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This book will crack you up.
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Something Happened

     Everybody in the world is broke, except for maybe Lloyd Blankfein, and he may not end up broke so much as broken — by a political meat-grinder that is revving up to turn the world’s woes and swindles into a new kind of Long Emergency sausage, to be distributed among the roiling, angry masses as a synthetic substitute for nutriment. Call it a synthetic non-collateralized political obligation.
     Something snapped in the world last week and a lot of people around the world sensed it — especially in the organs of news and opinion — but this ominous twang was not very clearly identified.  It was, in fact, the sound of the financial becoming political. The macro-swindle of a worldwide Ponzi orgy now stands revealed and the vacuum left in its place is about to suck everything familiar into it — standards-of-living, hopes, dreams, not to mention lives. The political action will be a desperate scramble to determine who and what is able to escape getting sucked into this black hole of annihilation. It’s very suddenly shaping up to become an epic in human history.
     Meanwhile, a giant oil blob lies quivering in deep waters off the Gulf coast, like some awful amorphous Moby Dick full of malice waiting to sink Pequod America — or at least the economies of five states. A few months from now, the BP corporation will wonder why it didn’t go into something safe and predictable like the pants business instead of oil exploration. They will surely question the viability of conducting future business anywhere near the USA, and the USA will enter a wilderness of soul-searching about the drill-baby-drill strategy that only a few scant weeks ago seemed to be a settled matter. Tough to have your future hoped-for energy supplies evaporate at the same time that your hopes for future prosperity get sucked into a black hole.
     I’ve maintained for a long time that the folks down Dixie way are the the most dangerously crazy people in America and the Deepwater Horizon oil blob is not going to improve their outlook when it slops over their beaches and bayous. They’ll blame Obama for it by syllogism. Anyway, they are only marginally more crazy than the rest of the folks in the USA. Those folks are warming up for an election season that is going to send a horde of exterminating angels into the halls of congress and the governor’s mansions, and before too long those merchants of retribution are going to appoint their inquisitors. It’s going to be a heckuva spectacle. In retrospect, Mary Shapiro’s SEC will look like the Council of Trent. You can be sure that if ten gallons of gasoline remain to be found in America a few years from now, they will power the last GMC Sierra to drag the captains of Wall Street through the sawgrass prairies of Collier County, Florida.
     What has gone on in Europe the past few weeks is nothing more complicated than a waking-up to how broke they are. We’re not quite there yet on this side of the Atlantic. They fired one last bazooka of wishfulness at the enveloping monster of debt and the monster laughed at them, and now they are standing in the windows of palatial edifice of the Euro Union waiting to see who will jump first. Here in the USA, we’re still dazed and confused. What for a long time had looked like a game of musical chairs is morphing into something more like a national Chinese fire drill, a pointless running around in circles in the hope that sheer motion will be an adequate substitute for conscious action. In any case, both Europe and the USA are out of bazooka ammo now. Nobody can bail out so much as another lemonade stand. From here on governments really start to crumble.
     As in any time of severe turmoil, all political bets are off. There are insinuations in the press, for instance, that the communists will rise up in Greece and overthrow the elected government. That’s rich, since communism was flushed down the human race’s credibility toilet twenty years ago. The Greek opposition may even call themselves communists, but what on earth could they mean by that?  There are no “means of production” left in a country whose economy consists solely of cab-drivers, bellboys, and waiters. There’s no “wealth” to redistribute, only the pain of collective economic loss when the tourists stop landing.
     Elsewhere in Europe, each national house is being outfitted with a procrustean bed of austerity. The various publics are not going to like lying in them. They ain’t no Tempurpedics. History being the shape-shifting demon that it is, I imagine that this time around the Brits will be the ones who elect Nazis –or something like them — while the still-chastened Germans find themselves in the odd position of becoming Europe’s moral guardian — its sole-surviving “good parent” figure, striving to maintain some residue of collective goodwill in Europe’s once-ritzy gated community. Great historical figures always arise from unexpected places — Corsica, Kentucky. Maybe some great unifying leader even now warms a seat in a Norwegian law school.
     God knows what the Europeans will make of the helter-skelter scene playing out here in the States. Perhaps some species of schadenfreude tinged with regret for the missing stream of tourists. My own guess is that there may not even be a president of the US after Mr. Obama. Rather, events will get so gnarly and disordered so fast that somebody like General Patraeus will have to step in for a while and keep the reincarnation of the Ku Klux Klan from trying to murder every non-Cracker from sea to shining sea. Of course, once that happens, we probably don’t go back. It’s not Imperial Rome (release 2.0) after that, either, because even the mighty US military will be too strapped for a means of support to continue operating.  Instead, it’s the devolution of the US into functionally autonomous regions and states — and even that scale of governance may be too great for the stringent economic realities of the years ahead.
     There remains, of course, the very great question of what the rest of people of the world — the non-Western world — do as the West spins into insolvency and tribulation. The Islamists will do everything possible to make things worse, and there’s a lot they can do, from restricting their oil exports (maybe cutting them off altogether) to provoking the immigrant populations of Europe into political violence to possibly setting a few nukes off in their enemy’s front yard.
     The Chinese will affect to referee the collapse of the West, but soon they’ll be sucked into their own implosion of population overshoot and resource scarcity. India you can forget about out — zero oil. Russia gets to kick back in glorious isolation and enjoy the methane fumes of the melting tundra. South America will heed the wise words of a forgotten 18th Century Viceroy of Mexico who explained his method of administration thusly: “Do little, and do it slowly!”
     The Long Emergency has now up-shifted to second gear. Wouldn’t you know it, I have to go to Europe at the end of the month. And I’m supposed to get paid in Euros — oh, snap! This week I’ll be cavorting with my homeys, the Congress for the New Urbanism, at their annual jamboree in Atlanta (ugh!) and will be reporting on the doings there in this space next Monday.
  ________________

A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. The title is The Witch of Hebron.

     

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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.

275 Responses to “Something Happened” Subscribe

  1. goodhumorman May 17, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    First?

  2. Joe May 17, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    First!

  3. den111 May 17, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    3rd!

  4. den111 May 17, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Love the excellent comments:)

  5. Goat1080 May 17, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    We were just having a discussion this weekend that “The Long Emergency” appears to be running right on track. It is a slow motion train wreck and as you said Jim, it is picking up speed, shifting up a gear or two. The oil blob in the Gulf is a disaster and it is about to whack the beaches across the south with the goo from hell. Financial markets are just figuring out (or perhaps just admitting) that things are not going well at all.
    There are millions of unemployed, yet things are eerily quiet – like the calm before the storm. Debt, debt everywhere and gold pushing past $1200. Then, dead ahead, is “2012″. Woah!

  6. den111 May 17, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    All kidding aside, the Gulf story is making me sick.

  7. Lynn Shwadchuck May 17, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I’m glad in all this gleeful I-told-you-so-ing you mention the melting permafrost. There was a debate on Grist about peak-oilers pitting themselves against climate changers. I have feet in both camps and it’s a hard place. Lovelock talks about the danger of escalating feedbacks if there’s a sudden drop in cooling aerosols (air pollution) after a major economic downturn or some other reason for burning less fossil fuel (like the spill triggering shortages/price hikes).
    Today I’m sure enough that the dominoes have started to fall that I’m re-thinking my food plan. Instead of experimenting with growing dry beans, I’m actually growing root vegetables. The beans I’ll buy.
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  8. Andrew MacDonald May 17, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    The stakes in the poker game get ever higher. But of course the main game the way it’s played is tilted toward the bank. Better to play a game with rules that you can shape yourself with a few friends, a few local folks, and start to carve out something for yourselves there. It’s a mindset; once you start moving in a creation direction instead of a reacting against the bad stuff direction, it’s a different game.
    http://www.radicalrelocalization.com/

  9. Jersey New May 17, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    9th!

  10. GoldSubject May 17, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    “Nobody can bail out so much as another lemonade stand.”
    Brilliant. Sooner or later governments will find themselves with a significantly reduced or altogether absent buying power — and then what? What do governments do when they are no longer able to pay their employees and they start to walk? The answer is unlikely to be pretty.
    http://www.goldsubject.com/

  11. empirestatebuilding May 17, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    The depression set in for me on Friday. I don’t know why but it all kind of washed over me last week. I don’t think things will go as bad as quickly as Jim, but I do see some shit rolling down the hill towards our village.
    It is going to be an interesting summer.
    Joke em if they can’t take a fuck.
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  12. Goat1080 May 17, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Yeah, it’s looking more like “Custer’s Last Lemonade Stand”!!!

  13. Cam Mather May 17, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    It sounds like the Long Emergency could morph into a “World Made By Hand” in no time. I still claim you can have heat and lights and a fridge in a “World Made by Hand”, if even you don’t control the dump. My original solar panels in my offgrid home are 17 years old and still working away happily. New ones come with a 30 year warranty. You can “Thrive During Challenging Times” regardless of how bleak the big picture looks. You just need to rise above the darkness and getting cracking on getting independent. It’s way better than sitting there in despair. http://www.cammather.com

  14. Jersey New May 17, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Here’s a good one Jim:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/16/class-warfare-hundreds-pr_n_578015.html

  15. Smokyjoe May 17, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Jim exaggerates the scale and suddenness of what might happen in the South after November. I suspect we’ll see a long, hard slide into a poorer standard of living punctuated by crazy governance and failed plans.
    I’m thinking of the sort of decline we saw in Argentina during the era of hyperinflation or the US in the early years of the Depression.
    I don’t think we are as fragile as Jim states, but I may well be wrong.
    Virginia, one of the most reasonable Southern states, elected Bob (Regents “University” grad) McDonnell as governor and Ken Ken Cuccinnelli Attorney General.
    “Cooch” is a wingnut from the Tea Party fringeof the GOP who is “investigating” UVA scientists doing climate research, tried to resurrect a Confederate symbol of VA for his and his cronies’ lapel pins, and files a lawsuit against the Federal Gub’mint about every 10 minutes on everything from CAFE standards to EPA rights to restrict carbon dioxide.
    Cooch is the sort of maniac who–if Jim is right–would be a suitable Grand Inquisitor for the South’s Cornpone Nazis.

