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T he really big item in last night’s 60-Minutes newsbreak was that the latest Star Wars movie passed the billion dollar profit gate a week after release. That says just about everything you need to know about our floundering society, including the state of the legacy news media.

The cherry on top last week was Elon Musk’s SpaceX company’s feat landing the first spent stage of its Falcon 9 rocket to be (theoretically) recycled and thus hugely lowering the cost of firing things into space. The media spooged all over itself on that one, since behind this feat stands Mr. Musk’s heroic quest to land humans on Mars. This culture has lost a lot in the past 40 years, but among the least recognized is the loss of its critical faculties. We’ve become a nation of six-year-olds.

News flash: we’re not going Mars. Notwithstanding the accolades for Ridley Scott’s neatly-rationalized fantasy, The Martian (based on Andy Weir’s novel), any human journey to the red planet would be a one-way trip. Anyway, all that begs the question: why are we so eager to journey to a dead planet with none of the elements necessary for human life when we can’t seem to manage human life on a planet superbly equipped to support us?

Answer: because we are lost in raptures of techno-narcissism. What do I mean by that? We’re convinced that all the unanticipated consequences of our brief techno-industrial orgy can be solved by… more and better technology! Notice that this narrative is being served up to a society now held hostage to the images on little screens, by skilled people who, more and more, act as though these screens have become the new dwelling place of reality. How psychotic is that?

All of this grandstanding about the glories of space goes on at the expense of paying attention to our troubles on this planet, including the existential question as to how badly we are fucking it up with burning the fossil fuels that power our techno-industrial activities. Personally, I don’t believe that any international accord will work to mitigate that quandary. But what will work, and what I fully expect, is a financial breakdown that will lead to a forced re-set of human endeavor at a lower scale of technological activity.

The additional question really is how much hardship will that transition entail and the answer is that there is plenty within our power to make that journey less harsh. But it would require dedication to clear goals and the hard work of altering all our current arrangements — and giving up these childish fantasy distractions about space and technology

Dreaming about rockets to Mars is easy compared to, say, transitioning our futureless Agri-Biz racket to other methods of agriculture that don’t destroy soils, water tables, ecosystems, and bodies. It’s easier than rearranging our lives on the landscape so we’re not hostage to motoring everywhere for everything. It’s easier than educating people to both think and develop real hands-on skills not dependent on complex machines and electric-powered devices.

But we’re not interested and that is why we’re going to be dragged kicking and screaming into a very different future, not riding rockets to the new mall on Mars. I’m not religious, but maybe there is something like Providence at work foisting all these space fantasies on us at the very end of the year, allowing us to get all this stupid shit out of the way so we can prepare for the banking and political tribulations to come in 2016. Speaking of which, next week I will publish my forecast for the twelve-month roller-coaster ahead. Happy New Year, one and all.

Herewith, the CFN Christmas present to readers:
An excerpt from World Made By Hand 4 (and final)
The Harrows of Spring

(Note: uncorrected manuscript)

Coming in 2016
World Made By Hand 4 (and final)

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The third World Made By Hand novel

!! Is available !!

(The Fourth and final is complete
and in production for May 2016 publication)

Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist

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My local indie booksellers… Battenkill Books (Autographed by the Author) … or Northshire Books
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Also: Published as an E-book for the first time!
The 20th Anniversary edition
With an entertaining new introduction by the author

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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.

523 Responses to “Questions and Answers” Subscribe

  1. shotho December 28, 2015 at 9:28 am #

    The disclaimer nowadays that “I am not religious” seems to accompany any reference to Providence. I find that curious. Could there by any connection between cataloging our current miseries and the loss of the religious or is the loss of the religious the unmitigated blessing that all commentators seem to bellieve it to be?

    • Pogo December 28, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Religion inhibits rational thought. And since people value the comforts afforded by their religious beliefs more than dealing with the monumental problems humans have created (population control, climate change, peak everything) then we are fools to think there will be a soft landing.

      For example, what percentage of the survivors of the terrible storms and floods that have ravaged the south and southeast believe that “God is testing our faith” rather than realize that these types of storms are exactly what the climate scientists have predicted and demand policy actions to at least mitigate somewhat the more terrible storms of our grandchildren?

      Religion is a problem and not a solution.

      • stelmosfire December 28, 2015 at 10:25 am #

        Among my friends at the Firehouse we always marveled when there was a natural disaster or a devastating fire. ” Thank God nobody was killed”. Hey Pal you just lost your house, land, livestock, and everything you worked your life for. “Thank God for that”. The “Great Being in the Sky” is such a Prick! I pulled a Couple out of a car, wrapped around a 20″ pine, in front of their house as their children watched from the living room window. I can still smell her perfume.

        • marcyincny December 28, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

          Without a god I think we’re left with the full obligation to bear witness to the catastrophe of life. Some people such as yourself do so much more and I would just like to acknowledge that.

      • DrTomSchmidt December 28, 2015 at 11:09 am #

        Religion inhibits rational thought. And since people value the comforts afforded by their religious beliefs more than dealing with the monumental problems humans have created (population control, climate change, peak everything) then we are fools to think there will be a soft landing.

        Ah, reason. Written as if you believe the theory of rational expectations, from those Aspergery “scientists” who read Newton and saw man as an elementary particle, adrift in a clockwork universe. Their religion, Progress, insisted on the endless reformability of man. They destroyed all connection to a “superstitious” past and marveled that, as Taleb writes, “Whoever has no past, has no future.” Then they despaired that the “irrational” little people acted as if there was no need to worry about a future that would not exist.

        Give me people who understand System 1 thinkers, who recognize how thin is the scum of brain cells that actually DO the hard work of thinking, and who recognize the role of religion and ritual and formalism in preserving a space for the functioning of the rational mind. Now go read Willpower, written by a couple of agnostics a, and come back to us when you understand people as they are not as your theory wills them to be.

        • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

          Religion is alive and will and the new Christ is a woman with a light-saber which glows blue and the devil now carries a light saber that glows red.

          • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

            well

          • dweebus December 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

            What is the problem if the New Christ carries a blue light sabre, or a crysknife, or a sword presented by the Lady of the Lake?

            First of all, you guys are conflating archetypes. There is a difference between messiahs and heros.

            Secondly, you guys are way, waY, wAY, WAY over thinking the Star Wars thing. It really doesn’t matter where it is set. The Old West, Ice Age Europe, medieval fantasy land, post peak New York, , deindustrial Meriga, or space. Certain themes resonate. There is no new thing under the sun.

            For “Rey’s sake”, it is just a movie…

      • sprezzatura December 28, 2015 at 11:49 am #

        There are three types of people:

        – Those who believe that God exists.
        – Those who believe that God doesn’t exist.
        – Those who know that God exists… because we invented him.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

        Global Warming is also a religion inhibiting rational thought. There have always been strong storms of various kinds.

        • sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

          Janos, Janos. Naughty naughty, trying to wind me up.

          But I already know that you are smarter than that. For one thing, you have already agreed that Global Warming is happening, but that you don’t buy the man-made part. Well, your observation about storms is irrelevant to that.

          Also, religion is about belief without any supporting evidence. There is plenty of supporting evidence for AGW, so much so that 97% of scientists who study climate are convinced of its truth. That is not religion. That is consensus.

          • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

            s-kraut

            He lies just to wind people up but your first line tells me you already know this.

          • sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

            Yes, KD, it is sad. But I often respond because the ignorant find comfort in conformity, and this pernicious belief denying AGW has prevented effective action for nigh on a generation.

            Others, less intelligent than Janos, can be flattered into thinking that AGW is controversial, and that their ignorance Trumps a scientist’s expertise. Thus my response.

            It may be too late now, but I will not give up. I will continue to grasp at whatever straws of hope remain, futile though it may prove to be.

          • DrTomSchmidt December 28, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

            Down below you write: Yes, KD, it is sad. But I often respond because the ignorant find comfort in conformity.

            Here you write: There is plenty of supporting evidence for AGW, so much so that 97% of scientists who study climate are convinced of its truth.

            Um, not for nothing, but wouldn’t conforming to the 97% indicate, inductively, (not valid, but still) that you might be one of the ignorant?

            FWIW, not a believer in AGW, but I DO believe that dumping all that CO2 into the atmosphere so quickly is an uncontrolled scientific experiment, and should be halted on that ground.

          • sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

            TS, you write, “not for nothing, but wouldn’t conforming to the 97% indicate, inductively, (not valid, but still) that you might be one of the ignorant?”

            I find no comfort in expecting that we are doomed. I prefer, however, to look reality in the face. Since I find no comfort in the view that we are doomed by AGW, the major premise of your hypothetical does not apply.

            That said, the scientific community does indeed engage in groupthink to some extent. This occurs when a subject has been studied to death, and is so well understood that people want to move to something new and interesting (I suspect that AGW is nearing that stage). Also, when old assumptions have led to an edifice of very good approximations (think resistance to Einstein, or to Plate Tectonics). No, science is not perfect.

            While imperfect, science is largely self-correcting, and it is about the only human activity which is. Science is the best method yet devised for understanding nature. Until someone can point to a better method, acceptance or agnosticism are the only intellectually respectable responses to a scientific consensus.

            To refute an old myth: science does not progress from supposed truth to supposed truth. That is for religion. Rather, science progresses from good approximation to better approximation. Think Newtonian Gravitation superseded by Einstein’s General Relativity.

            I would point out that there really is no accepted theoretical alternative to AGW. With AGW, we have:
            1. an agreed phenomenon (global warming, disputed by virtually no-one who has something other than “feelings” about the matter)
            2. a plausible mechanism (greenhouse gas forcing caused by human activity)
            3. a good correlation between the two, worked out in exquisite detail.

            The obvious alternative explanations such as solar cycle or planetary precession or galactic orbit were the first to be investigated and discarded. You can read about it. The remaining alternative explanation, I suppose, is a vengeful God. Not quite so respectable.

            Note that in science, belief is not required. Belief is a hindrance. What is expected is a variation on “put up or shut up”: accept the consensus approximation until a better approximation is available, or show, in detail, what is wrong.

            That brings to mind the only really pernicious aspect of Star Wars, which to my mind is, “Trust your feelings, Luke.”

            I prefer to think.

          • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

            I never said global warming was real in the sense you mean. The Earth warmed for 15 years or so, now it’s cooling. It’s always changing, going up or down. I did say the Earth was very warm at periods in the past. Long ago there were no ice caps at all. Perhaps the dinosaurs had industry?

          • sauerkraut December 29, 2015 at 1:45 am #

            No, the earth is not cooling, Janos. As you agreed, if I remember correctly.

            Yes, the earth has been warmer before, especially at the time of the Great Dying, when life almost vanished because the oceans were so polluted with acid that the algae almost died out, and with them, the supply of oxygen. Volcanoes did that. But we’re on schedule to do the same, as I am sure you are aware.

          • basil December 29, 2015 at 7:54 am #

            sauerkraut-
            it is difficult for me to answer anthropogenic climate change denial without resorting to undignified language. continued denial of human-caused global warming simply delays the steps that need to be taken to reduce the consequences. thanks for your calm reply.

          • Lawfish December 29, 2015 at 9:22 am #

            At one time 97% of scientists thought the sun revolved around the earth. That is consensus, not science.

          • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

            “it is difficult for me to answer anthropogenic climate change denial without resorting to undignified language. continued denial of human-caused global warming simply delays the steps that need to be taken to reduce the consequences. thanks for your calm reply”

            Basil,
            There are those amongst us that, while skeptical of current scientific efforts, are skeptical for the correct reasons. Scientific endeavor has been, for 30 odd years, moving away from the empirical method, and efforts are always, it seems, moving towards monetizing one’s efforts in whatever scientific field we can discuss.

            Any sentient being can see that climate is changing, as it always has, and always will. Anyone conversant with climate science understands that it is, at best, an art form, with variables too numerous to even begin to develop a viable model… even with supercomputers results are imprecise (but often will be publicized without peer review).

            Of course, there is a broad consensus of scientists and lay persons in the field of climatology, regarding human causal effects…a simple, elegant and entirely not unreasonable conclusion…just not an absolute.

            Sorry, Basil, I just cannot drink the Kool-Aid. I have, and will continue to study the scientific efforts, and, filtered through my own lifetime of study, form a conclusion thereon…and am still undecided regarding causal effects as major cause of climate “change”…contributory, yes, but major, or singular cause?

            You sir, and all others who have taken a strong opinion on ether side of this question, should first recognize your own cognitive failings…know what you don’t know, and this will serve you well.

          • sauerkraut December 29, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

            Thank you, Lawfish, for making my point.

            As you doubtless remember, Copernicus pointed out that the mathematics were far simpler if the earth went around the sun, and that, barring evidence to the contrary, we should change our ideas. Which happened. Galileo found moons orbiting Jupiter, Kepler developed the theory, and Newton completed the task.

            Thus a good approximation (earth centric) was replaced by a better approximation (sun centric). This is the process which I discussed above: better approximations replace good ones, in time.

            What you seem to have missed is that science requires something in return for it’s willingness to change: it is a variant on “put up or shut up.” If you don’t want to accept the consensus, show what is wrong, in detail. As Copernicus did, Galileo did, Kepler did, and Newton did.

            Better approximations only come about through criticism of the good approximations. By criticism I mean showing where improvements are possible, in detail. I do not mean variants on, “Ah donut doo diffrenshul eekwayshuns so ah nose thangs.”

            Absent detailed demonstrations of what can be improved, dissent on scientific matters is just noise.

          • sauerkraut December 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

            Elysian, there is a very good reason why science seems to have been moving away from the empirical method. The “low hanging fruit” is pretty much gone. Observation is now far more complex.

            Observation now exists primarily in compiling large data sets. Indeed, for climate science, that is the only way. Large data sets mean that simple empirical observations are no longer possible. Large data sets mean statistics and statistical inference.

            Therefore, the modern scientist must also learn statistics, which is a very difficult field.

            The reason it takes 10 years to train a statistician is because only a few thousand combinations of the data are well understood; quantities such as mean and kurtosis. Further, these are understood only when the underlying data assumes one or two distributions.

            Hence, out of the infinitely many possible functions of the data, under infinitely many data distributions, only a relatively few are understood. The statistician’s job is to fold, spindle, and mutilate the subject under discussion to fit one of those situations, so that it can be studied.

            However, if a subject is so important and difficult that it merits the time, trouble, and expense, then the behaviour of new statistics can be investigated. These are done in Monte Carlo simulations.

            That is what the modern climate models are: devices to understand particular groups of observations which arise from data sets of a specific sort, explore the relationships between them, and ultimately to decide on what is natural variation and what is statistically significant.

            If you want to go further with this, I can suggest the excellent books by Hoel, Port, and Stone, which will get you started on a very rewarding study.

          • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

            Sauerkraut,
            Back in my undergraduate years, I took a course in statistical analysis…what I took away from that course was that statistical models are built and employed. The questions therein are two fold…what do the resulting statistics mean, and is the model that generated those statistics viable? I respect your obvious knowledge in this field.

            The course of study was in…1964. We were using comptometers…remember them?

          • sauerkraut December 29, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

            Elysian, sounds like a course in Experimental Design. Was ANOVA prominent in the discussion?

            Yes, I remember comptometers with horror. Ours were made by Frieden, I think. They were in a perfectly echoic room room for undergraduates, a dozen being pounded by students and the motor driven cogs pounding back. The noise, the noise …

            Then the first electronic calculator, the HP Computing Expressway. Remember lusting for that?

        • Apneaman December 28, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

          They just never used to happen every day, nor were they all such shit kickers. AGW Jacked and the fun has just begun. My prediction is you won’t live to a ripe old age because of it. Most of us won’t. This has happened before. I mean there have been 14 previous extinction events in the planets history due to massive releases of CO2 from volcanisim. Were the volcano this time. It’s planetary physics plain and simple. It does not care about your infantile politics.

          SC floods’ damage: $12 billion, economists say

          thestate.com/news/local/article47471060.html

          Week of severe weather leaves at least 43 dead across seven states

          foxnews.com/us/2015/12/28/week-severe-weather-leaves-at-least-43-dead-across-seven-states.html

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

      shotho,

      Loss of religion does not mean loss of stupidity and religion exists partly to control people who can’t control themselves. From that point of view its loss is not an improvement.

      I’d ask someone who says “I am not religious” what they mean but I don’t want to be bored hearing someone wax on about imaginary energy vortexes and dimensions of consciousness. I can make up better bullshit on my own. It could also come down to simply rejecting a higher power because people now are too full of themselves to express the humility that religion requires and the boring bullshit is there to hide that simple truth. People believe what they want to believe and at the end of the day few people will embrace that which is uncomfortable to them.

      • sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

        ” … religion exists partly to control people who can’t control themselves.” How true.

        “From that point of view its loss is not an improvement.” Very good. That is a corollary which had somehow escaped me.

        “It could also come down to simply rejecting a higher power because people now are too full of themselves to express the humility that religion requires …” Again, very good. Religious thought has been full of that forever, but in this context it is original, and even probably true. Nice. Thank you.

        • elysianfield December 30, 2015 at 11:01 am #

          Sauerkraut,
          This reply to your upstream questions. No, I do not recall ANOVA…I do, however remember the name of the course’s text…”The Conduct of Inquiry”…I still shudder with horror when I think of that convoluted tome.

          I never was aware of any electronic method of computing available to us, or even rumored at that time. I lusted, but my lust was directed otherwise….

      • basil December 29, 2015 at 8:27 am #

        k-dog
        “people believe what they want to believe …” is a widely-used but inaccurate statement. various religions tend to dominate different geographic areas, and people are exposed almost entirely to the local belief system from birth. they are not presented a list of religious beliefs to choose from. in this case, people believe what they are taught to believe. personally, “I am not religious” because I am certain there is no spirit world. you bring up good points.

    • Frankiti December 28, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

      Providence does not necessitate the divine.

      The moving writes and having writ
      Moves on
      nor all thy Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back
      to cancel half a Line…

      • Frankiti December 28, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

        It is merely a finger.

        • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

          “It is merely a finger.”

          Yes, but all your tears will not wash out a word of it….

      • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

        “The moving writes and having writ’

        The Rubiat…Omar Kayam. I apologize for the obvious misspellings.

  2. wpa_ccc December 28, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    Ever since the hippies decided to go back to the land the APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY movement has been engineering sustainable rational-use solutions to our dilemmas. This knowledge will become more important as the 2016 collapse hits us.

  3. PostPeakRancher December 28, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    Thanks for your weekly posts again this year, James. I’m looking forward to your 2016 forecast.

    Speaking of agri-biz, my wife and I are working on being the change to that system right here on our little family farm. All the while, the old farmers near by keep dropping off the earth and their heirs sell the farms. Those are then haphazardly replaced by suburbs. The 2008 GFC put a nice multi year pause to that. That’s what I’m looking forward to with the next “oh shit” moment our techno-narcissist society has. Hopefully it will be the death knell of suburbia and the burbs folks all around us will finally get real about the future….I’m not holding my breath.

    • Pogo December 28, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      The agri-biz industry is in deep do-do and the reason is water. A great article “Pumped beyond limits, many U.S. aquifers in decline” in The Desert Sun describes what is currently happening in the heartland, and the situation is dire now…not in the future. Being a farmer, you will be able to identify with the struggles of the family that has been farming in southwest Kansas since 1902. Forget suburbs, towns are dying because the Ogallala aquifer has been pumped to such a low level that wells are sucking air.

        • PostPeakRancher December 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

          I am familiar with the water issue in the midwest and west. India is in big trouble in this regard as well as many other areas around the globe.

          I am in eastern North Carolina, so I don’t have to worry about the Ogallala for my own farm’s water. The past few years here have been above average for rainfall. For most of the 2000’s we were mostly below average and our ponds got pretty low. We rarely till any land here. Only occasionally to reseed pastures or hay fields. We don’t do any irrigation in the hay fields only our vegetable garden.

          Suburban development has come roaring back over the past couple of years due to our fairly close proximity to Raleigh and the research triangle park area. Of course, the big agri-biz model is what made farming for the local farms around here so unprofitable. Those farms that raised beef cows for local processing and consumption became unprofitable due to big CAFO operations. So they either had to give up or give in. My family farm gave up beef cattle and converted to raising quarter horses and horse boarding. “Growing houses” became the profitable one-time crop that a lot of other farmers chose.

          Those who gave in began selling their weaned calves at auction to the CAFO operators who trucked them out west to finish them on antibiotic and growth hormone laced grain feeds. Many local slaughter houses closed during that time as well. This current system is still firmly in place here, but there are a few farms making small profits doing it the old fashioned way. My wife and I are still in the process of starting up the old family farm cattle operation. Our first calves are due this spring.

          I guess only time will tell how this area of the country chooses to arrange itself on the land and how to feed itself. I’m sure the residents here will try and choose the “modern” way every time until reality makes that choice no longer even remotely possible.

          • petemoss December 28, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

            My hat’s off to you, sir. Though it sounds like you largely know what you’re doing, I wonder if you’re familiar with the Land Stewardship Project? ( http://landstewardshipproject.org ) Even though based in MN, you might find some of their members’ approaches interesting, even applicable.

      • maxnigh@gmail.com December 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

        Right on, but a little tough to contain, in a one column effort by Kunstler;
        Edna Nigh ‘s cousin farmed 100plus acres in Nebraska ,over Ogalla aquifer for years. Now the farm area east of his required toooo deep wells to make it. He gave up farming while ahead.

      • mastman23 December 28, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

        Well that wont solve feeding the masses will it? No but a pipeline from the great lakes to pump water back in and refill it will do the trick.
        Our Government seems not to want to fix anything just destroy things or just keep the status quo for the controllers who reap the profits of stolen treasure from the USA
        Projects and solutions on a National scale is what brought this country out of depression in the 30s with a little help from the War

  4. routersurfer December 28, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    I agree Jim. The quick run to the Red Mall is out. How hard do we land ? My fear is a glowing ball of Nuked sludge. One reason I like your four book series better than my nightmares. The Gods all have a sad smile pointed towards us. We could have done so much with the planet and with technology. All traded in for a buck. Which will soon be lighting bondfires.

  5. Arn Varnold December 28, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    Our penchant for escapism is profound; can’t deal with the present? Let’s escape to another world where we can do it right.
    If we can’t fix it here, we’ll never be able to fix it there…

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

      Truth be told almost nobody want to fix it. The natural human tendency is just to move on and as there is no place to move on to, idle and fantastic daydreams of moving on fill the mind.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

        Quite possibly the Global Elite want to “fix it” by getting rid of most of humanity. But is such a cure worse than the disease? There’s going to be a big die off one way or the other. You don’t have to be a weather underground person to see which way the wind is blowing.

        • sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

          Agreed.

        • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

          Expecting any other solution from ‘the top’ would be delusional but you give the ‘global elite’ too much credit. There are those in the deep state who do know exactly what is going on and they are indeed planning the die-off but much of the elite is the elite only because they have more money than god and even though they make the videos which hypnotise Joe Six Pack into submission they are not immune from the effects of the video themselves. They too are technarcissists living under the spell of their own bullshit.

        • mastman23 December 28, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

          The world has a job problem as in no one needed. robotic factories are already in China not one person on the assemble line not one.

          I remember back in the 70s when automation was eliminating many jobs in operations as well as manufacturing. They told us we would be retrained for better jobs and have more leisure time to enjoy our lives.

          “Well what we have here is a failure to communicate” they did not tell us we would have to still pay for all that stuff called food expenses and housing. If those better jobs did come along they were also eliminated or shipped overseas. To many people now there is only one way the world will deal with that problem BOOM

          • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

            “Well what we have here is a failure to communicate”

            Strother Martin…Cool Hand Luke

            Well, automation did provide us with more leisure time….

    • russ December 29, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      Very true. Sometimes I wonder what we would do if we could routinely get off our little rock. And I think the answer is we would rip apart every other world we came to looking for manganese or molybdenum or some other useful thing to mine. We would take along our Industrial Civilization mindset and view everything as something to be extracted, with never a thought to putting anything back.

      And soon we would find that a star system or a galaxy is not enough. I think Nature knows that too, which is why we keep getting bigger and bigger swats just to see if our consciences might get jogged just a bit before the plug gets pulled once and for all.

  6. bob December 28, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Seems like a paradox , as we gain more knowledge we experience greater social and environmental entropy.

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

      But do we really gain more knowledge. I say no we do not. Passive ingestion of video images does not produce knowledge. Knowlege is acquired by critical reflection and video does not give that. To be fully acquired knowledge must also be used and parroting back what one experiences on a video screen does not count.

      • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

        “To be fully acquired knowledge must also be used and parroting back what one experiences on a video screen does not count”

        Dog,
        Video, or otherwise using the mark I eyeball in direct observation? Can we not, then, believe our God Damned Lying Eyes? I would agree that video and direct observation are only part of the equation of knowledge acquisition, but to discount observation completely is not arguable. Requiring use of the information as a feed-back device also is suspect…helpful, perhaps, but not a requirement.

        I bet there are videos out there on the subject of when and how to worm the dog…probably would not have to see it twice….

        • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

          Video is often somebody else’s lying eyes and the problem is you can’t tell they are lying eyes because it masquerades as direct observation to you.

          Video does not give direct observation. It is a narrow view through a window that can’t be adjusted and professionally prepared video will be sped up and slowed down, sliced and diced to present a prepared experience which gets very far from direct observation.

          Surface detail passes through video fine and video is great for advertising but as a teacher it lacks expressive nuance. You could probably learn how to worm the dog better and faster if you read the instructions on the label. That way you don’t have to see a video at all.

          Complex issues are not passed by video. It is a tragedy that these facts are not better known because video has decided all presidential elections for the past 38 years. Issues have been irrelevant.

          • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 11:25 am #

            “Video is often…”

            Dog,
            I can agree with you that there is peril in blindly accepting video as the truth, it requires a healthy dose of skepticism, and a life of careful observation to filter what might be true and what might be an attempt to manipulate the user. The qualifier that “video is often”, is correct.

