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Scary People, Scary Times

    In that order. The scary people have already started coming out of the woodwork. The times lately have been mostly uncertain, but soon they’ll turn scary, too, as it becomes clearer that the people running things in the USA have no idea what’s going on or what they’re going to do about it — and what’s going on is an involuntary permanent re-set of the terms of everyday life, from a wet-dream robotic “consumer” techtopia to something more like the first chapter of Tobacco Road, with a family of half-wits reduced by hard times to fighting over a sack of turnips in a roadside ditch. That’s the story-arc anyway, and lots of people won’t like it. But the theme of dwindling resources is not a pretty one.
     The most striking feature of the current scene is the absence of a coherent vision of our multiple related predicaments and how they add up to a valid picture of reality. To be precise, I mean our predicaments of 1.) energy resources, 2.) vanishing capital, and 3.) ecocide. This inability to decode the clear and present dangers to civilized life is a failure of leadership and authority without precedent in the American story. 
     On the eve of the only other comparable national convulsion — the lead-up to the Civil War – a strenuous public debate was able to focus on the salient question of the day, namely whether human slavery would continue in this country. Lincoln and Douglas parried for hours in the hot sun, arguing unscripted in complete sentences without the aid of teleprompters or offstage spin doctors.  Yet no one above age of nine failed to understand what was at issue.
     Note the diminishing returns of technology at work in our time, making it impossible for us to think straight, despite the proliferation of snazzy devices, programs, networks, blog-clouds, and the pervasive, non-stop spewage of so-called information all intended to enhance communication.  What did Lincoln have to work with? A pencil.
     Today, no one present in the political arena appears to have a clue and, lacking clues, any ability to articulate the terms of what we face. Both major parties are hostage to a peculiar nostalgia, a wish to return to the time when America could dream up any kind of machine or breakfast cereal or techtronic brassiere, and sell the manufactured surplus from our own happily oversold markets to the rest of the clamoring world – even lending them the cash (at interest) to buy the stuff. America makes and the world takes, was the theme song then. That earnest, upward-striving society of Eisenhower simplicity, of well-paid factory workers dreaming of a little summer place at the lake, and the Main Streets bustling in the cheerful early twilight of Christmas Eve, and the Beach Boys crooning about “fun, fun, fun,” and purloined German physicists stashed in comfortably aire-kooled rooms, turning a few tossed-off equations into moon-shots, and Bob Hope cracking wise before a nationwide audience of car-dealers and self-satisfied Rotarians – well that America has imploded like a weevil-infested hubbard squash in a back pantry. And all the prayers to Moloch by the Jesus boomers in and out of congress won’t make it whole again.
     There is no theme song for contraction – at least not one with a hummable tune. The current background music sounds like Stockhausen run through scrap-metal shredder. No wonder everybody’s so nervous.
     A few hours ago I drove up the immaculately conceived highways north out of Detroit to the drear industrial outlands of Happy Motoring history, north past Flint and Saginaw where an exhausted American Dream is being hunted down by the angry ghosts of the Wyandots. The heartland these days looks like it’s preparing for a return trip to the 9th century A.D. Nobody knows what’s ailing it, but they’re whispering of “last stands” out here around the all-you-can-eat buffet at the year ’round Christmas Shoppe.
     And the Tea Party aims to fix all this, to make things right again. I listen to their blather about “freedom” and all I can imagine is the sound of boots outside the door, and men in badly-fitted camo uniforms and buzzcut hair commanding me to accept John Boehner as my personal savior. Pardon me, but I don’t see how this will really improve anybody’s lot in life.
     You can just feel the heat of emotion rising, even as the northern hemisphere cools down. We can’t speak clearly anymore; we can only beat drums. All across the land self-appointed saviors are stepping up to heroically rescue the squandered entitlements of the bygone day: Rand Paul, the Kentucky physician who (like his dad) subscribes to the idea that the earth is only about 4000 years old; Dan Maes, the Colorado Tea Party candidate for governor who believes that bicycling is a “gateway drug” to communism; Sharron Angle, the Nevada polymoron running John Birch Society scripts to the psychologically-spavined blackjack dealers crowding the unemployment lines. (“The Trilateral Commission and the Bilderburgers did this to you!”); and lonely Joe Miller, the hermit-attorney of Fairbanks, stalking out of his survivalist cave to drive a silver lance through the flaming heart of the ravening liberal windigo. 
     They can flap their gums with this nonsense as much as they like, bit it’s not likely to clarify things. Maybe this is what death is like: a descent into the dark maw of simply unknowing. No wonder people fear it. 
___________________________________
The sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, is shipping to booksellers now.  Order via AMAZON.

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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.

563 Responses to “Scary People, Scary Times” Subscribe

  1. Al Klein September 13, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    JHK, if you’ve written it once you’ve written it a thousand times: we are not an earnest people. We are a land of sound bites and postures. That’s what we have become. When we decide something must be done, we declare “war” in it. War on drugs, war on poverty, war on whatever… And real war too, except we don’t call them wars anymore because that would be too definitive. Everybody’s got an angle and a shtick. No wonder the whole thing crumbles when the going gets a bit rough! We have plenty here in the US, even now. We just don’t have the imagination to use it effectively for the public good.

  2. drpiper September 13, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Jim
    I agree, our problem is the core of our culture is rotten. I’m not sure how we get back to critical thinking, concern for the common, and responsibility. For my part, the spoiled baby boomers (and I’m one) have made this world. Time for them to get out of the way!

  3. piltdownman September 13, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    The Tea Party is “short and stout,” and by November third it’ll burn itself out. Whether a few loons get elected (as if Boehner and dozens more aren’t just as crazy) won’t effect us one way or the other. The current inability to speak truth to power and to get the GOP’s collective head out of its arse is more a problem than a few scattered nutballs.
    But let’s set all the problems aside for a moment and cogitate on why we seem to be wholly unable to move our leaden legs.
    I’m going to suggest that my generation (boomers) are like second-generation owners of companies, who had their wealth handed to them — and who, generally speaking, have no clue about the hard work it took to build the business. This crowd, and I’ve seen a lot of them, tend to play gold in Scotland, drive big cars and squander their inheritance — all the while blaming their employees or “unfair competition” for their own problems.
    We were handed a pretty good deal — and we’ve managed to piss it away. We wanted life to be like “Leave it to Beaver,” but instead it’s turned into “The Twilight Zone.”

  4. popcine September 13, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    … that the people running things in the USA have no idea what’s going on or what they’re going to do about it …
    Everything you say is true but this, JHK.
    To understand our times, believe that these
    people are real, and that they know perfectly well
    what they’re doing.
    They know the four horsemen are coming, and can’t
    be stopped, and they want some of us to be saved.
    Maybe they want you to join them, JHK? It’s obvious they’ve been reading your columns.

  5. nothing September 13, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Jimbo! Look on the bright side! The government will indeed come to our rescue. Yes we can!
    You can make a start by helping Uncle Sam with the new Form 1099s required under Obamacare.
    Print it out and mail it in as a public service.
    Copies available at http://www.thenothingstore.com

  6. gary September 13, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Jim
    Having left the Michigan Industrial wasteland twenty years ago the slide there started around 1970 But like going bankrupt speeds up at the end. I spent the last few days drive in and around Madrid Spain. While the people there see the current economy a crisis,I didn’t see rows of empty stores,but cranes still building new modern apts,offices etc.The people are much more aware of the current affairs that await us all.

  7. Al Klein September 13, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    DrPiper, you make a very good point: “We were handed a pretty good deal — and we’ve managed to piss it away.” How true, how true. I’ve got to say, though, that even when times were really “cooking” I silently wondered how long that could last. But I kept my mouth shut for the most part, to avoid being declared a cynic.

  8. Funzel September 13, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    No justice,no peace.

  9. Ancona September 13, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    Jim,
    I don’t think this has anything to do with political parties any more. It used to…….but not now. The parties that would seek to take power all have the same agenda; stay in power forever. It isn’t about repairing four decades of stupid mistakes. It’s not about calling a stop to our endless illegal wars for resources. And, it’s definitely not about the average American, that much is for certain.
    All of the blather and bluster coming from all sides of this political miasma is essentially the same; keep the machine running on life support for just a little longer, so I can get my piece of the pie and retire with a ridiculous pension after just a few years in the halls of Congress.
    These critters no more care about you and I than some random guy on a camel in the Middle East. It is solely about their own asses now, and the tax paying public be damned.
    With trillions and trillions of dollars worth of debt, we are scheduled for some very ugly times in the near future, and nothing that Congress does will make a substantive difference.
    The answer to our problems is austerity. Period. Until the powers that be realize this, we will remain on the path to self immolation.
    I hope you folks are prepared.

  10. greygrump September 13, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Jim
    Quite possibly God has always had a plan for this planet, he just needs to give us time to see that we can’t run the place our self. I haven’t see any evidence yet that we have the ability as humans to run this planet for the benefit of everyone who lives on it.

  11. lbendet September 13, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    Yes, this will be the mean season.
    With the msm already declaring the landslide of the electorate to the party of mean, it will be all we can do to stop the wolf from howling at our doors. The impatient who cannot conceive that it might take a few years to turn this thing into something we can live with have forgotten how we got here. There’s no history to have learned from and to make matters worse the moment to seize vanishes–like quicksilver.
    So OK, let’s vote these crazy ideologues in again, why don’t we. The tea party candidates are a collection of the uneducated if I’ve ever seen such a sorry group, but the electorate can’t decipher what happened because they still don’t know what this economic system is.
    Recently, I read an article that described a meeting by a group of billionaires and nowhere did I see anything about peak oil, or the destruction of the environment. Germany is able to see what’s going on. I’d love to see what their policies they form.
    Karl Denninger was interviewed by Max Kesier this week and among many of his observations, he explained that the US govt. is posing as a foreign interest to buy bonds. How many crazy machinations are we doing to keep the $55 Trillion of known debt at bay so we can still play this game?
    I don’t know how this country is going to look, but we will be paying dearly for the crimes of the Status Quo. Too bad voting the Tea Partiers in is not the answer. Too bad our leadership is entirely clueless or too selfish or too in-bed with the most powerful corportists to ideate anything that can cope with the inevitable collapse.
    While we’ve depleted our energy and resources to the War of Terror, which will be jacked-up by the Republicans who have nothing else to play, but the fear card; China is making moves to take over much of Africa.
    Another Shock Doctrine boondoggle From Keiser’s page:
    World Bank report indicates global neo-colonial land grab increases 10-fold; two thirds of land grab happening in Africa where government institutions weak
    It warns of a “resource curse” that may enrich a small elite, leaving wreckage behind. Proposals are not properly screened. Peasants are forcibly displaced. Communal grazing lands are closed off. Some investors manipulate opinion with a media blitz of false promises. Nothing has been produced so far on almost 80pc of the land purchased. Benefits are often minimal, “even non-existent”. In Africa, the land rush is diverting effort from the core task of helping small farmers raise yields.
    I wonder how these principles will be played out here down the line.

  12. Unconventional Ideas September 13, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Looking forward, it will be to our advantage to clear away much of the communication technology around us, and return to something akin to Lincoln and his pencil.
    What a fine idea to actually have reading groups, articulate debates, informed discussions, and a regular exchange of thoughtful snail mail letters again.
    I only see upsides in that prospect.

  13. dave September 13, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Cracking down on growing your own food:
    http://m.ajc.com/news/dekalb/county-sues-farmer-for-612210.html

  14. wisewebwoman September 13, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    The political brouhahas are just a distraction as BO completes Bush’s 3rd term. There will be no change and finally at the end of 2010 no hope no matter who gets thrown into office.
    Like the early pioneers, we need to stake out our own salvation and live abstemious lives.
    The only thing we need to fear are the marauding 99% of the populace who’ve been snoring while the rest of us took care of the serious business of preparing for a changed world. That will be the toughest challenge, fending off the unprepared.
    And being unarmed and staying that way, I guess it is lights out for me anyway.
    Either way, Jim, we lose.

  15. Al Klein September 13, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Look, we still have enough people to make this place of ours, the US, work. I truly do believe that. And as far as resources go, we have plenty of them too. Just none to waste, as JHK has implored. The problem, as I see it, is that we have allowed the greedy empty suits to run things for too long. They seem to have once created a Shangri-La, but that is bogus: they did it by liquidating our societal capital and infrastructure. They burnt the stairs as firewood, so now we have no access to the second floor! Everything was done with no real thought about tomorrow. Take our inner cities, fort example. How long could that have been sustainable? What kind of society would allow that to exist?
    Enough said.

  16. Techeverlasting September 13, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Well said as always.
    There actually is a theme song for contraction: “When the World is Running Down” by the Police. I find this song running through my head whenever I hear about a Tea Party rally.

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

  17. ssgconway September 13, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Vivid prose in the service of a keen mind is always to be commended. The reference to Lincoln-Douglas made me think of Dewey-Stassen, much closer in time, and every bit as good, in terms of the intellectual quality of their arguments. I downloaded it a couple of years ago and have played it several times since, and always come away impressed with the kind of leadership America could choose not that long ago.
    On the other hand, I believe that you give the Pauls too little credit. regardless of whether or not you agree with their interpretation of Genesis, they call for ending the wars abroad, the ‘war on drugs’ at home, scrapping the so-called ‘Patriot Act,’ ending deficit spending and sound money. All of those are sound policy decisions, and the father’s books are well-reasoned. He is capable of serious debate, and I expect that the son is, too. The Tea Party folks endorsed Rand Paul, perhaps because Palin did first, and that may be tactical in nature, rather than being an indicator of like-mindedness across the board.

  18. wardoc September 13, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    “The heartland these days looks like it’s preparing for a return trip to the 9th century A.D.”
    Yes, we’re preparing for a trip back in time but not the 9th century. 10,000 BC is more like it.
    We’ll be lucky if we end up in a 9th Century scenario. Unfortunately, cheap oil has allowed us to spurt out a population at least 8 times greater than what is supportable in the absence of cheap oil. Think in terms of resources to support about 500 to 700 million people, in terms of food, water, medical care, etc. The reduction from the current 6 billion to around 500 million will not be a walk in the park, and it will not be the 1800’s (as many survivalists currently fantasize about), or even in the middle ages (where there was some semblance of order, albeit as serfs working your ass off for protection by your lord.) It will be chaotic and violent beyond imagination. Something of old testament biblical imaginings, i.e the streets will run with blood….; The people being culled by resource scarcity will not go quietly into the night; they will fight for their lives, they will forcefully take what they need from anyone who has what they don’t, and they will eat anything they can find, including you, me and thee. If you read true and honest accounts of even relatively mild breakdowns in the past, you will find that cannibalism was far more common that we care to admit. It’s what happens when resources become scare. The usual taboos against such are a product of times of plentiful resources.
    10,000 BC here we come.

  19. Bobby September 13, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    “…That earnest, upward-striving society of Eisenhower simplicity, of well-paid factory workers dreaming of a little summer place at the lake, and the Main Streets bustling in the cheerful early twilight of Christmas Eve, and the Beach Boys crooning about “fun, fun, fun,” and purloined German physicists stashed in comfortably aire-kooled rooms, turning a few tossed-off equations into moon-shots, and Bob Hope cracking wise before a nationwide audience of car-dealers and self-satisfied Rotarians…”
    It’s alive (but in other forms), but clearly not well, and being propped up for now by the printing of money.

  20. Bobby September 13, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    “…The people being culled by resource scarcity will not go quietly into the night; they will fight for their lives, they will forcefully take what they need from anyone who has what they don’t, and they will eat anything they can find, including you, me and thee….”
    Maybe we’ll just succumb to the old diseases and it’ll end with a whimper. No one’s getting out of this thing alive, eh?

  21. wegotitcomin September 13, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    ANOTHER LONG DISTANCE LETTER TO ALL YOU DREAMERS OVER THERE
    You know – I’m a bit over all this blathering crapola coming out about what is right and what is wrong and the incompetence of the US politicians and how there is nobody that knows what they are doing – what a load of bollocks. They know eaxactly what they are doing – SELLING OUT !
    It is about time somebody called this issue for what it is – the whole of America has been captured by the section of Israel that thinks they have a divine right to rule over all the rest of mankind. The whole US system , as the most powerful in the world , has been hijacked by the agents of Israel in every corridor of power whether that be media , politics , finance etc etc etc. The litany of false flag events , war crimes , financial crimes etc etc etc are there for everybody to see.
    What do you think is happening – you are fighting Israels wars for her – you are being taken for a complete ride.
    Look at these fuckwits lined up in Washington – buying favours , blackmailing and generally guiding the fate of America whilst fat fucks sit on their asses thinking that the world owes them a living – wake up America and take back your fucking country !!
    And anybody who calls me anti semetic can fuck off – I am sick of any sort of criticsim being couched in this language – The fact is that the vast majority of our good and respectable Jewish
    brethren are the biggest victims of these arch criminals
    WAKE UP ! WAKE UP ! WAKE UP !

  22. John T Anderson September 13, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Obama, far from being a socialist, is really an Eisenhower Republican. Barack and Ike have a lot more in common than an affection for golf. Eisenhower kept marginal income tax rates high on upper incomes, just as Obama is trying to do. Both were trying to retrench U.S. overseas military commitments and mend fences with the oil-rich Muslim countries of the Middle East. Obama’s efforts may be too little, too late to stave off general collapse, but he still looks good doing it.

  23. Andrew MacDonald September 13, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    The choice, as always, is between pointing fingers at the bad guys – ever more tempting as evidence of their badness mounts – or setting about moving into the post-collapse world preemptively: building what local community and supports we can, learning self-reliance best as we can, becoming a resource.
    http://www.RadicalRelocalization.com

  24. Smokyjoe September 13, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Morons are in the saddle and ride man, Emerson might say today.
    Cheer up, Jim! Even your flat-worlder bud Tom Friedman noted that the US is number 11 in Newsweek’s list of the top 100 countries on Earth. His columns lately are getting gloomier and gloomier.
    Decline is in the air. The salient question is whether the types of Tea-Party morons you so expertly note will carry the day.
    If they do, we’ll be lucky to be in the top 100 at all, or even a nation in a few years.

  25. Bicycle Tourist September 13, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Well, Jim, with all deference to your novels, you just couldn’t make up stuff like this. Nothing beats reality for interesting narrative.
    Meanwhile, Dan Maes not withstanding, I will continue to ride my gateway-to-Communism bicycle, at least maintaining my and the planet’s health as long as possible.

  26. piltdownman September 13, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    I was in a diner in Hazelton, PA over the weekend. In the heart of the soft coal region. An older couple was finishing up their breakfast. As they did, the wife spooned their uneaten scrambled eggs into a small plastic bag. Then she folded their uneaten toast into some napkins. This is America today. A forlorn city with no future and people saving table scrapes, not for Skippy the dog, but for themselves.
    Meanwhile, the Republicans actually argue that millionaires should get tax cuts….

  27. MDG September 13, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    @Wegotitcomin:
    “…the whole of America has been captured by the section of Israel that thinks they have a divine right to rule over all the rest of mankind.”
    I won’t bother calling you “anti semetic” [sic] when plain old “moron” will do just fine.

  28. Zoltar September 13, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    As you’ve articulated before, Jim, the big question is whether Obama fails to understand or is simply impotent, and it’s hard to decide which is scarier. As intelligent as he manifestly is, it seems likelier that he understands well enough, but was shocked, when he was briefed by his corporate masters after the inauguration, to discover that The President simply no longer has any meaningful prerogatives. Whether he is forbidden to do so or not, Obama is likely convinced that leveling with the American people at this juncture is simply inconceivable.
    I believe the overlords of this country are like Ahab – they’ve harpooned the American economy and, by God, they’re not going to let go, even as they (and, regrettably, all of us) go down with it. As for the larger issue which will ultimately trump all of this – ecocide – it may be that their worldview is so distorted by their economic lens that they simply can’t wrap their minds around that reality.

  29. envirofrigginmental September 13, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    China is making moves to take over much of Africa.

    This statement points to a salient condition that is contributing to the changes that we are experiencing.
    What is happening to the US (and Canada by extension) is simply a population numbers game in concert with economic shifts, and unfortunately we’re on the downward slope. The Chinese, Indians, and Muslims are poised to take over where we left off. Despite the latest ipse dixit of wingnuts and conspiracy theorists, there is nothing sinister in all this. It simply comes down to numbers.
    This weekend I was reading a history of a local town. It’s great fortunes started to fail towards the late 1800’s and stayed that way for over half a century. Now we just simply substitute continents for towns.
    (And btw wardoc, world population is around 6.9 billion.)

  30. wegotitcomin September 13, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Its documented – do your homework buddy

  31. Paul Kemp September 13, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    I agree that Ron Paul has been right on far more issues than the evolution/creation issue, which has nothing to do with his public conduct. Everyone is entitled to be wrong about something, especially if they keep it to themselves and it doesn’t intrude on their public conduct.
    Anyone who has had the courage to publicly recommend the legalization of a forbidden plant — on principle, not because he smokes it — for twenty-plus years has demonstrated the fairness of mind that we will need to work our way out of our predicament.
    To lump all the Tea Party in with the Palins and Boehners is a mistake.
    There is some intelligent discourse going on in this country, but you will not find it on the MSM channels. Let us hope the voters can tell the difference between the hucksters eager to jump on the trend of “throwing the bastards out” from the thoughtful, principled leaders who have a well-thought-out program for transitioning back to a sustainable Republic.

  32. MDG September 13, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    If anyone wants a vivid reminder of just how wasteful our system is, and why we are “producing” ourselves into oblivion, just step into one of those Dollar stores. We did yesterday in a desperate search for a sponge (long, boring story). I’d never been in one before that.
    The aisles in this place were packed helter-skelter with junk that was either disposable or designed to last only one use, at best. There were even dollar-priced Wii games. All of this stuff was made from and wrapped in petroleum-based plastic, of course. More eternal junk for the landfill, more fossil fuels being squandered on garbage.
    We did find a sponge, a brand name one that I know sells for several dollars in regular stores. It cost one dollar here, which tells you something about the system, and why as Jim notes, all the money seems to be disappearing into a black hole populated by a spectacularly wealthy and greedy few.

  33. LaughingAsRomeWasBurningDown September 13, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    The optimism you have demanded is now mandatory:






  34. Bobby September 13, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Disposable plastic shit for disposable plastic folks.

  35. Steve Knox September 13, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    It doesn’t make any difference whom we elect since they all operate under the same two myths (paradym) which are that growth is the answer to all our problems, and that nature (ecosystem) is part of the economy.
    Real change will only come when we realize that growth is the problem, and that the economy is part of the ecosystem. Unfortuantely, that change in thinking will come only when it’s too late.
    Steve Knox

  36. welles September 13, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Everyone stop kvetching and plant a tree or something. Jeez you people are so occupied with decline.
    …and old people often save scraps of food, it’s in their nature, it’s not a sign of tin-cup begging returning anytime soon.

  37. CowboyJack September 13, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    But, Kunstler, you would have had me believe that Obama was my personal Messiah a year and a half ago.
    Yes, things were getting pretty bad when he was elected, but wouldn’t you agree that they are MUCH worse now, and with no reasonable ideas/notions/plans for any improvement in the foreseeable future?
    Nah, Obama’s plans are “shovel ready” jobs building roads and runways and more gubment spending and higher taxes on everything. Pretty much just the opposite of what you express on this blog. Do you know anyone who really WANTS a “shovel ready” job working in the heat on the side of a highway anyway?
    As for me, yes, I am sick of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Bawney Fwank, Chris Dodd, Rahm Emanuel, Little Timmy Geithner, Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, and the rest of them and all their goofy policies and the fact that they out right lie to us about their intentions.
    So, while I know it wasn’t the best situation, and I know it will never be the best situation, I am pretty certian now that this situation is not nearly as good as the last. So, I sure hope the voters give the keys back before this bunch of goof-balls push us out of the ditch and over the cliff.
    VOTE in November like your country is in DANGER – BECAUSE IT IS ! ! !

  38. Smokyjoe September 13, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    MDG, I actually agree with you that the Tea Party has some meritorious ideas. A smaller and more frugal government that focused on security, and to this Green-leaning guy that includes energy and eco-security, would be a good thing.
    I’m so libertarian on social issues that I’d end any state role in marriage beyond witnessing and verifying legal contracts. Marriage would happen in a church of one’s choice and could be to any partner one wished and in any combination of persons, people, animals, or pet rocks. Drugs would be legal but acting under their influence would not be, in public.
    Getting into our social lives has been a signal mistake of American political life.
    The Tea Party apparently began as a bottom-up movement without a group of charismatic leaders: enter the Palins and other loons who have hijacked it. They are crazy-scary folks and they’ll soon have their chance at power.
    I’m a Deist, so I cannot say “and heaven help us,” because we are the only ones who can help ourselves in an indifferent universe.

  39. Smokyjoe September 13, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    oops. that was a reply to Paul Kemp’s points about the Tea Party.

  40. walt September 13, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Talk about polymorons. Really, Cowboy Jack, get your head out of Trigger’s rear end here. You think cutting taxes for the rich, offshoring the few remaining jobs, and finding new Middle Eastern countries to invade would represent better policy choices? The horror of current America simply isn’t the denialism of the elite (Obama, Geithner, et al). It’s the rank stupidity of racist airheads who think Mayberry is just one sharp right turn away.
    When we start celebrating oversimplifiers like Ron and Rand Paul, it’s safe to say decadence didn’t suddenly descend like a falcon on the well-mannered gentry of Dogpatch. Industrial civilization has its own imperatives, winners and losers. We – most of us – are the winners. We wouldn’t be here without the petro-bounty. It’s the job of someone like Obama to figure out a way for our excess numbers to somehow survive its depletion. He’s scratching his head looking for ways to keep this floating crap-game going.
    Most of us here are bound together by simple fears. We know the storm is coming. Finding people to blame the storm on is what you do in lieu of figuring out a way to survive it. Or, at least, to die with some dignity.

  41. terp van September 13, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Wyandots – indigenous people of north america also known as Hurons
    spavined – old, worn out; spavined horse characterized by arthritic swelling of the hock
    windigo – native american mythical creature, malevolent and cannibalistic.

  42. rp September 13, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    True, we boomers were handed a pretty good deal. But let us not forget that our parents got themselves a pretty good deal too with social security, medicare, government pensions all mightily contributing to the coming downfall.

  43. Kitaj September 13, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    It seems to continue to escape people here that a lot of us “boomers” were warning that our way of life was a dead end 35-40 years ago.
    As I recall, it was the WW2 generation – perhaps the most brainwashed generation in the history of the planet! – that attacked us tooth and nail for trying to divert the american empire from its self-destructive course.
    The 1960’s were a Planetary Renaissance Wave – dont blame us boomers for the fact that that wave got stomped into the ground. Go back and listen to the Moody Blues album “A Question of Balance” and tell me who did and did not know the score.
    Anyone who is smart enough to intelligently use psychedelics/entheogens got The Message. We boomers, the Beatles, the Moodys – we all tried to show the way out and turned this culture on to just about EVERYTHING good that we have today – like back-to-the-land, organic food, etc.
    The boomers who are f**king up this country today ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD OUT TO THE WW2 GENERATIONS MODEL OF REALITY, perpetuating their way of life that they rammed down our throats, so why dont some of you get the story straight?
    This country was on a non-stop trajectory to self-destruction long before the boomer had ANY politico-economic power. More boomers than any other generation – world-wide – tried to change the world, which is why we are known as “the greater generation.”
    The teabagger boomers are boomers who bought the old paradigm, the WW2 generation paradigm, including the “american exceptualism” that is destroying this country.
    And psychedelics/entheogens have gone a long way to awakening people to true spirituality instead of the degenerate crap that passes for “religion” in Western civilization. We may have failed but we tried, so take your boomer criticism and shove it: you who fail to see the whole picture are helping perpetuate a lie, making you part of the problem, so where do you get off criticising anybody?

  44. Zanrak September 13, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    JHK commented:
    “There is no theme song for contraction – at least not one with a hummable tune. The current background music sounds like Stockhausen run through scrap-metal shredder. No wonder everybody’s so nervous.”
    In 2005 I thought I came up with a pretty good song for the “contraction”: “Watchin’ The World Go By”. Anyone who wants to hum along can hear it at myspace.com/zanzone – 8th song….
    Enjoy the decline!

  45. Caniculus September 13, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Jim, your weekly post is like a countdown to doom. 3, 2, 1, 0 . . . kaboom! The problem is that you’ve been at 0 now for a long time. While the implosion is in mid-process, perhaps even close to the end, you’re still repeating 0 over and over, every week.
    While I enjoy your writing, and while I too am inclined to savor the schadenfreude for the likes of Robert Rubin and Timothy Geithner and the multi-billionaires they serve, let’s just admit it’s over so we can move on to the next phase. Remember when people of our generation used to look to the future for the progress? When did it happen that we, you included, started looking to the past?
    Sufficiently complex systems never fail gracefully, and the artifice of the global economy is no exception. This sucker is going down. Perhaps we are due a few moments as we bemoan what might have been if we’d only been a little more clever in our engineering, but at times you sound like you’re raging against the basic math and physics, too — the stuff we can’t change.
    What I’m really waiting for is the JHK that emerges from the other side of this implosion. As we enter the Salvage Age, is it possible to still create something stellar — a new, better system that we might sustain for a hundred generations or more, and that might, perhaps inadvertently, be far better than what we ever had in the past?
    I haven’t read “The Witch of Hebron” yet — but will in the next few weeks — so unless it paints a picture of some possible better alternative future during the Salvage Age, which I doubt — how about really exercising your creativity and writing skills and treating your blog readers to how we might build something better from the ashes. Of course, I won’t believe what you say if your picture is too rosy, but is there, in your opinion, a way forward that turns out alright in the end?

  46. Warren Peace September 13, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    And Speaking of Scary People:

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

    DRASTIC TIMES REQUIRE WHAT? DRASTIC MEASURES, THANK YOU! WHO SAID THAT!!?

  47. Goat1080 September 13, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    There is a theme song for contraction. It is entitled “In the Year 2525″ by Zager & Evans.

  48. ithacaisdoomed September 13, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Whenever I see some of our local Teabaggers waving signs out near the Sprawlmart, I always yell “Corn Pone Fascists!” at them. This usually brings on quizzical looks of befuddlement. I think I’ll start throwing actual cornpones just to make the point more evocative. Thank you, JHK, for giving the world a name for these “polymorons!”

  49. walt September 13, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Caniculus, excellent post.

  50. lsjogren September 13, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Anyone defending the Democrats, while you’re at it please explain how their proposed immigration policies that would radically accelerate population growth in the US are conducive to anything but a nation in ruins 50 years from now.
    And yes a lot of half-wit Republicans like George Bush support the same thing.
    And even though Republican candidates for office are increasingly opposing such insane policies, not all of them do so for the right reasons since many believe the mantra of “growth”.
    Many leftists will no doubt argue that conservatives shun population explosion policies for the US because they are racist. Although they have probably discovered by now that such McCarthyism is no longer met with fear, it is now met with ridicule.
    A more credible reason most Republican candidates now oppose populatlion explosion policies is simply that they recognize the political expedience of doing so- since only an extremist minority of the public ( primarily progressives and neocons), supports population explosion.
    If the Democrats want to regain some credibility, I suggest they do a 180 on their support for population explosion. Not all Democratic politicians do, but virtually all those on the left do.
    My Senator, Patty Murray, has an F- ABI rating. I guess it is no secret who I’m voting for in that race.

  51. helen highwater September 13, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Gary, if the people of Madrid, Spain are, as you seem to think, so much more aware of what is coming, why on earth are they still building new modern apartments and offices??

  52. Andrew September 13, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    “Maybe this is what death is like: a descent into the dark maw of simply unknowing.”
    Thanks Jim for this thought. It is very insightful.
    We are the children of, and parents to, a tribe that has only ever “known”. Whether is was finance, economies, wars, agriculture, technology, housing, transport, etc., we always “new”. And we tidied up the edges with concepts of “risk” – a mental trick to make the outcomes of uncertainty as “known”.
    Economic contraction is simply part of the unknowable for us. Sort of like the exchange between Death and Block in the Seventh Seal:
    Death: When next we meet, the hour will strike for you and your friends.
    Block: And you will reveal your secrets?
    Death: I have no secrets.
    Block: So you know nothing?
    Death: I am unknowing.