  16. steve May 17, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    so much for me and my family here in Arkansas! Guess us ole “crackers” should declare a new secession. I suppose you enlightened ones from upstate New York wouldn’t object this time – good riddance and all that. If you seriously think the threat to law and order is coming from the tea-party types, you’re welcome to that delusion and all the surprises that flow therefrom. Welcome to Atlanta, Kunstler. I’m sure it’s mutual admiration.

  17. Goat1080 May 17, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Having solar panels and a big vegetable garden are good as long as you can “hold your ground” against the menacing hoards of starving refugees. Once they take the solar panels by force then the warranty doesn’t mean much.
    Still, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Probably something more “portable” you can carry on your back as you head down “The Road”…

  18. Mike Drabik May 17, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    For what’s it’s worth – a quote from The Market Ticker’s blog on 05/14/2010:
    “Get those “sudden stop” plans in place – NOW. If you’re in a big city you’re in big trouble. Find friends or relatives that aren’t and see what you can do about a place to go where you have a reasonable shot at avoiding the worst of this. Look, all-out civil unrest (or worse) is a low-probability event but if you get trapped in a big city and the worst comes that city will go feral within hours and become a free-fire zone. What’s worse, many of these cities are openly hostile to citizens having and using effective self-defense; the bad guys don’t give a damn about laws – that’s why they’re called criminals. There really are bogey men in the world – they’re called gangs folks, and they would love the opportunity that a breakdown that would come with such an event. In such a circumstance the only way to win the game is not to play. This is all about where you are, not what you have.
    If you haven’t acquired the means of lawful self-defense in whatever form or fashion you deem prudent at this point, the time to do so was yesterday. You need time and practice as you need competence – the biggest component of self-defense is the thing found between your ears, not the thing in your hand(s)! I know I’ve harped on this before but if you think you can go buy a gun when things get dicey and be “protected”, having invested nothing in practice and/or training you are very likely to have that weapon taken from you and then be shot with your own gun. That’s a crappy way to die; if you’re unwilling or unable for whatever reason (including legal restrictions where you live) to acquire the means of defense then being concerned about the above (where you’re going to go, how you’re going to get there, and what you’ve got for supplies) becomes even more important.”
    Ominous and damn terrifying.

  19. The Mook May 17, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Agreed. But once again, don’t buy a 9mm handgun and think you are ready to go. Make sure you have a deer rifle with a nice scope. These are also great for keeping “pests” out of your garden.Oh,and like Mike says: drill bab, er practice, baby, practice.

  20. BenCorp May 17, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    JOIN THE GLOBAL MASS DEBT DEFUALT – 21st December 2012!
    Reset the Debt to ZERO. For everything and everyone!
    Halt all debt repayment on the day the Overmind has selected.
    Spread the word!

  21. santaluciae May 17, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Kunstler, Greece is a lot more than waiters and bellboys. You usacos are too dismissive of Europeans (by that I mean Continental Europe) and you swallow -hook, line and sinker- the nonsense printed all the time in the bilious British press, almost your only source of information about Europe because of your people’s lack of language skills, or just plain ignorance if I may be so blunt as to call a spade by its name.
    It so happens that rich Greek, the Professional Class (medical doctors and the like) and small business owners don’t pay income tax, don’t pay what they should because they cheat -hear, hear, who ever heard of a lying, cheating Greek ever? Odysseus anyone?
    The only Greek people who pay income tax are the poor saps with a payslip. Some people say 40% of the Greek economy is Black economy. If Papandreu really squeezes the small Greek lemon he’s going to get many gallons of juice.
    I hope you have a good time in Europe, keep your eyes open, go places and don’t believe one word that the likes of UKIP, or British conservatives in general tell you.

  22. The Mook May 17, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Operating with a rapidly dwindling bankroll, the New York Racing Association could be out of money by the time the horses cross the wire in the Belmont.
    “We need some financial relief from the state or we will not be able to run a full Belmont meet,” Charles E. Hayward, president and CEO of the NYRA, said Sunday. “Everyone knows what’s at stake and we’re trying to reach a good solution.”
    Another sign that things are falling apart. Sorry Jim, I won’t see you at Saratoga come August.

  23. Fouad Khan May 17, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    That ever growing monster of debt, that’s gonna become a sigle cellular blob of homogeneous entropy by the time humanity is done committing harakiri.
    The amoeba of end times.
    http://hurricanekatrinakaif.com
    Great blog this week jim. Have fun in Europe.

  24. dale May 17, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Hummm….I think I recall that maybe wasn’t going to be President after Bush either.

  25. Paul Kemp May 17, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    We have three years until the next Presidential election. That’s a long time, as things begin happening more quickly. The first job for those of us who would like to make this a somewhat orderly transition is to put some good citizens into government at all levels.
    There is the real possibility that Obama will cook up some national emergency — or stumble into one by his escalation of drone attacks on Pakistan — that could derail orderly political change of the kind we’d like to see.
    I disagree with JHK’ contention that the Islamists are looking for any sign of weakness to add to our misery by setting off a nuke or two in the USA. The essence of what they and any sensible people would like is to get us off of their backs and out of their countries, so they can get on with their lives.
    However, if our government continues to spend our remaining petroleum and credit on waging our failed wars on the Islamic countries, then it is predictable that such a nuclear strike is inevitable. My hope is that it is still possible to channel this national awakening into rational foreign policies that would preclude nuclear catastrophe.
    It could definitely go either way. A military power-grab (beyond what we already have)is always a possibility in uncertain times like this. The rise of openly evil demagogues, or merely opportunists w/o brains like Sarah Palin are other options.
    Seeing the success Rand Paul is having in Kentucky gives me hope. It is time for we, the people, to regain control over this country of ours — and take it away from the legislators, lobbyists, and corporate interests that have made such a mess of our world.
    There may still be time to turn back from the knee-jerk orgy of retribution and xenophobia. We’re all in the same boat on this planet. This may be our opportunity to shuck off the oiligarchs, militarists, and Agribusiness, Financial, and Pharmaceutical Industry parasites that have led us all to the precipice. We’re at an inflection point — Which kind of change will we choose, globally?
    We DO have a say, you know — We don’t have to accept the “wag the dog” distractions we’re likely to be offered.
    Thanks, Jim, for a thought-provoking article.
    http://www.healthyplanetdiet.com/

  26. Uncle Al May 17, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has not increased surface area because more than 500,000 gallons of “dispersant” have been injected into the emerging plume a mile in depth. Near 1000 *cubic miles* of ocean are loaded with micronoized oil droplets and methane. Three events are aborning:
    1) The entire food chain through the entire volume of water will be oiled. It may survive or not – but as sure as Dick Cheney bleeds corruption, none of it will be edible, perhaps for a decade.
    2) The Gulf has been rich with oil seeps at least since the last Ice Age. A diverse oil-eating aerobic bacterial community hears the dinner bell. The surface area of dispersed oil is immense. Bugs will chow down and exponentially reproduce until all the oxygen is gone from a thousand cubic miles of of ocean, and growing. That giant slug of oiled suffocating death for anything with gills will catch the Gulf Stream. It will take out all sea life starting with the southern tip of Florida and proceeding up the Eastern Seaboard. As fast as oxygen diffuses through the surface it will be burned away by proliferating bacteria.
    3) Federal aid – the confluence of overwhelming ignorance with overweening arrogance. Inconceivably huge flows of money will evaporate like New Orleans slum bunnies being given anonymous FEMA credit cards. We’re talking weapons-grade stupidity Liberally mixed wth Chicago corruption. No oversight for emergencies!
    A “suspected” Russian nuclear field munition will fizzle, or pop, in Detroit even if the Washignton folks in charge need two or three tries. The only end to a global economic depression is a conventional world war. OK City was no Pearl Harbor. Explosive sneakers or jockey shorts won’t turn the trick. Iraq and Afghanistan are played out, now only promising show trials and purges that won’t bandage the national hemorrhage. We must kill off our social services-sucking slums and illegals. Hey Paco – ya wanna become a US citizen? Sign up as a US soldier!
    The remainder of the population will be docile, cowered by threats of loss and goaded by jingoism, until somebody stands upon a beer hall table and shouts “enough!”

  27. Downsider May 17, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    The threat of social breakdown shouldn’t be minimized, but neither should it be inflated into Jim’s “Day of the Locust” scenario. That’s not serious analysis and he knows it. At this early stage, no one knows the trajectory that an upending of our national lifestyle would take. I think Jim has probably described the contours accurately, but it’s far from certain that things would proceed as linearly as he sketches here. Corporate executives being dragged through sawgrass is pulp fiction.
    What seems more likely is a more pedestrian response to our troubles: population migration as people quit the hardest hit areas in search of better luck in the small number that still seem to be functioning (cities, which will retain at least the infrastructure to provide relief even if funding will be hard to come by). I’d also expect mortality rates to creep up among the middle classes as fewer people can afford extended care for the elderly and expensive treatments for cancers and catastrophic illnesses. And of course resource declines may result in erosion in the food supply and overall malnourishment, so infant and child mortality should also mount, fastest in the poorer classes but eventually affecting some of the middle classes as well. Finally, I’d exepct to see population levels drop by attrition as hard times discourage people from choosing to start families (and immigration may stall as America becomes less attractive economically and politically).
    But these are all gradual, pedestrian steps toward a poorer, less resourceful, less dynamic society. Jim’s got a brand investment in apocalypse, but I don’t think the rest of us can afford a fantastic response to what is probably the decomposition of our society in its present form.