      • RocketDoc January 1, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

        “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” We have known this for a long time. Today we don’t even have information. Just the facts are someone’s imagination. AGW. Is it a fact? I am no climate scientist but it is a lot farther from Philly to DC than from sea level to the ionosphere and you can’t breathe there. There is not a lot of room to put the effluent of a billion car trips between the ground and a Colorado 14,000′ mountain.
        Drove to Vail for the Holidays. No, I am not proud of it but we had a great time and there are a LOT of people who are not hurting and they are not reflecting on the truth of AGW.

    • russ December 29, 2015 at 11:26 am #

      bob/K-Dog – I think in a way you are both right. We are gaining more knowledge, but it’s the kind of knowledge the “leaders” of our society think is important – and not what necessarily is really important.

      We tend to get steered to that kind of knowledge that perpetuates the thought that this ‘whole thing is a machine which we can readily control’.

      But we have to go out of our way to find knowledge that suggests maybe we can live in harmony with each other if we come to assign more value to some of those lesser creatures among us. In my own experience, it was not until I was in my early 60s that I even heard of compost and the need to give back to the soil. And it was not until my late 60s that I am learning about the important role of soil bacteria, fungi, and other microflora/fauna in transmitting nutrients, helping to maintain soil carbon and water content, etc.

      And that’s probably because it is to the advantage of our “brand” of leaders to promote dissemination of knowledge that features domination as opposed to harmony.

      • ozone December 30, 2015 at 8:47 am #

        russ,
        Excellent observation, and I am of the same opinion. If we think of ourselves as integrated with and nurtured by nature (as opposed to ‘outside’ and ‘dominating’ of it), it’s much harder to commodify it. This thought is subversive heresy to the corporate masters and why it’s not widely disseminated; we get glyphosate and pesticide (i.e. deadly poison) adverts instead. I too have been studying the amazing web of micro-organisms that make life out of death, and feeding it has become a happy chore.
        I’m pretty sure you have this book… but just in case…

        timberpress.com/books/teaming_microbes/lowenfels/9781604691139

        Fascinating.

    • routersurfer January 2, 2016 at 10:26 am #

      Some groups of people gain. Most just close the mind to the information overflow. I have seen a trend : if I do not understand it– it is unimportant. If I do not agree– it is propaganda. If I am uncomfortable with it — it is a lie…….. If it that time and effort with years of study it is brainwashing. So that’s that. Man in info overload with piss poor judgement skills. Happy New Year.

  7. Being There December 28, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    First of all we know we blew it with the poisoning of our precious life giving planet. The one that actually supports life as you point out.

    But we must move on, cuz we have no idea how to protect it from ourselves — our greed, our desire to have ever more and more things that never make us happy. The gigantic populous of the world which has to consume….just a fact of life..

    We know it’s headed for massive disaster, but the economic model to infinity must go on!

    The billionaires are heading for higher profits where the sky is no longer the limit. How dare anyone or anything limit the goals of the few. Why we’ll nuc ya.

    In this process they want to create a monoculture world here first as a laboratory for the quest to colonize space—cuz that’s what we do. We colonize. It’s in our genes, they’ll tell us and we must follow that course if we are to survive ourselves.

    Yes, the whole culture is one huge fantasy cult where we live in a democratic republic with representatives that we pay to do our bidding in the Capitol. The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    There is nothing honest going on here from our shadow boxing with our paid religious extremists to roil up never ending war…to our wonderful inverted communism parading around like capitalism when it’s clearly broken every rule of supply and demand, price discovery and the bail-outs soon to become bail ins….just you wait and see….
    And the people cope with this by extending fantasy land wishing they could be in space….I get it. Though I personally find the whole allegory a bit tiresome at this point in my life.

    In any case we are entering 2016 having no idea what kinds of big surprises will come our way, with nobody on the scene with a single new idea. As I always say, sooner or later, hang onto your hats my Clusterfuck Nation friends, it’s only going to get worse and I wish I wasn’t saying that, but it just keeps degrading more and more.

    Don’t blame the hippies, they aren’t your enemy. There were people like Kissinger and deep state that are of the older generations that set this disaster up and btw it’s been on a trajectory since the Euopeans set sail to the new world.

    • ozone December 28, 2015 at 10:05 am #

      Good to “see” you, BT. Have yourself another reality-acknowledging New Year! We’ll meet you ’round Robin’s barn. Be good to yourself.

      • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:30 am #

        Thanks O. Finally got a little time off, so here I am–once more spreading holiday cheer.

        • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

          Time off for me too. I slept in this morning.

          We know we are headed for disaster only if the video image tells us so and the video image is not saying that. The Star Wars message is that we get to do the same thing all over again but with new characters. Our culture is getting reloaded.

          The deep state by its very existence will prevent any possible change from the fatal direction in which we are moving but it is no longer the fault of earlier generations that we are in the clusterfuck we are now in. The older generation is not the generation that believes everything they are told and they were not the generation camping out all night long on the side-walk to buy Star Wars tickets.

          The new generation becomes the old generation with the passage of time and all they believe like the generations before them is what has been passed down to them. Culpability comes from action and not belief.

          It is not previous generations who have no clue what is happening in Syria or anywhere else. Previous generations are not being being indoctrinated by Fox News and all the other false gods of our artificial moonlight. Previous generations are dead and dying and previous generations thought there was more to life than tattoos.

          It is our new generation doing the watching and they should know better. The new generation deliberately chooses ignorance and they are culpable for that choice. They know about factory exploitation in Asia but that does not stop them from waiting in line to buy every new electronic device as soon as it is debuted.

          The new generation feels entitled and they will be the first to tell you they are. Feining ignorance has also been fashionable for some time so all problems can now belong to others. Personal responsibility evaporated away in the glare of the video screen along with personality long ago but our new generation takes it to new levels. Their ignorance does not embarrass them and they embrace their posture of powerless. They are mindless consumers who can spew volumes of bullshit and nothing else.

          As for ‘nobody on the scene with a new answer’ I agree there does not seem to be any new answers. Yet we already have all the answers we need. The problem is there is no will to pay attention to the answers we do already have.

    • Pogo December 28, 2015 at 10:49 am #

      Very well put, Being There; my sentiments exactly.

      By Being Here, I feel like Cassandra…able to see the future but unable to do anything meaningful about it. Most people I try to talk to seem to have little or no interest.

      I’m just an old curmudgeon, like Walter, the cranky old man in the Jeff Dunham comedy skits.

      • baird December 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

        Apt indeed and dispiriting doesn’t begin to describe it. In the sixties I foolishly thought we enlightened youth were going to provide a way to fix all of those obviously ossified, misguided old fucks. Ummm that hasn’t worked out so well I guess. Now reduced to a more realistic point of view i.e. bearing witness to a juggernaut which cannot be avoided. Even a most optimistic reading of the tea leaves puts me in mind of Cormac and Margaret, et al. Suck it up boys and girls fun is all in the past.

    • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 11:33 am #

      Used time machine – $1 (Newport)

      “Searching for a used time machine so I can go back in time to start my life over differently ”

      Found on our local Craigslist this AM…

    • Ken Hall December 28, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

      One of my favorite most theoretical Physicists, Lawrence Krauss, said that he has given two (possibly more now) commencement addresses and lamented the fact that he lacked the cojones to begin the address with: “Things are going to get unimaginably worse and they are never going to get better again.”; a sentence which Lawrence, at one or more of his presentations concerning Cosmological Physics hosted on YouTube, attributed to Kurt Vonnegut.

      If you have never watched Krauss or Tyson checkout this Issac Asimov 14th Memorial Debate. If you have any thirst for knowledge about the Universe, Multiverse or Cosmology these guys and gals are great: youtube.com/user/LawrenceKrauss

      • sprawlcapital December 29, 2015 at 12:24 am #

        Ken–

        Tyson knows his physics, but he has serious problems with genetics.
        He is currently spreading the big lie that there is no difference between genetic engineering and conventional breeding of plants and animals.

  8. swmnguy December 28, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    “But what will work, and what I fully expect, is a financial breakdown that will lead to a forced re-set of human endeavor at a lower scale of technological activity.”

    You know, that’s probably going to prove out as events carry through. And that’s the saddest, silliest, most pathetically Human way things could go.

    Because Finance is completely made-up bullshit, do we all realize this? I know, many of us do not. Many of us think there are “Laws” of finance and economics, as there are “Laws” of Thermodynamics and Gravity.

    The difference, of course, is that “Laws” of physics are based on our observations of the way things seem to behave, over and over, with all variables controlled for, etc. “Laws” of finance and economics change as we change the rules and definitions. So they aren’t really “Laws” at all, are they.

    Suppose we could just say, “OK, from now on when we drop an object, it will fly upwards away from the Earth, out into space,” or, “From now on, objects at rest will tend to jump around in a seemingly random fashion, and objects in motion will hop up and down and sing contemporary Pop songs.”

    Because we can make the price of petroleum go up beyond “supply and demand” to the point it affects demand, and then supply; and we can make the price of petroleum go down despite fairly consistent usage, to the point that it is affecting supply, which will affect demand.

    We can create new money out of thin air and use it to compel people to spend the very real time of their lives doing what we wish them to do to pay off the debt that was created when that new money was called into being.

    And, the fact is even if it’s unpopular and horrifying to consider, we could just stop thinking of money tomorrow altogether. At that point, the only constraint on petroleum is how much energy it takes to retrieve a set quantity of petroleum; if it takes more energy expended than energy returned, forget it.

    We have the technology to do damn near anything we can conceive of…once. Our economic/financial conceits, a shared hallucination of abstract pseudo-concreteness if ever there has been one, are being used to prevent us from doing the obvious things that make sense, need to be done, but would inconvenience our current Elites.

    Whenever anyone posits Financial and Economic “Laws” as reasons we can’t do what obviously needs to be done, look very closely at them and their perceived self-interests. You’ll notice that what needs to be done would somehow diminish the power interests of a segment of the Elites, every time. And that the arguments against doing what needs to be done can’t ever withstand the “Why Not? So What?” level of reasoned argument.

    • ozone December 28, 2015 at 10:03 am #

      swmnguy,
      Pitch-perfect; thanks.

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:33 am #

      Yup, When we say something with conviction it makes it so, because we say it.

      or as Cheney is known to say, “We create the reality.”

      • stelmosfire December 28, 2015 at 11:24 am #

        So I was at the yearly Christmas get together with the family Sunday. All nineteen of us. I raised the question “Who here has ever worked in a factory on a production line? ” One hand went up “Mine”. They are a whole bunch of school teachers and social workers. I fudged my ID at 16 with my brothers ID to appear 19. Myself, I did foundry work pouring 2500 degree iron and cleaning the stack for bonus at the end of the night shift, also hot pressing grinding wheels at 450 degrees with a 1500 ton hydraulic press. Drilling oil and laying pipe in the oil patch in WY. These mopes ( my family) are a bunch of lackeys. All those factories are closed now, off shored to who knows where? Then it was on to a career as an FF /EMT for 33 years. “No brag, just fact.” as the great Walter Brennan said in “The Sons of Will Sonnet”. I’m not a rocket scientist but I can lift heavy things.

        • BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

          In the Columbia Bicycle factory at Westfield?

          brh

          • stelmosfire December 29, 2015 at 8:59 am #

            No Marlin, I never worked at “The Pope” . My father and Grandpa did however, as well as thousands of other folks in the Pioneer Valley. They made cars, bikes, office furniture, etc. etc. many machinists. You know the routine. My lovely wife of 33 years is from New Britski in CT. home of the Stanley Works. Now a S@@@hole.

          • stelmosfire December 29, 2015 at 9:05 am #

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Manufacturing_Company

            Hope this link works!

    • DrTomSchmidt December 28, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      Just watched the movie “San Andreas” last night. After watching SF and LA get utterly destroyed, and miraculously rescuing his daughter after driving an airboat over a tsunami, (not to mention safely landing a helicopter with no gearbox, swimming for two minutes underwater with no breath, hot-wiring a modern pickup truck, and jumping to a perfect landing at second base at AT&T park) our hero does something utterly unbelievable. Asked what we do next, he responds “Now we rebuild.”

      You and what other Undestroyed industrial economy, I thought. The SF earthquake of 1906 caused the Panic f 1907, which led to the Federal Reserve and the centralization of the economy, destroying local towns and initiative. Now, we cannot rebuild anything in the time that men 100 years ago originally built it, without the benefit of computers, tunnel boring machines, etc.

      Put on a copy of Billy Joel’s “I’ve loved these days” and then rise to the new task.

      • stelmosfire December 28, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

        Dr. TS, you are exactly right. I have a few old Victorian houses and the craftsmanship is remarkable. Miter joints and locksets are so tight you could not slip a piece of paper in them. The hackers now with all their power tools are chumps . I still sell a lot of old tools on ebay. Some guys like to be old-school. Can you imagine nailing lath all day and then putting plaster on it over your head? I don’t know about you but my arm falls off after about ten minutes!

        • piltdownman December 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

          When I bought my 100 year old house 30 years ago, I needed to have the ceilings redone in a couple of rooms, ’cause the jamokes before me had put that godawful swirly crap on them. I hired an older Italian man who stood 5′ 5″, if that. But he redid the ceiling on his stilts in two days. He had arms like my thighs. Happy guy, who worked his ass off and never complained. All the young guys wanted to put put sheetrock over it. Today, I can’t even get a young shit to return my calls — which is why I end up doing most of it myself!

    • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

      I like that, swmnguy. It fits in with my thoughts about an article which really irked me, in Forbes, I think it was. The article sought to angrily blame Chipotle’s recent troubles on their policy of trying to use ‘locally sourced’ ingredients whenever possible. If locally sourced ingredients were that unhygienic or whatever, you would see the E.Colic outbreak elsewhere, not just in the restaurant, duh.
      Forbes is the place I saw the article claiming repeal of the Glass-Steagall act played no part at all in the global financial collapse. Okay.

      • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

        E. Coli, not colic.

        • sprawlcapital December 29, 2015 at 12:52 am #

          Beryl–

          Escherichia coli is the full name of the bacterium. The first word is the genus; the second is the species. The convention is for the genus to be capitalized, while the species is all lower-case.

          So, in abbreviated form, the name of the bacterium is E. coli.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

        But unlocal and diseased labor.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

      If you don’t make money, you can’t get a good girlfriend or wife. They pick the winners after all. Change must come from women before men can change – and they’re not going to change though they often talk a great game.

    • Frankiti December 28, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

      Humanity has drawn itself into an imagined corner. Death by solipsism.
      The curse of the burden of consciousness.

    • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

      Gresham’s LAW

      “Gresham’s law is an economic principle that states: “When a government overvalues one type of money and undervalues another, the undervalued money will leave the country or disappear from circulation into hoards, while the overvalued money will flood into circulation.”

      Can we find any example in history that would prove this law false?

    • TPTB-USA December 28, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

      “Finance is completely made-up bullshit”– swmnguy

      swmnguy, if you take one more step back, I think you will about have it figured-out.

      You see, not only is Finance a man made construct, but the general blueprint for life, that US citizens have been conditioned to believe is a constant, is just a facade, being more akin to the game of Monopoly.

      Great civilizations require an equitable framework that gains the acceptance of the majority, and is the focus of attention so as to “pull the cart” to the destination in the most efficient manner.

      How we have been conditioned certainly makes it difficult to see the “forest through the trees”. Capitalism, socialism, the economy, etc. are not laws of nature, but games that are made and imposed by man. In general, humans function efficiently, and interact in a civilized, respectful, manner when there is a format that is equitable for all.

      There are two concepts that one needs to grasp to make sense of that which is happening at this point in time.

      It is my opinion that the game of Monopoly is a fitting example for Capitalism. Consider the game where you start with 100 players. Those at the front of the line will have an advantage over those at the end of the line. As the game evolves, 95 players will be washed-out and 5 players will own the board.

      Now consider the concept of Penny Doubled, where if you have a penny and double it, the next day you have 2 cents, the following day you double the 2 cents and you have 4 cents, … and in 28 days you have a million dollars. Now apply that to the Monopoly game, and it is easy to see that there is an exponentially increasing need for an increase in the money supply in order to satisfy all the financial obligations.

      Now consider the concept of Penny Doubled as applied to population growth. In the beginning, there is ample opportunity for all, but in the end, it is a game of trying to pick the other guys pocket. Applied to the Monopoly game, if you accommodate and introduce 100 new players at the mid game phase, where all the properties are owned and the remaining original players have accumulated significant wealth, the odds for success will be worse than being at the back of the starting line.

      In the incipient phases, things are somewhat equitable for all, but disparity approaches infinity in the end.

      It is my belief that we are in the end game and desperately need a game reset, but the challenge for TPTB is implementation of a game reset without results like those that have littered history. At this point, it is not clear that the majority of TPTB even recognize the game for what it is, they are just trying to push the day of reckoning out … one more day.

      • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

        TPTB,
        You are correct in that our economy is a zero-sum game…as is living well, and, at some distant point, living at all.

      • swmnguy December 29, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

        “TPTB-USA”: Excellent comment. I’m with you all the way.

        Finance Capitalism used to blow up every 10-20 years. Rather than try to manage the explosive re-sets, the Elites decided to try to prevent them. The trouble was, safeguards that protected the system put limits on extreme wealth. Once the living memory of the unpleasantness of Capitalism’s periodic meltdowns faded, the Elites junked the safeguards. Finance Capitalism took almost no time to start blowing up again.

        It turns out, the periodic self-destruction and rejuvenation is necessary to the system.

        Now, if we could come up with a system that doesn’t periodically cause so much pain, that would be great. But still better than what we do now would be to know the system will collapse frequently, prepare for that known eventuality, and not take any of it so seriously.

        It just drives me nuts to hear people in the USA say we can’t afford decent educational facilities or health care, when we can apparently afford to spend $1 Trillion per year on war. If we knocked a zero off our military spending, we’d still be in the top 5 military spending nations on Earth. America’s issues with infrastructure, health care and education would be brought up to date and fixed within 5 years, with less government spending. We can afford to spend $1 Billion or so on a sports palace (I live in Minneapolis), but we can’t afford to heat and cool our school buildings?

        Complete and utter bullshit. We could do all the things we know we need to do, but we don’t feel like it. So we make up stories using Finance and Economics as excuses.

        Little kids dream of becoming grownups, so they can stay up all night watching TV and eat ice cream for dinner. You would think that, as one reaches adulthood, needs sleep and feels rotten with a bellyful of sugar, one would re-assess one’s priorities. But apparently not.

        • TPTB-USA December 30, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

          I have a different take on what has, and is, transpiring.

          My thoughts are that when the current game ends, that China will be bestowed with the “Key Currency” privilege, and they will get to select the next game and make the rules, and when that game takes root, it will be to the detriment of the majority of US citizens.

          In the meantime, if the US government facilitates extension of the existing game without restriction, I think China will end-up owning US.

          I view maneuvers like the repeal of Glass-Steagall as a way to deal with the immediate crisis and put-off the day of reckoning (Robert Rubin’s team concocted a solution to manage the crisis, but Glass-Steagall stood in the way of implementation), but ultimately I feel that such maneuvers will exacerbate the conflict during the reset period.

          I also respectfully differ on your claim that the US can afford to spend $1 Trillion per year on war, and view that as akin to believing that an individual can borrow indefinitely to support a lavish lifestyle. If the US government can afford it, why do they have to continually raise the debt ceiling?

  9. ozone December 28, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    “All of this grandstanding about the glories of space goes on at the expense of paying attention to our troubles on this planet, including the existential question as to how badly we are fucking it up with burning the fossil fuels that power our techno-industrial activities. Personally, I don’t believe that any international accord will work to mitigate that quandary. But what will work, and what I fully expect, is a financial breakdown that will lead to a forced re-set of human endeavor at a lower scale of technological activity.” — JHK

    Jim,
    While not big on the hopey stuff, it’s my “hope” that your expectation comes to pass. I think that would be the least painful road back to reality and the facing of actual (rather than fictional) predicaments. IOW, I’m “hoping” for financial collapse to become an immutable circumstance, rather than a scenario of full societal collapse (a la Ukraine), but the trickery of the financial wizards seems to be never-ending. I haven’t yet seen it, but “The Big Short” is being touted as outlining the various Wall Street scams in simple and gritty English. Perhaps a few million American dunderheads/hoopleheads will see it and have a bit of a come-to-Jesus moment, but I’m not too “hopeful” about such a consummation.

    Thanks for the New Year’s wishes; the very same to you in the best of health. Looking forward to your forecast!

    • daveed December 28, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      At the cinema ‘multiplex’ last night we had several movie options including the latest Star Wars offering, and the usual kiddie fare. We watched ‘The Big Short’ and were thoroughly impressed. I have had absolutely no exposure to the arcane world of banking and finance, so I can’t judge the accuracy of the movie. I’m sure that the movie’s makers had to cut and fill and create composite characters, in the interest of moving the story along. But, damn! It was riveting. And no exploding cars or slimy monsters. Highly recommended.

    • abbybwood December 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      I saw “The Big Short” in Century City about a week ago and although it was apparent that Adam McKay and his production/writing team “tried” to “simplify” the particulars of what was going on, I tend to think most eyes glazed over. Even eyes of those who dilly-dally on E-Trade etc.

      Probably if one read a “Cliff Notes” synopsis prior to seeing the movie where the guts of the message were spelled out so any sixth grader would get it, it might reach a larger audience.

      My opinion is that the film should have been “dumbed down” much further than it already was in order to reach a greater audience.

      Ask a hundred people in line at the DMV what a “short” is/means and you will get a hundred scrunched up very puzzled faces.

    • petemoss December 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      Over the weekend, my SO and I went to see the movie “The Big Short,” about the housing finance racket and its collapse in 2007-08. (Surprisingly, seeing it was HER idea, and she doesn’t read anything like CFN or similar.) The movie house was packed. Although I often found it hard to follow in detail–and suspect I was far from alone–it seems reasonable to regard the audience to be of folks who already got it in principle. More than once, I found myself thinking: This movie just confirms more than before these folks’ conviction that the system is rigged and has surrendered its legitimacy–no small matter, that.
      And once, when some character said something about being “smarter than (Alan) Greenspan or (Henry) Paulson,” I found myself bursting out with: “That’s easy.” It got more than a few laughs.
      I walked out with a higher (if possible) level of disgust, and yet a tad of hope.
      (Dunderheads and space fantasists wouldn’t be interested in the slightest, regardless of title.)
      Perhaps my favorite line from the movie (slight spoiler alert): “They’re not confessing. They’re bragging.”

  10. erik December 28, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    All of my younger friends are rhapsodizing over how “awesome” the new Star Wars movie is. They have eagerly anticipated it and line up to see it. They like happy childish fantasies and lots of things that go boom.

    Jim is wrong though; we COULD go to Mars and back, but it would cost the entire pentagon budget to do it and all we’d bring back would be pictures, which we already have. So, it won’t happen.
    Looking forward to another luridly apocalyptic 2016 forecast and to its souffle like deflation during the year. But who knows; maybe this will be the year when enough of it happens so he can declare a home run at last?
    A broken clock is right twice a day after all.

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      There goes you social safety net and bank accounts, then.

  11. newworld December 28, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    One thing you are forgetting and it goes deep into conspiracy theorizing is the “Big Die Off” such as an engineered disease that takes the vast majority of humanity and leaves the tech elite with a few million scrubs to do the dirty work.

    This is a scifi genre in and of itself, the latest I read was about the Chinese military depopping Africa of its Africans.

  12. pequiste December 28, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    You are right Jim; we are NOT going to Mars or back to the Moon for that matter.

    Why?

    Because the extra-terrestrials are already here. Aliens too!
    See the remake to Independence Day to get the full Hollywood treatment.

    They destroy the Earth and human inhabitants better than the funseekers at Yzlamik State or Dow Chemical.

    “We Bring Good Things To Life!” coming to your neigborhood in 2016 CFNers.

    A happy (big-pharma induced) and healthy (GMO filled) new year to all!

    • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

      No connection at all between the rise in auto-immune disorders and GMO food. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, says so.

      • abbybwood December 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

        1 in 46 boys now have autism. It is an epidemic.

        I am reading a book about it now called, “Disconnected Kids” by Dr. Robert Melillo.

        He appears to be suggesting that the prime cause is “the environment”.

        Thankfully he is having great success with the treatment he suggests for these affected children and their parents.

        But Congress will not allow GMO foods to be labeled, even though many European countries have outright banned them and those that allow them also allow labeling.

        So much for “choice”, eh?

        • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

          It certainly prove how different the sexes are, eh? Don’t ever listen to Feminist propaganda again. They certainly don’t believe the sexes are equal anymore than I do.

        • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

          I’m going to read that book. Thanks.

          • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

            LOOK, UP IN THE SKY, ITS THE CHEM TRAILS.

          • pequiste December 29, 2015 at 1:02 am #

            Right you are Malthuss; “happy (chem)trails to you…..”

            And I almost forgot about the power of unseen, human-devised, radiation in our current technological super-saturated scenario. Out of sight- out of mind right?

            How does radiated (RF and microwave) energy across the spectrum affect human organisms (and all other biological entities?) How many studies have been done to analyze what changes to DNA, gametes, or blood, among other very specialized biological substances, occur with daily, or worse, constant doses of high energy frequencies? Did the good Doctor Neil DeGrasse Tyson check the literature before speaking or did he ( and the producers) assume that the Star Wars opening coupled with the NFL and latest antix of the Khardashian Klan preclude any necessity for peer reviewed literature on the subject?

            NOt to worry though – as a “TV Star” he will be having a prosperous new year, thanks to the six private corporations that control the information flow to the lumpen.

            And wishing a prosperous new year (to about 10% of the U.S. population,) courtesy of the evil bastards on Wall St and the demonic Federal Reserve. Everyone else can suck a rock.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

        Is that the Black nerd, the one who looks like what Blacks think a scientist is supposed to look like? Total media creation. He’s never written or researched anything.

        • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

          I think he’s what white people think a black scientist should look like.

          • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

            Yes and Yes.
            He was groomed by a scientist and NTDG is on the tube.

            ISNT EVERY SCIENTIST ON TV BLACK OR A BLACK GAY?

          • pequiste December 29, 2015 at 12:33 am #

            Astute insight Beryl.