  53. theboosh September 13, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    It was once said that America, for its lack of experiencing (since our Civil War) war on our shores will always be short on core rallying points during tough times. WW11 notwithstanding and immigrant populations from countries that did, indeed, experience war, we just may implode when technology is no longer our monopoly. That saying ‘you have to live the blues in order to sing about it’ may prove true in our case – how much and how deep the cut before we attain a better sense of ‘National Self’ is TBD.

  54. malthus September 13, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    An excellent write. EXCEPT nothing about population counts and why all these problems we face are the symptoms of overpopulation. Until we face the reality of to many people on a crowded planet nothing will stop the fall.

  55. Freedom Guerrilla September 13, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    Scary indeed.
    But, not EVERYBODY is a pixeled windbag. Not everybody is a “consumer” the way it fits into a market analysis. All these words DO manifest into real action beyond buying the latest greentech plastic gadget so long as you infuse some Lincoln/Douglas style tenacity and discipline. It’s a tough wall to sanity that gets carried out to the prison yard piece by piece.
    This is how we deal with the Abundance Era. It has nothing to do with liberals or conservatives. Afraid of people? Stop looking at them.
    Stop voting and start fixing.
    Tommy out.
    http://freedomguerrilla.com

  56. Prelapsarian Press September 13, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    To me the emblematic moment for us baby-boomers came at what was supposed to be the apex of our idealism, in 1968. It was freshman orientation week, and the entering class sat gathered around in the campus gardens, our reflections on society and the individual’s role in it led by a guitar playing philosopher who began the proceedings asking everyone to sing along to Simon & Garfunkel’s “We’ve All Gone to Look for America.”
    Some distance away on an elevation, arms folded, looking down upon the proceedings with apparent contempt, though he was a member of the entering class, stood a future master of the universe. He would become a prominent figure in the 2008 Wall Street meltdown; many here would probably recognize the name. I can’t say for certain what his thoughts at the time were, but, from knowing him a bit over the next four years, I’ve often imagined it went something like this: “You hippie-dippies are pathetic. America is to be owned, not understood.”
    He would carry the day, of course. Baby-boomer idealism was the thinnest of tissues, and didn’t even survive the end of the draft.
    For a free download of Kunstlerian-style invective — Words that Draw Blood — go to http://www.lost-vocabulary.com.

  57. Cash September 13, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Us folks in North America live way too large. Too much is never enough.
    So how to fix this? Wikipedia says that the city of Paris has a population of about 2.2 million on 34 sq miles. The city of Toronto has a population of 2.5 million but occupies 243 sq miles.
    Maybe the Paris way is one way to start: more intensive occupation of urban areas, greater population density, less urban/suburban sprawl and by doing so we destroy less natural habitat and use up fewer resources is for housing, roadways and other infrastructure
    I found this youtube video of a tour of a Japanese apartment. Maybe the folks in the east can point the way ie making do with less.






    Living in a rabbit warren isn’t to my taste either. I want elbow room. Most of us will say we couldn’t possibly live like this. Maybe we can’t until we have to.

  58. Cash September 13, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    sorry typo:
    is for housing, roadways and other infrastructure
    should be
    ie: for housing, roadways and other infrastructure

  59. zen17 September 13, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    I think we are all agreed that things are a wreck and getting worse very quickly. Time to stop talking about it and doing something that is going to allow you to navigate the coming changes effectively.
    Strengthen your body, calm your mind and unplug from the machine.
    http://wanderingsagewisdom.blogspot.com

  60. Laura Louzader September 13, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Why are Zero Population Growth arguments always considered to be “racist?”
    Almost every woman I know who subscribes to this, including myself, is white, and we have not been concerned to limit other folks’ fertility nearly so much as our own.
    Well-off people of every race need to be the first people to limit their reproduction. Rich people have massive energy footprints.
    The only thing to be said for rich folks having large families is that it will eventually make them poor. Unfortunately, they’ll make everyone else poor on their way down.

  61. Desert Dawg September 13, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Polymoron- a conglomerate Obama, Pelosi,Schumer, Robert Gibbs and the rest of the fools currently in charge. Jim, great article until the end, where once again, you attempt to somehow place blame SOLELY on the right and can’t help but insult every day middle class people (tea party) for caring about their country going down the toilet, who see the same things you do happening. How you attempt to lump the “right-wing” with the tea party is pure ignorance or your part. Most tea party people could give a shit about Boehner, McConnell, McCain, etc. The problem that you and so many on here have, is your own blindness to, well, YOUR OWN BLINDNESS! You actually believed in Obama?!?! What can be more of a joke than that. Why can’t you be intellectually honest and admit that all your little 60’s hippie buddies have fucked this country as much, if not MORE than all the people you speak ill of each week. The Tea Party is NOT REPUBLICAN!!! ONCE AGAIN FOR ALL YOU SLOW PEOPLE ON HERE WHO JUST SPIT OUT LIB TALKING POINTS…THE TEA PARTY IS NOT BLACK OR WHITE, REPUB OR DEM, JEWISH OR CHRISTIAN…IT IS AMERICAN!!! It’s just that they aren’t northeast, Ivy league educated sanctimonious snobs like yourself. Much, not all, of what you say is happening to our country! It’s just that what you spout of why is completely inaccurate! Also, the NWO is real and guess what…all the lefties you love, are right there with the same righties you hate. They are on the same team…and as George Carlin said…”you and I ain’t on it!!”

  62. Paul Kemp September 13, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    You make a good point, Kitaj. There were some very clear-sighted and hopeful developments that were tentatively accepted by a large portion of the new Boomer generation.
    Unfortunately, for most, it was lip-service. As in Christianity and other major movements, the majority of the flock never really “gets” what the leader’s message was. Same with the Founders of this country — look how far we have drifted (and been dragged) from our glorious beginnings!
    But, yeah, there was a flowering of good developments that were squashed by economic decisions, trends toward inflation, and urine testing to be able to hold a job that pushed a lot of folks back into conformity.
    Back-to-the-land makes more sense now than ever for those who want the true security of health and the basics of life.
    Those Boomers who opted for the Porsche and the homes far in the hills had better get good at bicycling for the day the gas runs out.
    http://www.healthyplanetdiet.com

  63. walt September 13, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Birth control is one of those hyper-rational ideas that well-meaning (i.e., white) people like to apply to Third World sex fiends. Unfortunately, ideas that contravene ordinary biological imperatives often fail. Starvation, disease, and war succeed all too well. And too soon, I suspect, for our comfort.
    Still, I’ll second the impulse if not the message. We want a soft landing, not a crash. We want meritocrats and rationalists in charge, not grifters like Beck and Palin. Most importantly, we want order itself. Yes, it’s going to be bad regardless, but it would be much worse if it all breaks apart. Enough of this romanticized anarchism (aka, Mad Max Joins the NRA). Localize, cooperate, continue to vote, and remain conscious.

  64. trippticket September 13, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Top drawer, Jim. And just exactly what I needed.
    The sheer asininity of it all is, no, I don’t want to say amusing, more like stupifying.

  65. scott September 13, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    Most if not all of us is addicted to economic growth one way or another and like an alcoholic, we will have to hit bottom before accepting that we are powerless over economic growth. We live in a top down world and so far this structural decline is not affecting those at the top and where it is affecting the top is where “stimulus” is directed. Unemployment rates for incomes greater than 100k are only 3%, for those with incomes below 35k, unemployment rates are upwards of 35%.
    A big chunk of America works for the government and directly or indirectly earns their incomes directly from the government. The portion of America that derives income from government growth is vested in maintaining the status quo of economic growth and is highly unlikely to accept the idea of a structural decline and will hold the notion of cyclical for an extended undetermined amount of time.
    I would guess that only something like less than 40% of Americans derive their incomes solely on private sector economic growth and Since there hasn’t been any real private sector growth in U.S. in over a decade it is those who bear the burden of decline first.
    The over half of America that is supported by public sector growth and by extension global reserve currency status, acceptance will only occur after global reserve status is removed.
    Right now the fix as those at the top see it, is going to cause high rates of inflation. Those in the less than 40% who are affected by wage arbitrage and the resulting downward pressure on wages will be affected the most by rapidly rising prices.
    Those in the top half who benefit from government growth will feel the affects of rising prices but will be offset by rising asset prices.

  66. bossier22 September 13, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    reply to kitaj, the boomers are known as the greater generation is the most hilariously pathetic comment i have ever read on this blog. naive at best. sadly crazy with ‘psychedelics’ at worst. unfortunately there is plenty of blame to go around from both ends of the political spectrum. i agree with many on todays post, fighting over population is a basic way to to lessen the effects of the coming hard times. do we really need to import more poor people at this time in our history. will balkanization really help america to come to consensus on a way forward. will we ever be able to count on our political, business and intellectual elites to consider the american people first instead of considering themselves global citizens first.

  67. scott September 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    “do we really need to import more poor people at this time in our history.” –bossier22
    Whatever your opinion on immigration policy, the fact is economic growth requires more people. Like every Ponzi scheme requires new investors to pay older ones.

  68. Cavepainter September 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    The fat lady is singing and she (mother nature) is ad-libbing a theme different from that scripted by the PC correctness crowd. Or, for that matter, the wonks and politicos who are spinning happy final curtains in the media. Sorry folks, but the denouement to this production does not adhere to classical grand opera finale of evil parsed from the good. No sir, mayhem and grief beyond operatic scale are sweeping aside all the standard feel-good conclusions of justice triumphal.
    The realities of nature aren’t run like La Scala, you know, so neither dramatic gesture nor rousing aria is going to cure all the baleful woes besetting the world. Many posting on this site though seem to believe so. Is it pratfall of evolution that our human capacity to conceive “time” necessitated the anecdote of that other great abstraction “God”? We seem programmed to invoke the supernatural force of God (or gods) to overpower nature with operatic gesture. Well,….wasn’t it a wave of his hand that created the universe, that parted the Red Sea, etc., etc., etc….? Unalleviated anxiety over the “future” (that time concept again) might otherwise have caused our large brain – a real gas hog, so to speak — to burn more calories than we could obtain.
    Many posts on this site posit proposals of similarly grandiose proportion, as though the world’s problems can be overcome as easily as moving around props and set pieces on stage. A counter “surge”, so to speak, to the military theatrics of “Shock and Awe” , billed as transforming the Middle East into a tranquil cluster of Jeffersonian democracies. I know, I know, it was only a mask of stage paint to hide the malicious smirk of the actual producers finagling the bigger sub-plot in the off stage wings (flashing lights and flexing metal to simulate lightning and thunder), but the ruse sustains traction through belief in American exceptionalism.
    “Bring’em on” has now been adopted by the chorus on the Left singing a theme opposite Bush’s opus PAX American, but just as unrealistically grandiose. In this version a magnanimous gesture of surrendering US sovereignty would cure the world’s problems. Accordingly, immigration policy crafted and enacted into law by elected representatives of the citizenry must default — so the theme goes – to however many foreign nationals choose to come here in disregard to the law. Wow, what a great theatrical gimmick for absolving one’s feeling of remorse for past national foreign policy perceived as unjust. The consequence though is bound to be more the likes of tragic comedy – laughter fading as the audience empties from the theatre back into the reality of streets growing ever meaner due to exploding population in face of increasing resource scarcity.

  69. Cash September 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    There’s a lot of absurdity surrounding reproduction. There’s hardly an issue with less reasonable and dispassionate discussion.
    A while ago there was a newspaper article about a welfare mother that had about 5 kids by different fathers. Govt finances at the time were under severe strain. Most letters to the editor (this was pre internet) foamed at the mouth about irresponsibility. But one writer (a woman) said we should be more generous and tolerant: what about the woman’s reproductive rights?
    I hit the roof. Reproductive “rights”? WTF? (Me, dispassionate? Ha!)
    In a discussion at work about this article I heard some people saying “yes, she has reproductive rights, what’s the problem”. Ok whatever. If they want to support this type of heedlessness there’ll be less money for other suff. Like health care. It doesn’t grow on trees after all.
    In Canada there’s no law on access to abortion. This issue is politically radioactive and no politician will go near it. So, according to one count, there’s about 30 abortions in this country for every 100 live births. This number was published by a pro life organization. Who knows what the real numbers are. Everytime a stat on abortion comes out everybody turns into a mad dog.
    Now you’d think that, in an era where sex soaks the airwaves and information on where babies comes from is readily available and prevention of unwanted pregnancy is one trip to the doctor or pharmacy away, that the abortion rate would hover somewhere around zero for every hundred live births. Pregnancy, after all, is about the most preventable condition there is and abortion is no laughing matter.
    Appeals to reason are futile. You get thundering denunciations from people of all political persuasions who declare the speaker (male or female) to be a neanderthal who wants to control women’s bodies and keep them subjugated and in the kitchen. Well, no, but how about some reasonable SELF control? Is that too much to ask?
    The argument is about “choice”. OK I dig that. People should have choice. But by the time a pregnancy takes place a whole lot of choices have been made and pregnancy is the result. Isn’t it a lot easier and less traumatic to use birth control than have an abortion? Less use of public health care money and facilities also, n’est pas?
    But forget it, there can be no reasonable, rational discussion on this. It turns to screams and hysterics right away on both sides of the issue.
    So you’re a “racist”. So am I then. I’m with you on this, we can’t have the numbers of people we have consuming as much as we do. As far as poorer countries go, subsistence farmers lead really precarious lives. Last thing they need is a lot of mouths to feed.
    So more birth control is what I think and by my way of thinking, abortion (per Bill and Hillary) should be safe, legal and RARE.

  70. scott September 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Most of this past quarters bottom line earnings on Wall Skreet are a result of layoffs and cutbacks by these companies. “Jobless recovery” is a concept where profitabilty by those at the top will lead to the next economic “boom”. Nevermind that the last booms have been gross misallocation of resources fueled by debt.
    The tailwinds of globalization that fueled past bubbles with infinite cheap labor are now becoming headwinds as demand from Asia will continue to pressure global resources.

  71. trippticket September 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    “It’s a tough wall to sanity that gets carried out to the prison yard piece by piece.”
    Bravo. All these adaptations to a new living arrangement take time. Year after year new lessons build more resilient human beings. I always encourage everyone here to make some real changes as soon as possible. And I’m always amazed what it does for my psyche, and my drive to do better the following season.
    But the idea that someone can go from a job and buying everything they need, to a self-reliant systems thinker overnight, or even in a year or two of serious effort, is unrealistic.
    Grow something guys, even if it’s just a tomato in a 5 gallon bucket by the bathroom window. Just to start getting a sense of cycles and fertility (which was real wealth at any other time in our history except the last maybe 500 years, and will be again shortly). And what growing your own food feels like and tastes like.
    Please plant something to eat somewhere this year. A peach, or some blackberries, or a sunflower patch. Something.
    Doesn’t even have to be on your land.

  72. San Jose Mom 51 September 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Cash,
    Here’s an example of idiot compassion in relation to teenage pregnancy. San Jose Unified school district bent over backwards to provide pregnant teenagers with all sorts of benefits…on-site childcare, doctors, counseling etc. in hopes they would graduate from high school and break the cycle of poverty.
    After a few years, they shut the program down because the girls in the program were having MORE babies in their teens than the control group. Geez.
    I realize that accidents happen and condoms break, but my opinion is that most teenage girls who get pregnant are just plain stupid.
    SJmom

  73. Laura Louzader September 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Cash, I don’t care what women do to avoid having babies they can’t support, whether they use pills or have abortions or have their tubes tied, though the tubal ligation route is the one I recommend.
    I just don’t want them having them. I come from a clan whose women believe that NOBODY with sanity has more than three…. two intended and one accident.
    I say this to people who want to reproduce:
    1. Have the means to support your kid at a decent level.
    2. Be married- kids need two parents.
    3. Don’t have more than two.
    4. Ask yourself if the circumstances you’re bringing your kid into would be what you’d choose to be born into. Your parents mostly tried their level best to make everything Just Right for you, so why are you having kids when you have no job, $200K worth of college debt, and an unstable marriage?

  74. okie September 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Anecdote – we have many many Many shovel ready projects going on here – so many that it is really hard to drive/bike anyplace. OK drivers have never been noteworthy for their grace, generosity or even basic knowledge of driving, but the construction bonanza has made things much worse – the drivers are more aggressive and selfish than ever before. Now apply this to the “mean people” theme and it is easier to see where mean comes from – scarcity, even perceived or anticipated scarcity, even relative scarcity in a land of plenty. It feels like there are too many of us, and not enough “stuff”, or space (or road), and we start to get ugly because very few of us really want to be the first to go. The mentality of “fighting” off scarcity is deeply ingrained here – even the fear of less (and we all know how manipulable fear is) has a very motivating effect. Both the reality of scarcity and the perception of scarcity create mean, thus, mean is part and parcel of our ongoing/impending fall. It is probably something we, who are aware of the unsustainablility of our current systems, must recognize not just in “others”, but also in ourselves.
    A good antidote (at least partial) would be arranging for basic provisioning (shelter, food, clothes, water) to be available to anyone willing to get dirt under their nails, gratis to those unable to help much, without requiring serfdom, thanks, but as part of a community. Unfortunately, we appear to be aiming in the opposite direction – the mergers of large businesses into Very large businesses, the increasing concentration of land of all kinds in the hands of the wealthy, the increasing scale-up of agriculture, and, importantly, laws and policies that play favorites to very large businesses (I see this frequently in the realm of agriculture) does not bode well. We need a nation wide network of local community projects – all it takes is a pocket of privation to create a spreading menace (as any of us who live in large cities with slums can attest to). Striking out on our own is appealing, and perhaps the best we can do as individuals, but it would be wonderful to see our transitions tempered with humanity and thoughtful leadership on a larger scale.

  75. Capaneus September 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    The “theme song for contraction” is “Dark Ages” by Jethro Tull, from their album Stormwatch. (“North Sea Oil” is also a catchy one.)

  76. envirofrigginmental September 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    I agree with you wholeheartedly.
    But be careful about statistics, especialy when it has to do with using “city” size compared with other elements.
    Before amalgamation, the physical size of “Toronto” (i.e. the incorporated entity called “Toronto”) was considerably less, making the population within it appear to be much denser than what was truly representative of the overall “city” (i.e. the physical entity) as most understand it.
    Paris (or should I say the regional urban/suburban conglomerate that represents Paris) is a mega-city much like Toronto, but with a population 4.5x bigger than TO’s. Wiki says it’s as dense as many Asian megalopolises. This is a good thing and is an excellent model for the rest of the world.
    Our greatest challenge here in NA over the next 20-30 years will be to densify our cities, as it will take immense resources, energy and political will to accomplish.
    But what we’re up against is formidable. Practically every immigrant that comes to Canada (or North America) has already been sold the bill of goods before they get here: two cars, single detached house, big yard for the kids to play, all the mod cons. The reality is that few are able to achieve it but the seed has already been sewn and it becomes their driving ambition. Subsequently, TPTB have no problems pandering to their delerium to make their profits.
    We have to unsell the American Dream; to ourselves and the rest of the world. Given it’s appeal, that will be almost an impossible sell.

  77. bailey September 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    First of all Jim, Alex Jones is funny. Ok, he’s mostly a nut, but he’s charming and consistent on constitutional issues as is Ron Paul. Ron Paul’s been consistent for 25 yrs, his foreign policy and fiscal policies are spot on, but I’m sure you don’t like his sensible attitude toward Israel.
    Again, sensible, anti-war, fiscally sound, very, especially in re to his insistence we audit the FED, that’s very, very sound policy. Americans don’t understand the Fed and its complicit,self-destructive role re our debt.
    Great post, per usual and come on, Paul is an Episcopalian, raised his kids that way, Catholic light, quit projecting Christianist nonsense…he’s a bit of a squirrel, but the whole libertarian thing is starting to grow on me…left-right paradigm is a distraction.

  78. ian807 September 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    What’s become clear to me since Obama has been in office is that the office of the president no longer conveys any significant civil administrative power.
    Obama hasn’t brought change because he *can’t* bring change within the money/power structure as it stands today. His comment “They talk about me like a dog” was more telling than he knew. To the lobbyists and their corporate masters, the president *is* like a dog – an essentially impotent, useful idiot whose purpose is to give the illusion of choice to the masses who desire both a winning team to root for, and an occasional faux victory, in place of any real power.

  79. antimatter September 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    As comedian Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”
    But it’s worse than that in our political and financial and economic theaters. We’re devolving into the dark times. What bothers me most I think is that Congress has of late, begun to vilify the unemployed–and this means that we will soon have a new group to blame for everything. And those whispers of ‘useless eaters’ are growing louder. We’ve gone from ‘give a guy a break’ to ‘to hell with him if he’s not smart enough to stay afloat.’ Social, economic Darwinism is making a huge comeback. Try to find a job (if you don’t have one) and note how “HR” gets between you and the hiring manager(s) to make sure that you are the right age, the right sex, etc., so that their EEOC status remains clean. They might interview you if you are older, but it’s probably to verify for EEOC purposes that they looked at a ‘spectrum’ of candidates.
    Predatory banks call to ask why you can’t pay, ignoring what you told them last week—you’re jobless. And next week, they call back as if you never talked.
    This is just a modern version of the Depression, where migrants to California had to pay $50, or turn back, or when the banks sent bulldozers to knock down farmers’ houses who couldn’t pay anymore. This is just a modern version of how the U.S. drove Indians off the land in the name of god and country against the heathen.
    We are the heathen now. It’s just starting.

  80. k-dog September 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    bicycling is a “gateway drug” to communism

    Dan Maes overacted. Turns out the bikes are all red which no doubt caused him to reach his erroneous conclusion. If the public bikes were all dark earthy colors he might have claimed we are all in danger of turning into Europeans.
    Amsterdam and other European cities have lots of public bikes. Now turning European might not be so bad. If we become European we will have to free the weed and be more tolerant of each other. If we do that the fall into oblivion might be much easier to handle and a lot more fun.

  81. Warren Peace September 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    And more on the Scary people brigade:
    Rep. Mike Castle, until recently the runaway favorite in Delaware’s Republican Senate primary, is suddenly behind Tea Party challenger Christine O’Donnell by three points…O’Donnell has never held public office (although she’s tried and failed twice), and she’s racked up a long list of financial problems. But that hasn’t stopped her from winning the support of supposed fiscal conservatives like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Jim DeMint.

    O’Donnell, on the other hand, is all about social issues and about as far to the right as you can go and still be on the continental United States. As a founder of the evangelical anti-abortion and pro-abstinence group “Saviors Alliance for Lifting the Truth,” advocated the idea that gays and lesbians could be ‘cured’ and converted to heterosexuality. She was a perky conservative fixture on cable TV in the 1990s, opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest (the new normal on the far-right post-Palin), pornography and extra-marital sex. Needless to say, she was not a fan of Bill Clinton. She even took to the airwaves of MTV to decry masturbation. Beyond some scandals including suing a former employer for $6.9 million on charges of gender discrimination (later dropping the case), accusations of lying to journalists about alleged past campaign successes, and only graduating from college last week, most of the recent low-lights have involved a whisper campaign by her aides that the married and Catholic Mike Castle is gay. Classy. It’s been enough to cause Red State’s Erik Erickson to break with her campaign. The Washington Examiner’s Mark Hemingway sensibly pointed out that O’Donnell wouldn’t pass William F. Buckley’s test of voting for the most conservative candidate that is electable. “If you think O’Donnell…[is] electable,” Hemingway wrote, “you’re drinking Kool-Aid, not tea.”

    New York Times columnist Gail Collins has focused all of her recent columns on the lunatics running for office across the U.S.A. Her recent column also looked at the Deleware race (formerly the seat of Vice president Joe Biden):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/opinion/11collins.html?ref=columnists
    Reading these, you can’t help but belive that the United States political system has become a dysfunctional joke.

  82. Kitaj September 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I put it that way deliberately to compensate for the typical boomer bashing.
    George Bush and his ilk HATED the 60’s – guess why! It was a massive critique of the military-industrial complex and the authoritarian patriarchal white sociopathic pathological hierarchy that ruled the earth.
    Funny thing is, “hierarchy” means “sacred order” and THAT is what was reborn in the 60s, a return to an understanding of the “sacred order” talked about by EVERY spiritual genius, sage and adept that ever lived, along with plenty of the greates scientific, artistic and philosopical geniuses that have ever lived.
    So had we been able to rid our world of patholgical hierarchy and restore human beings to “sacred order”, we wouldnt be in the freakin mess we are in today.
    Of course, my whole argument presupposes that anyone reading it must have had a significant experience of transcendental Realization to understand both the possibilities and the ramifications of the loss of sacred order as the cause of human psychopathology.
    To put it another way, anyone who HAS had a deep transcendental/transpersonal experience that transcends the limited seperate human ego knows EXACTLY what I am talking about.

  83. envirofrigginmental September 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Here’s my theme song for contraction: “Is That All There Is?” by Peggy *burp* Lee.

  84. envirofrigginmental September 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    In case anyone forgot the chorus:
    Is that all there is?
    Is that all there is?
    If that’s all there is my friends,
    Then let’s keep dancing.
    Let’s break out the booooooze and have a ball.
    If that’s all, there is.

  85. k-dog September 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    from welles:
    “Everyone stop kvetching and plant a tree or something. Jeez you people are so occupied with decline.”
    from tripticket:
    “Grow something guys, even if it’s just a tomato in a 5 gallon bucket by the bathroom window. Just to start getting a sense of cycles and fertility (which was real wealth at any other time in our history except the last maybe 500 years, and will be again shortly). And what growing your own food feels like and tastes like.”
    from k-dog:
    Exactly, grow something.

  86. RunVampRun September 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Really enjoyed the CFN this week Jim!I also loved antimatter’s post…you are so right we are “the heathens now”!

  87. bproman September 13, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    After checking my lottery tickets my robot butler has informed me that I was not the lucky winner in this week’s draw. Better luck next time.

  88. welles September 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    …and eat it, drink it, ingest it, inhale it.
    Preferably grow hundreds of plants, in your home, you’ll be amazed by the cool fresh air they provide, their vivid greenness and the sense of Universal they silently speak to you.
    Everyone needs to get Lost in the Forest again, and find themselves awestruck at the foot of gigantic living roots.
    “Yeahhhh, mannnn”

  89. Kitaj September 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    You think it coincidental that super talented musicians like YES were into Yogananda? How about the spirituality of people like Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin?
    How many of you are willing to face the truth – that huamn beings have so lost touch with the full spectrum of reality – and the higher spiritual dimensions – that we are literally existing in a degenerate, insane condition?
    As Sting sang in a famous Police song, “There is no political solution” because our problems go much deeper.
    I am always surprised how few people in Peak Oil circles know anything about esoteric spirituality. Just because the new age movement strip-mined the esoteric traditions and created from the fragments marketable commodities for 3rd rate minds does NOT invalidate the esoteric traditions.
    We humans today have access to the esoteric traditions of all times and places and THAT is one of the great legacies of the 60’s. Sure, affluence and education and travel played a part here, but the program was to use our fossil fuel inheritance to build an Enlightened planetary civilization.
    I am always ssoo surprised how few understand this. Hell, Sri Aurobindo was talking about this stuff 80, 90 years ago. And 60’s people like Carlos Santana at least tried to further the ideas.

  90. sfnate September 13, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    …the people running things in the USA have no idea what’s going on or what they’re going to do about it
    The people running things in this country are so heavily invested in an unsustainable status quo that they can’t even imagine a future outside of this systemic box we’re in (which resembles a coffin more and more every day). They are truly a pampered and powdered zombie horde, unable to change direction because their zombie thinking is entirely focused on devouring whatever flesh remains on the bones of this economy. Obama, our Zombie-in-Chief, already dreams of the Long Holiday, and between vacations, I’m sure he’s working with all the earnest application a Zombie can muster when it’s taking those long staccato strides toward a frustratingly elusive goal. In this instance, the goal is to survive long enough to have one more good gnashing at the public trough. Then, it’s a nice long vacation, followed by a lengthy sinecure at a top company. And every lurching step of the way, our fearless Zombie leader will remind us that our Zombie values are an inspiration to the world, a world that needs Zombies more than ever, especially now, when so many bitter and frustrated people are beginning to question the Zombie way. But fear not, says our glorious Zombie, though the road is filled with numerous obstacles, like broken glass and the burned out hulks of SUVs, we should not retreat from the Zombie Dream, because Zombies are truly a forward-lurching mob, stumbling toward great things, like those mile-high smoke plumes in the distance.
    Oh and did I mention that “Obama says ‘no’ to solar panels on the White House roof,” I’m guessing because they would displace the anti-aircraft battery, which will doubtless come in handy, probably sooner than later:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/sep/10/solar-panels-white-house

  91. cougar_w September 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    “Maybe this is what death is like: a descent into the dark maw of simply unknowing. No wonder people fear it.”
    Of all the things I have ever read here, I will remember that forever.

  92. LewisLucanBooks September 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    On birth control or the lack of it: The other day I was eavesdropping on a couple of 30 something young men. Young men with that white trash boy strut. They apparently didn’t know each other and were jockeying for position and pecking order in this small place.
    After the usual small town “Who’s your people; who’s your Mama’s people…” “What gym do you go to.” But the final bonus round was a real corker. “I have six kids.” Trumped by “I have eight.” We had a real winner here.
    I’m sure these young men told each of the mother(s) that, as far as birth control goes, if it was discussed at all went something like “I don’t like to wear them things. They just don’t feel right. Cuts down on the feelin’. And I know YOUR a clean girl. And besides, I LOVE you.”
    Of course I live in a place where I see bumper stickers that say “Gun Control is dropping a liberal at 500 yards.” Makes me feel like it’s time to move along with a little dispatch.

  93. ASPO Article 1037 September 13, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Lots of comments to comment to… JHK has left out the perfunctory Parallel Bar Therapy reminder, so that shall be here.
    Preventing Balkanization and regional transport breakdown obviously is Job #1 for America’s Peak Oil savvy people with initiative. So, Tea Party, this is going to include you, consider it an assignment. Rubber tires like pavement, and pavement in America got going on a big scale when the “wheelmen”, bicyclists of 100 years ago clamored for better roads. Roads prompted Ford’s model T, and cars pushed bicycles off the roads. Unintended consequences.
    Now, the bicyclists are making it difficult to put the rails back on the dormant rail corridors, “Rails To Trails” were for bicyclists, weren’t they? Well, if you look at the program language on rails to trails, the big selling point was to bank unused rail corridor, for eventual railway rebuild in an energy restricted future. Hmmm.
    Federal Executive Emergency orders for motor fuel allocation will free up roads space for bikes, so fret not, wheelmen. Bicycling requires food, and most will still have to be transported, so rail branch line will be needed as the truck mileage is drastically cut down, beginning with long-haul going back to rail. Unplugged ones can understand wisdom in maintaining victuals distribution, so hungry city slickers don’t make like Brer Rabbit in the farmer’s garden!
    Bicycle people and Tea Party people claiming interest in preserving the Union of States can work in their respective purview to refresh local recollection of nearby dormant rail corridor. When alignment ascertained, approach nearest Short Line Rail operator, and start the rail rebuild dialogue. For info on the Short Line Rail Association, see “ASLRRA”.
    Agriculture is priority traffic generator in this endeavor. Many abandoned short line rr branches are seen in the US wheat belt, and are candidates for rehab. Out in California, agriculture survives war & drought & debt, so expect significant rail doings in the Golden State. Rail lines connecting cities to farm produce enroute went to places like Placerville, Rumsey, Grass Valley, Madera, Knights Landing, and Montpelier.
    New mains would parallel US50 to the Carson Valley & Minden dairy country. Item: American River Hydropower enroute for the electric locomotives. North/South rail corridor demanding upgrade includes the US95 route on East Coast, and another brand new generic freight & passenger (steel wheel) rail line out west, running through Las Vegas up to Reno.
    All hands can read about current state of EIOER affairs on Richard Heinberg’s “Museletter” 220. It is not difficult to determine railway as a crucial element, “Guarantor of Societal & Commercial Cohesion” and therefore, an apolitical mechanical guardian of the the Union of States & the US Constitution. Emergency is at hand, so additional to the ASLRRA private sector involvement, the Feds must be in the act along the way.
    Reformed US Army/Guard Rail Logistics Units, the Railroad Operating & Maintenance Battalions are important elements during the branch line prioritization process for order of rebuild. The rehabbed lines go over to private operator as readied for service. Profitability of branch line rr freight ops is not in question as motor fuel allocation brings trucking out of long-haul into more pick-up/delivery role.
    Deniers of Peaking Oil not wishing to hear about energy problems from a credentialed academic like Richard Heinberg, try Chris Skrebowski, an oilman with a recent paper on the subject. Try for free download.
    Boys & girls, having mood of gloom & doom is not the way to segue into the next act, the “Oil Interregnum”. Of ALL places, North America (that includes the USA, for map challenged) is in position to maintain technological restraints to outside attack, and still has bare minimum of depleting resources necessary to at least feed ourselves, even if not riding to the store in a luxury car. As Moshe’ Dayan said, success requires only the “minimum required effort to achieve the minimum acceptable result. Keep the water flowing in North America (NAWAPA) and the victuals fairly distributed, and we can get along.
    We Americans are not starting from scratch with railway rebuild & upgrade, and if we can maintain “moderation in all things” this dangerous period can be passed through. If Russia can do likewise, not let the Middle East put hooks in Russia’s jaws, the Asian Tigers can find their population equilibrium in their own sphere of influence. This is not going to be easy…

  94. Debit September 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    As for teen pregnancy: Single moms run the highest risk of poverty. Not old and mature enough to reckon with personal and household finances does not help. Finally, the single most signiicant correlation in regards to the outcome of a child: The income level of his/her parents. In short, misery begets more misery.
    Less than stellar sex education, especially once politics is involved: Concentrating on idiotic issues like abstinance, masturbation, and so on. Better off concentrating on the essentials, such as how a girl becomes pregnant, available contraceptives, parenting with emphasis on its social and financial responsibilities. An acquaintance of mine suggested the following a long time ago: Impose mandatory vasectomy for boys. (His reasoning goes: Since youngsters are a bunch of immature horny rabbits, why not do something preventive? LOL.) Undo vasectomy once he is old enough to understand social and financial responsibilities.
    (It would be interesting to send a panel of experts to other countries with better track record in lower teen pregnancies, then come up with comprehensive recommendations.)

