an equal vote; instead we have the electoral college. Neofederalists fear the ignorance of the people and show their neofeudal stripe. Democracy is a great idea; someone should someday try it. The belief has never been tested- that the people, in accordance with their own values- will make their own best judgments.
    Sure, such a democracy could arise from the fetid oppression we now live under. We’d just have to dynamite our way through the thick volumes of legal pablum between here and eternity.

  221. progressorconserve February 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    TooTsie is the house troll for CFN.
    He has had at least 10 banned screennames, to date.
    He is better than he used to be, though.
    If you find his responses insulting, you are correct in your assessment.
    DO NOT RESPOND directly to insults.
    Direct your complaints to CaptainSpaulding, the CFN Troll Abatement Officer.
    End of announcement.
    That is all.

  222. topcog February 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Reply to ‘conchscooter’ I”ve been wondering how long it would take someone, anyone to notice that no-one is talking about reducing the military budget, and it consumes somewhere around 60% of the TOTAL budget. Two stupid wars going on, and no possibility of “winning” either one. Come on folks, the last victor in Afganirocks was Genghis Khan. And he won because they killed everything.I also have to wonder that if the equivalent rather peaceful riot happened here in the states, how “peaceful” it would be. How soon the guvmint would bring in riot gear, and all the other stuff that they could get to make another Kent State. And the old hag hillary spewing off about how Mubarek should use ‘restraint”. Yea, like to see restraint here.!!!

  223. Gus44 February 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Thank you for both the poem and the reminder that the biggest problem in this country is that the media doesn’t do its fucking job any more. First I’ve heard about the Kentucky rising protest, and I follow the news more than most.

  224. Gus44 February 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Why blame the puppet, not the puppeteer?

  225. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    “Hey Tootsie, in spite what people say about you, there is nothing wrong with you that could not be cured by a strong man with an axe handle.”
    If I even remotely suspected you to be the man for the job, I’d invite you to stop by. But you are not. The closet you ever got to an axe handle was when you typed the words “axe handle”. (

  226. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    “At the time our bat-shit crazy anscestors..”
    As opposed to our modern day geniuses? ? You fucking wish our contemporaries could be a hundredth as crazy. Shut up. Right now.

  227. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    “Technology has absolutely destroyed the rationale for having a bunch of semi-professional clowns make decisions for citizens. We can do so directly through ATM-style boxes.”
    Riiiight. Between games on the x-box and visits to the porn site. Heaven forbid the morons should ever have to get in a room and look each other in the eye. What a maroon.

  228. tootsie February 14, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    “TooTsie is the house troll for CFN.”
    Progressorconserve is the house meat-puppet for house meat puppets. What the fuck, its a living.

  229. progressorconserve February 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Oh Captain, my Captain!
    Captain Spaulding, we need you on the bridge for a Troll Abatement Exercise.
    “TooTsie is the house troll for CFN.”
    -TooTsie-
    Progressorconserve is the house meat-puppet for house meat puppets. What the fsck, its a living.
    -tootsie-
    What exactly is a meat puppet, anyway? Seriously??

  230. marzo February 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    3000 Tunisian are trying to get to Italy hoping to find jobs, good luck!
    The boat people are coming!

  231. marzo February 14, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    Yes Jim dwinding resources and population explosion go hand in hand, but not on parallel tracks, rather on a collision course….

  232. marzo February 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    europe is being invaded by north africans and middle esteners just like we are invaded by south americans. Just like we have anything to offer?

  233. marzo February 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    sorry guys my lawn is now Pachysandra

  234. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    I didn’t ask you IF you were an asshole… I asked you WHY behave like one.

  235. progressorconserve February 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    Somehow my TEEVEE got on Bill O’Riley – 1st mistake
    And I sat down and started watching – 2nd mistake
    And did not change the channel – 3rd mistake
    And something O’Riley said made sense.
    And I was sore afraid.
    Bill said that voters who were opposed to abortion should not be expected to pay for it with their US tax dollars.
    Therefore, if you are opposed to 60% of your tax dollars going to our military adventures around the Globe, you should not be expected to pay for it with your US tax dollars.
    -thus spake bill o’riley – and it was Good-

  236. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    “If I even remotely suspected you to be the man for the job, I’d invite you to stop by. But you are not. The closet you ever got to an axe handle was when you typed the words “axe handle”. (”
    Save your breath…You’ll need it to blow up your date.

  237. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    “Progressorconserve is the house meat-puppet for house meat puppets. What the fuck, its a living.”
    Just out of curiosity, are your parents siblings?

  238. Qshtik February 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    the food was pretty good in montreal, but what a hassle it was getting a glass of ice water. what’s not to understand, water, with ice in it? what is it with you people?
    =============
    In the mid-50s our family vacationed in Canada. In Montreal one morning I ordered 2 eggs over easy with sausage. I was brought a bowl of Corn Flakes. I ate them and kept my mouth shut.

  239. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    “I guess there are really just a bunch of assholes in this old world. Where do you see you self falling in line?”
    A sharp tongue does not mean you have a keen mind

  240. suburbanempire February 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Hey OEO Tootsie… honeybunch??…. what’s the matter??? Don’t want to play anymore? Don’t let you mind wander – it’s far too small to be let out on its own
    !

  241. nickel February 15, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Dig?
    Sure, pal.
    Lesson learned. Never, ever use, even once, “planet Earth” in a comment, because commenters may assume you mean you’re one with mother Earth, or you can visualize Earth like a friggin astronaut or sumthin.

  242. nickel February 15, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth
    With their projected demographics trend there would have been NO oil left in 1992, not just most oil would have to come from OPEC. As to gold, even multiplying the known gold reserves by 5 to be deliriously conservative, the world should have run out of gold in 2001.
    My point was never that you were ignorant of the population doomers of that day. But that they were wrong, time and again. Over and over they made the most precise estimates of population growth, of consumption rates, of proven reserves, and warn of the coming doom next year, or 3 years from now, or 10 years from now… doom that never comes. “Yes, there is always this stupid oil discovery, and population refusing to grow as fast as initially predicted, and newfangled extraction technique, or new fabrication technique that requires less input, or better rice breed, that has thwarted our predictions for the last 30 years, but surely this time we have made the final survey of the planet’s resources, and technology will never grow beyond its current state, so this time we will be proven right, won’t we, won’t we?”

  243. thomas99 February 15, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Had a pleasant lay this pm w/ my little darlin’ of 40 years and the help of a blue pill. Happy V’tines day, y’all.

  244. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Snowflake asked Tootsie: What exactly is a meat puppet, anyway?
    ===========
    I believe it is anyone possessing the chutzpah and such an incredible sense of self-importance as to be able to state out loud with a straight face that their purpose here is “to use what I learn on CFN to try to make things better for
    my family
    my State
    my Country
    my Planet
    my Solar System
    my Galaxy
    my Universe
    and any Parallel Universes that may or may not exist.”

  245. Shakazulu February 15, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Jim,
    You like retroactive abortion? A student of history and you never heard of a Nazi Concentration Camp? What would you call that? It all has the same effect–lowered population. Hitler died but his spirit lives on. S.H.!

  246. JonathanSS February 15, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    …stupid in the sense that most of us seem to have very poor critical thinking skills.

    I agree with your post, however, I might replace the word stupid with delusional or lacking in introspection. The realities of life can be a cold, heartless bitch.
    It’s easier to take the path of least resistance. To go along with the materialistic masses. To fill your life with trivialities; mass entertainment, franchise food huts, showy displays of wealth.

  247. nickel February 15, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    Nickel you are insane
    I definitely am. You have been warned.
    Now I can’t vouch for Italy but I have heard the same complaints here. Booh for chinese garlic! But we have chinese garlic because it’s cheaper, and people prefer paying less so cheaper chinese garlic has displaced western garlic. If we ever get garlic scarcity, then the price would rise, western garlic would be competitive again and there would be more offer available.
    Which is really kind of my point. By and large, food has steadily been getting cheaper in the last couple of centuries. Which doesn’t mean there can’t be occasional shortages and scarcities, but that overall the general price trend is downwards.
    Who is paying you? to spread ridiculous disinformation is what I want to know…
    You unmasked me, I am a highly paid professional anonymous internet commenter in the pay of… the, ehr, Mossad? Yeah, the Mossad! They’re ruthless, man, no one fucks with the Mossad!
    I’m starting to really, really enjoy this!

  248. nickel February 15, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    Human population is still going up, no doubt about that. But if you pay attention to fertility rates, they have been going down pretty much all over the planet. If it goes under about 2.1, eventually the population starts to go down. But crossing the 2.1 threshold does not mean that the population goes down immediately. In demographics things play out slowly. You need time for the baby boom generation to die off, and be replaced by a younger, smaller generation,

  249. suburbanempire February 15, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    “They” WHO is “they” and were “they” ALL wrong?
    I remember “they” were all saying the world was going to end on 7/7/1999 (because it was 666 upsidedown???)
    They they they…..
    If I were conducting population projections in the 60’s (for compleation and publication in the 70’s) I would have run under some false assumptions (as Donald Rumsfeld would say, “Things we don’t know, we don’t know”)…. first AIDS… would’nt have occured to anyone as a factor until the late 80’s… we were well on our way to wipeing out all population reducing disease in the 60’s..We beat small pox, polio, malaria…. what could go wrong?
    Second, War…. we were led to believe that WWII was the last war (Korea and Vietnam were not “wars” they were “conflicts”)
    Anyone doing population projections in the 1960’s would have assumed that war was effectively obsolete… that is; that it wouldn’t happen because the A bomb, H bomb, and ICBM were all or nothing options (we pretty much ruled out conventional warfare as a long term possibility for awhile, any conventional warfare was thought to go nuclear for a time)…. there weren’t suspossed to be any victoms of war unless we ALL died… well, that never quite panned out either and it turned out that our non nuclear “conflicts” actually were wars… with millions of victims.
    I have no Idea who said the oil would be gone by 92… in 92 oil was around ten bucks a barrel and Calgary, Denver, Houston, and Grand Junction were in the same housing foreclosure slump the rest of the world is in right now.
    Pop Quiz… what caused the fall of the Soviet Union?
    A. Bonzo’s co-star
    B. Jane Wyman’s Ex
    C. the Saudi’s misrepresentation of their “proven reserves” enableing them to produce more than their OPEC allowence and bring the cost of a barrel down to $10… at a time when the Caspian region cost 12-14 a barrel to produce?

  250. suburbanempire February 15, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    “They” WHO is “they” and were “they” ALL wrong?
    I remember “they” were all saying the world was going to end on 7/7/1999 (because it was 666 upsidedown???)
    They they they…..
    If I were conducting population projections in the 60’s (for compleation and publication in the 70’s) I would have run under some false assumptions (as Donald Rumsfeld would say, “Things we don’t know, we don’t know”)…. first AIDS… would’nt have occured to anyone as a factor until the late 80’s… we were well on our way to wipeing out all population reducing disease in the 60’s..We beat small pox, polio, malaria…. what could go wrong?
    Second, War…. we were led to believe that WWII was the last war (Korea and Vietnam were not “wars” they were “conflicts”)
    Anyone doing population projections in the 1960’s would have assumed that war was effectively obsolete… that is; that it wouldn’t happen because the A bomb, H bomb, and ICBM were all or nothing options (we pretty much ruled out conventional warfare as a long term possibility for awhile, any conventional warfare was thought to go nuclear for a time)…. there weren’t suspossed to be any victoms of war unless we ALL died… well, that never quite panned out either and it turned out that our non nuclear “conflicts” actually were wars… with millions of victims.
    I have no Idea who said the oil would be gone by 92… in 92 oil was around ten bucks a barrel and Calgary, Denver, Houston, and Grand Junction were in the same housing foreclosure slump the rest of the world is in right now.
    Pop Quiz… what caused the fall of the Soviet Union?
    A. Bonzo’s co-star
    B. Jane Wyman’s Ex
    C. the Saudi’s misrepresentation of their “proven reserves” enableing them to produce more than their OPEC allowence and bring the cost of a barrel down to $10… at a time when the Caspian region cost 12-14 a barrel to produce?

  251. nickel February 15, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    Regarding Paul Ehrlich
    1968 The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate
    1970 In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish
    1971 By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000
    Yeah, right on the money.

  252. Eleuthero February 15, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    We don’t hear much about foreign countries
    in the USA with our abysmal news stations.
    Hence, we probably think that life is clipping
    along just fine for them. In reality, there
    have been PROTEST SUICIDES in Tunisia and
    many other North African countries just in
    the past few weeks.
    Like the USA, the power structures in these
    other countries are set up so that the already-
    wealthy can LOOT whatever wealth remains and
    that is EXACTLY what is happening in Egypt and
    many other countries that we never hear about.
    I can only reiterate that this is a DARK AGE
    and government hooligans and their corporate
    shills all comprise a global KLEPTOCRACY which
    has about as much interest in you as the man
    in the moon.
    As for the USA, get ready for a sovereign debt
    downgrade and more financial shenanigans. What
    else can you expect from a Manchurian Democrat
    like Obama who appointed a JP Morgan shill as
    Chief of Staff and who is attempting to gut
    small business loans to the tune of $1.2T.
    I mean, sheeeeeit, I’m not a Democrat but I
    think even *I* am to the left of this sumbitch.
    E.

  253. Patrizia February 15, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    You have a clear idea how it works…
    The Empire was not built for the American people sake, but for a restricted elite’s sake.
    On one side the “producers”, slaves working for 30 dollars a month, seven days a week, the resources from the enslaved lands, oil, metals and so on (including bananas) on the other side the big class of American consumers, brainwashed to consume more and more.
    But somehow greediness, as it always does, broke the chain.
    Still a lot of cheap producers, but on the other end consumers that have no means anymore to consume.
    So, what is the solution?
    There are too many people in this world, in principle do we need billions of slaves?
    It would be better to have a population that doesn’t exceed 500 millions.
    The slaves would go on producing cheap, but we (the ones who survive) would consume less resources and may be could even PAY…
    Wouldn’t it be a better world?…
    I see the full picture and I see the plan.
    A war, some widespread disease even better.
    Didn’t you see the ready coffins?
    At least the US people will have a some kind of burial and the holy land won’t be contaminated by millions of bodies scattered around…
    It is time to open our eyes and mouths and close our wallets…

  254. orionoir February 15, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    {Had a pleasant lay this pm w/ my little darlin’ of 40 years and the help of a blue pill. Happy V’tines day, y’all.}
    ————-
    you go thomas, no doubt about it!
    when the old lady & i get it on, we like to huff a couple bags of lighter fluid then rig up the bungee cords off the cell tower next door.
    being on a fixed income, we’ve learned to supplement our income with the amway calvacade of sex toys, lotions and sundry visuals. think of it as a tupperware party for unspeakable human degradation, pleasure and postprandial horseplay.
    since you mentioned the blue pill, here’s a dandy little tidbit of erotic know-how no-way no-how… use mortar & pestle to crush the viagra, then gradually whisk in a benzene-based industrial solvent. in a sauce pan, keep the mixture at a steady 320f — if it moves 1% to the hot or cold, it becomes unstable and flares far more intensely than a magnesium grenade. salt to taste, serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

  255. Buck Stud February 15, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    Be careful Q, very, very careful–you’re about to unleash the smoldering violence of an Earnest T. Bass!
    By the way, when you mentioned your wife was a top- flight designer the other day, I almost asked if her name was “Cookie”. Now you might think that is not very nice, but, in fact, it is a bit of a compliment to an old writing of yours that I found hilarious. How bout an encore, or better yet, a repost?

  256. old6699 February 15, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Democracy
    The arab world needs “democracy”: this is another of those magical, abstract words that everyone is brainwashed to chant. No one ever says what they really need, and namely HIGH QUALITY HOMES WITH A LOW RENT AND JOBS. This is the starting point, the basics for any kind of economy to take off, for any kind of possible future, for any kind of progress.
    Since the market can’t create and will never be able to create millions of real – productive jobs because we now live in an automated, optimized and global economy that needs and will increasingly need less and less work, only the government, only large scale public or public – private entities hiring millions of people, even mostly to do nothing at all, since there really isn’t much to do anymore when the productive process is so high tech and automated will really cut it. And these workers will need homes having a low rent, so say a salary of 500 dollars a month and a rent of 100 dollars a month for a 1,000 sq ft (90 sqm) home with running water and electricity.
    Now that is what the arab world needs, that is what the “third world” and now even large areas of the “first world” need. But the right wing thugs, the capitalists, the banks and all others keep people brainwashed with all of this BS of meritocracy, you have “to deserve it”, you have to “innovate”, be “competitive”, be “flexible”, “have the right hot new skill set”, etc. etc. All of this talk just serves to justify not giving at least the basic starting point, the real basics to everyone, but exclude as many people as possible with all kinds of possible excuses: the excuses are never ending, you will never be competitive or innovative or flexible enough, there will always be some hot new skills that the corporate geniuses invent, to exclude, to kick out of work the older slobs, to filter out as many slobs as possible and hire only those select few that know all the secret passwords and jargons and information manipulations that have been arbitrarily assigned as the “hot new skill set”; just to dump it all a year or 2 later and start all over again.
    And when all of these excuse are not enough, then we need “democracy”, that insane, absurd process where millions are brainwashed with all of this huge pile of crap and vote in other more refined right wing thugs to keep the game going. The game consists of robbing as much as possible from the poor, create as many fake resource scarcities as possible, invent as many excuses as possible and set up the poor against other poor, so they beat each other up with all possible excuses based on race, color, culture, meritocracy, competition, etc.
    No one ever says what directly is needed, what directly should be given to all by law, by imposition, because an advanced civilization should know better, should understand the basic point that FREE SALARIES AND CHEAP RENTS are what is needed worldwide, and this is the starting point. Then if someone is better he can make all the millions he wants, but millions have to start out with houses and jobs given by the government, jobs where what is produced and doing nothing at all is correct and ok, because this is the reality of a high tech globalized economy.
    But no one cares, no one can see through all of this BS of capitalism, profit, innovation, competition, and “democracy”, etc. Now thousands of poor slobs from northern africa want to enter europe (hoping to achieve at least the basics, good luck with that) some are drowning, but no one says what is really directly needed. We live in automated economies that have HUGE EXCESS CAPACITY in all productive endeavors (so much capacity that we have to keep millions out of work and essentially pay them for free anyways through pensions and unemployment etc. less we soffocate in all of the production we are now capable of, the US has 10 million empty homes, Europe from Lisbon to Moscow has 20 million empty homes, THAT IS CALLED EXCESS CAPACITY). There are 100 trillion dollars the rich have in banks worldwide not doing anything, and the Fed keeps on printing billions of dollars and handing it right into the hands of the already super rich. Most of these thousands of billionaires don’t know what to do with all the cash, it is insane, really!
    Egypt has 20 million people under the age of 30 years old, they have no house or job, europe should create at least 7 million jobs and offer 7 million homes for the jobs to allow to rent: it won’t happen through the free market or capitalism, can no longer happen, we need free salaries and cheap rents, 500 DOLLARS A MONTH SALARY GUARANTEED AND 100 DOLLARS A MONTH RENTS FOR 1,000 sq ft (90 sqm) home with running water and electricity.
    Check out:
    viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174173
    viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174178
    Oh, and by the way, beware of another of those magical and abstract concepts, the DEBTS and PUBLIC DEBTS countries have worldwide. This is another control mechanism, to keep people under the thumb of the rich and capitalists, first they got people and governments into huge debts and now there is no way to possibly pay it off ( like a naive poker player) except by fooling people to buy into the debt so they can get a small profit. The great DEBTS scam and fraud, when the Fed can just print the trillions and zero out the debts in a jiffy, but this control mechanism is just too cool and effective (by the way, Europe is getting billions of dollars in fake money from the Fed anyways with the excuse of the DEBTS).