            Consider just what would an ass-tro-fizzy-cist (afrophysicist?) know about human biology or pathology for that matter?

            Ah yes.. the TV provides instant credibility, aura, and makes him an expert on EVERYTHING.

            As long as everything mis-en-scene on the Idiotbox is consonant with the message that this Black scientist is infallible; his utterances become almost magic.

        • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

          I think he has a few lightweight papers, so he is published.
          [If indeed he wrote them].

          In an undated interview at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Tyson talked about being black and one of the most visible and well-known scientists in the world.

          He told a story about being interviewed about a plasma burst from the sun on a local Fox affiliate in 1989. “I’d never before in my life seen an interview with a black person on television for expertise that had nothing to do with being black. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson

        • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

          Tyson has never shown me a lack of competence in any discussion I have seen him involved in…Dr. Cornell West, a contemporary, however, can be compared to a clown, and not a very clever one. West, however, has a saving grace…he often rhymes his statements…just like Jesse Jackson!

          • pequiste December 29, 2015 at 1:07 am #

            Cornell West is a “doctor” like Al Sharpton is a “reverend.”

  13. mdl17576 December 28, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    I share your frustration with the attitude that every problem can be solved with technology, especially when changing behavior would achieve better results, much more cheaply. All our most beloved tech from space exploration to smartphones are supported by a huge pyramid of less flashy, less sophisticated but increasingly vital activities the further towards the base of the pyramid you go. By focusing our attention and energy on raising the top ever higher we are neglecting the base which is ready to crumble, let alone expand exponentially to push our prized tech incrementally higher. The comedy of it is, we don’t even manufacture much of the tech in this country anymore, it’s all outsourced to Asia. I agree that on our current trajectory this whole thing ends badly, though I’m trying to change some minds with the faint hope that if enough people wake up and more importantly change the way they behave the worst can be avoided. For those interested: americareforged.blogspot.com/

  14. Cavepainter December 28, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Couldn’t resist; back again.

    Human sacrifice abounds throughout the historical record; tell-tell example of the extremes taken by the human psyche to manufacture delusional interpretations of reality, such that fate can be perceived as manageable within the aspirations of human will.

    For the secular political Left this has manifested in expression of faith reflecting a peculiar adaptation of Karmic principle to geo-politics, whereby the imbalance between sustainable resources and global overpopulation can miraculously be corrected by Western nations’ forfeiture of sovereignty and culture to global population redistribution.

    Sacrifice on alter — so to speak — of the Left’s expanding victimology hymnal (industry?). Not that different from literal belief in manna from heaven or feeding thousands on a few fish and loaves. Objective reality out the window — narrowing ever faster prospect that survival remains for even a fraction of existing total humanity.

    Within the Left’s pantheon of fanciful beliefs is, of course, the Merlin like magic of techno-triumphalism which – in addition to population redistribution and a John Lennon-esque “Imagine” world of cultural/religious harmony — will convert the turbid, fished-out waters of the world to wine.

    Not different from other religions the Left’s is palliative against the harsh empirical evidence that fate doesn’t always offer feel-good outcomes (belying political campaign platitudes). No matter the Left’s lamentations for ritualistic gestures by the West – unrestricted immigration – to absolve itself of ‘sins’ of colonialism and PC diversity deficiency, human survival will be spotty at best and purely coincidental to where sustainable resources and population balance.

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Cavepainter, I don’t understand why you say it’s the “left”. I don’t even know what the left is anymore and guess what—neither does the so called left.

      The red and blue teams are there for your amusement. Try to figure out who’s controlling what and then tell me what these teams really are.

      • abbybwood December 28, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

        I actually think history proves that the teams have now morphed into one giant purple team.

        And the “common man” have no control over it.

    • BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 10:44 am #

      Most of these benighted immigrants, honored guests that they are, end up on the welfare rolls. The question is, not only in the US but in western Europe as well, is the welfare budget unlimited, and is there enough money in it to take care of the entire 3rd world, all 4 billion of them, forever?

      brh

      • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

        Somebody gets paid a lot to redistribute people, gets all the glory, and then gets to vilify the bad, heartless people who dare to criticize their policy.
        I’m thinking of how in Albany, a woman died outside behind the NYS museum. It turned out she was a Burmese refugee. Some group ‘helps’ people such as she by bringing them here and dumping them in bad neighborhoods at taxpayer expense. We aren’t even caring for all of our veterans, mentally ill, etc. who end up on the streets.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

      He’s trying to tell you gals that destroying the West and the White Race is going to solve the world’s problems. That is the Idol you want to smash after all.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

        isn’t

      • alphie December 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

        ah…bit of a Freudian slip there Janos?

  15. malthuss December 28, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    And what are YOUR predictions for 2016?

    #4 For the first time ever, middle class Americans now make up a minority of the population. But back in 1971, 61 percent of all Americans lived in middle class households.

    • Buck Stud December 28, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Fast forward nine years to January 1980 and you arrive at the ideological/policy/cultural nexus which ignited the destruction of the middle class.

      • zaphod42 December 28, 2015 at 10:59 am #

        Ah, yes… 1980. The year that Greed won the White House, the Senate and the House. Since then every President has perpetuated the decline, as we are preparing to see what the ultimate wet dream of the Tea Party looks like…

        Enjoy 2016. My predictions for the year are below.

      • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 11:27 am #

        NO! The End started in 1965, under LBJ.

        • Sticks-of-TNT December 28, 2015 at 11:36 am #

          Agree. Let’s adjust the start date to Nov 22, 1963.

          • seawolf77 December 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

            Exactly. There would have been no Apollo had Kennedy lived. He knew it was impossible. He would not have spent 400 billion in today’s dollars for some corny family pictures of people allegedly walking on the moon. It is insulting. They lost all the film. They lost all the drawings to the Saturn V. They have lost their minds.

        • zaphod42 December 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

          Agreed; LBJ took office 11/22/63, so SOT is also correct.

          • zaphod42 December 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

            Taking the 4 Carter years as an outlier, during which nothing really changed (Kennedy made sure of that), I agree.

            Interestingly, Eisenhower, nominally Republican, was wrong on one important agenda item (Interstate Highways), and otherwise not bad as POTUS. He certainly got the warning about the MIC correct!

        • abbybwood December 28, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

          I think the end started in 1910 with the secret trip to Jekyll Island that created The Federal Reserve Act in 1913:

          youtube.com/watch?v=Dba9OY0QatU

          • seawolf77 December 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

            If you want to know when it really started, I think you have to look at the Civil War. The county was devastated. It was the oldest trick in the book. Foment a civil war. After that the rot set it. 1913 was a big year. So was 1963. Then 2001. But when you get down to it, the Civil War was the beginning of the end. We never should have fought that war. Lincoln should have bought out the slave holders and shipped them all back. Mechanization was on its way. The South could have retooled with the cash.

        • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

          No! 1913 and the birth of the Beast called the Federal Reserve.

      • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

        That’s the point where I noticed things starting to change for the worse, much worse, among the local black ‘community’, as well. Prior to that, the young men considered each other brothers, remember?

        • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

          Beryl,
          No, sadly I don’t remember. “Brother” was never considered as other than hollow phraseology…like “Bitch”. Simply a cultural catch-phrase, without emotion…sorry.

  16. DrGonzo December 28, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    Poor JHK. Wrong again on all of his world-is-ending economic predictions for 2015:

    Let’s see the highlights:

    Second half of 2015, the rest of the world gangs up and counter-attacks the US dollar.
    What really happened:
    Against a basket of world currencies, the dollar index rose from around 90 in January to 98 today.

    US stock markets crater in Q3, DJA and S & P fall 30 to 40 percent.
    What really happened:
    The S&P is essentially unchanged year-to-date.

    Gold and silver slide in the first half, then take off as debt and equity markets craters.
    What really happened:
    Year to date, gold has lost 10% in value, and silver has lost 11% (in dollars)

    Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, DeutscheBank, SocGen, all succumb to insolvency. American government and Federal Reserve officials don’t dare attempt to rescue them again.
    What really happened:
    Reports of the death of the above have been greatly exaggerated. GS stock is down a few percentage points in 2015. So is Bank of America. Meh.

    Oil prices creep back into the $65 – $70 range by May 2015.
    What really happened:
    Brent crude prices have fallen 36% since the beginning of the year; they’re currently around $35/barrel.

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, DeutscheBank, SocGen, all succumb to insolvency. American government and Federal Reserve officials don’t dare attempt to rescue them again.

      Can you say Bail-ins?

        • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

          Mmmm,
          Be careful of Zero Hedge at this time…while I was reading comments my computer detected a threat and auto shut-down…lots of scary DOS messages, etc.

      • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

        Speaking of Goldman Sachs, I find it strange that no one mentions Ted Cruz’ Goldman Sachs connection, even those supposedly on the other ‘side’.

        • Being There December 28, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

          The other side? Really?
          It’s all the same side, that’s the model. They fund both the red and blue teams.
          Money doesn’t care about political parties, nor does it care about who gets it as long as its a good investment.

          Similar to this when we talk about “limited nuclear war”, fallout doesn’t know borders between countries which is why our NATO allies better wake up fast.

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 28, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      Dr.,

      It’s so easy to sit in judgement. Are you willing to expose yourself to potential public ridicule? What were/are your predictions? We’re waiting.

      • DrGonzo December 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

        Oh, I’ll gladly go head-to-head with Kunstler on 2016 economic predictions. I’ve made this offer before (and provided my Dow predictions), but that’s always been ignored.

        Moreover, I’m happy to wager real money on who ends up with the most accurate predictions come Dec 31, 2016. Just tell me where and how to sign up.

      • DrGonzo December 29, 2015 at 9:47 am #

        Although one prediction I’ll admit I screwed up several years ago (circa 2012) was that oil would be trading at least around $90 to $100 per barrel by 2016, probably more. Which clearly ain’t gonna happen for several years now, due to the global glut. I was convinced we were at, or very close to, peak oil. I was wrong. Along with just about everyone else following JHK.

  17. ozone December 28, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Funny how Nature repeats these patterns of provocations and consequences, just on different scales. Anything familiar about the shape and movement of this particular storm?

    radar.weather.gov/ridge/Conus/full_loop.php

    Goodnight and Good Luck.

  18. BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Those Rovers on Mars will pretty much be the extent it, IMO, which in itself is a remarkable technological feat. The trouble is Mars looks a lot like Nevada — with no air! Perhaps Mr. Musk can find a way for humans beings to live without oxygen! The trouble with Nevada is, when you dig in the ground out there — and I’ve been on a few prospecting/vacation trips, is you don’t know what you’re going to find, a meteorite rock? a gold nugget? a body buried in the desert, knocked off by the mob? a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike?, a scorpion? or Atomic Soil in the most concentrated heavily bombed place on Earth.

    brh

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Good one BRH. I like that.
      Hope your holidays are merry—

      • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:41 am #

        One more question. Does A.I. need air?

        • BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 10:49 am #

          Good to hear from you again, BT. I know you’re in and out of here, probably busy earning a living down there in NYC, which, according to an article this morning in the WSJ, has become a pretty expensive place to live.

          fun to visit, tho!

          brh

          • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:51 am #

            Yes indeed. It’s one expensive place to live. When we retire we’ll have to consider other options, but for now…we still love it here.
            Having 11 days off is great—I’m taking a staycation.

  19. Smoky Joe December 28, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Human space travel has this much to commend it: it’s hubris about our species and its destiny. Misplaced? Perhaps. But it’s notionally connected to the human desire to explore and learn.

    Looking at a tiny screen all day is, however, pathetic.

    It’s either hubris about the self (what are they all saying about meeeee?) or anxiety that a moment of solitude will occur when one might ponder one’s essential loneliness in the universe.

    That is, like, you know, scary! Millennials go crazy when their phones fail. Now older folks are just as addicted.

    If JHK is right, and we are heading for a reset, the loss of space adventures will not be very traumatic. The loss of that little box that Millennials clutch will lead to a generation of angst and ennui. Sometimes I think it’s all they have, that little lighted box.

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 10:52 am #

      Well the story of Icarus is as old as civilization, so there you go….

  20. zaphod42 December 28, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    “…so we can prepare for the banking and political tribulations to come in 2016. Speaking of which, next week I will publish my forecast for the twelve-month roller-coaster ahead. Happy New Year, one and all.”

    Great post, James. I am going to one up you here with my own prediction for 2016.

    First of all, roller-coaster is a good analogy, though I doubt the finale will be reached in this, an election year. The PTB will do anything and everything possible to avoid that… so my prediction instead is:

    The most interesting story of 2016 will be the nature of the convoluted manipulations of data, distortion of facts, and other shenanigans used in the efforts to fool the electorate into believing the unbelievable for another year.

    Or perhaps bamboozle is a better word?

    Not so certain how happy the year will end for the US of A. Fortunately happiness is subjective, individual and personal, I join in your wish that all and sundry enjoy that state for as much as possible of 2016.

    Enjoy.

    Craig

  21. Buck Stud December 28, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    “Notice that this narrative is being served up to a society now held hostage to the images on little screens, by skilled people who, more and more, act as though these screens have become the new dwelling place of reality. How psychotic is that?”–JHK

    Eerily psychotic. If one observes the nation wide revival/gentrification of urban neighborhoods they will witness the destruction of harmonious traditional architecture in favor of “Jetson” like dwellings. It’s as if architecture itself is now mirroring the square and sterile confines of the computer/I-Pod screen.

    Ironically, this style of architecture was once championed as housing for the common man and devoid of bourgeoisie excess such as extravagant ornamentation. But that has all been turned upside down by Capitalism and its crafty developers . Now the aesthetic of Soviet-style housing means more units per building site and more profit.

    “They put up a bunch of ugly boxes and Jesus people bought them.” And why? Well, because it really is not “The Last Resort” according to the cultural engineers of the collective psyche but just a stepping stone to somewhere else. Always ‘Somewhere Else’ that insidious disease otherwise knows as “Manifest Destiny”…the metaphorical equivalent of littering and devoid of rear view mirror conscience .

    Or as you mention, what could be more comforting and familiar than a home base which looks like a computer screen? Nuke the food, wipe down a spot on the stainless steel counter top and plop down to catch up on some Twitter and Facebook messaging for the rest of the night before starting all over again in the morning. Life is good, life is repetitive, life is square.

    • BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 11:17 am #

      60,000 ‘unit’ development planned for north of Los Angeles.

      Imagine what that place is going to look like? As bad as that is, think about what it will look like 25 years from now.

      brh

  22. Florida Power December 28, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    Re swmnguy – Finance is completely made-up bullshit, do we all realize this? I know, many of us do not. Many of us think there are “Laws” of finance and economics, as there are “Laws” of Thermodynamics and Gravity.

    Re pogo – Religion inhibits rational thought.

    Swmnguy/pogo – your posts triggered my recall of the late 19thC attempt to concoct a “scientific history” that would describe the past as it actually happened, and presumably reveal the natural secrets that would allow for prediction and control (which after all is what science is all about). Of course the attempt itself became another chapter in historiography, and the profession went on about its business, albeit molded by the higher education industry. Economics has been attempting to establish itself as a science far longer and it appears with about as much success, although in fairness to both I think it can be reasonably asserted that there are essential human characteristics that are observable, repeatable, and possibly predictable and therefore in theory controllable: Fear versus Greed, pursuit of self-interest (“I’m not going to pay a lot for this muffler…”), bad money drives out good, and etc. etc. Like many modern sciences the laws are posited within a matrix of probability – statistics – and thus the anti-rational outliers are explained as, well, outliers. The soldier who smothers the live grenade with his body is the outlier, not the mean. Somehow all the individual calculations of pain versus pleasure, risk versus reward, point hopefully to a predictable trend line as natural and quantifiable as electrical current following the path of least resistance. If the party asserting a particular hypothesis is especially eloquent, Nobel prizes are awarded.

    Money and finance evolve to simplify and quantify exchange of value not merely in the present moment but in the future. Yes, it is made-up bullshit and relies on confidence within the greater trust horizon (ah yes, Nicole Foss’ term… where is she? Perhaps I have not been looking in the right direction lately…) and can turn upside down within a moment’s notice as the emperor is revealed to wear no clothing. But like it or not there it is – even if a shared hallucination. I think this partly describes the difference between humankind and the beasts, which likewise pursue pleasure versus pain but do not so far as we know exhibit any religious inclinations (excepting perhaps the elephant?). We are left with an admixture of the rational and the irrational and there, sirs, is the challenge: manage that.

  23. John Howard December 28, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    Going to Mars is a good example of techno narcissistic fantasy that is distracting us, but an even more destructive techno fantasy is transgender reproduction, the idea that boys have a right to be pregnant someday just like girls do, and girls have a right to father children just like boys do.

    Support the Natural Marrige and Reproduction Act that rules out transgender/same sex procreation, protects everyone’s right to procreate as their birth sex with their spouse, and voids all same sex marriages.

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Trans-gender reproduction would be an improvement how? I ask that rhetorically because obviously it could not be an improvement but like all technarcissism baked notions just because it is technology it is seen as a good thing. Different and new becomes better by definition when technarcissism surges through human veins. If technology shits on a couple of billion years of evolution, even better. The derangement produced by technarcissism gets a kick out of that which is bombastic.

      Practically I don’t think we have much to worry about. You are describing a fantasy and we will all be digging through landfills for trade items long before medical technology can make a man pregnant.

      Outside of this culture transgenderism does not have a lot of survival value and this culture will not endure. Transgenderism is a flash in the pan so try and not be too upset about it. Heterosexuality is not really being threatened by the confused fringe and the confused fringe is partially there to distract from real problems and should be ignored. The confused fringe has been with us a long time. The only difference it is now being pushed as normal and the question why needs to be asked.

      I’m tolerant of other lifestyles but I would not like that confused genes be propagated and it is a good thing that so far they can’t be.

      • John Howard December 28, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

        You don’t get that I’m not worried about men getting pregnant, Im saying things will improve immensely when we rule out men getting pregnant and stop thinking we can’t, that we have to let men Be pregnant. Ending gay marriage is the key to ending techno narcissism and restoring sanity. It doesn’t mean you aren’t tolerant of gay people, it means you aren’t a techno narcissist.

        • Smoky Joe December 29, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

          So help me understand. How does same-sex marriage encourage a narcissistic regard for technology?

          Your reasoning is eerily familiar. I am reminded of this:

          montypython.net/scripts/logician.php

          For example, given the premise, ‘all fish live underwater’ and ‘all mackerel are fish’, my wife will conclude, not that ‘all mackerel live underwater’, but that ‘if she buys kippers it will not rain’, or that ‘trout live in trees’, or even that ‘I do not love her any more.’

          • John Howard January 4, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

            Same sex marriage is fueling techno narcissism because it equates technological manufacture of people with natural reproduction. And ENDING same sex marriage and prohibiting transgender reproduction will be a shock to our culture, everyone will be forced back down to reality.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

      And real boys need adventure – like going to Mars. Western Man is Promethean Man after all. We need new worlds to conquer and colonize.

      • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

        Ever hear of ‘The Fugs’ and ‘Beer cans on the Moon?’

        We made a mess here. Leave Venus alone.

        • John Howard December 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

          Ok, thanks for making it clear with that “beer cans on the moon” song.

          Do you think Mr. Kunstler cares about Mars? Do you think his worry is that we will harm Mars, or that there is something bad that will happen to us if we actually go to Mars? No, he is saying the stupid techno narcissistic fantasy itself is damaging, as well as a symptom of our derangement.

          Heck, I’d be for prohibiting going to Mars too, not just male pregnancy and same sex procreation, if it had any real effect. My proposed law will have a real effect.

      • John Howard December 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

        That’s fantasy. Just like being pregnant is. Even if they really go and do it, it would just be a stupid useless fantasy that they have stupidly gone and done. There is real stuff that we need to do.

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      One Trick Pony is b-a-a-a-a-c-k!

      Q, you’ve got to help us out here. John Howard is your project. Please de-fuse the bomb! Don’t get anything on you.

      -Sticks

  24. Pogo December 28, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    “But we’re not interested and that is why we’re going to be dragged kicking and screaming into a very different future, not riding rockets to the new mall on Mars.” – JHK

    I find the question of why “we’re not interested” both fascinating and frightening. A book that I would recommend to all CFN fans is:

    “Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed — and What It Means for Our Future” by Dale Jamieson.

    From the book:

    “Climate change poses threats that are probabilistic, multiple, indirect, often invisible, and unbounded in space and time. Fully grasping these threats requires scientific understanding and technical skills that are often in short supply. Moreover, climate change can be seen as presenting us with the largest collective action problem that humanity has ever faced, one that has both intra- and inter-generational dimensions. Evolution did not design us to deal with such problems, and we have not designed political institutions that are conducive to solving them.”

    The book is a rather difficult read and seems directed more to the academic rather than casual reader. It has more footnotes than any book I can recall. But well worth reading if you are interested in “what went wrong” and why we seem incapable of dealing with it.

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      I’m not being critical and I wish I had the book but do we really need a book to tell us the obvious? Looking too hard academically for the obvious also distances us from a problem for which we all are culpable.

      Had we a less brutal culture leaders would be doing their job and not going through the motions of being leaders while concentrating on their own personal gain as their top priority.

      It is not that the climate problem is hard to solve but our culture was not advanced and responsible enough to deal with it. Another culture could have dealt with it and the fact that I and others take the problem of climate and resource depletion seriously shows me to be right. Calling it hard to solve is making a feel good excuse.

      We live in a doomed bizzaro world but it could all have been different.

      • Pogo December 28, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

        Yes indeed, K-Dog, it could all have been different.

        I did not call it a hard to solve problem and, in fact, think it is impossible to solve because of how our brains are wired. We lack the ability to focus on problems of this magnitude. Nature will solve the problem for us. Our last, best effort on collective response to global problems was the Montreal Protocols in response to thinning of the ozone. We still believed in what scientists said back then. The ozone problem is not “cured” by any means but we did manage to dodge the bullet.

        The climate problem IS hard to solve because we have met the enemy and he is us. We are doomed by our own self interest.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

      It was a Globalist bid for absolute power. Al Gore and others had positioned themselves to profit enormously while not changing their lifestyle in the least. Seeing that as well as shoddy scholarship, the People rose and beat it back. Flawless Victory. But the war isn’t over. Pretending to have given up is an old Globo tactic. They still intend on implementing Agenda 21 as well as creating a North American Union and ultimately a Global State.

      • Pogo December 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

        Are you serious or do you really believe this bull shit?

        I am sick and tired of hearing this old worn out crap about Al Gore and how climate scientist are lying sons-of-bitches that only want to protect their grants and funding.

        How much does Rex Tillerson make? About $40 million a year. His net worth is over $150 million. How does that stack up against Al Gore? We know now that Exxon lied to us all about what their own hired scientist knew decades ago. They want profit today rather than a livable world for our descendants.

        Who was it that said “We didn’t inherit the world from our parents…we borrow it from our children”?

        • ozone December 29, 2015 at 9:04 am #

          We don’t inherit the world from our parents for the future benefit of our children. We wrest it from those who insist on living in the past and begrudge us the desire and ability to live in the present.
          As long as they hold the reins of power, we are forced (and endlessly encouraged) to consume our children’s seed corn.

          Authoritarians will be the architects of the doom of the human race. Rigidly enforced hierarchies lead to the death of innovation. …And then, we’re done.

          (BTW, Pogo, I don’t think the person you responded to really believes their own bullshit at all. Whatever could these strange assertions and contradictory bubblings be in service of? If you look at it from the perspective of *pure volume*, some dark inklings begin to take shape out of the fog.)

    • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

      Record Low Temp TODAY in California.
      I am not sure how many locales recorded it.

      BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

      • Pogo December 28, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

        Yeah, and 2015 is warmest ever recorded. Record heat in Europe this past year. Flooding in UK, Manchester flooded, Australia has both floods and fires, first tornado ever in December in Michigan, 43 dead across the south, hardly any snow here in Minnesota.

        But these are all weather events. We must recognize that climate change refers to changes over decades and centuries.

      • sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

        Yes.

        And the Globe is even bigger than California.

        And the decade is even longer than today.

        See the link to the big arctic storm, down thread, for context.

  25. TurboDog December 28, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Last year’s pie in the sky was “Interstellar” … this year something else, as you write. Agree, unlikely we’re getting off this rock, so we better start doing a better job. Leon Kolankiewicz wrote similarly the other year in this piece: capsweb.org/blog/avoiding-overpopulation-escaping-stars-don%E2%80%99t-bet-your-life-%E2%80%93-or-ear…

  26. nsa December 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    This site needs to study a little evolutionary biology: humans are animals and as such hardwired to believe what they see and act on it. They used to see a mammoth (hunt is on)….saber tooth tiger (danger)….cave door (safety). Modern humans have not evolved and still believe whatever they see i.e. what we here in Ft. Meade show them….fake news, crap movies, tv pablum, silly porn. Controlling the masses is almost too easy………

    • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

      I see children blowing up like balloons on the food our government labels healthy and nutritious. Michael Bloomber, rich guy, observes that other rich people who don’t consume soda tend not to be fat, and that bit of Victorian era scientific thought is enough to get the government trying to limit the size cup of soda grown men are allowed to buy at a screening of Star Wars. However, the observation that kids today are fat and sick isn’t enough to get people looking seriously at what’s in our food. We let the kids get the blame for eating too much of it and not playing outside enough, as if that’s under their control.

      • BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

        Michael Bloomberg’s friends drink Champagne — for breakfast!

        • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

          Out of a hookers slipper? With Bill Clinton?

      • Lawfish December 29, 2015 at 11:12 am #

        Take a look of any picture of people back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. They were all thin. Maybe 1 out of 100 people was fat, so it was seen as rare. Now go into a Wal-Mart and see how many people are not morbidly obese. Zero. Kind of coincides with the rise of industrial ag and the proliferation of sugar and fat laced snacks and processed foods.

  27. K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    “We’re convinced that all the unanticipated consequences of our brief techno-industrial orgy can be solved by… more and better technology!

    How psychotic is that? “

    It is not psychotic at all. It is the essence of being human to find technical answers for everything and the less science and math the easier the technical Kool-Aid deliberately pushed at Joe Six Pack goes down. Human nature is not the problem but the omitted part of the above quote is.