  28. Major Domo May 17, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Despite all of the I-told-you-so’s one can find here, the real tragedy is seeing the plethora of the “It-aint-that-bad’ers” or the “It’ll-get-better’s” who continue to surround me. These are the same self-delusional members of the majority, who will make it so difficult for the rest of us when things REALLY start to get bad… I work with people in the Intelligence Community, who are still talking about which mutual funds to invest in, or how much money they need to put down on their “dream home” outside of DC in the northern Virginia suburbs (the future “death zone” as I prefer to mention it).
    Denial is a giant plume of oil, lurking beneath the surface of the Gulf…
    Best regards!

  29. lemme howdt May 17, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    First time commenting here, but long time reader.
    “while the still-chastened Germans find themselves in the odd position of becoming Europe’s moral guardian — its sole-surviving “good parent” figure”. I agree we must stop thinking that those folks like the Germans who are ‘keeping things together’ are really the good guys? When we look at the devolution of the USSA, the uberstructure is in the way. Chaos theory demonstrates that the better the apparent chaos, the more substantial the resulting order. Any semblance of disorder that we carry to the future will only cause the final result to take longer to achieve. Look at nature for examples of answers – looking at fractals on all scales of the spectrum.
    Community works at several embedded levels that do not necessarily coincide, by certainly are necessary. Linking responsibility with rights is too dense – initial sovereignty requires each of us holding our own weight and being responsible for our own actions. Trust has to be earned and the current breakdown requires reinventing professions with a different cast of characters. Who is the judge when the group needs a fair and balanced decision? What decrees can be enforced – do we even have to play from our own isolated realms? We need a variety of attempts to see what works and what fails – with reports on the failures as well as the successes.
    Thanks for singing Jim – the Long Emergency has a tune that resonates. The length is arbitrary.

  30. judetennessee May 17, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Traveled thru upstate NY over the weekend to go to Niagara Falls ON (might as well help burn up all the oil right?) Toured Utica, Buffalo, and Rochester, pretty depressing and depressed and it reminded me of the Mississippi Delta except with evergreens and conifers.
    The abandoned residences and big box retail malls, the deserted industrial complexes, the unused canal system, the depopulated areas were just heartbreaking to behold. The wealth, the natural resources and human energy that went into its creation have been squandered and, I agree with JHK, now we are into payback mode. And we all know what payback is-its a B***H

  31. Loveandlight May 17, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    The DH spill is turning out to be far greater in volume than has been previously admitted.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html?ref=science

  32. Smokyjoe May 17, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    “At this early stage, no one knows the trajectory that an upending of our national lifestyle would take”
    I agree with Downsider’s assessment that the most likely scenario, one already under way, is a slow and painful slide that will affect property owners in the middle and upper-middle classes hardest. There will be upticks in the economy along the way, but like oil after Peak, the trajectory will be downward.
    The poor won’t rise up like locusts, unless the groceries vanish. They have little enough to lose in down times.
    If they were to rise up, or if the property owners got pissed enough, then there’s martial law.
    Let’s see how these puffed-up anti-gub’mint militia wannabes stand up to a trained military who take an oath to defend the Constitution.
    It wouldn’t last long.

  33. helen highwater May 17, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    It always cracks me up to hear people who rant about climate change saying how they just “have to” fly somewhere on an airplane. Like someone has a gun to their head or something. Like the 10,000 people who flew to Copenhagen to try to get a climate change agreement. What a joke. All these world travellers believe that they themselves have a really compelling reason to fly, while spouting the line that the rest of us should “live locally”.

  34. Zev Paiss May 17, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Jim -My family is headed to Costa Rica to visit an emerging eco-village for the month of June. What is your opinion of the relative stability and security in a little place like Costa Rica?

  35. Prelapsarian Press May 17, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    On a slightly positive note, I spoke Saturday with a young contractor (and aspiring developer) in St Tammany Parish, LA, called the nation’s worst example of unplanned sprawl a few years ago by some professor. The contractor, his fiancee and best friend all were sensitized to New Urbanism values, and believed that the future of the parish lay in retrofitting the godless suburban residential pods along multi-use lines to create little self-contained communities.
    Yet when the discussion got around to their political philosophies, all three were Tea Party nut jobs who couldn’t even conceive of any regulatory power over developers, the financial sector, etc. That would be government, which = bad.
    Europe has such a better chance of coming out of this as functional countries — despite being dragged down by Euro-bankers — because they have coherent communities, a passable infrastructure, and, perhaps most importantly, elites who aren’t rendered brain-dead by philosophical illiteracy.
    For a free download of Kunstlerian-style invective — Words that Draw Blood — go to http://www.lost-vocabulary.com.

  36. DeeJones May 17, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    I was reading about the Gulf Oil Blob that is soon to consume the Southern vacation economy.
    Geesh, the out right lying by both the government and BP. The Coast Guard says only “5000 barrels” a day, and BP says Ok, but we dont have the time to measure the real rate, gotta get it capped somehow…
    Meanwhile, scientist studying the BP videos are shocked and saying that the flow rate is more like 100,000 bl a day, and at that rate the whole southern fishing, duck hunting, and beach holiday economy is pretty much dead for a long, long time.
    Oh, and wait for it to wash up the East coast.
    Meanwhile, I was reading elsewhere, and they speculate that the USA is going to have some hyper inflation coming as the only way to deal with the debt.
    So, say, get used to carrying lots of big bills around in your pocket, $500 for a coke or pepsi anyone?
    Meanwhile, where I am now living, the phrase :”Do little, and do it slowly!” is an every day thing.
    Pura Vida! Dee J

  37. Newfie May 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    The End of the World, narrated by JHK, starring The Debt Monster, The Oil Blob and The Peak Oil Beast.

  38. zxcvbnm May 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Martial law, there’s a terrifying thought. A bunch of emotionally fucked soldiers who had previously been abandoned to the wars in Iraq and Afstan, now in charge of controlling the shitbags who allowed them to be sent to die over there. What could possibly go wrong? Don’t believe me?

  39. Hoping4bestpreparingforworst May 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Totally agreed! There needs to be a chorus of voices from masses to stop the debt immediately. I heard some good solutions that I hope/pray will be given serious consideration before it’s too late. Declare a global moratorium on all sovereign debt for a period of time. The IMF has forgiven debt to many third world countries in the past. We need:
    - 5 year moratorium on all debt (countries, companies, individuals)
    - ban all derivatives immediately
    - end credit rating agencies ability to rate sovereigns
    - LET THE BANKS FAIL
    If these things don’t happen immediately the industrial world will be finished in a matter of a few months
    I’m still hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst!

  40. antimatter May 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Anyone who has lived in the American ‘Rust Belt’ knows what this particular Kunstler column is talking about. There was a slow (sometimes fast) movement of skills, and manufacturing to the ‘Sun Belt,’ and in the Rust Belt, wages fell, but it took time, before people realized that whatever good days of high wages and job stability, were gone forever. Upstate New York is an excellent example, and this process was not all at once, but took a decade or more, but at the end, everyone knew that they were facing low wages, no stability in work, but higher taxes, energy costs, and more.
    It’s happening nationally now. The banks and Wall Street have figured out how to decouple their health from the national (e.g., Main Street) health, as corporations did twenty years ago. Our government (Congress) has gone along. The bottom line is they need our tax revenue, and will do what they have to to get it, but no longer care about the country’s health. As we notice, the DOW does not reflect Main Street’s health. The DOW reflects the health of global business and banking, not America’s health.
    As in the Rust Belt, wage arbitrage will continue until we’re all making $10/hr with no benefits, or worse. Globalism means wage arbitrage. The banks are way out in front of this trend. And unfortunately, our Congress is not serving Main Street any longer, but the banks and global corporations.

  41. bproman May 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    As reality in the Gulf of Mexico starts to look like a Hollywood remake of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, I’m expecting some old gypsy has peered into the now murky crystal ball of fate concerning mankinds fate but had difficulty seeing the 3D future because of technical difficulties. Stay tuned for more as the bankrupt World turns, but first a word from our corporate sponsors.

  42. asoka May 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Zev Paiss, I am also headed to Costa Rica. Can you provide a contact or name for the cohousing group forming?

  43. Jim from Watkins Glen May 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    It’s as though the earth can’t spit us out. We nicked her good this time—under a mile of water and then another six miles of earth. The temperatures and pressures at those depths are way past anything we have the ability to deal with. Maybe the nerds splitting atoms at the new C.E.R.N. supercollider will create a black hole to swallow the whole mess. I wonder if anyone has checked their black-hole-operator’s credentials? I hear those things can swallow entire galaxies when they get out of hand. I’m sure it’s the same people who always check the shuttle tiles, levee elevations, blowout preventers, financial viability indicators, bridge load ratings, and gas pedal accelerator modules. Nothing to worry about. What could go wrong?

  44. Cash May 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    The rust belt extends north of the border into Ontario.
    In the last 7 years or so the meteoric rise in the Canuck buck vs the greenback and other currencies wrecked the province’s manufacturing industries many of which have either closed down or offshored. We all know currency speculators’ bonuses matter more than a country’s industrial infrastructure.
    And get this: our central bank, like most of the world’s central banks, decided to try and keep the real estate and investment industry ponzi schemes going by opening the money spigots.
    So now, because of artificially depressed interest rates, we have a housing bubble in Toronto. Same in Vancouver.
    We saw what happened in the US and decided that a real estate disaster is just what we need here too.