  95. Rick September 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Poor Kunstler,
    You just can’t bring yourself to actually say your prior joy for the Wonderboy Obama has fallen to the wayside. You were taken in by a sham. Now a group comes along that actually says we have to live within our means, not expecting something for nothing, and you call them names like a whiney child. Who do you think will handle the “Long Emergency” better, those that cling to their guns, religion and family, or whiney liberals like yourself that fully acknowledge we are broke, and yet still expect the government to provide health care for all? You argue the country expects something from nothing like Vegas, yet still hope for those Unicorns that Obama never delivered.

  96. scott September 13, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    I believe it is impossible to be agnostic although something to strive for if for no other reason than to question our beliefs. I think most people who are Agnostic simply end up with a surrogate for a “higher power” A good example of a surrogate, I think is economic growth.
    You would be hard pressed to find someone who does not believe in and have faith in the concept of economic growth. I can see why! The last 150 years has seen persistent economic growth of previously unimaginable proportion. Nevermind that the last 150 years of persistent economic growth is an anomoly in contrast to the rest of human civilization.
    We believe and have faith that the past 150 years of persistent economic growth is entirely attributable to our greater understanding of economics. Any blips on the charts of forever lower left to upper right are attributable to government meddling.
    I am not one of those people who believes and places faith in economic growth as something to worship. Pay homage to the point that every single decision that we make as collective human beings revolves around supporting economic growth even if it destroys the quality of many of our lives.
    I believe the past 150 years of persistent economic growth is attributable to producing, refining and distributing high energy dense forms of energy such as crude oil, coal and natural gas. The past 150 years has been beneficiary to the past 150 years of growth in energy and the technology that consumes it.

  97. Grouchy Old Girl September 13, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Thanks, Kitaj, for your insightful analysis of how some of us baby boomers did indeed fight against the decadent and destructive power structure that was Amerika in the 60’s and onward.
    Part of me has always felt like a failure for not being more successful, even though I know the forces against us were far too strong to let us prevail. They still are as we toddle into our dotage.
    But I feel better now after you have reminded us what was really happening. Most of all, that we should hold our heads up high and be proud of the gains we did achieve. There are many.

  98. JulettaofOhio September 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    From a Boomer, Hippie Female with strong Tea-Party sympathies: All blacks are stupid liars, savage and dangerous. Think that generality is just too horrifying and politically incorrect for your delicate sensibilities? Then why do you concur with the common assertion that all members of the Tea Party are “stupid, corn-pone idiots”? I’m not a tea-bagger. As a female, I am actually physically incapable of that rather repulsive act, and as a lady, I don’t engage in it with males of any political persuasion. I also find it amazing that Obama’s intelligence is considered to be “manifest”? REALLY???? On what grounds?? He can barely speak without the aid of his handlers or a teleprompter, and is also incapable of a quick-witted rejoinder. His very thin skin can not tolerate any objection to his opinions, and further pressure reduces him to a type of petulant incoherence seldom seen in the truly intelligent. He reminds me more accurately of a teen-age sociopath, perhaps prom king or maybe football captain, although he would be unlikely to ever put himself in a sport where he actually had to compete on his own merits. However, it would be both easy and pleasant to have many team members to blame for failed policy calls, as well as providing dubious grounds for blaming the prior year’s quarterback, or the coach, for previous failing years, which led, of course, to losing this year’s opener.
    Salon, which I enjoy because of Camille Paglia, sadly absent recently, has become absolutely unhinged about Obama and MegaButt, his ghetto bling, greedy and graceless spouse. A picture of Michelle, Princess Letizia of Spain and First Lady Carla Bruni is making the rounds of the internet. What a disconcerting difference! The Spanish princess is a babe, Carla is elegant and Michelle is frumping up the stairs on her thick ankles, not reminding anyone of Grace Kelly or Jackie Kennedy. Carla and Letizia are wearing long-sleeved suits, knee length, richly hued and conservative. Michelle is in a wrinkled skirt and the usual sleeveless white blouse, flaunting her pits and “guns” at all and sundry. Can’t she cover up a little bit?!!? Most women don’t enter a room ready for a quick arm-wrestle with the Pope, for instance, and most normal people are somewhat put-off by the bad manners. With all the money she and her husband squander, couldn’t they hire a good stylist for her. She doesn’t begin to represent me, but she does represent our country, unfortunately, and I’d prefer a classier avatar.
    James, I just finished “The Witch of Hebron” and enjoyed it although it certainly wasn’t what I expected after “Word Made By Hand”, of which I bought five copies and handed around to friends. This is, what?, an amalgamam of Dungeons and Dragons meets Survival.Blog, meets some cross of Wicca influenced spiritialism with some wistful eroticism thrown in? It’s entertaining and has oddly placed useful information. I may begin to grown Poppies, for instance… For those of you who persist in calling conservatives “Tea Baggers”, I can grow crops successfully, as opposed to the euphemistic “gardening”, safely can and dry foods, have a good smattering of herbal medicine and can grow the herbs with which to use it, I am fair to good at animal husbandry and can knit, sew and crochet. What can you do? Of course, I’m no Barbara Maglie (Read the book)but in times of The Great Disruption, I’ll probably cope better than you, Tea Party person or not.
    Also, try to figure out some new insults; You can scream Nascar-loving, racist, corn-pone idiot as much as you like, but it doesn’t stick, although you succeeded in annoying me which I assume makes you feel as though you matter and presented a valid argument. Also, come up with some nedw slogans….”Bush Did It”, “Tax cuts for the Rich” (Do you think the Obamas are not rich and got that way with your money???) are beginning to sound both desparate and monotonous. You guys need some new catch phrases.
    Did anyone learn history before it became an exercise in narcissistic victimhood? We need to wish China the joy of colonizing Africa, the actual ClusterFuck Continent. I’m sure China will manage, in their brutal way, to bring some sort of order to the mess, but the taming of the warlords, so analagous to our Czars, will not be easy and will be a perpetual burden, leaving them less likely to interfere with what is left of our country. Africa may or may not be rich in natural resources but if the rest of can’t afford them, who will be buying the diamonds?? Certainly their most important resource isn’t their people.
    Returning to history, I wonder if Salon’s drooling over Obama isn’t disguised fear? No other president, except for Woodrow Wilson, has been so determined to destroy his critics, up to and including private citizens. I should be very afraid as I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear that he isn’t universally loved and feared. Obama reminds me most of Henry VIII, but without an Elizabeth I to follow him and clean up. I’m sure Obama would like to sever a few heads and stick them on a pike which would deter disagreement and any inconvenience to setting up a good golf outing. John Kerry is James II, but without the charm. (America didn’t vote him in because the people can still recognize a greedy and dishonest tax-evading poseur.) Unfortunately, the right has no Cromwell in the wings. Bill Clinton was also James II, with the charm, but with Nell Gwynn in the wings. Ms. Palin is no match for this evil group. No, she’s not stupid, but she is naive, in my opinion. What do you do with a monarch who demands total submission? Obama really does think he’s God. Love me or I’ll kill you!
    Regarding the post sobbing about our inner-cities, what on earth do you suppose medieval Paris and London were like? Have you heard of survival of the fittest? Life was nasty, brutish and short back then and it probably will be again. You might consider Barbara Tuchman’s book, “A World Lit Only by Fire”, or if you’re a left-wing troll, perhaps “Forever Amber” would be more your tea-bagging speed.
    James, you somehow made being middle-aged, skinny and silver-haired sexy again, and I would have bet you a pre-1964 silver coin that it couldn’t be done. Thank You!

  99. treebeardsuncle September 13, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Hi. It is early in the week and the regulars aren’t here yet which is just as well. So, is this upsurge in the stock markets which has gone on for 2 weeks now, a bear market rally or part of a real recovery. What do people think?
    Geoff

  100. scott September 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    I share a lot of common ground with the Tea Partiers and Libertarians in general but I fear it is the same product in different packaging. Libertarians believe in economic growth with a twist, they believe and are selling economic growth forever if we just tweak it a bit. Good luck with that, one halfway reasonable glance at reality will show there is zero chance of Tea Party movement delivering on any of their proposals even if they were handed power in total.
    Tea Party followers should give up, surrender all hope of a solution. Acceptance is the only way to restore your sanity!

  101. Laura Louzader September 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Your post is dead on correct, Kitaj.
    I remember that we boomers were the first generation to be aware of the looming problems of overpopulation, environmental destruction, and resource depletion… and we were going to find another way. We were going to show our elders how to lead sustainable lives based on humane principals.
    So what went wrong and why did the Baby Boomers “sell out” in 1973 or thereabouts?
    For starters, we jointly and severally realized that we could not make a living within the existing context by pursuing “alternative” lifestyles. There was no supporting platform for such a shift, and there are very few people rugged enough to make such a massive shift in the absence of either the necessity, or the network of services, goods, and social & physical arrangements necessary to make it work.
    But the principal reason we failed is because those of us who built “alternative” lifestyles opted out of the world of professional careers that lead to great wealth and power, while those of our generation who rejected the Counterculture were driven to succeed in the wordly sense. I’m now recalling an article that appeared in Harper’s Magazine in the early 70s, the author of which I now forget, entitled “The Greening of America….and the Bluing.” The article contrasted the lives and chosen priorities of the “drop out turn on” kids from the upper-middle-class, with those of college students from lower-middle and working-class blue collar backgrounds. While the upper-middle-class “hippies” were pursuing “alternative” lifestyles that all too often quickly devolved into mindless, drug-fueled hedonism, the brightest and most motivated of the blue-collar kids were busting their buns in college, pursuing the professions whose practitioners run the world. They were majoring in engineering disciplines, finance, business administration, law, and medicine. And they are the people who are now running our country- not the ex-hippies who are, if they’re lucky, mired in low-ceiling jobs with very limited upward mobility, and if they were one of the truly dumb, are dead or permanently disabled from drug abuse. The more successful- those who eschewed the drugs and craziness and who managed to become functional, responsible adults- pursued New Age religion and spent their early adulthood in pursuit of hip pleasures. The “ideals” of the counterculture era were something to talk about, not live by.
    It’s not hard to figure out who will accrue power and money, and it’s not people who spend their best career-building years perfecting their Karma and pursuing Outsider lifestyles.
    Needless to say, by 1990 or so, even the diehards were giving up, with a few isolated exceptions- those being people of rare vision, extraordinary resolve, and real,in depth knowledge and well-developed skills. Very few people would make the kind of sacrifices and trade-offs acquiring the skills requires. Since we were a pioneer generation, and were trying to build a new society when we were in an age bracket that can scarcely be trusted with an automobile or credit card, we gave up very quickly when we saw the difficulties involved… like living through a Wisconsin winter in a log cabin with a dirt floor, or learning how to farm well enough to operate a kitchen garden.

  102. scott September 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    “So, is this upsurge in the stock markets which has gone on for 2 weeks now, a bear market rally or part of a real recovery. What do people think?”
    I think it is the sound of printing presses whirring in the background.

  103. John66 September 13, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Well, the way I look at it is like this…
    The first sure sign that the powers that be will not be able to deny is the yield on treasuries. They must go up from where they are now before anything else happens. Right now, they continue to fall. Last Friday, the 10-year settled at around 2.8
    We’ll have to wait and see.
    As long as the yield remains at its historically-low levels, the ship is still above water.

  104. scott September 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Treasury yields can stay low from artificial demand by governments. The FED has stated at FOMC meeting that they are purchasing Treasuries. Is that not equivalent to printing presses?

  105. scott September 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    All of the talk of stimulus, quantitative easing, bailouts, saving government institutions, etc. is for bridging the gap of a cyclical downturn. Once the economic growth returns, everything will be fine. I don’t believe this is a cyclical downturn. I believe it is secular and once the world catches on to the fact that we can no longer grow our resource base by excessively producing paper, TSHTF.
    We have two very large customers in the U.S. and China that will play extend and pretend to maintain their share of pie. What we see is China’s share is steadily growing and the U.S.’s shrinking. I expect that trend to continue as there is little precedent for wealth to flow from debtor nations to creditor nations. From my understanding of things, wealth flows from debtors to creditors.
    What is that famous saying? Those that understand compound interest collect it and those that do not pay it?

  106. treebeardsuncle September 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    I don’t see how inflation would kick in and create a relief rally starting on August 27th or 30th. It looked like the catalysts for that were international strengths, manufacturing and inventory growth, not as many people joining the unemployment rolls, passable retail sales, and a resultant feeling of relief and optimism on the part
    of many traders. The remaining key indicator which will determine whether this is a bear market or succers’ rally or a sign of a real recovery are the various housing and building reports which will be released next week.

  107. scott September 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    By international strengths I assume you mean the reports from China. Wonder how big UE would be if the Federal government didn’t (during this rally) bail out States that would and should layoff workers and default on bonds because of unsustainable spending built on unrealistic expectations of growth.
    A lot of traders are sarcastically optimistic that FED intervention in markets is bullish. Government manipulation of markets is not something I care to “invest in.”

  108. empirestatebuilding September 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    I think that if we change the banking system from one based on debt to one based on resource allocation, we just might be able to finance the race to the bottom more efficiently.
    Or not… who cares at this point?
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  109. ctemple September 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    The Republican party is full of greedheads, half baked fascists, cranks, and political hacks, but Ron Paul is not one of them.
    He’s done everything he could to keep the government from becoming more of a police state than it already is, he’s voted against all the funding for these illegal wars, and the Patriot Act. He done what he could in a Republican Party full of three foot tall Nazi’s to get them to stop.
    I swear all the liberal wacks have to do is hear the name Sarah Palin and they start foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs.

  110. ozone September 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Whew! Lots of comments, eh?
    At any rate, I hear you on this “population” soon-to-be-NON-issue.
    The biggest fat lady that e’er there was will take care of the excess humans; nothing we THINK we can do about it will make any difference. The only things we can DO will be in the direction of decline. (You know, little things like world wars; unleashing of man-made viruses; [further] poisonings of the environment; etc.)
    Our hubris is beginning to collide with our delusional hopes, mingling into the grandest clusterfuck ever.

  111. Saratogakid September 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Come on Jim, we can do better than pick on Rand Paul and his ilk, at least they stand for some form of morality in a world that has gone totally amoral.
    I am not a Randian, Bircher, or Tea partier for that matter, but there is much truth as I see it in what they preach about taxes, central banking, and conspiracies in high places We are a corrupt immoral society heading down a terrible road that we brought upon ourselves; more or less as predicted in the Holy Scriptures. You appear to be an atheist and so your views are programmed along that mind set, as smart as you are and as good with words as you are; can you not see the corruption of man and his sin nature in almost every aspect of life. Please don’t be so hard on Christians or even your own Judeo roots because the world would be in much worse shape without them. There are fanatics in every faith, but the real Jesus is not taught in churches today. Jesus never passed a collection plate, nor put a show together to draw crowds to the seaside, but he did feed the folks who came plus many other wonderful things. Maybe someday you will comprehend real faith and not the counterfeit variety that we now have, as predicted also in the scriptures. Jim, we have encountered each other around town a few times in the cafe and library and shared a few minutes together. I know you are very good with words, but words will not change this world, only actions will. In defense of true Christianity Jesus said “There will be many false Christs”, there is the real and there is the false and you will know them by their fruits. The point that I am trying to make here is that until our nature changes do not expect any solid foundations to be built in upholding society as we know it.
    Have a good day Jim, and may God bless you, I enjoy your writings for the most part.

  112. asia September 13, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    Lets call a spade a spade!
    most blacks born in the USA are born to single mothers.
    could be 51%, could be 85% born since the 1960s ………i dunno!
    and cowboy…:
    “Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Bawney Fwank, Chris Dodd, Rahm Emanuel, Little Timmy Geithner, Axelrod, Robert Gibbs”
    WHAT YOU FORGOT FEDHED BEN!

  113. asia September 13, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    found this on the web…censorships alive while america dies!:
    …the Pastor seemed to equivocate on his plans.
    In any event, one of Pastor Jones’ many enemies imposed upon his Internet service provider, Rackspace, to shut down his Web site. Jones’ blog,Islam is of the Devil, has also been shut down. Thus, while his enemies enjoy freedom of speech, Pastor Jones does not.
    I copied and pasted the following essay, published at Islam is of the Devil, from its Google cache, which could disappear at any time. Much disinformation notwithstanding, the Internet is not forever.
    Note that while the John Doe calling himself “Barack Obama” has through his proxies condemned Pastor Jones, and personally supported Moslems’ plan to build a Victory Mosque at Ground Zero, based on the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause, claiming that in America, everyone enjoys freedom of religion and speech, and equality under the law, “Obama” has not defended Pastor Jones’ freedom of religion and of speech, or his equality under the law, and has not condemned the over 50 death threats that Jones says he has received.
    But of course, anyone who knows anything about “Obama,” knows that he does not believe in our Constitution, but awards privileges to some groups (e.g., blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, Moslems, etc.), while disenfranchising others (traditional or conservative, heterosexual whites, especially conservative, Christian whites).

  114. San Jose Mom 51 September 13, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    Kitaj,
    I think you would be pleasantly surprised to learn how many people on this blog have a meaningful understanding of esoteric religions.
    SJmom

  115. asia September 13, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    clearly someone loaded the dice:
    Obama at the Pentagon called the 9/11 jihadist merely a “sorry band of men.” This type of Obama speak sounds more like a seven year old, than it does the “leader of the free world.” Obama’s refusal to ever acknowledge Muslim extremists were responsible for 9/11, Fort Hood, the failed Xmas crotch bomber, and the failed Times Square bomber are beginning to get rather old. Of course there’s always the Lockerbie bomber who is still alive and kicking in Libya that Obama never did anything about.
    Radical Muslim nutjobs have set up a “Demonstration” organized by Muslims Against Crusades in response to ‘Burn the Quran Day’ on 9/11. This one is set to take place in London, England. Filthy hypocrites. Why not just burn pictures of nutty pastor Terry Jones? No one would mind if they did that. Actually, these Muslims would probably be applauded. I’ll say one thing for this Terry Jones character. He has sure exposed the hypocrisy of Muslims and American progressives on this whole “burning the Koran” issue. That being said, he is still a nut, looking for his 15 minutes of day.

  116. budizwiser September 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    JK,
    You’ve got to bottle this stuff and market it on the street corners -at least maybe you’ll get arrested and put on the cover of Time for threatening to burn Korans are other some such heroic activity.
    But I digress, good enough article, but take a moment to reflect – you continue to assume these people that lack character are stupid.
    No one in a position of any real power is going to tell anyone they know what’s going on. So quit writing as if these people are dumb or ignorant -they’re not!
    Now -submitted for discussion: “Who will be the next Jimmy Carter?” And how far-reaching or short-felled will his/her message be?
    Keep mentioning air conditioning – when it goes, civilization will reveal it’s flaws.

  117. jerry September 13, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    These are scary times and those are scary people. But I do believe that our government officials, from the president down to his cabinet employees know exactly what they are doing.
    Their knowing has ended up failing. They want to appear to be protecting the average American citizen, but their actions are compromised because they are serving the needs of their masters–the corporate elite who ship jobs overseas and “get socialized” with Fed freebees.
    And then, there are the TeaPartiers, who are basically the John Birch Society members fearing the brown people walking THEIR streets!
    There is a train wreck comin’ at us soon!
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  118. Bobby September 13, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Thanks, KITAJ – This is, IMHO, one of the best posts to this blog ever written.
    I said at the time that Reagan was elected that the worst thing he did was turn back the direction that Carter was taking us toward alternative energies (think hippie,)Whole Earth Catalog.
    The election of Reagan, enabled by the Amerikan disappointment in the way Viet Nam turned out(we hippies were correct about that, too) was a turning point in history, which has resulted in our present predicament. We’re now on the short end of the stick, with probably not enough time to develop energy sources to maintain modern standards of living. Thanks, Ronnie.
    So, the decline was hastened, courtesy of the dipshits who put Reagan and the subsequent mediocre Presidents into office.

  119. Cash September 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    2. Be married- kids need two parents. – Laura
    Halleluja, Halleluja… Laura, I’m not kidding, wiser words than those have seldom been written.
    Over the decades I’ve worked with a lot of people, a fair number of which were women, either divorced or single, that had kids to support and tend to. And you no doubt have seen this too, their lives are a hell of stress between job demands, the kids’ normal demands for care and attention, financial troubles, troubles collecting money from a deadbeat ex… you know the drill.
    And the kids suffer too from a lack of a daddy (usually after a divorce it’s mommy that’s the custodian) especially the boys which become uncontrollable when they hit their teens.
    I know what I was like and what my buddies were like. We all had fathers to keep us on the straight and narrow but still we were time bombs.
    Testosterone does terrible things to a boy’s mind. A bigger repository of stupidity than a teenage boy exists nowhere on this planet especially on a Friday night. How many teenage boys crash and burn because they don’t have a father around?
    There’s no way single parenthood is OK.

  120. asoka September 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    TO DOOM AND GLOOM COMMENTERS:
    BUTTE, Mont. — Some of the biggest names in business said Monday that they see a bright future for the economy, with famed investor Warren Buffett declaring the country and world will not fall back into the grips of the recession.
    “I am a huge bull on this country. We are not going to have a double-dip recession at all,” said Buffett, chairman of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. “I see our businesses coming back across the board.”
    Buffett said the same things that worked for the country through a century of two world wars, a depression and more – all while increasing the standard of living – will work again. He said banks are lending money again, businesses are hiring employees and he expects the economy to come back stronger than ever.
    “This country works,” Buffett said during a question-and-answer session via video at the Montana Economic Development Summit. “The best is yet to come.”
    According to CFN we were headed toward an abyss, headed toward a brick wall, in a sinking titantic, in an economic depression, blah, blah, blah…
    All positive economic data must be denied. Eight consecutive months of job creation in the private sector must be denied. The data just doesn’t fit with doom or gloom.

  121. BeantownBill September 13, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    It is not surprising that America is in such a dire situation. The America that most of its citizens believe in is a myth. From the very beginning of European colonization, we have generally been a horrible, vicious people.
    Our nation was born in a desire for freedom, but it was for freedom to make money for the rich. John Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies, with a vast shipping business. He made a fortune smuggling. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington kept slaves. Slavery made economic sense in an agrarian society.
    We annexed Texas and forced Mexico to give up New Mexico, Arizona and California. We fought a war with Spain started by a questionable act (remember the Maine) that netted us Puerto Rico, the Phillipines and Guam.
    How we massacred Native Americans and stole their land is horrendous (read Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee),and slavery of Africans was an abomination. And it didn’t stop there. Each succeeding wave of immigrants was not welcomed with open arms, but were discriminated against by “freedom-loving” Americans.
    Slavery still isn’t dead. The average American works until at least May (I’ve recently heard until August) for the government to pay extortion, er, I mean taxes.
    The federal government gives away our own money to bankers who made very bad business decisions. Over 90% of incumbents win re-election because they are funded by the very same businesses they gave money to. In the meantime, we fight “wars” against drug distributors and users, and don’t have the nerve or decency to tell the world the truth – that we need to safeguard oil-producing countries’ oil so we can use it for ourselves.
    The country is rife with bigotry. We are anti-Black, anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim, anti-homeless, anti-old, anti-unemployed, anti-semitic. Professional sports, a multi-billion dollar industry creates rivalries between cities – New York hates Boston, Boston hates New York.
    What a mess! I don’t know that really hard times are coming, but there will be change, one way or the other, change is on the horizon.

  122. treebeardsuncle September 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    So you wouldn’t have homesteaded on a 160-acre lot because the government offered it, or invested in railroads because the government granted them land, or dealt with timber companies because they were subsidized by trees from national forests?

  123. ad_idem September 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Ms. JulettaofOhio
    In any future posts might I suggest you get your “sources” in order before you strike that “Submit” key!?
    You wrote:
    …”You might consider Barbara Tuchman’s book, “A World Lit Only by Fire”…”
    INCORRECT! Please note:
    A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age by William Manchester (And by way of Amazon reviews apparently -as James would say-a real stinker of a book Just saying!
    Again… You wrote:
    …”Of course, I’m no Barbara Maglie (Whooo?) (Read the book)but in times of The Great Disruption, I’ll probably cope better than you, Tea Party person or not.
    Sorry but, WRONG AGAIN! Please note:
    The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order by Francis Fukuyama

  124. treebeardsuncle September 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Warren Buffet says there is no double dip recession coming. He has been saying that since September, 2009. The doomers on here are full of shit. Asoka is the person who is most realistic about the economy. Then comes me and Q. 8m is living in a fantasy world. Cash is too limited in what he is willing to do.

  125. dennis September 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    One reader said “I agree, our problem is the core of our culture is rotten.”
    Actually our culture was always rotten and never very good, but we had a lot to work with. Now that we have waisted it, the earth will eventually take care of things. Must have taken a wrong turn back there in the dark distant past. Humans as a whole are rotten as it is always about “ME”. Until we work through that, we are screwed! Want to bet money how that turns out?
    Good Luck

  126. twessels September 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    When riding Amtrak trains from Philadelphia to New York in the 1970s there was a sign on a bridge or trestle coming into Trenton that read “Trenton Makes and the World Takes.” I wonder if there isn’t a similar sign along a railroad track somewhere in Guangdong province China that translates to “Guangdong Makes and the World Takes.”

  127. trippticket September 13, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    A lot of commentors around here just assume that economic recovery is a desirable outcome in all this. In this regard there is a major shortfall in that logic. Prosperity (self-indulgence) is killing our planetary life support system. Since the spread of the internet and television to all but the remotest parts of the world, everyone else wants this American prosperity too. That’s a lot of new car owners.
    But as in most things, we’re already over-budget. And there’s no amount of unrealistic sunshine or currency printing that can make the laws of nature just stop working. A return to business as usual ultimately dooms our species.
    If you knew that the kids being born today would mostly die of starvation if the wheels of capitalism started cranking again, would you wish for it anyway?
    I don’t understand the suicidal tendencies in our species.

  128. Godozo September 13, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    A question I’d like to ask the folks who either are part of the “Tea Party” group, or their sympathisers one simple question:
    Where are your Democratic Candidates?
    No, seriously – you guys have enough free time to harass Democratic candidates, and you happily run against Republican candidates; so why is it I don’t hear of any of you on the Democratic side of the ledger? Maybe because there’s almost NO Tea Party Democrats.
    And while I’m at it, here’s another question: Why do you Tea Partiers support everything the corporations and the hyper rich want? Do you actually want a dictatorship by the Corporate Elite? Because that’s what you’re supporting.
    So don’t tell me you’re “From All Sides Of The Spectrum” when it’s blatantly obvious you’re all from the far right. Because every time you spout that myth, you’re LYING!

  129. treebeardsuncle September 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Well, looks like the market will be up all week. Am still hoping for a dip next week based on weak news in the housing market. Have raised my target to start buying Apple for a price up to $262/share and for Baidu up to about $84/share.
    g

  130. trippticket September 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    It’s telling that the guys you don’t mention in your “people who get the economy” club have mostly outgrown money. Or the need for very much of it anyway. These are the Ozones, and the ProgressorConserves, and the Mean Dovey Cooledges, who are out there with their hands in the dirt, being realistic about what to expect in the near future.
    I hope you guys don’t get caught with your pants down. Scratch that, I actually hope you do, because it’s this incessant greed, that’s never enough, that is compromising my children’s future.
    I hope everyone gets THAT about the economy before it’s too late.

  131. treebeardsuncle September 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Asoka, I agree with you economically.
    I have a question for you though. How much territory are the Mexican Reconquista invadors going to take? I can accept them taking back the southwest: Ca, Az, NM, Texas, Colorado, NV, maybe even Ok, but I want them out of the northern tier of the country.
    Geoff

  132. liber8tor September 13, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    (b) There is no theme song for contraction – at least not one with a hummable tune. The current background music sounds like Stockhausen run through scrap-metal shredder. No wonder everybody’s so nervous. (/b)
    ——————–
    You said it. We are in un-charted territory. No one knows the words to “contraction”.. can’t even hum the tune.
    All we know is Trickle Down and Supply Side.
    Republicans have no vision, Dems have no vision. How can you get from point A to B if you don’t have a map?
    IN the meantime…China is setting itself up as the primere producer of wind turbines and solar panels… thereby eating our lunch and cleaning our clock… god help us.

  133. reniam September 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Good article. But… Rand Paul beating drums? Beating drums come from government. They peel away your liberty insidiously under the guise of justice and noble cause. He is one of the few that actually wants limited government. Doesn’t support the Patriot Act, middle east military adventures, or subsidizing energy companies. Sounds good to me.

  134. asoka September 14, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    Republicans have no vision, Dems have no vision. How can you get from point A to B if you don’t have a map?

    liber8tor, you have no internet search skills. It seems you are wanting to scare people, or you are genuinely scared yourself… needlessly so.
    How do you get from A to B? With a plan. Federal agencies have released Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans that outline how they will achieve the environmental, energy and economic goals called for in the President’s Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance.
    By the way. No other President in the history of the United States has ever had the vision Obama has. At Obama’s request, this is the first time agencies have developed and submitted Sustainability Plans.
    Under the Executive Order, Federal agencies were required to submit their plans to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Agencies were asked to develop, implement and annually update a plan that prioritizes sustainability actions based on a positive return on investment for the American taxpayer and to meet energy, water, and waste reduction targets.
    The Federal government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings, operates more than 600,000 vehicles, employs more than 1.8 million civilians, and purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services. As the single largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy, the Federal Government spent more than $24.5 billion on electricity and fuel in 2008 alone.
    Executive Order 13514 also required Federal agencies to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, increase energy efficiency, reduce fleet petroleum consumption, conserve water, reduce waste, support sustainable communities, and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies. To promote accountability, annual progress will be measured by the Office of Management and Budget and reported online to the public.
    Previous announcements related to Executive Order 13514 include a goal of a 28 percent reduction by 2020 in direct greenhouse gas pollution, such as those from fuels and building energy use, and a 13 percent reduction by 2020 in indirect greenhouse gas pollution, such as those from employee commuting and landfill waste. Combined, these two goals could result in a cumulative reduction of 101 million metric tons of CO2 emissions equivalent to the emissions from 235 million barrels of oil.
    You were right about the Republicans and the Tea Party not having any plan. I don’t think sustainability is even on their radar. They are more concerned that the deficit be increased by $700 BILLION by extending tax cuts for the rich.
    But you keep right on saying “Dems have no vision,” if that makes you feel good.
    Meanwhile, responsible people in the Obama administration will be making positive changes based on sustainability plans.