    It is not techno-narcissm itself but this which is the problem!

    “Notice that this narrative is being served up to a society now held hostage to the images on little screens, by skilled people who, more and more, act as though these screens have become the new dwelling place of reality.”

    People live their lives through the flat screens and no longer have lives of their own. The images on the little screens go into the eyes and pass without critical examination straight into the brain where they are uncritically accepted. Our entire society is filling their heads with images produced by others for their consumption. Originality and critical though are gone.

    Video supplies all answers and is the prime director which tells how Americans should behave and what they believe. It solves family problems and it creates them.

    There is no ‘more and more’. That is frustration talking. American cultural video saturation has been with us for fifty years. Video technology has advanced but little has changed. The only big difference now is that the choice of alternative realities one may pollute their consciousness with is now much greater. We have a culture that now has more choice as to which tower of babble they climb. Though with the passage of time video has made ignorance blossom and overall people are less educated than they used to be. More and more ignorance, that we have.

    Without a whimper or a bang we moved into a future that on the surface resembles Brave New World but from a political point of view the future we moved into resembles 1984 more. We have an authoritarian ruling class which feeds deception to our people so those who rule can maintain their power and opulent lifestyles. Images now make truth and truth is no longer sought. It is remade and rebroadcast as the faux truth message changes and then it is uncritically ingested through the eyes. New images can overwrite old ones and one’s mind is not their own if they regularly ingest video. One’s reality is at the mercy of those who make video. Video replaces normal sensual experience and we can’t help trust what we see on the video screen even if we know it was deliberately manufactured for our consumption. Video is accepted as truth and man did not evolve to distrust the experience of one’s own senses.

    Techno-rapture is a more appropriate description than techno-narcissm about what is happening.

    Technarcissm is a real expression of the human condition and the fact that this word does not actually exist in our language shows that our culture; the most technical the world has ever seen, knows not itself.

    As for all the adult children who waste their lives away allowing the realities of others to be the reality which defines who they are and what they believe, the word is pathetic. The little screens keep people living like children all their lives.

    The idea that more and better technology can solve problems made by technology has been with us since the dawn of civilization. Humans accept this notion uncritically as if the message were sent over video screens but this particular notion does not require a video screen to be beamed straight into one’s mind. Man is the technical animal and it is automatic for us to find technical answers for everything.

    Worship of science as a religion by the ignorant is the problem and video creates vast seas of ignorance.

    • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

      Nice.

    • Buck Stud December 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      “Video” does indeed activate a psychic identification of the audience with visual models/ego ideals. Think “The Duke” or “Dirty Harry Callahan”. But more technologically advanced films such as “Star Wars” go further by enlisting the ‘art of suture’. IOW, the audience is psychologically projected into the narrative and woven into the film characters consciousness via alignment with the point of view of the camera: “We” enter the film and phenomenologically experience what our cinema ego ideals experience: Suture.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Exactly. Look how “racism” was promulgated to destroy the consciousness of Whites thru inducing a guilt complex. Evil doesn’t even begin to describe it.

      • malthuss December 28, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

        Check yesterdays posts, midnight.

  28. DurangoKid December 28, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    It seems to me that part, and I mean a large part, of the attraction of technology is that it’s relatively easy to solve technological problems compared to political problems. It’s far easier to develop a new I-phone ap and spread it among the unwashed hordes than deliver low cost health care to that same cohort. We always seem to get hamstrung by that tiny fraction of the 1% for whom millions of dollars in annual compensation still isn’t enough. If you want to fix agriculture you’re up against ADM. If you want to fix foreign policy you’re up against Lockheed-Martin. If you want to fix healthcare you’re up against Big Pharma and the AMA. It comes down to this. Data trumps theory and doctrine trumps data. Science is much easier to manage than societies. Does this doom us to another impending Dark Age? Looks like.

    • Beryl of Oyl December 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

      That’s a good point. I also notice that people are conditioned to accept solutions that don’t actually solve a problem today, and maybe technology has something to do with that. People get their computer hooked up to show movies on their tv, and then they buy a new gadget that does it easier, and they think something world-altering has been done, when all they are really doing is watching tv.
      I had gotten into a mild argument with someone I know who now things I’m a raging right-winger or something. The argument was over Obamacare, and whether it actually constitutes health care reform. He thinks it is just great, because his significant other’s premiums went down. When I saw the story recently, where the woman in Florida was removed from the ER in handcuffs, by police, and she collapsed and later died of a blood clot in her lung, I wanted to call him and point out that this isn’t exactly health care reform; but I saved my breath.

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

      That we are doomed is beyond doubt. Technology contrary to popular opinion has limits beyond which it cannot go. Technology exploits the physical laws of the universe but it can’t change them. If the physical laws of the universe say that faster than light travel is impossible then the only place the ‘Millenium Falcon’ can ever exist is on a T-shirt and the Star Wars screen. Wishing otherwise will not make it so.

      Corporations are now the only citizens in this country which have any power and they will not be giving it up so that the rest of us may endure. If Americans are starving to death goods and services will be purchased by the elite from abroad. The elite owners of corporations have already moved their factories there in anticipation of that eventuality.

      Without changing the system there is no hope and the system will not be changed.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 12:46 am #

        Why can’t we reverse the charges on Gravity and make it repel us out of the atmosphere and away from the Earth? Why aren’t you working on this? You should be living in poverty and trying to save us but instead you are coding and dialing for dollars.

        I’d solve the energy crisis but I’m working on White Nationalism. Here’s your hint: learn to tap into the atmosphere. The energy is up there with Zeus and Odin. Look at their thunder bolts and northern lights! Ben Franklin had the right idea, now run with it equipped modern engineering.

        • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

          Janos,
          A question. Every day, billions of Jules of energy are removed from the wind currents…by means of wind turbines. How does this effect the climate…Zeus and Odin notwithstanding? Energy removed proves less energy downwind…to what effect? There are no studies I’ve seen regarding this potential and ongoing climate change event. Is the wind forever giving, and unchanging…is it ubiquitous, like the…buffalo?

          Energy can neither be created, nor destroyed.

  29. toktomi December 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    imo…

    Nice summation, Mr. Kunstler.

    It’s just nice to hear occasionally stories that make sense. This going-to-space, going-to-Mars story has driven me crazy for years, not so much for the larger perspective as you have illuminated but simply for the idiocy of it. Nobody seemed to realize that the tired ol’ sailing-across-the-sea exploration paradigm just didn’t fit space adventure.

    From a small collection of very powerful work situations where I was blessed [in no religious way] to have experienced the synergy of diversity and exposed to the infinite magic of creative thinking and cooperation, I have come to believe that the ptb really missed the boat when they opted for power and control over goodness – oh, my, what we could have become. I find it easy to believe that industrialization did not necessarily have to destroy the equilibrium of humans with the biosphere.

    As an aside, I am beginning to suspect that all is not going as well as planned in launching the BIG lifeboats. I suspect that there could be a very dark realization setting in that nobody gets out of this alive, as it were. I’m thinking that perhaps, this is why this shit is dragging out so long.

    just some of my fantasies,

    ~toktomi~

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      But with enough money one can live in a bubble cut off from reality and imagine lifeboats all day long. Hubris is a problem for all humans but with the affluent it becomes not just a problem but a pathology. At the end of the day it will indeed turn out that the affluent are as ignorant as they imagine Joe Six pack to be but pain even then will not be evenly distributed.

  30. seawolf77 December 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    A reusable rocket is better than the space shuttle? Please. I tell people how could we have went to the moon if we are cheering about this? It is inconceivable. Look at the decrease in capability. 240,000 miles and a landing and another takeoff. Today a reusable rocket that goes 400 miles up.

  31. troutbum2 December 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    There is a big story today about the North Pole. The temperature is slightly above freezing on a late December day. That’s 42 degrees above normal.
    Quoting the author, ” the North Pole is expected to see temperatures in the range of 1-2 degrees Celsius or 41-42 degrees C above average (73-75 degrees Fahrenheit above the normal daily temperature of -40 F for a typical Winter day). Such an extreme departure would be like seeing a 120 degree (Fahrenheit) December day in my hometown of Gaithersburg, MD. Needless to say, a 1-2 C reading at the North Pole during late December is about as odd as witnessing Hell freezing over. But, in this case, the latest wave of warmth issuing from a human-driven shift toward climatological hell appears to be on schedule to arrive at the North Pole in just a few more days.”
    It’s all here : robertscribbler.com/2015/12/27/warm-arctic-storm-to-hurl-hurricane-force-winds-at-uk-and-iceland-pus…

    • sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

      Thanks for that. In the sense that it’s good to distinguish reality from wishful thinking.

  32. someonetakethewheel December 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    We can’t make water or oil or a decent climate, so we are fucked.

    Finding and exploiting all the resources of the earth mostly resulted in a huge boom in human population which will prove (is proving) to be impossible to sustain once those resources dry up. And Climate Change will be much more than an inconvenience – food production requires reasonably predictable and benign temperatures and rainfall.

    We have always had the allure and outlet of the “frontier” but that era is over and Mars is a remarkably poor substitute.

  33. lsjogren December 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    Agree with the comment that religion inhibits rational thought.

    But keep in mind there is far more religion around than just what is formally identified as such.

    For example, political progressivism. It has all the characteristics of a fundamentalist religion.

    To be politically evenhanded, I could say that also about teapartyism, but the dogma of teapartyism is a lot murkier than the massive and detailed scriptures of Holy Progressivism.

    • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

      But there have been religious thinkers who have been highly rational.

      Sir Thomas More refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and was beheaded but before that he wrote Utopia. He was a rational man for the ages.

      The commandment to love each other is not vile subversive bullshit.

      I’m not seeing a lot of rationality replacing stupidity and blind faith as the bogeyman of religion fades away. Blaming religion is another dodge that avoids personal responsibility but please do not take offence. I don’t mean you.

      • alphie December 28, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

        Actually k-dog love is very subversive. It’s a dog eat dog eye for an eye what’s in it for me I scratch your back you scratch mine world out there (and in here too). love is all about the other

        I heard someone say that nobody knows if Christianity works because nobody’s ever tried it.

        The three hardest things for human beings to do: include the excluded, admit when we’re wrong, return love for hate

        • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

          Some try, and some try very hard. The world is better for them trying.

      • Frankiti December 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

        Religion abdicates personal responsibility.
        It is tyranny over the mind of man.

        If god is able but unwilling to prevent evil?
        If he is willing, but unable?
        If he is both willing and able?
        Neither able or willing?

        Why?

        Humans have perfected the worship of an imaginary apex-predator.

        Bravo.

        • alphie December 28, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

          We share a similar characteristic with that which created us: autonomy. The universe or god or a higher intelligence( whatever you want to call it) does not, I believe want to control us. We do not have to kill each other, we do not have to foul our nest with pollution. It’s completely within our power to change our behavior so why are we quick to blame someone other than ourselves?

          Someone asked jesus what the two greatest commandments were. He responded,’ love god and love your neighbor ‘. These weren’t suggestions. They were the religious equivalent of scientific principles. And he wasn’t just trying to make life more difficult for those around him anymore than gravity is trying to make our lives more difficult. Like Bruce Hornsby said,’That’s just the way it is’

          Right now humanity is a hot mess and as long as we continue to disregard the law of love we can expect more of the same

          • Frankiti December 28, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

            You mean some fool wrote that someone asked jesus such and such.

            This creator does not have autonomy. An omnipotent being does not create a testing ground to prove too itself that what it already knows will happen will happen. Then entire premise is so ludicrous it does not deserve discussion. But middle eastern religion pollutes the brain in this way. The obvious answer is called a mystery. A fact is called a mystery. A believer in reality is a doubter.

          • K-Dog December 28, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

            Scientific principles which had they been followed would have prevented the mess that we are in.

          • alphie December 28, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

            so a fool wrote something,ok. Here’s a challenge frankiti: write your best philosophical thoughts down and see how many people take notice. Then see if your writings are still around in 100, 200,500, 2,000 years( and don’t say ‘how will I know I won’t be here). And how do you know so much about what a creator ‘does not’ do? I thought you didn’t believe in one

            And here’s a premise: you’re out in a field and you come upon three stones, one stacked on top of the other. What is your first thought? Don’t over think it. It’s intuitive, a faculty rarely paid attention to these days.

            You said,The obvious answer is called a mystery. The answer to what?

          • Janos Skorenzy December 28, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

            And you have to love God first and only then people as part of Him. Why? Because people often are loveable in and of themselves. Often they can only be love in spite of themselves. And that is only possible if you love that which is loveable in and of itself.

            Secular idealists do a version of this of course, but often ruin it with their fanaticism just as Religious fanatics do.

          • toktomi December 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

            If I may jump in with more of same but simply in different words and a bit sillier…

            The issue of god vs no-god is moot. The fucker never shows, has never shown and so, the issue can never be migrated to the illusion-of-truth realm. There is no evidence on which an argument can be predicated despite the desperate assertions to the contrary by a few fanatics.

            So, the issue is one of a belief in god. There are three possible positions, belief or disbelief or who gives a shit. I would ask, why believe or disbelieve in the absence of evidence for either position? Why bother? It simply doesn’t matter. There are no divine consequences.

            What matters is what y’all are addressing – the qualities of the human character, interaction, existence, and perseverance.

            Obviously, we have a very devastating potential among our ranks to wreak havoc especially when endowed with massive quantities of energy. But the innate good in many among our ranks is equally as powerful. Somewhere our biology got sideways with our intellect, a problem that most other animals on the planet do not appear to have. Our destructive potential does not seem to manifest itself so profoundly when we are forced to live closer to the Earth with much less extra energy available. But we still managed to do in a few species, most notably Neanderthals, even with little more than sticks and hot rocks. Perhaps, we’re waiting for the right gene mutation to bring it all together since it appears that our intellect is not going to evolve appropriately anytime soon.

            However! I would offer that to that end, intellectual evolution, there is a ray of hope [in me, at least]. I am of a belief that the crux of what is the worst in us is sustained and even nurtured by the illusion of knowledge and that the existence of that illusion is rooted in language. My hope is that it can be seen that it is physically impossible for the brain to “know” anything and that knowledge is merely an illusion, an illusion sustained almost exclusively by the existence [in English] of four words and their derivatives. FACT-REAL-KNOW-TRUE If the certainty of knowledge is at the root of all conflict, then there must be a lot of room for tolerance where it doesn’t exist. If the certainty of knowledge is at the root of the greatest misunderstandings, then we need to get busy with abolishing such certainty, I’m thinking.

            I’ve been working hard on my vocabulary for a bit over a year now to be rid of those four nasty four-letter words, but nearly every time that I ask myself “why” or “what” about something I answer with, “I don’t know.” At least I can hear many [not all] of my transgressions these days. The dark force is powerful within me. It is long in the root and painful to extract. And when I hear a very intelligent, educated, and experienced person that I admire such as Chris Hedges talk about “truth”, I cringe and I am less hopeful.

            Why the brain can’t “hear” and therefore, cannot “know” sound:
            youtube.com/watch?v=PeTriGTENoc

            so silly, perhaps,
            ~toktomi~

          • Frankiti December 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

            Ralphie,

            The answer as to why your f*****g tortilla looks like a bearded semitic carpenter, what else.

            The answer as to why the earth is not 6000 years old.

            The answer as to why man is just another apish hominid.

            The first thought has to be that the stones are jesus, yes jesus, because he is everywhere and is everything. He is the alpha and omega, he is in that puny mind of yours telling you not to reconcile the fact that he has his helpless fabricated beings suffering on this plane despite him already knowing the outcome, for he is not bound by such plane. His sadism and cruelty is a mystery as is why you continue to call him god.

            And I hasten to remind you that no writings of jesus have ever been around. They never existed. Nor have god’s heavy tablets.

            The death of western civilization started thousands of years ago with an invasion of the minds of occidental man. It brought dark ages and endless war, all in the name of a fictional king from the levant. It still poisons.

          • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

            “The universe or god or a higher intelligence( whatever you want to call it) does not, I believe want to control us.”

            Threats of Hell, promises of Paradise…Commandments.

        • alphie December 30, 2015 at 9:46 am #

          ‘The answer as to why your f*****g tortilla looks like a bearded semitic carpenter, who else’- Fran kiti

          The fact that you begin your argument/rant with emotionally charged words tells me that you’re not entirely convinced of your own position.

          ‘The answer as to why man is just another apish hominid’-fran
          Response: speak for yourself

          ‘….helpless fabricated beings suffering on this plane…’ -fran

          You may feel helpless, I don’t. And on the issue of suffering, there have been vastly superior intellects that have debated, pondered and reflected on this question while holding to their faith.

          ‘And I hasten to remind you that no writings of Jesus have ever been around. They never existed’-fran

          Don’t be so ignorant. Jesus never wrote anything, in fact very few people at that time wrote anything down. It was an oral culture. The writings that were found were written many decades after Jesus death.

          And stop blaming all the bad things people do on religion. People will do cruel and inhumane things to each other with or without religion

  34. sauerkraut December 28, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    The West’s dominant religion is Finance.

    Really, what does a financier do? He signs a piece of paper. He might as well make a mystic sign. The gesture has the same significance: blessing by a higher power.

    And we are, mostly, in thrall to that irrationality, to the point where we are ready to commit mass suicide rather than think for ourselves. You might blame the intellectual elite for this, except for the extra-ordinary anti-intellectualism on display, yes, even amongst these responses.

    That alone excuses the intellectuals: they are making themselves safe in the deep state, safe from those who blame intellectuals for their own shortcomings.

    • malthuss December 29, 2015 at 12:54 am #

      where is the ‘link down thread’ that you pointed me towards?

      • sauerkraut December 29, 2015 at 1:37 am #

        See the link courteously provided by TROUTBUM2, at 2:54 PM.

  35. FincaInTheMountains December 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    A.Brodsky: Trump is a brilliant actor who finally got his stage

    10 days ago Trump and Putin exchanged compliments and recommend each other to their people and a week ago, a famous American journalist George Stephanopoulos in his opinion program asked Trump about journalists who were allegedly killed by Putin.

    And Trump shot a ball right back at him! In response he reminded about presumption of innocence, which is publicly used in the United States in application to head of Russia probably for the first time since the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    But other journalists controlled by Bastinda began to ask the same question again and again. Well, Trump gave them their answer.

    He is primarily a great actor, who all his life suffered from a lack of decent stage. And here it is at his feet, and if he puts up a bad play, then Bastinda will simply destroy him with his family, the way the Kennedy’s family was destroyed.

    And when he was confronted with “murdered journalists” for the umptieth time he gave a brilliant performance, starting with the assertion that it is terrible to kill journalists, and that he personally would never kill journalists despite the fact that they are vile, corrupt liars, but then paused and pretended to reflect on this thought.

    It may still be worth to kill a dozen or so journalists so others would think about the possible consequences of their vile behavior, so that when he becomes president, very many journalists, who sold out to Hillary Clinton will have to answer to the charge of treason and complicity in a coup attempt.

    He thought about it for a few minutes, without saying a word, and then waved his hand, and confirmed that killing of journalists is not good.

    And the crowd, that saw crystal clear every change of the expression on the face of the brilliant actor, cummed screaming with delight.

    youtube.com/watch?v=Xz4Y1ndWcQE

    • Being There December 29, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Everyone thinks they can control the rabble, but history shows that it’s not always the case once the anger crosses the rubicon. I see a very troubling future for the former superpower and its going to get messy. All those guns, all those ideological distortions —-hmmm can’t put them back in the box once they’ve been encouraged. Sorta like the religious extremists we use to fight proxy wars for us…..

      Why do we keep doing the same thing we know will blow up in our faces?

  36. FincaInTheMountains December 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    It is becoming clearer that Clinton Clan is Islamic State, or, rather, Islamist State. DAESH sounds pretty silly, and why not to call it “Islamist State” since it is essentially true.

    The fact is that those who bet on the Islamists as a weapon in the Fourth World War are well aware that knowing the name of the devil gives a man dominion over him.

    Clinton understands perfectly that this war is conceptual in nature and, therefore, in the second televised debate, when the corpses of ISIS victims were still lying in the theater Bataklan in Paris, she refused to name the enemy of the United States “radical Islamic terrorism,” despite the fact that it caused enormous damage to her campaign.

    But when Allah wants to punish a person, He makes her a victim of her own intrigues. She has started a rumor that Barack Obama is a Muslim, trying to get back at him for keeping her away from the State Department and for the phrase “do not do stupid shit policy”.

    And now the Americans because of this rumor suspect government (and her included) to be sympathetic to the Islamists and the United States sank into conspiracy theories, according to which the refugees from Syria are the part of Islamist army, which should act as a guard either to Barack Obama, or to Hillary Clinton, protecting them from the wrath of the American people.

    Things reached the point that she is in her fight with Donald Trump, who leads the anti-Islamist, anti-establishment revolt of the voters of both parties, has decided to rely on George W. Bush, who immediately after the Sept. 11 ran into all mosques to show that America is not at war with Islam.

    But then another of her intrigues interfered when she attacked W at the beginning of 2000s, accusing him of all mortal sins, and as a result George W. Bush is not welcomed in Europe in connection with the Swiss warrant for his arrest.

    salon.com/2011/02/07/bush_amnesty_arrest/

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

      You might like this interview I heard months ago. A goody I didn’t forget:
      How we use religious extremists to further our agenda.

      soundcloud.com/guns-and-butter-1/visas-for-al-qaeda

      • Being There December 28, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

        oops I forgot this blurb:

        Michael Springmann was Chief of the Non-Immigrant Visa Section in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from 1987 to 1989. In his position in Jeddah, he was routinely overruled by superiors when he denied VISA applications submitted by unqualified travelers to the United States. The events of September 11th gave him a more profound understanding of the troubles he experienced in that job. He is the author of “VISAs for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World – An Insider’s View”. He describes the American VISAs For Terrorists Program and the Arab-Afghan Legion.

        Aired: September 9, 2015

        • Sticks-of-TNT December 30, 2015 at 7:01 am #

          The Kindle version of Michael Springmann’s book, “VISAs for Al Qaeda”, is only $4.50 on Amazon. I bought it Tuesday. -Sticks

      • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 12:50 am #

        BT,

        Bombshell audio interview. Recommended to other CFN shitizens. About an hour, but time well-spent. Eye-opening. I intend to check out the reader reviews for his book on Amazon/Audible.

        Thanks for posting!

        -Sticks

        • Being There December 29, 2015 at 8:21 am #

          My pleasure there’s lots more on Guns and Butter than that. So when you want to put on a pair of headphones and you have hrs of work to do on the computer. Listen away.

  37. Frankiti December 28, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    One of the better posts in recent memory. Cannot agree with him more.

    The hoi polloi are sold Mars exploration as an advancement of human achievement, but we all know what it really is, a vehicle, no pun intended, for lucrative government contracts and rights. Nobody cares about exploring or colonizing Mars outside of land and mineral rights, “a new home” is just part of the sales pitch for the no-brows. Selling rockets and boosters to the government and mining/harvesting concerns is what it is all about.

    It’s totally absurd to place hope in the spread of humanity on some hopeless rock, as if we are independent from this planet. That is humanity’s ultimate vexation, accepting that it is supposed to function with the Earth and not against it. The Earth, eventually, will keep humanity in check, it tries and often succeeds. It will prevail in the end. It is totally absurd to believe that humanity can succeed in an arid cold void when it cannot succeed in its womb. Humanity is the flaw, not the Earth organism.

    I’m not religious, but what we have here are the 2nd greatest coward known to man; the unreligious looking to project their ego, their will, their “selves” onwards and upwards, through and with technology because they are afraid to be, to live in the here and now, to accept, and to disappear. They believe that they hold the keys to a destiny that ensures their immortality. Meanwhile, the greatest coward known to man, is simply too afraid, or more often the case, too simple, to contemplate reality, their thoughts are also with a future in the heavens, but they are comforted by an idea of being wrapped in the arms of the imaginary superior; in the hands of something else.

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

      Like that, Frankiti

      Or man competing with god with only a simplistic view of how life works: Hence the monoculture vision of life vs the bio-diversity reality of how things survive catastrophe.

      The future will be very disappointing I’m afraid.

  38. Sticks-of-TNT December 28, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    CFN “Shitizens”:

    Mondays are great here at CFN. Holiday Mondays are even better! CFN shitizens from near and far show up. We’ve heard from some today who haven’t stopped in for weeks and months.

    Where else on the web do you get such lively, intelligent debate on such a wide array of important topics? (No nsa, Ashley Madison doesn’t count.) Emotions run high, tempers have flared, even by some of the normally mild-mannered. But the subject matter is not trivial. We all know the stakes are high. Year-end is a natural time to take stock of the past and look out toward the horizon of the year to come.

    For the many who are inclined to make themselves scarce, and the “silent majority” out there who just stalk from the shadows–show yourselves! We want to hear from you. Ideas matter and some of the best and brightest are enticed here but remain silent. Please share.

    Time is of the essence. The stars are lining up, for better or worse, and indications are that 2016 could be an historic turning point. Together we can make CFN one of the most important and intelligent destinations on the web.

    Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and prosperous (?) new year!!!

    As the inimitable MisterDarling would say, Cheers!

    Sticks-of-TNT

    • BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

      Sticks, we’ve also heard from John Howard, one of the more bizarre posters, here in CFNation.

      brh

      • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 1:04 am #

        Yeah, I sent out a SOS call to Q requesting assistance. It’s posted upstream late this afternoon near JH’s most recent comments.

        If Q doesn’t check in I might have to assign it to nsa as “wet work”.

        -Sticks

        • pequiste December 29, 2015 at 1:23 am #

          Sticks, I heard from a high credibility source that it will need to be a “black bag” job.

          • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 7:38 am #

            xxxxxxxxxxxxxx BEGIN MESSAGE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

            29 December 2015. 1230 Hours Zulu

            nsa has passed along intel indicating JH may be an alias used by a Punjabi Indian national living out of a pimped out ’89 Camry surfing free wi-fi from the parking lot of a McDonald’s near the Trenton-Mercer, NJ Airport.