  257. Patrizia February 15, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    You presented the right picture and the right answer too.
    This system, so carefully built to make more and more profits to the few, won´t last.
    Those few that think to be Gods do not even understand the elementary law of nature.
    A race doesn’t extinguish because defeated by its enemies.
    It extinguishes for lack of preys, lack of food.
    If the prey (system) that feeds you survives, you can survive.
    The American corporations built a system that lives on itself.
    On one end the “slave producers” on the other the “slave consumers”.
    When there is no prey (consumers) there is no food.
    Only a society in which everybody has his place, produces and consumes can create the right environment for all.
    Our biggest enemy is our nature.
    The human race and its goal of survival at any cost. The cost being sometimes at others´expenses.
    Mors tua, vita mea.

  258. mm February 15, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    thank you. the lack of this sentiment around this site was starting to to really creep me out.

  259. LewisLucanBooks February 15, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    “What A Day For A Lay.” Thank you, W. H. Auden.

  260. LewisLucanBooks February 15, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    Anyone know what’s up with alternet.org? They have been “down” for over 24 hours. Tried to open it in both Safari and Chrome. No dice.

  261. Onlypassingthru February 15, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    If all’s so bad, why don’t you all shoot yourself?

  262. welles February 15, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    Finally somone with a modicum of common sense.
    At least in the technological-minded Occident, folks adapt to rising/falling resource levels by adapting/inventing their way out of harm’s way.
    Kunstler’s an adroit wordsmith, but his end-of-days shtik is stale at best.
    Shalom to All

  263. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    LLBooks;
    Report today states Border Books is going toes up, shutting down for good. I’ve always tried to mostly shop at independent and used book stores for my books but I liked Borders, too. Employees pleasant, helpful and knowledgable (local English majors), willingness to gladly order anything not on hand, an unhurried and cool atmosphere … what wasn’t there to like. Alas, its not enough and here will be another empty storefront, papered over so you can’t look in, at the local mall.
    So you mentioned that your bookstore is in trouble in Washington State. Bookstores are in trouble everywhere. Now if there was a legal way you could market and sell Crystal Meth you’d have the World beating a path to your doorstep, ‘specially all those unemployed and underemployed lumberjacks, eh!
    Marzo, yes, the Camp of the Saints is truly at hand, set up right here, on the quaint and historic New Haven green. That’s ground zero for the new World emerging from the ruins of the old.

  264. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Yeah, Beantown Bill, I’m in Farmington, CT. Not far from you. Maybe later on this summer drive Southeast down that Mass. pike for steaks on the grill (charcoal not gas) Pabst and the Red Sox on AM radio. Even tho I’m a Mets fan.
    I’m afraid the Mets are in for another tough season. Oh, they have talent, but it turns out Bernie Madoff had a close financial link to the Org. Its caused all kinds of problems.

  265. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Bill, I should have said ‘drive southwest, not southeast.

  266. lbendet February 15, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    E,
    Years ago I was white water rafting in WV and I ran into some French tourists around my age that were yelling at me how our news was so ego-centric that there was virtually no international news. I had to agree having traveled in Europe and had a chance to compare for myself.
    They were so much better at covering world events one region at a time.
    I can’t remember when, but our media cut down the time for world news and put on Entertainment tonight kind of shows instead. Guess the market spoke! To the world: “We’re just not that into ya!”
    Anyway I think it’s pretty funny that Obama really is right of Nixon who was still Keynesian, and every bill he tries to pass is Republican, yet the noisemakers keep calling him a Socialist.
    It’s like they won’t be happy until he’s right of Attila the Hun, but even then he’s in the wrong side of the duopoly.
    How bizarre it is that the top echelon gets itself into a total debacle, gets paid to continue the hoax while punishing everyone else.
    I mentioned yesterday that Jamie Dimon sees himself and his fellow bankers as victims. Not only should you exonerate the USA crime syndicate, but you should like them as well.

  267. old6699 February 15, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Be very careful to not be fooled and trapped in the resource scarcity myths that abound around here, and really everywhere from everyone of all political colors and stripes. These are all FALSE, REPEAT, THEY ARE ALL FALSE.
    The real scarcity is only in the inability of civilization to work for a common goal, to work the technology it already has in its favor, to find a collective purpose and goal, to avoid so many different views and conflicts at the collective political level. There has never been a time of so much abundance and potential abundance, if there is scarcity it is imposed by above, by politics, by bad social organizations, by cutting off resources to parts of the population so they can fight for them, whereas the resources are all there in untold numbers.
    Energy is not scarce, just from the Sun, and Sea and Wind, and many, many other methods it is practically infinite. Oil and Gas can be produced by engineered bacteria, there is absolutely no scarcity, if anything there is potentially way too much energy making it end up costing nothing. Same for housing, food, etc. Bioengineering can create trillions of free steaks, high quality skyscrapers can create trillions of houses, and especially, the population explosion will never happen, no matter what the doomsday people say and think. There are a very large number of feedback loops that limit the population, women, as soon as they are somewhat educated don’t, I repeat, don’t want to have so many kids, there are cultural, mental – psychological, sociological reasons that lowers the birth rate, there are economical, organizational reasons, there are a very large number of feedback loops that will never make the population explode. And even if it did explode, we can use the entire earth and the solar system to easily host thousands of trillions of people.
    All of these resource scarcity myths, and JHK, probably unknowingly or unaware of it, serves to pass the simple message: THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE, THEREFORE EVERYONE FIGHT EACH OTHER FOR THE LITTLE THAT IS LEFT. THIS PLAYS IN NICELY INTO THE HANDS OF THE RICH, BANKS AND CAPITALISTS.
    Beware, think it over carefully, don’t be a tool in the hands of the already super rich.

  268. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I’m disappointed in you, SnowFlakeII.
    A meat puppet actually is a real term.
    From Urban Dictionary:
    “1)Penises 2) to play meat puppets 3) An 80’s punk band.
    The members of NAMBLA like to play meat puppets with little boys.”
    From wiki dictionary:
    “A colloquial term for a Non-Autonomous Genetic Automaton (NAGA). A meat puppet is a manufactured human that has no higher brain functions or autonomy and is fitted with a sliptrans-accessed control system”
    No mention of meat puppets who want to make the World a better place, Q. Sorry about that.
    ============================
    Radio Traffic
    SnowflakeI to Captain Spaulding
    MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY
    Qshtik has joined Trolls Ling/Tza/notNot
    They’re attacking! Can’t shake ‘em off!
    I’m crashing on an unknown planet.
    The atmosphere is poisonous and vindictive.
    The surface is humorless.
    Send rescue units.
    This is my last transmission for now.
    That is all.

  269. ccm989 February 15, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Egypt gains Democracy while the US Democracy continues to slide into oblivion. One thing I’ve noticed is that the GOP has revitalized its call to end legal abortions. During the last election cycle, the GOP claimed it would reduce taxes but since they have no real idea on how to do that they have taken up right wing “social” causes again a/k/a no gay marriage, no abortions, no birth control, etc. What if abortion was actually outlawed in the US? What would be the actual cost in terms of dollars and cents?
    I googled to find out that an typical abortion performed in the US costs $468. Almost all abortions are paid for by the woman herself. Almost no abortions at all are paid for by the government. The exceptions are if the unplanned pregnancy is the result of rape/incest/ectopic pregnancy. Also insurance companies generally don’t pay for elective abortions either (think how good they are at saying NO to any claims). So basically, the US taxpayers funds absolutely NO abortions. But to hear the GOP talk, we are being bankrupted by funding zillions of abortions, all of which is completely untrue.
    According to the CDC, about 1 million fetuses are aborted per year in the US (from 1970 to present). 40 million pregnancies terminated. Imagine if we, the American taxpayer, had to pay for upbringing of those 40 million unplanned pregnancies. Certainly the mothers of these unplanned children would not be able to contribute much because they are largely young, uneducated and poor. But some of these children would be privately adopted and raised up. Which ones?
    Lets imagine that 50% of these unplanned pregnancies resulted in healthy white babies who would probably get adopted because that’s what adoptive parents want. But if 25% of the children born were non-white and the other 25% were physically challenged due to a lack of pre-natal care, 50% would remain unadopted and be added to the taxpayers’ burden. So the burden would fall on the taxpayer to pay for education, shelter, food and medical care and special needs of 20 million extra mouths. On average it costs $220,000 to raise a child in America (not counting college or special needs care). Can you imagine the staggering amount of taxes that would require? The National Deficit would explode and we would indeed become a third world country. Or is that simply the GOP plan?

  270. nickel February 15, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    I have no Idea who said the oil would be gone by 92
    I mentioned that this was in the 1972 Limits to Growth and then you asked for a source, it’s in the wikipedia link I provided for you.
    “They” WHO is “they” and were “they” ALL wrong?
    More quotes from the scarcity stars from those days:
    1970: Ehrlich had a scenario in which four billion people would starve to death between 1980 and 1989, 65 million of whom would be Americans
    1970: Harrison Brown, member of the National Academy of Sciences, estimated that humanity would totally run out of copper by 2000, and that lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would all be gone by 1990
    1976: Paul Ehrlich in The End of Affluence “before 1985 mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity…in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.”
    1981: Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute “the period of global food security is over. As the demand for food continues to press against supply, inevitably real food prices will rise. The question no longer seems to be whether they will rise, but how much.”
    1994: Brown again: “The world’s farmers can no longer be counted on to feed the projected additions to the world’s population.”
    Meanwhile in the real world
    Worldwatch Institute 2001 report: “Nonfuel commodities now fetch only 46 percent as much as in the mid-1970s.”
    “food and fertilizer prices are about one-fourth their 1974 peak.”
    So, yeah, one could charitably say that they were pretty much all wrong.

  271. orionoir February 15, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    {Radio Traffic
    I’m crashing on an unknown planet.
    The atmosphere is poisonous and vindictive.
    The surface is humorless.
    Send rescue units.
    This is my last transmission for now.
    That is all.}

  272. orbit7er February 15, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Actually we should be heartened by the Democratic Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and probably sweeping the Arab World. It is another blow against the Empire, which is crumbling on all fronts.
    As far as criticism of the almost $1 Trillion War
    budget, although once again ignored by NPR and the Corporate Media, it is cracking through in some very unlikely places. For example, even at the
    Conservative PAC convention Rumsfield and Cheney were booed for the Iraq War.
    Grover Nordquist, Dick Armey and of course for
    years, Ron Paul from the rightwing Teabag set are
    finally putting the larded carcass of the Pentagon
    up on the table for their budget cutting knives.
    In all my conversations with train riders, neighbors, musician friends I have still never come across anyone who supports the Wars and their multi-Trillion dollar price tag, the 1,000 overseas bases or, the Pentagaon’s true pride and joy, the 234 golf cources all over the planet run for the military’s amusement.
    Of course most people have no clue that over 50% of our Federal income taxes are wasted on various forms of War spending for the profits of the Military Industrial Complex, nor do most realize the $180 Billion Afghan War cost would pay off
    the debt for all 50 States.
    But that dawning recognition is coming…

  273. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    “unknown planet accretes
    must this be descent
    smells like jersey”
    “SMELLS LIKE JERSEY?”
    I hope you are talking about the famous Cow.
    ‘Cause if you’re talking about the State.
    This crash site is worse than I feared.
    Vindictive surface, humorless atmosphere –
    Send help fast!
    =================
    In the real world, parts of NJ are OK. We spent a week there when my boys were young, camping at Cheesequake State Park. Several days we drove into Staten Island and took the ferry over to NYC.
    Good times!
    But now I’m trying to remember if NJ is one of those states where they don’t sell beer at regular retail outlets, only at bars, thus doubling the price. In which case –
    Bad times, too.

  274. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Yeah Orbit7er the US is this great empire with our puny 490,000 man regular army and 300 ship navy.
    The Confederate army had more soldiers than this in 1862. Grant had a half million troops in 1865 to take Richmond.
    Some empire.

  275. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    And if we’re this big bad empire who are we lording over; Guam?, Puerto Rico? American Samoa? Empire? What fu—-g empire?

  276. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    “This is fun”
    – Nickle –
    I tend to agree with you about that, Nickle.
    Couple of points:
    1. RE: Studies predicting collapse and doom in 1972, 1992, or other random dates.
    Legitimate studies don’t get into the “mainstream media or FOX” unless they have some scary or emotional component. This can bias authorship. It can also lead to the “Worst Case Outcome” of an otherwise good study being emphasized.
    EXA – The world will be more crowded, hotter, and food will cost more and be of lower quality by December, 2012.
    OR
    – We will all die in December 2012.
    Which story is more likely to hit the medias?
    2. It amazes me how many posters complain about the pessimism of the CF Nation. I mean, come on people – Jeeze, look at the NAME of the place. What exactly do you expect to find in the comment threads.
    Would you go to FOX News websites expecting to see praise for Obama for the bang-up job he’s doing on the Egypt situation.
    I always go over to pollyanna.com and post if I get too depressed on CFN.
    ==============
    Nickle, you strike me as one who believes the “petroleum replaced whale oil in the nick of time – myth.” Care to talk about it?
    http://www.radford.edu/wkovarik/misc/blog/8.whaleoil.html

  277. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    CCM –
    Your post has the ring of truth and logic to it.
    Logic, unfortunately, has a small and shrinking place in American politics.
    I think it’s time the democrats and the liberals admit that it is time to just GIVE UP on abortion. It’s another issue like gun control that has come to only benefit the RW and the repubs when it’s brought up.
    Doesn’t make sense. But too many fruit loops are getting through the republican primary system with their ideas completely unexamined.
    Except for the one idea, “Save The Fetuses!”
    Our politics keeps proving that it is impossible to move from a maniacal single issue focus to good governance.
    Just can’t be done.

  278. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    To clarify:
    Polyanna.com is for sale.
    I may buy it.
    http://www.polyanna.com/
    And maybe it is Massachusetts that doesn’t have beer in regular retail stores. Where ever it was, it was a strange feeling to have to go into a bar and sneak out with a 6-pack in a plain brown bag.
    That must be what’s it like to buy marijuana in Amsterdam, you suppose?

  279. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Who knew how to misspell pollyanna?
    http://www.pollyanna.com/
    It’s a real clothing store, apparently located in Barnsley. Which apparently is located outside of the US. Who knew such places existed?

  280. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    PoC;
    Am I mistaken … did you state several weeks ago that you believed 2nd amendment rights should be expanded?
    I’m an NRA member but I don’t agree with all of their positions, an apostate, if you will …
    For example, I don’t think AR style rifles, of which there are 25+ manufacturers in the US alone, including my own relatives, should be permitted in the civic realm. That also goes for high capacity 9mm pistols (like used in Arizona) and Kalishnikov style assault rifles. How can you have a civic culture with those things in peoples hands? These weapons are killing machines, that’s all, for military and police use! I remember being surprised when people showed up with AR 15s at the public range I shoot at with my Winchesters and Marlins after I was discharged. Stupid me, up to that time I thought they were strictly for military use. Even now, when I see a bunch of young duded showing up at the range with their AKs and ARs, I pack up and call it a day.

  281. newworld February 15, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    “Next?”
    That is simple to answer, read the book “The Camp of the Saints”, by Respail.
    Witness the Tunisians, the first thing they try to do is escape from people most like themselves.
    As for you professional anti-whites what you do to this aging white man is wrong, but what you have done to our children is criminal.
    You’ve set in stone laws and regulations that strip us of an identity of anything positive, and at the same time identify us as the legal boogeyman (go ahead and mark the box labled caucasion), and now with multi-culturalism the invasion will begin.
    Prediction, even JHK will curse the legacy of Franz Boas.

  282. newworld February 15, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Marlin perhaps the lamest gun answer I have ever seen. Winchesters and Remingtons are the killing machines of the military. Couple of months ago I read a book about a Marine sniper and he while using a Remington 700 killed at least 100 confirmed in Iraq 2003.
    What we as NRA types need to do is smack the hands of the extremist “operator” cult types, not pen paens of political correctness.

  283. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    You got me there dead balls, newworld.

  284. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    “Am I mistaken … did you state several weeks ago that you believed 2nd amendment rights should be expanded?”
    -marlin-
    That wasn’t me, although I may have given that impression. I just don’t think the liberals (and I tend to be one) can win any points by bringing any sorts of weapons restrictions up, any longer.
    I think the definition of Assault Rifle used in that Clinton era law was flawed, being based, IMO more on the appearance of the weapon than the operating characteristics.
    I’m saying a semi-automatic .223 rifle (AR15, demilled M16) has the same knockdown power as any other .223. I can see where really short barrel lengths might be an issue for concealed carry.
    But if the thing can’t be easily or legally modified for 3 round bursts – it’s just another semiauto rifle with a small diameter high velocity load.
    My bottom line feeling is that we have plenty of weapons laws and other laws. We need to enforce them to get the guns out of the hands of criminals and keep them away.
    In my ideal world – I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the “well regulated” side of the 2nd amendment being emphasized – but I’ve got the bias of a middle aged guy who has done the training and can pay for the permits. So, I can see where the NRA justifies opposition to that idea, too.

  285. nickel February 15, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Hi progressorconserve,
    Regarding your point 1, sure sensationalism sells. But regarding the Club of Rome and its 1972 Limits to Growth, I do not believe this was really a consideration. These guys were not an obscure bunch of long-haired hippies who had to sensationalize their ideas in order to break through the superficial media circus of today. They were serious, earnest, highly-regarded scientists, top-notch technocrats and industrialists.
    Limits to growth was a technocratic report that turned into a runaway popular hit.