  45. fugeguy May 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    There’s a lot more to TEOTWAWKI to discuss.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thelongemergency/
    For a broad spectrum of thoughts and opinions…

  46. Funzel May 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    the folks that are trying to lull us into community spirited action are barking up the wrong tree.Do you think for one moment,people that have prepared,saved and planned ahead for the difficult times ahead and being ridiculed by the alcoholic slob on the block or the SUV jockey burning up the gas daily to multiple trips to Mall Wart is going to be an asset to this volunteer group??
    Do you think I am going to jeopardize my family members for these losers?
    This kind of community will only work if all members contribute proportionally,gets their jobs assigned and has a nazi-like leadership and discipline,which of course will never be with the kind of material growing up and living in the US.
    Now go back and watch nascar,football and dump that chemical on the “weeds”on your front lawn to improve your drinking water,because you HOA demands it,MORON.

  47. da wiznitch May 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Not sure why you keep picking on Crackers. Are you aware that Crackers are still farmers? We still know how to grow food. And fish. And hunt. I thought you valued those skills.
    You should come to the rural South and visit sometime. You might be pleasantly surprised by how normal and tolerant rural Southerners are, in contrast to some of the people in our largest Northern cities. Ever been to Cleveland, Ohio, or Boston, MA? I lived in both those places, and I had never really seen real racism till I went there, even though I was raised in TN.
    Community and cooperation still live in the small rural communities of the South. Sometimes poor people are better at cooperating in emergencies than people who don’t have as much experience in helping each other. You predicted that the Haitians for example would hack each other to pieces. They didn’t. Even during Katrina, Americans mostly cooperated with each other and helped each other; however, these stories don’t make the news.
    I predict that in the future there will be well-publicized instances of violence and predation as things break down, as they surely will; but for every act of thievery or murder, there will be fifty small acts of cooperation among people who still have those skills.

  48. jerry May 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    What we have is a crackpot with roots in Pakistan that loaded up a van with fertilizer and junk in hopes of blowing up a street corner and gets arrested in a very short time, yet the riggers of the corporate capitalistic oligarchy network specializing in oil extraction neglect: BP, Halliburton, and the owners of the drowned rig have not been indicted on criminal negligence, and their assets not yet seized.
    BO has failed again to move forward instead of backward. Now BP has installed a giant shop vac to suck up a portion of the oil spilling in the Gulf from the source. Partial doesn’t count.
    The world’s massive productivity steam engine is running low of equity, credit, and demand. The world will slow down and the industrialized world will shrink its standard of living, while millions of people will be living on a substance expense account.
    The fear is more war as a stimulus package.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  49. piltdownman May 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    The thing that’s been stirring in my mind is the idea of just how few people actually “rule” the United States. Between Congress and the power brokers at the state level and, of course, the lobbyists, it’s actually a rather small group — particularly when it comes to delivering “leadership” to a nation of over 300-million people.
    Worse yet, of course, is that while the above group may number in the hundreds or thousands, the reality is that, because of the way politics are run these days (a few people decide the direction…) the actual number of people making independent, informed decisions is much, much smaller.
    I hear a lot of people saying that “we’re” to blame for electing dipshits and morons, but most people have no choice. The entire election system isn’t some meritocracy where the best people rise up from the lowly ranks of a town council. That’s an urban myth. It’s much more of a machine, in which the person who best epitomizes Elmer Gantry or has the most cash, is chosen to advancement.
    I bang this drum a lot, but I believe much of our slide into hopelessness began when politics became a game that consultants play, when it became a TV show where potshots in :30 increments define our discourse. When I hear stories of the “old days,” when politicians would give hour long speeches off the rear of a rail car on a whistle stop tour, I wonder; “Would any of these guys today even have enough knowledge to fill that much time?” Unlikely.

  50. ELI316 May 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Speaking of the great oil spill I live here along the coast in Alabama and to tell the truth it is business as usual. The yahoos down here are still in denial about the enviromental and economic impact this toxic mess will have on the area. They have no idea as to what is about to hit them from the blindside. But then again the land of dixie has always been in denial.

  51. Mr. Purple May 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    “Let’s see how these puffed-up anti-gub’mint militia wannabes stand up to a trained military who take an oath to defend the Constitution.
    It wouldn’t last long.”
    If those wannabes have a shred of sense, they would last longer than you and the other armchair generals would think.
    Just like the Iraqi insurgency: “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”
    - Vice President Dick Cheney, on the Iraq insurgency, June 20, 2005
    And there will be more sympathy in the armed forces for the locals here than there.

  52. Mr. Purple May 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    “That would be government, which = bad.”
    Or that would be Louisiana government, which = equal parts corrupt and incompetent. Government regulation sounds good in theory, but too often the rules are written by the wealthy for the benefit of the wealthy. And the wealthy like their unsustainable profiteering.

  53. ASPO Article 1037 May 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Amateur oilflow calculation..
    20″ pipe section has 314 sq. inches. Each inch length holds a gallon plus. Video provided by Beyond Petroleum management shows maybe 3′ plus, per second discharge flow velocity. 1440 minutes times 60 equals 86,400 seconds per day with some 30 gallons of oil per second at unimpeded flow. Take it from there, Senator Markey.
    US oil companies so instrumental in the demise of the railway network can work on the shareholders to show wisdom of providing seed money for famine prevention. Included and requisite: rebuild of the dormant rail lines, and assisting with vast expansion and extension of the railway main trunks in North America.
    Even stuffed suit types can fathom the concept of generational Corporate responsibility, and need for the younger people, sons & daughters, nephews & nieces, employees families etc. to go on with life. Eventually, petroleum is understood too important to simply use up in trips of convenience. Jim is correct in assessing the conditions, the machine is set up to fail.
    I witnessed the aftermath of a horrific plane crash about 15 years ago, a Lockheed Electra went down when the crew GOT DISTRACTED. Taking off from Reno, they reported a “vibration” and were fiddling around with things in the cockpit and veered off course and crashed (engines running loud & strong) on South Virginia Street. The FAA study of tower conversation and black box data revealed no apparent reason to go down; the crew simply DID NOT FLY THE PLANE.
    USA has all the necessary resources and talents to manage our way through the Oil Interregnum and the time to re-arrange methodologies of transport, manufacturing, food production and distribution. It requires more than extremes of defense weapons, gold & silver hoarding, and home gardens. More important is securing Societal & Commercial Cohesion.
    Maintaining “Post Roads” as written in US Constitution: Article I, Section 8 includes establishment of “Post Roads” by the Congress. This is similar to language seen in the Magna Carta; Government responsibility to assure Societal & Commercial Cohesion. USA refinement of the transportation element occurred on July 10, 1838, with Congress declaring ALL RAILROADS to be “Post Roads”.
    Railroad rehab in America to comprehensive matrix seen in the pre WWII decades is doable and exceedingly necessary. Any corporation or organization or family of means can become knowledgeable about the railway legacy of their respective venue. Footprint of extant and dormant rail corridor can be located in US Rail Map Atlas Volumes (spv.co.uk) or from circa 1920-1950 GUIDE of US Railroads.
    This process is underway by the existing US trunk line railways, and the 100′s of Short Line Railroad Companies. Too slow, because of financial and NIMBY restrictions, the railway rehab must be expanded by many heretofore not part of rail doings. Suggested interim, reformed US Army/Guard Railway Logistics Units, sponsoring critical Agricultural traffic corridors until private contractors can be assembled to assume operation. Military rail units move on to next corridor on list to bring up to de-minimus service.
    Canada is even now abandoning many wheat belt rail lines. This must be reversed. In fact, the entire North American Continent must be recast as a food basket, based on rail transport. Railway is defined in military jargon as “Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform”. Railway operates largely as a stand alone transport component, with in-house operating and maintenance capabilities, with recuperative powers important in this age of militant Islam, etc.
    The Food Basket is important above and beyond homeland consumption; Chinese desertification offers US structured debt paypack with grain shipments over the Oil Interregnum decades. Aquifers in America, like the California Central Valley Aquifer, and the Midwest US Ogallala Aquifer are depleted, and need to be recharged. See the “North American Water And Power Alliance” project (NAWAPA). Canadian source water via Columbia River outflow, plus some MacKenzie watershed features, substitutes for oilsand development going forward.
    Recharged aquifers diminish irrigation electric draw for pumping by orders of magnitudes. Enroute NAWAPA reservoirs and gravity flows provide many hydroelectric generation sites, ans supply is sufficient for delivery to Northern Mexico, another key partner in the foodbasket, railway network civil engineering. In truth, as Mexico sees oil income fade, it is in everyone’s interest to to bring water to Mexico after using legacy oil…
    Preach it, Jim!

  54. katbalou2 May 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Re the ever-growing oil spill: With the passage of precious time, I am becoming increasingly convinced of the validity of George Ure’s (“Urban Survivalist”) contention that the Southwestern and Southern states will eventually become uninhabitable unless that spouting mess is plugged ASAP. He contends that it will cause a diaspora of migration north which in turn, lends credence to Jim K’s contention that this could be a rapid slide into the abyss for the USofA.

  55. warmed-up leftovers May 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Jim- you say communism is a discarded joke from 20 years ago. What would the billions of Chinese say about this? The current wave of Thailand protesters are Pro-communism but the news media barely mentioned this.
    Nazi is a phonetic abbreviation for National Socialist Worker’s Party. You like throwing that term around like it applies to right-of-center southerners. This kind of reasoning is sloppy at best. The Southern democrats opposed the abolition of slavery in the 1860′s.
    The times square wannabe bomber is a registered democrat. Now, do I get to lump all liberals together? Who should we be afraid of here?

  56. Funzel May 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    This worsening gulf oil disaster reminds me of another fiasco I heard about.
    when God was about 5 years old,being a wise ass kid as he is he diddled around with things he knew absolutely nothing about.So one day,when he had nothing better to do,he started to mess around again.Needless to say,when that thing blew up in his face,it caused a big bang.Ever since then,we have had nothing but trouble with that guy and mankind had to put up with all this shit.