            Agent Q.Shtik has notified us that he is familiar with the area and will attempt to put eyes on the subject to verify identity and will hack into the restaurant’s wi-fi to confirm transmissions to CFN are from subject “JH”. Once confirmation of subject “JH” is made, a team from Langley will be dispatched to extraordinary rendition subject “JH” across Delaware River at “Washington Crossing” to a jurisdiction known to be “cooperative” with Langley. Pick up time will be coordinated between pick-up team leader and Agent Q and determined by conditions on ground and relayed to Mission Control.

            Rendition site “SR” is an abandoned former convenience store along “Swamp Road” in the vicinity of the NW boundary of “Tyler State Park”. Coordinates are on attached map. Delivery of subject “JH” by pick-up team to rendition site “SR” is planned for 1 Jan 2016 at 0500 hours Zulu (“Midnight” local) when nsa intel indicates the local constabulary, assisted by reserve Hessian deputies working overtime during the holidays, are expected to be distracted by other policing “duties”.

            Pick-up team will transfer subject “JH” to interrogation team at “Swamp Road” rendition site “SR” upon arrival and return immediately to safe house “Echo” for mission debriefing and to await further instructions.

            ORDERS FOR INTERROGATION TEAM TO FOLLOW IN NEXT DISPATCH

            All personnel are reminded that this is a DOMESTIC OP and will follow BLACK OP protocols including destruction of this message 5 minutes after receipt and decryption. Attached map may be retained on authorized device until completion of mission.

            Attachment (1)

            xxxxxxxx END MESSAGE xxxxxxxxx

  39. FincaInTheMountains December 28, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    The most important thing is that now they cannot spin the anti-Russian hysteria as any fears of nuclear war automatically leads to increase in popularity of Donald Tramp.

    Informational blockade around Russia is broken and the topic of relations of United States and Russia has become one of the main issues of the election campaign.

    And now, if Hillary Clinton still wins the elections (of course by forging results), and nuclear war is still going to happen, the Americans at the Last Judgment will not be able to say that they did not know what their choice or unwillingness to actively protest was going to lead to, when it turns out that election results were tampered with, because I do not believe that American people could actually vote for such bloodthirsty demon of war, as Hillary Clinton.

    • Being There December 28, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

      They’re all demons of war. I think even Bernie is or else they wouldn’t be allowed to run.
      Look at Jill Stein of the Green Party. Does anyone know who she is?

      That’s because she won’t make money for the war contractors.

      Let’s not pick on any one person since they’ll all take you to war.
      even Rand….that’s right…or else…….

      • FincaInTheMountains December 28, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

        For Hillary money only the means to achieve her demonic goals – she’s obsessed.

        • alphie December 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

          What demonic goals Fincaln? It’s an honest question. And don’t you have to be obsessed to want that job? And they all have something to hide. I prefer Bernie over Hillary but I’ll take Hillary over Cruz (Mr., I want to see if the desert sands will glow).

      • FincaInTheMountains December 28, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

        I hope everybody understand now how deserved was Obama’s Nobel prize.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 12:40 am #

        How did your brunch with Jill go? Did you talk about men or just issues? Women often bond by complaining about men.

        • malthuss December 29, 2015 at 12:46 am #

          Oy Gevalt.
          Can ye point me to a link that proves ultra O dont believe other sects of Jews are Humans?

          • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 12:54 am #

            I’ve never heard that. They just typically find them disgusting. The Chabad are famous for their outreach to secular Jews. The other extreme: sometimes the Orthodox stone secular Jews at the Wailing Wall.

            Remember, Judaism is above all a Biologically based religion. You are born human or not human. It’s then up to you to live up to what was bequeathed to you, ignore it, or degrade it.

    • elysianfield December 28, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

      Finc,
      I hope that you will provide us with the Russian predictions for 2016…Straight outa Stalingrad….

      • FincaInTheMountains December 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

        Bottom line: things are gonna get tougher, but vodka and piroshki for the peasants and cognac and caviar for the oligarchs will still be in abundance.

  40. monkey_flower December 28, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

    In case the world ends soon I would like to thank everyone for the comments. I am one of those lurkers.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 12:38 am #

      We love you Monkey Power. Don’t be a Lurker at the Threshold, but come on in so we can tear you apart. We will rebuild you into a better Monkey. The world will beat a path to your door.

    • pequiste December 29, 2015 at 1:32 am #

      Lurking makes you an e-prevert. Sort of like a peeping Tom (is there a female gender or gender free nomenclature for this paraphilia, does anyone know?) But thank you for coming out of your e-closet.

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      I guess Janos has changed your handle to Monkey Power. You’re lucky, he’s done worse, but CFN would be a dreary place without him. He was the first to greet you so by the rules here you’re now indebted to him and have to fall on a grenade if someone lobs one at him and you’re nearby.

      Thanks for outting yourself. The first post is always the hardest and that’s now behind you. Don’t be shy. Let us hear from you when something’s on your mind.

      -Sticks

  41. mastman23 December 28, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

    Jim your driving points on technology and the oil economy remind me of that character Neville in the Charlton Heston movie Omega man. He was against all technology and wanted to destroy the last man representing it Heston. One of my all time favorites. Not many so called actors today could even be a shadow of him.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 12:35 am #

      It’s hard being the last White Man on the block whether surrounded by Blacks, Browns, Yellows, or Zombies. Not only unpleasant, but actually dangerous.

      • Buck Stud December 29, 2015 at 11:00 am #

        Have you ever seen Beyonce or Rihanna? ” Scarcity (the rare “White Man”) implies “in-demand” and let’s face it, the world will always demand the beautiful Beyonce.

        Is it starting to sink in now? You have a duty to do and although a “dirty job” somebody has to do it!

        youtube.com/watch?v=LUDMy-GplkQ

        • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

          You think they’re desirable? I don’t. I don’t get jungle fever much anymore, thank Gott. Sometimes still get Yellow fever or even Red fever though. You can have B Town all to yourself and be her little White boy.

  42. BackRowHeckler December 28, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

    well, the New Year is just a few days away, so I might as well start with the predictions and prognostications for 2016. Here’s one: In Chicago the distinguished mayor, Rahm Emmanuel (currently on vaca in Cuba, a personal guest of the Castros’) will not be able to withstand the BLM heat, and will be hounded from office, to be replaced by a black dude, maybe even Jesse Jackson, jr. if he can be sprung from prison. The city will then descend into chaos even worse than it is now. Businesses will close, deficits will become unmanageable, and you will see white flight that will make Detroit in 1968 look like the rhumba line at the local karaoke club. Already bankruptcy is inevitable, this will hasten it, the collapse of another great American city.

    The Day of the Locust is at hand.

    brh

    brh

    • wpa_ccc December 29, 2015 at 12:44 am #

      brh, did you get a chance to see the movie, “Sicario”, starring Emily Blunt? Have you seen the TV series, “Justified” about rural Kentucky drug wars?

    • malthuss December 29, 2015 at 12:48 am #

      You will enjoy a blog called ‘Ambrose Kane Blog’….
      Info on PRs there.

      HNY, you bastard.

    • alphie December 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

      You just described Gotham

  43. Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 12:49 am #

    The Highlights of the Year from the perspective of Hell.

    dailystormer.com/sjw-montage/

  44. Walter B December 29, 2015 at 1:30 am #

    To question man’s obsession with his own creations and the mindless attraction of the multitude of millions to the shiny and colorful baubles which are produced by their efforts will surely get a man outcast and marginalized by those who pay homage at the alter of techno-baubledom. The never ending upward spiral of the technological lie eventually hits unsustainable altitude and comes crashing back through the atmosphere to explode on the surface into the chaos that it is destined to create. Religion aside and historically speaking, who might it be that has always be attributed to be the Lord of Chaos? It is not just chance we are witnessing, it is destiny.

  45. John Howard December 29, 2015 at 3:06 am #

    Congress can ban male pregnancy and same sex procreation and end same sex marriage. Trump will sign. Things will get better. Techno narcissism will be replaced by care and tenderness. Muslims will stop trying to kill innocent Americans.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 4:32 am #

      What does this have to do with Muslims killing Americans?

      • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 10:59 am #

        Stay low when you’re near JH. You might get hit in the crossfire. -Sticks

        • John Howard December 29, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

          I don’t get it, you ask for ideas, why not actually discuss my idea? Are you afraid of it? Why is gay marriage so important? Why is male pregnancy and same sex procreation so important? Don’t you see how harmful it is to say that males and females have the same rights instead of recognizing that only females have a right to be pregnant? Only males have a right to impregnate?

      • John Howard December 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

        Muslims think we are imposing immoral techno narcissism on them. When we show them that it’s only a tiny minority of Americans who are insane, and most of us oppose gay marriage and transhumanism they will have a reason to declare victory and return to their families.

        • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 2:42 am #

          No, they wont stop until we are conquered or converted. Your one issue consciousness has lead you to the wrong conclusion.

          • John Howard January 3, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

            Ending gay marriage will conquer us.

  46. FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 4:28 am #

    Iraq: Popular Forces’ Commander Reveals US Plots to Evacuate ISIL Leaders from Ramadi

    TEHRAN (FNA)- A commander of volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) disclosed the US plots to evacuate ISIL leaders from the city of Ramadi as Iraqi army and popular troops are completing victory over the terrorist group.
    “The delay in operations to liberate Ramadi and Fallujah cities in al-Anbar province is the result of the US interference,” Commander of Imam Khamenei Battalion Haidar al-Hosseini al-Ardavi told FNA on Thursday.

    “It seems that the US intends to evacuate the ISIL terrorist group’s infamous ringleaders secretly (with helicopters) from Ramadi to unknown places,” he added.

    en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941003000828

    Hope they are not going to show up in Chicago or Detroit.

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 11:03 am #

      They wouldn’t be noticed in either city. Plenty of thugs to hide amongst. -Sticks

    • elysianfield December 29, 2015 at 11:38 am #

      “Hope they are not going to show up in Chicago or Detroit”

      Considering the violent and destructive issues that both of these cities evince, how would you know?

  47. Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 4:30 am #

    amren.com/news/2015/12/three-young-black-women-accused-of-beating-51-year-old-white-man-to-death/

    They brought their kids to help. Face it, they’re a different species. An alien and very dangerous one.

  48. FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    The first and most important reason for the sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and the West is the objective problems of the world economy that has reached the limit of its strength.

    This has already happened during the collapse of the USSR when at the cost of the complete destruction of the Soviet industry, mass larceny of natural and financial resources that has delayed the global collapse of the world economy for two decades.

    Today, this “time-out” has completely expired. Moreover, the chaos planted in numerous regions of the planet, has also exhausted the possibilities of preserving the Western economy from failure.

    And the West quite naturally decided to repeat once a very successful trick. Only now they had to break up Russia itself.

    Russia was lucky in one respect. The epic failure of the West in Ukraine and the real situation in this once prosperous country shows “who to blame” for the results of the Western-blessed “revolution”.

  49. lost-in-north-dakota December 29, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Regarding Agri-Biz, the big GMO seed companies are hitting a wall, for three reasons:

    1. Agriculture is over 10,000 years old.
    2. A patent only lasts 20 years.
    3. The weeds and bugs become resistant to these GMO traits with amazing speed…faster than new GMO traits can be created.

    Monsanto tried to buy Syngenta. Why? So they could fire a lot of R&D people and cannibalize each others’ trait stream. Dow (Pioneer) and Dupont (Mycogen) are doing the same. These are moves of desperation.

    • Buck Stud December 29, 2015 at 11:17 am #

      ” A patent only lasts 20 years.”

      With bought and paid for judges how long will this legal assumption last? For example (and granted, not the 20 year law ), Viagra’s patent, originally scheduled to expire in late March of 2012, has been extended to April of 2020.

      Funny how that works, And why did Pfizer file suit to retain patent rights in a particular jurisdictional court? did they ‘have a hunch’ that a certain judge might rule in their favor?

      When it comes to “laws” and corporations I have very little faith/belief that the “law” will be upheld. Current legal confines will be circumvented and replaced with new boundaries drawn with cash in the hands of corrupt judges.

      • malthuss December 30, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

        Buck, do you know about copyright law and Disney.
        The ‘Mickey Mouse’ syndrome?

  50. I AM SULLY December 29, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    Another great one. I was thinking about the same subject, about a year ago, when pondering the genre of “science fiction” – and the degree to which even horror-science-fiction reinforces believes in magical tools and technologies. Even in our so called “fears” we are hiding our real fear – that no magic exists that will save us from the trials which lay ahead.

  51. budizwiser December 29, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    But what will work, and what I fully expect, is a financial breakdown that will lead to a forced re-set of human endeavor at a lower scale of technological activity.

    I kind of doubt this. More likely “reset scenarios” – famine, pandemic or politically driven mayhem.

    The Earth is more likely to go the way of a smouldering trash heap. Some areas largely un-burnt, others sparked and other completely laid to waste.

    It seems curious to me that sociology is most likely the most forsaken of sciences, and yet it’s absence in modern cultural elite thought will be responsible for the demise of so many.

    • FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 9:49 am #

      You guys go ahead and “reset yourself to a lower scale of technological activity”.

      Just don’t forget to learn some Chinese or Russian while you’re at that.

  52. Being There December 29, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    Here you are: Your moment of Zen….

    A 3-part interview that you must see to believe: scroll down to listen

    Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Everything is Disintegrating – See more at:

    thedailycoin.org/?p=55858

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

      CFN Shitizens,

      You will not hear a more astute, sobering assessment of our present geo-political circumstances than this 3-part interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. You won’t get such analysis from the broadcast media, the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Review, Weekly Standard, NPR or any mainstream news source.

      Twenty-five year Washington insider Roberts’ commentary is now translated into more languages and read by more people than any of the aforementioned media outlets or any other YOU can name. He absolutely excoriates the evil, neo-conservative, traitorous conspirators, such as Victoria Kagan Noodleman Nulund and her ilk who have been at the forefront of America’s imperialistic march across the Middle East and elsewhere, leaving murder, mayhem and destruction of our treasury in their wake. Hear PCR explain in his blunt, plain spoken manner exactly why John Kerry went to Moscow and why he forced Victoria Nuland to accompany him. At least this time, it’s highly unlikely she went as his”handler.”

      Among other revelations, Roberts describes how recently, in 16 varied war game scenarios with Russia, the Pentagon batted one thousand–LOSING 16 out of 16 simulated conflicts! Yet mad men like Senators John “Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCain and Lindsey Graham demand we create a Syrian “no fly” zone and wrecklessly shoot down Russian bombers. Absolutely insane!

      I could go on much longer but it would only delay you in clicking on the link that “Being There” so thoughtfully provided at the end of his post above. I implore you to immediately go there and listen to this bombshell interview. Regardless of which political party you may be allied with (personally, I’m “none of the above”), you won’t be able to honestly accuse Roberts of partisan politics. Then return here to CFN and tell us why you agree or disagree with the case presented by Dr. Roberts.

      As my Georgia buddy used to say, “TNT, it’s stronger than gator breath!”

      Sticks-of-TNT

      • Being There December 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

        Indeed Sticks. I for one am far more interested in listening to those who are willing to hurt their own careers for the sake of truth telling than anyone who agrees with me.

        I listen to people on both the right and left to hear their take on what’s going on as long as they’re not totally loopy.
        What I’ve learned as one who receives the latest posts on PCR is that the media even in Europe is in a reward/punishment system. If the go along with what we (CIA) tells them to say, they enjoy all that success has to offer. Money, invitations, awards…..if they don’t do our bidding they lose their position and can’t get jobs.

        PCR turned down the perks and now is a forefront of alternative media but needs financial help to run his blog……..

        He is passionate about telling the truth and I have to applaud him even when I don’t agree…..

  53. FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    Ha-ha-ha: Don’t stop playing till you hear the whistle!!

    Match Erdogan vs Assad and the emergence in Syria in September of Russian Air Force from the bench

    youtube.com/watch?v=BdRH3lpopLQ

  54. Buck Stud December 29, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Another viewpoint. According to the article, it’s easy to understand why the dark forces of the GOP/Koch brothers clan are fighting so hard to close off a ‘free and open’ Internet:

    theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/nov/07/radical-new-economic-system-will-emerge-from-collap…

    • FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

      Rifkin is particularly interested in the upheaval currently rippling through the energy sector and points to the millions of small and medium sized enterprises, homeowners and neighbourhoods already producing their own green electricity.

      Problem is they measure the energy by the “marginal cost”, it should be measured by energy-flux-density – the amount of energy that could be generated in unit of time and square mile of the territory.

      So far humanity has been progressing to higher energy-flux-density – from wood to coal to oil to nuclear. So called “green energy” is the first registered regress, in my opinion suitable only for a very narrow range of applications.

      I hardly can see how “millions of small and medium sized enterprises, homeowners and neighbourhoods” could replace a medium-size nuclear reactor.

      However, 3-D printing (or additive manufacturing) – that is another deal altogether and definitely could revolutionize the manufacturing. If software designs could be shared over the Internet, then it will become a question of energy and building materials (as well as cost of 3-d printers + maintenance).

      But most likely we going to see a “share-time manufacturing” shops that will for a fee allow you to use their equipment for your design. And they are going to be huge, something like the “GoDaddy” of manufacturing.

  55. malthuss December 29, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    Bernie sees that terrible war on the black man and wants JUSTICE,

    berniesanders.com/issues/racial-justice/

  56. volodya December 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    How badly are we fucking it up burning fossil fuels? Better not to ask.

    Hard to not laugh about this Paris silliness with all the preening and self-congratulation.

    The perpetrators of this latest farce (like all well-off people) are the least willing to limit their carbon output because they’re not willing to give up their comforts, pure and simple. But let’s not be simplistic. There’s reasons.

    Yeah, sure, somebody has to do something. Which was the reason for the agreement in the first place. The GOVERNMENT ought to do something, THAT’S for sure. Or be SEEN to be doing something. Or something.

    But as for their own SUV, well, that’s something that they need. Are they giving it up? Nope. Can’t.

    What about the minivan? Are they giving up the minivan? Nope, regrettably, that’s a necessity too.

    Could they maybe have done with less than a 4,000 square foot house? Well, it’s hard to imagine because they needed to be in a neighborhood close enough to work, given their demanding schedules, and this was what was available. Also, the house has to be commensurate with the positions they occupy ie for entertainment and socialization. These are just unavoidable facts of life.

    See? There’s reasons. Besides, it’s not a perfect world.

    What about the habitat destruction that went into the production process for all the house’s various elements and systems? Well, see the foregoing…

    Do they really need double refrigerators? Do they really need the gargantuan stove and oven? Two of them? How about that massive granite topped kitchen island? What about all that mahogany woodwork? Oh, all those knick-knacks form the foreign holidays? How much carbon got spewed going hither and yon? Again, see the foregoing…

    Ok, ENOUGH! This questioning is just getting way too intrusive. And ABUSIVE! People ARE entitled to privacy are they not? Even high officials. Even not so high officials.

    And let’s don’t be too damn critical. They’re not under arrest and we’re not judge and jury. It’s not like they do nothing. They do a lot. They recycle soda cans, they buy ethical coffee, they eat organic vegetables.

    As for the holidays overseas, well, it was for the kids, they need to know how others live. A worthwhile goal isn’t it? The kids are the next generation and an education is necessary for the next generation of enlightened global initiatives. As for the knick-knacks, they were supporting local economies.

    Oh, and they own a Prius. That counts for something doesn’t it?

    • Buck Stud December 29, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      “Yeah, sure, somebody has to do something. Which was the reason for the agreement in the first place. The GOVERNMENT ought to do something, THAT’S for sure. Or be SEEN to be doing something. Or something. “–V

      Interesting post as always, Volodya. And yes, ‘seen as trying do something’. But the current paradigm is still the way business is done. My impression of the ultra wealthy is that they believe they are helping people such as the furniture maker/craftsmen who manufactured their mahogany grand entry door. And in the current paradigm, they are indeed helping many self employed business people. What might be viewed as ‘wasteful’ also keeps the economy running.

      But it can and does get decadent and wasteful. For example the heated outdoor second home driveway in a Colorado mountain town. Who needs to pay a snow removal crew or god forbid heave some snow with one’s own shovel when you can just heat a driveway, never mind the waste or cost? And 4000 square feet? Ha, down here in the lower 48 that’s barely the theater/entertainment and full gym workout rooms. OK, and maybe the wet bar. But again, that huge second home supported some small business owners and their employees. “Trickle down’ is a beautiful thing when the water is flowing. But when money starts to pool at the top and not circulate, well that’s another story entirely and perhaps the real story of Late Capitalism.

      Our host, JHK, frequently writes about transitioning to another economic paradigm in the least painful way possible. Indeed he did this week as well:

      “The additional question really is how much hardship will that transition entail and the answer is that there is plenty within our power to make that journey less harsh.”

      A question: How will forsaking the “knick knacks” that fuel local economies today lend a less harsh hand to tomorrow’s “transition”? Or better yet, who among us will voluntarily forsake today’s high tech medical procedure in order to usher in the less technologically reliant and ‘more sustainable’ society of tomorrow?

      Al Gore gets battered around here quite frequently for ‘not walking the walk’. But he’s not the only hypocrite; let’s be honest with ourselves.

    • FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

      What in the bloody hell the “Global Warming” (or “Global Carbon Tax”) has to do with double refrigerators, Volodya?

      This is just a part of ideological cover story for crypto-colonial governance system designed to stall the development of “developing counties”, e.g. colonies.

      For instance, the Island has a large coal reserves, but in generates electricity using gigantic diesel generators. The result: one of the most expensive – around 28 cents per Kwh – electricity in the world and with unpredictable, but guaranteed blackouts.

      Could any industry be developed here? Of course not, it won’t be competitive even given the dirt cheap labor, since any enterprise must at least double their energy costs by employing expensive electric backup systems.

  57. FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    It turns out that most of Latinos, contrary to forecasts are going to vote for Trump, as Hillary Clinton has promised to make Christian priests to marry homosexuals under church marriage, and for Latinos (and all others) Church, obeying these requirements, is not Church.

    Ted Cruz: “Southern States Should Build Their Own Nuclear Weapon To Protect Their Beliefs”

    politicalo.com/nuclear-weapon/

    Google search for that phrase reveals 1,590,000 results for the week. Obviously, Ted Cruz denies everything, but the topic is actively discussed.

    • Being There December 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      I guess they don’t like NYC.

  58. Being There December 29, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    Here’s a beauty……

    The creation of a separate tax system:

    “With inequality at its highest levels in nearly a century and public debate rising over whether the government should respond to it through higher taxes on the wealthy, the very richest Americans have financed a sophisticated and astonishingly effective apparatus for shielding their fortunes. Some call it the “income defense industry,” consisting of a high-priced phalanx of lawyers, estate planners, lobbyists and anti-tax activists who exploit and defend a dizzying array of tax maneuvers, virtually none of them available to taxpayers of more modest means.

    In recent years, this apparatus has become one of the most powerful avenues of influence for wealthy Americans of all political stripes, including Mr. Loeb and Mr. Cohen, who give heavily to Republicans, and the liberal billionaire George Soros, who has called for higher levies on the rich while at the same time using tax loopholes to bolster his own fortune.

    All are among a small group providing much of the early cash for the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Operating largely out of public view — in tax court, through arcane legislative provisions, and in private negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service — the wealthy have used their influence to steadily whittle away at the government’s ability to tax them. The effect has been to create a kind of private tax system, catering to only several thousand Americans.”

    -By NOAM SCHEIBER and PATRICIA COHEN, NYT.

  59. FincaInTheMountains December 29, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Something is happening

    To complement the rumor “Barack Obama secretly returned to Washington”, here are consecutive headers from the news feed:

    Yahoo: Crusading former Pentagon chief says nuke danger is growing

    Cnsnews: Judicial Watch Sues for Info on Team Hillary at State Department

    Bloomberg: Putin Sees a Chance for Assad to Stay in Power in Syria

    Charlotteobserver: Trump is right about Bill Clinton

    Esquire: Russia’s Military Is More Advanced Than You Might Think

    Yahoo: Russian killing of Syrian rebel leader does not serve peace: Saudi Arabia

    Yahoo Finance: O’Malley: The Democratic Primary Is ‘Rigged’

    Choiceorlife: Trump boasted 12 times and 12 times he told the truth

    Thus two major candidates of the Democratic Party and the 2 main candidate of the Republican Party have accused the media and the leadership of the Democratic Party, as well as the establishment of the Republican Party that they are now trying to rig the election results in favor of Hillary Clinton.

    At the same time these candidates accuse her of provoking several civil wars and genocide in the Greater Middle East when she was Secretary of State, emphasizing that her actions then could’ve trigger a nuclear war, the danger of which is growing.

  60. Janos Skorenzy December 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    Great video about the evil Black Lives Matter movement.

    amren.com/features/2015/12/black-lives-matter-hysteria-and-lies/

    • Florida Power December 29, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      This year I speak with my wallet. I am an Emory alum and have donated each year at this time. Not this year. Apparently Emory has devolved to the same level of infantilism that has infected much of higher ed.

      intellihub.com/liberal-professor-white-people-racist-no-matter/

      I grew up in a black neighborhood. This clown has no right to tell me what to think or how to act. For freakin’ sakes, grow up. Stop yer whinin’ and make a contribution. A contribution means you play in tune and in time. The rest is wishful thinking. Good grief.

      • malthuss December 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

        One more worse than worthless n—-.

      • Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

        “I am an Emory alum.” -Florida Power

        Making you an…Emorrhoid!

        Just kidding. Great campus. Very expensive. I remember when, decades ago, Robert Woodruff of Coca-Cola made what, at the time, was the single largest personal gift to a university in history–$100 Million! That was tall cotton in the South–or anywhere else.

        Stand proud. You’re part of a rarified breed. “Harvard of the South.”