  286. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    “Limits to growth was a technocratic report that turned into a runaway popular hit.”
    -nickle-
    I don’t disagree with you on your response back to me. I do wish some of the population control recommendations had been put in place as that study suggested back in the ’70’s. (This is from memory – some study suggested all sorts of cool ideas to control populations world wide; and at the same time improve living standards.)
    And to move this thing US-centric for a second. I’m sure that the ZPG idea said that 200,000,000 US citizens was PLENTY. That’s the set of rules that I was following through the ’80’s when I had my two kids.
    Who decided that tax incentives for large families and super high immigration rates to increase US populations were a good idea? When were these decisions made?
    Why wasn’t I informed and given a chance to sign off on this stuff?
    How do we go about getting some of it reversed?

  287. bossier22 February 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    i shudder to think what a true democracy would be like if anyone had a say so on any issue. i will take a corrupt elite any day to that.

  288. ozone February 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    “And maybe it is Massachusetts that doesn’t have beer in regular retail stores. Where ever it was, it was a strange feeling to have to go into a bar and sneak out with a 6-pack in a plain brown bag.
    That must be what’s it like to buy marijuana in Amsterdam, you suppose?” -PoC
    ===========================
    That would be a “no” and a “no”.
    In fact, MA just lowered the tax on booze. (Probably to keep us all stupified and safety net-free! Ain’t we just the cradle of “independence”?)
    Yer local Advocate-like rag in Amsterdam has a guide for purchase and consumption of fine hybrid “products”. The main buzz-words? Be respectful. The old-timers consider it insulting to consume “in their faces”. Not a problem with the cops, but c’mon, no need to piss on a lawn that isn’t yours, eh? Plenty of quiet benches/cafes/coffeehouses themselves to sit and consume without being “intrusive”.
    Oh, and [most] coffeehouses do not serve drunks. They are places conducive to mellowness. Rowdiness is frowned on and not tolerated. (Not so good for American frat-boyz, in other words.)
    For further research:
    http://www.coffeeshop.freeuk.com/

  289. nickel February 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    you strike me as one who believes the “petroleum replaced whale oil in the nick of time – myth.” Care to talk about it?
    I do not know much about the specific petroleum vs whale oil scenario. But I will confess to this: I have been strongly influenced by the views of Julian Simon. I believe you can find his entire book “The ultimate resource” online. I really think all readers of this blog should read it, if only to confront their views with radically different ones. I will honestly say that at first I was scandalized by his ideas, and I still disagree with some others.
    Nevertheless on some points he has convinced me. I found his discussions of successive firewood and coal scares (“Peak wood” and “peak coal”, if you wish) pretty eye-opening.
    He also looks into the sorry state of resource scarcity predictions and he rips into them. They fail again and again, like zeppelins going in flames one after the other.
    It’s not that the figures they use is wrong, it’s that the modeling they do is unsound. They take estimates of reserves, divide by consumption compounded by population growth and find inevitable doomsday X years from now. The economy does not work that way. Estimates of reserves are not cast in stone, technology improves, population does not behave as planned.
    He describes a process in which as scarcity starts to get near, prices go up and this provides an incentive to find a workaround 1) look for more of the same elsewhere 2) find a new way to extract the resource 3) use the resource more efficiently 4) find an alternate resource. In the end, you generally end up with a price that is lower than you started from. The whale oil vs petroleum case would seem to match this pattern.
    It is counter-intuitive, but it matches the real world in the past couple of hundred years better than the alternative model.

  290. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    By the way, when you mentioned your wife was a top- flight designer the other day, I almost asked if her name was “Cookie”. Now you might think that is not very nice, but, in fact, it is a bit of a compliment to an old writing of yours that I found hilarious. How bout an encore, or better yet, a repost?
    ===========
    I said my wife was a decorator of the first rank and that I considered that skill a subset of design. She doesn’t take this flair she has out into the “for-profit” world but acquaintances often ask her to drop over and give them advice.
    Re Cookie … I had to think for a minute or two what you were talking about, and then I remembered. Wow, that must have been at least a year ago. I won’t try to reconstruct the tale here but if time permits maybe I’ll go back and search for it.
    Thanks for saying you found it humorous. I often write stuff that I personally think is hilarious and I sit before my laptop with tears streaming down my cheeks and my wife walks by the door of my man-cave and says WHAT is WRONG with you!?! But most of the time I submit these vinyetts (sp?) and get back zero reaction. e.g. I think this latest about S-flake is moderately funny.

  291. San Jose Mom 51 February 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    For a couple of years starting in 1968, my family lived in Middletown, NJ. My dad commuted to NYC everyday on the Penn Central. Middletown was lovely. But when you’re in Newark, it doesn’t scream “Garden State” like the license plates claim.
    The lamest license plate catch phrase is Idaho’s
    “Famous Potatoes.” Idaho has such beautiful mountains and lakes. Couldn’t they come up with something more enchanting?
    California is the “Golden State”–but not any more! Maybe it should read, “In the red.”

  292. bossier22 February 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    its time to stop supporting breeders on welfare too. the people should only have to pay for one child from cradle to skewl to prison to grave. along with their food and health care cost. and to those who immigrate here legally or not, the tax payer should be under no obligation. we should even change the name of ‘entittlements’ .i think jhk called them authorizations in TLE.

  293. helen highwater February 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    I know I live in a different country than most of the posters on this site, but sometimes it seems that I live on a different planet as well. A world on planet on which population isn’t increasing, critical resources aren’t declining and can’t possibly ever do so, food prices aren’t rising, energy supplies are endless, government isn’t needed for anything….what planet are you folks living on anyway? Not Earth, obviously.

  294. helen highwater February 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Sorry, I made a couple of mistakes in that last post..here it is again…Reading some of these posts makes me wonder if I am living on a different planet than some of you are. A fair number of posters (or maybe the ones I’m referring to are really all just the same person with different handles?)seem to believe you are living on a planet on which population isn’t increasing, critical resources aren’t declining, there will always be enough food no matter how many people there are, and energy supplies are endless. You are obviously not living on Planet Earth.

  295. montsegur February 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    MarlinFive54 wrote “the US is this great empire with our puny 490,000 man regular army and 300 ship navy.
    The Confederate army had more soldiers than this in 1862. Grant had a half million troops in 1865 to take Richmond.”
    ====================
    Well, except that troop dispersion has increased very much since the Civil War because of the increased lethality of weapons. Thus, the ~500,000 men in the Regular Army (counting the National Guard and the Army Reserve, the total is over 1,000,000 soldiers) can influence a hugely larger battle area than a comparable amount of Civil War soldiers could have.
    I realize you may have been engaging in some sarcasm with the above comment, but I’m sure you realize that empire is made up of more than troop counts in any case.
    Cheers

  296. Cash February 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    So many things here, hard to know where to start and keep the post short.
    First NATO. NATO had Canada (and Canadian diplomats) as one of its principal originators. I know this doesn’t square with the Ameri-centric view of history but it’s consistent with what I’ve been posting for a long time here. The US is not all powerful, it’s not the only actor in this world. There are others.
    Canadians saw NATO as a means to contain the Soviet Union but also as a means to lessen the likelihood of another rivalry between the UK, Germany, France etc into which Canada had been drawn twice and which cost us a torrent of lives and treasure.
    But the American NATO Empire? Distorted reading of what happened. The Soviet Union was a monstrous and murderous regime, it oppressed and immiserated Eastern Europe, it was threatening much of the world including us here north of the border. Keeping the USSR in check was in our interest as well as in the interest of the US and especially that of free Europe. If not for the German attack on the USSR in WW2 the USSR would not have invaded Eastern Europe and there might not have been any need for this trans-Atlantic alliance.
    Maybe you’ve forgotten about the Cold War or aren’t old enough to remember it. I remember it clearly. I remember our school teacher telling us what to do in the event of an air raid siren. Get under your desk, don’t look at the sky. Scary shit. And I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I also have some vague recollections of the Berlin Wall being built.
    Encircling Russia and China? You forget how active the USSR was in the world. And you seem to not understand how evil those regimes were. You underestimate the threat that the Chinese and the Soviets posed. They were nuclear armed and for a long time they had the free world back on its heels aided and abetted by useful idiots here in Canada, the US, Europe and other places. Their aim was to bury us, in Krushchev’s own words, and for a long time it looked as if they might do it.
    This financial class is more and more Chinese and less and less American. They prey on people that are idiot enough to live beyond their means. This creditor/financial class didn’t put a gun to the heads of profligate Americans and their govt or the Irish or the Greeks or the Belarus or anyone else. These various peoples took the money because they were dumb enough to take it, they were too irresponsible to live within their collective means.
    Americans have to remember that non Americans are adults. They have a full complement of intellectual and moral faculties. They are fully responsible for what happens in their own countries. See what happened in Tunisia and Egypt? This is what happens when people take responsibility. And what of the supposed Hegemon during all this? Bleating ineffectually by the sidelines.
    Repaying the interest and principal is a voluntary act. Not repaying would have consequences, primarily that of not being able to borrow for a long time or at reasonable rates.
    But to equate this financial class with anything resembling an “empire” is nonsensical.
    I live in the remnants of an empire so I know some of the characteristics. In this place a foreign lady is Monarch, a Governor General represents her here. When I was a kid we would salute a foreign flag (the Union Jack) and sing the national anthem of a foreign country (God Save the Queen).
    In 1914 Britain declared war and so Canada was at war also. The US sat it out until 1917. In Sept 1939 Britain declared war and so did Canada. The US sat it out until Dec 1941. In these wars 1.6 million Canucks served, hundreds of thousands were killed and wounded. This was no small thing to serve the interests of an imperial power. In my hometown there’s a war memorial with dozens of names engraved on it of local men that died fighting in those wars. My hometown (a small place) paid a heavy price for the defence of Britain.
    I am not being disingenous in the least in saying the US does not have an empire. Primarily because we here north of the border are unmolested by this supposed empire, we do not have US troops kicking our asses, we do not pay our taxes to Washington, we pay them to Ottawa, resource company royalties are not paid to US govts, they are paid to Canuck govts. We sell torrents of goods to the US and make a tremendous living doing it. And the US sells us a torrent also. $400 billion per year in fact in two way trade.
    Your military bases are artifacts of the Cold War and WW2. The world the US finds itself in is largely a product of the actions of far older and more powerful imperial powers now largely disbanded ie Britain, Germany, Japan, France, China, Russia. The US is relatively new to the world stage and is itself a successor state to the British Empire. As we are north of the border.
    You see, this enormously rich country I live in would have been ripe for the plucking by an evil empire like the US. But you didn’t. Know why? You aren’t an empire. We have as much oil as Saudi Arabia in the Alberta oil sands. And guess what, we sell it to you. An empire would have stolen it.

  297. montsegur February 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Cash wrote “In these wars 1.6 million Canucks served, hundreds of thousands were killed and wounded.”
    =================================
    Careful, Cash, or soon you’ll have to explain where places like Ortona and Kapelsche Veer were.
    Maple Leaf Up.
    Cheers

  298. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    SnowflakeI calling SnowflakeII
    SnowflakeI calling SnowflakeII
    Come in SnowflakeII –
    Come in Q –
    I actually remember the thing you wrote about how seamlessly and effortlessly your wife could organize, decorate, and redecorate your house. If that’s the one BuckStud is referring to it dates to mid-July of last year, or thereabouts.
    It actually was sort of funny. Although it did remind me a LOT of my sister in law who is married to the OCD husband – who lived next to the neighbors like yours for 10 years – where the back porch rotted and fell off the house.
    If you hadn’t said you were up north of the Mason-Dixon line several times, then I would almost swear that your were that husband of my sister in law.
    He and I have a disdain for one another’s politics and views on many aspects of life. Yet we both like to shoot and hunt, he got into SCUBA diving for a while, I think, just ’cause it was all I ever talked about when I married into the family. He actually got pretty good at it.
    But we HATE each other on politics, etc.
    But we have never once insulted each other in person.
    A veneer of politeness is important.
    Breaking through the veneer can let bad things happen.
    By the way, Q, that business about your homemade coffin in the pool table motif is up there among the cooler stories I’ve ever heard on CFN.
    You ready to resume firing?
    Or bury the hatchet?
    Your call.

  299. Cupid Stunt February 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    “This week the London Stock Exchange will introduce a software platform called Millennium that can handle a trade in 126 microseconds-that means an eye-watering 7,900 transactions per second”.
    This will help things along nicely.
    I have enjoyed your weekly reality fix, Mr Kunstler, which helped relive an unwelcome winter sojourn in the land of poppies. Well done and keep it going.
    Cupid Stunt MA Clit (Cantab)

  300. Cash February 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I don’t mind having to explain such things.
    What rots me is having to defend the US from nonsense largely spewed by Americans that think it’s hip to distort history to cast their country and fellow countrymen in the worst possible light. We have similar problems up here.
    Up here the Liberal Party and their followers, small L liberals and lefties think it’s a gas to shit on our own military. In a speech on one of our army bases several years ago our Liberal Prime Minister talked about the allied invasion of Norway (instead of Normandy). Not once. Twice. Supposedly a slip. Once is a slip. Twice is a slap in the face.
    Around the same time our Liberal Defence Minister mixed up Vichy and Vimy. One is the name of a collaborationist regime, the other is a battlefield where we lost thousands of dead and wounded. Our DEFENCE MINISTER for God’s sake. He said his history is, ahem, rusty. Sure.
    If you’re in a generous mood you can call this simple carelessness. But I see it as symptomatic of the Left in general. I’ve ranted about the sins of the Right in other posts so I won’t waste time with balance. But the agenda of the Left is to debilitate us psychologically to the point where we have no will to survive.
    We have problems calling a spade a spade. We avert our eyes from what’s plainly under our noses. We have rancourous debates about multiculturalism up here. The agenda of the “pro” side is plain to see. But it would help the “anti” side if they proposed the alternative.
    It’s not enough to talk about a place in terms of dry constituional principles. I keep saying, and it comes as a shock to people, that the culture of this palce is rooted in the English language, English literature, English common law and parliamentary tradition and a thousand years of Anglo Saxon history and tradition. It’s as if we’ve mentally scrubbed ourselves of such unworthy notions. But we live the reality of it every day.

  301. Buck Stud February 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    PoC,
    Not the same tale, but perhaps Q will provide another glimpse.
    You know, it’s quite astounding how even “normal memory” is, in fact, quite feeble. Still, we brazenly reconstruct our own set-in-stone “reality” from the most fugitive of impressions.
    This point was really brought home to me on a visceral level by engaging in the visual memory training of 19th century French artist Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran. Basically you go into a room and try to absorb and memorize a particular visual display, say a still-life, and then graphically reproduce from memory what you just studied intently. You then go back and compare the drawing from memory to the real thing. Suffice to say, this type of feedback reveals an incredible amount of inaccurate visual laxity and precision (although it improves with practice) while amplifying the assumptive proclivity of human recollection. And since most of our thoughts are memory emanations, any talk of objective reality, especially when it comes to complex topics like the one’s frequently discussed here on CFN, is almost pure fantasy.

  302. suburbanempire February 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Nobody had to tell me or educate me about “peak oil”… I ran accross it all by my self in what started out as a class project that went real world.
    I did it by asking a simple question in an Airport Operations Management class at Broward College in Florida.
    The assgnment was to put together a powerpoint presentation on some new product that would revelutionize the General Avaition industry… on of the guys came up with a “drive” (taxi) through restaurant for small planes.
    I could not think on one single revoutionary idea for the GA business… so I tackled a small airline’s revenue problems.
    I chose Great Lakes Airlines of Cheyenne, WY… my busness model for them showed that the business that airlines are actually in is not the business of hauling people around safely… contrary to all appearences; rather what an airline does is sell jet A fuel directly to “passengers” with a seat strapped on to it…. Airlines make jet A available to a wide range of consumers… not just pilots who own planes. Because the full value of jet A is not realiszed UNITL it is BURNED, prior to that the fuel is simply stored (full value yet to be realized), whether it be in tanks or pipelines.
    Next comes the place were jet A is taxed…. that happens on the wing (for gas and diesel the fisrt taxation point is at “the rack” were trucks are loaded with fuel to take it to a service stateion, the second point of taxation is the point of sale.) This does not happen to Jet A
    The reason that Jet A is taxed differently is that the fuel is not considered to have effectively left control of the oil company until it passes from the airport storage tanks (in ground or on truck) to the fuel tanks in the wing. This tax was 21.9 cents a gallon in 2007 with a loophole for commericial airlines allowing them a 4.4 cent per gallon tax for the same fuel.
    In addition states may add a tax bringing the total up in most states to about 29 cents a gallon.
    The exception to the fedral private or commericial jet A tax is aircraft that are owned by oil companies that are putting fuel that is produced by that same oil company in their own aircraft. (ie, Exxon does not have to pay a fuel tax for putting Exxon produced Jet A from Exxon trucks or service tanks, into Exxon owned Aircraft… because Exxon did not sell the fuel)
    If an oil company were to have full ownership of an airline the 4.4 cent federal, and the up to 25 cent state tax would not apply to fuel pumped by that same company.
    Now…. Airlines make money on what is called a seat/mile basis. Great Lakes runs a fleet of 32 Beech 1900D’s and 6 EMBRAER Brasilla aircraft. In order for the airline to break even they need a load factor of 42% (they must sell almost half the seats on most flights to break even) this percenage is held artificially low by the EAS (essencial air service) federal funding for providing the difference between profit/loss on select routes like Cortez to Denver. without EAS the load factor rises to 54%
    If EAS were to “go away” Great Lakes would have to abandon routes that did not meet the 54% load.
    HOWEVER… if an oil company were to buy Great Lakes and run it as a wholly owned subsidiary then the 4.4 cent on the wing fuel tax would go away…. that along with the various state taxes (WY, CO, OK, TX, NE, KS, WI, MN, MT, UT, NV, IA) … what would that mean for the airline?
    It took me a few months (and the help of several math tutors) to figure out that if Sinclair Oil (with the most airport services in the region in question) were to purchase Great Lakes the load factor to break even would drop to 15%!!!
    I took the results of my 4 month study and presented them to the class… my professor (who was director of avaition at FLL) gave me an “A” and asked if he could have a copy of my powerpoint to show some friends of his at the Airlines.
    Three weeks later I got a letter from the CFO of a small South East US based commuter airline (whom I signed a confidentiality agreement with not to discuss their name out in the open). They asked me to come and give my powerpoint speech to thier board… by the time I was done, this room full of pilots, beancounters, and businessmen were sitting there with their mouths hanging open, it was like they never quite realized that an airline is not about getting people and stuff from point a to b safely (that is a by product)….. it is about buying jet fuel, adding value (a seat), marking it up, and selling it on…. it was an enlighting moment for me as well, I was shocked that they didn’t know this with their 300 plus years of combined experence in the industry… compared to my semister.
    The airline had their people crunch my numbers, and a week later I had a summer job as a consultant during their attempt to sell the company.
    Two weeks after that I sat in on my first of three meetings with major oil companies… both flatly rejected the proposal (even though the numbers were very impressive)
    The first rejection came with no explaination… the second came after carful consideration, weeks later.
    I got to sit in on the second reject meeting… the oil company stated that “the proposal was quite sound, and accurate. There was no question that oil company “X” could run airline “Y” at very high profitability levels (the kind unheard of in the airline industry), HOWEVER at this time oil company “X” was “Planning on Divesting it’s self of it’s retail operations, including Credit Card and Service Stations…. Oil Company “X” pointed out that while retail gasolene sales were traditionally low margin business (the margin is made up by selling you soda’s, food, and lotto tickets) The highly profitable service stations, and credit cards were being sold and the company was going to use that money to buy back their stock, they were not planning to re-explore non traditional or traditional retail POS options, now or in the future.” (not a direct quote, it took a lot longer for the three beancounters and oll’ man to say this, but this is a close summary)
    Nothing was said outright in the meeting, but as I walked out of the hotel with the airline representives that I had arrived with; one said to another “My god… they are going out of business… why would the worlds most profitable S corp sell off it’s most profitable and stable units, and take a path that will lead to a single purpose LLC to be disolved?”
    Why indeed.
    I guess the guys at the airline figured that one out, because my final contact with them came months later (after having been aquired by a billionare “playboy” type single investor)… the LLC set up to transfer ownership sent me another nice check, a book, and a thank you note.
    The book was by Ken Deffeyes… and the note said “you might want to read this book, your presentations, combined with the outcome of meetings with potential investors, led us to a place where the owners of “Y” airlines felt it nessassary to urgently shed all aircraft based revenue streams. you wanted to know why oil companies did not run airlines at a profit? Here’s the answer- Good work kiddo (despite my advanced age, I think it’s because I was in college at the time), you saved the old man alot of money”
    I read as much of Mr Deffeys book as I could understand, and spent the next year reading JHK, Matt Simmons, and anything else I could find.
    When there was nothing left to read I took a month long road trip from Florida to Midland stopping at Beaumont, Crane, Fort Stockton, McCamey, Houston, and Baton Rouge.
    I toured refinearys, I went to petrolium museams (Beaumont and Midland) and I visited rigs. I talked with as many oil people and educated non oil people as I could… I spent my airline money and then some.
    I (after 30 plus years of using oil) finally SAW crude oil with my own two eyes… I finally touched it, and smelled it.
    After exploring the oil fields of Crane Texas (look at it on google earth) and the wind mill farms (I even got arrested for trespassing) for weeks… I can tell you that peak oil is not a theory… it is fact.
    JHK does not write what he writes to scare you (althouth that is a side effect for sure)… he has spent years of study… and his findings are most correct as far as my several years of obsession can tell… he writes what he writes to educate you… it is not oil company propagana… the oil company propagana can be seen on PBS news hour… Shell LET’s GO! Cheveron “Human Energy”… Exxon “is taking on the worlds toughest energy challenges”
    And oil is the greatest story of our time… and the study of it is as addictive as the product it’self.