  57. budizwiser May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    James,
    That is some wild and wacky writing. You try too hard sometimes. Hard too say where the next calamity will come from. Harder yet to say whether we will know much about it until after it happens.
    I’m kind of yearning for a good ol’ multi-state -weeks long blackout. Thats right – I think it will take something like the “big grid” failing for some period of time, complete with some good ol’ fashioned looting and other mischief in some of our finer urban hot spots.
    Yeah, thats what will mark the beginning of the “Long Emergency.” The great “LE” that becomes know for “lacking energy.”
    In other news – where and what is filling the void created by all the oil coming out of that hole in the ocean floor? Inquiring minds want to know!

  58. miloromano May 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Excellent comment, da Wiznitch. What does JHK mean by crackers, anyway? I think your points are well-taken, and there are good folks everywhere who work hard to contribute to their communities. Those people should be celebrated, not denigrated.

  59. silverdoctor May 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    The New York Times posted an article today, “Fears Intensify That Euro Crisis Could Snowball” that asserts as categorically as Jim does today that the world is broke.
    In short, the entire globe is so borrowed-out that further borrowing and bailing out is a sham.
    The article contained a highly significant quote: “With the exception of wartime, the public finances in the majority of advanced industrial countries are in a worse state today than at any time since the industrial revolution,” Willem Buiter, Citigroup’s top economist, wrote in a recent report.
    This supports basically what Jim has been telling us all along: it has only been by the availability of virtually free energy that growth could be financed through debt expansion with nobody being the loser.
    Peak oil is upon us right now, and its effects are as predicted by visionaries like Jim — even at a time when we are producing and consuming more oil than ever before.

  60. wardoc May 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    “I’ve maintained for a long time that the folks down Dixie way are the the most dangerously crazy people in America”
    I’ve lived in dixie all my life and Jim is, in the main, essentially correct in his assessment: there are equally crazy groups of people in other US areas but the cultural barriers there are more behaviorally restrictive, and with the exceptions of SOCAL (which is frankly a psychotic region overall) and the Detroit area, the groups are more relatively homogeneous, at least culturally.
    There are multiple subcultures in dixie that are fundamentally but covertly intolerant and hostile toward each other, and currently, due to growth economics, live in social isolation from one another (think rich vs poor parts of town and gated communities vs. working class ghettos): but when the shit really hits the fan, the barriers that allow for continued separation will fall, striping away the structures that maintained a degree of civility in dixie. Also, as tax revenues continue to plummet, we’ll see more and more lay offs of law enforcement, another factor that has kept some degree of peace here. Dixie has been maintained and grown on a continuous flow of money into the area and AIR CONDITIONING. Take away the money and you have many many pissed off, newly disenfranchised but entitled people who are heavily armed; remove the air conditioning and all hell will truly break loose. Think 105 degree heat with 90% humidity everywhere with no place to hide. Just wait. Here IT comes. Energy scarcity will be hellacious everywhere but places that require air conditioning are going to
    Make sure you have enough ammo, esp AP for your AR-15.
    Lock and load, and learn to aim.
    WARDOC

  61. cleitophon May 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    This is what will happen (I guess):
    1)austerity measures in the EU will drastically lower demand from China and the US.
    2)The exchange rate will make it hard for the US economy to warm up. Wosening the debt issue there
    3)Stockmarket and housing buble in china bursts.
    4)we take a trip up shit creek without a paddle!

  62. DeeJones May 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    “In other news – where and what is filling the void created by all the oil coming out of that hole in the ocean floor? Inquiring minds want to know!”
    Here is a hint: As the oil flows out, the seafloor does_______?
    If you filled in the blank with sinks, you are Correcto-mundo!!
    Thats right, all that pressure is coming not only from the fact that the oil reservoir is miles under ground, but is is also a mile underwater.
    There is no way in hell that they are ever going to cap that thing. Even if they say they have, there will still be oil leaking from cracks in the seabed for, well, until the oil reservoir is empty, thats when.
    This is one environmental disaster that will just keep on giving.
    But say, there must be some way to spin it…. lets see now, say Hawaii has black sand beaches, why not just tell the rubes that Florida now has them too….
    Thats the ticket…..

  63. DrZero May 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    JHK has certainly done quality thinking on the causes of the coming meltdown, but when the balloon goes up I think things will end up as multifront ethnic warfare. Thomas Chittum’s Civil War II describes this scenario in all its horrifying detail. He puts forward a pretty good explanation of group dynamics that will lead to it. Think “breakup of Yugoslavia”. The fault lines are already visible, the proto organizations in place. It all seems fairly unavoidable at this point.

  64. welles May 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    It’s wondrous what a compost heap will do for your take on the universe. Threw out 20 mushy, dead lily bulbs on the pile last fall…I’ve got 20 hardy fragrant lily plants shooting up, about a foot tall now.
    I’m also enjoying seeing the tons of worms that are thriving just below the surface on all the dead stalks, banana peels, the odd dog dropping, leaves etc I’ve heaped there the last few years.
    Last year my daughter bought one of those plastic bags with about a pound of super-hard beans, all different kinds. She soaked them for several hours, then cooked them. I threw out the remainder onto the compost heap….vavoom! a few days later I realized I had beans sprouting everywhere.
    As far as ‘the system’ goes, just fuck ‘em & let ‘em stew in their own juices. Tune in to Nature, plant lots of shit, revel in it, stroke the petals of the flowers, dammit eat something you grow, you’ll change, you’re part of the Cycle.
    To the extent you can, Drop Out of the Dollar Dunceifying Matrix. Everyone start doing shit under the table, let the necrotic culture rot away without corroding your soul, you’ll be loving your dirty hands, sharing with your neighbors, sleeping well at night, you’ll feel a special, simple grace just from drinking cool water in the hot sun after some hard Nature work.
    I think the heathen Nature worshippers had it right, they recognize the might & goodness of their most immediate surroundings.
    Plants aren’t gonna stop growing, no matter what happens with the oil in the ocean — hell there’s bacteria that can *eat* oil.
    Get yourself a little gold too, if you can, and just chuckle to yourself as the moneychangers go down in flames.

  65. miloromano May 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    And two-thirds of Americans (oh such patriots) think we should continue deep-water drilling !!! How’s that for carrying on, and carrying on, until the world’s ecosystem gives up all together. Perhaps it’s better that way. Just give it all up, like the Gaia guy.

  66. D R Lunsford May 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    JHK, Come down to the Yacht Club in Little Five Points and have a beer on me. Tuesday night. We have a righty poser there to skewer.
    -drl

  67. dadida May 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    I am reading this blog for some time, but first time commenting. I am not sure where JHK got this idea of Obama – last American president, but there was an old Bulgarian lady prophet called baba Vanga, size of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce, which predicted exactly this 10 years ago. It sounded as ridiculous as it was ridiculous the idea of black US president 2 years ago… she predicted this also. 10 years ago! This prophet is not very popular in US for obvious reasons (the iron curtain at the time, distance, different culture), but she was wildly popular in Bulgaria (almost every family have a story to tell about her), Russia and the soviet bloc. She predicted that 44th president of US will be black and he will be the last one. The words were something like “I see a black man in a white house”. Laugh as much as you want, but she predicted the accent of Putin in Russia (before any Putin was on the stage), 911 terrorist attacks – in her words “I see steal birds eating the flesh of 2 brothers (twin towers), wolfs are hauling” ( Wolfovitz!?), drowning of the russian Kursk submarine, the Prague events in 1968 and quite some more… For Europe she is drawing very dark picture. Europe will be invaded by the Muslims and USA will start the WW3 lunching climatic weapons on the Muslim city of Rome! At the end of 21 century Europe will be almost uninhabited, in 22 century will start Christian rebellion … the 3 races will start to mix up first White / Asians and then Black will get into the melting pot (if you are in CA you may see this very well underway) What concerns readers here is USA will seize to exist long before that events. Be brave comrades!

  68. Caslon May 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    In the end, entropy gets us all.

  69. Funzel May 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Hey Obama,Pelosi,did you know we have a national emergency in the Gulf???
    Why are you not calling for immediate call to all citizens and the million plus”visitors” from Mexico to have their heads shaved to use the material soaking up the oil.This is not a joke,folks!This is the type of mandatory action that is needed,no pussyfooting around,our lives and well being depends on it.Anyone caught after a week with hair on their head will be shipped to the gulf to decontaminate and clean the suffering animals.No ball head,no get gas,simple as that!!

  70. Freedom Guerrilla May 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Whoa. Nice post.
    Only JHK can make the words “long emergency sausage” work.

  71. Vlad Krandz May 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    You lose Joe – along with America. Americans always want to be first, at the drop of a pin they’ll start their moronic sports chant, We’re number One. We’re number One. It’s bad enought when it comes to sports, but it’s tragic when applied to life. You weren’t number One, Joe, you were second. And when it comes to health care, America is 38th. We are number one when it comes to incarcertation I believe.

  72. Vlad Krandz May 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    All these Ultra and Uber Liberals should go live in Harlem and Watts. But instead they all seem to live in some of the Whitest areas possible. It’s passing strange.
    Seriously though: anyone who thinks the Ozarks and Appalachia are going to be more dangerous than Hispanic Southern California or the “Black Belt” is a Horses Ass. Dangerous for Whites especially that is. Of course Whites in time might respond to the atrocities and then White areas may become dangerous for others.

  73. Prelapsarian Press May 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    All too true, and if I ever heard Americans talking about actual facts on the ground, I’d be a lot more optimistic. Instead of analyzing why government doesn’t work for any but the wealthy, they take the intellectually slothful route and try to explain everything through the lens of a mindless libertarian ideology. It’s simple-minded enough that a Glen Beck can fancy himself a thinker.
    I’m wondering if, even in the heyday of communism, there was ever a nation that was so hamstrung in implementing effective public policy by rigid, dogmatic beliefs. Reform — on any front — is all but impossible because of this ideology, which serves as a cover for corporate control of government.