        -Sticks

        • Florida Power December 30, 2015 at 8:18 am #

          Yeah, we used to joke that Harvard was the “Emory of the North.”
          I have been out of the academy for some time now and am thankful for the experience but also thankful I escaped. Back in those days armchair Marxism via French Structuralism was the lingua franca du jour and to this day I am not sure that any of us knew what we were talking about. This was borne out some years later in a famous hoax perpetrated by real scientists against a bona fide academic journal that drank the Structuralist kool-aid. A paper was submitted for publication — and accepted — that was no more than a collection of buzz words and phrases linked together in faux logic typical of the genre. The hoax was exposed and as I recall everyone went about their business as if nothing had happened. One can only hope that some day real thinkers will expose the vacuousness of the present-day human scientists and their intellectual infantilism. At least back in our day we did no harm.

  61. Q. Shtik December 29, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    Agent Q.Shtik has notified us that he is familiar with the area – Sticks

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

    An amusing bit you’ve penned here but I refuse to be swept up into the absurd John Howard vortex again.

    • John Howard December 29, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

      It’s absurd you guys think that men like Bruce Jenner should be allowed to gestate a baby. What harm would come from banning same sex reproduction and ending same sex marriage?

  62. Q. Shtik December 29, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    We watched ‘The Big Short’ and were thoroughly impressed. – daveed

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

    The spouse and I watched The Big Short over the weekend as well. Her eyes typically glaze over when I watch CNBC during breakfast but she was impressed, entertained and informed by this flick.

    I thought they did an excellent job of making a complex subject understandable. Christian Bale played an Asperger afflicted Dr. Michael Burry to the hilt. Steve Carell did an excellent job with his character, Mark Baum, too.

    There was a funny bit about a cliche Chinese “quant” (math wiz) but I won’t spoil it for the reader.

    • San Jose December 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

      Greetings from San Jose,

      I haven’t posted in a while. But on the subject of movies, I haven’t been to a theater in 2015. Maybe I’ll watch Star Wars when it comes out on Netflix. I have been watching the republican debates! What a hoot! Very entertaining. I hate Carly Fiorina even more than when she sold my husband’s high-end chip development HP group to Intel back in 2001.

      Wishing all of you good things in 2016, even if Kunstler predicts doom and destruction.

      Jen in San Jose (San Jose Mom)

      • Q. Shtik December 30, 2015 at 1:40 am #

        Welcome back ‘Mom’.

      • sauerkraut December 30, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

        We all lost during those times. To me, HP’s acquiring and suppressing DEC’s Alpha chip was a crime. Sorry that for you it was more personal.

        • San Jose December 30, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

          Carly changed HP’s culture. Used to be a culture of trust and collaboration. Bill and Dave had a thing they called, “management by walking around.” My husband and I met working at HP Labs.

          The corporate culture at Intel was far different. Andy Grove used to have gestapo sorts checking the doors for who arrived to work later than 9:00 a.m. He assumed his employees where there to rip him off.

      • wpa_ccc December 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

        Welcome, Jen. I am relatively new here, but it seems women’s voices are sorely lacking on CFN. Glad to have you here.

    • ozone December 30, 2015 at 10:35 am #

      Q.,
      (…And early-posting others) Thanks for the recommendations regarding The Big Short; I must hie me hence to my local moving-picture emporium to view this ‘un.

      Now a recent word from Michael Burry:

      zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-29/fed-policy-toxic-michael-burry-warns-little-guy-will-pay-next-crisis

      “In this age of infinite distraction… when the entitled elect themselves, the party accelerates, and the brutal hangover is inevitable.” — M.B. (from years ago; things ain’t changed.)

      • sauerkraut December 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

        Please do, and tell us what you think, Ozone.

        In particular, is the movie sophisticated enough to differentiate those who merely profited from the situation without contributing to it (the “shorts”), from those who created the situation in the first place?

  63. Pucker December 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    “Pucker–

    Twenty-six years ago, I fell in love with Barack because of his compassion and his desire to make life better for other people. It’s just who he is — and it’s who he tries to be every day as President.

    He only has 12 months left as your President, and I know he’s anxious to make the most of every opportunity to make change. And Pucker, you’d better believe that you being right there alongside him, doing the hard work of organizing, matters to him.

    On January 12, Barack will give his last State of the Union address, and OFA is one of the groups making sure people are preparing to watch, and recommitting to the work ahead.

    OFA supporters are some of the best change makers out there. It’s because of your hard work, passion, and dedication that we’ve accomplished so much over this past year.

    We’ve continued to create jobs and rebuild our economy. We’ve cut carbon pollution. We’ve given millions more Americans the security of health care. And we’ve witnessed historic victories for equality across the country.

    Those are the kinds of victories Barack would love to celebrate with you. Say you’ll watch the State of the Union, and make sure you hear what’s next:

    Thanks,

    Michelle Obama”

  64. Q. Shtik December 29, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    “Notice that this narrative is being served up to a society now held hostage to the images on little screens,” – our host, JHK

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

    Speaking of the little screens, I was stunned by their ubiquity when I saw a photo taken backstage during a ballet’s intermission. A half dozen ballerinas in their tutus were standing around resting while staring into their cell phone screens. Is there no place unaffected by this plague?

  65. Sticks-of-TNT December 29, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    A ONE WAY TICKET TO PALOOKAVILLE:

    “An amusing bit you’ve penned here but I refuse to be swept up into the absurd John Howard vortex again.” -Agent Q. Shtik (Refusing Mission Critical Field Assignment in Support of CFN–See Post Earlier Today)

    “Charley, it was you…I could’ve had class, I coulda been a contender, I could’ve been somebody…instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it…”

    Marlon Brando
    On the Waterfront (1954)
    youtube.com/watch?v=YquvuuL2sG0

    • John Howard December 29, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

      You seem to doubt your power to make a difference? Are you mocking me for thinking JHK and his readership has any power and influence? Or for having the gall to suggest how to use it?

      I think he and you should admit that gay marriage requires saying that a man has a right to be pregnant and a woman has a right to impregnate a woman, and that is harmful and costly.

      The benefits of ending SSM and preserving natural reproduction rights and equality far outweigh whatever costs you seem to fear.

    • pequiste December 30, 2015 at 12:34 am #

      Sticks I would suggest a different approach to enlist Q in the execution of “Project Brachycephalic Australis.” To wit:

      youtube.com/watch?v=tra3Zi5ZWa0

      • Sticks-of-TNT December 30, 2015 at 6:00 am #

        Pequiste,

        Are you suggesting we take JH to “The Village” and turn him over to Number 1? Or threaten to take Q there?

        Wow, it’s mind-bending to consider that video clip was made a half century ago! So prophetic then and so relevant now. Seems to fit right into the present day era of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Patriot Act, “The Matrix” take the “red pill”, etc. And what about the NSA? Using its massive data computing and storage capabilities to vacuum up every scrap of INFORMATION about our lives imaginable. INFORMATION!!!

        The quality of the video is terrific. Makes me want to watch the entire series from start to finish on the HD digital quality and widescreen TV sets of today vs what we had in the 60s. I have both Amazon Prime and Netflix. Do you know if it’s available on either service? (Thanks for the YouTube link.)

        If I disappear from CFN for a few days, it’s less likely I’ve been “renditioned” away than that I’ve found “The Prisoner” series online and I’m binge-watching every episode. INFORMATION!

        -Sticks

        P.S. As far as Project Syphilitic Astrophysics or whatever goes, you’re way over my head. Latin for pug-faced Australian maybe? ;>)

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 30, 2015 at 1:03 am #

      Careless me. I didn’t post the original. Although not bad, this isn’t the “champ.” I’ll post original later today. -Sticks

  66. Pucker December 29, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

    In your view, was the Pillsbury Dough Boy a suitable Roll Model? He was always getting poked in the stomach by big women.

    And he was white which may be a “Micro Aggression”?

  67. wpa_ccc December 30, 2015 at 1:18 am #

    The problem is not technology: it is inappropriate technology (i.e., unsustainable, contaminating technology).

    Our vision is that all of humanity is able to work together developing and realizing rich, sustainable lives. We build the infrastructure, and help make the connections and populate free content to effect that vision. We provide the living resource library of individuals and organizations working towards a sustainable, healthier future, so that efforts can be spent evolving instead of duplicating past efforts.

    We briefly capture our vision and mission in this way,

    Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

    appropedia.org/Portal:Appropriate_technology

    • elysianfield December 30, 2015 at 11:44 am #

      “The problem is not technology: it is inappropriate technology ”

      There is no inappropriate technology…I’m sure you meant “inappropriate use of technology….

  68. fodase December 30, 2015 at 1:26 am #

    Stuck at guarulhos airport….butt nice scenery

  69. Q. Shtik December 30, 2015 at 1:34 am #

    The media spooged all over itself on that one, – our host, JHK

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

    Hardly a week goes by that I don’t learn a new word from Jim. The definitions for spooge in the Urban Dictionary had me laughing my ass off.

  70. PeteAtomic December 30, 2015 at 2:57 am #

    Techno-narcissism is a dinosaur.

    The Truth Is: Washing your dishes by hand

    Growing vegetables

    Raising animals

    Shooting Deer & game

    Slaughtering animals for food

    Fixing and repairs with you already own

    Sewing and creating or repairing your own clothes

    Creating your own energy by yourself or with your
    neighbors

    Creating a sustainable community.

    • BackRowHeckler December 30, 2015 at 8:58 am #

      Not to mention hanging out laundry on a clothesline, which, unbelievably, is against the law in some neighborhoods here in the Nutmeg State, as it most likely is in other parts of the US as well.

      On the other hand, Natgas and petroleum is so cheap and seems so plentiful now that the measures you list in your post above appear, to most people, to be unnecessary and a waste of time. The prevailing notion now is we, quite literally, have ‘ energy to burn’, the hell with tomorrow or next week. That’s the way it appears to me anyway.

      brh

      • Lawfish December 30, 2015 at 10:03 am #

        I put up a clothesline earlier this year. Works like a charm. Good shoulder workout too.

      • Buck Stud December 30, 2015 at 10:28 am #

        Hanging laundry–what a beautiful painting motif. ( And nobody depicts “rustic” quite like the Russian Impressionists.)

        linesandcolors.com/images/2007-04/bongart_450.jpg

        • Buck Stud December 30, 2015 at 10:31 am #

          One more from the great Russian painter, Segei Bongart:

          linesandcolors.com/images/2007-01/bongart_450.jpg

          • BackRowHeckler December 30, 2015 at 11:02 am #

            Segei Bongart,

            I wondered how he survived in the USSR without being liquidated in the Gulag, but I see he emigrated as a young man to the United States.

            I’m no art critic, but very colorful, and very beautiful.

            I must admit Buck you show a petty good knowledge of art and art history, something, along with economics, I’m sadly deficient on.

            brh

          • Buck Stud December 30, 2015 at 11:57 am #

            BRH,

            Yes Bongart lived in Idaho for a number of years.

            Nothing like laundry from a clothesline; smells like fresh air, the old days, and mom. And the clothes were always slightly stiff, as if air dried Nature was instilling a little backbone our clothes.

        • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

          Yes, but how many children went in among the laundry to play – and where never seen again? Only their overturned trikes, the wheels still spinning? I used to play thus. How lucky I was the boogie man or clown didn’t get me.

          Got books? You’re creating a fire hazard. Call the firemen. Funny how sofas and rugs aren’t fire hazards though. Oh well.

      • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

        Someone may get caught in clothes line and lynch themselves. Is that what you want? Are you KKK?

    • elysianfield December 30, 2015 at 11:54 am #

      Pete,
      I do all that and more…without pop philosophy driving my efforts…to be self-sustainable does not require a guide, nor cheerleader. I do not do these things to save the planet, nor save money, nor resources…it is ego driven…I do it because I can. A sustainable community is a goal beyond my resources.

  71. FincaInTheMountains December 30, 2015 at 4:35 am #

    Valentin Catasonov: some historical precedence of current financial chaos

    Current times are very similar to 1930-40 years of the twentieth century. Then under the influence of the global economic crisis occurred events such as the economic and financial disintegration of the world, the disintegration of the global financial system into the currency areas and blocks, minimizing international trade and other forms of international cooperation.

    The process of monetary disintegration was halted only in the summer of 1944 at an international conference in Bretton Woods, where decisions were taken on the establishment of world gold-dollar system. (When all participating currencies were hard-linked to US dollar and dollar was hard-linked to gold at $35 per ounce)

    The whole cycle of transition of the global financial system to a new state took 15 years, counted from the beginning of the crisis in October 1929. After the Bretton Woods conference passed another five years, until a new system became fully functional. Total cycle of transition from the old to the new system took about twenty years.

    The starting point of the current global financial system transition to a new quality can be considered in 2007. Since then, nine years have passed. The beginning of a “new era” of global finance can be considered when the process of financial globalization has completed and the further buildup of the Tower of Babel of the world debt has become impossible. The pullback took the form of crisis, in which trillions of “excess” debts have been burned.

    Many experts predicted for 2015 other upheavals, including the collapse of the dollar system, the complete or partial destruction of the euro zone (exit of a number of countries from the euro zone), the full-scale default of Ukraine, the paralysis of the International Monetary Fund, the collapse of G20. Most of these predictions in 2015 did not materialize, but have not been canceled – they simply carry over to 2016.

    The main struggle for influence in the sphere of international finance will develop between Washington, trying to save the dollar system, and Beijing, trying to push from the global financial markets US banks and corporations.

    Some experts see this fight as confrontation between the two main wings of financial oligarchy – the “Pirates” (“Rockefellers”) who are using US as their power base and the “Money Changers” ( “Rothschilds”) seeking to establish control over China

    Returning to possible changes in the global monetary system, it is not excluded disintegration of the system into separate currency zones and blocks. Just as it happened in the second half of the 1930, on the eve of World War II. Trade and economic ties within the zones were using currencies of the metropolitan countries (the UK pound, the France franc, the US dollar, etc.) Trade between the blocks was based on barter, clearing accounts and gold.

    The countries that will be able to navigate the global financial chaos and protect their economy through import duties and restrictions on cross-border movement of capital, to take refuge behind the walls of the regional economic, financial and currency blocs will have the minimum damage.

    Projects TPP and TTIP – it is Washington’s attempt to maintain its domination of the world by transferring a significant part of the states under its control in the framework of the two “partnerships.”

    • BackRowHeckler December 30, 2015 at 9:46 am #

      Rockefellers? Rothschilds?

      How much power and influence do these old families still have? Its not 1913 anymore after all. Someone on this site recently identified the ‘Oligarchs’, as old money establishment from the 19th century, Vanderbilts, Harrimans, Morgans, Fords, Carnegies and the like … notwithstanding all the good those people did with their accumulated wealth like funding universities and hospitals, many of these fortunes have dissipated over time, or else are deposited in Foundations which fund various causes and do gooder initiatives.

      brh

      • FincaInTheMountains December 30, 2015 at 11:50 am #

        Somehow we need to identify two distinctive wings of financial oligarchy – The Pirates and The Money Changers, who are using different technologies in making their money. So why not using the names of most prominent clans.

        There is now the new independent wing – the Financial Control headed by Obama with support of US intelligence agencies and financial bureaucracy with NSA being its main headquarters.

        Apparently, the FED now is under Obama’s FinControl after the New York v. Strauss-Kahn in 2011.

        I’ll try to specify little more details in separate post regarding the main results of the year.

        • BackRowHeckler December 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

          Fair enough explanation, Finca.

          When JP Morgan died in Italy in 1913 he was the richest man in the world, an ‘Oligarch’. He grew up in Hartford and was brought back here for burial. A few years ago I drove out to see his grave. The cemetery is in a dangerous neighborhood; the stone itself, altho pretty grand, was neglected and had an abandoned look about it, and you could tell someone had at least scrubbed off the graffiti.

          There’s still a JP Morgan bank but its been thru many manifestations since Morgan’s father started it in the 19th century.

          brh

  72. Q. Shtik December 30, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    Janos,

    Here is an article from today’s NYT op-ed section that I’m sure you’ll find interesting.

    nytimes.com/2015/12/30/opinion/the-new-face-of-racism-in-germany.html?_r=0

    “It was not the first time he had drawn on National Socialist themes, but this time he caused uproar,………”

    • malthuss December 30, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      I did glance at it.
      The ‘race replacement act’ is well underway.
      With full approval from the NYT.
      You know who is behind it, yes?

    • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Yeah he looks like a nice guy concerned about the future of his people and their nation. Could he have been a Nazi? Of course. They had the same concerns. They were right then and they’re right now. How can any sane person be in favor of what’s happening? All of this vindicates the Nazis in their vigilance against the Left.

  73. Being There December 30, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Paul Craig Roberts was Reagan’s assist Sec of Treasury and the co-creator of Supply Side Economics.

    So he’s an economist–he knows economic history and he knows how economies work. This essay along with most of what he says is worth keeping up with every day of the week.

    This is from today’s essay on his site: There’s plenty of criticism to go around which includes Clinton and the end of Glass Steagall,

    America Is Being Destroyed By Problems That Are Unaddressed — Paul Craig Roberts
    [Among the capitalist themselves and their shills among the libertarian ideologues, who are correct about the abuse of government power but less concerned with the abuse of private power, the capitalist greed that is destroying families and the economy is regarded as the road to progress. By distrusting government regulators of private misbehavior, libertarians provided the cover for the repeal of the financial regulation that made American capitalism functional. Today dysfunctional capitalism rules, thanks to greed and libertarian ideology.]

    [Historically, capitalism was justified on the grounds that it guaranteed the efficient use of society’s resources. Profits were a sign that resources were being used to maximize social welfare, and losses were a sign of inefficient resource use, which was corrected by the firm going out of business. This is no longer the case when the economic policy of a country serves to protect financial institutions that are “too big to fail” and when profits reflect the relocation abroad of US GDP as a result of jobs offshoring. Clearly, American capitalism no longer serves society, and the worsening distribution of income and wealth prove it.]

    paulcraigroberts.org/2015/12/30/america-is-being-destroyed-by-problems-that-are-unaddressed-paul-cra…

  74. volodya December 30, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    Buck, you’re right, hypocrisy is a national pass-time.

    That said, there’s varying degrees of hypocrisy. The oligarch thinks nothing of obliterating livelihoods of entire American cities in the quest for foreign buck-an-hour wage rates. Nor does he think twice about telling the most preposterous lies to gullible investors.

    So the Wall Street Titan ransacks the economy but then, in the next instant, tells himself what good he’s doing for impoverished, far away mountain villages by buying their knick-knacks or, as you say, by employing the local contractor to add to the opulence of his week-end getaway.

    Well, there’s no sustaining the unsustainable. Present day production and trading systems are headed for history’s garbage dump of failed arrangements. The near daily shaking and cracking of the financial system tells us this. No matter that we’ve had two financial eruptions in the last fifteen years and that Mount Wall Street is smoking, people refuse to believe it will blow again.

    Yes, said the governor of Pompeii, the mountain is grumbling. But the mountain always grumbles.

    It’s like some guy said, the one thing we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 31, 2015 at 4:57 am #

      Volodya,

      Love your analogy of Wall Street to a volcano. Great mental word picture.

      In my mind’s eye, I can still see Washington state’s rumbling Mount St. Helen’s in the background and the media interviews with the stubborn old, eighty-something fool, Harry Truman (really) residing nearby, dismissing the warnings of expert volcanologists and geologists, as well as substantial extreme seismic activity, claiming the threat of eruption had been exaggerated and refusing to leave his home despite official evacuation orders, much to the delight of network television news programs which had made him into something of a national celebrity in the spring of 1980. Harry Randall Truman, 83, was presumed to have died on May 18, 1980. Cause of death–“pyroclastic flow”, probably one of the more obscure categories for U.S. government statisticians. His body was never recovered.

      Perhaps there is an object lesson here for investors.

      Sticks-of-TNT

      • Sticks-of-TNT December 31, 2015 at 5:10 am #

        Helens–no apostrophe

  75. volodya December 30, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    Hats off to BeingThere for referencing P.C. Roberts and his use of the term “offshoring” instead of the odious, reality obscuring “globalization”.

    “Offshoring” tells it like it is.

    “Globalization” tells it like it isn’t.

    • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

      And illegal aliens are scabs whatever else they are. As are the legal immigrants with work visas as long as one American is out of work.

      We’ve been betrayed by Big Labor just as we have Big everything else. The Iron Heel is coming down.

    • Being There December 30, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      Well, offshoring is one part of the Project Globalism.

      The arbitrage of labor whether you get engineers to Microsoft through B1 visas, or allow illegal aliens in for slave labor, offshoring is one of the many faces of Globalism. The Republicans are also all about the low wagies….That’s what they got outta the deal–let them squawk about the Dems. They’re just as guilty they all have their angle of what they get from it.

      Then there’s the Sovereign Wealth Funds where wealthy elites incl your favorite Arab elite get to charge us for using our highways with a guarantee of profits which means you can’t build public transportation like trains to compete with their expected profits….

      And then we get to my all time Rave Fave:
      The 1-2 punch of NeoCon/Neolib domination in military and financial hegemony and the austerity and unbalanced disfunction of economies and leadership.
      Oh and that wonderful Trilateral….(sounds a bit like Orwell….The Americas, Eurasia and the far east…mhmmmm.

      So don’t quibble with the globalism word…its the system, you know.

  76. wpa_ccc December 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    “There is no inappropriate technology…I’m sure you meant “inappropriate use of technology….” –Elysianfield

    While the use of any technology can be inappropriate, depending on context, certain technologies are especially prone to this. At the risk of being subjective, here are some examples:

    Complex machinery in remote locations. Easy maintenance is critically important when expert service is not available locally.

    The PlayPump – especially where a simple and effective handpump has been removed to install it, or where the primary need is for more pumps (making lower cost solutions more appropriate), or where there are not a large number of children interested in playing on it for extended periods (resulting in harder work for the users, compared to a handpump or treadle pump).

    The Electric Chair: used for death rather than solving a problem. (Compare technologies to improve safety and reduce conflict and stress, and urban design for crime reduction.)

    Saturday Night Specials

    Tazers: These provide a way for law enforcement to use non-lethal force, in situations where they might otherwise have used guns. Unfortunately, like any weapon, they are open to abuse. A technology to make them more accountable could reduce this (e.g. more open access to data on the usage of the devices).

    Supermax Prisons

    Nuclear Power

    Nuclear Powered Interplanetary Space Probes

    HAARP

    Nuclear Weapons

    Biological Weapons

    Chemical Weapons

    Land Mines

    White Phosphorus Weapons

    Depleted Uranium

    Supernanothermate

    Strip Mining

    Mountaintop Removal Mining

    Off Shore Oil Drilling

    Hydraulic Fracturing

    Whaling

    Gasoline

    Genetic Engineering

    Factory Farms

    Fresh Water Dams

    Drag Net Fishing

    Clear Cutting

    Biomass Energy Generating Incinerators

    Municipal Waste Incinerators

    Pesticides

    Herbicides

    Inhumane Animal Traps

    Petro-Chemical Fertilizers

    Diesel Fuel

    Petro-Chemical Based Plastics

    Products Claiming To Be Disposable

    The Incandescent Light Bulb

    Chlorofluorocarbons

    • John Howard December 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Yet you think that men like Bruce Jenner should be allowed to try to gestate a fetus, and labs should be allowed to create people from the genes of two men or two women. That is a totally useless and dangerous unethical use of technology, and things will improve when it is banned.

      • pequiste December 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

        OK John you force me to use extra-ethical means against your constant unidimensional Jenneresque obsession.

        Here you go (if you dare:)

        huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/24/miley-cyrus-gif_n_4333783.html

        Keep that image floating in your occipital lobe for a long while and write back your impressions to all of us at CFN.

        (Sorry JHK but Q & Stick would not engage this bozo satisfactorily)

        • John Howard December 30, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

          Is there some kind of award for supreme idiocy you guys are competing for?

          • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

            Your the guy who wants to see Bruce Jenner get knocked up so you can get really indignant about it. Bruce is our weapon against Islam.

          • John Howard December 30, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

            But ISIS is right about us if we allow males to try to gestate babies. It won’t be a weapon against them, it will inspire thousands of them to kill innocent Americans. How do you imagine it would be a weapon against them? It’ll stop them how? They’ll give up and be happy because, why?

          • John Howard December 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

            I want Congress to ban transgender reproduction and void all same sex marriages and preserve natural reproduction rights. I do not want to see any males gestating a baby, I don’t need to see it to know it is unnecessary, expensive and unethical.

    • elysianfield December 30, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

      Wpac,
      Sorry, but I disagree. Inappropriate uses in your view, but never inappropriate otherwise.

  77. FincaInTheMountains December 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    Oohoo: Between Scylla and Charybdis

    The main issue of this year as of the last twenty years has been: which way, with what political and financial tools the world could be saved from the crisis of overproduction of money and connected with extra money speculative derivatives?

    By the end of 2015, Russia has proved in practice the dismantling of a unipolar world “Pax Americana”, and furthermore prevented replacing it with the revived “Pax NeoBritanica” under the guise of BRICS (still unipolar). Instead has been proposed a third way between the balances of the two disastrous for the world threats.

    The first version of the global financial-Charybdis – it is all-consuming maelstrom of the Thirty Years’ War as a continuation of the global militarist neo-colonial tendencies of Pax Americana, a complete denial of the forces of international law in favor of right of the strongest to plunder the whole world through the imposed financial monopoly.

    The personification of this trend in politics were such forever yesterday’s politicians like Senator McCain, although there are a lot of much more dangerous new breed of ideologically aggressive “neoconservatives.”

    And it was especially dangerous fusion of militarism of highly profitable Military Industrial Complex with financial monopoly, parasitizing on the growth of military budgets of US and its allies. Ultimately, however, it was a bunch of greedy banksters that ruined that link, because in the absence of real competition over last 25 years monopoly began to produce a clear bullshit for lots of money, swapping quality for super profits and kickbacks.

    The second version of the global financial-Scylla – this is again a collapse of the rule of law and the profanation of international order by monopolizing the world’s media and aggressive manipulation of legal mechanisms.

    If the law enforcement and legal systems will be fed with false information, then the result will still be the destruction of the legal order and the formation of zones of chaos as well as after the military intervention.

    This threat was very clearly demonstrated by the events in the former Ukraine. Especially “investigation” of the “Boeing” crash, which was conducted by the organizers of this informational and psychological security operation.