  303. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    THIS IS A TEST…
    I just made two attempts to post a reply to Buck. They were identical. Both times I got a message that they were being “held for approval.” Let’s see what happens with this test post.

  304. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    OK, let’s see if third time’s a charm…
    Buck,
    Apparently tempus doesn’t fugit as fast as it seems. It was only 7 months ago (7/26/10) that I replied to MyrtleMay and mentioned Cookie. I’m afraid it wasn’t as hilarious as you gave me credit for. See below:
    Real estate will ALWAYS appreciate in value
    ============
    Myrtle, I enjoy reading your posts. They contain a certain wisdom one acquires with age (no offense;o). I think you and I may have been to school in the same area and era (you mentioned Bryn Mawr) – I graduated from St Joe’s College (City Line Ave, Philly in 1962). If you are even aware, as one of your posts indicated, that there was once a car called a LaSalle, you’ve gotta be up there. But, regarding real estate, tell me if this isn’t a bad sign …
    Saturday, late afternoon, my wife and I went with another couple into Brooklyn, NY to Peter Luger’s Steak House (world famous) and met up there with a third couple. I had met the 56 year old distaff side of this other couple three years earlier (the “boyfriend” was new) when she threw a “handbag party” at our house and my wife was the host(ess?). The concept was identical to a tupperware party but here the women buy handbags instead of plastic food containers. I always wondered if women could actually make a living selling stuff (Mary Kay cosmetics, jewelry, plastic containers, handbags) to one another in the homes of friends and relatives. The pool of potential hostesses must dwindle rather quickly.
    Anyway, I asked about the handbag party thing and she said (no surprise) she hadn’t done that for some time and I asked “what do you do now?” She said “I sell real estate.”
    This woman’s name is “Cookie.” It all fits together somehow.

  305. Bustin J February 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Toots: “Riiiight. Between games on the x-box and visits to the porn site. Heaven forbid the morons should ever have to get in a room and look each other in the eye.”

    “Technology has absolutely destroyed the rationale for having a bunch of semi-professional clowns make decisions for citizens. We can do so directly through ATM-style boxes.”

    Argue against my point, I dare you. Argue against yourself, your own interests. Argue against what you know in your heart to be true.
    For decades now in the modern experience, the will of the people at every level, be it local, regional or national, has been squashed. The initiatives and official resolutions are all by and for the corporate state.

    Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power. -Benito Mussolini

    People turn to the Xbox out of despair. It is not in itself the lobotomizing influence you think it is. It is an effort to simulate having power over one’s destiny and world. The simulation is the preferred alternative to the actuality of having no power.
    Argue against my point.
    This is a corporate kleptocracy. They are insulated by the military industrial complex, comprised on one hand with bought off scientists and engineers and the other with the thug cadre of professional ass-kickers (cops and soldiers).
    We have the society they created. This is their political system.
    I’d prefer a sneaky, grassroots revolution where popular forces break the stranglehold on power- but I doubt that will happen. In the event of extreme economic or political chaos, I expect the thug wing of our government to take over. I am a pessimist- if only because the solutions are as obvious as our problems.
    People aren’t stupid- the system is structurally aligned against them. Change didn’t happen under Obama- and will never occur under any democract/republican combination.

  306. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Sub, an exceptionally excellent post.

  307. Bustin J February 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    $ says, “What rots me is having to defend the US from nonsense largely spewed by Americans that think it’s hip to distort history to cast their country and fellow countrymen in the worst possible light. We have similar problems up here.”
    Being a thug is a job. A job provides a sense of self-worth. A thug that works for Hitler and a thug that works for Mubarak and a thug that works for Obama is all the same to me.
    For Americans- its a deal. You want money for college? Take this job being our thug. You want training? Take this job being our thug.
    Are the men and women in uniform thugs? Not most of the time. ALL of the time. Thugs in pressed, neat uniforms.
    You can’t fool me. I’ve been on and off military bases all over the USA. Cops and military are thugs that dislike being ordered to be thugs. But thugs they are. 99% of the time they are paper-pushing, order-following tools of the machine.
    From time to time the fascist overlords in charge will see an opportunity to order them to do thuggish things. Because they are reasonable human beings, or were at some point, they had to be extensively conditioned to accept such orders and act on them.
    WWII was the end of the mystique of the soldier. Today they are job-holders in a declining economy. Today they are just rats in a maze, captives of the system, threatened with military “justice” if and when they break with their conditioning and act on their conscience.
    Fascism. That is the nature of the state. Democracy- nowhere to be found. The military is an incubator for public “service” and social esteem- through the conditioning process within that non-democratic hierarchy.
    A man who has never produced anything, who has no volition and only follows orders, who feels justified in acts of routine violence, trained to unquestioning obedience to rank and state (and even “God”) is nothing but a tool of fascists.
    But do go on, Cash about how you are unfairly persecuted by imaginary politcal factions and divisions. Yes, even as we lionize you and other thugs and fascists, some random, insignificant individuals and groups will continue to see this charade for what it is. All the bronze statues and TV documentaries aside, subsidized and pampered babies of the fascist state are still sensitive to the slightest criticism, showing how weak and uncreative a life is where one subordinates to passive acceptance of “orders”.
    America threw away its wealth feeding this insane culture of waste.

  308. messianicdruid February 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    “500 DOLLARS A MONTH SALARY GUARANTEED AND 100 DOLLARS A MONTH RENTS FOR 1,000 sq ft (90 sqm) home with running water and electricity.
    Oh, and by the way, beware of another of those magical and abstract concepts, the DEBTS and PUBLIC DEBTS countries have worldwide.”
    Also, beware, these “magical and abstract concepts” cannot be separated.

  309. Bustin J February 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Boss says, “i shudder to think what a true democracy would be like if anyone had a say so on any issue. i will take a corrupt elite any day to that.”
    I would point out here that you actually DO have a corrupt elite. You shudder because you are a coward. I think that people, like Adam Smith, are naturally going to gravitate toward their own self-interest. Why not let them?
    The reason there were no corrective actions on the way to our current peak-oil, foreign military adventure disaster, economic crisis, education failure, housing implosion, illegal immigration crisis, et al., is due to the fact that, on every one of these issues, the public, the general public, were way ahead way ahead of their elected officials, ahead of the legislative process on proactive action.
    The people are NEVER the problem. Our problems are systematic and institutional. Making us powerless is the root cause of the infantilization of generations JHK talks about. Your thesis, that people are too stupid/crazy to take the reigns in their best interests is frankly a product of your own thorough brainwashing.
    We are programmed to believe that the system works, when it doesn’t, that these people- politicans- are necessary- they aren’t- or that someone “out there” is taking care of our best interests- they cannot, by design- and are not.
    We suffer from a collective and total lack of imagination. A failure of creativity at all levels. Adults, children, elders, ALL FAIL.
    This shit is so obvious when you think about it, it makes me sick. It makes me worried. It proves the downhill side of the time of Clusterfuck crises will be greased by “Good German” true-believers and institutional dysfunction.
    All you dupes thinking this “Left/right” dichotomy you’ve been fed is useful or accurate have been lied to. Your thinking is so mangled that you’ve stopped believing that people are capable of more, or that an individual’s viewpoint and beliefs could have a more complex texture.
    As our population is taken down more and more to an animalistic level of savage survival, we’ll not prove more resourceful, we will revert to dog-eat-dog autocratic fascism, and worse.
    Democrats, Republicans, the left-right dichotomy, the TV news cycle brainwash, these are all just artifacts concealing reality. Partisans with quasi-religious affinity for a thug-based fascist social constructions are what you are left with, when cultural and military conditioning is successful.

  310. Bustin J February 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Horn-sounds: “”At the time our bat-shit crazy anscestors..” As opposed to our modern day geniuses? ? You fucking wish our contemporaries could be a hundredth as crazy.”
    Thier rationality is in question.
    All pay allegiance to a 2000 year old dead Jew prophet, whose existence is debatable, whose ritual commands are passed down through a manuscript edited by a succession of fiction writers and papal autocrats, telling us of a fantastical afterlife, a mythological natural order, an absurd and diabolical set of moral imperatives, of ambiguous ethical composition….
    Are as crazy, demented, estranged, and ill-informed as to be the worst possible candidates for the highest positions of power in this or any country. I would suspect that many so-called believers are only professing such in the effort of being elected. Do you think this could be the case? If there is a prerequisite for gullibility the belief in the supernatural has no equal.
    To teach (inculcate, program) children in this manifest madness is a crime against humanity and the future.

  311. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    The English Tradition has to go because it evolved an almost unique respect for the rights of the common man. These rights began to be eroded by Capitalism to be sure, but they were still there and could be ressurected at a moment’s notice by Socialists to torment the nouveau rich. But that’s all water under the bride: both the so called Socialists and the so called Capitalists have made their peace at the higher levels of the Pyramid. They certaily don’t want any grass roots movement threatening their synthesis and the move towards World Dominance. But the illuions of Democracy are very useful in formenting Revolutions. The reality is very different – it tooks centuries for the Traditions of Common Law to evolve among the English People. The idea that “Democracy” can be foisted on an alien people such as the Arabs, who have no such traditions, is preposterous. They just want to use this bogus ideal to unseat the Arabs from their own tradions – just as used it to destroy the English Aristocracy and the real Common Law of the English People.
    Ok, you’re still thinking in old terms. You try to contest our idea – but you use the idea in question to to do it. Why would America want to invade Canada? “America” and “Canada” aren’t real. They are just branches of the same NWO mob. The guys are on the same team. Of course they’re not going to say so – haven’t you ever heard of brand loyalty? One Company takes over another but the name stays the same and the consumer never hears about it. It’s just like that.

  312. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I feel the same way 180 degrees from you. We are almost identical planets on the opposite sides of the Sun and can never see each other. I thing that a Public School Education is child abuse – the closest most people will ever come to prison. Besides the brutality and the brutal boredom, children are “taught” to despise their own people and history. Out where I am, it’s the Christian Schools that teach the Classics and probably do a better job with the basics. But many can not afford them or only barely – and they still have to finance the vicious public system. A monstrous situation. Probably the voucher system is the best way out for us. Europe is already too far gone to go back: home schoolers are already being threatened with prison in Germany.

  313. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Part of the problem with people understanding peak oil and population is the limits imposed by the ordinary sense of time. I used to argue with one of my sub-bosses about it. He would declare triumphantly that Jimmy Carter was wrong and that the price of oil had gone down – and that since people had been “wrong” back than about oil disappearing, they are wrong now. He couldn’t understand that while thirty years is a long time in a man’s life, it’s but an hour in the life of a nation. So what if Carter and Erlich were off by a few years – they weren’t wrong. I don’t care for Carter much – he was a race panderer, proto-globalist, multi-cultural namby pamby pusallinomous fool. But the fact remains that had we had heeded his warning about energy, we’d be much better off now. But instead he was mocked for his sweater and his fireplace – a kind of Liberal Mr Rogers. The tough minded so called always despise new kinds of idealism.
    He’s also done some good diplomatic work since leaving office. And best of all is his book against the Zionists.

  314. ront February 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    “If there is a prerequisite for gullibility the belief in the supernatural has no equal.”
    Ah, but there is an equal: disbelief in the supernatural.

  315. LewisLucanBooks February 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Worked for Waldenbooks (which begat Borders) years ago. For 7 years. Glad I cashed in that retirement. Worked for B. Dalton for 11 years (which begat Barnes & Noble.) People that work in chain book stores take a lot of crap for not being “real” book people.
    Actually, it’s a kind of pendulum. Swung by the regional managers on up. First you have everything run by book people and then the bean counters say we can maximize profits if we treat the product just like any other retail product. So, the pendulum swings, profits go in the toilet and the pendulum swings back to those wild and crazy book people.
    Meth is on it’s way out here. Black tar heroin is the new drug of choice. Cheaper. If I were to get into the production business, now instead of blowing up the outhouse, I could just grow poppies.
    President’s Day weekend. Hmmm. Going to half off the whole inventory. Yes, we are winding down.

  316. LewisLucanBooks February 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Alternet.org is apparently still down. Odd, that.

  317. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    What do you think of Herbert W Armstong? Cult Leader or Great Man of God?

  318. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Indeed you have taken the blue pill and I the red. And it has made all the difference.

  319. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Memory is certainly an interesting thing.
    I’ve had teachers and art teachers do the thing you described. But Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran did have a cool take on it.
    From Wikipedia – ’cause I’d never heard of old Horace until you brought him up – it looks as though a person memorizes a painting and then “Projects?” their own visual style onto that memory when they attempt to repaint it on their own canvas.
    So Van Gogh, my wife, and I all look at the same nature scene painting at the Louvre. (sounds like a bad joke is being set up, here, BTW)
    Van Gogh, being Van Gogh, paints from memory, cuts off his ear, and the nature scene turns into a typical Van Gogh.
    My wife, being a pretty good painter of nature scenes, makes a recognizable reproduction of the painting from memory.
    I, painting from memory, produce something that looks like hell, because I can’t paint – from memory or otherwise. Then we go out barhopping on the Seine, drinking vin – and collecting a big crowd because we have a long dead artist with us.
    =================
    Speaking of “Projection,” I’ve got a theory building concerning projection of personality onto an anonymous blog like this one.
    I always assume posters are exactly like me – tall, athletic, intelligent, and essentially perfect in every way, hehe – until other evidence surfaces. Then I may change this “projection” to correct for gender, race, or whatever – but the person remains essentially “perfect,” absent personality or intelligence evidence to the contrary.
    And it’s very, very hard for me to have strongly negative thoughts about a poster based just on typing and language style.
    My theory, so far, is that I have such a strong positive self esteem that I project positive vibrations onto my view of others on CFN without even thinking about it – whether they would deserve it in real life or not.
    Have you ever thought about any of this, Buck?
    Anyone else care to contribute to PoC internet personality projection theory? (PoCIPPT tmPoC)

  320. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    When I worked in a bookstore, the managerial types started giving us a hard time about reading while on register between customers. Typical crap. I guess we were supposed just stand there (no sitting!) and radiate good will and eargerness like some kind of demented type A personel weirdo. Real book lovers like to see clerks reading – it means they might actually know something about the product.

  321. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    That’s a heck of a nice long post, SuburbanE,
    “peak oil”… I ran accross it all by myself in what started out as a class project”
    -SE-
    Sounds like you are researching for a book or something. Sounds like it could be a pretty good book.
    One of my questions would be to ask:
    What was to keep state/federal taxing authorities from applying a tax to fuel used in an airplane owned by XOM, or whomever, when the plane is used in regular passenger service.
    I get that XOM doesn’t pay a fuel tax on their planes when they are doing company business, carrying CEO’s around to look at oil spills, for example. But if the plane is used in regular ticketed passenger service – they might be made to pay by taxing authorities. In fact, other passenger carriers could argue that it gave XOM an unfair competitive advantage, otherwise.
    But a very nice essay, SE. I appreciate the work.
    Are you planning a book?
    And the oil industry is an amazing enterprise, love it or hate it. I’ll try to work up a post on my own tangential involvement with it back in the early ’80’s.

  322. orionoir February 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    {Real book lovers like to see clerks reading}
    —-
    i agree, but it’s a bit off-putting when the clerk is masturbating.