  74. Vlad Krandz May 17, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Yeah they’ve taken an oath to uphold the Constitution – just like the politicians who give them orders. Dude what have you been smoking?
    The Constitutional System is broken beyond repair. The National Guard are in Iraq for God’s sake. They are supposed to stay in their own State and serve the Governor. Soon you wont be able to even have a chicken without a Federal permit. And you wont be able to have a gun at all – or so they think.

  75. DeeJones May 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Hey! It just keeps getting better, now BP says that they are going to plug up the well by shooting old golf balls and tires down it.
    I’m not making this up.
    Have you seen the underwater video of the leaking pipe? That stuff is coming out at mach speed. The pressure must be immense, and they are going to plug it up with what again?
    Oh, old golf balls & tires.
    Why don’t they just shove ol Lloyde Blankfeind down the hole, for all the good it would do.
    Say, doesn’t Florida have black sand beaches, just like Hawaii?
    I wanna go there…..

  76. Metzengerstein May 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Jim, you’re really starting to scare me.
    Will we even last long enough for us to see your sequel to WMBH? I was hoping to learn how the preacher does some of those things; skills like that might come in useful.

  77. Sydney Street May 17, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    The Eurozone woes have provided a new credability to the Long Emergency commentary.
    It is a worldwide phenomenon and Gold is emerging as the last man standing.
    Bad luck about being paid in Euros, and so the worm turns.

  78. Belisarius May 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    OK Many good points here, but what to do about it all? Some small suggestions:
    1. Personal responsibility to prepare. Take care of yourself (& “family”) first. You can’t help anyone else if you are falling. Do what you can do now with the time and wealth you have available.
    2. Emergency food and water storage is good, but better to produce or acquire these needs locally. It is indeed likely to be a “long emergency” so plan for local production before your storage is exhausted. It can take years to set up a productive homestead if you must also work for wages, so start now.
    3. All paper assets are suspect, consider converting them into productive assets, while possible, with emphasis on food, water and energy. Ie. farmland, (greenhouse?) livestock, orchard, woodlot, tractor (horses? oxen?), hand tools, solar, wind & hydro power systems etc.
    4. Defense. Consider forming a neighborhood response team to assist local police while they are available, and to protect your neighborhood if/when they are not. Obviously, a two adult family cannot mount a 24/7 watch, put in the labor necessary to run a subsistence homestead
    and have the energy to respond to armed assaults without considerable community support and/or the formation of larger households.
    5.Live long and prosper!

  79. asia May 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    perhaps he was referring to USSR.
    Is china ‘communist’?..maybe its fuedalism, totalitarianism and capitalism in an UNGODLY [pun intended] blend.

  80. asia May 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    There already is a ripple of ‘burst’ to the sina realty bubble.
    businessweek or one of those mags had an article.a whole city that was built but still up for sale.
    that being said i believe most steel/cement is used in chaina and they buikld 100+ cities a year or a decade.

  81. asia May 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    DEE,
    do you know when the well was first drilled?
    on talk radio/am i heard BP paid obama alot of $ and got approval under his watch. so its not for nothing ‘nero fiddled while the gulf burned’.

  82. Bill Simpson May 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    It’s bad, but you won’t be eating your neighbor’s dog any time soon. An expert hired by the US Army recently found that the oil reserves of Iraq were much larger than previously thought, possibly as great as those of Saudi Arabia.
    Brazil just confirmed another large sub-salt oil discovery. The Arctic is unexplored. So those who think that an oil shortage will hit in the immediate future, and collapse civilization, are wrong. Will oil supply be a problem in ten years? You’re damn right it will, but not in the next few years. If you adjust the price of gasoline for inflation, it isn’t that much more expensive than it was 40 years ago.
    Horizontal drilling has unlocked vast reserves of shale gas. It is not as cheap as gas from conventional sources, but it is down there. As long as we aren’t running out of all fossil fuels, we can substitute one for another. Google ‘Shell Pearl Qatar’. Yes, the standard of living will fall as oil gets more expensive, but civilization will not collapse, as Jim seems to believe is imminent.
    Now when the coal and gas start to run out, all bets are off. You may be in your rocking chair by then. Hope you live that long, and that fusion, solar, and algae are perfected by then.
    As far as mob rule in this country, only a huge percentage of hungry people can threaten the overthrow of a government as powerful as the USA has. The rich who run America are smart enough to never let that happen. And the government will always have first shot at whatever fuel is produced. Try to overthrow the US government by force of arms, and I guarantee you will end up in a prison, or dead. Remember Detroit in the 1960′s? Uncle Sam shot a bunch of people dead. Those tanks and attack helicopters are intimidating. And you had to pay for them! The soldiers will always get the food first, too. And they know it. Starving soldiers are rare. So before you plan on joining the revolution, have your will made out. Jim will be hanging out on his estate, writing. The great thing about America is that you can leave, and come back if you change your mind.
    People have chosen the order of a government, however bad that government may sometime seem, over the chaos of the mob, since we came out of the caves.

  83. asia May 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    ok where is the blog of her listeners/ transcribers?

  84. Eleuthero May 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    That’s a point I’ve been making for
    months, Vlad i.e., that what passes
    for Liberalism now is some combo of
    fuzzy New Age thinking and phony
    egalitarianism.
    You are precisely correct. I’ve been
    to very large gatherings of “liberals”
    and their friends, neighborhoods, and
    social gatherings are as lily white as
    a KKK member’s.
    Their egalitarianism is mainly a social
    pose that’s about like supporting Mom
    and apple pie. It’s the “cheap currency”
    of liberalism. And I hasten to remind
    everyone reading this that I am NOT a
    Republican or a Libertarian. I actually
    believe in the ideals of the Enlightenment.
    No party espouses these ideals any more.
    Eleuthero

  85. k-dog May 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    I have to wonder if BP is more concerned about protecting their investment than stopping the leaks. Barges full of gravel could be floated over a leak and then dumped to bury the spill. A mile deep is not really an issue if orange debris shoots like the kinds used to dump construction debris from tall buildings to street level are used to guide the dumps. String enough together to prevent excessive dispersion and there you go. Not high tech enough to suit the PR and Engineering departments perhaps but the leak would have been stopped by now. Once stopped there is plenty of time to drill new wells to drain the field and stop any residual seepage through the gravel.

  86. digitante May 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    Well said, Jerry. The South you describe is very much aligned with my (fairly extensive) experiences in AL, GA, TN, LA and SC–though they’re not states I’d choose to live in, being a cold-blooded Northerner, the many Southern people I’ve met, hung out with, debated, and created with over the years–most of whom I’m 180-degrees opposite on regarding most issues–have always blown me away with their tolerance, savvy, and community spirit. I’ve met more evil, insane, bloodthirsty and racist wackos in OH, MI, IN, NJ, NY, MA, CO, and CA (to name just a few) than I’ve met down South…though of course they exist there as well.
    As for the rest of you people: get a grip. What’s going on now is BUSINESS AS USUAL. Pining for apocalypse is just navel-gazing, thinking your/ourselves somehow “special” and as living through “extraordinary” times. PLEASE. You think these troubled times really compare to the Civil War, WWII, The Great Depression, the hundreds and thousands of genocides, bubbles, panics, wars, skirmishes, scams, schemes, thefts, assassinations and so on that have occurred constantly throughout history? Maybe so, and maybe this is a “Big One” (I certainly think so) but in the end you’ve got to put it in perspective and trust yourself, what’s in your heart, and take real action if you think it’s necessary (like moving to Costa Rica or whatever). Hoarding legumes and ammo, and living in constant fear of the end times is for cowards, suckers, and misanthropes. IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN.
    Our society is an absolute miracle of “hypercomplexity”–because that’s what human beings are, extremely hypercomplex and brilliant in our seemingly bottomless capacity for not only mischief and destruction but also intellectual evolution and innovation–innovation which, understandably, might not be the basis for any “salvation” from resource scarcity…but nor should the fear and/or hatred of such complexity (which many people here, including JHK, clearly exhibit) be the basis for this grand Dungeons & Dragons-like fantasy world of immense and insurmountable horror and doom. Perception IS 9/10 reality…and when the reality comes, ask yourself: do you want someone like Southerner Jerry at your side, or a raging, cursing maniac with a cache of guns?
    Coming here reminds me of the saying that a coward dies a thousand deaths, but hero dies only once. Which are you going to be? Do you even know how to define the terms?

  87. Vlad Krandz May 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Sounds like the famous witch Baba Yaga from the Finnish Epic, the Kavevela – or something like that. Offhand, that’s not a very good sign as far as her credibility goes.
    Robert Frost said that we will go our way in fire as Atlantis went its way in water. Fallout shelters are a great investment right now – in both senses of the word.

  88. CaptSpaulding May 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    I just read about the oil plume (one of many) they discovered. It’s 10 miles long, 3 miles wide & 300 feet thick. That’s quite a few Exxon Valdezes don’t you think? Of course since we’re losing all of that oil, we’re gonna have to drill even more wells to make up for what we’re losing. Come to think of it, maybe that oil plume is BP’s new method of shipping oil without having to bother with tankers, it’s much more efficient.

  89. jontradom May 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    As if you know.