  135. scott September 14, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    “So you wouldn’t have homesteaded on a 160-acre lot because the government offered it, or invested in railroads because the government granted them land, or dealt with timber companies because they were subsidized by trees from national forests?”
    Different circumstances between then and now. We still had plenty of capacity for growth, government wasn’t nearly as large(by orders of magnitude) and the U.S. was a creditor nation during the implementation of those programs. The U.S. had not even reach it’s all time avg. daily crude oil production of 9 million barrels per day yet.
    Your question sounds so ignorant to me as to have no meaning. America was led by the private sector then, now the government is clearly in a command and control position. Dynamism of a vibrant private sector or red tape of a giant government bureaucracy?
    I actually believe that it is possible the government knows that we have reached capacity for growth and is managing the decline with various stimulus. Would they tell us if they believed we are doomed? I think not, they would be doing exactly what they are doing now. Extend and pretend, debt forgiveness, bank bailouts, etc.
    I don’t think it is anything to be particularly bullish about although it would seem that excessive printing would eventually lead to higher stock and other asset prices. Some think that high inflation will be bad for stocks as investors will gravitate toward hard assets and away from paper.
    I read analysis somewhere history of hyperinflation events that it takes between 48 and 60 months from the time printing has begun.
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article18563.html

  136. asoka September 14, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    scott said: “…it takes between 48 and 60 months from the time printing has begun.”
    Well, scott, printing began in 1913, so I think we’ve had enough time for hyperinflation to develop. After the financial panics of 1893 and 1907, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed. It created the Federal Reserve System as the nation’s central bank to regulate the flow of money and credit for economic stability and growth. The system was authorized to issue Federal Reserve Notes, now the only U.S. currency produced.
    Want to reconsider your prediction from “48 to 60 months” to over 90 years?
    Or better yet, just scrap the damn prediction.
    If it hasn’t happened in 96 years, I think we are doing okay with fiat money.

  137. scott September 14, 2010 at 1:36 am #

    Excessive printing Asoka, printing above and beyond what is being absorbed by a normal “healthy” economy. There already is more U.S. dollars than things in the world to buy with them. There is enough dollars tied up in the bond markets, if unleashed on the global economy would cause hyperinflation overnight. What 14 trillion? Thats eclipses all the money in the world. We are now printing above that Asoka, above and beyond “all the money in the world”.
    The only thing preventing high rates of inflation right now is world reserve currency status and the U.S. government is pushing it to the limit with print, print, print to offset deflationary forces.

  138. Laura Louzader September 14, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    Cash, I have witnessed the travails of single parenthood up close, having a mother who was divorced, and having witnessed the divorces of friends and relatives, and yes, single parenthood is materially and logistically difficult. We developed the institution of marriage for a reason, which is that human children are extremely dependent for a long time, and caring for them is too big a job for one person.
    But my mother at least has a good job, and had only daughters, so our lives were pretty good. But most of all, we knew that we had a father, and we knew who he was, and that he was supposed to be doing his part even if he chose not to do it.
    So divorce per se is not the most damaging thing, even though it is not good. It happens because it has to, because it is an alternative favorable to living in a disorderly or violent household filled with hatred and rage. But you wouldn’t choose it. Most divorced women raise their kids successfully- it is not the children of divorcees who fall into delinquency and permanent underachievement.
    If you were to study the children of middle-income divorced women apart from those of never-married women, you would get two very different sets of findings, I believe. You would find that the children of middle-class divorcees pretty much resemble those of “intact” families. Even though dad is not around much and usually contributes only a pittance by way of support, he is supposed to do these things; he is expected to, and his failure is considered to be just that- failure. Boys usually have a number of good male examples around, and Dad usually is in his life in some form. It is not ideal, but at least the kid has 2 real parents who were legally bound to each other and who both recognize their children, and their obligations to them.
    It is the children of never-married women who suffer. The biggest problem with out-of-wedlock childbirth is that it cuts fathers out of the picture altogether. A society of women who have babies with no dad in the picture at all is a universe of extremely young, uneducated mothers who are usually too young to be referred to as women, and completely irresponsible, childish men. It fosters hit-and-run fatherhood, and enables men who are not qualified for marriage, such as career criminals, the mentally ill, and the chronically unemployed, to become fathers, while marriage tends to weeds out the deviant and completely incompetent (though even marriage does not always accomplish this). Thus, you end up with a universe of 15-year-old mommas who have a half-dozen kids by age 23 or so, fathered by a variety of men who are the last people in the world who you want contributing to the gene pool.
    A society of never-wed parents is a society on its way back to 10,000 B.C.

  139. bubblesthecat September 14, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    The problem is very simple, its not Obamas lack of action or the the Tea Parties insane diatribe etc, the real fault lies in the fact that US citizens today are dumb as dog shit. You can’t get out of this mess because you don’t understand the problem. You traded “objective thought” for TV. I lived in the US for a few years recently and I found that nearly all of its citizens were oblivious to anything outside of JHK’s cheeze doodle paradise. There isn’t going to be salvation here just misery upon misery. The open slather murder that prevails in minority communities will spill into yours soon and you are going to die…and NO it wont be on TV!

  140. welles September 14, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    Yes, the privately owned, for-profit
    ‘Federal’ Reserve has done a great job of protecting the value of the US Dollar, which has lost 95% of its purchasing power since the Fed started counterfeiting money out of thin air.
    In real terms, this means that what you paid $1 for in 1913, you pay $21 for now. Too bad (your) wages haven’t risen 21-fold since 1913.
    When everyone is awash with the same baseball card, that card’s value PLUMMETS.
    Gov’t does some things reasonably well.

  141. trippticket September 14, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    “A society of never-wed parents is a society on its way back to 10,000 B.C.”
    If only! People 12,000 years ago had a much more realistic image of their place in the world. Men helped raise the babies because it was in their genetic self-interest to do so, not because a social worker was breathing down their neck about child support.
    All the abberant behavior we see around us, divorce included, is a product OF our present culture, not in spite of it.
    Not that I disagree with the meaning of your statement. It’s all my wife and I can do to keep up with 2 young children sometimes.

  142. trippticket September 14, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    “If it hasn’t happened in 96 years, I think we are doing okay with fiat money.”
    Because we’ve had future growth to bet against the whole way up. Remove that from the equation and let’s see how Monopoly money behaves. Since 1968 the US federal reserve note has been backed by nothing more than “the perceived strength of the US economy.”
    How’s everyone’s perception of the US economy these days?

  143. messianicdruid September 14, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    It is not in man that walks to direct his own steps, but you can’t tell him that {at least it doesn’t seem like he can hear it}.

  144. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Here, here.
    Despite asoka’s outline of achievements of the current US administration, it still all essentailly hinges on a BAU platform.
    Nobody has a fucking clue as to how to re-engineer the current paradigm (i.e. to marry a hyper-technological interconnected and dependant set of systems with the precepts and necessities of sustainability) to avert pending disaster. And even if someone did, there would be an equal amount of voices (lunatic or not) denouncing it. Therein lies our demise.

  145. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Whether Buffet is correct or not is immaterial, the problem is that the fundamentals of the economy are propped up on toothpicks. Maintenance of the status quo is a recipe for disaster: sooner or later.
    The planet’s carrying capacity has been overshot. Evidence of which is being recorded by thousands of scientists and others worldwide. A growth-oriented ecomomy within a context of an ever exploding human population on a finite resources planet is going to hit a wall. Period.

  146. Linny September 14, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Jim,
    Agree with so much of what you write.
    Couple of comments:
    2- I have lived far below my means and in my opinion a fairly austere existence given my income. I have saved for a rainy day. Gawd, do I want that McMansion. It becomes harder every day to not “go for it”, as prices have dropped and my pile of cash is pretty high.
    Also, would be interested in your thoughts on one politician who seems to be doing it as close to “right” as possible – Chris Christie of NJ.

  147. trippticket September 14, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    “A growth-oriented ecomomy within a context of an ever exploding human population on a finite resources planet is going to hit a wall. Period.”
    There it is, people. All the smoke an mirrors, (and celebrity endorsements), will not change the laws of physics. What goes up must come down. Expansion to other planets is cost-prohibitive, and our chance at that glory is most likely in the rear view by now anyway.
    Which is good. Screwing up one planet is bad enough. I wish everyone would stop watching the blinking lights and just grab a shovel already.

  148. TragicHipster September 14, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    For the life of me, I can’t see why JHK is so concerned about collapse when it is entirely clear he hates a vast majority of the American public that is either outside his tiny little bubble or doesn’t help keep in office the plutocrats he hopes will advance his something-for-nothing world of “free” health care and “free” social security that he so obviously pines for.
    He laments the “unplanned” nature of suburbs, somehow either ignoring or missing the fact that there are a vast array of petty potentates all across the landscape who have planned just exactly what it is we have. There is a particular disease that liberal/progressive posses whereby if democracy does not render what they wish on a local level, then centralizing it, making it bigger, and stocking the ranks with their friends from academia via an undemocratic process so that, you know, um, “politics” won’t, ahem, influence things, that utopia is just around the corner. Right, because its not the process or the assumptions that are wrong, its that we need petty dictators in the state capital or Washington to run our lives, instead of local dictators we elect.
    JHK reminds me of some petty third-world warlord who, upon having his country invaded by some colonizing force, does not run to the ramparts to repel the invader, but instead attacks a nearby neighborhood filled with objects of his long-standing blood fued in order to settle a score that no one yet has realized is irrelevant.
    What Ron Paul does or thinks on Sunday morning is of little consequence to me. A Baptist’s thoughts on creationism is as revelent to my life as my Jewish doctor’s daily dietary restrictions regarding meat and dairy. There is only a problem when it is pushed upon me, which in the case of Paul’s or my doctor’s case, is never.
    Ron Paul is one voice of reason speaking out against empire and the something-for-nothing attitude that JHK and other pathetic pushers of Keynesian paper prosperity worship. Rather than credit him for honestly and principle, he gets castigated by a man claiming to have some sort of insight into the lack of leadership in this nation, all the while completely lacking understanding of the role he play in perpetuating myths constructed to keep us all at each other’s throats.
    JHK, you are a petty, little, uninformed man.

  149. ozone September 14, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    “The planet’s carrying capacity has been overshot. Evidence of which is being recorded by thousands of scientists and others worldwide. A growth-oriented ecomomy within a context of an ever exploding human population on a finite resources planet is going to hit a wall. Period.” -EFM
    Yeah, I just don’t see what’s so hard to understand about this(?) (Understanding is one thing; acceptance, quite another.)
    I saw what I had predicted in June/July: a slow awakening to the last stop on the gravy train. It was accompanied (unsurprisingly) by shouting about how “recovery” was going forward and the return to BAU was right around the corner. Call me full of shit if you wish, I SAW [and heard] the slow awakening. (Now, I was looking for it, so I saw it; that can probably be said for many things. Is that why it’s called an “outlook”? Look out!)
    “…and I don’t have to read the news, or hear it on the radio;
    I see it in the faces, of everyone I know;
    The boards go up, and the signs come down;
    What’s gonna happen, to our little town?”
    -Greg Brown
    This situation (people seeing their comfort and ease slipping away) is perfectly ripe for authoritarian asshats to step in with their vague promises. (Seems a lot of these are well-greased with godliness and values. Code words for CONTROL, of course.) That’s exactly what’s going on. If you’re not ascribing that phenomena to the fear of losing “comfortable”, energy-intensive lifestyles (or the hopes of one day joining the outrageously rich), you’re looking in the wrong place.
    “Oh Blinding Light;
    Oh Light that Blinds;
    I cannot see…
    Look out for me.”
    -Hymn from Firesign Theater

  150. messianicdruid September 14, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    “I am always ssoo surprised how few understand this.”
    You are making me think of “Your own personal Jesus” by J. Cash. If I say “We need to be saved”, most will think I’m “talkin about religion” but I’m not. We need to be reconnected. We are all adrift from our Creator, and being blown about by every wind of doctrine {of men}. Set anchors, or at least hang on to each other till we figure out what is happening.

  151. networker September 14, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Cash, ok how about this. YOU go get some birth control for yourself and you won’t have to worry. (You ARE male, correct?) You go take systemic hormones that are not healthy for your body and are often experimental, no matter what the FDA says. You search high and low for some alternative to those hormones that isn’t unreliable. You pay for it all yourself too, without help (or even a glancing consideration) from your sexual partner. And if you do become pregnant, YOU drive hours to the clinic, walk that guantlet of whackjobs outside, go through the painful and stressful experience of abortion, and come up with the money to pay for it yourself. Take a walk in a woman’s shoes before you go blasting off about exercising restraint. If men gave more than a second’s thought to such restraint, stopped pressuring girls (and I do mean girls) into having sex before they are ready, stopped applying a moral double standard (or god forbid develop a birth control for themselves), it could be made vastly easier for women to deal with the entire book of issues surrounding reproductive health and well being.
    Teenage girls are not stupid. They are often ignorant, naive, immature, and very easily led by their peers and their boyfriends. Low income women are not stupid either. They are often ignorant, naive, pressured by a partner, and poor. I love how everyone pretends that while it takes a man and a woman to have procreational sex, it is somehow only the women and the girls who are “stupid” and “morally lax.” Come to think of it, it really is only the poor women we are denigrating, isn’t it? Because a rich woman or girl can afford to have as many babies as she likes, eh Laura L.? I do believe I heard you saying that it is precisely those rich folks who should be limiting themselves, since their carbon footprint is so much higher. But no. Let us rain damnation down upon the poor women, since of course it is all their fault. You have some very convenient, neat, circular thinking going there. Later you even contradict yourself that most women “wouldn’t choose it” (meaning divorce and single motherhood) unless they had to. It might be more helpful, and more ideologically consistent, if you would admit that there might possibly be mitigating circumstances here – there may actually be REASONS why the rate of single motherhood has become what it is.
    But of course you folks sure love to sit in judgment. I am sure y’all have perfect records of past decision making, dontcha. LewisLucanBooks is describing a very real current phenomenon among young people: If you want to fix a problem, you need to first understand it as it really is, and that includes stopping the scapegoating, of anyone, and open your eyes and minds.

  152. Cash September 14, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Hi SJ Mom
    Stupid is right. I think there’s another factor though: parental control and expectations. A while ago I got into it on another forum with some people over the issue of teenage sexual behaviour. The majority view was that it is impossible to keep teens from doing it and what happens happens and that view was from a good number of parents of teens.
    Not good enough. IMO a parent can’t just shrug and pass it off to fate. There’s no bigger tragedy IMO than a teen kid sick with some shitty sickness like HIV or Hep C. That kid will suffer terribly and DIE and it is completely preventable.
    But what to do, what to do wailed the parents. Well, do what my parents did with me and my sister. They were/are real old fashioned, old-world types that took no backtalk/excuses. They were not our “friends”, they were not “cool” (they watched Lawrence Welk).
    When it came to personal liberty, for us as teens, there was none. There was no idea that we had “rights” or privacy. We lived in an authoritarian household where our whereabouts and actions were under constant scrutiny. Our parents talked to our teachers and to other parents and wanted to know what we were doing. It drove me batty and I hated it.
    Stifling? Very. Oppressive? You bet. My sister was a good girl but I was not good and there was constant trouble between me and my father. It was a relief to leave home and go to university. But I think that, if my parents erred, they erred on the right side of things.
    So my parents’ idea is that teens are not entitled to do what they want, go where they want, be with whomever they want, unwatched and unsupervised. If a teen pregnancy happened God help the perps because there was no possible acceptable excuse, there would be no quarter given, no help, no sympathy.
    Is this courting teen rebellion? Maybe. In my case it did. Maybe parents can’t completely control what their teen kids do. But parents can control what they as parents do: do not abdicate their job as parents.
    End of sermon. Shoulda been a preacher.

  153. asoka September 14, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Tragic Hipster said: “Ron Paul is one voice of reason speaking out against empire and the something-for-nothing attitude that JHK and other pathetic pushers of Keynesian paper prosperity worship. ”
    Ron Paul is a good Republican. Ron Paul has voted with the Republican majority 77% of the time and has not even shown up to vote for 8% of the votes (123 votes).
    In other words, 85% of the time Ron Paul has either voted with the party that was completely fiscally irresponsible, voting for policies that caused 8 million jobs to be lost overseas, or has been completely missing in action in Congress. Not a very good voting record in either case.

  154. ozone September 14, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    “[JHK] laments the “unplanned” nature of suburbs, somehow either ignoring or missing the fact that there are a vast array of petty potentates all across the landscape who have planned just exactly what it is we have. There is a particular disease that liberal/progressive posses whereby if democracy does not render what they wish on a local level, then centralizing it, making it bigger, and stocking the ranks with their friends from academia via an undemocratic process so that, you know, um, “politics” won’t, ahem, influence things, that utopia is just around the corner. Right, because its not the process or the assumptions that are wrong, its that we need petty dictators in the state capital or Washington to run our lives, instead of local dictators we elect.”
    I think you can say this for most “political solutions” of whatever stripe (especially if they’re goaded by large piles of swag). This left/right paradigm is quickly losing its’ relevance. Would you bet your life on these transparent distractions?

  155. Cash September 14, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Cash, ok how about this. YOU go get some birth control for yourself and you won’t have to worry. – Networker
    I did and I live worry free. It’s a great feeling.
    Pregnancy for teen girls is a life wrecking event. I know because two girls in my highschool circle became pregnant, had the kids, supported them with the inconsistent “help” of their boyfriends (two of my buddies, they were real assholes, what can I say). It was a MESS. Destroyed the girls’ lives.
    So is it inconvenient to use birth control? Yes. Are there health hazards? Yes. Are the alternatives (pregnancy, abortion) orders of magnitude worse? IMO no question.
    Pregnancy is not a real hard concept to understand even for a naive, immature teen girl or boy. It’s not like you have to be Einstein. Our expectations, Ok, YOUR expectations of people and especially parents Networker, are way, way, way too low.

  156. nerdfarmer September 14, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    JHK,
    Total sidenote here… you might well enjoy the new album by The Arcade Fire, ‘The Suburbs.’
    Much of the lyrical content nods heavily towards the problems ahead and issues of “happy motoring” etc.
    Plus, it’s a damn good album musically.
    Keep on!

  157. networker September 14, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    My expectations of people and parents is not low in the least. I know from personal experience just what it takes to singly raise children to be both responsible and happy. This is not about inconvenience, no matter how much you wish it could be, to justify your scorn for pregnant single women. It is about a systemic problem of health care, education, and sexism. It is too bad that people like you enjoy your judgment of other people so much that it makes you ignore their salient points. You also appear to enjoy making blatant assumptions about others as well.

  158. TragicHipster September 14, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    I definitely would not bet my life on these distractions. I just find it sad that reasonable people on the left are just so damn eager to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to the Ron Paul crowd or the Tea Party. Its silly, juvinile, and short-sited.
    These people represent the only challenge to the status quo of paper money, war, and the something-for-nothing mentality that runs Washington that will eventually bankrupt us. Instead of trying to reach out to these people, or educate them, or seperate the good from the bad, the JHKs of the world seem hell bent on believing that re-electing people who seriously believe we can spend LESS money on health care by spending MORE on it are going to save us from these corn-pone Hitlers that everyone is so afraid of.
    Let me inform you all of something, we don’t need to wait for fascism. We already have wireless wiretapping and warrantless searches and seizures. We alread have indefinite torture and detention. We already have vastly expanding military activity in a dozen countries. We already have a budget that is 40% consumed by military expenditures. We already have government control and influence of the media. We already have an unaccountable, unconstrained executive branch of government. We already have a government that’s exercising undue influence and control of industy and finance.
    While you all are sitting with your panties in a bunch over some guy with a Gadsden flag waving outside of a Walmart, there is a 14 year old kid in Gitmo who was sold to the CIA to settle a family feud in Afghanistan that is about to have a car battery attached to his nuts.
    This constant drumbeat against the Tea Party or Ron Paul libertarians is not at all constructive and if you can’t see that the entire thing is orchestrated and influenced by corproate defenders of the status quo and the Oligarchy at the top, you are a blind sucker.

  159. Cash September 14, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Hi Laura, I think you’re right about the kids of never married women that suffer the most.
    I have some anecdotes to go by. One involved a close relative. She had two kids with her hubby. He got involved with another woman. The hubby divorced her, took up with the other woman who had two kids and who divorced her hubby.
    The four kids got along great so that mix and match was ok. But the son of the other woman took his family breakup really badly and tried suicide twice. He was depressed and messed up for years.
    My relative took up with another guy whom she never married. He is divorced and has two grown kids of his own. My relative’s daughter can’t stand the guy, avoids him whenever possible. The daughter also took her family breakup badly. She became withdrawn, quiet, keeps to herself. She HATES her father for messing things up.
    The family arrangements are really complicated with the multitude of adult “partners” the kids have to contend with not to mention step siblings. Really stressful for the kids.
    The best thing about this for the kids is that they’ve seen asshole-ish adult behaviour up close and learned to cope with it. Too bad it was that of parents and step parents. There will be no shortage of assholes to deal with in their lives (bosses, co-workers, etc) and they learned to deal with them early.

  160. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    In so-called “primitive” societies, early pregnancies are supported by a community, something we have acquiesed to the concept of the nuclear family/I’m-alright-Jack artifice that contributes to the plight of today’s unwed mother.

  161. Cash September 14, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Then we’ll agree to disagree. Everybody is entitled to believe the evidence of their own eyes and their own experiences.
    I differ you in that IMO there is nothing “systemic” about it. IMO it’s ALL about personal choices. But like I said, you base your own beliefs based on what you’ve seen.
    And good for you that you successfully raised kids by yourself.

  162. San Jose Mom 51 September 14, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Cash,
    My upbringing was rather strict, to put it mildly.
    The fear of God kept me from fooling around as a teenager.
    But I have Mormon friends, who clearly have high expectations of their daughters — but two of them have had to deal with teenage pregnancies. Knowing these girls, I think it is a combination of stupidity and rebellion.
    My nephew, a college graduate and man-whore, knocked up a freshman on their first date, after he graduated from Syracuse. The three of them lived together for a while, but then he cheated on her. She moved to another state and left him and the new girlfriend to deal with the baby. A sad situation, especially for the little boy. I consider my nephew to be a narcissistic jerk.
    SJmom

  163. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    The fear of God kept me from fooling around as a teenager.

    And there is the crux. Fear is not part of todays youths’ language. And if it is, it’s not connected with anything negative, it’s connected with adventure: “Feel the fear, then do it!”. Woo-hoooooo!!!!!!!! Consequences are nominal. In fact, the concept of consequences hasn’t even been instilled in them.

  164. Cash September 14, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    In so-called “primitive” societies, early pregnancies are supported by a community, – Enviro
    OK, but how willing are you to cough up money and time to support and take care of some other guy’s kid? Call me selfish (and I am) but I’m not.
    If a guy got a woman pregnant IMO it’s the father’s and the mother’s responsibility to provide time and money for the little one. No way the father should be allowed to skate away and do it again to another woman and leave another mess behind him.
    WRT your earlier post on land areas of Paris and Toronto, point taken, you have to be careful to compare apples to apples. Maybe what you do is compare populations and population densities within a pre-determined number of square miles.
    I’m curious, did you look at the you tube video of that Japanese apartment? What did you think? I looked at a few of them. Way small. I worked with a guy whose daughter worked in Japan. He said that typically families live in 600 sq ft in urban areas, singles live in a couple hundred sq ft.

  165. myrtlemay September 14, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    It wasn’t so much a fear of god that kept my legs crossed as a youngster. It was the rage and fear of my old man. I knew, he knew, and ANY prospective date I had knew that any guy who so much as placed his hand on my knee would be found hanging from a huge oak tree in our front yard the next morning. Double standards aside, girls of my era knew how, when, and WHY to keep our freaking legs crossed. We also knew many, many ways to have sex with a guy that would not BIOLOGICALLY result in having kids (hope I don’t have to go into details here). It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure THAT one out! And any guy who decided to get fresh with me knew that I had three older, very large, Varsity football playing brothers who’d be more than happy to beat the living bejesus out of any lothario who wanted to explore the insides of my lace panties. The girls today who think that they’re on the same playing field as boys when in comes to sex need to have their damned heads examined. Girls today keep score cards on the number of males they’ve “nailed” as much as if not worse than the guys.

  166. Laura Louzader September 14, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Fear of pregnancy kept me in line. It was the one thing girls of my generation absolutely did NOT want happening to them.
    My mother left the choice up to us. She said, if you are dumb enough to get pregnant, certain things will happen and they will wreck your life. What do you want for yourself? Nice clothes and college and a nice job afterwards, and then perhaps marry someone nice and buy a house and have a good life.. or do you want to be buried in bills and housework and diapers at the age of 18 with never enough money and a husband who hates you?
    And she made it clear that we had to take care of ourselves. I can’t supervise you girls the way I want to, she said, so you are going to have to look out for yourselves. Remember, I can’t buy you out of trouble like your rich friends’ parents can. You get into trouble, you STAY in trouble.
    I knew of a couple of girls who did get pregnant and made these very premature marriages to very unwilling boys. Their lives were trashed. There they were, in horrible apartments in semi-slum neighborhoods, never enough money, with husbands who made their displeasure with the whole deal very obvious. They ended up divorced very early on, of course. Just witnessing their lives was enough to make me very, very careful.

  167. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Apparently the current population of Tokyo is at 36.67 million. In ONE FRIGGIN’ CITY!!!!
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/ss/events/wl/100911_futcit#photoViewer=/11092010/10/photo/futcit-website-global-post-recently-published-series-reports-world-s.html
    …so spaces of this variety don’t seem so alarming. Kinda reminds me of a lot of trailers on the roads these days. Isn’t it ironic that North Americans (or more correctly should I say US Americans and Canadians and specifically EXCLUDE Mexicans) are rolling around the countryside at their leisure in what most Japanese citizens would likely consider their home. Just another example of our conspicuous consumption.

  168. networker September 14, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Yes yes, Myrtle May. You’ve got it ALL figured out. If only, if only, the whole world could be just like perfect little you.

  169. scott September 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Why would any male in his right mind want to own up to fathering a child? There is too much incentive for the female to double cross fathers by having cake and eating it too. Courts have incentivised child support so it is easy for women to cast out the biological father then replace him with a surrogate thereby having two sources of income. I know one woman who has 4 children by 3 different fathers and is receiving child support from 2 of them while shacking up with a non father.
    While there is a lot of focus on disfunctional situations I think court policies that overwhelmingly give custody and support to women are responsible for breakups that wouldn’t otherwise happen if the incentives weren’t so easy to acquire. It is no surprise that financial problems are the leading cause of divorce.

  170. networker September 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Oh yes, it is so “easy” for those horrible ole’ single mothers. If only they would just stop getting rich off their babies.

  171. myrtlemay September 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Don’t remember ever saying I was perfect – far from it. Luckily, I had parents who were not afraid to ACT like parents. Like Laura, I knew some girls, extremely attractive, nice and intelligent, who married slobs who knocked them up…it was what was done in those days – PRE-LEGALIZED ABORTION. These girls were beaten on a regular basis and their husbands were drunks/and or drug addicts. I’ve mentioned it before on this blog………..AND I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO MENTION IT AGAIN FOR YOU KNUCKLEHEADS WHO DIDN’T LISTEN THE FIRST FEW TIMES. DON’T GET PREGNANT UNLESS YOU PLAN THE GOD DAMNED THING. AND FOR CHRIS SAKES, ABORT THE THING IF YOU AND YOUR BOYFRIEND ARE TOO STUPID TO USE CONTRACEPTION AND CANNOT AFFORD A BABY. Now, that’s not so hard to understand, is it?

  172. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    OK, but how willing are you to cough up money and time to support and take care of some other guy’s kid? Call me selfish (and I am) but I’m not.

    Well, I already do. It’s called our wonderful taxation system. I don’t have kids and I’ve been paying into their collective education fund since the age of 20.
    Am I fond of the siutation? No. But would I rather have the money in my pocket, and live in conditions that resemble parts of the US. A more definitive “No thanks” to that.
    Despite what people say or think about our social system, our slums look like pleasant middle-income communities by comparison to the ghettos of the US. Keeping “them” clothed and fed and housed ultimately lifts all boats. We are our brother’s keeper. I prefer that motto.

  173. scott September 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    They are only “single mothers” on paper. Invariably they move an “off the books” father in as a second and perhaps third source of income.

  174. Cash September 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I remember one episode when my sister was 12 years old. A 14 year old guy she knew from her dance class drove by the house on his bike. She happened to be sitting on the front steps and he stopped to chat. He lived not far away and I’m sure it was purely happenstance.
    But my father went into a flap… he chased the poor kid away. And what a scene inside the house after: he’s 14, she’s 12, they’re way, way too young, he better never again show his face etc and on and on.
    By modern loosey goosey standards that was extreme. But I’ll say one thing for my father. He understood teen boys more than I was willing to let on at the time. Our priorities (besides our strength, status and honour among our peers) were beer, pizza and humping anything softer and pinker than ourselves (not necessarily order of importance). Teen boys are this good Earth’s lowest, most contemptible life form and good on my dad for making no bones about it (I guess having been one himself…)
    One absurd episode: I borrowed the car (I was 18) and I picked up a few of my buddies. After one of our rides the car practically needed to be fumigated as they all smoked and their cleanliness was not always the best. Anyway, right after I came back my dad looked in the car (make sure there was no damage) and found what he thought was a joint on the back seat. He brought it in the house, slammed his fist down and howled “what is this, is this marijuana?” I took the object and pointed out the words “du maurier” inscribed on the edge. It was a cigarette whose filter had broken off. I guess you had to be there.
    BTW Myrtlemay, you’re right: “the girls today who think that they’re on the same playing field as boys when in comes to sex need to have their damned heads examined.” I’m a guy so I see it from a guy’s perspective but, aside from that, boys do not get pregnant. It’s what grannies used to call the FACTS OF LIFE.

  175. Laura Louzader September 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    I’m with you on the matter of abortion… accidents happen, especially if you use the more old-fashioned and non-invasive forms of birth control such as diaphrams, condoms, or the various foams and creams. Many people are very averse to oral contraceptives, which still carry high risk to a woman’s health. Even married women need to resort to abortion now and then… when you are financially in trouble and your marriage is already cracking under the stress, the last thing you want to do is drop an expensive and unwanted surprise on your struggling husband. So you do what a woman has to do to manage her family’s internal life properly,and you don’t discuss it.
    And if there’s ANYTHING you don’t want, it’s to give birth to a child with severe birth defects who will never be able to lead a normal life or even care for himself.
    I prefer tubal ligation and elected this option at a very early age, at 28. I felt like I was too “young” to have kids at 25, and at 28, I felt too “old” and had to square with the fact that I just plain don’t much like kids and don’t want to be bothered with the little buggers.
    Tubal ligation saved me years of bother and worry, and if we offered it for free to indigent women, we would save ourselves billions in money spent on welfare, medical care, and incarceration. You don’t have to force it on these people, which is wrong in principal and in fact, or even reward them. All we have to do is make elective sterilization free and available, and we will be swamped with women who want it. Right now, it is not covered by many insurance plans, and purely elective (non-health related) procedures are not covered by Medicaid, last I heard. That means that the women who want and need the operation the most cannot afford it and are never going to be able to get their paws on the $3300 or so it currently costs. Insurance carriers are required to pay for in vitro fertilization, an utterly unnecessary procedure that costs about $25,000, but not the sterilization that could prevent so many problems.

  176. Cash September 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Because we’ve had future growth to bet against the whole way up. Remove that from the equation and let’s see how Monopoly money behaves. – Tripp
    Tripp, my degree was in economics, I’ve spent my life in the corporate world (ie US multinationals) in the financial realm and I’m telling you I have read few things more perceptive or succinctly insightful than those words you wrote. And not just because I agree with you.
    I wish that this type of sense and understanding would prevail at places like the Fed, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the IMF. If it had I’m telling you that, without a shadow of a doubt, we wouldn’t be in the fucked up mess we’re in now.
    I’m not overstating the case and I’m not being overly complimentary. The boys at the top, for whatever reason, they’re in the pocket of Wall Street, they’re incompetent buffoons, pick one, but they cannot seem to see reality and boil things down to their obvious essense like you did.
    In their job at the thirty thousand foot level, they cannot get mired in arcane jargon, metrics, and elegant but inconsequential economic theories. They have to be able to strip away all the blather and bullshit and get to the nuts of an issue. But, seemingly, they can’t.