  323. ozone February 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Wow; nothing like a belly-of-the-beast anecdote!
    If the very coldest of the greedy wouldn’t go for that gleaming bottom-line candy, I guess we can figure what’s in the cards for us “consuming units”.
    Brilliant.
    Ummmm, I have no more questions; thanks.

  324. ozone February 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Bustin,
    What can I say? Nothing; you gots it covered.
    Keep “laying about you”; you’re drawing gallons of blood, well-spilt! ;o)

  325. progressorconserve February 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    {Real book lovers like to see clerks reading}
    —-
    i agree, but it’s a bit off-putting when the clerk is masturbating.
    – orion –
    Unless it were a somewhat attractive female clerk – in which case sales and other things might be certain to go up.
    -PoC-
    All seriousness aside, I once spent an afternoon in the late ’70’s rambling around south Ft. Lauderdale searching for a topless coin laundry.
    Or maybe it was a topless barber shop – another memory test, eh Buck! I was really supposed to be on my way to the Florida Keys to help a guy spear fish for his doctoral research on fish genetics – true story, BTW, some things are just impossible to make up.

  326. ozone February 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    “It’s not enough to talk about a place in terms of dry constituional principles. I keep saying, and it comes as a shock to people, that the culture of this place is rooted in the English language, English literature, English common law and parliamentary tradition and a thousand years of Anglo Saxon history and tradition. It’s as if we’ve mentally scrubbed ourselves of such unworthy notions. But we live the reality of it every day.” -Cash
    =======================
    Yes, that may well be, but I think of larger significance is that these precepts and principles [and the language in which they're ritually expressed] have been co-opted by sociopaths to SELL US SHIT. This is a degradation that kills cultures. (And people’s faith in that culture.)
    First, murder the culture; then consumerism can replace it. (Sorry, very crudely put; I’m sure others can make that more accessible.)

  327. MarlinFive54 February 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    SuburbanEmpire; What a post. That’s pretty much what I’m looking for on this site. You really seem to know what you’re talking about.
    Disorder seems to be spreading throughout the Middle East. Nobody round here seem to be aware of it, or, if they are, don’t care.

  328. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    If you didn’t want to see, why did you look? Privacy is a two way street. Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness. It’s all part of your blue pill fantasy – can’t just keep it to yourself.

  329. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Indeed you have taken the blue pill and I the red. And it has made all the difference.
    ==================
    I am unable to read these lines from Frost’s The Road Not Taken without tears welling up in my eyes:
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  330. asia February 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Earth to 5cents:
    ‘food has steadily been getting cheaper in the last couple of centuries. Which doesn’t mean there can’t be occasional shortages and scarcities, but that overall the general price trend is downwards.’
    Cotton prices have more than doubled in the last year.
    [but cotton isnt a food crop]
    O yes it is, cottonseed oil, which is farmed as an industrial product and sprayed like crazy
    because its not considered a food crop.
    never eat anything with cotton seed oil in it.
    and this bit of crazy:
    ‘last couple of centuries’…who gives a fu*k
    About ‘centuries’!!!!
    most of us here are under the age of 80.
    in the last 50 years food prices in my groceries [west l.a.] have SKYROCKETED.

  331. bossier22 February 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    bustin hey dont get me wrong. i hate the system and the current elite. but an elite runs every society or you have complete chaos like the french revolution. currently there is not a check on
    the excesses of the powerful elite. the facts of human biology are that abilities vary, and we should be focusing our educational resources on the next generation of kids on the upper end of the intelligence bell curve. not coddling them but holding their feet to the fire, not just academically but also ethically and morally. putting a few of the current elite under the jail would not hurt either. turning society over to the lowest common denominator is what we have now culturally. giving the back half of the bell curve more say so would not help them or any one else. we have had several periods where big money has been too much in control and they had to be slapped back to reality. i do agree with you though that the people know what is best for them instinctively. the vast majority has wanted a limit to immigration for a generation. but the current unethical elite has said no.

  332. asia February 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    ‘The fact that souls continue to pour over the borders and out of the airplanes at the rate of 1,000,000 LEGALLY per year into the US is completely BEYOND EXPLANATION to any person, anywhere on Earth, who understands reality.’
    Unless those damn Birchers and other ‘conspiracy nuts’ whove been warnin folks for 50+ years are right.
    Did you hear about the ‘fake refugees’ in Canada?

  333. Sololeum February 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    One massive change that appears to be happening is that it is NOW MORE DIFFICULT TO MOVE to another location – state – etc if you own your own home..
    The reason is that the banks here in Australia want you to have heaps of equity – around 50% before they lend, so we have a siutation where there are too few real buyers for too many homes. The lower priced ones are selling better either because of the reduced need for mortgage or not needing a mortgage at all.
    It looks as though you will buy and stay there until you die!!!

  334. asia February 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    BODHI TREE BOOKS…Best Indie in LA closes this year.
    they did it to themselves…having inferior website.

  335. asia February 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    I read of the ‘island of illegals’…
    80% of the 500 are algerian? albanian? BFE ian.

  336. asia February 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    you are a fool!
    The boomers didnt super populate the earth, the chindians and muslims did and will continue to while dumping their unemployed on Euro civilization worldwide [australia, US/canada/ western europe.
    gawd what an imbecile..
    baby boomers..tell that to the Indians, they didnt fight in WW2…

  337. asia February 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Did you mean: pusillanimous fool.

  338. orionoir February 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    {Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness.}

  339. suburbanempire February 15, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Thanks guys and gals…. it took a few hours to write that one up…. I left a few things out
    The question I asked was “Why don’t Oil companies OWN the airlines”
    The way I found Peak oil was not by asking the oil companies if we were at peak oil (you don’t ask a drunk person if they have been drinking… the answer will always be “no”)… I heard that one oil company was selling ALL it’s service stations… selling it’s IN HOUSE credit card to an outside bank……
    That combined with the fact that the oil companies are all buying back stock from mutual an pension funds now….
    AND there has not been an increase in refining capicity in the Unites States since the 70’s…
    Does that sound like the behavior of a business that is gearing up to “take on the worlds biggest energy challenges”???
    No…. it does not.
    I am not writing a (factual) book… I have been working on 3 stories for a number of years now (fiction) I don’t believe any of them are worthy of publication.
    I own a little dress shoppe in Vermont now (having ditched the Airport manager degree/career with my discovery of Peak oil)
    My goal is to purchase a foot pedal powered antique sewing machine that still works and learn the art of dressmaking (and yes, I am a guy)

  340. suburbanempire February 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Because oil companies haven’t delved into the passener service business (unlike aircraft manufacturers… Boeing once owned United) it is something that has never been addressed.
    Passenger taxes of course would still apply (but they are paid by passengers for the TSA, facility charges, etc…)
    But that magical .04 and .20+ cent tax is where the big money is… because it is more dependent on the weight of whatever is being carried and a per gallon fee.
    I am NOT a Pilot…. so I am going to just pull the follwoing numbers out of my ass as an example
    lets say that the difference between flying a fully loaded 1900d and an empty one between Denver and Cheyenne is about 300 lbs of fuel… now tax is charges by the gallon… a gallon of gas is about 6 lbs so you are looking at a $12.50 difference on a full to empty plane… add up the entire rest of the fuel needed for the same trip, and we are some where in the neighborhood of $140 to $200.. on that one leg of that one hypethical route.
    It is like putting an extra row of seats on the plane… (or filling an empty one)
    Take that times 300 daily flight segments… you get the picture.
    What would stop congress from closing that loophole that nobody is currently using????
    why LOBBIESTS of course.. both airline AND oil!

  341. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    Thank you for picking up on that. Also review cumming’s red wheel barrel and of course, the movie “The Matrix”.

  342. ozone February 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    “My goal is to purchase a foot pedal powered antique sewing machine that still works…”
    -S.E.
    ================
    Damnit, S.E.! Comments like this always pique my curiosity, so lookee-here what I found.
    Man, this lady’s got an army of cool old machines, and a lot of good working knowledge. That Japanese steel “Brother” looks indestructible. Check it out…
    http://www.antiquequiltdating.com/non-electric_sewmachine.html
    (She “sounds” quite open to inquiries as well. Never hurts to ask…)

  343. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    No mine but from the Bible. Now and then I write something half decent but mostly it’s just that I have a good ear – and store it away. As I once heard Camille Paglia say, They have one of the greatest pieces of Literature ever written (Bible), what do you Liberals have?
    Last week a few a few people seemed to like “eat fire and drink light” – that’s from an ancient scripture, “The Chaldean Oracle”.
    Whitman said that either the work can be completed or the man. Whitman, like the West in general and America in particular, chose the work. Similarly, you really started hating me not when I insulted you, but when I questioned the value of the “work” (educating Blacks). Whitman himself was very charitable – he admitted joyfully that ages from now (a mere heartbeat) the Blacks and the Indians would rise to our level. How amazed and horrified he would be to see his latter day followers trash the White Race. How many other beloved and revered writers from the past would share his horror? Poor old Walt – fatuous cheerleader, lecher, dandy posing as a “rough”, idler and idolater – but still a great visionary and man enough to admit towards the end that America was going all wrong.
    Your whirlwind piece was fine.

  344. kookaburra February 15, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    I agree, good post but I feel solidarity is more fitting. Regardless of what happens next, the people of Egypt have shown remarkable courage. I doubt that we in the West could claim similar courage in the face of tyranny in the last 30 years.

  345. Vlad Krandz February 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Listening to the news – full of doom. Food prices exploding. The Iranian Elite wisely deciding to crush the Western funded communist revolt. The Egyptian revolt will slowly be subverted by the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama’s charge of hypocrisy is thus unfounded. Since Islam already rules in Iran, why would they allow such a thing? As the Turkish President said, Democracy is a Train and we can get off wherever we like. Consider the subtle wisdom in that – Islam and Judaism teach subtlety of thought and patience in the execution of action. Compare it to the sentimental piffle which current Christianity teaches in place of practical wisdom – mere talking points for talking heads like Obama.
    In other news, women are getting raped in the military. An incredible scandal in which the moral will be completely ignored. The idea of woman serving in the same units as sex starved, testosteroned overloaded young men boggles the mind. This is Liberalism in essence – always assuming equality which is defined as sameness; always imagining that Life is more generous than it really is. This crazyness was tried by both the old Soviet Union and early Israel: both of them had the wisdom to drop it. Will we? Doubt it.

  346. kookaburra February 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Great post, can you still get that book by Ken Deffeys – What was the title? I have read a lot but not that one.

  347. messianicdruid February 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    “First, murder the culture; then consumerism can replace it.”
    “Today is the parent of tomorrow. The present casts its shadow far into the future. That is the law of life, individual and social. Revolution that divests itself of ethical values thereby lays the foundation of injustice, deceit, and oppression for the future society. The means used to prepare the future becomes it’s cornerstone.” Emma Goldman
    If violence, coercion and deceit become the basis of a system, then, as the rest proceeds, the logical result approaches as well. How can the US government protect your money, when it counterfeits it at will? How can it protect the individual, when it constantly violates the individual with violence and whim of the moment “laws”? How can it protect an individual’s property, when it consistently takes anywhere from 20 to 50% of one’s property?

  348. BeantownBill February 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Dammit! BJ, stop being so correct! 2 days in a row, now.

  349. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Marlin,
    Re NASCAR that you mentioned in the final post to last week’s thread:
    Having grown up in NJ in the mid-50s I had about as much natural affinity to NASCAR as I did to hockey, soccer or cricket but my job as a perpetually traveling auditor took me to many a town, burg and hamlet mostly in the south and to the east of the Mississippi River.
    I had been in so many Holiday Inns in so many places that I would sometimes awake in the morning unable to recall what town I was in.
    After finishing up in Blacksburg, VA I headed south to Bristol, TN. Well, to be precise, Bristol lies on the border of VA and TN. To the left of the main drag’s center line is Bristol, VA and to the right, Bristol, TN.
    I pulled into a big hubbub in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn where, thankfully, I had booked a reservation a couple weeks earlier. The lot was full of trucks and trailers bearing race cars. I had stumbled into race week at Bristol Speedway and every name in the sport was staying at the Holiday Inn … Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Junior Johnson, to name a few.
    I went about my business each day but couldn’t help but get caught up in the general excitement this event brought to the town. On the day before the big race I took off early from work and went out to the track where one could go in either free or cheaply (I forget) to watch practice and the establishment of pole positions.
    As I approached the grandstands from the parking area I was stopped by a gentleman going the other way. He said he had extra tickets for the race (tomorrow) and I was welcome to one, no charge. I couldn’t believe this stroke of luck but it was legit.
    During the practice rounds I was able to take up various viewing positions that I would be restricted from on race day. Front row with my fingers clutching the chain link fence and my head turned left, a double file of roaring race cars swept past followed by eddies and swirls of paper soda cups and hot dog wrappers. The unmuffled vibrations took ones breath away.
    I can’t say this turned me into a life-long fan but JHK’s endless NASCAR put-downs make me wonder if he’s ever seen a live race.

  350. Pangolin February 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    You’re defending NASCAR? Here? That’s like bringing ham to a Hanukkah potluck.

  351. Qshtik February 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    cumming’s red wheel barrel
    ===========
    Williams’s red wheel barrow
    barrel for barrow, a common error like jive for jibe.

  352. dmiller February 15, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    “the human population, inarguably in overshoot in relation to available resources”. Ya’ think? This is THE main problem, the elephant in the room whenever any global issue is discussed be it peak oil/peak everything, overfishing, top soil depletion, species extinction, you name it.
    The only person I’ve read who really gets it is Jack Alpert over at Skil.org. He argues, quite suc’cinctly, that the globe can real only sustainably support 100 million people. He’s been waiting for the bottom to fall out for, as he writes, decades now. I suspect he’s not alone in this regard.
    I think civilization collapse is like a bursting dam. There’s a lot of wear and tear on it over time but it still holds. And then, one day, it starts to rain a lot. And the pressure behind it begins to build and build. But since the dam is still holding most people assume all is well despite the odd voice in the wilderness crying out that the deteriorated dam could give way any time and that action should be taken immediately to avoid needless suffering and death. But the dam’s never given way and it’s still holding so let’s not do anything since we’re cozy in our downstream homes watching, as Jim K likes to say, NASCAR, and eating Cheez doodles. When the dam does finally burst it happens very, very quickly and civilization’s ability to respond is simply overwhelmed.

  353. trippticket February 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Jared Diamond would say that all civilizations collapse according to this model: they stretch and strain their resource base in all directions until one year (or one decade) the weather doesn’t cooperate. Or a volcano blows. Or an enemy raids the keep. Or whatever.
    The groaning sinews holding the first world together have all but snapped. What, or who, will be our Mongol raiders? Our Krakatoa? Our dust bowl?
    Better questions: how are we extracting ourselves from the zone of negative influence? What self reliance measures have we embarked upon this new year? And what real world skills did we acquire in 2010?

  354. trippticket February 15, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    “And as compound interest fails – in the form of loans that can’t be repaid” – JHK
    I like this better than “unpaid loans,” as if it were a choice, and we were throwing a big crack party with the proceeds we screwed America out of instead.
    Most of us would rather have repaid them, but that’s not always the way physics works…which ends up being a good thing for all of us in the end…

  355. jackieblue2u February 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Was gonna lay low but couldn’t resist this one :
    “people want their kids to eat.”
    yep them kids sure taste good ! Yummy !

  356. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    I wasn’t going to do it this year, but I did.
    We acquired a breeding pair of meat rabbits today. I don’t think they had ever touched the ground before they arrived in our garden, but they are happy as clams now, and hopefully ready to make babies for us to eat.
    I’ve had the mobile pens built for a while now, a small one for the buck, and a big one for the kits. Mama came with her own, which was one reason why this deal was so attractive. Just need to pull the bottom off of her cage.
    32 days gestation, 8-12 kits per litter, 8 weeks nursing, 2 weeks on pasture to finish, 4.5-5 lbs finished weight. Repeat cycle. You need to add some fat when eating rabbit, but production meat doesn’t come any cheaper, energetically. You can hunt and fish, yes, but is the equipment to do so even less expensive? It’d be close. If you’re a frugal hunter/fisherman. And let’s face it, those sports are as much about showing off your gear as anything. “Ooooo, a St. Croix Avid series rod with Shimano Stradic spinning reel…” (I have one; anybody want it? I’ll dump it cheap.)
    The other low-energy meat I’ve found is goat. Metabolically, they don’t require as much energy to maintain as larger animals. They can eat damn near anything, including nuisance plants, like privet and poison ivy. And they’re small enough to dress by yourself. Goat is already starting to show up on bbq menus and slow food dinners in the US, and I imagine goat will play a starring role in energy descent. Make room in your system for goats. We use them to mow the grass. Don’t even own a gas-powered lawnmower. Why spend money and time to mow grass when you can put your goats on it and then eat them?
    Sunlight->photosynthetic producer->primary consumer->human. Get used to this food chain. Or cut out the tasty bites of meat in the middle. Your choice.

  357. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    “yep them kids sure taste good ! Yummy ”
    Hey Jackie, good to see you around. I have a book on my shelf from the 70s called “How to Raise Your IQ by Eating Gifted Children.” Haven’t read it, but couldn’t help buying it!

  358. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Speaking of books, I recently bought a book by Vandana Shiva called “Monocultures of the Mind.”
    Fantastic read. She’s speaking at the Georgia Organics conference in Savannah in March, and damn I’m going to have to figure out a way to make it for that one.

  359. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Cash, I’ve managed to eek out about 30 minutes of Premier League soccer so far in 2011, but somehow I managed to catch (in real time) Wayne Rooney’s highlight reel last weekend in the Manchester derby.
    Unreal!
    Gooners still in the hunt…

  360. Buck Stud February 16, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Thanks Q,
    I enjoyed it the second time around as well–you’re a good writer. I suppose we all know a “Cookie” which is why the story resonates,or at least with me. And you always seem to sprinkle just the right amount of “Acerbic” into the mix; not an easy thing to do in my estimation.

  361. jackieblue2u February 16, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    E X C E L L E N T post Bustin J.
    KLEPTOCRACY.
    I think part of the system is to have us feel as if we are actually responsible for the state of things. the mess. you know what I mean. That is is up to US to fix it.
    Here I go trying to think again. But I like your post alot.

  362. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Q, I got your questions from late last week, but haven’t formulated an answer yet! Damn it! Stupid rabbits taking up all my time!!