    However, despite the presence of hot adherents of destruction of so hard-built “civilized world” for the sake of domination, a great influence in Western and non-Western elites is enjoyed by the “old money” or “old guard.” But they do not dream to give away the remaining influence to the aggressive wings of the banksters of either coalition for the sake of their exclusive right to manage finances and the fate of the whole world.

    Nevertheless, despite concerns by the most part of global elite it is its extreme wings that were considered winners with the greatest odds. It seemed so because of the nature of the inevitable course of the financial crisis is likely to stall the economy of the West either in hyperinflation (with the victory of the militarist “Charybdis”) or in severe deflation (with victory of lying “Scylla”), which would then still go into hyperinflation.

    Like a tossed coin, which with probability of nearly 499,999 out of 500,000 falling heads or tails, there is still a theoretical chance to get up and stay on the edge.

    And for this chance to become a dynamically stable and statistically feasible, it is necessary to spin a coin fast enough on an even as a desert surface.

    Here’s a trick that’s been done by the Bush clan in the political form of the Iraq war and the creation of a political vacuum at the heart of all sensitive to all global elites Middle East. The proliferation of the terrorist threat on the global scale has made the global anti-terrorist coalition into a third force, alternative both to militarists, and to psycho-inform-manipulators.

    Of course, the two gangster’s Coalitions (“The Pirates” and “The Money-changers”) rushed to try to use the created “vacuum” for their own purposes, competing in the expanding chaos and attempts to take control.

    For that they need to rely more and more on special services.
    Yet at the last moment before irreversible restart of the global financial system (the Fed raising rates this December), representatives of the “old money” in the person of Kerry had to turn to Russia as the only guarantor of retaining at least some semblance of balance in the Middle East.

    However, according to the sequence of adoption of related resolutions of the UN Security Council from 25 December – first comprehensive resolution on the fight against terrorism and its financing, and only after the adoption of a specific resolution on Syria – between “old money” and the Kremlin has been a mediator in the form of a global “third force” – the coalition of special services, former leader of which was George Bush Senior.

    With the start of operations in Syria of Russian Air Force the “coin” solidly stood on the edge and began to spin quickly.

    But precisely because of its relative weakness compared to the militaristic machine of the Pirates or machine of mass media of the Money Changers, this branch of the political elite, which recently appeared on a global level of influence is objectively interested, firstly, in the balance and equilibrium of all major political players. And secondly, this branch is vitally interested in maintaining a working legal system, through which it projects its political influence and restrains the competing political centers. It is clear that there certainly will be abuse, but not on a destructive to world order scale.

    Here in this preservation of the mechanisms of international law and the legal systems of the major powers is our common main prize in 2015.

    It is enough to read carefully the UN Security Council Resolution 2253, unanimously ignored by all media and political scientists to understand that a settlement in Syria by resolution 2254 is now completely dependent on the work of the Sanctions Committee of UN Security Council against the accomplices of terrorists, which will ultimately determine who in Syria, and not only – in Iraq, and Libya, and then in Ukraine, Turkey and other unstable regions and countries – will participate in decentralized power and who will not.

    And to influence the decisions of the Committee will only be able the sovereign powers and their security services, which have adequate resources – information, intelligence, law enforcement, if necessary, to reinforce their views on the situation in a particular country.

    Thus is completely restored role of the UN and its Security Council as a regulator of international crisis!

    This is the main result of 2015 and the first 15 years of the new century!

    But everything else, even the global financial crisis and its further course, it’s just the first derivative of the global power structure.

    Yes, everyone will have a hard time, but it will be a difficult period of transition, and not “the horror, the horror, the horror” without end.

    • FincaInTheMountains December 30, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

      The direction of the American military response to 911 terror attack was practically spelled out by the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia.

      If Gore was in power, not G.W., that’s were American strike would go, wiping out a good chunk of Petro-Dollar overhung debt,

      Bush clan, fearing the strengthening of The Pirates, who then were in control of the FED and its printing press, pulled a lot of strings to change the direction of the attack from Saudi Arabia to Iraq.

    • Being There December 30, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

      That really illustrates why the Neocons hate the UN with such vitriol.

      Oh and debt deflation is what we will come to know. It just keeps going in that direction.

      Getting back to Kunstler’s post.

      How do you take a planet as glorious as this which supports such a complicated life form rich environment and trash it?
      And then have the gall to say…..oops, sorry time to move on —- i

      to quote myself from a few years ago….
      it’s the “eternal relentless search for the unlimited growth paradigm.”

    • elysianfield December 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

      Finc,
      Regarding your posts on the US dollar’s hegemony. Just today purchased a few items on Ebay, directly from China, and the cost was quoted in Yuan…Paypal provided an exchange rate, etc. but this is the first I’ve seen of prices quoted in Yuan…certainly not the last… It almost seemed like a political statement.

      • FincaInTheMountains December 31, 2015 at 9:03 am #

        Did you buy from them before? Did they quote in dollars or Yuan?

        Some countries always require you to pay in local currency, so their banks could make a little extra in commission fees.

        Most of the “developing” (crypto-colonies) operate in regime “currency board” – so their money is always derivative of amount of dollars reserves their Central Bank has, depending on their exports.

        Essentially, their money are “backed” by US Dollars and dollar is backed by shear military/security threat.

        China is not one of them, they have a certain level of sovereignty. I believe every year US negotiates some deal with China as how they are covering trade deficit – may be sell of some real estate or certain technologies.

        • elysianfield December 31, 2015 at 10:32 am #

          Finc,
          Bought items direct from China dozens of times…these items denominated in Yuan was a first.

  78. Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    Every thing you have on a shelf represents potential energy. You may be building up to an explosion. Knock everything off the shelves in order to be safe.

    Can we somehow learn to harness all the energy in the atmosphere? It’s so lazy, so ambient. Can’t we make it work – for us not the gods! E is worried that we may unbalance things. But it’s already there just flashing and exploding anyway. Why not just move it to explode where we want and in the way we want?

    • elysianfield December 30, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

      Janos,
      “E” is not concerned with the potential imbalances, if any. “E” noticed that there has never been a mention, or study of this phenomena that he has entertained. “E” wonders if this issue is obvious on its face, or if bringing this to note will result in derision, and labeled shallow and inconsequential. “E” understands that the weather, in a macro, and micro sense involves wind, and that stronger or weaker wind might involve climatological perturbations. “E” is feeling micro-aggression….

  79. Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Using energy already released naturally in the atmosphere is far different than releasing energy that should stay bound in the carbon cycle or in the atom.

    Don’t fear the Wind. The Sun. Or the Lightning or the Lights. The Gods only want the best for Man.

    Once we are out in Space, then we can fool around with the atom to our heart’s content – safely away from the Earth’s biosphere. First stop? Mars! With its low gravity, it will be perfect for developing a nuclear fusion civilization based on merit alone. No Blacks please.

    • nsa December 30, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

      In our impersonal, unguided, immoral universe…..matter is merely congealed energy as related in the famous equation e = mc2.

    • bob December 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

      Wow this is really getting weird . Janos are you referring to the orgone energy as expressed by the great Wilhelm Reich?

      • Janos Skorenzy December 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

        The Orgone is the life energy or prana – merely one of the levels on the Etheric spectrum, but too high to use an energy source for our industrial civilization. Some yogis can use it to heat themselves of course.

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 31, 2015 at 6:14 am #

      “No blacks please.” -Janos

      I’m really surprised you didn’t propose the opposite–sending the blacks to Mars, everyone else stays. Are you slipping or too much holiday eggnog? -Sticks

  80. Q. Shtik December 30, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

    Tomorrow, the last trading day of 2015, the DJIA needs to gain 219.20 points to eke out a break-even year. Possible, but not likely.

    On the other hand, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are in positive territory for the year.

    • wpa_ccc December 31, 2015 at 2:28 am #

      “DJIA needs to gain 219.20 points to eke out a break-even year. Possible, but not likely.” –Q

      My 2015 credit union checking account yield has been in positive territory (+2%) every day for all 365 days… with not a single day in negative territory. Better than nsa’s “dollar express” UUP (-2.18%) performance. “UUP closed unchanged on Wednesday, December 30, 2015, on 33 percent of normal volume. It ran into resistance at its 50 day moving average.”

      Maybe it takes six weeks for the “dollar express” UUP engines to warm up? Or maybe nsa doesn’t know what he’s talking about… express leaving the station? When?

    • malthuss December 31, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

      2015 – DOWs worst year in 7 years. like wow.

  81. FincaInTheMountains December 31, 2015 at 5:05 am #

    Within the framework of energy security, the United States reduced its dependence on external supplies from 66% to 42%.

    Moreover, half of it is from Canada, and Mexico. In fact, the dependence on external sources is now about 21% relative to the need.

    Last complete energy independence in the United States was only during the WWII, when nothing was imported, domestic demand was fully covered with internal production.

    But what has happened now that the United States has reduced its external dependency on energy?

    There are reasons to believe that preparations are under way to ensure that in the future may be, to put it mildly, serious problems with world’s energy supplies – either security-related or financial.

  82. FincaInTheMountains December 31, 2015 at 5:58 am #

    Hillary Clinton: Great nations need organizing principles, and Don’t do stupid shit is not an organizing principle

    She was responding to a question about one of the administration infamous catchphrases – Don’t do stupid shit – which Obama staffers reportedly use privately to describe their foreign policy.

    In the interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for The Atlantic, Clinton distanced herself from her former boss and that philosophy.

  83. BackRowHeckler December 31, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    Jeesh, John Howard?

    A red herring? Just some dude yankin’ our chain, having some fun? At least the posts are not as long as Old/999 (remember him?) which went on forever, saying nothing at all.

    A new year coming up, should be interesting.

    Happy New Year, CFNers!

    Strange, on BBC America, segments on how Europe is not doing enough to accommodate Muslim immigrants (in the millions now), in the same broadcast reporting New Year celebrations cancelled in European capitols because of terrorist fears, perpetrated by Muslims.

    brh

    brh

    • ozone December 31, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      BRH,
      Have a healthy New Year!

      Since everything is set to be iffy/dicey in the coming year, all blogs are going to be required to contain *more* postings of an inconsequential/frivolous/distracting nature to “duh-scuss”, so that we need not concentrate on the rogue elephants in the house that are proceeding to stomp it to splinters.
      …It’s shaping up to be tons of fun, so keep your head down, your powder dry, and your popcorn and brew supply well-stocked!

      “…the future’s so bright, I gotta wear sunglasses…”

      • Being There December 31, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

        Ozone, I don’t think sunglasses are gonna do the trick, but hazmat suits may be more like it.

        BT

    • John Howard December 31, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

      Our society’s problem is that we are lost in rapture of techno narcissism. We can shake society back to reality by ruling out male pregnancy and transgender/same sex procreation and voiding same sex marriage and protecting the reproduction rights of marriage.

      The rates of depression and suicide and obesity and opioids have all spiked since gay marriage was introduced in 2004. Men are now officially useless, but we now have a right to be pregnant, equal to our right to be a father.

      The Natural Marriage and Reproduction Act is going to be passed and signed into law, in spite of CFN’s paralyzing techno rapture.

  84. BackRowHeckler December 31, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Check this out:

    heyjackass.com

    in Chicago, in the heartland, where, in 2016, it looks to be the place where it all goes down.

    Clearly, The Day of the Hyena is at hand!

    brh

    • Sticks-of-TNT December 31, 2015 at 8:02 am #

      Here’s the link (worth the visit):

      heyjackass.com/

      • Reagan December 31, 2015 at 10:20 am #

        Is this the “Great Society” as envisioned by the politicians?

    • nsa December 31, 2015 at 11:26 am #

      The good news: close to 500 chicago pavement chimps shot each other to death in 2015 (remember to hold the glock sideways ghetto style) costing the taxpayer only a $1000 ride to the morgue. The bad news: another 3000 concrete monkeys survived being shot costing the suffering taxpayer some $50,000 each in medical services.
      Pull the white cops…home rule for the homies.

  85. volodya December 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    Being There,

    I understand what you’re saying, that the oligarch agenda has multiple dimensions that can be grouped under the term “Globalization”. As for myself, my great peeve is with the offshoring end of it.

    My problem with the term is the “truthinesslessness” (as Kunstler might say) with which the term is used. Not by yourself of course, because you see the oligarch agenda for what it is, in all its destructiveness.

    There are others, that is, oligarchs and their shills, that use the word to obscure what’s really happening, which is a concerted effort by a miniscule number of people to aggregate wealth and power within their own ranks. These people use “globalization” to mischaracterize the process as impersonal and natural and inevitable, like the circling of the Earth around the Sun, or the passage of time.

    Of course, it’s not an impersonal process, nor is it inevitable, but rather it’s a process that’s directed through the subversion of governing institutions of the world’s advanced economies.

    There’s no “making peace” with globalization and its numerous aspects even if we resign ourselves to it, because at its core, globalization can’t work. There’s no making it work, not via monetary flim-flammery, nor government coercion by allegedly democratic countries nor shit-hole authoritarian regimes.

    The end of the road with this process we can glimpse every day, if we see things for what they are, in the creak and groan of the foundations of the world financial system that can’t live with the contradictions built into this “globalization”.

    Best of luck to you and yours in the New Year.

    • Being There December 31, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

      volodya,
      Indeed, the TINA, (there is no alternative—thank you Margaret Thatcher) is a BIG LIE about inevitability, of course it’s a choice that a few people made to redistribute wealth upward and destroy the concept of the modern nation state…..glad you get it, sorry I doubted you. There is no one part that makes me madder than all the rest—it’s all a destruction and sadly defies nature at its core in every way.

      I think it’s worse than national communism which is bad enough. When I was a young thing, I used to say we want your money, the Soviets want you on a cellular level—-now I think we traded places.

      On that cheery note, I wish you the best in the New Year as well.

      ps truthiness was from Steve Colbert.

  86. FincaInTheMountains December 31, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    West managed to win the Cold War against the Soviet Union by signing a tactical alliance with the Islamists of Osama bin Laden. They fought in Afghanistan with the Soviet Union, with the technical, diplomatic and informational support of the US, the UK and all-around English-speaking world.

    After the fall of the Soviet Union, it became clear that the alliance with the Islamists was not tactical, but strategic, and the war in Afghanistan has spilled over to Yugoslavia, Central Asia, Chechnya, Western China, the Greater Middle East, North Africa and now everywhere else.

    And everywhere the West supported the Islamists, despite the fact that some of them declared war on the United States and the Western world. Nevertheless, part of the Western elites apparently continued to believe that the benefits for the United States from the destruction of states, which could create an anti-American coalition are a lot more than losses from anti-American actions of figures such as Osama bin Laden, who reminded the West that it will not escape islamization by organizing attacks of 11 September.

    And then it turned out that elite occupied with this accounting somehow forgot about the American people, who were seriously hurt by events on September 11, and set out to return the favor to the Islamists in a serious way.

    The Americans decided that since the Islamists want Jihad, you should not deny them this pleasure. There is an inherent tension between the American people who believe the Islamist are the enemies, and the elites who believe that only a minority could understand all the geopolitical advantages of cooperation with the Islamists.

    First, the elite tried to exploit the problem, and all sorts of scum like Michael Moore staged political shows on the bones of 911 victims, directed against US President Bush.

    Then they tried to sweep the problem under the rug and just ignore it, like recently when American soldiers began to publish their photos with the face disguised by inscription talking about the unwillingness to fight on the side of al-Qaida, they said that these fake pictures.

    http://www.offthegridnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/military-signs-Syrian-Civil-War-400×358.jpg

    But on 11 September, 2013 it all came to an end – you can’t declare a million bikers ride to Washington a fake.

    youtube.com/watch?v=6wrW_YJGjNo

  87. Buck Stud December 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    I wonder how many CFN readers are going to take up blacksmithing, shoe making or similar ‘by hand’ trades in the next year? I might finally take up an offer from a truly great blacksmith and learn how to make my own carving chisels, along with reworking some very old antique tools whose temper is long gone because they were not sharpened properly on a slow turning water stone or hand stones. Of course, there are only so many hours in the day and all of this takes time and money for lessons (if one is paying for that) along with required supplies and tools. And of course, the impetus and energy to do so.

    I have been noticing more and more ‘by hand ‘ types out there. They do lay low however, and many of them are in their late twenties to early forties. Some of them remind one of “Rainbow Family” types or “Burning Man” participants: a updated version of old hippies, IOW.

    I do admire their spirit and fortitude in trying keep the ‘made by hand’ flame burning, because let’s face it, our culture hardly encourages this sort of path. And not a few of them learned without that master mentor as in the linked clip:

    youtube.com/watch?v=95ND_fwX2fM

    • John Howard December 31, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

      Children should be “made by hand” so to speak. And only after taking one another’s hand in marriage.

      We should rule out making people any way other than joining a sperm of a man and an egg of a woman, and gestating in a woman’s womb.

      The source of Liberty is that we are all created equal, which is as the offspring of a man and woman. We have to preserve that in principle to preserve liberty in principle.

      • elysianfield December 31, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

        “The source of Liberty is that we are all created equal,”

        John,
        Now, you know that that statement is ridiculous on its face. How are all men and/or women equal?

        • John Howard January 1, 2016 at 2:08 am #

          By all being natural offspring of a man and a woman.

          • elysianfield January 1, 2016 at 11:31 am #

            John,
            No, natural offspring are anything but “equal”…the term “equal” does not apply in even the most vague sense. To be a product of the human biological imperative does not even suggest survival, let alone equality.

          • Janos Skorenzy January 1, 2016 at 11:30 pm #

            Equality doesn’t exist in nature, John. That’s the basis of all theories of evolution. Differences exist, and some are more advantageous than others. Those so endowed live to pass on more of their genes than the others.

            Stop being such a one trick pony. Even in my worst/best days of racial preaching, I could branch out and talk about other things. You take all things and try to bring it back to the one. Though I must admit I can do that to and sometimes do.

            Equality is a legal, mathematical, and spiritual abstraction. All men have equal rights for example. Or all creatures have Buddha nature. Or a+b=b+a

          • John Howard January 2, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

            The equality that exists is in how we were created, which is, as natural offspring of a man and a woman. That fact is the basis of rights and liberty.

            If we create some people in a different way, we will no longer be created equal, but rather some of us will be commercial products made to order, which reduces all of us to our material bodies and destroys our dignity and soul.

            Why do you guys all want transgender reproduction and gay marriage so bad? It’ll be super expensive and pointless, and crushes our spirits.

    • BackRowHeckler January 1, 2016 at 10:08 am #

      We have some blacksmith hobbyists around, Buck, turn up at local fairs and the like. Last summer I was at the Governors Horse Guard picking up a load of manure and there was this Gentleman shoeing horses, explained to me farrier work was an extension of blacksmithing and indeed he partially made his living fashioning ornaments out of iron and selling them out of his shop.

      It seems like most of the old time crafts, such as they are, if they’re kept going at all, its artists like yourself keeping the flame alive. Ozone mentioned he’s brewing up his own ale at his spread there in W Mass., which seems like a pretty cool hobby, at the same time furthering the ‘made by hand’ ethic.

      brh

  88. Florida Power December 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    Catching up here…
    Elysianfield wrote

    “The problem is not technology: it is inappropriate technology ”

    There is no inappropriate technology…I’m sure you meant “inappropriate use of technology….

    This excited WPA who ignored the sense of the above for the most part and created an impressive list. Strip Mining? A Technology? I think the shovel, writ large, is the technology. Strip mining is the use.

    The only truly inappropriate technology I can think of is contained or unconfined nuclear fission. Regarding the generation of electrical power, contained fission is, as Einstein was reputed to have said, “a hell of a way to boil water.” With regard to unconfined fission or fusion weaponry, Paul Craig Roberts, also mentioned above, points out that a single ICBM in the Russian arsenal can turn the entire state of New York into a cinder. They have lots of these, and the neo-cons embedded in State and Defense seem heel-bent on poking Russia until somebody or some system actually breaks.

    Here’s a fun app to help with planning:
    nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

    Janos got it right when he said we should play with the atom when we go into space. Fukushima continues to burn. The nuclear-armed submarines continue their patrols. Madness.

    Happy New Year, Ya’ll. I hope.

    • elysianfield December 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      Something to chew on in the new year.

      I had a friend, now dead, named Bob. Bob was a brilliant scientist, both commercially and in his chosen vocation (optics). He was the co-inventor of second-generation night vision technology, and he owned THE patent on light-darkening glasses, among other. I worked with Bob on a start-up company in the early 90’s, where we were trying (unsuccessfully) to develop room-temperature thermal imaging. Bob had cancer, and he had an unusual theory involving the disease. Bob felt that Cancer could be a superior life form that had yet to learn how to exist without killing its host. Off the wall, certainly, but I, at times, do think about it, almost 25 years later. Bob did not die of cancer…he died in a freak ballooning accident.

    • John Howard December 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      Surely enabling people to reproduce as if they were born the other sex is an inappropriate use of technology.

      • elysianfield December 31, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

        John,
        It is not an inappropriate technology if the human race required it to survive…and don’t call me Shirley…

        • Sticks-of-TNT December 31, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

          Funny!

          A lot of great lines in that ‘Airplane!’ movie–“A hospital, what is it?”

        • John Howard January 1, 2016 at 1:47 am #

          and there aren’t any circumstances that it would, so it is an inappropriate technology.

          • elysianfield January 1, 2016 at 11:24 am #

            “and there aren’t any circumstances”

            Currently….

          • John Howard January 1, 2016 at 11:19 pm #

            There are no possible scenarios that would make transgender reproduction an appropriate use of technology.

            What are you thinking of? And why would male pregnancy or female sperm be a better solution than preserving natural reproduction?

          • elysianfield January 2, 2016 at 11:05 am #

            “There are no possible scenarios”

            Nuclear/ Neutron war.
            Pandemic virus that left women sterile.

          • John Howard January 3, 2016 at 11:02 am #

            A pandemic virus that left women sterile? Why would it be any easier to transplant a uterus in a man than into a sterile woman?

            At any rate, you are ignoring that it is proceeding ahead with the goal of enabling men to be pregnant just to experience pregnancy, not to preserve the human race.

            And I question your techno narcissistic belief that we have some kind of moral imperative to keep the human race going for its own sake. it’s the same belief that fuels the Mars delusion. We have a moral obligation to preserve people’s rights and health and environment.

      • elysianfield January 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

        John,
        Ever hear of an ectopic pregnancy? I did, almost 50 years ago.

        The biological imperative is not of my choice, nor is it cultural. It is hardwired into our, and all other living things, DNA. Moral rights? Now that is cultural. I am not a techno-narcissist, just educated.

  89. Pucker December 31, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    Have the lunatics taken over the asylum?

    To answer this question, you have to determine who are the lunatics? (See the movie “One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest”.

  90. Pucker December 31, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    George W. Bush, Jr. probably loves the new Star Wars movie. The Little Fucker probably thinks that he’s got “The Force”. My 14 year old nephew-in-law told me last week that he’s got “The Force”. I suggested to my sister-in-law that we tell him that he’s deluded and that he doesn’t have “The Force”. She declined preferring to let him persist in his delusion.

  91. Pucker December 31, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    In your view, why has the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s seemingly descended into totalitarianism?

    • elysianfield January 1, 2016 at 11:50 am #

      Puck,
      Could it be a loss of perspective? Look at South Africa today, a veritable paradise. What did the Boers know? When did they forget the reasons for their social structure…apartheid? Were there brilliant men that developed and ran apartheid South Africa? No doubt. Did they change their social structure as a result of careful deliberation, observation, and humanistic considerations? No.

      Our own system of Apartheid resulted in a civil, but truly unfair system where minorities were “kept in their place”. Is there a corollary between South Africa’s experience and our own?

      Trayvon Martin! Steven Biko!

      • Janos Skorenzy January 3, 2016 at 1:41 am #

        Right. South Africa worked because of apartheid. Then you imply that our Country will work without it. C’mon just tell the it straight not slant. Emily Dickson was a great poet, one to be crowned and driven out of the City.

        • elysianfield January 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

          “you imply that our Country will work without it. ”

          Janos,
          On the contrary, I intimated no such thing. Call both societies a grand experiment that failed, or is failing, I was noting a parallel between our society and theirs, I made no value judgments…and would be loathe to do so…it would be considered “impolitic”.

          “I need to maintain my political viability…” William Jefferson Clinton

  92. Pucker December 31, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

    I like it when people monitor what I do. I like it when strangers surreptitiously watch me and listen in to my private conversations. I like it so much that I willfully upload all of my personal information onto Facebook.

  93. FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 4:00 am #

    Rumors of impending American demise are “slightly exaggerated”

    With the advent of the presidency of Barack Obama, United States have adopted a new economic strategy: the country begins to implement policies of reindustrialization.

    First of all, should be noted the policy of energy independence of the country, adopted by the current US president. In fact, Obama’s energy program is resting on three pillars:

    1) Conversion of US from net importer of oil and gas into the energy surplus country: United States has now overtaken Saudi Arabia in the production of oil and bypassed Russia by the volume of natural gas; American began to position itself as one of the largest exporters of energy, with both coal and oil and oil products, and the Obama’s administration is considering the possibility of country entering the LNG and unprocessed oil markets

    2) Increase energy efficiency in all sectors of the American economy: in 2007 – 2013 energy demand in the United States decreased by 5%, while the country’s GDP increased by 6%; at the same time the role of natural gas is growing in the US energy balance

    3) Implement the policy of innovative development of the fuel and energy complex of the country today, Americans firmly hold the top spot in the world ranking of expenditures on civilian R&D in energy – they account for 1/3 of the world’s expenditures for these purposes. In addition, the United States shares with Japan the lead in spending on R&D in renewable and nuclear energy, and ranks second in the world for categories such as “energy technology” and “technology for environmental protection and sustainable economy.”

    Further referring to the outstanding achievements of Chinese economy, we should not forget that each additional percentage point its GDP growth in the end results in improving the welfare of the average Chinese: the greater the economic growth of the China is achieved, the higher the level of the average wage in the country.

    That is, no matter how paradoxical it may sound, but the Chinese have their own economic successes chipping away on the very foundation on which they sit – cheap labor, thus depriving themselves of their main competitive advantage

    Only in the period from 2006 to 2013, the share of the average wage of Chinese workers to average earnings of American industrial worker rose by 2.7 times from 5.9% to 16.1%!