  90. Slacktivism May 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    “Our society is an absolute miracle of “hypercomplexity”
    If you had read Joseph Tainter’s book, The Collapse of Complex Societies, you would understand that collapse is baked into the ‘absolute miracle of hypercomplexity’.
    There is a diminishing return built into all complex systems and the sleazy Ponzi most Sheeple in the U.S mistake for an actual sustainable economic system, is about to collapse like a hyper-complex house of cards for the precise reason’s Tainter so eloquently outlines in his book.
    Complexity itself is self limiting and has a measurable life span woven into it’s core essence.
    Hypercomplexity has an even short one.
    K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple Stupid) is a hallmark in real engineering and physics circles because it works.
    Complex systems, like ‘just in time’, which our global ponzi economy depends on, are very fragile precisely because they are so very complex and efficient.
    Relatively small failures bring down huge systems.
    Look at the recent circle jerk the airlines went through dancing around the volcano in Iceland. That’s one lousy volcano bringing down a ‘just in time’ modern miracle of complexity.
    It means they are not very resilient because efficiency doesn’t include redundancy.
    Redundancy for the layman means having a plan ‘B’ (and ‘C’)
    American has no plan ‘B’. It didn’t in Katrina, it doesn’t in the present oil rupture.
    Ask the Little Eichmanns at BP.
    America is a Banana Republic with no bananas run by Criminal Corporate Clowns.
    The complexity of the so called ‘U.S. economy’ will implode, well, like a skyscaper hit by an airliner.
    Enjoy your utterly false sense of security puffed up the jingoism of ‘hyper-complex human versatility’. If Sheeple were so clever, things would never have gotten so clusterfucked in the first place.
    Think about it.
    The present ‘human ingenuity’ approach to disaster is like someone who has just lit their hair on fire and is trying to put it out with a hammer.
    Pollyanna/Suzie Cream Cheese cheerleading for the vicious, savage, immoral, unethical behavior of a species that has brought the global eco-system to the brink of collapse is not ‘an absolute miracle of “hypercomplexity’, it is an act of self sadism.

  91. Slacktivism May 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    From the latest at The Automatic Earth to keep you on your toes:
    Katie Bar the Door
    “…what’s the difference is between BP and, say, Goldman Sachs. Environmental disaster, financial disaster, what’s the difference? … BP has destroyed the livelihood of fishermen and “hospitality workers”….But the Wall Street cabal has destroyed the entire economies of entire countries, as well as countless building blocks that formed the foundation of these economies. Towns, pension funds, you name it. No matter how bad Deepwater Horizon will turn out to be, the Vampire Squid disaster will be many times worse, even if it takes longer for it to trickle down to people’s conscious brains.”

  92. MINDfool May 18, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    For a scary view of the Horizon gusher, see
    http://pesn.com/2010/05/02/9501643_Mother_of_all_gushers_could_kill_Earths_oceans/
    Also a good analysis of alternates

  93. wagelaborer May 18, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    You got that right,wiz.
    Poor people do cooperate and “educated” people are surprised every time.
    Witness the glee with which some on this blog salivate over their weapons and the chance to use them on “vermin”.
    It turns out that some white folk in New Orleans seized upon the moment to kill black folk.
    But others just cooperated and helped each other.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/bradshaw09062005.html
    I remember how shocked the corporate press was when the highway in Oakland collapsed and the neighbors rushed to help rescue people.
    These were black people, gang members! Why were they helping and not killing? They weren’t playing out the script assigned to them by the ruling class.

  94. Shakazulu May 18, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    59th!
    and since it’s a prerequisite to post a website here’s mine for the next few months:
    http://www.kunstler.com/blog/
    http://emsnews.wordpress.com/
    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/
    http://www.infowars.com/
    http://globaldisasterwatch.blogspot.com/
    http://www.stevequayle.com/index1.html
    It’s like this. JFK assassinated. The republic attenuated. Moral decay. Drugs, sex, rock n roll. Welfare state expanded. Federal Reserve reigns supreme. Military Industrial complex grows. Money goes to bankers to control the world. And now you say things are looking bleak? So what’s new, baby? And if you think this can go on much longer, you’re wrong.

  95. Tarjan May 18, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    “Everybody in the world is broke, except for maybe Lloyd Blankfein…”
    Me Tarjan, me not broke. Several kg Au and Ag in vault. Happy in mansion in French Concession in Shanghai. Too bad Lloyd, you stuck in NYC.
    Tarjan

  96. LesMiserables May 18, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    You all suck.

  97. icurhuman2 May 18, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    If it weren’t so tragic it’d be hysterically funny (he said, with a half smile slighly twitching, like the nervous tick effecting one of his darting and widely glaring eyes)
    “I told you so!!” doesn’t begin to encompass the justification for the amount of energetic static I’ve put into warning EVERYONE, since last November, that May would bring a meltdown! The closer we got the more certain the timing was spot on! May was the month of reckoning.
    All the big triggers kept turning up in May; confirmation, or discreditation, of 2009 Q4 and its effects on reportage of numbers in for Q1 2010 that arrive around the same time, along with predicted commodity spikes and related sovereign foreign debt to payment issues(easy as all f@#k to track by the way), and, expected interbank trade ratings breeching set high-end pricings, etc.
    The addition of geopolitical panic and environmental catastophes have only added to the pile of cards we’ll see topple to the floor any day now… I expect tonight (southern hemisphere) to be a very rough ride on the Wall Street pony… will tonight be THE night, or tomorrow night? I wish it’d get itself over and done with so I can get to bed a little earlier…
    The amorphous, globular, pulsating and gigantic blobs of oil lurking offshore is one mess I’d rather see resolved later than sooner, because it’s final resolution will be an awful destruction of the entire gulf and a goodly portion of the eastern seaboard, with a high possibility of destroying an entire sea for a generation or more. (Peak oilers might like to reconsider any plans of using the ocean in this part of the world as a source of sustenance after the great crash.) The loss of the Mississipi River eco-system will also cost lives when civilisation eventually retreats to a less ambitious existence, expected any year now.

  98. Giuseppe Rossi May 18, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    We read a lot of american bloggers for understand what’s happening in USA, and if we are again “friends”.
    The edge found attack to the Euro of these weeks don’t like us, and as gift to thanks that guy’s this morning I’ve sell all my american values, no more help to the american economy !
    So you can be sure to gain a lot for the future.
    If we are no more friends ask to the bankster why !
    And I know that there’s a lot of good people in USA than deserve help and respect, but I’m telling to mi friend to do the same things with a chain of mail.
    If we go at the bottom we want to be sure to bring USA with us !

  99. welles May 18, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Everybody in the world is broke…
    I’m not broke, I’ve got approximately $2,483 in total cash, no 401k, no pension, no bank account (can’t qualify for one after defaulting on $683 in debt in my old one), driver’s license is suspended (can’t pay my back taxes so they suspended it), no credit card (tho’ my 300 fico is a tad above US govt’s rating), and no car (repossessed).
    Last day on the job is tomorrow (no work so they’re terminating me), guess I’m gonna find out how long I can stiff on the mortgage before being tossed out (I’m planning on systematically destroying my house, ideas please…).
    Ho hum, just another day in DystopiUSA. Tell the truth I never felt better than after I lost everything I had.
    SUCH a liberating feeling, the chains they are gone!
    A grand Clusterfuck You to the System.

  100. trippticket May 18, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    Hey Welles!
    Welcome to the good times…
    The people who mostly understand what has to happen around here are typically the ones with nothing left to lose.
    And, as Morihei Ueshiba in “The Art of Peace” said, “those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.”
    On the house note, (sorry), a strategy I employ in the ‘hood is to make my place look plain jane from the street and opulent only from the inside. Spend a lot of time on this dualistic perspective actually.

  101. trippticket May 18, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    “59th!”
    still laughing…

  102. Goat1080 May 18, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    100th!!! Stop the oil leak in the gulf! Jam a wad of concrete into the Blowout Preventer using a long “tube” from the surface. Then entomb the whole thing in concrete. Done.
    Hey peak oilers! Lots of *FREE* crude – Texas Tea – just sitting on the ocean, free for the taking!!! Bring your boats and empty barrels and load up. Stock your doomsteads with barrels of crude.

  103. ozone May 18, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    “I told you so!!” doesn’t begin to encompass the justification for the amount of energetic static I’ve put into warning EVERYONE, since last November, that May would bring a meltdown! The closer we got the more certain the timing was spot on! May was the month of reckoning.” -I See HUMANS! ;o)
    Abso-friggin’-lutely.
    Now as an addendum, it’s my contention that the “herd division” will take place June-July. I had said that March would be the reckoning/accounting, but the news would trickle down to the “folks” [to begin to digest] through June-July. (TPTB would rather we not get the “news” a’tall, but oh, there’s that pesky internet where the bodies just keep getting unearthed.)
    This will be the time the rubber really hits the road. The division will be between:
    1.)Those who are not willing to downsize and desperately cast about for a “savior” (witness the don’t-know-a-fuck-about-nuthin’ Tea Baggers).
    2.)Those who consciously disconnect from the grinding wheels of brand names, teevee propaganda, and corrupt governments/corporations.
    I believe there is a giant subconscious wound that was delivered to us all when the Supreme Court encoded corporate personhood into “law”. Not so “supreme” anymore, eh?
    Whether we know it or not, we don’t trust ANY of the bastards anymore; and when you go from the rule of law to the rule of men, TROUBLE will ensue.
    Fortunately, the “smartest guys in the room” (not really so smart after all), don’t yet understand what they have wrought, giving us a bit of time to prepare, and decide who we want on our “side”.
    Get with it…

  104. ozone May 18, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    From the latest at The Automatic Earth to keep you on your toes:
    Katie Bar the Door
    -ST
    Yessir, good article (as per usual).
    Thanks.

  105. shecky May 18, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    welles- sell the appliances on craigslist. include the a/c and water heater. maybe you could swap them for guns and magic beans. copper wiring seems to be worth stealing, maybe you could get a buck or 2 there.
    lot of tips here recently on what to do with the drywall.
    if you last until the winter, get you an oil drum and burn the wood for heat. this is also a fabulous metaphor for the way our fellow chimps are consuming our forests, rivers and seas for extremely short-term gain at long-term cost. maybe you could call it performance art and get a grant.
    good luck! god damn them all.