  363. montsegur February 16, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    Comments from Bustin J. :
    “Being a thug is a job”
    =============================
    Of course soldiers serve the state, it has never been any different. I like to imagine a world in which differences get settled in rational ways. But that imagined view always gets hung up on something you should be very well aware of: People are just another kind of animal, and animals contend with each other for resources. From the first tribes of what could be called people, there was a hierarchical structure and what could be called a “military” — in the old days, probably every male in the tribe. It is a waste of time to declare it shouldn’t be this way; it is the way we are: hierarchically organized and prone to violence.
    =============================
    “For Americans- its a deal”
    =============================
    Product of going to a volunteer (well, some economies produce more volunteers than others) force. Takes incentives to make someone want to live the military life.
    =============================
    “Are the men and women in uniform thugs? Not most of the time. ALL of the time”
    =============================
    Recommend you pull back from the subject here and distinguish between individual behaviors and behavior in groups. I submit that people in any group, whether authority/military related or not, allow themselves behavior that they would not dare to do so as individuals. Compare to the oafish behavior of privileged groups of athletes on a college campus — often not what other the other students found acceptable. Tribal heritage again?
    =============================
    “WWII was the end of the mystique of the soldier”
    =============================
    Different points in history, actually, depending on the nation/culture involved.
    =============================
    “subsidized and pampered babies of the fascist state are still sensitive to the slightest criticism”
    =============================
    I am not impressed by the emotionalism that dominates conservative discussion of the topics of defense, defense spending, etc. Ultimately, the DoD is payed for by taxation of the public. In a functional society, this should mean that the funding be well scrutinized and controlled by parts of government that honestly represent the public interest. I am unconvinced that congress performs that function well.
    =============================
    “America threw away its wealth feeding this insane culture of waste”
    =============================
    Part of the insanity was driven by the behavior of other groups in the world. I also contend that much wealth was simply monopolized or diverted to other areas of the world because it suited the interests of corporations. They are also strongly involved in the current form of American government, and their wealth serves to distort the practice of government — that is, it is not “. . . for the people” anymore.
    Cheers

  364. suburbanempire February 16, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    NASCAR– Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham
    “HE’S MAKIN’ A LEFT TURN….HE’S MAKIN’ ANOTHER LEFT TURN… I WONDER WHAT HE’S GONNA DO NEXT????
    MY GAWD….IT’S A LEFT TURN!”
    one would think that the political leanings of the average NASCAR fan might have them driving the other direction… so they could turn RIGHT!

  365. Bustin J February 16, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    old6969 said,

    “democracy”, that insane, absurd process where millions are brainwashed with all of this huge pile of crap and vote

    I say, what is the barrier preventing people from voting on legislation directly? Technology is not the barrier. Our system is the barrier.
    The belief that the people would undo themselves if they were actually given a chance to participate in a real democracy is fantastic pessimism.
    For one thing, hardly anyone votes as of now. But that would be an asset. Because people who vote will be people who care. The reason people do not participate is because they correctly see that their vote does not matter.
    People would be, for the first time, engaged. They would self-educate, self-propose, self-organize. From this they would gain self-determination, self-respect, and self esteem.
    Its our patriarchal system which infantilizes us. People are better arbiters of their own best interest, that all sides can agree. Parties and partisanship is confusion and obfuscation, allowing a privileged class access to power.
    I call for a new revolution in the spirit of Thomas Paine.
    By the way, this new democratization is coming whether we like it or not. The technology that makes it possible is going to exert its influence on the system far before it replaces the system.
    I mentioned to disbelief and guffaws a few months ago the concept that Youtube is going to provide the USA with an elected president. Before that happens, it will begin to influence the election cycles at all levels.
    Laugh if you want, the Internet has not even come close to showing us what it is capable of. The most disruptive technology since the internal combustion engine is just getting started.
    Let ‘er rip!

  366. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    “That is is up to US to fix it.”
    I see the same thing all the time. And it’s a total load of shite. You and I didn’t invent and bundle 60 trillion dollars worth of REITs to swindle the world’s economy with.
    And we didn’t decide how much easy oil the planet had available either.
    Our only job is to adapt.

  367. Buck Stud February 16, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    PoC,
    I think you fancy yourself the Rhett Butler of this blog site–you’re a hard guy not to like. You smile politely and tip a Southern hat as pass a group of bickering hens on Clusterfuck Street. All the while I suspect you’re rolling your eyes on the inside while listening to a Glenn Beck rerun as you type away. In other words, YOU want to be that sensible right-wing spokesmen whose absence you constantly lament.
    But frankly my dear PoC, why should you give a damn what I think?

  368. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Sounds like a Swiss direct democracy, and I’m all for it. I sent this out as an email to my friends and family about two years ago under the subject line, “best idea ever” and got a big hollow echo of a response. Nada. Dumbest idea ever apparently.
    Fuck ‘em. They’ll get the system they deserve instead. Me, I can barely manage a concern for elected positions higher than governor these days. And in a decade that ceiling will likely be restricted to the city council…

  369. trippticket February 16, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Toodles, Cluster Fuckers.

  370. jackieblue2u February 16, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Too funny !
    I ‘get’ the feeling you are a ‘good guy’.
    Thoughtful and caring.
    I know this board isn’t for bonding ! But sharing our thoughts on Peak Oil, etc. But after you are on here you tend to feel familiar with certain others, and like minded. And I tend to hang with and around them. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
    I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE, KIDDING. but who really knows ? Is it Intuition ? Projection ? Both.
    I barely know computers at all. For Reals. Never got the hang of the block quote thing and I wrote it down. Will try again. When I find that paper I wrote it down on. ADD. A.D.D.
    and a few other things thrown in for fun.
    Yes I try and imagine people, I actually have a picture of Cash in my mind, and BTB, but I’d never have known certain things until I read them about him or others. (It’s a good picture).
    Mostly I get to feeling familiar because of their writing style, as they do mine.
    Yeah who knows what any of us is really like.
    A good sociopath can fool others easily !
    Sometimes the ‘sick’ part of my imagination thinks at least one or more or 1/2 haha on here may be a ted k or something like that. Or a total perv, etc. Who knows. I just think that my ‘buds’ are cool and not too twisted in a bad way anyway. just in a good way. I like the way they / you Thin.
    For years I would respond to sentences and not pay attention to the Posters’ name, then after being on here for long time, I started getting the hang of it. I AM slow. Not like that, just on overload and slow. But smart.
    And I have Never met anyone from on the internet.
    I think it would be a blast, to meet some of you, but wouldn’t do it cuz of the safety factor. Unless at a JHK event. And I am way far away from those.
    I too am Perfect ! Was more perfect a few years back tho. and more athletic then also.
    I haven’t moved yet so still posting. I may never move. I will believe it when I see it.
    Better go cuz the Storm is here and the powers’ gonna go out.
    nitey nite
    I hope I can turn this off and shut my brain down.

  371. Qshtik February 16, 2011 at 1:34 am #

    you always seem to sprinkle just the right amount of “Acerbic” into the mix
    ===========
    Perhaps nothing to brag about but I think I was born acerbic. And thanks for the other kind words.

  372. AMR February 16, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    A number of American states would hold public hangings, and probably floggings and other inconceivably sick shit, if the Feds didn’t on occasion step in and say, “Hold your horses, assholes. We’re governed by the rule of law here, and since you are Americans, you will abide by it.”

  373. Bustin J February 16, 2011 at 2:41 am #

    AMR, I sincerely doubt that. I stand by my original premise, that citizens charged with defending democracy with their personal vote will in fact act in good faith and conscience.
    Democracy is in every way a self-correcting process if allowed to proceed.
    Since it has never been tried, I think the objection that people will be too hasty, vile, imprudent, unwise, ill-considered, and so forth, are absolutely speculative.
    I’ve been all over, and talked to people all over. People are basically good, basically well-informed as to their own best interests. America has never been better prepared to level with itself than today.
    It is this system and the frustrations with it that produces pathologies.
    Allow me to flesh out this scenario in case you’re wondering about the particulars: dissolve the legislative branches of government. Allow a daily voting ritual (yes, daily). There will “be an app for that”.
    What’s the matter, don’t like yesterday’s vote? Try tomorrow’s referendum.
    Will people get carried away? Maybe. But I’d prefer that any day to a system which enthrones a corrupt elite, which crushes democracy with a fascist fist, leaving whole generations without hope of a voice.
    We are ready to take the risk of democracy. Eventually we’ll have nothing to lose. A new day will dawn. Mourning in America will be over.

  374. Pangolin February 16, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    Direct democracy is definitely a mixed bag. We tried that in California and found out that when corporations own all the media they get to decide what the conversation about referendum issues sounds like.
    So every election there’s some damn referendum measure in California to give some corporation an unbreakable monopoly or put people in prison for life for stealing a piece of pizza. The effect is that laws in California are damn near random.
    Could we try parliamentary representation first perhaps? That seems to almost work a bit better than the current mash.

  375. old6699 February 16, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    In reference to :
    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=174303
    Right Wing Thug says in response to
    “the Fed keeps on printing billions of dollars and handing it right into the hands of the already super rich.”
    Now hang on one second. By any objective measure, I’m what would be considered super rich. And yet nobody from the Fed is handing me billions of dollars. What gives? Is there a number I need to call or something? Paperwork to fill out? Where’s my Fed billions?
    Smirk wants to know.”
    I answer:
    No clown, the point is that all those billions are not being given to anyone at all that really needs them: none of those billions are doing anything at all, no low rent homes are being built or being made available neither in the three stooges macroregions the US, EU, JAPAN nor in any 2nd or 3rd world country. No public – private entities are hiring millions of unemployed, even with low salaries, to give them a minimum chance to start a life and an economy. Nothing at all is being done or improved, the excuses are many and varied, millions of slobs don’t have the “right skill set” (good luck in trying to guess which is the right combination of fluffcrap that is temporarily valid), millions of slobs are “not competitive enough” (good luck on what on earth that can mean, given that even 100 dollars a month salaries for 60 hours weeks in factories across China, Vietnam, Indonesia is “still not competitive enough” (oh I see, they lack the “skill sets”) ), millions of slobs are not “flexible” enough, but millions have been fired worldwide in the last few years, that is really great for the “growth of the economy”, oh I see, they have to be grateful they worked a few months anyways. I could go on, read all the past posts, only a fool can see that all of this right wing thug ideology, all of this huge lie and deception that has been brainwashing millions is false.
    But we need more “democracy”, it isn’t the low rents and any low paying jobs that is really needed, no we need democracy and “freedom” (another huge magical word that means absolutely nothing at all, when you don’t even have the basics) in the world. And the basics are, and people should be constantly reminded, are LOW RENTS AND JOBS.
    Only large scale public – private entities hiring millions even to do nothing at all will ever make any real change in this world, and low rents. Everything else people talk about is a distraction, is an easy way to make millions focus on things that are totally irrelevant.
    I know that I am pushing on a string, it is too late, too many people and too many economists all have been brainwashed with this one track mind of profits, competition, skill sets, education, freedom, and on and on in a world of abstractions and magical words that only serve to not change anything at all, make the rich richer and preserve the status quo.

  376. ffkling February 16, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    The world according to “nickel”:
    “If it’s inarguable, why do I feel it is, in fact, arguable? So let me play “cornucopian” to the doom-and-gloom crowd on this blog.- Life expectancy at birth keeps going up.
    – Human population has indeed been going up. However, world calories/person are also up about 10% since the 80’s. Basically, eating has never been so available and reliable in human history. Obesity rates are going up, not just in the western world, but start showing up in much of the world.
    – Birth rates have been going down for about 40 years all over the world, with parts of the world already in population decline.”
    Every 24 hours the world human population expands by 280,000 while during this same time period numerous plant and animal species are driven extinct. Any person with half a brain understands that this equation is in severe disequilibrium and is fantastically unsustainable. These are the indisputable facts.

  377. MarlinFive54 February 16, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    SubEmpire;
    Those foot powered sewing machines were manufactured right here in Hartford by Weed Sewing Machine Co., located in the old Sharps Rifle Company Armory on Capitol Ave, in the 1880’s. They were also made in the Remington plant in Illion, NY and at the armory in Windsor, VT about the same time. Sewing machines, as well as typewriters were something the many gun manufacturers in NE went into after the Civil War to keep people working and the machinery running. Anyway, I still see them around at tag sales and flea markets. You should be able to get a good one pretty cheap. Being at least a century old it will probably need a little work. Sounds like a good project.
    BBC had a report last night about tens of thousands of Tunisians and other North Africans climbing into boats, crossing the Med, and heading to Italy. The BBC reporter was interviewing a representative of the Italian Red Cross, who had a Muslim name. Here was the remarkable thing. Both the interviewer and the Red Cross rep spoke with the assumption that provisions had to be made for these refugees in Italy by the Italian Govt. … are there enough beds for them, provisions, medical care, jobs??? One has to assume that these people are showing up without passports or papers, uninvited. I think I and others mentioned ‘Camp of the Saints’ on this site. Jean Raspail was truly prophetic.
    Also last nite anybody hear Coast to Coast … Damon Vickers, hedge fund mqr. from Seattle, touting his new book about the collapse of the dollar? He’s worked for Goldman & Rockefeller, G. Father Pres. of Yale. States that the dollar will soon collapse which will lead to loss of national soveriegnty, national currency and usher in One World Govt. and new currency. Our constitution and bill of rights null and void and replaced by universal document. Also populations would have to be eliminated and individuals registered and tracked. He’s happy about it and cant wait for all this to happen. Elitist little prick, talking down to us thru his nose, him and and his blueblood scum run our country into the ground then tells us I got mine, as for you, well, you don’t have a country anymore pal, sorry but tough shit!
    Forget what I said yesterday. Keep your ARs.

  378. nickel February 16, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Asia,
    No doubts the prices have skyrocketed. On the other hand, so have salaries. Minimum wage in 1955: 0.75$ In 2010: 7.25$
    All commodity prices fluctuate. The run up makes headlines, the collapse in price doesn’t. You can have a spike for a month, a year or even three. The question is: over a longer term, do prices go up or down. And yes, the trend goes back to the Industrial Revolution: wheat, rice, fruits, meat, fish tend to get more affordable over time. Overall people need to work less and less to pay for food, which leaves money to spend on things like car, TV and cable, internet, vacation…

  379. progressorconserve February 16, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Very interesting response, Buck –
    “In other words, YOU want to be that sensible right-wing spokesmen whose absence you constantly lament.”
    -buck-
    Actually, I’d be far from a RW spokesman on CFN – a pragmatic spokesman, maybe.
    One of my fascinations with CFN is the ability to articulate complete and finished thoughts without interruption – then post them out there for all the world to see, ignore, agree, or criticize.
    And, where I live in Georgia, I’m generally considered a spokesman for the lunatic left, certainly not the Glen Beck right. I can barely stand to listen to Beck, BTW – mostly because of the way he takes complicated and nuanced issues and rams a spear through them into a nightly Beckism. bah!
    ==========
    “But frankly my dear PoC, why should you give a damn what I think?”
    -Buck-
    The way other people think FASCINATES me. Part of that includes how people project their personalities on an anonymous webspace like this. I’ve said before that I believe this issue would be worthy of a Doctoral Degree. I’ve actually come to think the research would be pretty easy, once you got the parameters defined and got a subject pool that could be vetted for honesty. (somehow vetted – that might get tenuous)
    I also think it might be worth a book. Maybe a boring book – but a book, nevertheless.
    =====================
    On a personal note to all of CFN:
    And to use a basketball metaphor, I did throw some pretty good elbows last week. There were a couple of things that had been bothering me for weeks. I just thought I’d try to clear them up – at least to my own satisfaction.

  380. progressorconserve February 16, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I was planning to get a longer post back to you about this JackieBlue, but duty calls this morning.
    “I know this board isn’t for bonding ! But sharing our thoughts on Peak Oil, etc.”
    -jackieblue-
    I think you and I would be well equipped to discuss thoughts of personality projection on the open internet. When you were talking last week about your cute blond self out hiking and appreciating the trees.
    Holy Moly, Child – where were you when I was 25?
    Warm regards,
    PoC
    PS Now, where DID I put that permission slip from my wife? ;-) hahohe!

  381. nickel February 16, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    you are a fool!
    Indeed, you aren’t the first to notice.
    The boomers didnt super populate the earth, the chindians and muslims
    OK woho I never ever mentioned boomers. I certainly repeated that fertility in the western world is below population replacement level.
    Chindians you mean China and India? Well actually according to tradingeconomics.com and wikipedia here are the fertility rates:
    India
    1967 5.66 1970 5.47 1980 4.69 1990 4.01 2000 3.28 2010 2.72
    China
    1967 5.91 1970 5.51 1980 2.63 1990 2.34 2000 1.77 2010 1.54
    See a trend here? China has been below replacement for over 15 years. India is still above but trending solidly down, like pretty much all countries on the planet that haven’t already hit rock bottom.

  382. orionoir February 16, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    {I’ve actually come to think the research would be pretty easy, once you got the parameters defined and got a subject pool that could be vetted for honesty.}
    ——-
    what interests (fascinates) me most is anonymous dishonesty, not its mundane twin, personal dishonesty. why do people lie when there is (probably) little at stake?
    in my salad days i impersonated several online personages, with great personality. on aol i got into a memorable lesbian affair which i tried to consummate cyrano-style by conning my rl girlfriend to play my online self while i hid under the bed as dialog coach for information pertinent to the cybersexual record. unfortunately, my lesbian lover was also a man who had similarly hired a vegas hooker to play his part while he hid next to me.
    okay, i just made that up.
    still, what motivates people here at cfn? great pomposity, to what end? is someone’s professional reputation at stake? me, what i believe and enjoy most is humility: you gotta figure it’s genuine. because, unlike in real life, there’s no payoff here for being vulnerable, uncertain or kind. clear acknowledgement of error, failed perspective or even (especially) a changed mind — this sort of decency is as rare as hens’ teeth.

  383. ozone February 16, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    “Democracy is in every way a self-correcting process if allowed to proceed.
    Since it has never been tried, I think the objection that people will be too hasty, vile, imprudent, unwise, ill-considered, and so forth, are absolutely speculative.” -BustinJ
    ==========================
    If you’ll indulge me in further speculation for just a minute, I’d think that communities interested in future survival [through co-operation] would exile those whose personality traits now put them in positions of power/control.
    That outcome might be EXACTLY what TPTB are afear’d of in a democratic society, and why they’re desperately slapping more wallpaper over the kleptocracy and yelling “Greatest!”, “Best system ever!”, “Prosperity!”, “Freedom to consume all the good shit!”, “You need us to keep you safe!”, “Etc.!”.
    To become outlaw means something. Some drifters are harmless “seekers”, and some others wander because they are societal poison and have been cast out. (Hopefully, democratically, and not through intrigue and power struggle. Would our collective instincts become better honed to tell which was which?)
    ==================
    “I’ve been all over, and talked to people all over. People are basically good, basically well-informed as to their own best interests. America has never been better prepared to level with itself than today.” -BustinJ
    ===================
    Allllllllllllmost prepared. More real pain will have to be borne, but the kleptocrats are painting themselves into a corner that will make that inevitable as we speak.
    And we must ask: How much state violence and terror will they be willing to apply to maintain Fagin’s well-organized den of cut-purses and cut-throats [m'dears]?