  177. networker September 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    yes Myrtle May, stamp your feet and shriek a little louder, and maybe it will all come true. Tell me truthfully, do you feel a little unbalanced when someone doesn’t “listen” to you? Should we all just shut up and let you decide what’s best? (I mean since you have so much first hand experience and all.) Do people like me, who think for ourselves, make you squirm and let loose your capslock? Since it is obvious that the only visions you have are of what you want to see, perhaps a visit to the doctor might be in order? I believe they prescribed valium back in the sixties for “hysteria”, no?
    And oh Scott, you have hit the nail right on the head! I mean, for God’s sake let’s stop and realize who is REALLY causing this economic meltdown. That’s right, single mothers are! You and you alone have discovered the solution. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the rich and powerful, of course. I say we start DOUBLE taxing single moms everywhere, RIGHT NOW. That’ll teach em.
    Cash, I understand it takes time and it probably hurts your head to tackle other people’s experiences (I know, I know, you know better than I do what it means to raise children by yourself) but did you ever think about trying? Or does it just feel so GOOD to denounce poor women? (Really, tell me, do you get a shiver down your spine when you do it, like Myrtle May does?)

  178. treebeardsuncle September 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    You are such an asshole. It is the right thing to do to admit to being a father. (Have done that at least once when not required.) Also, it goes beyond a matter of incentives as far as many females are concerned. Some are quite honest and some are decent and respectful and, yes, I have met a few. There is a whole world of life and experience that you cannot even begin to understand.

  179. Cash September 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    OK networker, like I said you’re entitled to your opinion.
    I’m not denouncing poor women. My mother, her sisters, my grandmothers were absolutely destitute, they grew up half starved. Both my parents lost siblings because of malnutrition. My father has physical abnormalities in his bones because of malnutrition. I saw firsthand in Italy in the 1970s relatives living in misery.
    But, interestingly, none of my female relatives of my parents’ generation (who were as misery bound as my parents) got pregnant out of wedlock, poor as they were. And it was a large family. Somehow it just did not happen. And all of them had only a few years of elementary school education so ignorance does not count as an excuse either. ALL of them are AT BEST semi literate.
    The poverty and ignorance you tout as an excuse does not seem to work. As Myrtlemay said, the women of my mother’s generation, poor and ignorant as they were, knew how, when and why to keep their legs crossed.

  180. networker September 14, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    HAHA Oh REALLY, Cash! “Somehow it just did not happen”? Answer this honestly: have you ever, once, ever researched your family to see if that was actually true? I would bet you my silver that your eyes would be opened wide.

  181. treebeardsuncle September 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Dealing with life merely at the level of fear of punishment is a very primitive and under-developed way of looking at things. There is also the matter of preferences, how one prefers to spend one’s time, what one values, and what one finds repulsive etc.

  182. networker September 14, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    As for this “knowing when to keep their legs crossed” attitude: there really is no excuse for your sexism and ignorance on these matters. Men have been given a pass for far too long on this whole moral double standard. Women bear the brunt, literally, if a relationship doesn’t work out, or if a man is abusive or absent. It is small minded, and dare I say stupid, to blame women so consistently for something that both are responsible for. In the case of teen pregnancy, the statistics are clear: very often the father of her baby is an adult, who should bear MORE responsibility, not less.
    And Cash, I have never, not once, offered poverty and ignorance up as an excuse for pregnancy. My point is that poverty and ignorance are mitigating factors and that every situation is different. Stop scapegoating, because the only thing it does is make you selfishly feel better. What I did offer up was an illustration of how your vitriolic, sexist judgment does absolutely nothing to help the matter – in fact it only adds to other people’s pain. I understand it feels good to sit in pompous sanctimony (that’s you, Myrtle) and cry about the lax moral habits of other people, but be clear about this: it IS about poverty and ignorance, because none of you are whining about rich women having babies. (Laura flip-flopped on this earlier, see above.) This is absolutely about condemning women (and only women) who are powerless, pregnant, poor, and have no help (especially not from you.)

  183. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Agreed. However a certain degree of fear is healthy, and oftentimes necessary. Abandonment of it is foolish. But this is not the message that is being conveyed.

  184. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    You must work in a women’s shelter, no? I have crossed paths with women of similar opinions to yours who DO work in women’s shelters and are “on the ground” as it were. They have seen first hand the misery associated with unwanted pregnacies and the social conditions surrounding them.
    Would this be an accurate assumption?

  185. Cash September 14, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Yes I’ve researched my family tree.
    And believe me fascist Italy was a nasty, patriarchal, intolerant, priest infested place. Out of wedlock pregnancy in that place was not an excusable offence. Like Myrtlemay said, a guy lived in mortal fear of a girl’s father and brothers. When I say mortal I mean mortal.
    You don’t understand what a place that was. A pregnancy was a dicey thing because of a lack of medical care. Women didn’t go to doctors or hospitals. They were out of reach financially. And most people being poor, marginal farmers a new mouth to feed was a really big problem. An out of wedlock pregnancy was not a problem, it was a catastrophe.
    Plus our family is one amazing hive of gossip. No way, no how a juicy tidbit like that wouldn’t get around.
    One other thing: I talked about my mother’s generation. I have a first cousin in Italy of my generation that got knocked up in the 1970s. She was 17, her boyfriend was 19. What happened? Her father beat the daylights out of her with a belt, loaded his shotgun and paid a visit to the boyfriend (I’m not kidding).
    They were married before she started to show. They stayed married for about 20 years and had two boys.

  186. progressorconserve September 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Another nice post this week, JHK.
    I’ve got to admire your focus. Week after week, one way or another you continue to remind us of our MAJOR problems as a civilization:
    ========
    To be precise, I mean our predicaments of 1.) energy resources, 2.) vanishing capital, and 3.) ecocide
    =======
    And you’ve got another nice new metaphor for us:
    “Maybe this is what death is like: a descent into the dark maw of simply unknowing. No wonder people fear it.”
    Well done; and keep the pressure on the TEA party. They keep appearing on this thread to defend their leaders – Ms. Palin, et al.
    And they defend their two known TEA party planks – cut taxes and cut spending.
    But what do they want TO DO??
    Especially on energy, since this is a PO blog – how will the TEA’s solve the problem.
    I’ll guarantee that the mainstream TEA member has a ,”Drill, Baby, Drill!” refrain in their head – whether they will admit it or not.
    Along with a strong feeling that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a myth designed to ruin life as they understand it.
    And that “jobs” are the big issue and that the US can “grow” her way out of any problem.
    What a mess.

  187. Laura Louzader September 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    I am not blaming single mothers for our social and economic problems, merely pointing out that this tends to be a very bad choice for both mother and child, and that we take it way too lightly these days.
    I don’t know why anyone would choose such a hard road, yet I am meeting young women who do, and they are doing it under the impression that their parents and the welfare system will backstop them. They really have no concept of how difficult things will be, and someone needs to tell them.
    They also don’t realize the importance of fathers, and we have really fallen down on the job of teaching our kids the responsibilities of parenthood. We under-state the roles of fathers- notice that when a kid commits a crime, people ask where MOM is, but never Dad.
    We need to start holding fathers accountable, and for more than just support. When a kid is clearly having adjustment problems, the school should involve both parents, not just Mom.
    And yes, I still say that it’s no better for richer folk to overbreed than it is poorer folk. Notice that kids at the high end of the socio-economic spectrum have just as many problems with delinquency and drugs as do poor kids. While a family might be able to afford many children financially, they cannot provide the one-on-one care any better than a poorer family can, for this makes demands on the parent’s energy and stamina. Going through childbirth 11 times or so is just as hard on a rich woman’s body as it is a poor woman’s, and kids make the same demands for time and care no matter where their parents are financially. Kids are so needy of hands on care that in large families, the weaker, more challenged siblings too often get lost in the shuffle.

  188. networker September 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Enviro, I do not work in a women’s shelter, but I do happen to be wilfully educated on this matter.
    Cash: I understand far better than you think. And poor women often don’t go to doctors now, as it is “financially out of reach.” It is a nice fiction you have going for you, but you live in ignorance. Researching your family tree on Ancestry.com will not turn up the real story of unplanned pregnancies in anyone’s family.
    I became a single mother 25 years ago, in 1985. My children are happy, healthy, hard working, responsible people. Parenting under the best of circumstances is a difficult job, and I was one of the fortunate single mothers – although we were extremely poor I was able to work two, sometimes three, jobs consistently and I was lucky enough not to experience real adversity, like sickness or accidents or crime. Let me make no mistake about this point: I was LUCKY, pure and simple. I experienced NO real adversity, the way so many young mothers do. I am white, which makes things infinitely easier. And I am educated, which makes it even easier still. But really, until you have done it yourself, you truly have no clue what it means to raise children alone.
    Having said that, do you know what the ONE thing was that made my life as a single parent truly difficult – made it harder for me to raise my children? The financial and logistical difficulties were challenging, yes, but what really made my life painful and exacting was the judgment, sexism, and scorn of people like you and Myrtle May.
    Think about that for a while.

  189. progressorconserve September 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    I’ve been watching this blog for months and this seems to be the first discussion of abortion on here.
    I’m male. I fail to understand how men even deserve a voice in the debate.
    Yet I fail to understand how ANY woman with any imagination at all can be opposed to abortion of a pregnancy that is due to rape or incest.
    Yet, the Georgia republican party was just decided, at least partially, on that basis. Karen Handel lost to a man named Nathan Deal.
    Deal is a smug 18 year US congressional representative with criminal investigations pending. He got the endorsement of “Georgia Right to Life” because he opposes abortion in the case of RAPE.
    The race was close. A lot of women had to vote for this man Deal.
    Why?

  190. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    I’ve been watching this blog for months and this seems to be the first discussion of abortion on here.

    You may be about to discover why it’s best been left unmentioned. ;-)

  191. progressorconserve September 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Look, women have always gotten pregnant out of wedlock. It is possible that a domineering and fear inspiring father and some scary brothers can help to prevent this particular occurrence. :-)
    But not every woman has that, and what some of you are thinking of as *lack of female self-control* or *lack of male self-control* or *permissive society* *lack of consequences* or *it is always the girl’s fault.*
    Well, I disagree. All those *things* in the sentence above are just other names for the unthinking biological imperative that young men and young women feel to reproduce.
    We put a veneer over our biological selves called culture and civilization – but it is only a veneer – and sometimes it is going to crack open!
    Until we have easy, bulletproof, and FREE birth control – there WILL ALWAYS BE unplanned pregnancies.
    ============
    And Enviro, I hear you dude. Let the record show that I didn’t bring it up.
    And anything related to population growth needs “airing out” on CFN, IMO.
    But I’m retiring from this debate permanently, I hope. And this is another one of those issues where I think we need the involvement of thinking, honest, and voting females.
    I don’t even have daughters, so I can’t think myself into the abortion debate.
    Both my sons KNEW – KNEW that they would be helping to raise an unplanned little baby if I ever get (got) involved with a situation like this.
    That’s about as far as I feel I have the right to project myself into this issue.

  192. Cash September 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    This is absolutely about condemning women (and only women) who are powerless, pregnant, poor, and have no help (especially not from you.) – Networker
    Nonsense. I think you have a really low opinion of women. I think that women have a full complement of intellectual and moral faculties, that they have the power to act or not act.
    This is not Afghanistan. For much of my life I reported to women bosses. And my jobs were highly paid, management level jobs in corporate finance, not crap jobs in fast food. I have a healthy ego, I don’t suffer the company of idiots, I refuse to report to idiots. The women I reported to were not idiots. They were highly educated, highly accomplished, highly respected professionals that moved me along career wise and taught me a great deal. A couple were brilliant. I have a really hard time swallowing the idea that in this place and in this time in history women are victims.
    You can justify all you want but it’s hard to think of a more self destructive act than teen/out of wedlock pregnancy. Of all the things to NOT do, this has to top the list, besides maybe drug or alcohol abuse.
    And it’s not only women. I worked with one guy that started and walked away from three families. Handsome, charming and a totally irresponsible asshole, that guy made a complete mess of his life, the lives of his four (I think) kids and his three wives (or girlfriends I can’t remember which). He got his full share of condemnation.

  193. Cash September 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Do you want to know what I am scornful of? Idiots that take no responsibility for their own conduct.
    You say you were able to take good care of your kids. Good for you, I’m not scornful of people like you that pick up the ball and run with it. You did what you did and you dealt with the consequences.
    But how many are there that aren’t like you? How many of these consequences end up uncared for by their parents and in prison?
    Read Laura’s post of 2:05 pm. We’re not going to convince each other. Let’s just agree to disagree and be done with it.

  194. JulettaofOhio September 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Excuse me all to heck for the botched references. (My bad!) I was thinking of “A Distant Mirror” with Barbara Tuchman, but I also bought a copy of Manchester’s “A World Lit Only by Fire”, which I didn’t think sucked, by the way. I can see both books from where I sit at the computer. Now, what did you think of what I WROTE??? You’re right, I screwed up the titles and authors, but you remind me of my 11th grade English teacher. She was a dead stickler for correct grammar and spelling, but she couldn’t recognize an original thought if it materialized in neon pink right in front of her. Barbara Maglie is a significant character in James Kuntzler’s new book, “The Witch of Hebron”. I thought it was clear that I was discussing the book in that paragraph, but apparently not. Also, our family refers to the disaster coming down the pike as “The Great Disruption”, instead of TSHTF or TEOTWAWKI. I have the feeling you’re shilling for a book company. Try to get into the context of the discussion first, then correct away. I will do my part and try to edit as though I were back in English Comp 101. It was sloppy work, and I apologise.

  195. deernheadlights September 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    We all need to spend less energy looking for someone to blame and turn our efforts to figuring out how to help land our currently free-falling society in a peaceful manner.
    My children depend on it, and we are capable of it, but the first step is to acknowledge it and confront it and we are nowhere near the latter (current company excluded), although I think the country at large is slowly coming around even if the vast majority of major media is not touching the topic.
    If we can get past this first step without runs on banks, food shortages, riots etc then we will all have to get comfortable with having a much lower standard of living than what we’ve gotten away with to date.

  196. welles September 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    The Great Destruction is upon us, but instead of a sudden violent cataclysm it’s a slow unraveling of your standard of living.
    Most everyone will need to realize that they’ll be earning/receiving significantly less money from work/govt than they’d planned on.
    In a nutshell, if you’re resourceful this won’t be anywhere near the calamity JHK’d have you believe.
    E.g. if you cut your expenses 20% you’ll offset a declining salary/gov’t benefits, or maybe even got yourself a nice raise, with no additional hours worked. Many folks are learning to slash expenses by 50%!
    Grow some of your own food. It’s great fun learning to can & preserve food, you’ll mix with others in your community & it’ll be a swell experience.
    Get a rainwater barrel to water whatever you plant, you won’t be dependent on the county for water, so you might cut your bill that way.
    There must be plenty of resourceful insightful folks out here on cfn, like trippticket. hell, the so0called Long Emergency could end up being the best thing that happend to your mental/physical wellbeing.
    funny how things turn out ironic like that. less is more, losing a job teaching you a more enjoyable way to live, lets you meet people, improves the quality of your life.
    learn to make things and sell ‘em. bake some cookies, it can be as simple as that. grow some mary jane if you want, learn to savor nature.
    peace to you.

  197. average-northwesterner September 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Appreciating Kunstler and all who follow. We simply need to unite.
    David Korten’s Agenda for a New Economy has a well thought out and doable plan. I am throwing my towel in with him. I urge you all to read. Thanks.

  198. San Jose Mom 51 September 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Even the rather conservative Mormon church approves of abortion in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the mother’s health.
    Last Saturday, my husband was pumping gas and a woman with a baby said she needed money to feed her baby (in a stroller). He gave her a $20, but rather than head into safeway (same parking lot as the gas station), she went the other way. Go figure?
    SJmom

  199. asia September 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    ‘the rather conservative Mormon church’
    ahem…
    the rather CORRUPT Mormon church ..ive heard stories of ‘children with fused fingers, inbred’..families living off foodstamps…14 year old boys tossed into the street [someones done a movie of them to show the truth]
    while the girls are ‘traded among elders and uncles for early poly marriage’!
    no thats not conservative!

  200. asia September 14, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    at santa monica high i saw this happen maybe in the 1980s…baby sitting on campus etc……….
    i figured it was one more ‘image of azatlan’!

  201. envirofrigginmental September 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Bang-on! This decline could actually have a silver lining. It’s all about head-space. JHK bemoans the losses and his position as town cryer is steadfast and assured. But for the rest of us, we need to confront it, as deernheadlights suggests.
    A copy of Duane Elgin’s “Voluntary Simplicity” and “The Power of Now” shoud be administered to every North American. Absorption of those two tenets and we might actually be able to flourish.

  202. flying picket September 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that first paragraph!

  203. San Jose Mom 51 September 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    That sounds like offshoots of the main Mormon church–which doesn’t allow polygamy. There are splinter groups that are totally wackadoodle. Not that the main mormon church doesn’t have corruption and the like.
    I’ve still got bees in my bonnet over the whole Prop 8 campaign that the church heavily supported. Mainstream mormons have a huge problem with homophobia. It’s horrible.
    SJmom
    Recovering Mormon (25+ years)

  204. progressorconserve September 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Yeah,
    Weeks ago JHK said something about Gen. McChrystal or one of those “colonels from the wadis” who might like to take command in the US – through a coup or a legal presidential election.
    And another poster that week wrote in to say, “…at least McChrystal’s not into that religious fundi’ stuff….”
    And I don’t believe that anyone with the drive and brains to hold high national office can really believe much of that “fundamentalist stuff..” I’m afraid that politicians put those “religious” type attitudes on to impress certain voters – in a purely hypocritical manner.
    So I will say that if McChrystal changes his tune and starts to talk about, “gay marriage,” or “saving the fetuses,” or, “creationism” that you can bet it’s because he’s thinking about running for office as some sort of republican, or TEA’er, or something.
    Why, oh why, is it that issues like that are so energizing for the conservative “base?”
    When they are so divisive for the Nation.
    I would honestly like to know that.

  205. asia September 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    TB Uncle…’Warren Buffet says there is no double dip recession coming. He has been saying that since September, 2009. The doomers on here are full of..’
    Tb..wake the heck up!
    years ago greenspan said ‘the economy is strong’..
    he was being paid to lie! so the richest [as of the 90s]guy says something…who gives a flyin f?

  206. PDQ September 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    As Iggy Pop said:
    In the information age
    the village idiots rule

  207. mika. September 14, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    “They can flap their gums with this nonsense as much as they like, bit it’s not likely to clarify things.” -JHK
    ==
    Wrong. It is a clarion call-to-arms. And the weapon of choice is awareness. Awareness of banking/corporate government mafia. And then the eradication of this criminal fascist clique, thru complete disengagement, non-dependence, and non-compliance.

  208. ctemple September 14, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    It’s been my experience that if typical woman walks into a room with thirteen guys in it, she’ll pick out the one most likely to hit her in the head with a beer bottle forty nine times out of fifty. And the younger they are, the more likely they are to pick the bottle thrower.
    And whatever happens from then on, it’s always somebody else’s fault, white racist patriarchal society, sexism, their parents, did I leave anything out? how about homophobia?
    I know, the Catholic Church, or those disgusting repressed peckerwoods out there in the south and midwest, believing in God.
    They are tacky.

  209. trippticket September 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    “hell, the so0called Long Emergency could end up being the best thing that happend to your mental/physical wellbeing.”
    It’s scary because it’s never happened to us before. This is completely new, and it’s causing a spectrum of reactions from the informed crowd. Sure, we’ve seen localized collapses, like Easter Island, the farming Anasazis in the American southwest, and the disappearance of classical lowland Maya culture, but this time it is the whole of our island. There are no new continents to reach out to that will enable our 10,000 year old habits to continue. We’re all being backed into a corner that has never existed before in our history.
    Understandably some are mortified. They should be. And it’s reasonable that others want to hide or stockpile MREs and guns. It makes sense to point fingers when there’s no reason left to keep them folded.
    But when we get done with our cries for justice, and our blame placing, the task at hand will still be sitting there waiting to be done. We have to revegetate the planet in very thoughtful ways very quickly. We need to design human environments that cooperate with the other needs nature has for the land. Show me a topiary or a smooth putting surface in nature. These have to be intensive, integrated systems, and we need to seriously redefine what a “need” is. Radically redefine it. Enough ecosystems have been converted to humans already. If we don’t get the bulk of those humans out rebuilding the ecosystems we’ve usurped, our time here is over. And that right soon.
    But there are rewards to be gleaned in the process for sure, and for me, so far they’ve outweighed the drawbacks of the simplifying/downteching process.
    Thanks for your input here, Welles!

  210. trippticket September 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    Cash, thanks for your flattering comment! That really made my day.

  211. messianicdruid September 14, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    “This is absolutely about condemning women (and only women) who are powerless, pregnant, poor, and have no help (especially not from you.)”
    Okay, how about this: let’s make the man the “default position” for all custody. The girl indictes who needs to be DNA tested, and pays him {the winner} child support. If she is unemployed her parents pay. Let everybody know, before puberty, this is the way it’s going to be. Watch the changes!

  212. John66 September 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Agree, but the plunge protection fund will eventually run out and then there will be no where to hide.

  213. San Jose Mom 51 September 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    I know of a case where single motherhood worked out OK. This girl in the neighborhood where I grew up (I used to babysit her),had twins when she was 38. She graduated from Bryn Mawr, then law school, and is a successful lawyer in San Francisco. The right man didn’t appear as her biological clock was ticking, so she had in-vitro twins. Her mom is around to help her, and she has the financial resources for high-quality day care. Now that the twins are 4-years-old, she found the right man and they are to be married next year.
    SJmom

  214. messianicdruid September 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    “I’m male. I fail to understand how men even deserve a voice in the debate.”
    If I’m the father, I damn-well got a voice.

  215. San Jose Mom 51 September 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    I don’t understand why Networker thinks women are powerless?
    There’s an old song with the refrain, “Don’t tell me no lies and keep your hands to yourself.”
    As I have told my teenage daughter, you have the power to say NO. Never put yourself in a situation (drinking, etc.) where your power is diminished.
    SJmom

  216. messianicdruid September 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    “Never put yourself in a situation (drinking, etc.) where your power is diminished.”
    I think that would have to include never being alone with a male.

  217. asoka September 14, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I have to agree with ProCon. As a man I don’t have a voice in saying what a woman can or cannot do with her body.
    I think William Jefferson Clinton best expressed my position on abortion:
    “ABORTION SHOULD BE LEGAL, SAFE, AND RARE.”

  218. John66 September 14, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    If women were the assertive one in social situations and men played the passive role, then we wouldn’t be experiencing any of these problems.
    Women seem to want all the economic benefits of the women’s movement, but they still want men to take up the tab on social assertiveness.
    So instead of teaching the young men to be the initiator, we need to teach them to be more passive and more receptive. Young women on the other hand need to be taught how to control the entire game, but they also need to have the nerve to be the initiator.

  219. John66 September 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    It would easier on my peace of mind if I knew that all I had to do was wait for her to approach me and ask me questions.
    :)

  220. San Jose Mom 51 September 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    Never be alone with a man? Huh?
    A. If the guy is some idiot jock who could overpower her….that’s rape.
    B. No man is so incredibly sexy that he could overpower the analytical mind of a smart girl.

  221. John66 September 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    If men would just stand still and not do anything, they could then have the pleasure of watching sexually-frustrated women approach THEM. That would be delightful.

  222. messianicdruid September 14, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    “I have to agree with ProCon. As a man I don’t have a voice in saying what a woman can or cannot do with her body.”
    I was not talking about her body, I was talking about my child {if I were the father}.

  223. trippticket September 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Will someone explain to me how a debate about abortion gets us through the keyhole event before us?

  224. messianicdruid September 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Hormones trump brains on a regular basis. Nature will be served but should never be trusted.

  225. progressorconserve September 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Tripp,
    If the keyhole is definite then nothing matters except your goat, my chickens, our plants and saved seeds, and whatever feeble preparations we are able to share with family and neighbors. :-)
    I think part of the reason that human populations have reached uncontrolled growth is our species’ illogical approach to human sexuality and human reproduction.
    Consider how sex education, and/or funding for Planned Parenthood on an international level has been a political football for far too many years.
    =================
    On another note, I was doing some research concerning native populations before Columbus. It seems that the major limiting factor to population growth was lack of domestic animals as a source of milk. Women who have to nurse a baby are unable to conceive another baby while nursing.
    Really ironic that formula was marketed to women throughout the world as superior to breast feeding.
    Do you suppose that was a conspiracy to overpopulate the planet – or just more free market capitalism seeking new markets?

  226. red September 14, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Simple, accurate. to the point and with little bullshit- that was your parents’ approach.
    Yeah. it’s a tough thing- there’s nothing hotter than high school love.
    Think of it this way: who suffers from that pregnancy? The young girl does. Therefore, who stands to be held the most accountable? Not accountable in a moral way or anything like that. Just simply accountable and therefore responsible. The girl.
    You can rant all you want about a boy’s responsibility or society’s responsibility or whatever. You’re screaming at the wind, cursing the tides. But at the end of the day, the only question you have to ask is: who suffers? You answer that and you will find the person with the ultimate responsibility.
    Parents can’t save their kids from all pain. But they can try. If they don’t try, the child is readily served up to the fates.
    Remember, this is no morality play- it’s just how things work.

  227. D R Lunsford September 14, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    JHK I don’t believe you meant to denigrate scientists and I don’t think you are against technology as such. I would point out that right now, we could be getting almost all our electricity from nuclear power, solving the problem of ecocide by fossil fuels. But cringing fear strikes morons and savants alike – just as you are afraid of them, they are afraid of everything, from the dark to the atom. And so on and on we go down the road to destruction. There is no reason a material paradise could not obtain on this planet – no reason other than fear, stupidity, vanity, greed, and the new factor that pushes it all over the top – narcissism, a society of mirror-dwellers who value nothing that does not connect directly to their stomachs or genitalia. Lincoln was as dangerous with his pencil as Rand Paul is with his Iphone. The entire American experiment is built on fear of the dark, coercion of the spirit, and blunt force oppression of the mind. Nothing can save it.

  228. BeantownBill September 14, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    At last! Someone who has a positive vision of what could be. First define the issues – which are regularly discussed here. Then propose solutions. Finally, and I think this is the ultimate issue – take action. You may be right about American culture, but I prefer that we attempt to move forward, rather than giving up. Of course, some prepping is warranted as a hedging action.

  229. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    To folks fussing over men having their way with women, there are typically 4 flags to look for:
    1. drinking
    2. going alone with the guy
    3. in his car/other vehicle/on foot
    4. to a secondary location.

  230. BeantownBill September 15, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    Tripp, I don’t mean to pick on you, but some of your comments are so reply-able.
    Given the constraints of your assumptions, what you say is correct. It’s impossible to have growth in perpetuity with the finite resources of our planet, which is what JHK has been telling us.
    Where I disagree with you is that you are assuming humans will always be acting in a closed system. You commented that travel to other planets is cost-prohibitive, and we are past the point of being to accomplish this.
    Sure, that’s true based on the current magnitude of our space program. Right now we’re spending $20 billion per year on NASA’s budget. Compare this with what we’re spending on wars and other misappropriations. If we spent ten times as much on space-based applications as we do now – $200 billion – what could we accomplish? Didn’t Willie Sutton say go where the money is? I say go where the resources are. $200 billion annually is still only a quarter of our military budget.
    The point is that it is a matter of will, not capability. We don’t have to operate in a closed system.
    When our situation worsens, when we start to really suffer, we’ll be motivated to turn our attention outwards. Far-fetched? Science fiction? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Vision and imagination have always been the catalyst to see what’s over the next hill. Stephen Hawking just stated we better expand into space if we are to survive as a species.

  231. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    This news should cause the stock market to dip a bit!!!
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-15/u-s-home-prices-face-three-year-drop-as-inventory-surge-looms.html
    The slide in U.S. home prices may have another three years to go as sellers add as many as 12 million more properties to the market.
    Shadow inventory — the supply of homes in default or foreclosure that may be offered for sale — is preventing prices from bottoming after a 28 percent plunge from 2006, according to analysts from Moody’s Analytics Inc., Fannie Mae, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc. Those properties are in addition to houses that are vacant or that may soon be put on the market by owners.

  232. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    From the above article:
    “Owners of about 11 million homes, or 23 percent of households with a mortgage, owed more than their property was worth as of June 30, according to CoreLogic. Another 2.4 million borrowers had less than 5 percent equity in their houses and probably would lose money on a sale after paying broker fees and closing costs, CoreLogic said Aug 25.”
    ***
    That means that about 28% of house-owners (mortgage debtors) owe more on their houses than that for which they are appraised.
    ***
    Pending sales are up though as the following quote states:
    “Some indicators show the real estate market has begun to turn a corner. Pending sales of existing houses increased 5.2 percent from June to July, the National Association of Realtors reported Sept. 2. Economists had estimated a 1 percent decline, according to the median of 37 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.”
    ***
    So will the market indices rise or fall on this news?

  233. asoka September 15, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    MD said: “I was not talking about her body, I was talking about my child {if I were the father}.”
    There is no way you can know if you are the father.
    There is even one rumored case where the mother had not been with any man other than her husband, yet she ended up pregnant.

  234. asoka September 15, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    CORRECTION: There is even one rumored case where the mother had not been with any man other than her husband, yet she ended up pregnant… AND NOT BY HIM!

  235. asoka September 15, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    CORRECTION OF THE CORRECTION:
    Now I am remembering the details of the story. The wife had not been with her husband or with any other man. She was a virgin. But she ended up pregnant and she had not been with her husband or any other man. She was a pregnant virgin.

  236. D R Lunsford September 15, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    Whoever you are, asoka, do the world an enormous favor and take a vacation in Tibet. Your tiresome commentary is down there with roaches on the counter top in terms of pleasantness.
    -drl

  237. D R Lunsford September 15, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    Desert Dawg, a total moron named Christine O’Donnell, some marketing consultant, a person whose eyes are dead, who has no command of language, who is simply a mouthpiece for the nativist drivel she hears during her hypnotherapy sessions, has a very good chance of being a US Senator. The Senate was conceived as a fount of wisdom that could moderate potential aggressive legislative tendencies from the commoners in the House, who very likely would often not know what was best for them. That this total cipher could possibly join its ranks shows how thoroughly corrupt American democracy has grown. None of you seem to have any real understanding of the facts of history, much less the import. You all seem to have learned about reality from corny television and sermons. You have no right to speak about a country you do not understand, a third of whose population you most likely actively despise. If you love your country, please leave it, or if that isn’t possible, then just be quiet and go back to whittling and telling racist jokes.

  238. Laura Louzader September 15, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    The problem of people having kids outside marriage, or in other circumstances where they cannot care for them, has little to do with women being “taken advantage of”.
    Our sexual morals are not the problem here. Most women conduct their sex lives pretty much as they please and manage to avoid having kids they can’t take care of properly. Most young women do just fine with contraception, because they decided they are not going to have kids until they are able to do right by them.
    The woman in CA who had octuplets by in vitro fertilization didn’t exactly get pregnant by accident. She doesn’t even have a sex life. She already had six other kids, which she also had with the help of fertility treatments, even though she had no husband and no job.
    What can you say about someone who would deliberately have 14 kids and seek medical assistance to have them, when she can’t even support herself? The woman said she intended to use student loans to care for the kids. She borrowed money to get a master’s degree.
    Her parents defaulted on the mortgage on their house in Whittier, CA, incidently.
    And what can you say about the people who would enable her in this,like the fertility specialist who provided the treatments?
    Now that we have ways to produce a pregnancy in the absence of the father’s participation, such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, we can see that this is not a problem of sexual morality at all.
    What we have is a responsibility issue. I see no real difference between someone who has a kid in the absence of marriage or a job, and someone married who has a half dozen kids she can’t support, and someone who borrows money he could have known he could never pay back to buy something he can’t afford.
    We have a population of people who believe that there will always be another population of people willing to work to pay for their indulgence, dishonesty, and irresponsibility. Why do we as a people insist upon enabling people in irresponsible behaviors?