    All this leads to a logical result: US multinationals little by little start to return manufacturing to their historical homeland. According to the annual survey by the “Boston Consulting Group”, out of 252 surveyed managers of American IT-vendors with revenues of more than $1 billion, more than half (54%) are considering transfer of production capacity from China to the United States. Although in comparison with the survey from 2013, in 2014 this figure has remains unchanged, the number of managers who have already engaged in transferring back to the United States increased by 20%, reaching thus 16% of the respondents!

    However, the dynamics of the average wage, as opposed to the cheapest energy is only one factor to take into account when deciding on the transfer of the business back to the States, but not the key.

    Still, we must understand that re-industrialization of the United States involves both the creation of new enterprises in the US, and transfer of businesses from the outside, but not all, but only top-of-the-line high-tech companies!

    So, brh, you just keep dismantling and ship away that old junk of manufacturing, America is busy building new, state-of-the-art enterprises.

  94. FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 4:58 am #

    Collapse of the shale oil in US? Not so fast, pal…

    Why, despite the collapse in oil prices and despite the massive bankruptcy of oil companies, oil production in the US is not only not declining, but even growing? When in December 2014 the US produced 9,127,000 barrels per day, the last week in December of 2015 it produced more oil – 9,176,000 barrels per day.

    Let’s take a look at example of the bankruptcy of one of the oil company in the United States. A small oil company New Gulf Resources (www.newgulfresources.com) with 88 wells and 55 employees filed for bankruptcy on Monday. This company is relatively new – emerged in 2011. In May 2014, during the peak of oil prices, they raised $500 million dollars and bought/rented large tracts of land in Texas. Naturally, after oil prices fell to $40, they can not pay the debts, and as a result they have filed for bankruptcy.

    What happens during a bankruptcy? Hang the padlock on the building of the company, and all go home? Nothing like that. They entered into an agreement with creditors, lenders exchange their debentures for shares of the company and the lenders give the company an additional $125 million. Of course, shareholders and creditors of the company lost a lot of money on this. But they are rich, and they are not going to the poor house over it.

    Well, we can look at the financial statements of the company. The financial data of the company is available here:

    cases.primeclerk.com/newgulf/Home-DocketInfo

    The company produces about 4,000 barrels of oil a day, and receives roughly $11 million per quarter. Operating expenses are about $4 million per quarter. Overhead costs about $3 million per quarter. On the land rent they spend about $2 million per quarter. Total, at a price of $40 oil and very low gas prices, the company covers its costs and the cost of land lease and earns about $2 million.

    However, they are not going to stop there. They are going in 2016 and 2017 invest another $80 million in the development (and lenders give them money for it) to increase production and profits. And this is just one of the companies of hundreds of such companies. Even at a price of $40 per barrel more drilling and exploration is happening in United States than in other countries. And 10 years are needed to deplete current operating wells.

  95. FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 9:35 am #

    The current global economic crisis is not due to the catastrophic deterioration of the international situation or to any objective trends in capitalist economy, or to “reached limits of the technosphere”.

    For example, the dot-com boom “happened” during the presidency of Hillary and Bill Clinton, and the Dow Jones index then rose 5 times in 4 years (i.e. by 400%, although the real economy had been growing at 3-4% per year), making the FED printing press to provide increased cash equivalent to fraudulently inflated values of US dot-com companies.

    That gave rise to a bubble of mortgage lending when dot-com businesses collapsed and the “extra” dollars streamed into the real estate.

    Therefore, it was the Clinton administration (and now it should be clear who is the real man and the president in the family) who was responsible for the consequences of the madness of the printing press, which, combined with bombed Serbia and creation of Kosovo Islamist enclave in Europe (which looks especially good in terms of “Charly Ebdo” murdered cartoonists, wherever they happen to be right now), does not allow them to hope for popularity in their country.

    We are talking 20 to 30 trillion “empty” dollars floating around in the financial system that need to be disposed of before any real recovery could take hold.

    Big question – who is going to pay for it now?

    • nsa January 1, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      If you are not a parasite i.e. actually work for a living and handle us dollars….to spot the sucker just look in a mirror.

    • FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

      Currently Obama’s FinControl constructed dams in front of enormous reservoirs of dollars splashing around the world financial system using their NSA supercomputers, not letting them spill out and ruin the entire system. Say some greedy banksters rushing to buy up huge swaths of Brazilian real estate and starting a panic.

      Every relevant transaction is tracked and could be halted before it goes through. Something NSA is doing for the good of the humanity.

  96. Buck Stud January 1, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    “2) Increase energy efficiency in all sectors of the American economy: in 2007 – 2013 energy demand in the United States decreased by 5%, while the country’s GDP increased by 6%; at the same time the role of natural gas is growing in the US energy balance”–Fincal

    This is not going to be economically painless for Main Street. For example I was talking to a heating dude and he told me that after a certain date the Govt will mandate that furnaces be of a certain efficiency. At that point, replacement parts will be available only for the next ten years. So a person, if they don’t want to replace there current furnace with one that will be nearly twice as expensive, might want to think about stocking up on replacement parts. Ditto for water heaters. But after ten years those parts will become far more scarce.

    So asked the heating dude, “but won’t the efficiency of the new furnace pay for itself, thus offsetting the cost of the far more expensive new furnace”? He laughed and said no, the heating companies will simply raise their prices.

    Imagine the shock, and not to mention the possible inability to afford a new furnace. A person thinks they can replace their old furnace for 3 grand only to discover it will now cost 6 grand. They weren’t paying close attention during the daily grind of life and now they discover it’s pay for a new furnace and possibly have to let other bills/obligations slide. Any way you slice it, more ominous rumblings in the structure of society.

    • FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 11:43 am #

      “He laughed and said no, the heating companies will simply raise their prices” — Buck

      They will also raise the prices for old, inefficient furnaces and that would be double pain. It is not exactly about the money, but absolutely necessary more efficient use of resources and that’s the way of life.

      The Insane Amount of Gas Americans Burn Compared to the Rest of the World

      theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/the-insane-amount-of-gas-americans-burn-compared-to-the-res…

      • Buck Stud January 1, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

        Yes, the economics are coercive. My only point is this: the “transition” will be a rumble for some. And of course, transition to what–the same old, same old?

        Incidentally, you have been posting some messages contrary to this site’s overall message but I do enjoy the variety and the contradiction. For example, that the U.S. is finished as a manufacturing entity–a ridiculous exaggeration.

        And yet, to echo JHK, take a ride through the small Mid West towns or other areas of the country, Unemployment and drug use is rampant and out-of-control. And it affects all ethnic groups. Perhaps you’ve never been through some of these towns sprinkled across America but the hopelessness is incredibly depressing. IOW, the notion that “American Manufacturing” is going to somehow re-emerge and save these towns and employ the these people is utter fantasy.

        Just imagine legions of “Jesse Pinkman’s” strung out on meth and with no hope for viable employment in every state and in every town. And increasing in numbers. But as some in denial proclaim, let them rise by their own bootstraps and begin selling wares on EBay etc. Yeah right.

        • FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

          Buck, you’re right – I’ve never taken a ride through the small Mid West towns, may be just passing through while driving from Chicago to Omaha on highway 80.

          I’m more of a big city boy and was always working for the big hi-tech companies, except for short period when I was trading on the black market to make a more decent living than Soviet engineering salary would allow. (Profitable, but risky!)

          So I try to post mostly on topics that I think I have more or less grip on and researched.

          I hope that with overall improving of Nation’s economy people living in small towns will have more opportunities to express themselves productively in some form of gainful employment, however I am pretty sure that they’ll have to be willing to learn new skills.

          In my opinion the main cause of the current global economic Depression is overproduction of dollars and the only opportunity to overcome this crisis in a relatively peaceful way is the implementation of infrastructural projects on a very large, maybe even planetary scale. Projects that could tide up 20 trillion dollars and guide the development of the world economy in a different direction.

          By the way, from my Russian friends – the current war has already cost Russians about a third of their living standards.

          Cheers!

        • FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

          How you could solve anything right now since no matter what you produce or create it could be swallowed by that ocean of money that was printed into the pockets of f*king thieves and swindlers.

          • FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

            March 30, 2008
            Bridge-building Vladimir Putin wants tunnel to US

            The 64-mile tunnel would run under the Bering Strait between Chukotka, in the Russian far east, and Alaska; the cost is estimated at 33 billion.

            And please, do not tell me that it’s all about scenario of that Hollywood flick “Red Dawn”.

          • elysianfield January 2, 2016 at 11:10 am #

            Finc,
            They come for our Coca Cola and Twinkies?

  97. FincaInTheMountains January 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    Famous Russian Horse Trio “Troika”

    neizvestniy-geniy.ru/images/works/photo/2013/01/822853_1.jpg

    old-kursk.ru/book/zemlaki/pic/gruzin.jpg

  98. Pucker January 1, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    I’m now reading a book about the Neocons. They’re basically the New York children of Jewish emigres who supplanted Judaism with secular Marxism (Trotskyists). They’re Utopians—very dangerous. US foreign policy needs to return to the realpolitik of Kissinger before the Neocons destroy the US. Never trust anyone who says that he/she wants to create a Utopia (Political Correctness) as the end is always tragic, literally piles of human skulls.

    • Janos Skorenzy January 1, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

      Kissinger believed the same kinds of things, but he was just a few decades ahead of the Neocons and in the mainstream. He was to Nixon what Bernard Baruch was to Roosevelt – his handler. The Neocon’s set out to transform Conservatism into something compatible with Globalism as opposed to Nationalism. Obviously they succeeded. Thus they approach the goal from the Right while the Communist approach from the Left and the Kissingers from the Centre.

    • malthuss January 1, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

      I just saw a list at You Tube of the many jewish [and I assume leftist] people in BHO administration, from Yellen on down.

  99. Pucker January 1, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    Maybe I should create a fake Facebook page? Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have their Facebook pages. Mr. Hyde’s Facebook page gets more hits from women although Dr. Jekyll gets more marriage proposals.

  100. MisterDarling January 2, 2016 at 12:44 am #

    Well *Hello* CFN!

    After a week of protracted ‘stakeholder management’ I’ve finally got some time to respond.

    Mister Kunstler places this paragraph at the center of his last weekly installment for 2015:

    “News flash: we’re not going Mars. Notwithstanding the accolades for Ridley Scott’s neatly-rationalized fantasy, The Martian (based on Andy Weir’s novel), any human journey to the red planet would be a one-way trip. Anyway, all that begs the question: why are we so eager to journey to a dead planet with none of the elements necessary for human life when we can’t seem to manage human life on a planet superbly equipped to support us?”-J H K.

    And my first thought was: yes, but the crazy thing is we *could* have done all those things – and more. Let us indulge for a moment in some speculative thinking;

    IF we had burned half as much fossil fuel on the way to developing the technology we needed to start our first space programs (various), and IF we had applied some basic risk management regarding nuclear fission (never letting it get beyond the research and ‘black-lab’ stage), THEN we would have arrived at the place we are now – without several different types of civilization-killing doom hanging over our heads – decades sooner. In fact, we would have developed a truly game-changing space-flight technology like this:

    nasaspaceflight.com/2015/04/evaluating-nasas-futuristic-em-drive/

    – – or something similar [*] much earlier, and we’d be quietly, sensibly, profitably and prosperously exploiting the mineral and energy riches beyond our gravity well right now…

    BUT OF COURSE, as soon as we read the above we’re confronted with how utterly absurd it is to imagine that something like that could happen. It’s just not the way things go or have ever gone on this version of planet Earth, with this version of Humanity.

    Misters Einstein & Rosen posited (and supported, mathematically) the theory that there are infinite parallel universes. Given that there might be “infinite” parallel universes, some of them will simply be better off than ours, and on those other more fortunate universes they’re living the dream of ‘The Final Frontier’ without wrecking their planet and themselves in the bargain. [**]

    Why? Well maybe their primordial hominid ancestors were just a little more ‘bonobo’ and that much less ‘chimpanzee’, a little more interested in the universe and enjoying being alive in it for it’s own sake, a little less fixated on themselves and their ‘needs’ de-jour, a lot more comfortable in their own skin, and a lot less tormented by entrenched insecurities, etc. … Who knows? But whatever they are we aren’t, because we have very obviously missed our moment and “screwed the pooch” (in the parlance of ‘The Right Stuff” era). If that weren’t true we would be discussing the events of the day in a completely different way.

    So now what? Planning accordingly and making the best of what’s left seems reasonable, right?

    Cheers!

    — — —

    [*] This appears to be something discovered completely by accident – as most the great breakthroughs are. It appears to be a robust space-propulsion system that does not need reaction-mass. If this is true then it upends the space-propulsion game as we currently play it.

    The primary problem with conventional rockets is that they have to haul the weight of the fuel they burn. If you don’t need to haul that fuel all the way to the destination & back, trip times become incredibly short.

    [**] My point is that it is not ‘inevitable’ that things wind up the way they did here. The way technologies are used – and how much – is the determinant. Yes, there are some technologies that are based on very dumb ideas and therefore ‘bad’ technology… In that case we should avoid using them.

    • elysianfield January 2, 2016 at 11:35 am #

      “Yes, there are some technologies that are based on very dumb ideas and therefore ‘bad’ technology… In that case we should avoid using them.”

      Examples, please….

  101. wpa_ccc January 2, 2016 at 2:08 am #

    TRUMP IN VIDEO HELPS WITH TERRORIST RECRUITMENT

    A clip of Donald Trump is featured in a new recruitment video released by Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group based in Somalia.

    The GOP presidential candidate is shown discussing his plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.

    Before Trump’s appearance in the nearly 52-minute video, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike, is shown lecturing: “Muslims of the West, take heed and learn from the lessons of history. There are ominous clouds gathering in your horizon. Yesterday, America was a land of slavery, segregation, lynching and Ku Klux Klan. And tomorrow, it will be a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps.”

    Trump then appears in a clip from a stump speech, saying, “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the [censored] is going on.” The crowd enthusiastically cheers Trump’s words.

  102. MisterDarling January 2, 2016 at 2:12 am #

    @ TPTB-USA, SwmnGuy, DurangoKid, Frankiti, Sauerkraut, Being There, Finca in the Mountains, Volodya & BackRowHeckler:

    I’ve seen a bushel of interesting posts from you-all this week. My responses:

    Re | “swmnguy, if you take one more step back, I think you will about have it figured-out… You see, not only is Finance a man made construct, but the general blueprint for life, that US citizens have been conditioned to believe is a constant, is just a facade, being more akin to the game of Monopoly… Great civilizations require an equitable framework that gains the acceptance of the majority, and is the focus of attention so as to “pull the cart” to the destination in the most efficient manner.”-TPTB-USA

    We see a lot of criticism of social systems without demonstrated understanding of inherent structural strengths, weaknesses and how they go wrong within said systems. People seem to think that maintaining a good level of social equity is ornamental and not structural. Your post digs right into exactly WHY it isn’t wise to create and expand imbalances. Thank You.

    “Finance Capitalism used to blow up every 10-20 years. Rather than try to manage the explosive re-sets, the Elites decided to try to prevent them. The trouble was, safeguards that protected the system put limits on extreme wealth. Once the living memory of the unpleasantness of Capitalism’s periodic meltdowns faded, the Elites junked the safeguards. Finance Capitalism took almost no time to start blowing up again.”-swmnguy.

    As a number of authors have pointed out this process of ‘reset’ goes all the way back to ancient Sumeria. It’s not technologically dependent, it’s inherent in the debt-creation/capital-rationing process. It is recorded that when ancient Mesopotamian rulers took the throne they declared a mass-cancellation of debts accrued during the previous rulers reign… And these were not politically ‘left-leaning’ people, so you can bet that they did it for one simple reason: they knew (or their people did) that it was good business.

    “It seems to me that part, and I mean a large part, of the attraction of technology is that it’s relatively easy to solve technological problems compared to political problems. It’s far easier to develop a new I-phone app and spread it among the unwashed hordes than deliver low cost health care to that same cohort. We always seem to get hamstrung by that tiny fraction of the 1% for whom millions of dollars in annual compensation still isn’t enough. If you want to fix agriculture you’re up against ADM. If you want to fix foreign policy you’re up against Lockheed-Martin. If you want to fix healthcare you’re up against Big Pharma and the AMA. It comes down to this. Data trumps theory and doctrine trumps data. Science is much easier to manage than societies. Does this doom us to another impending Dark Age? Looks like.”-DurangoKid

    Particularly clear & succinct. I like your writing style, ‘-kid’…

    😉

    “An omnipotent being does not create a testing ground to prove to itself that what it already knows will happen will happen. The entire premise is so ludicrous it does not deserve discussion. But middle eastern religion pollutes the brain in this way.”-Frankiti.

    “The death of western civilization started thousands of years ago with an invasion of the minds of occidental man. It brought dark ages and endless war, all in the name of a fictional king from the levant. It still poisons.”-Frankiti.

    Have you read or listened to Joseph Campbell? He had some poignant things to say about “desert religions” in general and Near Eastern traditions in particular. One idea of his that stuck with me was his compare and contrast between Job and the heroic figures of Ancient Greece. . .

    😉

    “The West’s dominant religion is Finance.
    Really, what does a financier do? He signs a piece of paper. He might as well make a mystic sign. The gesture has the same significance: blessing by a higher power.
    And we are, mostly, in thrall to that irrationality, to the point where we are ready to commit mass suicide rather than think for ourselves.”-sauerkraut.

    Truer words never spoke.

    “Everyone thinks they can control the rabble, but history shows that it’s not always the case once the anger crosses the rubicon. I see a very troubling future for the former superpower and its going to get messy. All those guns, all those ideological distortions —-hmmm can’t put them back in the box once they’ve been encouraged. Sorta like the religious extremists we use to fight proxy wars for us…..
    Why do we keep doing the same thing we know will blow up in our faces?”-Being There.

    And every power-elite thinks that they’ll always be in control of what “the rabble” knows… While they gradually let their mechanisms of control fall apart. Then *One Day*, The Mask Slips…

    The structural problem with very small groups of decision-makers is that the talent pool for their successors is necessarily and progressively more disconnected and less able with each generation. It’s only a matter of time. Basically, setting up a fixed oligarchy or hereditary aristocracy is like deciding to ‘get high’ as an organization by bleeding out.

    😉

    “A patent only lasts 20 years.”
    With bought and paid for judges how long will this legal assumption last? For example (and granted, not the 20 year law ), Viagra’s patent, originally scheduled to expire in late March of 2012, has been extended to April of 2020…. Funny how that works, And why did Pfizer file suit to retain patent rights in a particular jurisdictional court? did they ‘have a hunch’ that a certain judge might rule in their favor?”-Buck Stud.

    It’s amazing what a rich corporation can do that a person can’t. In our post-Citizens United era corporations are the only entities that interact with government on a level playing field. In a number of ways they are more ‘real’ and respected than we are as private citizens. All the real players know that. Why do think that the __Hells Angels__ got incorporated?

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hells_Angels

    😉

    “You guys go ahead and “reset yourself to a lower scale of technological activity”.
    Just don’t forget to learn some Chinese or Russian while you’re at that.”-FitM.

    That’s a funny comment FitM. Maybe there should have been a Sino-Russian trading-post in the post-collapse Albany of ‘World Made by Hand’?

    One of the holes in the ‘Union Grove/World-Made-By-Hand’ scenario is: what’s the rest of the world doing while America melts down? Do you actually think that everyone everywhere melts down the same way at the same time? But that question is addressed somewhat, subsequently.

    “Oh, and they own a Prius. That counts for something doesn’t it?”-Volodya.

    I’m always interested in how people rationalize what they do and why they do it. Self-serving sophistry is funny. Even psychopathic drug lords have explanations for why what they do is ‘really all for the best’ for the same reasons you discussed, and more. People are a freaking hoot!

    “Rockefellers? Rothschilds?
    How much power and influence do these old families still have? It’s not 1913 anymore after all.”-BRH.

    Well, the Rothschilds get **invited** to spend their honeymoons in the White House (Evelyn Robert elected to spend one night there – just to be gracious)… Does that sound like they would ever have a problem gaining political ‘access’ to you?

    It might as well be 1913.

    “So asked the heating dude, “but won’t the efficiency of the new furnace pay for itself, thus offsetting the cost of the far more expensive new furnace”? He laughed and said no, the heating companies will simply raise their prices.”-Buck Stud.

    This is a neat way to illustrate the futility of trying to ‘improve’ and ‘progress’ in any meaningful way when economic predation is incentivized as much as it is. Eventually though, there’s nothing left to eat and then ‘nature’ really takes it’s course…

    Cheers!

    • Being There January 2, 2016 at 11:33 am #

      And Cheers to you too, Mr. Darling……

      You’ve managed to summarize this weeks threat very well, thanks for the feedback.

      To everyone else, Happy 2016.

      I will be returning to my crazy work schedule after tomorrow, so it’s been fun coming back and putting in my two cents worth of meaningless knowledge, but then again isn’t it all….

      • Being There January 2, 2016 at 11:36 am #

        Thread, not threat, must’a been a Freudian schlip….
        I’m so spoiled by FB that allows me to edit what I’ve written so I can either add a thought or fix a typo…..this is more pure. What you write is what you get even if its a big mistake….oh well.

  103. MisterDarling January 2, 2016 at 2:43 am #

    @ Pucker:

    “I’m now reading a book about the Neocons. They’re basically the New York children of Jewish emigres who supplanted Judaism with secular Marxism (Trotskyists). They’re Utopians—very dangerous. . . Never trust anyone who says that he/she wants to create a Utopia (Political Correctness) as the end is always tragic, literally piles of human skulls.”-puck.

    Hello! That’s an interesting can of worms you opened up there. If you’re in the mood for real-life intrigue consider connecting Roman Polanski’s excellent film ‘The Ghost Writer’ [*], actress Olivia Williams (who stars in it), Radislaw Sikorski (former Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Minister of Defense), journalist Anne Applebaum (a neocon embedded at Slate Magazine) and the sudden decision to seize/detain Mr. Polanski in Switzerland just before the movie premiered in 2010.

    Go ahead, it’s juicy.

    Cheers!

    — — —

    [*] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ghost_Writer_(film)

    • BackRowHeckler January 2, 2016 at 7:21 am #

      Anne Applebaum has written a few pretty good books on the gulag and Soviet repression in the USSR. Is she not British?

      brh

  104. FincaInTheMountains January 2, 2016 at 4:51 am #

    Why Oil Prices Could Really Collapse to $20 a Barrel in 2016

    Adding additional pressure were comments from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister that his country’s oil output strategy is “reliable” and won’t be changed. Other wrinkles include rising U.S. oil production and the fact that global crude storage is quickly approaching capacity.

    finance.yahoo.com/news/why-oil-prices-could-really-175900054.html

    For the collapse of the Russian economy they are now using resources, which the authors of this combination were afraid to use back in 1979 to orchestrate the collapse of the USSR, because they hit the US harder than Russia, as evidenced by the difference between the red and black lines on the following chart:

    wtrg.com/oil_graphs/oilprice1947.gif

    Will Russia in response make some architectural changes in the Riyadh luxury palaces using Caliber missiles?

  105. FincaInTheMountains January 2, 2016 at 5:21 am #

    Donald Trump Featured in New Al Qaeda Affiliate Recruitment Video

    While Hillary Clinton’s claim that Trump was “ISIS’s best recruiter” may not have been totally verifiable a few weeks ago, she didn’t have to wait long for that to change. A newly released video from Al Shabab—Somalia’s resident Al Qaeda affiliate—uses footage of Trump spouting deeply Islamophobic rhetoric as a direct recruitment tool for its terrorist organization.

    gawker.com/donald-trump-featured-in-new-al-qaeda-afilliate-recruit-1750647895

    Hmm, how convenient. And who manages the production of ISIS videos? We need to know the real name of the Demon

    The Inportance Of Knowing A Demons Name

    One thing that you must do to destroy a powerful demon is learn its name.
    It does not matter how as long as you know it.

    experienceproject.com/stories/Am-A-Real-Demon-Hunter/1614075

    • Buck Stud January 2, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      So Hillary Clinton is orchestrating the recruiting propaganda of “ISIS”–do you really believe that Fincal? seriously?

      Poor Osama Bin Laden and Gang. One of the most diabolically spectacular and successful terrorist acts in history and they are subsequently diminished by American conspiracy theorists. After all, Osama and Gang couldn’t have achieved that degree of damage independently; they needed Israeli intelligence or some other type of Western conspirator to pull it off. Who knows, Finca might even concoct a Hillary connection.

      • FincaInTheMountains January 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

        Buck, you underestimate Hillary. She started her career by ruining detente and nuclear disarmament in 1974, she wants to finish it by starting a nuclear war.

        And not only me who is pointing out Hillary-ISIS connections, Jeb Bush too.

        It is suffice it to recall the Orthodox Easter of 1999, when Hillary’s flying monkeys wrote “Happy Easter” on bombs which were dropped on poor Serbians.

        As for 911, the matter still awaits professional investigation and open trial – and it will happen, sooner or later, like the Nuremberg trial.

  106. FincaInTheMountains January 2, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    New York introduced a fine of 250,000 dollars for insulting transgender. This decision really looks unfair: many naive Americans do not even know what kind of an animal “transgender” is.

    It would be very sad when elderly janitor did not let a bearded man in the ladies’ room, and the man files a claim in court and takes away all janitors’ savings.

  107. BackRowHeckler January 2, 2016 at 7:18 am #

    Elysian Field …

    to pick up an earlier thread …

    I’d like to hear more about the ‘freak ballooning accident’ that did in your friend. I’ve always looked askance at dangerous hobbies certain people partake in, hot air ballooning being one, scuba diving and sky diving being a few others. What’s the point? Why risk your life when you don’t have to? That’s not to say you should endeavor to avoid all risk in your life, but why tempt fate?

    brh

    • John Howard January 2, 2016 at 11:12 am #

      Because gay marriage. Some choose heroin, some choose alcohol, some choose scuba diving.

    • elysianfield