  384. lbendet February 16, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Oh, the madness of supply side…
    Today Erin Burnett told us the fabulous news–New housing start-ups are up by 14%–although not all will get permits.
    She refused to tell us about inflation although she mentioned it as the bad news when she started her segment. Scarborough tried to get her to talk about the bad news, but to no avail. She refused to address this topic.–And they couldn’t stop singing the praises of their new owner CEO Brian Roberts of Comcast—no conflict of interest there…
    The winner of the economy: Brian Roberts, the biggest loser:Jamie Dimon. Madoff says the banks knew…and Dimon can’t stave off investigations to that effect. Question is will the kleptocracy be held accountable? From the looks of what’s going on with the corruption of Scalia and Thomas on the Supreme court, I think not.
    Mike Maloney on Max Keiser has a 7 minute segment about the building projects for new casinos in Las Vegas. Buildings are finished on the outside, skeletons on the inside. The banks pulled the money out from under them after the bubble popped.
    He says this is the preview of what the rest of the world in the next 3-5 years will look like. (Singapore and China, Australia and New Zealand). When the markets roll over here, t he rest of the world will follow, as all stock markets are working in lock-step and so the same conditions will prevail everywhere.
    Expansion of currency supplies borrows from the future.-on the back of bonds that the tax-payers will have to pay back. The whole world is involved in our fiasco economic model.
    So somebody please tell me, if mortgages continue to fail, houses continue to be abandoned and whole projects are left empty, why in the world would more be built? This economic model couldn’t be more poorly conceived and yet the great minds of our nations can only come up with this scenario. What a racket—why can’t this be stopped?

  385. ozone February 16, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    on Damon Vickers–
    “Elitist little prick, talking down to us thru his nose, him and and his blueblood scum run our country into the ground then tells us I got mine, as for you, well, you don’t have a country anymore pal, sorry but tough shit!
    Forget what I said yesterday. Keep your ARs.” -Marlin554
    =====================
    In a future scenario, will Mr. Vickers be known as outlaw; quiet unmarked grave in a lonely wilderness; or KING?
    Stay tuned! (and definitely, keep your AR’s)

  386. newworld February 16, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Calling all liberals, progressives, “anti-racists” have you gone completely nuts?
    Reading the KOS thread dealing with the issue of the assault on the woman reporter in Egypt, and for every poste expressing sympathy there were two clamoring for a witchhunt against any “islamophobia.”
    The left is almost literally being destroyed by these wacko cultists from the likes of Kos, its Jonestown all over again.
    These psychopaths have elected themselves as the “minders” of the metacult of liberal politics, and the results are not going to be pretty.

  387. ozone February 16, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    “…I’ve actually come to think the research would be pretty easy, once you got the parameters defined and got a subject pool that could be vetted for honesty. (somehow vetted – that might get tenuous)”
    -PoC
    ===============
    As Marx (of the Groucho-esque) might retort:
    “I certainly wouldn’t swim in any pool that would have me as a subject”.
    ;o)
    I say, give ‘em a polygraph while they’re IN the pool… ka-zizzzle-zappo!

  388. Cash February 16, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Gooners still in the hunt. Sublime skills but they are their own worst enemies. Giving up a four goal lead fer pete’s sake to the Geordies. (relegationistas). What I want to see there is the kind of internal steel you see in Manu U. Fight to the last, never give up.
    Tell me I’m wrong (please) but I can’t shake this impression: that too many of the Gooners are there until Barca or AC or Inter or Real Madrid come calling. Just a way station in their careers as opposed to fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Which is what freaked me out about Fabregas. He wants to play for Barcelona. OK he’s Catalan. Barcelona is THE team. But Fabregas is CAPTAIN for fuck sake of ARSENAL. Doesn’t that mean anything? Isn’t that enough?
    And yeah that gravity defying bicycle kick was one for the ages. Good on Rooney.
    And how about Bale? Quite something. Enough to make you go back to Tottenham? I remember seeing him in his first games in the EPL. Fearless. Radiated happiness. A gas to watch.

  389. ozone February 16, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    “…still, what motivates people here at cfn?” -O.
    =====================
    To [tentatively] assure myself that I’m not TOTALLY crazy in my observations of the present, and strange visions of a future of contraction and challenges to survival (for damn near everything).
    My point of perspective gets re-oriented from time to time by others’ comments, and I find that a very good thing.
    Decent? Sometimes, wholly; other times, not at all. Certain flaws are most stubborn! (Why does examining them take so damn much desolate thought and precious TIME?!?)

  390. San Jose Mom 51 February 16, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Initially, I was hooked on JHK because of his many books on architecture. For whatever reason, I’ve always cared about design.
    My brain has a nasty way of playing “Worst Case Scenerio.” Sometimes I wish I had the Pollyanna attitude of some of my friends (one especially likes to quote Marianne Williamson–blech). But I don’t have that capacity.
    If I talked about peak oil, etc. to my girl friends they’d be thinking, “Jen is such a Debbie Downer.” But this blog is a safe place to discuss “Worst Case Scenerio.”
    Also, there are some real interesting characters on this blog that I enjoy…even though I may not agree with them.
    Jen

  391. messianicdruid February 16, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    “If there is a prerequisite for gullibility the belief in the supernatural has no equal.”
    I do not understand how you can believe that and then say:
    “All you dupes thinking this “Left/right” dichotomy you’ve been fed is useful or accurate have been lied to.”

  392. Cash February 16, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    That’s hilarious.

  393. messianicdruid February 16, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    “What do you think of Herbert W Armstong? Cult Leader or Great Man of God?”
    Let him that is without sin {law – less – ness 1John 3:4} cast the first stone.

  394. Cash February 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Bustin, I didn’t invent this saying and I can’t remember who did but it boils down to this: every country has an army on its soil, its own or someone else’s.
    So take your pick, will it be the army manned by your fellow citizens or someone else’s army dedicated to stealing your life, land and livelihood? Do you think the US is safe because it’s surrounded by oceans? Tell me, did the oceans protect the American Indian? This world has seven billion aggressive, resource hungry people some nuclear armed. And they see the US (and Canada) and their lips get wet.
    So soldiers are thugs? You don’t say.
    It’s up to you and me Bustin. What goes on in your country is your responsibility. What goes on in my country is my responsibility. How our respective police forces and military behave is up to us.
    There was a fellow I worked with, a small L and large L liberal of long standing that, like you, was contemptuous of all things military. A tool of the state to oppress him he said. Two bit murderers good for nothing else, failures in everything else they tried, the army being their last stop on the road to hell (I’m extrapolating a bit). So one day we were talking about the Alberta oil sands. How huge a supply of oil it is and how it would keep us warm and happy and motoring along. Except, I said, the Chinese are looking at it lustfully. Maybe the image of yellow skinned hordes was what made the light come on. He muttered, and I quote: “And that’s why we need an army”.
    So all this is not to your taste? Neither mine. It’s not a perfect world. But if you’re a liberal (and I’m guessing you are) you pride yourself on evidence based thinking and evidence based action unlike the witless wonders of the western world the people on the opposite side of the political spectrum. You’re thoughtful and educated like all liberals. So here’s something to think about: based on the evidence provided by several thousand years of human history, if you don’t defend your turf (by means of an army, militia or whatever), where you build your house, raise your kids, run your business or grow your food, tougher and more aggressive people will rip it out from under you, rape everything pinker and softer than themselves and throw your ass into a mass grave. You don’t need a doctorate in history to know this.

  395. Cash February 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Vlad, The US and Canada are as real as we make them. If they don’t exist in our minds then they don’t exist. I remember reading about the ancient Etruscans. Their folklore and religion had it that they would exist as a people for a certain number of ages defined by whatever timekeeping method they used at the time. And at the end of those ages the carpet would roll up and they would cease to exist. And they ceased to exist.
    BTW this just came to mind. I read somewhere that our word “ceremony” has Etruscan origins. They had a place of religious pilgrimage in Italy called Cere. And there they had Ceremonia. Also the word “person”. Comes from the Etruscan word for “theatre mask” which was “persona” according to one source and “phersu” according to another.
    As far as transplanting democracy goes I tend to agree. I agree with what you say about developments in Britain. Plus it took strains of thought from ancient Greece and Israel to come up with what we have now. It can happen if the people there really want it but with all societies you have entrenched interests and simple inertia resisting it.

  396. Cash February 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Helen, if you want to shit on the Conservatives be my guest. I could fill this site with a torrent of diarrhetic voiding myself. But what I hear in this Liberal bastion about the Conservatives is nonsense and it bugs me. Why make stuff up when you have enough real stuff to go after?
    And don’t kid yourself: there’s not a stitch of difference between Harper and the Liberals. Consider this, look at Iggy, his background, what he’s said and done. The Liberals got a conservative as leader and one that lived in the US, worked at Harvard and thinks of himself as American. Prime Minister Michael Ignatieff the first American Prime Minister of Canada. Imagine that for a minute. The Liberals talk is “Left” and they govern “Right”. The Conservatives talk “Right” and govern “Left”. Different factions of the same clique apparently. Their supposed differences are all smoke.
    What Reform was about back in the day and what the ruling Conservatives are actually doing are two utterly different things. I liked some of the songs that Reform was singing especially the stuff about parliamentary recall and the Triple E Senate. Heard any of that lately? Neither have I.
    One other thing and this is something that I hear over and over. That the Conservatives are Bible thumping social conservatives. This may shock you but their main stomping ground, Alberta, is the least church going place in the country along with BC, another of their stomping grounds. And in Harper’s defence: he’s an evangelical Christian but he’s libertarian in his thinking and attitudes. Social conservatives are just one strand in the party.

  397. messianicdruid February 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    “We’re governed by the rule of law here, and since you are Americans, you will abide by it.”
    To improvise a deep sour chasm, do this, ;) .

  398. MarlinFive54 February 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Oh yea newworld, Islamophobia … that’s the FBI’s main foe, as well as BIG SIS’s.
    Read the WSJ editorial today about Major Hassan who gunned down all those soldiers (brutish thugs BustinJ?) in Texas last year.
    Exuse me for a moment while I study up my EEOC manual!

  399. messianicdruid February 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Cash, I’m sure you are aware of the Westmoreland {interesting name, that} quote, “War is caused by undefended wealth.”

  400. nickel February 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    If population is in inarguable overshoot, shouldn’t we be seeing the cracks in the dam? But the human population seems to be doing as good as it ever did. Life expectancy? Up! Food availability? Up! Income? Up! Child mortality? Down! Just where are these cracks?
    In the late 60s and early 70s, people had lots more ground to be worried. In much of the third world, fertility rates were about 5, 6, even 7 children per women. And yet humans managed to cope.
    Now in much of the western world, the birth rate has been down for long enough that the population has started to decline. Germany: down. Russia: down. Japan: down. Most of eastern and southern Europe: birth rates (way) below replacement for decades now, pop. declining soon. Brazil: below replacement. Turkey, Algeria: at replacement and falling. But people still cling to this ticking population bomb scenario even though we’ve pretty much managed to turn the corner.
    I bet 20 years from now people will be worrying about the lack of brains to innovate and solve our problems, the lack of arms to take care of the aging population and maintain the infrastructure.
    So Jack Alpert has been waiting for the bottom to fall out for decades now? Sorry but chances are, he’ll die waiting.

  401. Cash February 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Neat quote.
    Si vis pacem para bellum.

  402. george February 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Breaking International News from the offices of CNN: “Two Iranian warships are expected to pass through the Suez Canal Wednesday night on their way to Syria, a move that Israel considers a “provocation,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said.
    The passage is “something which has not happened in many years,” Liberman said.
    “This is a provocation that proves that the self-confidence and insolence of the Iranians is growing from day to day,” he said. “This happens after the Iranian president’s visit to south Lebanon and his aggressive declarations there towards Israel.”
    Looks like the Global Economy, as we have come to know it, is toast.

  403. ront February 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I am new to this forum, and I am happy to read so many thoughts from free thinkers, critical thinkers, with different feelings and natures. I hope you are taking advantage of other forums, as well, to get your messages out into the world for those with ears to hear and hearts to receive them. Sorting and refining our thinking readies us to serve as the chaos and confusion of various calamities manifest. Here is something I wrote in Sept “08. It still seems to be pertinent.
    It could be that the majority of U.S. citizens are still clinging to what has, over the past thirty years, come to be “conventional wisdom.” That would be the “wisdom” which claims that to be in the “real” world, one must “sadly” reject or ignore the absolute fact of the universal brotherhood of all men and women, the feelings of love and tolerance that one’s recognition of it can inspire, and the inherent duties it demands. Rejection of these principles gradually allows for the free reign of every human weakness, such as ignorance, arrogance and greed.
    More and more people, however, are be shaken free by the increase of suffering, the suffering that the upholding of this paradigm brings. They begin to see clearly that the misery in this world, past, present and future, has as its root cause the selfishness and unbridled hunger for worldly gain which flows from the acceptance of this cultural dictate. One of two fears, that of embarrassment, is an impetus to continue the clinging. The “wisdom” preached by its most avid practitioners suggest that those who have not accepted their deluded logic based upon their shortsighted experience are naive, immature, foolish idealists living in a dream world. The notion is that one should feel embarrassed and would be a complete fool in the eyes of the world were they to follow the lead of their loving heart that suggests any course that risks or sacrifices their own comforts or worldly gains for the sake of strangers. The other fear is unconscious, as it is the fear of shame. The successful practitioners never examine their motives adequately to self-discover or admit the dishonorable, harmful, cruel and corrupt behavior they have allowed for their own selfish ends.
    These fears are phantoms. Ask anyone who has stood up to their fears for the sake of principle–undaunted. Franklin Roosevelt, who helped our country through a period not unlike this one we are now facing, knew that we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.

  404. newworld February 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Its Kos’ big foe that is for certain, but they are the worst of the worst when it comes to the meta-cult known as liberalism. The Kos cult minders always on the look out for deviation from the party line, they are absolute animals, sociopaths to the core. When a liberal goes postal I always ask this, “What was their Kos avatar?”
    Like I observed in over 300 posts about the reporter being assaulted it was two to one in favor of those on the hunt for “islamophobia.” Its Jonestown on the net.

  405. Qshtik February 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    MarlinFive54 and SuburbanEmpire,
    I don’t know how you guys can discuss old treadle-powered sewing machines without mentioning the name Singer. My Mom (whose 100th birthday is less than 2 months away, though she passed in ’95) had one. Didn’t every one’s mom?
    Anyway, this talk of sewing machines has stirred the following memories:
    In broad outline my working career was composed of 3 jobs. The third and longest-running began when, after a gut-wrenching period of unemployment in a previous great recession (late ’70s), I found work with a division of the Singer Co. (How many of you know that sewing machines in the later years became a mere sideline?) What that company evolved into was a defense contracting mini-conglomerate and I counted beans for the division that, among other gadgets, made the navigation system that allowed Trident missiles to emerge from the ocean depths, fly thousands of miles, and land within a meter or two of a target. (If this last sentence doesn’t bring Asoka back to chide me from wherever he’s holed up sulking about being called the “resident impediment” I don’t know what will.)
    The technology was mind-boggling. The missile, braking the water’s surface at a slight angle, looked for all the world like the greatest hard-on any man ever wished he’d had. As it shot upward on a column of white-hot fire till it cleared all weather a small window in its nose opened and viewed the heavens where, night or day, it detected star patterns and matched them with those stored in memory. Calculations – worthy fore-runners of Jeopardy’s “Watson” – off these impossibly faint star-beams (detected by a “vidicon tube” made by EMI, the British music and record company) tipped the missile’s bell-shaped rocket chambers to adjust the death-threat machine to the precise angle for its parabolic flight. I’m simplifying here … it’s actually way more complex.
    Who knew that the Singer Sewing Machine Company and EMI record company were part of the military-industrial complex?
    The entire stable of Singer’s defense related businesses were glommed up in the late ’80s by a young corporate raider named Paul Bilzerian, busted up into various bite-sized chunks, and sold off to the highest bidders.
    The division in which I was employed was itself broken into two pieces and the employees found themselves one Monday morning, seemingly at random, to be either in the navigation segment or the electronics segment. I was in the latter. As time wore on it became evident that electronics “was where it was at” whereas those unfortunate enough to land in the shit-ass outfit that acquired navigation might just as well have gotten work cleaning out Johnny-on-the-spots at construction sites. Just one more sign of Q’s charmed life. Hey, I walked away from polio at age eight.
    My brother and I slept in a 3/4ths double bed in a tiny bedroom in a little bungalow in the small town of Collingswood, NJ. Mom’s Singer Sewing Machine was kept in this bedroom near the foot of the bed directly in front of a window that looked out on our back yard. When not in use the machine itself pivoted downward and a table top folded over to provide a small flat surface. On this surface a set of football shoulder pads were placed and a football was inserted upright in the pads’ neck hole. On the football was placed a football helmet.
    In the dim light, well before dawn, something caused my eyes to open partially. I looked toward the dim light and had a child’s version of a massive heart attack. There, against the grey light, was the dark outline of a man staring in at my brother and me.

  406. AMR February 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    Eh, we’ve had that deep, sour chasm since Antebellum times, when the pro-slavery faction started freaking out at the prospect of not being allowed to keep other people as their chattels. An uneasy agreement from the time of American Independence had allowed slave states to do basically whatever the hell they wanted, and slaveowners didn’t like the idea of having the agreement shattered by a bunch of Yankee scolds.
    They cared even less for Lincoln, the outcome of the Civil War, and Reconstruction, which they crushed with a violent insurgency to which the Federal government eventually acquiesced for close to a century. The “recent unpleasantness” of the Civil War and its aftermath pissed off a lot of Dixiecrats, as did the more recent unpleasantness, circa 1954-74, of being belatedly forced to abide by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, Bull Connor and all the fire hoses in Alabama notwithstanding.
    There are still people who have not given up on the “Lost Cause” nearly a century and a half after it was first lost. There were certainly exceptions to Rebel bigotry and malice–Robert E. Lee was a prime example–and the old Union has racial demons of its own, but too often the “Lost Cause” is devoted to nothing more than preserving or resurrecting a sick, twisted, racist system of feudal lordship, buttressed by the vigilantism of White Trash goon squads when necessary. Much of the evil in our criminal justice system, and not just in the South, comes from the same sick part of the national soul.
    Luckily, the chasm narrows over time, but not opening it in the first place so as not to ruffle feathers would have been a mistake. It’s a damn good thing that the Feds have the wherewithal to assert their writ against the sick puppies and petty tyrants who hide behind a cloak of states’ rights.