  239. cowswithguns September 15, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    Now you’re talking about an issue that really gets me: The bullshit numbers in the Senate — aka, the House of Corporate Lords.
    Back in the day, when say, New York had like, oh, I don’t know, 700,000 people and Maine had 70,000, or something, a Senate with equal numbers per state made sense.
    But how in the hell can the current Senate be defended: When you have 1 senator for every 250,000 people in Wyoming and 1 for every 23 million in California.
    The corporations are using — and, I contend, creating — rednecks in lowly populated states to do their dirty work in the Senate.
    Until the Senate numbers are fixed, America will not progress.

  240. george September 15, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Another excellent blog from JHK. I think he’s finally found the language to articulate what is ailing us. Most Americans, both Democrat and Republican, have a collective nostalgia for a time and place that is long gone but still exerts a strong influence over our thinking. It is an America where all things were possible, where our leaders promised us a better tommorrow and delivered on that promise. That America still exists on reruns of Leave It To Beaver and I Love Lucy and in grainy home movies and old Beach Boys records, but it can’t exist in real life because time and circumstance have changed the terms of daily living. Too bad our political leadership, both Left and Right, have given up on critical thinking and can only offer competing Technicolor visions of Utopia to a brain-dead polity.

  241. george September 15, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    Another well-intentioned American suffering from Euro-envy. I got news for all you Europhiles out there: the Old World is even more fucked than the New World because they have fewer resources and even less inclination to change from being a society of technocratic, intellectual cafe layabouts to a society where life is physically demanding and hardships are too numerous to articulate. As we speak, the Muslim ghettos in major European cities are close to exploding in a frothing rage, the energy situation is as perilous as anything we face in North America and neo-facist groups are multiplying like mushrooms after the rains.

  242. Eleuthero September 15, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    Both Republican talk show hosts and Tea
    Partiers constantly talk about how any
    kind of national healthcare will screw
    up “the best healthcare system in the
    world” or they blither-blather about
    other hyperboles of our greatness …
    NONE of which are true in 2010.
    We are a HAS-BEEN country. We’re 17th in
    longevity and 23rd in infant mortality
    (I guess that “world class” healthcare
    isn’t doing too well), and at the bottom
    of the G20 in international achievement
    test scores.
    WHICH COUNTRY ARE THESE BOZOS TALKING ABOUT??
    Just as the first step to cure alcoholism is
    to admit you’re an alcoholic, the first step
    towards being a better country is to first
    admit that you’re in the crapper right now.
    The Tea Party types act as if America’s slippage
    in longevity, infant survival, education, and
    other problems is disassociated from the
    character and competency of the AVERAGE American.
    We aren’t slipping because every tenth Joe has
    slipped. We’re slipping because the entire
    culture has dropped one standard deviation in
    just about anything you’d care to measure.
    We went from a country where gambling used to
    be sinful/imprudent to “entertainment”. We
    went from a country where obesity used to cause
    people to look at such people like they look
    at a circus freak. Now, it’s so commonplace
    to see an 18-year-old girl weighing 160 that
    we don’t even look twice.
    We’ve become a nation of fat, anti-intellectual
    slobs who are obsessed with house flipping and
    “Optionetics”. America as a nation based on
    principles died in the 1980s. R.I.P.
    E.

  243. Eleuthero September 15, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Actually, I agree with much of what you
    say, George, but the numbers about our
    longevity, infant mortality, and educational
    achievement don’t lie … quite a few
    countries in Europe may have future
    resource problems but their CURRENT
    conditions are better than ours in many
    respects.
    Their entire culture is NOT based upon the
    car. Cities are walkable. City crime isn’t
    in the same universe as the USA. Their debt
    as a percentage of GDP is MUCH better than
    ours. Much!!! Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston
    U. even said that we’re worse off than Greece.
    This guy is not some dumb schlemiel.
    I believe Europe DOES have serious FUTURE
    problems sustaining its pension systems,
    its energy systems, and many of its socialized
    systems. However, in the here and now, they’re
    doing okay.
    The USA’s car crazy suburban culture is not
    nearly as judiciously laid-out as Europe’s
    city/farm alternating arrangement. I’m no
    Europhile (I think most Europeans are
    xenophobic downers with some sort of existential
    bleakness they’ve never gotten over) but, at
    the same time, I’ve lost a helluva lot of pride
    about my own country over the last 25 years.
    E.

  244. Eleuthero September 15, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    Enviro,
    The Chinese, Indian, and Arabic “miracles”
    are a joke propagated by “reporters” who
    must not know the first thing about resources
    and demographics and who don’t know even
    fact ONE about their ecology.
    India must irrigate for 60% of its crops.
    For China, it’s 80%. For the US, it’s
    20%. Chinese aquifers are on a collision
    course with a horrible destiny and not in
    some far off time. More like under a decade.
    Most of Asia from China to Vietnam to Cambodia
    is filled with cities with unbreatheable air
    where healthy people expect pneumonia at least
    once a year.
    The problem is … these nations are all trying
    to live like the USA of 1965 at the precise
    moment when world resources will squash their
    attempts to do so. Also, they’re doing all of
    their “growing” in a cancerous, poorly planned
    way resulting in crop damage, sinking land,
    lost aquifers, clear-cutting of trees causing
    Gobi sandstorms to roll into Beijing, etc.
    etc. etc..
    That’s the farce of the “achieving countries”.
    They’re using the USA as the model. They will
    never get there.
    E.

  245. Eleuthero September 15, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    Well said, Tripp. My mantra is “cancer is
    a ‘growth’, too” which, of course, causes
    a glazed-over look in the listener.
    We need economic “growth” like we need a
    hole drilled in our skulls to let out the
    “demons”. We need an exceedingly well
    organized program of managed CONTRACTION.
    Otherwise, you can be sure that the kleptocrats
    who seem to be running the world will figure
    out how to steal everything not locked down
    before they go to their personal bunkers in
    Patagonia.
    E.

  246. Eleuthero September 15, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    But SJMom … don’t you think Prop 8 is a
    tempest in a teapot?? Our society has
    crippling problems ahead and we’re all
    furrow-browed over whether gays should
    be husband and “wife”?
    Moreover, for a group that, like so many,
    claim discrimination, they’ve sure got it
    good!! The average gay man’s salary, last
    I checked is SUBSTANTIALLY higher than the
    average hetero man’s salary.
    I’m sick of HEARING about Prop 8. There must
    be fifty problems which affect 50% or more of
    the population adversely. Why are we putting
    so much time in on an issue which affects,
    generously, 5% of the population? Of course,
    gay activists would like you to believe that
    25% of the world are repressed homos but it’s
    clownish.
    E.

  247. Eleuthero September 15, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    Ridiculous. Alan Greenspan was being lionized
    by Woodward’s “Maestro” book just before his
    serial bubble creation led the US stock markets
    into the worst crash in a generation.
    You believe Buffett is that prescient, eh??
    He’s just like every “genius” who profitted
    by an epochal bull market … he could have
    been matched by a monkey throwing a dart at
    the stock pages of the Wall Street Journal.
    Everyone’s a “genius” in a bull market.
    Don’t you pollyannas even get out and canvass
    people who have either lost their job, can’t
    get one, or who are permanently unemployable?
    By honest reckoning, 20% of America is unemployed
    (the published U6 rate is about 17%) and our
    productivity is skyrocketing because the ones
    lucky enough to STILL have a job are working
    their asses off because they’re scared shitless
    because NO ONE HAS ANY JOB SECURITY.
    The panglosses all have one thing in common:
    They think that just because America doesn’t
    collapse in a weekend that “it’s all good”.
    This is like a FIFTY-ACT play, not a one-act
    short story.
    Our debts are unrepayable, we still insist on
    being the world’s policemen (at HUGE economic
    and social costs), and we’re getting dumber,
    fatter, and more effete. We can’t even catch
    ONE guy with a megaphone, bad kidneys, and
    a turban in a cave but WE BE BAD.
    Sheesh. You panglossians are a caricature of
    yourselves.
    E.

  248. publius September 15, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Uh, the Tea Partiers started out as a movement of Paulists. It was then high-jacked by the neocon Palinites. These are not the same thing. Ron Paul really believes in limited, constitutional government and is not just a statist poser like most of the non-libertarian right. Timothy Leary once held a fund raiser for him.

  249. orbit7er September 15, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Theme Song from the Talking Heads for Post Peak Oil
    written prophetically in 1988!!:
    “(Nothing But) Flowers”
    Here we stand like an Adam and an Eve
    Waterfalls, the Garden of Eden
    Two fools in love, so beautiful and strong
    The birds in the trees are smiling upon them
    From the age of the dinosaurs
    Cars have run on gasoline
    Where, where have they gone
    Now, it’s nothing but flowers
    / C – – – Em – – – / Dm – – – G – – – / 1st, 2nd /
    / B – Em – / / C – Em – / F – Dm G /
    There was a factory
    Now there are mountains and rivers
    You got it, you got it
    We caught a rattlesnake
    Now we got something for dinner
    We got it, we got it
    There was a shopping mall
    Now it’s all covered with flowers
    You’ve got it, you’ve got it
    If this is paradise
    I wish I had a lawnmower
    You’ve got it, you’ve got it
    / C – / G F C – / G F / :
    / D – / A G D – / A G / : / C – G F /
    Years ago I was an angry young man
    I’d pretend that I was a billboard
    Standing tall by the side of the road
    I fell in love with a beautiful highway
    This used to be real estate
    Now it’s only fields and trees
    Where, where is the town
    Now, it’s nothing but flowers
    The highways and cars
    Were sacrificed for agriculture
    I thought that we’d start over
    But I guess I was wrong
    / Dm – A – / / Fm – C – / /
    Once there were parking lots
    Now it’s a peaceful oasis
    You got it, you got it
    This was a Pizza Hut
    Now it’s all covered with daisies
    You got it, you got it
    I miss the honky tonks
    Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
    You got it, you got it
    And as things fell apart
    Nobody paid much attention
    You got it, you got it
    I dream of cherry pies
    Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
    You got it, you got it
    We used to microwave
    Now we just eat nuts and berries
    You got it, you got it
    This was a discount store
    Now it’s turned into a cornfield
    You got it, you got it
    Don’t leave me stranded here
    I can’t get used to this lifestyle
    / C – / G F C – / G F / (2x)
    / D – / A G D – / A G / : / D – / A G D – /

  250. Chris M. Klimiuk September 15, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Hi all,
    I understand very well what message Jim is trying to convey (mostly) to the Americans but also to other people around the world. He is trying to warn us all we’re in grave danger by continuing to neglect vivid signs of approaching calamity. It doesn’t bother me he feels like repeating certain things, time and over again, like a mantra in order to make a point.
    It seems to me that we’re continuing living in this world of great illusions regardless which side of the big pound we are on.
    In the last couple of days I was taking part in the food fair at Poznan, in western Poland. The International Poznan Fair halls, adopted for the occasion, haven’t changed much since I visited there one day as a teenager in the 60s and had a Polaroid photo taken by an employee at the entrance to the US pavilion. It was (in a sense) an act of bravery on my part to enter the hall because the secret police afterwords interrogated a lot of people for visiting the “imperialist” American exposition instead of going to the “friendly” Russian or Bulgarian pavilion. The difference for me, however, was obvious: instead of seeing another Lenin’s or Zhivkov’s portraits I got a color picture of myself as a present from the Americans!
    Reminiscences aside, let me go back to the present times. Our organic herbs and lettuce items stand in hall 8. was integrated with other small “producers” from the Warsaw region. All of them, without exception, were trying to push “home made” cold cuts, cheese, “traditional” bread or smoked farmed-fish. We were the only organic growers there! We could hardly use the word “farmers” to describe ourselves in order not to scare away customers who believe that lettuce comes from a supermarket, after being trucked to Poland all the way from Spain or Greece! I haven’t seen any simple gardening tools being offered for sale nor expertise how to plant a vegetable garden. Instead, German, Austrian or Italian representatives in their shiny boxes, surrounded by long-legged hostesses and “translators”, all wearying artificial, empty smiles, offered sophisticated cake-making devices, electronically controlled plastic-wrap “packaging lines” (evidently for our lemon verbena, green Sisho, organic “wild” arugula, watercress or land cress!) and endless batteries of espresso machines requiring the knowledge of a sophisticated barrister and a lot of energy to operate. A good professional espresso machine costs a fortune now. About the same amount of money as a small car even though anyone can make himself a coup of coffee using a simple peculator. Organic food shouldn’t be packed in plastic, but people are convinced that it’s “more hygienic” that way! So, as you can read, we all have a long way to go before people will be willing to switch to an unwrapped bunch of fresh parsley, American cress or arugula.
    Residents of Poznan are not walking or riding bikes to work yet. They travel every day in their new cars even though they spend a lot of time in traffic jams. The streets are narrow and permanently clogged, but nobody seems to care. Local people still believe they can make a difference (after graduating in sociology or cultural studies), when they buy a new coffee machine, a new car or a cake-maker and they are definitely not switching to mass transit either. They flatly refuse to accept the fact they should change their daily routines as well as an overall approach to life.
    Best regards to all,
    Chris M. Klimiuk

  251. The Mook September 15, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Monopoly is a great comparison to our economy at this point in time. It is time to throw the money back in and start over. Once someone has all the money in Monopoly it is no longer fun and the game ends. The losers don’t sit around and suffer while the winners’ kids and grandkids do little or nothing other than collecting excessive fees and interest and acting like they had something to do with acquiring the wealth. Oh, that’s right, they did. They voted Republican while paying for their mistresses’ abortions or buying butt cream for their secret gay lovers. And while were at it, get rid of the politicians role of voting for the issues. With today’s technology we can easily vote ourselves, individually, on each issue using lottery type tickets. A simple majority wins the proposition or sets the law.

  252. welles September 15, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Gives you the feeling that the manufacturers of $2,700 coffee machines (for christ’s sake already) have the attitude of ‘Just give me your money and get the fuck out of here’.
    I recently saw said space-age espresso gizmo’s in a store here in Brazil. price tag was $1,460, which is only about 5 times the monthly minimum wage. or a month’s salary for someone solidly middle class.
    imagine spending a month’s salary on a freaking coffee machine.
    whatever…
    i’d love to see a blind taste test of coffee made in Festus’ pot on a coal stove, compared to a fancy pants blankenfein device.
    recently had coffee in the country down here in brazil, cooked on a gas stove, with some milk steamed in a tin cup, sure was gooooood, i ain’t complaining.
    that said, i’m kinda partial to shiny new contraptions myself, like a fish to a lure, wouldn’t mind owning one, but i sure as hell ain’t paying over $100.
    these hyper-complex devices sure do suck the life right out of you feelingwise sometimes don’t they.
    people love to build stuff, i get it, but it can be overkill.

  253. welles September 15, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Mook, get your head out of the 2Party Illusion. Both Parties equally don’t care about you.
    Your only Usefulness is in spending your time fighting others caught in the same Illusion, while you’re raped financially by both sides.

  254. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Too bad our political leadership, both Left and Right, have given up on critical thinking and can only offer competing Technicolor visions of Utopia to a brain-dead polity

    I would like to give political leaders the benefit of the doubt and say that they are at least capable of critical thought. However, the methodology of the 24/7 media (sound-bytes, sensationalism, alarmists, repetition and the usurping of strong journalism with info-tainment) has had a LOT to do with the deterioration of how politics does business when it comes to relating to the public.
    I also believe that the electorate is not as brain-dead as you suggest, but through accreation we have slowly become accustommed to needing bigger and bigger jolts to our brains in order for us to take some notice. We are being played, like a fine instrument. If politicians were limited to making face-to-face encounters and the media was banned, I suspect we might see some significant changes to how our important civic affairs are managed.

  255. mika. September 15, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    I disagree. Here’s why:
    The Limits of Conventional Politics | oftwominds
    http://goo.gl/R1Rk

  256. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    There has become too much emphasis on voting and not enough on participating.
    Voting is the LEAST one can do in a democracy. This is part of the problem.
    In ancient Greece, eventually all citizens would participate in their democracy. Furhter to my previous post, this would also help to change the dynamics.

  257. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Q. Where are you? Does anyone other than me miss his snarky comments and glottochronogical nitpicking?

  258. San Jose Mom 51 September 15, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Eleuthero,
    Yes our country has big problems, but I think gay marriage is a civil rights issue. I support gays in their efforts to make a life-long, legally recognized committment to their partners.
    As far as “tempests in a teapot” are concerned, the CAL legislature just spent a fair amount of effort to decide if plastic grocery bags should be banned. Don’t they need to work on the state budget? Oy vey.
    SJmom

  259. scott September 15, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    I wouldn’t get too optimistic about calls for a bottom in housing just yet. Wouldn’t read too much into data that is presented to suggest this either.
    I see two trends that are not being presented. 1)Banks are quietly dumping condos 5 and 10 at a time for $30,000 that people were on waiting lists to pay $300,000. Investors think they are getting a deal here but HOA fees, taxes and HOA corruption is overlooked by investor greed, who are they going to sell these homes too? Oh yeah, when the market comes back after the “recovery”.
    2) The banks are not obligated to write down their balance sheets reflecting the huge losses. There have been over 100 banks taken over by FDIC regulators who on average have their balance sheets written up by 37% the day they were seized by regulators.
    http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html
    There are no indictments for bank fraud because the government created the problem and is now “fixing” it.

  260. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Mika,
    RE: your link
    Please. Do you really think this is new? Alterior motives and overarching interests have been a staple of government since it’s dawn of inception. The places, names and faces are all that simply get changed.

  261. San Jose Mom 51 September 15, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Question about “The Witch of Hebron”…..
    On page 32 he writes, “Jane Ann first met Loren at a drug-saturated fraternity rave at Middlebury College, back in the previous century. She had tranferred there after a disappointing stint as an art major at nearby Bennington, which was run like a seedy carnival.”
    There HAS to be a good story behind Kunstler dissing Bennington administration. Does anyone have a theory?
    SJmom

  262. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Here’s a fine little piece someone took the time to put together.






    Here in Canada, we did “it”: over four years ago.
    So my question is: Has anyone noticed the collapse of Canadian society as we know it?
    No thunderbolts. No ravaging floods. No riots in the streets. No looting. No raping. No pillaging. No overturning of Roe vs. Wade (that’s your law, not ours). No corporate pull-outs. No people marrying their buddies. No dogs marrying cats. No mayhem. No nothing.
    Similar nothingness has occurred elsewhere in the world where marriage rights have been granted to homosexual couples. It’s truly a big ho-hum.
    For fuck’s sakes, GET OVER IT and GET ON WITH IT. It’s like the metirc system. The US is the only country in the world still not using it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_system
    Scroll down to the little world map on the right. You are lumpied in with Liberia and Burma. What lovely company!
    Doh!

  263. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Correction: The US is ALMOST the only country in the world still not using it.

  264. scott September 15, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Enviro, in case you haven’t noticed, we here in the U.S. make all of our important collective decisions based on economic growth. If gays are not reproducing, how can they contribute to economic growth and why should they be rewarded with tax incentives and other benefits accorded to conventional married couples.
    If gays make a case for economic growth in their tiresome arguments for ‘equality’ then there is a good chance of getting somewhere. Remember, like “evolved” is the magic word in higher learning institutions, “economic growth” is the key politically.

  265. mika. September 15, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    The only way to counter the gov mafia is to eliminate government as we know it. Voting for another politician is a delusional practice. The only tactic that will work is widespread revolt. A revolt of non-participation and disengagement from all the institutional tentacles of centralized control.

  266. montsegur September 15, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Pan Klimiuk —
    You are fortunate to still be able to obtain very fresh food in Poland. Among other items, the sausages available in Poznan and other cities are amazingly good.
    Don’t let the glittering representatives of corporate capitalism sell Poland on the wonders of food injected with all kinds of chemical junk. Your food is very tasty as it is. (Well, I wasn’t so impressed with some of the food too hastily cooked around Mikolajki but that was a bit touristy up there).
    Cheers and na razie

  267. mika. September 15, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Here in Canada, we did “it”
    ==
    The only difference between Canada and the US is that in Canada the propaganda in even more tightly controlled than in the US. Thus, you have a great deal more of the propaganda morons still believing in the gov mafia. But delusional morons they remain.

  268. montsegur September 15, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    You’d be surprised how many high-rankers are fundies. It is a profoundly dangerous state of affairs for the Republic. Then again, it seems like “dangerous states of affairs” seem to be the norm for the Republic these days.
    The days of apolitical senior officers are unfortunately long gone.
    Cheers

  269. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Yes, that was in the article about a bottom in housing coming this winter, but that wasn’t really the key point of the article which was that housing should be weak another 3 years or so. Also, my point was whether this “bad” news for conventional exploiters in housing would lead to a dip in the market indices. It did not. Folks were focused on manufacturing reports and the yen’s being weakened by the Japanese government (which was seen as a positive since it would lead to the Japanese companies exporting more goods). Am not even focusing on a bottom in housing. Am just looking for some news coming out about housing next week that will be viewed negatively enough to provide a short-term dip in the stock markets and serve as an entry point to buy apple and baidu.

  270. neckflames September 15, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    That song has to be the biggest piece of shit of the 20th century.

  271. bossier22 September 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Eleuthero the leave it to beaver world did not die of natural causes. it was intentionally destroyed. by 1980 we just began to notice the changes. in the sixties we were told that the world with ethics, principals and a more unified culture was evil. so we set about to destroy it. i wonder what our ranking in test scores, infant mortality, and longevity were in that less diverse and more intolerant society of i love lucy.

  272. Chris M. Klimiuk September 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    I appreciate your comment. Food (I’m glad you like it) is indeed very good here. It’s not excessively fertilized with chemicals as elsewhere. But lately we’ve been getting more and more junk items via discount supermarkets which sprang like McDonald’s all around us.
    What I was trying to say is this: instead of cultivating old traditions we tend to go the easy way. In many aspects, the ecological food suffers first because it’s more expensive to grow.
    Until recently everything here was grown organically for the chemical fertilizers were scarce and farmers didn’t use pesticides either.
    Take care,
    Chris

  273. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Given some of the comments within this week’s string, I’m surprised you would make such a claim. There are countless straight couples who are not reproducing, yet are married and are receiving said tax incentives. Your argument does not hold water unless you plan on recinding their benefits, which would be regressive.
    Further, without immigration, at the current birthrate which has been pretty steady for the past several decades, the US would not be growing at all if it only came down to population.
    Denying rights on the basis you describe is fectious.

  274. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Correction: specious.

  275. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    The only difference between Canada and the US is that in Canada the propaganda in even more tightly controlled than in the US.

    I’d be curious for you to identify who these propogandists are and who is controlling them.

  276. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    “With today’s technology we can easily vote ourselves, individually, on each issue using lottery type tickets. A simple majority wins the proposition or sets the law.”
    I agree, and I promoted the idea of direct democracy to my family under the auspices of “the greatest idea ever!” That was the subject line of the email anyway.
    Nothing. Not a nibble at the greatest idea ever.
    Switzerland goes to the polls 7 times a year to run their country in true democratic fashion, but I don’t think that’s really what we’re after here. Do you? If it was, surely we could be there by now.

  277. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    “Well said, Tripp. My mantra is “cancer is
    a ‘growth’, too” which, of course, causes
    a glazed-over look in the listener.”
    I use that one a lot too, and the glazed-over look must be systemic. Again, nothing, no response from the unimaginative set. Mind-boggling.
    But I don’t know what you’re on about with letting the demons out through a hole in the skull. I recommend we administer this treatment to every WalMart shopper, post haste!

  278. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Oh, so you mean like Somalia?
    I think you owe us an example of a workable solution of a functioning civilization where there has been an absense of some form of government, either past or present.

  279. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    “The US is the only country in the world still not using it.”
    As a scientist, I used to get all worked up about this lack of continuity as well. I’m over it. Matter of fact I think we ought to start rehabbing truly arcane systems of measurement at our earliest convenience. We ought to make up new languages too. If we’re going to relocalize, let’s do it right.
    Anyone care to join me for a dram of straight bourbon on a cubit square pub table?
    Hey England! If I weigh 210 lbs (how the hell does “lbs” stand for pounds, while we’re at it?), how many stones is that?

  280. The Mook September 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    One easy way to find out. We can all vote on it.

  281. jackieblue2u September 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Kitaj…..been there done that. Love The Moody Blues. I get it.
    I totally agree with You. How I wish many many more folks did also.
    It is just amazing how many people can live in utter denial and fantasy.
    Religion instead of true spirituality.
    Johnny Rivers got it also. Ever heard Sweet Smiling Children from Realization album. check it out on youtube.

  282. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Spot on in your response to E-Frig in the wee hours of the morning. The Green Revolution has created a nightmare. India was doing just fine with their regular old easy-to-please rice varieties before we brought the high-octane stuff.
    Of course, no one thought to mention that our varieties needed lots of irrigation to produce the promised yields. Now, in some provinces, wells that were 30 feet below the surface are now 300-400 down!
    How in the hell can you ever hope to fix that?
    Not that it didn’t sell lots of US agribusiness products and irrigation systems, and make lots of money for the respective shareholders!

  283. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    “One easy way to find out. We can all vote on it.”
    You manage to get it on the ballot, and I promise I’ll vote for it…

  284. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Allowing the public to vote on every issue, every time and calling that a government is a misnomer and misguided. But it sure sounds good.
    Public opinion, on practically any matter you can think of, sways depending on the day and even the way the question is asked.
    In this vote-every-issue scenario we’d be mired in the miasma of flip-flopping, to the point it would make your head spin. Plus it would make our current opinon-poll driven leaders look like unflappable stalwarts.
    I’d also conject that any advancement of human rights would be stuck in pre-modern times: not a recipe for a civilized society.

  285. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Even, the CA housing market is up. Apple is nearly $270 now. The market has been up steadily for nearly 3 weeks now. So where is the negativity out there but in the heads of you people. You are living in a fantasy world. Such a sorry crop of paranoid, mean-spirited, pessimistic recluses has just about never been assembled. You are like some kind of cult like the Jehova’s Witnesses that believes in the end-of-the-world.

  286. LewisLucanBooks September 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Ah, yes. That glazed-over look. I don’t do trades in my bookstore. For a lot of reasons. But, I finally figured out that the bottom line is “My landlord won’t take books for rent.” Pretty clear? But I get ‘the look’. Accompanied by a “Hah?” So, I repeat myself, I repeat myself again. Then I draw a picture…. :D And these are people who read?

  287. LewisLucanBooks September 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    You go guy! (Now, please marry me and get me the fuck out of here :D )

  288. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    “Stephen Hawking just stated we better expand into space if we are to survive as a species.”
    And that’s the damnable misery of it. Hawking is right, as always, but I can’t imagine that we could ever send much more than an emissary fleet into the stars, no matter how much effort we put into it. And really, what has Mars got to offer us? A little subterranean water? Iron? Venus is a wholly poisonous sphere of bile, totally incompatible with Earthling life. Mercury is a crispy little rock with great suntanning potential to be sure, but beyond those 3 there is very little on the menu. Gaseous giants with a few useful moons scattered about perhaps. Certainly Europa and Titan are worth taking a peak at, but the climates on these rocks are beyond nightmarish.
    Terrforming is an intriguing idea, assuming the sun is a useful distance from whatever we’re trying to terraform (eg Earth), but that technology is in its infancy. Matter of fact, that’s basically what us permaculturalists are practicing here on Earth! But the microbes are already here; the gravity is just right; the rain comes every now and then, carrying its gifts; and we aren’t in charge of it all. That’s a big hurdle to my mind, us being in charge of building an ecosystem from the ground up.
    You’re talking about an immense amount of energy just to create a small outpost on Mars. Getting anything useful back to Earth must be astronomically expensive! ;) But going beyond our solar system is the stuff of science fiction. A tiny group of intrepid cryopioneers maybe, but in any sort of critical mass? Not happening.
    The return on investment isn’t there. It’s fun to explore, and be awed by, no doubt, but if we can’t maintain Earth’s wonderfully rich biosphere after our 6 million year march to Cape Canaveral, we aren’t going to live on Mars. Not more than a few of us anyway. Dropping a balloon full of electronics onto the red planet (next door neighbors really) was exciting, but it was also very recent.
    In his book The Third Chimpanzee, Jared Diamond makes a fairly eloquent argument for why the radio frequencies from space are so surprisingly devoid of life. The crux of the argument is that lifeforms capable of radios are not far from destroying themselves (if they even got to the radio first, which was pure dumb luck for us). Intelligence has probably existed on lots of planets, but probably not for very long.
    I’m still unconvinced that it exists here…

  289. Vlad Krandz September 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Feminine Convenience is one of the greatest idols of our age. For this they think they have the right to kill.
    For a society to continue, each woman has to have two children. Since many women wont or can’t, the ones who will and can have to have more to take up the slack. This is not an opinion but simple math. Any society which “insources” its reproduction via its immigrants is utterly decadent and ripe for the taking. It is ready to fall in any case. Such a society doesn’t deserve to survive and wont. Wasn’t it Augustus Caesar who castigated the the Roman Elite on the Senate Floor? He said many great Roman Families had already become extinct with more on the way. But it was too late. Roman women had become bored, selfish pleasure seekers. And Roman men had become unwilling to marry either and turned to boys or concubines.

  290. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    “Even, the CA housing market is up. Apple is nearly $270 now.”
    So the dollar is worth how much less this week?

  291. asia September 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    THE NIGHTMARE OF THE ‘DREAM’ ACT
    Sen. Harry Reid announced today that he wants to attach the DREAM Act — which would legalize young immigrants who want to attend college or join the military — to the defense authorization bill next week.
    The amendment could become the defense bill’s second high-profile add-on, after a provision that would allow an end to the current policy banning gays from serving openly in the military.
    It’s unclear whether Reid has the votes to pass the DREAM Act amendment, but some senators whom advocates are hoping will support the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” have in the past filibustered the DREAM Act.
    A group that advocates for the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, compiled a list of key senators in the upcoming defense vote. Of the 14 senators, nine voted against even holding a floor debate on the DREAM Act in 2007, the last time it came up in the Senate.
    Some of the 14 senators on the list represent swing votes on “don’t ask”; the SLDN is lobbying the others to not filibuster the bill.
    Aaron Belkin, the director of the pro-repeal Palm Center think tank, told The Upshot that he thinks the “don’t ask” repeal is safe, no matter what other amendments are debated or added on.
    “The defense authorization bill is a must-pass bill, and I’m sure [Senator Reid] would not do anything to jeopardize its passage,” he said. “The bill has never failed to pass in 50 years.”
    It would take a majority vote of 50 senators to strip the “don’t ask, don’t tell” amendment from the bill, he added.
    But Shari Rendall, director of legislation for the conservative group Concerned Women for America, told Congress.org she will lobby Democrats to vote against the defense bill, and that this amendment may be a boon for her efforts.
    “We think that if it’s true that Sen. Reid fills the amendment tree, this will give us a good opportunity,” she said.
    Log Cabin Republicans Director Clarke Cooper tells the Upshot that some Republicans his group lobbies to vote in favor of repeal bring up a “laundry list” of add-ons to the bill they object to, including a provision that allows greater access to abortions for servicewomen overseas, and funding for a second engine for the F-35 fighter jet. (President Obama said he will veto the bill if it includes the funding for the engine, which the military doesn’t want.)
    Cooper says some of the Republican members’ positions may change with the addition of the DREAM Act, but that he does not expect a filibuster of the bill. Six of the nine key senators who voted no to the DREAM Act in 2007 are Democrats.
    Here’s the SLDN’s list of key senators and whether they voted yes or no to cloture on the DREAM Act in 2007:
    • Harry Reid (D-NV) yes
    • Mitch McConnell (R-KY) no
    • John McCain (R-AZ) didn’t vote
    • Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) yes
    • Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)no
    • Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) yes
    • Jon Tester (D-Mont.) no
    • Max Baucus (D-Mont.) no
    • Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) no
    • Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) no
    • Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) no
    • George Voinovich (R-Ohio) no
    • Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) yes
    • Mark Warner (D-Va.) no.
    RINO .. John McCain (R-AZ) didn’t vote

  292. asia September 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    whats been goin on here is ‘female bonding’

  293. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    I’m with you 100%. What I was referring to is the numbers game. They are simply out-fucking us.
    With all the mess they are creating, as you so eloquently pointed out, it’s forcing the ones with the means to leave to spread across the remainder of the planet; specifically the western world.