  407. MarlinFive54 February 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    I know I’m being such a homer, but the Singer Sewing Machine was invented right here at Satans Kingdom, New Hartford, CT, at the Canton town line, where the bridge crosses the Farmington River. Right under the bridge is where the factory was.

  408. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown February 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Peak Oil Experts Fear Big New U.S. Job Losses, Economic Downturn
    http://dailycensored.com/2010/10/11/peak-oil-experts-fear-big-new-u-s-job-losses-economic-downturn/
    Former CIBC chief economist Jeff Rubin predicted oil production declines ranging soon from 2 to 6% annually. This, he said, will double or triple oil prices on the market, creating economic slow-downs and job losses beyond those of the recent recession. His Toronto Globe and Mail column last week on this was entitled, “We have run out of oil we can afford to burn?.”

  409. AMR February 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    On second thought, I may have been off about just how the depravity would manifest itself at the state level, but I have no doubt that some state and local authorities would go absolutely apeshit without Federal oversight. Hell, that already happens pretty often, despite the extensive Federal regulatory and legal apparatus that is responsible for oversight.
    Sometimes, the only check on tyranny of the majority is a Federal one. Congress is certainly corrupt, and perhaps some US Courts are, too, but both are better than nothing to check power trips at the local and state level. There are countless cases of local and state officeholders, oftentimes pure sociopaths, going on out-of-control vendettas abetted by hysterical voters. It is much better for these bad actors to be promptly stopped from afar than to wait for the locals to wise up, by which point the lives of the scapegoats du jour may be ruined.
    I don’t think we can count on everyone dialing in to a daily poll. It’s impossible to get large blocs of eligible voters to turn out even once every four years, let alone for every election under the current schedule. An electronic New England town hall meeting on steroids just doesn’t sound manageable. I would expect results to be at least as bad as the referendum systems in California and Washington State, but probably much worse.
    Fundamentally, the problem with American democracy, whether representative or direct, is not that we don’t have enough opportunities to participate or that the system is rigged by nefarious elites. The problem is that as an electorate we don’t know how to vote effectively, or don’t care. Those eligible voters who aren’t apathetic are often too interested in getting their share of the swag or too ensconced in some lunatic fringe to turf out the crooks.
    The change has to come from within. There is no way to implement a law or an electoral regulation against greed and lunacy.

  410. Bustin J February 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    0.05 says, “If population is in inarguable overshoot, shouldn’t we be seeing the cracks in the dam?”
    Lets say, for the sake of argument, there are cracks in the dam. What do you think those would look like? Give us a metric by which you think overpopulation can be measured.

  411. messianicdruid February 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    And their works do follow them.
    http://ofgoatsandmen.blogspot.com/2011/02/fox-news-caught-in-shocking-dirty.html

  412. messianicdruid February 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    “Sometimes, the only check on tyranny of the majority is a Federal one.”
    But always, the only check on the Federal tyranny is a minority of one. Divide TO conquer.

  413. Martin Hayes February 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Let his who is without sin …
    We now know that this remarkable statement, in fact the entire incident of the attempted stoning, was added centuries after the Gospel of John was written.
    The story even contains a nice literary flourish of a line being drawn in the sand. This wasn’t original: there are two well-attested antecedents in antiquity of prominent persons doodling in the sand.
    “Let his who is without sin” is the sublimest statement Jesus never made. Is it not curious that it is possible to out-Jesus Jesus? You would think that it would not be possible, but it is.
    So it is with Paul. Because he is the only writer of his kind that most of us are exposed to, we think of him as unique, when, really, his ideas and his literary style were pretty typical of his age.

  414. edpell February 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Grizzly says the US is reproducing above replace rate. My understanding of the stats is average rate 2.0 per woman,a little below the replacement rate. With 1.7 per woman white (well below), 2.3 per woman black (a little above, and 3.0 per woman latino (well above replacement). So in time the US rate will go to 3.0 and most Americans will be descended from native American’s of Mexico.
    Grizzly what is the fertility rate of Muslim immigrants in Canada? Of whites in Canada?
    It is evolution in action.

  415. ront February 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Going back to the definition of cynicism, I think this dictionary has the definition that I agree with:
    cynic – a person who believes that people are motivated in all their actions entirely by selfishness.
    I have a suspicion that about 80% or more of people think that they are loving and unselfish, but believe that only about 20% or less of other people are.
    This conflict creates problems among those who find comfort in following along with the majority rather than being true to themselves.

  416. Qshtik February 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Oh yeah, Marlin and Sub,
    In old bankruptcy law there were usually 3 things they couldn’t take away from you: books, bibles and sewing machines.

  417. Qshtik February 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Ront,
    Gordon Gecko made the pitch that greed, for lack of a better term, is good.
    I, and others before me, have stated that all things are done for selfish reasons. It cannot be otherwise. When you peel back the final layer on the onion of motivation you arrive at concern for the self. This is not cynicism.
    To grasp this you must somehow purge two things from your mind: that concern for the self is evil and that concern for the self equates to unconcern for others.

  418. asia February 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    well..liar and fool!
    heres the quoteee you never made:
    You need time for the baby boom generation to die off, and be replaced by a younger, smaller generation,

  419. asia February 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    L.A. already hit the tipping point in that
    MOST HERE SPEAK A FORIEGN LANGUAGE AT HOME.
    Oh, i was at Michael Buble’s place today on Blue Jay Way [as in the Beatles song].
    Lovely place.thats how the other half [more like 1%] live.

  420. asia February 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Going from 2 or 3 billion to 7 billion in X years.
    However the blind dont see anything.
    [nickel says food prices way down from year 1700! Oh that doesnt reassure any of us?]
    yikes the lifeboats sinking.

  421. asia February 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    ‘before 1985 mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity…in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.’
    If you are in the nice part of the world, No [ not yet].
    if you are among the 3 billion chindians, probably right.
    Oh, as JHK pointed out the ‘green revolution’ slowed down the Mathusian predictions.

  422. asia February 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    ‘Calling all liberals, progressives, “anti-racists” have you gone completely nuts?
    … and for every poste expressing sympathy there were two clamoring for a witchhunt against any “islamophobia.’
    The answer to yr ? is in the ?.
    ‘all liberals, progressives, “anti-racists” have you gone completely nuts?’
    Maybe they were racists and nuts all along, wolves in sheeps clothing.
    Ask Vlad, hes the expert in these strange matters.
    signed, X Liberal.

  423. asia February 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    TV, Vid games, Advertising. celebrating thugs like Mike Tyson [sports] rap ‘singers’.

  424. asia February 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Grizzly what is the fertility rate of Muslim immigrants in Canada?
    What does it matter, Since Canada takes more immigrants yearly RELATIVE TO TOTAL POPULATION, than any country [most immigrants go to USA, more than 50% of all immigrants worldwide go to USA].

  425. orionoir February 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    {My brain has a nasty way of playing “Worst Case Scenerio.” Sometimes I wish I had the Pollyanna attitude of some of my friends}
    ——
    jen, i vacillate rapidly between 2 poles…
    pole 1. the world is in deep trouble; there’s a wealth of information to be analyzed; i am a good analyst; therefore i need to do some serious thinking, reading, and comparing of notes with smart informed people;
    pole 2. i’m hardly managing my own life; there’s laundry to be done; it really doesn’t matter what i think.
    i suppose my experience with disease informs pole #2 — when a man gets sick, he does everything to learn about his condition, he beats the bushes and he shakes the trees, he attempts to master the science if he can… and, what? the lesson i learned from cancer is that it doesn’t matter what i know, or what i think, the only thing that matters is acceptance.
    as a parent, i feel a stake in the future. my children are coming of age in a turbulent time, another one of those “best of / worst of” centuries, and i don’t want them to feel pessimistic or limited or ripped-off. still, i want to tell them the truth: we are handing you a whole lot of debt, many fiscal messes, a severely stressed ecology, on & on. compared to what we bequeath our children, our parents’ gift of nuclear proliferation hardly seems so bad.
    still: i’m no debbie downer. i take solace in uncertainty, and the whimsical nature of time and large numbers.

  426. MarlinFive54 February 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    WSJ front page this morning;
    ExxonMobil finding only 95 barrels of oil for every 100 barrels sold. Old wells pumped out; new wells scarce. This has been the situation for 17 STRAIGHT QUARTERS!
    At breakfast this morning at the Silver Diner on Main Street in Plainville, CT:
    MARLIN: Look here, article says Exxon can’t replace the oil they’re selling.
    MARLIN’S COUSIN: That’s a lot of bull. There’s plenty of oil.
    MARLIN: If you know where it is call Exxon and let them know. They need some.

  427. messianicdruid February 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    “Is it not curious that it is possible to out-Jesus Jesus?”
    Go ahead and give it a try.

  428. Bustin J February 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    $ spoke, “every country has an army on its soil, its own or someone else’s.”
    I’d argue we didn’t need the standing army over much of the last 60 years. I think the military knows this, why else would they be funding Skynet and battlebots?
    I think the military is a safety valve for the powers that be. If they want more nationalism, they create a military altercation. If they need to sop up political or social willpower, same thing. What all that requires is a pliable citizen ready to step up and grab social prestige the military offers. Nobody stands up and recognizes the garbagemen’s contribution to society.
    $ replied, “It’s up to you and me Bustin. What goes on in your country is your responsibility. What goes on in my country is my responsibility. How our respective police forces and military behave is up to us.”
    I don’t feel personally responsible to protect what isn’t threatened. The military is always sitting there, waiting to be used on the people. That is more threatening than externalities.
    What I do object to is the indoctrination of children into this cult of military-hero worship. In reality, a bunch of gomer pyles and assorted misfits, ranging from Ku Klux Klan to GI Joe to the young & dumb. Their leaders, our leaders, the ones who keep pushing us into these stand-up fights aren’t creative thinkers. The military option, to paraphrase H. Zinn, is never the best solution.
    I’d prefer the power structure to continue to be upended to favor individuals. Thats why I support 2nd amendment rights to firearms and deplore the attempts to ban weapons. I’d like a laser-guided missile for personal protection, please. I think the Taser corp. is on the right track. Lets increase lethality until my hand-held weapon can deduce intent by facial recognition and airborne volatiles on targets around corners and neutralize with a 99.5% take-down probability. Then do we need an army?
    I suppose, as an American, I am justified considering this “forever war” that ruined us and is still screwing us over continues to be fed grist.
    As for your Athabaskan Tar Sands, the real threat is from the Tar sands themselves. China is pursuing alternative energy and green energy.

  429. asia February 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Well….if the Prison guards are unhappy!
    [ $3.6 billion budget shortfall ]
    Shape of things to come…..
    Thousands of teachers, students and prison guards descended on the Wisconsin Capitol on Wednesday to fight a move to strip government workers of union rights in the first state to grant them more than a half-century ago.
    The Statehouse filled with as many as 10,000 demonstrators who chanted, sang the national anthem and beat drums for hours. The noise in the rotunda rose to the level of a chainsaw, and many Madison teachers joined the protest by calling in sick in such numbers that the district — the state’s second-largest — had to cancel classes.
    The new Republican governor, Scott Walker, is seeking passage of the nation’s most aggressive anti-union proposal, which was moving swiftly through the GOP-led Legislature.
    If adopted, it would mark a dramatic shift for Wisconsin, which passed a comprehensive collective bargaining law in 1959 and was the birthplace of the national union representing all non-federal public employees.
    As protesters chanted “Recall Walker now!” outside the governor’s office, Walker insisted he has the votes to pass the measure, which he says is needed to help balance a projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall and avoid widespread layoffs.

  430. asia February 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    where is the KOS thread?

  431. Bustin J February 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Aye Mister says “On second thought, I may have been off about just how the depravity would manifest itself at the state level, but I have no doubt that some state and local authorities would go absolutely apeshit without Federal oversight.”
    I don’t follow. The current ape-shittery at the state level seems to be due to the presence of a federal entity available for bailouts and investment capital to be squandered.
    Lets say Mississippi wants to ban gays from public office. Hold a popular federal referendum the next day. Joe Q. Public, empowered democractic participant, is able to vote electronically on the federal action agenda. It would be much like interested parties appearing to read the daily missives from CFN-Land, only with a chance for real participation. I don’t think there is a problem either for the dissemination or consumption of this info, as like information is already metabolized daily in similar fashion. And participation is proven through today’s similar function of message boards. So although the state could try and slide sideways, the federal vote would supercede. And, I might add, much faster than the foot-dragging 150 years it took under the old system.
    “Sometimes, the only check on tyranny of the majority is a Federal one.”
    I think that is a conceit of the old system we have now. Its a patronizing canard. Whose “tyranny” is it that a popular democracy represents? The democratic majority? I say, lets let the chips fall where they may, and contrast to the existing system, where all the chips are stacked against us.
    “Congress is certainly corrupt, and perhaps some US Courts are, too, but both are better than nothing to check power trips at the local and state level.”
    A popular democracy should be able to produce instant mandates upon which state entities could quickly act.
    Its hard to imagine the state population voting against its interests. But it is easy to imagine a corrupt Congress passing legislation against our interests.
    “There are countless cases of local and state officeholders, oftentimes pure sociopaths, going on out-of-control vendettas abetted by hysterical voters.”
    They are enabled by a system which obstructs the velocity at which a people can implement their will. We should not have to provide job security for douchebag public servants. There should be a no-confidence popular vote, and then a boot in the ass. Instant Karma.
    “It is much better for these bad actors to be promptly stopped from afar than to wait for the locals to wise up, by which point the lives of the scapegoats du jour may be ruined.”
    Which is why I think this instant voting democracy should be implemented at all levels, but having a general to specific functional heirarchy. Again, I think locals wise up fast- the limiting factor is the system of redress, which stalls participation.
    “I don’t think we can count on everyone dialing in to a daily poll.”
    I don’t see why not. Information delivery systems are now ubiquitous. Everyone will know. Likewise, everyone can participate.
    “It’s impossible to get large blocs of eligible voters to turn out even once every four years, let alone for every election under the current schedule.”
    I think that is largely because the system has no legitimacy, and is functionally broken. Its downright Soviet in its implementation. But look at Huffington Post or any blog site. People are willing and able to log in, get information, and participate. What I am proposing is not that much different.
    “An electronic New England town hall meeting on steroids just doesn’t sound manageable.”
    Democracy is all about determination coming from Chaos. The town hall meetings held today are threadbare affairs. A waste of time and energy to travel to and from. Largely, these meetings are biased by design- in the current system, stakeholders and lobbyists are clearly advantaged. Lobby groups LOVE the town hall meeting. Corporate politicians LOVE the town hall meeting. They love it because it gives them a tool with which to fool us all into pretending the system is rooted in popular debate. Today, we have access to all the debate and information at our fingertips that we need. There is no point in gathering together and wasting our time. Thats why no one does it and the practice has been reduced to a media PR event.
    Citizens don’t need information czars passing down intelligence from “on-high”, they are frequently better informed than their politicians! That is my conviction- that the average person interested in participatory democracy has a better idea of what is important and relevant than their “public servant”. Interesting term, that. I’d like to see it restored as a political practice.
    The town hall system is outdated, a format which reflects the 19th century paradigm in which it was invented.
    “I would expect results to be at least as bad as the referendum systems in California and Washington State, but probably much worse.”
    The access of the citizen to government in the states you mentioned are very bad. As a result, the states are in serious trouble. The imbalance was caused by a lack of democracy, a lack of participation. Its not the fault of the people.
    “Fundamentally, the problem with American democracy, whether representative or direct, is not that we don’t have enough opportunities to participate or that the system is rigged by nefarious elites. The problem is that as an electorate we don’t know how to vote effectively, or don’t care. Those eligible voters who aren’t apathetic are often too interested in getting their share of the swag or too ensconced in some l
    lunatic fringe to turf out the crooks.”
    The reason why politicians love to flog non-voters is because non-voting is a direct insult to the legitimacy of the system. The more they flog this issue, the more it appears that the system is legitimate, and the people are the real failures. It is a picture painted by the political machine to keep us all participating in the continuation of their government, their jobs, and their power and wealth.
    I support non-voting since it is the only clear signal that the system is not legitimate. The act of non-voting is not grounded in apathy, it is grounded in the material reality that the powers that be do not act in our best interests, do not offer us real choices, and do not allow us to meaningfully participate in a democracy.
    In the worst of these false “democracies”, people are forced to vote. How ironic.
    I think a true direct democracy incorporates the non-voters. If participation was made available, and democratic power made available, then a self-correcting feedback develops, where the best-informed, most-invested stakeholders vote, and the least-informed, least-invested stakeholders do not vote. That makes sense.
    It does not make sense for stakeholders to be forced to make a arbitrary choice between options we can’t reasonably evaluate, but how often is it that people are cajoled into voting on issues they have no peripheral interest or knowledge of? Thats where you get the folks who go into the booth and just punch the options mindlessly. Every politician of this party, or every female from this one and every male from that one.
    Its embarrassing the way the US imposes its chad & bucket system on every nascent up-and-coming country. From a distance, it looks like Pavlovian conditioning- which it is. People aren’t thinking when they punch these so-called “choices”. They are ill-informed and confused when they do so. They’d rather not even bother!
    I remain faithful in a system of direct democracy where only the interested are voting. Imagine the eruption of civility as these barriers to participation fall and false choices created by fascist and corporate forces disappear.
    “The change has to come from within. There is no way to implement a law or an electoral regulation against greed and lunacy.”
    I think its entirely fair to imagine a bloodless ascension of direct democracy.
    A direct democracy seems to me to be the best possible way of implementing a check against greed and lunacy.
    If it is taken too far, we’ll have debates and referendums. And if it is the case, then let the chips fall where they may- it can’t be worse than what we’ve got.
    If I had a dime for every time I heard Obama / Bush etc. (or any politician for that matter) say (and I paraphrase) “our system isn’t perfect- but we have to work with it” I would be rich.
    A nearby university offers a “Public administration” program. The graduates are inculcated with the minutiae of the grinding public service rituals. The candidates themselves seem particularly unimpressive- there is no room for creativity and the system does not encourage it. Certainly after so many years of this conditioning, these people will have jobs for life. They become defense lawyers, of a sort, for the systems they are trained to obey. The politicians are infused with a sense of their own importance and seem to