  294. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    I’m with you 100%. What I was referring to is the numbers game. They are simply out-fucking us.
    Due to the mess they are creating, as you so eloquently pointed out, it’s forcing the ones with the means to leave to spread across the remainder of the planet; specifically the western world.

  295. asia September 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    ‘She was a pregnant virgin.’
    no, you are the pregnant virgin!

  296. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    I’m not sure what our government would think of me marrying yet ANOTHER man. Besides, my current husband (spouse) might not approve. ;-) (25 years next March!)

  297. asia September 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    archie bunker killed the cleavers and its all by design!
    on tv, in the schools, in the la times there just was an editorial about the ‘wonders’ of multiculturalism in australia!..as that force destroys LA!

  298. asia September 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    in WSJ [so i have to consider the source] there was a page 1 story about jobless 30 year olds who
    ‘still adored their govts in italy, france etc’

  299. asia September 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    zillions fight for/against g marriage as their titanic sinks!

  300. Cash September 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Yeah, not being female so I don’t know what it is but the real bad guys (especially the ones that look the part ie big guys with the pony tail, dark glasses, tattoos etc you know what I mean) always attract A LOT of women. They are so damn busy: women in the front door, out the back door, through the windows…not that I’m jealous.
    But seemingly not so with Asian chicks. I married one and I know some through work connections etc.
    Maybe it’s a cultural thing or an upbringing thing or maybe I’m just overgeneralizing but, with Chinese women especially, losers and bad guys need not apply.
    They seem to want white collar achievers so have academic/professional/business credentials at the ready. You need reasonable table manners, no gruesome deformities and no open sores.
    Be open minded to unfamiliar cuisine. Best if there’s someone they know to vouch for you.
    Watch your alcohol intake. And watch your language. No off colour jokes.
    They have zero patience with starving poets/ tortured artistes/drug habits/drinking problems/criminal records.
    Not even if they’re married to workaholic accountants and bored stiff. Or so it seems to me.
    Any female Asian readers out there? Am I wrong?

  301. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I think it’s better to encourage the usage of universal systems thru TLE, than allow localized systems to prevail in a totally unpredictable decline. Discernable differences will only serve to separate us which inevitably leads to tribalism.

  302. Laura Louzader September 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Running out of crucial resources will kill this civilization much faster than the failure to reproduce, Kranz.
    You had better hope immigrant groups become “decadent” and adopt “Feminine Convenience” as soon as possible, because there is no way we are going to be able to carry our current population as we head down the slope of resource depletion. The only way to save civilization now is to reduce the population steeply over the next few decades.
    It isn’t “Feminine Convenience” so much as for sheer financial survival that most prudent people don’t reproduce much. Working class people have finally figured out that they can feed only so many mouths on average income and are making the appropriate adjustments to their breeding plans. The only people still breeding like rodents are, as you have pointed out, immigrant populations. As these people meet with severe disapproval from neighbors who don’t want families of 12 stuffed into 4-room apartments, or gangs of badly supervised boys hanging out on the street corners and getting into shoot-outs with each other, they will learn new ways and limit THEIR reproduction, too.
    You don’t need an ever-growing population to maintain the civilization, and even our current level is a real threat to maintaining it, especially given our resource-guzzling lifestyles. A smaller, more affluent population does a better job of maintaining the knowledge that makes a civilization, than a large population of starving illiterates, which this country threatens to become. I have always thought this country was at its best with about 200 million people. Unfortunately, we will probably grow in population even if we cut back to one kid for every two women, because we have so many breeding-age people that even the current low birth rate produced the biggest crop of babies ever in 2007. Even if only half these people reproduce in their own turn, that will mean that population will stay at current levels for some time.

  303. Cash September 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Hey England! If I weigh 210 lbs (how the hell does “lbs” stand for pounds, while we’re at it?), how many stones is that? – Tripp
    Call me retrograde but the old system makes intuitive sense to me. An inch is the width of a thumb, a foot is the length of a foot, an ounce is a gulp of whisky, a quart is the amount of beer I can drink before I start feeling it, a cup is 1/4 the amount of coffee I need the morning after the night before, a pound is the amount of steak that covers two black eyes.
    But maybe Enviro has a point about the intelligibility of universally used measuring systems. That would probably go for language too.

  304. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Given the huge physical variety within the human population, one woman’s inch (is it in yet?) is another’s “ooooooooo!” ;-)

  305. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Given our current weapons cache, and our species’ propensity for genocide, cultural homogeneity may be the only thing that spares us. But it’s not something I dream about.
    No measurements based on penis length then?

  306. neckflames September 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Well said for the most part, E. But Bin Laden most likely has been dead for years. You’re not going to stay alive for very long in the Hindu Kush when you need dialysis every few days. Since 9/11 the same tired video clip of him was dragged out by the media every time the Bush Administration wanted to advance their agenda. He’s dead. He may not even have been alive when 9/11 happened.

  307. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    And we digress…

  308. Cash September 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    I know what you’re saying about societal decline and demography being destiny but I tend to agree with Laura about too damned many people.
    I remember Canada when it had 20 million people. Now it has 33 million. Too many. Where I live is too congested and polluted. If you drive a few miles outside Toronto on a summer day you see brown air just above the skyline. It’s disgusting.
    The Greater Toronto area has 5.6 million people. The so-called Golden Horseshoe,ie the land area around the west end of Lake Ontario and the Niagara Peninsula has close to 7 million of us.
    It’s way too built up. Yes, it’s a nice skyline. Big deal. In the August heat it’s like tropical east Africa. The masses of concrete and steel trap heat and turn the place into a sweat box. Nasty.
    Highway 401 going through the north end of Toronto is a demolition derby. I read somewhere that it’s the busiest roadway in N. America after the Santa Monica Freeway.
    Too much is too much. We let into this country 1 million people every four years and a large proportion end up in and around Toronto. We’re over-doing it.

  309. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Do you really think we have a propensity for genocide, or have we just simply gotten ourselves into a fine kettle of fish? I think the latter.

  310. Cash September 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Measurements based on penis length? Never thought of it. Overconfidence maybe. Or the opposite. I don’t know.
    That’s OK, so we digress.

  311. envirofrigginmental September 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I disagree. If 36 milion people can live in Tokyo, then I would say that we here in the Golden Horsehoe are far from “way too built up”. We have a long way to go to be considered dense by world (non-US) urban standards.
    Living in tight quarters is not the issue, addressing the issues around living in tight quarters is. Unfortunately, that has NOT occurred here. Our idiotic planning regimes have created an awful hybrid of true urbanity and suburbanism that hsa subsequently been inadequately serviced by a decent, integrated, intelligently thought-out transit system.
    I have visions of putting 90% of us into an area similar to Tokyo and leaving the remainder of the country for wilderness and farming. Other than patrols for the border (keeping those damn Yankees out ;-)) Canada could be a big parkland. What a concept!

  312. BeantownBill September 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    You are right, of course, but colonizing Mars wasn’t what I meant. We have to go from the bottom up. Whatever happened to the old idea of satellites capturing energy emitted from the sun and beaming it down to Earth? Too expensive? Not practical? Or no will to to go in this direction?
    Plenty of useful raw materials in the asteroid belt – can’t we get at this somehow? Learn how to move a small asteroid, nudge it out of its orbit so it ends up a lot closer to Earth. I don’t think the technology to do so is beyond us, at least not by much. Again, no will to try it.
    Mars could be terraformed so it becomes habitable, but that’s impractical. The moon was originally gouged out of the Earth when it collided with a Mars-sized planetesimal, so the moon is very similar to Earth. We could use its resources.
    We could build an enclosed space colony at the 5th LaGrangian point, as Gerard O’Neill suggested. It wouldn’t save many people, but it might assure the human race against extinction. Same thing for constructing a space elevator. The technology for both these ideas are a little beyond us, but definitely could be accomplished during this century.
    These concepts don’t require new physics. They are just very large-scale engineering projects. The issue isn’t building them while we still have the resources, the issue is we don’t have the will to do so.
    We are at a crossroads. We can ignore what’s coming down the road at us and diminish our society or we can face up and do something about it. Yes, we should try to downsize to a certain extent, but not so much that we have no chance to advance.
    What an uphill battle to deal with pessimists, techno-phobes, ignoramuses, greedy big businessmen, and corrupt politicians.

  313. Cavepainter September 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Oh please, no more of this crap of populating to point of life choices diminished down to minimum caloric requirement and life experience otherwise amounting to human equivalent of gerbil habit trail? Doesn’t anyone posting on this site appreciate how the solitude of wilderness experience is more contributory to mental (and yes, if you insist, spiritual) health than all the Eastern spins on meditation and “inward peace”? Being 73 years old I’ve witnessed how much farther from common experience has been pushed back access to wilderness experience and I believe that as a nation we’ve suffered immeasurably for it. When I was growing up city foot prints were all so small that much of the urban population of the time (less than one generation away from having been forced off family farms and away from rural existence) could still augment household larders with game and fish. Today hunting is evolved into a “sport” of trophy hunting for those rich enough to travel the increasing distances to what remains of wilderness.
    Perplexing too is how many posts on this site express the view that the American citizenry is guilty of having been complicit – with full knowledge and understanding – in deliberate harm to people of other nations. On that account follows the insinuation that the USA must pay penance by surrender of entitlement to sovereignty. Hence, entitlement of “citizenship” as qualifier for directing national destiny through elected representation must default to however many foreign nationals choose to come here in disregard to erstwhile legislated “legal” immigration policy. Why is not the US citizenry itself seen as victim for having been duped by decades of misrepresentation by the media of foreign policy hijacked by special interests? Horse hair shirt anyone?

  314. asia September 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    JHK:
    ‘Too bad voting the Tea Partiers in is not the answer’
    maybe, time will tell, but many here knew that barak had no ‘answer’, and we are right!

  315. asoka September 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    “‘She was a pregnant virgin.’
    asia, they say it is true. More details of the story are coming to me. She was named Mary and he was Joseph. She had never been with a man… but she was raped by a ghost.

  316. asia September 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    ‘Why is not the US citizenry itself seen as victim for having been ..’
    you ask why?, because the LA Times doesnt want that view in its pages. lately the LAT has had a front section of 14 pages! gone are the days of 4x that many pages!

  317. asia September 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    its time for the govt to get out of the marriage biz!
    fat chance…it loves to meddle

  318. asia September 15, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    as in:
    Talk about stimulus!
    teach uncircumcised African men how to wash ….
    a grand total of $823,200 stimulus money that went to this program. According to CNSNEWS, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex. Talk about stimulus!

  319. asoka September 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    asia said: “maybe, time will tell, but many here knew that barak had no ‘answer’, and we are right!”
    Others knew Barack had the answer: sustainability! And they were right!

  320. San Jose Mom 51 September 15, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    And from an economic standpoint, letting gays and lesbians marry would be a bit of an economic boon to California. E. mentioned that gays have 25% higher salaries that hetero men and thus they could help the economy by throwing big, expensive wedding receptions!
    My neighbor’s daughter got married a few years ago and the wedding cost $35,000. A boon to florists, formal wear, caterers, country clubs, Macy’s gift registration, honeymoon (not included in a above price), limosines…..it’s a big business.
    SJmom

  321. mika. September 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    I’d be curious for you to identify who these propogandists are and who is controlling them.
    ==
    The CBC, CTV, Global, The Sun, The Star, The National Post, etc., they’re all march to the same tune. They are all protect the corporate mafia, the status-quo, and centralized state control.

  322. mika. September 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    They all protect..

  323. mika. September 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    I think you owe us an example of a workable solution of a functioning civilization where there has been an absense of some form of government, either past or present.
    ==
    I’m amazed that you would even ask me this question, given that the answer is so obvious: The independent colonial “City States” of the United States prior to the formation of the United States. Perhaps you misunderstood. I’m not an anarchist. I do not advocate for no government. But I am a Libertarian. My advocacy is for the devolution of the Centralized State, instead, limiting government to small, local constituencies.

  324. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Well, apple stock is just running up and away, a dollar a share to $271/share after hours. I call the end of the recession. It is jut irrepressable. Have had a really hard time finding a dip since August 27th.
    g

  325. mika. September 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    $AAPL is trading within a range, and is way overbought. It will retrace to about $245 soon.

  326. asoka September 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    asia said:

    According to CNSNEWS, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.

    asia, do you believe everything you read?
    Have you ever heard of planted anti-Obama misinformation?
    CNSNEWS cites this project: “Community-Based HIV VCT: South Africa” as the source of this supposed research on BLACK AFRICAN GENITAL WASHING. Here is the source: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/75198
    The principle investigator is listed as Thomas Coates (2003-2008). Weren’t those the BUSH YEARS?
    I invite you to browse the National Library of Medicine database and tell me if it talks about BLACK AFRICAN GENITAL WASHING in any article from the “Community-Based HIV VCT: South Africa” project. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
    Or browse Thomas Coates’ 83 articles (many on prevention of HIV infection) and see if you can find one that talks about BLACK AFRICAN GENITAL WASHING.
    Try to find one reference anywhere on the Web to this supposed “research” that does not come from or refer to CNSNEWS… or try to find the published results of the supposed research published anywhere on the Web that mentions BLACK AFRICAN GENITAL WASHING.
    CNSNEWS is not a trustworthy source. CNSNEWS used to be Conservative News Service (now Cybercast News Service) is owned by the Media Research Center which disseminates false news stories like the Swift Boat story against Kerry and the purple heart story against John Murtha.
    You have been punked by CNSNEWS, asia, and scandalized by BLACK AFRICAN GENITAL WASHING.

  327. asoka September 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    The principle investigator is listed as Thomas Coates (2003-2008). Weren’t those the BUSH YEARS?
    http://researchafrica.rti.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.project&p_id=517

  328. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    No disrespect, sir, but I’m having a hard time with someone calling the end of the recession (joke of a name to begin with) based on 2 1/2 weeks of decent earnings…for Apple…during back-to-school days.
    If we get any more reductionist, or specialized, we might just figure out how to imagine our way through a planetary population bottleneck, on the current of a wind turbine. How cool would that be? I mean surely we have people for that.
    …Right?….right, man?…Please tell me we have “imagine our way through a planetary population keyhole on the current of a wind turbine” people.

  329. progressorconserve September 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    KitAJ had such a good post upthread that I’ve reposted part of it here:
    ==============
    It seems to continue to escape people here that a lot of us “boomers” were warning that our way of life was a dead end 35-40 years ago.
    ============== *Damn straight!! (my view)*
    =============
    The 1960’s were a Planetary Renaissance Wave – dont blame us boomers for the fact that that wave got stomped into the ground.
    ============ *But it wasn’t just the WWII generation that stomped it down – it was MANY of the early boomer/Bush II/Newt Gingrich generation.
    (my view)*
    ============
    “we all tried to show the way out and turned this culture on to just about EVERYTHING good that we have today – like back-to-the-land, organic food, etc.
    This country was on a non-stop trajectory to self-destruction long before the boomer had ANY politico-economic power. More boomers than any other generation – world-wide – tried to change the world, which is why we are known as “the greater generation.”
    The teabagger boomers are boomers who bought the old paradigm, the WW2 generation paradigm, including the “american exceptualism” that is destroying this country.
    ====================
    *You are correct KITAJ.
    I’d argue you are too harsh on most of the WWII generation – those were different times – and we can no more judge them than we can judge the men who fought for the South or the North in the Civil War.
    And I think what you are saying is that it IS ABOUT SOCIAL CLASS. The boomers who wanted to change the World burned out or gave up. We are left with those manipulative schemers who could seize power selfishly – or with no guiding principals
    – which may be much worse.
    (My view!)*

  330. progressorconserve September 15, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Where do posters go?
    Chaz Valenza made, as I recall, ONE post last week.
    It was magnificent. It addressed renewable energy among many other things.
    And it included this little tidbit:
    “President Obama says there is very little the government can do to create jobs. I wretch and my eyes bulge each time I hear our most promising leader in decades spew such a lie. The government makes the rules. The current rules aren’t working or were never enforced. Take the bull by the horns you shameless flak for Wall Street and do something: Put the American people back to work now!”
    That is some RAGE that I’d like to hear the Taxed Enough Already party embrace.
    This website, this internet, this society – is just pissing itself away.
    Why are we so helpless?

  331. myrtlemay September 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Oh, and a last word on the “…oh, i’m too stupid to keep my fucking legs crossed cause you men are just oh,so powerful and, oh, so, I don’t know, so much stronger and better than us females (net-idiots)…..A few words from Ms. Leslie Gore, circa 1963(a few years before you were probably born, MS. Network IDIOT!) Those interested should check out the Youtube “You Don’t Own Me!”…Men SHOULD FUCK WOMEN WITH WANTON ABANDON. You and your “fuck me at will, with abandon…” have the right perspective. Gosh, you’re so darn right. Women have always been really stupid and should have let men fuck the living daylights out of them without ever having any idea of what would lead to the unfortunate outcomes! God forbid the men should cum in your mouth or your ass! Gosh, you girls born after 1959 are so god damned smart! Shitforbrains! “I wanna baby and i wanna have the govment take care of it and me!” Thanks! You and your freaking offspring have me paying for you deciding to have a guy come in your clit and not your ass or your mouth!

  332. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    Every generation so far has lived in a different energetic reality than the one before it. (Some more radically different than others for sure.) The differences cause major worldview shifts in how we perceive and respond to challenges in our ecosystem. What was true for the social democrats of the 1930s wasn’t even related to the energetic reality for back-to-the-landers of the 1970s. Especially as we closed in on Global Peak Per Capita Energy in 1979. The same year we proved our tendency to collective genocidal racism and declared the world’s energy reserves to be our energy reserves, by electing Ronald Reagan. Not that that’s necessarily unnatural, just very different from the energetic reality of the 1930s, which I think we can call “The Great Hiccup” in our transition from a culture based on coal and agriculture to one based significantly and irreversibly on oil. How rapidly life must have been evolving for those people!
    But neither the 1930s nor the 1970s resembles the 2010s. We’ve now summited the highest peak of the great energy mountain available to us, and permanent contraction is getting geared up to teach us a few things about how biological populations behave in a brand new paradigm.
    A lot of the things the hippie intellectuals did in the 60s and 70s were wonderful, ground-breaking ideas and new modes of life. (I’m not talking about the stoned layabouts, I’m talking about the mostly unemployed philosophers and innovators of that era. Mostly unemployed because that sort of ethical and principled existence doesn’t do much for the formal economy.)
    But we’ve reached the crux of the matter now, and MY generation will be the mostly unwilling pioneers of completely new ways of thinking and accomplishing.
    We will cooperate and adapt, or we will kill each other. What generation of Europeans has ever faced such a future, besides the isolated Norse colony in SW Greenland in the 15th century? I bet they understood contraction.
    We have to be the most open-minded and fearless generation, both physically and culturally, in the history of planet Earth. There are some pretty hard conclusions that have to be come to, and then harder action still required of my fellow Gen Xers. Our kids will grow up learning wholly different lessons than we did, based on a contractionary paradigm, which should make for interesting parent-child relations for a while I would think.
    And I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but Generation X isn’t the most tuned hive mind to be relying on;) But perhaps therein lies our salvation, because we need some novel, radical input and we needed it a decade ago.
    Of course I’m over-generalizing here and painting history-in-the-making with a very broad brush, but this is all brand new. There are very few models for this, but permaculture is the most comprehensive science/art I’ve found that attempts to build one. And it’s a lasting product of the 1970s, so thank you to all the people who saw the writing on the wall ahead of schedule, and provided such a toolbox for the rest of us to work with!
    Ever grateful,
    Tripp,
    37, Watershed Ecologist, with 2 young children for no other reason than just because I wanted to meet them, garden with them, and teach them what little I know from the old paradigm that might be useful in their very strange future.

  333. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    Thank you for the reasonable and useful response.
    g

  334. treebeardsuncle September 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    Tell me more about your thoughts on gen x, vis a vis the boomers and others. I find them to be like the boomers but less social, more detached, and more alienated.
    Geoff
    39
    Sacramento, Ca

  335. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    By the by, we’ve had some interest from a local NGO in buying our 1/4 acre urban permaculture site here in Macon, and continuing development of our existing site plan as a community/primary school sustainability project. How flattering!
    And my grandparents have offered us 14 acres of forest in the mountains, (with a trout stream running through it!) for the cost of property taxes ($114.16 a month, I hope we can come up with that much!;) We’re going up to see it tomorrow, and I’m so excited I can’t go to sleep!
    Fourteen acres in the mountains with a trout stream running through it!!

  336. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Sorry, I’m better now.

  337. trippticket September 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    “I find them to be like the boomers but less social, more detached, and more alienated.”
    All those perceptions seem reasonable to me, except that we’re like the boomers. I mean, we were the music video and Atari generation, the first generation raised on the spoils of the most massive and sweeping economic gains ever known to human history. What do the boomers know about our world? Or us about their post-WWII reality, following a very unifying cataclysm.
    I think we’re all just a product of our own energetic reality, and maybe our generation’s detachment and alienation will come in handy. It’s a stretch, but, there it is. One thing I fell pretty confident about is that the garden-variety boomer worldview is losing its relevance kind of abruptly here lately.
    Not that there are too many garden-variety minds hanging out in these hallowed halls.

  338. trippticket September 16, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    feel pretty confident about…
    I do that one all the time; drives me crazy.

  339. myrtlemay September 16, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    Ms. Gore had a hit record that same year (1963) about how some louse had fucked another girl at her OWN (SORRY, I KNOW UPPPERCASE LETTERS UPSET YOU) birthday party!) So maybe you can tell me me…. When did women become so goddamned SMART about men? DID YOU, BY CHANCE, MISS that lesson? Was your mother an idiot, or just a stupid bitch? My mother told me about men and their sometimes ungentlemanly intentions long before I was 16. My older brothers told me that I had better not mention any guy french-kissing me on the first date ( circa 1954) to my dad the day after. I guess my question is, why were you so such a slut as to crack open your twat to a guy you weren’t married to? (no offense!) I mean, I really admired you whores back in the 1950’s! Back in those days, I admired you sluts! I mean, you sluts were so POPULAR’!! And Jeesuus!…I can’t even begin to imagine the cock you girls got in the 1980s- – DECADES AFTER I got my taco slit split in two! I mean, my generation really lost out…I mean, outside of the the herpes, AIDS, genital warts, unwanted pregnancies and all. Golly, your generation really had it all! LUCKY YOU! You dod-damned pig!

  340. asoka September 16, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    Tripp said: “Fourteen acres in the mountains with a trout stream running through it!!”
    In my eyes that would make you ridiculously wealthy!
    Don’t think twice … this is the chance of a lifetime. Read William Power’s book Twelve by Twelve. Utilize one-half acre of the fourteen acres for a small permaculture garden and leave the rest as forest/wildness.
    From your reports, Tripp, it seems you are always busy. This land offer will give you an opportunity to take advantage of permaculture’s autopilot feature. Minimize weeding by not using rows, think small, create a small garden, use plants that need little water, and take time to just sit and observe the garden in a wu wei kind of way, an alert inactivity. This is not to be confused with sloth. It is a kind of waiting in the esoteric sense of the word: present, attentive, as when Jesus said to “be like a servant who does not know at what hour the master will return.” An outward non-doing; an inner readiness.
    Tripp, getting 14 acres couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I admit to being envious. I adopted voluntary poverty and it has stuck! Nobody be offering me 14 acres with water.

  341. San Jose Mom 51 September 16, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Wonderful news Tripp!!!!!
    SJmom

  342. asia September 16, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    SJM….you think in terms of GDP….’in the box’…in terms of carbon footprints and wastefulness I see ‘fancy parties’, from weddings to clinton/bush/obama mega million $ bashs as disgusting and negative.
    GDP includes say taxpayers paying millions and billions for prison costs , even to illegals.
    growth is the enemy!
    if you read ‘DARK SIDE OF MAN’ it mentions the uber promiscuity of gays in frisco…so that could be alot of marriages per man, but i doubt it!

  343. asia September 16, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    a thought after looking at the news….
    JHK mentioned the insanity of sending food aid to Haiti…well UNICEF is asking for $ to save the 6 million kids in peril in pakistan….
    once i went to a talk by someone who brought soy to afghanistan as a potential food crop.
    and learned things like ‘ she doesnt know how old she is, maybe 26..has been married half her life, has the standard 7 children etc’…
    food aid to folks who marry at 13 and have 10 kids!

  344. asia September 16, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    ‘The Chinese, Indian, and Arabic “miracles”
    are a joke propagated by “reporters”…………
    OF COURSE THE POWER ELITES SPIN THESE TALES..VIA REPORTERS AND THE MEDIA
    India must irrigate for 60% of its crops.
    For China, it’s 80%…………..WHICH IS WHY THEY OVERTOOK TIBET AND MAYBE WILL MAKE A GRAB SOON FOR INDIAS WATER.

  345. asia September 16, 2010 at 12:50 am #

    By the by, we’ve had some interest from a local NGO in buying our 1/4 acre urban permaculture site here in Macon,
    better yet make a movie of it and post on youtube

  346. asia September 16, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    i was just looking at a site called obambi.com!

  347. asoka September 16, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS AFTER YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY, AND IT ISN’T EVEN COMPETENT TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY.

    From the end of 2007 to the end of March 2009, the average 401(k) balance fell 31%, according to Fidelity. The accounts have rebounded, along with the rest of the market, but that’s little help for those who retired — or were forced to — during the recession. In a system in which one year’s gains build on the next, the disaster of 2008 will dent retirement savings long after the recession ends.
    Read more: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2010/07/13/are-you-overpaying-for-your-401k/?xid=huffpo-direct#ixzz0zfLQcDhj

  348. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    Trip, you allude to gen x’s playing video games at home with Atari. (Some used Nintendo, Intellivision, Sega, etc.) You mention the music videos. These were part of the pop culture of the 80’s. I remember the 70’s. I grew up with record players, type-writers, television with several stations that generally signed off by 3 in the morning. We had an acre yard with some wood and metal toys besides plastic ones. I was 6 when Star Wars came out. I dug holes and climbed trees and saw quite a bit of open land along 50 in Sac before it was built up in the 80’s. Folks went to arcades and pinball machines and roller skating rinks and went water skiing. I don’t think the lifestyle for those of us who are now in our 30’s was that different from the boomers. The boomers fuss about more how important the 60’s were. The boomers world and the xers world was not that different. I think you make too much of fine and insignifant details of pop culture. How is the boomers world-view even different from the exers. I found the boomers to be more gregarious and interested in togetherness. The xers are very unfriendly and do not relate much. The yers are even more unfriendly.

  349. Bill Simpson September 16, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    Want to scare yourself BEFORE Halloween? Visit http://www.aspousa.org and read the interview with Bob Hirsch on his team’s new book, ‘The Impending World Energy Mess’.
    I’ll bet the cover won’t be as Hitchcockesque as JHK’s. Jim’s look like, should you dare open the cover, the ghost of peak oil will jump out and set you on fire in your chair. You won’t get past page 1. Do you get a rosary, or a cross with them? Mine rosary is still in the 20mm ammo box since Katrina. Those things are completely waterproof. I just realized the irony of a rosary inside a used ammo box. The religious right must have subconsciously brain washed me. WOW! Jim is right.

  350. Dr Doom September 16, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    Hey, shout out to Jimbo for sending me my free desk copy of “The Witch of Hebron”! Bro! I’ll even get around to reading it soon, I hope. Been busy of late with the professional duties.

  351. Dr Doom September 16, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    Sorry, I meant to also say Mahalo (Thanks) for that courtesy.
    Hey asoka, did you get your copy yet?

  352. ctemple September 16, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    My father, gone now, I never heard him use the word ‘fuck’. My mother, in her eighties, has never used it that I know of, my aunt’s in the sixties, nope. I’m glad though that your generation has learned how to swear.
    Pop never knew what he was missing out on by not being a guttersnipe, I reckon.

  353. Enkidu September 16, 2010 at 3:27 am #

    “the people running things in the USA have no idea what’s going on or what they’re going to do about it”
    Yeah, right. They’ve known for decades what you’re only now realizing. Do you really think they’re that stupid? Or are you just naive?

  354. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    I understand that civil rights must
    be granted to all but there’s that
    word “civil” in civil rights … as
    in supportive of CIVILIZATION.
    Therefore, we must look at the particulars
    of gay partnerships in actual practice in
    the USA to see if civilization and civility
    is served by gay marriage. The average gay
    union lasts less than three years which
    makes the horrid modern marriage look like
    a marathon. There’s also demonstrably higher
    levels of substance abuse in gay households.
    Finally, as a TRUE conservative, I believe
    that we should conserve lessons of history
    that extend back 5,000 years. This means
    that we should embrace the social experiments
    which have withstood the test of time and
    jettison those which haven’t.
    So, forgetting about how fringe the gay
    marriage issue is, I believe that it is
    ALREADY a failed experiment. In a sense,
    the worsening of ordinary hetero marriage
    appears to have induced guilt in heteros
    to allow unions that are provably even
    worse than their own failed unions. This
    “white man’s guilt” is FALSE ATONEMENT and
    regardless of the failure of the modern
    hetero marriage we ought to truly examine
    whether gay marriage is a successful form
    of heterodoxy. I believe the answer is
    EMPHATICALLY that it is not successful and
    I don’t believe it improves our limping
    social structure. It just makes it limp
    more.
    I hasten to add that I believe that homosexuality
    has always been around, always will be, and is
    not a “choice”. However, one must ask why
    homosexual marriage has NOT always been around.
    I think it’s because the covert unions of the
    past haven’t been any more successful than the
    OVERT unions of the present whose statistics
    I cited above.
    History is basically an extremely long series
    of experiments and weedings-out of that which
    is perceived not to work very well. But I
    don’t want to finish this post without returning
    to my primary point that gay marriage is a
    diverting issue which, in the grand scheme of
    things, affects an exceedingly small percentage
    of the population. This isn’t Selma, Alabama
    of 1964 or anything remotely approaching that
    degree of freedom-seeking.
    E.

  355. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 4:32 am #

    Tripp,
    Sometimes I’ve seen humorous back-o-the-envelope
    calculations which indicate stuff like if the
    planetary GDP grows 8% per annum, we’ll need
    to all hydrocarbons from the moon, Mars, and
    all other rocky planetesimals to support our
    lusty wants within a couple of decades.
    Lest we forget, this site is all about RESOURCES
    and anybody who thinks that earth can support a
    China and an India living like us when it can’t
    even tolerate us is a Cornucopian who thinks that
    we can hollow the freaking entire earth out while
    not affecting one Cheez Doodle of our lifestyle.
    :-) :-)
    Forget higher mathematics. Some folks, like
    the Federal Reserve, just need to learn to
    COUNT. We’re employing rocket scientists in
    quant departments of banks the world over
    to prove that 10 plus 10 is three. :-)
    E.

  356. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    I’m convinced that if you take all the
    make-up off of the fake Bin Ladens in
    all that footage, you’ll find Jimmy
    Hoffa. :-) :-)
    E.

  357. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    Tripp,
    My problem with TBU and Asoka’s economic
    optimism is that they’re like weathermen
    trying to forecast sun for TODAY when if
    they’d stick their butt out the window
    right NOW they’d realize that it’s raining.
    We don’t have to “forecast” in order for our
    pessimistic doubts to hold water. TBU … do
    you really think all is okay when U6 (“real”)
    unemployment is 17% and our debt/GDP ratio is
    at Greek levels in a SERVICE economy?
    Housing is taking a new dive and the range-bound
    stock markets are currently in the “we only pay
    attention to good news” phase. By the way, the
    health of the stock market … for NOW … is
    hardly an index of the health of the economy.
    Why do you think the financials had such a
    bang-up last 18 months? Because they got the
    TARP money, invested it, created a self-fulfilling
    prophecy, and hardly lent ANY of it.
    Of course, they’ll slowly get out of the markets
    so that the retail investors and poor schmoes
    with their IRAs in stock funds get left holding
    the bag AGAIN. Moreover, every last fucking one
    of these sociopathic banks is expanding like mad
    in third world countries with YOUR taxpayer money
    and not creating job one over here.
    Yeah, the economy’s on such sound footing [sic].
    E.

  358. mika. September 16, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    You’re welcome. You’re much better off shorting $AAPL. I’d wait for 2 down days, and then go short. Oct/Nov will be down months.

  359. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 6:05 am #

    Treebeard … I recommend you read “The Black
    Swan” by Nicholas Taleb. He astutely claims
    that middle class people should try to
    DEFINANCIALIZE their money because financial
    assets of all types are on their way to
    destruction.
    We’re living in a fool’s paradise with much of
    the “economic activity” being people trading
    options, bonds, and shares without anything like
    a physical real world basis in back of any of it.
    I think John Hussman is one of very, very, VERY
    few financial types who doesn’t have his head up
    his ass. His basic viewpoint? Shares are claims
    on future cash flows so the only rational shares
    to own are of companies that have enormous cash
    flows RIGHT NOW. No “forecasting”. No “story
    stocks”. No fads.
    However, even Hussman, stern as he is, is
    obviously a believer in the infinite continuity
    of and integrity of the financial system. I
    believe the day will come (within a few years
    to ten at the most optimistic) when neither
    longs NOR shorts will get paid.
    That’s the problem with the nuttiness of markets.
    If we have another Oct. 19, 1987 when you get
    massive order imbalances, even if you win, the
    other side of the trade might not be able to
    pay what he owes you.
    E.

  360. mika. September 16, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    Until then, going short is the way to play in the rigged casino gulag. Stocks, as representative of productive capital will be hit, again and again, as the US economy sinks ever deeper into a deflationary sinkhole.

  361. myrtlemay September 16, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    Back in the day, you and your macho crew probably got used to us women being put in our “place”, laying down, pretending to enjoy your “love-making”. Although we managed to put up with your feeble, search-and-find, tiny little peckers, we couldn’t and didn’t complain. More often than not, however, to use un-ladylike terms, we managed to not only find sex, but we enjoyed the the shit out of it! In the 50’s, we weren’t “allowed” to admit we loved a big, thick Italian sausage penetrating our every orifice. However, most of us had the brains to cross our legs because we wanted something other than a fat, drunk slob and his idiot off spring kids to look after for the next 30 – 40 years. Silly fools we were, I know!

  362. welles September 16, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Hello, doesn’t anyone here notice that gold’s been in a picture perfect bull since about 2001? Buy physical, take possession, it’s that simple.
    Buying stocks is akin to lending money to the town drunk…”Yeah don’t worry, I’ll pay you back next week.”
    BTW if you really must have paper prosperity, Brazilian gov’t bonds paying like 11% per annum. Plus real estate’s turning annual 20% gains. Without the buyers being allowed Zero Downpayment Nonsense et al.
    Why on earth would you buy US Treasuries paying you 0-3% for lending Them money up to 10 years?

  363. myrtlemay September 16, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    Oh, and mercy me! I’ll be 83 next May! Stoke some of those fires in Hell before I get there, okay? I like it warm!

  364. welles September 16, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    …get those asbestos traveller’s checks ready lol, love your openness myrtlemay. too bad we didn’t meet in the 50’s, woulda been groovy.
    gotta love them “ageless” people. my best friend in the states is pushing 80, drives a convertible, doesn’t judge anyone, is still horny, and was engaged at least 8 times. lol, i’m under 50, and FUCK ‘chair-on-the-beach retirement’.

  365. Cash September 16, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Fair enough, my grousing is more a matter of personal preference than any consideration for environmental issues…you know the good old days when there weren’t as many people and cars, more elbow room, more wide open spaces, the air smelled cleaner etc.
    We visited Paris in the 1990s and I noticed in the parts of the city that I saw was that buildings seemed to be uniformly about 5 or 6 stories tall and tightly packed together. I don’t know if it was a hangover from medieval or ancient times or whether the city was deliberately planned that way in modern days.
    This is in contrast to Toronto where you have streets with a lot of 2 story buildings and then suddenly a 30 story condo building. Inefficient use of land in Toronto, I think, compared to Paris. I think we could have had more people in a smaller area with a lot less pissed away on infrastructure like roads, sewers ets. Plus Paris, to me, was a visually stunning city.
    I went out on one brief excursion by myself. My wife was a bit under the weather and I needed a walk. I became promptly lost and a kind young woman saw me floundering and helped me out. We walked together for a few minutes (headed as it turned out to the same subway station). I remarked was a beautiful place Paris is. She basically said the beauty is lost on the people living there. She said it is a really stressful place to live.
    I guess when you have to live a work in a big fast city it’s different than visiting. But maybe also they become desensitized to sights and sounds if they see them all the time. I see European tourists in Toronto wowed by the tall buildings. After all these years in this place I know what they really are. They are places where people go to work in their 20s slim, bright eyed and bushy tailed and turn into sagging, shambling shells of their former selves wondering where the last 20 years went. But to a tourist from small town Germany those towers are amazing.

  366. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    The Fed’s illusions are like a man holding
    out his hand to stop a tsunami. Nevertheless,
    they are obviously intervening in the open
    market buying long term Treasuries (with
    newly-printed money) which is why the 10
    year yield has dropped during the stock
    market’s rise to the upper end of its recent
    trading range … which makes no sense since
    all other risk trades are “in progress”. Buying
    a long Treasury is NOT a risk trade.
    Bernanke’s attempt is that man trying to stop
    the tsunami with his hand sternly held forward.
    If the floodtide of two rounds of Quantitative
    Easing have resulted in a mere SLOWDOWN to
    475,000 jobless claims last week and a
    Philly Fed Manufacturing Index that contracted
    in July and August and whose future orders
    projection is at a -8.1 reading … you know
    that we are already “pushing on a string”.
    No “recovery” ever recorded such job losses
    eighteen months in.
    Robert Prechter (whose Elliott Wave Theories
    I do NOT believe in) does say some astute
    things now and then and one of them is that
    people believe in the “Potent Directors
    Fallacy” i.e., that our government lever-pullers
    are akin to the Wizard of Oz … magicians of
    finance.
    In fact, the Fed is now as effete as it can
    possibly be and, very likely, is now sowing
    the seeds for future INFLATION in the second
    half of this decade but I see no force of
    nature that can inflate the tired balloon
    that is the US economy in the next few years.
    It’s very much like trying to blow air into
    an inner tube with five leaks.
    E.

  367. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    An addendum to your thoughts, Mika, re
    shorting the US market. Quantitative
    Easing, Part Two, might levitate the
    markets on a tide of new money for a
    while. It’s the classic strategy of
    “I don’t know what to do to stop these
    problems so I’ll just ‘kick the can’
    down the road and hope I come up with
    a gimmick when I reach the can.”
    That gimmick is QE. Unfortunately, as
    the labor markets have shown us, it is
    like using an atomic bomb to get a
    firecracker’s worth of results while,
    at the same time, causing further internal
    damage to the economy … namely a rapid
    decline in the US Dollar. Also, had the
    Fed NOT bought long Treasuries, you would
    already see the 10 year at 3% and rising
    rapidly.
    We must remember: We are on the SHORT LIST
    of Moody’s downgrades of sovereign debt.
    The very idea that our once world-dominating
    economy is on a list of fiscal reprobates is
    sad in the extreme.
    E.

  368. progressorconserve September 16, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Good points to Cash and Enviro:
    I’d side more with Cash on general principals of overpopulation and too great a human population density. Consider this:
    http://theweek.com/article/index/206098/the-new-superbug-mdash-and-the-end-of-antibiotics
    Bacteria can evolve much faster than humans AND our medical technology.
    ==============
    Meanwhile, there’s news from the Gulf.
    http://theweek.com/article/index/207088/did-the-bp-spill-kill-the-gulf-sea-floor
    Fortunately, it’s a great big Ocean. But human impacts are already causing stress to oceans worldwide.

  369. Cash September 16, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Seems to me that without cheap Chinese made goods flooding the US market you would have a screaming level of consumer price inflation.
    So what we’ve had instead of high CPI is a sequence of asset bubbles and busts as all the cash the Fed has been printing since the mid 1990s is looking, with increasing futility, for yield or a gain of some sort.
    So the cash goes charging into tech stocks inflating a bubble, then out of tech stocks and you have a bust, then into telecom stocks inflating a bubble and then out of telecom and you have a bust, then into real estate and derivatives and you have a bubble, then out of real estate and derivatives and you have a bust.
    So now what? A lot of people say that right now there’s a whacking big bond bubble with yields being miniscule and so guess what follows…
    So the answer? Stop printing so damn much money. It’s not helping.
    IMO the problem is offshoring productive industrial capacity and lately white collar jobs. The latter I’ve seen first hand as my former employer moved more and more corporate finance to India. And I have to say the boys and girls in India are damned good at it.

  370. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    This news flash just in. The Fed purchased
    $1.8 billion of Long Bonds. QE isn’t just
    a rumor now. And it indicates that after all
    of the happy horseshit on the Biz channels,
    the Fed somehow doesn’t agree that our
    economy is okay.
    However, if people won’t get a mortgage at
    4.5% and half the people dropped out of
    Obama’s plan, why in hell would, say, another
    few tenths of interest rate drop do?
    Obvious answer: Nothing. The Fed has to put
    on a show so that Wall Street morons (you
    know … the one’s investing YOUR money for
    you) can make Wile E. Coyote continue to
    walk off the cliff without ever looking
    down.
    E.
    E.

  371. Eleuthero September 16, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    True … so why is Geithner trying to
    make Chinese goods MORE expensive by
    screeching at them to jack up their
    currency??
    Our financial officials are the modern
    replacement for the Keystone Kops.
    E.

  372. lbendet September 16, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    When are people going to say enough!
    Just when the goof-ball Tea Partiers have won the primaries, we are hearing 2 stories this morning that illustrate how bad this Ayn Rand-Milton Friedman system they adhere to so blindly is: You know the old no regulation and coporations are ubermen crowd. (Ayn Rand Paul and company)
    1) The gigantic fish kill in the Gulf. CNN is too afraid to blame it on BP and the Corexit they dumped en masse to hide the spill for PR purposes. Instead, they are saying they have no idea whether it was BP’s fault, but there is an oxygen deficit in the waters where the fish are lying atop the water for miles on end. Do the math, folks. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. What did they think was going to happen when they used deadly chemicals that eat up oxygen creating dead zones?
    2) PG&E (Pacific Gouge and Extortion)raised rates on the consumers to fix the lines, but shunted the money to management instead, putting the fix on the lines on the back burner. This is the non-stop rushing of cash flow to the tippy-top! We are now in what I call hyper-balkanization and the destruction of this country and its ability to protect the people.
    http://kunstler.com/clusterfucknation/mt-comments.cgi?__mode=edit_profile&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fkunstler.com%2Fblog%2F2010%2F09%2Fscary-people-scary-times.html%23_login
    The double standard of the corporate communists is that the government should give them every advantage no matter how badly they do. They can commit mass murder and that’s OK in the name of business. Nobody’s going to jail, are they?
    They covet tax payer money and call public safety nets “Entitlements” and godless. The blind meme is that privatized corporations create jobs. Au Contraire.
    One could only hope that the next stimulus money should be based on a sliding scale in relation to how many Americans get hired as opposed to how many foreign nations get the jobs.

  373. scott September 16, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    “True … so why is Geithner trying to
    make Chinese goods MORE expensive by
    screeching at them to jack up their
    currency??”
    They desperately need a weaker dollar in order to finance an ever growing U.S. government debt. Our only way out of huge debt liabilities is either grow our way out, inflate our way out or default. There is not a snowballs chance in hell of repaying debt through economic growth because the numbers are too big, we would need half a dozen new Ghawars up and running pronto.
    Default is not an option in the forseeable future as it is hardly beneficial to maintaining the status quo. Not saying it isn’t an option but right now it is unthinkable.
    That leaves us with the inflation option which if everything goes as planned will be a gradual 2-3% year over year inflation, “we will muddle through” scenario. I have no doubt that the FED will be forced to overshoot as deflationary forces of wage arbitrage and shrinking private sector because of crowding out by exponential government growth will produce very high rates of inflation.

  374. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    I am over 90% in cash now actually. E, you are a pessimist and an alarmist. New jobless claims have been falling the last 3 weeks or so. Pending housing sales are up. Folks who definancialize will just end up poorer. It is all a matter of timing. Am just waiting for a dip in apple so I can buy back in. Shorting it sounds like a justifiable position. I am leery of options for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that when one applies a put, generally one has to bet that the stock price will have moved below a certain level on a particular day which is a very risky bet. When one buys in simple common shares, one just needs to catch the shares low and sell them a fair amount higher, without specifying that the price exceed a certain level on a certain day (as would generally needed for a call).The folks who really get burned are those who think they are buying a house with no money down and adjustable rate mortgages. I think folks should have to put down at least 30%.
    G

  375. scott September 16, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    I expect that we will get a combination of grow our way out, inflate our way out, default our way out of impossible debt.
    The problem with growing our way out is our definition of growth. We count government spending as growth. I do not view government spending as growth, that only works when you have “real” private sector growth. When there is negative private sector growth as there has been in the U.S. for more than a decade, government spending crowds out the private sector for resources. I see no reversal of exponential government growth. The problem is too widely viewed as the solution.

  376. welles September 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Again I ask, WHY would you want to Lend Your Money to Uncle Sam for 10 YEARS at 2-3%? How is that not a ‘Risky’ Trade?
    For God’s sake, the Dollar has lost HALF it’s value in the Last Ten Years. So you’re ‘earning’ 2-3% and staring at possible losses of 40-50% in purchasing power over 10 years, if the same Dollar Debasement Policy keeps up? And there’s no sign it won’t.
    Prechter’s Full of Shit. Predictionwise he bats about .089, with JHK batting cleanup in that category.

  377. scott September 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I wouldn’t be nearly as pessimistic if there was honest accounting and accountability. Phoney GDP accounting is but the tip of the iceberg. UE accounting is bogus, only those that are eligible to participate in the program are counted. What about all those Joe the plumber, self employed that were created during the housing boom? Do you think they were paying UE insurance and qualify for benefits? Hell, most weren’t even paying income taxes or social security. Thats a good thing though in our world because it causes further wage arbitrage on those playing by the rules and allows those at the top to make more “money”.
    Bank balance sheet accountability has been dispensed with. More than a hundred banks have gone belly up in the U.S. this year alone with their balance sheets marked up on average 37% the day they were seized by regulators. There are no indictments for cooking books in any of these cases because it was the government that is telling them to do it!
    We are a dishonest people and when you tell a lie enough times the liar soon comes to believe it as truth. There is little truth in our accounting of anything because that is not what we want to hear. What we want to hear is that the status quo of infinite economic growth is possible and we will believe anything that supports that view.

  378. scott September 16, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Again I ask, WHY would you want to Lend Your Money to Uncle Sam for 10 YEARS at 2-3%? How is that not a ‘Risky’ Trade?
    Remember, we have been borrowing huge sums of money from everyone else in the world for a long time now. Eventually compound interest and the rolling over of these debts by our creditors eventually becomes unmanageable.
    Those who do not understand compound interest pay it. Those who do understand it collect.
    Not being able to deliver payment through normal economic growth plays a greater role in current events than what is out in mainstream discussion of global finance.
    Going forward there will be a continuous need for FED meddling in bond markets because our debts our unmanageable.

  379. scott September 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    If you look at compound interest tables from past results a 19 year old person could invest $10,000 in bonds and never contribute another dime and still be nearly a millionare by the time he reaches retirement age by simply rolling over the bonds at each maturity.
    From what we know about future prospects for growth, it is impossible to extrapolate past performance linearly into the future. There isn’t going to be enough resources to go around for everyone to collect “past performance”. The numbers are too big!

  380. Cash September 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Keystone Cops is the generous interpretation. How could such a thing happen?
    Alan Greenspan is the real life incarnation of Chance the Gardener in “Being There”. Sure sounds like him. Ever see that movie? Tell me I’m wrong.
    Bernanke is the highschool nimnode you used to hate. Remember the goof, who, when given a choice of two essay topics and told to write one, did both?
    Remember when we used to pick teams for a game of football or baseball? The Geithner/Bernanke/Greenspan types were always the last ones picked. Only time they ever saw the ball was when it hit them between the eyes. Booksmart maybe but not competent in the sense of being able to navigate the real world outside of a textbook. Especially something with as many moving parts as an economy.
    How did such people ever get into positions of such power? At best they should be teaching in colleges: decent, boring stiffs wearing bow ties.
    Ot if the universe hadn’t malfunctioned somehow they would be working as accountants, poring over spreadsheets, obsessing over reconciling items. But for a toss of he cosmic dice they would be. What bad luck. The laws of probability apparently tool a leave of absence. The world could have had three more good accountants.
    Or maybe the laws of probability worked. You had titans like Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower at critical times in your history when you needed them most. Maybe what we see now is reversion to the mean. You can’t always be lucky.
    I agree with you…this broken-axeled fuckwagon of an economy is going over the cliff Wile E Coyote style. The US, the world is screwed. Cosmically.

  381. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    What is it with your worship of athletes who play ball sports? As if doing well in football, baseball etc is so important in leadership. What really happens to the high-school and college jocks is that many of them get injured, and a few of them get rich. Those who have good communication skills generally do alright in sales and supervisory positions. The ones who don’t often get blue-collar jobs. It sounds like you watch too much television and have a hostile anti-intellectual attitude. You haven’t strayed that far from your peasant roots in some respects. And there you go again with that peak oil clusterfuck line “We/the US/the world is screwed.” Yeah, throw up your hands!

  382. welles September 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Here’s a great post about our Recoveryless Recovery from zerohedge.com:
    by 3ringmike
    on Thu, 09/16/2010 – 10:50
    #585434
    live and work out of my van. living behind a gas station that is located next to a beautiful southern california beach that has awesome surf. buy a cup of coffee at the gas station and get unlimited refills. don’t have any set expenses, so have no need to work everyday. no taxes, no mortgage, no worries. i just wished i had gone broke years ago. viva poverty! viva freedom!

    Reminds me of me, I never worried so much as when I had shyte to lose, savings, cars, house, and NEVER did I feel so great as I did after I had nothing more to lose.
    viva a van to live in!

  383. mika. September 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    E,
    I don’t see inflation. Not until people’s wages start to go up. In this job market, that’s not going to happen for a long long time. In the mean time, keep an eye on China. They’re about to blow a gasket. That will have a real effect on the stock market.
    QE1 was really about shoring-up US treasuries, foreigners are no longer buying. Same with QE2. The FED is buying its own worthless paper, and trying to hide this through its various subsidiaries. It’s a dead end street, and its spells the end of the US dollar.

  384. Cavepainter September 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    The population bomb has hit! Its shock waves are masses of people attempting to flee to areas not yet denuded by the effect. Quest for jobs has long ceased to be the driving factor, replaced by the more humble aim of a city dump to squat upon that already over picked. North America had better wake up to the necessity of blocking the rising tsunami of desperate people headed this way. If we don’t, grave robbing will become just another black market opportunity. Already, as demonstrated by the recent boatload of Tamils unloaded into Canada, every tramp steamer will be plying the waves with what is becoming the most profitable cargo – human refugees.
    Contrary to those advocating open borders and unrestricted immigration the outcome won’t be a celebration of diversity such as steaming trays of ethnic food laid out in shopping mall food courts. Instead, the growing number of desperate groups settling here will congeal into warring tribes jockeying for dominance over dwindling resources. The future won’t be a walk in the park because there won’t be any parks left.

  385. Cash September 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Fitness has more than one facet to it. Being physically fit goes hand in hand with being mentally fit, with being competent in the real world.
    I do not worship athletes. I took part in high school sports. I saw first hand the value that participation has in building a well rounded individual.
    Sports teaches you lessons. You learn to function in a ruthless meritocracy. It helps you become socially competent. You learn that if you fail life still has to go on regardless of how humiliating the failure. You can’t hide. If you fuck up or get beat you go home, lick your wounds, get up next day and face your compadres. Most important, if you win you keep your mouth shut, you don’t rub it in. When it’s over, win or lose, you shake hands.
    Sports teaches you self discipline, fair play, team work, leadership, followership. These are things you need.
    I also think that art and music instruction should be part of growing a healthy, well rounded person.

  386. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I agree with you there that athletics are important. I did somewhat well in running. (My best mile time was 5 51.) However, many of the guys who went into sports did not behave as you discussed. They were hostile, abusive, arrogant, demeaning, often entitled, dishonest, mean-spirited, abusive jerks. They were constantly looking to denigrate, exlude, bully, and cheat.

  387. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Intelligence has probably existed on lots of planets, but probably not for very long.
    I’m still unconvinced that it exists here…

    Part of the illusion to feed our egos is that we are “intelligent” , when so much contradicts this premise. We can thank the Bible for part of that, convincing our fragile ego’s that we had “dominion” over this planet. Woops… shouldn’t-a done that!

  388. Cash September 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    hostile, abusive, arrogant, demeaning, often entitled, dishonest, mean-spirited, abusive jerks. They were constantly looking to denigrate, exlude, bully, and cheat. – TB
    Assholes like this should have been shown the door if there was proper adult supervision.
    I refused to take part in hockey because this was how it was where I lived. It was a culture of assholishness and it’s not like it helped Canucks be better players.
    In hockey in my time thugs ruled the rink. At the pro level it was so bad that the quality of play went to shit. Canada played a series against the USSR. We won the series but they outscored us.
    My take on it was that the USSR as a superpower had to be good in every sport. Canada as a minnow had the option of being good only in one. And we weren’t. We had to wipe the floor with them. We did not. What really disgusted me was how Bobby Clark broke Kharlamov’s ankle with a vicious slash.
    What I hear is that nowadays, thuggery in hockey is actively encouraged at all levels. It’s not a game if there isn’t at least one fist fight.
    IMO it’s a crap sport and I haven’t watched a game since 1974 when Philadelphia won the Stanley Cup. A one man boycott.

  389. asia September 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    have you read the real story on this?
    the power elites set out to destroy america and they have!

  390. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    it might assure the human race against extinction

    WGAF! (Who gives a fuck?) What have WE done for the planet and our millions of co-existing inhabitants lately…. other than exploit and fuck them over? What arrogance.
    I’m going to go hug a tree now.

  391. Vlad Krandz September 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Two children per woman. It’s simple math. I agree there’s going to be a die off. And people who don’t bother to have children will not be part of the future. So much for gays, feminists, and other non adaptative, unpleasant people. God is good.

  392. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Good thing most Canadian media outlets don’t read CFN: otherwise they’d be insulted by your leaving them off your list. You left out all these guys: TVA, V, City, A, APTN, CTS, JoyTV, Omni, TeleQuebec, TVOntario, TFO, Saskatchewan Communications Network, *CKXT, *CFTU, *CJON, *CJIL, and Knowledge TV, not to mention the countless cable providers and pay-tv channels.
    I guess you figured francophones and aboriginals are excluded from the pap we get from the biggies?
    Look… I’m no fan of mass media and have my suspucions about the “official” stories we get from mainstream media vs. the truth, but I think it’s a bit rich to see all media as “protecting corporate mafia, status-quo, and centralized state control”.
    *Some of the stations mentioned above are independants.

  393. Vlad Krandz September 16, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Yes, too many – but my post wasn’t about that. I said maintain. If America had been wise, we would have stopped at 200 million, 90% being White. We chose the path of mass immigration and death as has Canada.

  394. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Centralized government is a contruct of our hyper-tech, oil-rich world. I suspect we will eventually evolve into city-states again.
    According to wiki, Libertarianism, like much else these days, is a Hydra. Which one are you?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

  395. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Halleluia. I have noticed the following:
    The hottest girls and the most athletic dominant guys get together early on. By 9th grade they are bonded and no longer single. The rest of the athletic guys and good-looking women pay off by sometime in their 20’s. Most every guy who is decent looking and has good career prospects who is not gay or too crazy pairs off with aggreeable pleasant-looking women in their 30’s. In their 40’s what is left are loser guys, many of whom are very timid, and neurotic fat ugly women whom nobody wants.
    Geoff

  396. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    So much for gays, feminists, and other non adaptative, unpleasant people.

    So cute. And you have proven yourself to be a magnanomous, adaptive individual with your thoughts on race and intelligence. I suspect you’ll be the FIRST one they’ll come running to for leader, come the fall.
    Riiiiiight.

  397. mika. September 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    That wiki page reads like a propaganda hit piece. And that’s what it is. If you read the references, they’re all from non-libertarian sources. Anyway, I made my political affiliation very clear in the references I provide to the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
    As goes for Quebec and the Francophones, I don’t consider them Canadian, and neither do they. The only reason the Francophones and Quebec are part of Canada, is because of the foreign immigration vote. The Anglos stuffed the ballot box with a massive infusion of Anglo speaking foreigners.

  398. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    … plus I know some faggots that could fix a car faster than you can find the hood release.
    Isn’t generalization of people just grande?

  399. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    On the lighter side…
    http://listverse.com/2008/10/16/20-hilarious-credit-crunch-jokes/

  400. envirofrigginmental September 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Quebecers might not “consider” themselves Canadians, but they have no problem using our dollar, benefitting from Federal transfer payments, Social Security and other Federal programs and services such as Oceans and Fisheries, Mines and Resources, Aboriginal Affairs, Defence, Correctional Services… the list goes on ad-nasueum.
    They are Canadians, cause they sure as hell ain’t Mexicans!

  401. mika. September 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Haha. And I’m sure all them ships flying Panamanian Flags of convenience are Panamanian. Get real.

  402. welles September 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Okay everyone go plant a tree like trippticket, it’ll be doing the planet good while you’re kvetching

  403. mika. September 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Centralized government is a contruct of our hyper-tech, oil-rich world.
    ==
    Empires and the central state existed long before our hyper-tech, oil-rich world, so they are not dependent on such. What they are dependent on, is the “central bank warfare/welfare model”. This economic model is designed to enable resource extraction by the gov mafia/oligarchy thru currency creation and the use of force (military) to enforce the acceptance of that currency. When people wise up and will no longer accept said currency, only then will the gov mafia be beat.

  404. mika. September 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s..”
    In other words, Caesar and the Roman Empire can go fsck themselves.

  405. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    From:
    Stocks struggle against weak economy
    Gains are hard to come by. While jobless claims are better, a manufacturing report is weaker than expected. Foreclosures hit a new high. FedEx guidance disappoints. Gold moves higher.
    (http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Dispatch/market-dispatches.aspx?post=1805098&_blg=1,1805098)
    The market trend in the last few weeks has been higher. The Dow is up 5.8% since closing at 9,986 on Aug. 26, with the S&P 500 up 6.5% and the Nasdaq up 8.1%.

  406. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    Apple is up to
    276.57up +6.35 +2.35%
    After Hours: 277.85 +1.28/+0.46%
    It’s yearly high was $279/share.
    If it goes over that, it will be trading outside the range. Apple has been up steadily since August 30th or so. I have not found an opening to get in for nearly 3 months now. Looks like Asoka is right and it will not be going back to $240. One guy said it would go back to $245. It may not even fall back to the $260’s at this rate.
    g
    PS
    Baidu is up to $86.22 which is slightly above the price for which I bought it yesterday.

  407. mika. September 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    A sure sign of a poor trader is the lack of patience and the feeling that “profit” is passing him/her by.

  408. progressorconserve September 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Vlad writes:
    “Feminine Convenience is one of the greatest idols of our age. For this they think they have the right to kill.”
    =======
    So it looks like you are anti-abortion, Vlad.
    But, I’ve got to tell you that abortions will always be easy for the rich – regardless – along with access to the best birth control and sex ed practices.
    Societies are going to get what they encourage for the masses, though. Average poor and lower class women have zero access to subsidized abortion. Plus, they have incentives for extra children. (AFDC, WIC, and other programs)
    ===========
    And you say,
    “For a society to continue, each woman has to have two children. Since many women wont or can’t, the ones who will and can have to have more to take up the slack.”
    And you are correct, but it is having an overall negative effect on the abilities, ambitions, and intelligence of the general cohort of children being born.
    =============
    On a personal note, my wife and I had two kids. We could have easily had 4. We had ZERO tax or college cost incentives. We’re middle class.
    Our generation of middle class was completely screwed over regarding any encouragement for larger families.
    And we believed the whole Zero Population Growth mantra – just replace yourselves.
    Not sure where the 100 million US immigrants and their children fit into the ZPG ideal we were sold in the ’70’s???
    Nothing logical anywhere – that I can see.

  409. BeantownBill September 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Yeah, go hug a tree. If you’re lucky, maybe it’ll hug you back. Hey, maybe you can even have sex with it and raise a family of tree/human hybrids. How moronic and misanthropic a post!
    Domesticated cats hunt and kill mice even when they don’t need food. Watch a cat toy with a terrified mouse and tell me how well they treat other living things. Hell, a female black widow spider eats her male partner.
    Herds of grazing animals destroy grasslands. Pests destroy forests. Parasites live off other species without giving any benefit to their hosts.
    Humans are no better or worse than any other species. Just more efficient. We lucked out by having opposable thumbs and a high ability for abstract thinking. Me, personally, I’d rather be with some other humans when and if TSHTF.
    I’m arrogant because I want to save myself and those I love if things go to hell?
    I do feel sorry for you because of your self-hatred and hatred for the human race.

  410. progressorconserve September 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    E,
    I generally agree with your posts far more than I disagree,
    However,
    I believe we in the US of A have spent WAY too much time and energy arguing about gay marriage.
    Worse than that, gay marriage is one of those “wedge issues” like abortion, that energizes those “*conservative*” voters.
    As fouled up as Western Civilization has become – I don’t see how gay marriage can hurt anything.
    And I can make a case that allowing greater individual freedoms – in general – should mostly help.
    =============
    A couple of excerpts of your post, for those too lazy to go back and refer to it:
    “Therefore, we must look at the particulars
    of gay partnerships in actual practice in
    the USA to see if civilization and civility
    is served by gay marriage. The average gay
    union lasts less than three years which
    makes the horrid modern marriage look like
    a marathon. There’s also demonstrably higher
    levels of substance abuse in gay households.
    Finally, as a TRUE conservative, I believe
    that we should conserve lessons of history
    that extend back 5,000 years. This means
    that we should embrace the social experiments
    which have withstood the test of time and
    jettison those which haven’t.”

  411. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    I was reporting. You came out with a lot of argumentum ad hominem. You are like Qschtick in that you are mean, vicious jerk. I saw your conversation with Asoka. You have a cruel heart and a vicious nature. For your information, even after purchasing a measly 20 shares in Apple and 90 shares in Baidu, I still have over 90% in cash sitting on the sidelines not invested in anything. Have found the nearly uninterupted surge in Apple interesting. Let’s see how far it plays out. The yearly high was $279. I think insiders are trying to push the stock price up over the yearly high. After that there is a good chance, folks will sell off and the stock price will drop back into the $260s, maybe even the $250s. You were the damn fool I think who didn’t have much faith in Apple. The only one here who really has much useful to contribute regularly outside of Trip’s permaculture studies is Asoka with his input on a variety of topics. Most of you people are a bunch of mean-spirited pessimists.

  412. mika. September 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    You are like Qschtick in that you are mean, vicious jerk.
    ==
    The truth always is. It’s the lying snake that’s sweet and seductive.
    Now, as to $AAPL. Don’t be so reflexive, it’s a bad trait. Especially when trading. Not that I have any experience in trading.
    As for Asoka, whatever that forked tongue snake says, it’s best to do the opposite. That jihadi snake only has your worst interest in its smiling heart.

  413. mika. September 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    You were the damn fool I think who didn’t have much faith in Apple.
    ==
    And? Was I wrong?
    http://bit.ly/cm76BT

  414. mika. September 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    For your information, even after purchasing a measly 20 shares in Apple
    ==
    That’s 20 shares too many. Unless you like being the moron bag holder, which perhaps you do.

  415. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    I have done well with them before. Let’s see what the housing news is next week and how folks react. I still bet Apple is going to $300 within a few weeks.
    g

  416. San Jose Mom 51 September 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    According to my art class friend, whose husband works in R&D for Apple, they are going to have some really swell new products just in time for Christmas.
    On the other hand, if Jobs becomes ill again, or dies, your stock is going to fizzle.
    Good luck,
    SJMom….who is really happy she has precious metals related stocks.

  417. treebeardsuncle September 16, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Apple constantly has good news. Have done well with fcx and scco and vale at times, but the growth is too slow and inflation is too low to drive them now.

  418. asia September 17, 2010 at 12:03 am #