  106. Gus44 May 18, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    You heard on am talk radio? Well now, there’s a rock solid source. Not that I think Obama is above a corruption, but you’re gonna have to do way better than that.

  107. Vlad Krandz May 18, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Yeah, look at all these millionaire socialists. Take Baba Yaga herself, Barbara Streisand – does anyone expect her to sacrafice anything of value to herself? True story: she owns about a mile of pristine California beach. A plane was flying overhead doing an environmental survey. She raised holy hell about it – even after she was told that it was an environmental survey.
    It’s time for you to become a White Nationalist. Go to the Occidental Quarterly on-line. There’s no intellectual slumming at the higher levels of our movement – not with anything associated with the great renegade professor Kevin MacDonald of Berkeley. Even the real monster skinheads and peckerwoods are often smarter than they look. As I tell all my friends, just because they’re crude doesn’t always mean they’re wrong or stupid. They’re workers, not thinkers. They’re not supposed to have to be speaking in public or writing on the net. The only reason they’re doing it is because the intellectual class has so completely failed them.

  108. welles May 18, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I love the Creative Destruction ideas, keep ‘em coming JHKers, you guys are the Best.
    I’m thinking of starting a competition, Funniest Way to Destroy My House, $1 entry fee, winner gets to detonate/implode etc & taped results placed on Youtube, with a copy sent to whatever ~solvent~ Too Big to Nail bank owns the note.
    Does anyone have any experience contaminating a place with Hopium or Changeium?
    trippticket — how right you are, I’ve never felt so blessed with bounty since I lost it all, and I’m not being sarcastic.
    shecky — really useful tips, very well done! Didn’t know all the ways one can pillage a house, viz. selling the copper, mulching the drywall (soil enrichment), burning the wood, offloading anything salvageable on Craigslist.
    By the way, the underground economy rocks!
    Enjoying paying circa 0% tax (just like the banks), and love trading funny green-and-black printed pieces of paper for goods, seems to work fine, why business is just dandy!

  109. Vlad Krandz May 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    You don’t get it guy. The type of hypercomplexity you adore leads to an impoverishement of the human spirit. It necessitates an extreme, insectoid specialization that is alien to human beings. Read Adam Smith raving about the glorious assembley line, with one person tightening a bolt all day long. Then watch Charlie Chaplin’s modern life.
    As the liner note says in the silent classic “Metropolis” what does it benefit man if his machines grow but he does not. Truer words were never said. Hypercomplex modern societies would require greater and more complex human beings – but that is not the way it works out at all. Rather a base and unnatural simplicity is produced.
    Man needs a good degree of outer simplicity to come to his full stature. Then and only then can he attain the organic complexity that is his brithright. A tribesman living in the Amazon can spend his day doing a million different things – or just spend the day quietly in his hammock if that’s what he needs. How superior to poor homo modernicus who is awakened by a buzz or ring, gulps some chloresteral and caffeine, and hurries out the door onto crowded buses and trains to spend the day doing something he hates.
    My vision is not Luddite. Simplicity does not have to mean going back (as if it were even possible) to the stone age. It’s a theme that’s often been portrayed in science fiction – even Star Trek had it a few times. On first glance, a planet seems backwards but then they find that the natives have advanced science and technology, but they prefer to live simply in their everyday lives using the advanced stuff only for special purposes.

  110. Vlad Krandz May 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Lets drop an enclosed flame down the pipe and see if we can set the planet on fire. Also we could shoot all our nukes at the North Pole to see if we could melt it.
    The first guy picked up by a UFO and driven into outer space said he couldn’t see the sun because it was too dark out there.
    I smoke hopium.

  111. The Mook May 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    I am looking for someone to split the bill for Bristol Palin’s speaking appearance at my Memorial Day picnic. Your half entitles you to bring as many guests as you want to hear her invigorating talk. Maybe JHK would agree to do a double bill for us.

  112. Vlad Krandz May 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    That’s right Wage, Gang members don’t kill people, people kill people. Blacks aren’t regular people, they’re “minorities”. Well Wage, that’s the soft fascism of lowered expectation as Bill Clinton put it. Liberal Racism in other words.
    As for New Orleans, Whites did defend themselves against Negro Marauders who were raping and murdering with abandon throughout the parts of the city that weren’t underwater or defended by valiant Whites. Gang members too! New Orleans after Katrina is obviously a Template of the near future for many cities throughout our unhappy land. Let She who has eyes to see, See and take the so very necessary precaution, like GETTING THE HELL OUT of such deathraps.

  113. asia May 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    are you going to raise and slaughter that goat?
    and what ‘weeds’ does it eat?

  114. asia May 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Streisand : also she doesnt like her house photographed!remember she really helped clinton, maybe obama too.
    KMD I thought was at Longbeach..or did he move to leftist u?

  115. asia May 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    you might enjoy:
    ‘IDIOT PROOF’.
    i assume some copies are goin for cheap at a’zon.

  116. asia May 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    source it yrself, if you want.

  117. Vlad Krandz May 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    You got it Goat. What if they could plug it but they just don’t want to because they would lose money? Sure publicly BP is going to have to pay, but what if the Feds have told them privately not to plug it but just get it under control? I would put nothing past these reptiles in suits.
    We have God-Like powers without any sense of responsibility. It’s truly frightening. As Lovecraft said about Innsmouth, it’s not what the fish men have done yet, but what they’re a gonna do. I mean imagine these people in charge of genetic engineering, that’s a real comforting thought. Look at their track record so far a la Monsanto. If you catch one of their geneticly engineered diseases/improvements, are they going to claim they own you? Or that your children belong to them?
    Maybe a mass die off is the best thing. Maybe the survivors would breed a better humanity. Some say that modern man emerged after the Mt Toba erruption and die off 70,000 years ago. It’s time for a new edition.

  118. asoka May 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Vlad said: “It’s time for you to become a White Nationalist. Go to the Occidental Quarterly on-line.”
    Vlad, Occidental Quarterly is “devoted to the ethnic, racial, and cultural heritage that forms the foundation of Western Civilization”. It aims to defend “the cultural, ethnic, and racial interests of Western European peoples”
    But Occidental Quarterly praises “Western civilization” without recognizing that “Western civilization” is fundamentally built on Eastern knowledge and expertise, particularly from China and the Middle East.
    Many, if not most, of modern institutions of capitalism and governance have their origins from Imperial China.
    While it is common knowledge that China was much more advanced than the West in technology and technical expertise up until the late 18th Century, it is often neglected that the West learned a great deal from Confucian governance, ethics and social philosophy in the same period.
    The West has traditionally prided itself as the “giver” of modernity, but the West was in actuality, given modernity by the Chinese.
    Chinese historical sources highlight the existence of full-fledged capitalism; and sophisticated governance, separation of powers, and rule of law since the late Han Dynasty, and developed further during the Tang Dynasty.
    All the criteria defined by German sociologist Max Weber for a “modern” state, were achieved by the Chinese more than 1500 years ago. By Weber’s definition, Imperial China was a modern state.
    Occidental Quarterly’s Eurocentric view distorts world history and promotes the same racism and ignorance that have characterized much of Western civilization in the past two centuries.
    East and West are not, and have not been, separate. The world has been globalized for centuries. There were contacts via trade between civilizations such as China and Middle East, and Middle East and Europe, that allowed a gradual diffusion of technology and knowledge from China to Europe.
    Unfortunately, the Europeans did not have sufficient moral development to manage the technology. As a result, we got Nazi gas ovens murdering millions, and aerial bombardments of cities, and world wars in which far more civilians died than soldiers. The only people in the world to have used nuclear weapons in war (on civilian city targets!) has been the morality-challenged “Western civilization”

  119. SeaYoung May 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Jim,
    Folks down Dixie way may be the most dangerous crazy people in America. Better to visit, and not stay. We are not particullary well adapted to, or equipped for Global World. Therefore, we tend to agitate easily.
    Fortunately, Southerners were the last to be indoctrinated with the old industrial (punch the clock, do as your told, don’t ask questions, unit of labor) yankee culture. We remember the value of lazy days.
    In the 1970′s most of the south consisted of great story tellers, musicians, textile laborers, the occasional famous football coach, and farm workers. Ever wonder why the greats (Elvis, J. Cash, Carl Perkins, Margaret. Mitchell, M. Twain, T. Wolfe, MLK,) are from the south? Children from the suburbs don’t have the fire inside to write “Look Homeward Angel”, “Ring of Fire” or “Sunday Morning Coming Down”.
    Southerners allow ourselves to go back. It remains what it was on a lazy, still summer’s night, many years ago.
    Southerners welcome the return to community and the Post Peak World.

  120. shecky May 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    The War of Northern Aggression was mostly about the industrial North vs the agrarian South. Most Yankees never did give a shit about the black man. We were all niggers to them. Still are. Just another word for cannon fodder.
    I was born in Georgia. My ancestors never owned a slave. Fuck you over-simplifying, history-rewriting, technologically advantaged victors. Most Apaches would agree.
    Looks to me like the agrarians will soon have the upper hand. Eat derivatives and die.
    Forget hell.
    god damn them all.

  121. bailey May 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Gee, I live in Europe, I bank in Europe and the USA, and hey, all’s fine here in Italy, the EU’s still the most powerful and wealthiest economy in the world,
    Nuthin’s changed. Was out and about with a bunch of Venetians last nite, nothin’s changed, was in good ol’ communist Bologna last week, nuthin’s changed.
    Yep, UK’s broke, USA’s broke, but guess what, Europe’s fine. They’re simply a concept and idea that was meant to deter war, enabling trade, travel and work with one currency, to avoid additional fees. Now, there was never anything put into place should this happen, for they’re soverign, and they may need to print money, but gee, I’m still paying little over a euro for the finest cup of coffee and a euro and some change for the finest glass of vino…go figure…f course, Germany has enough to bail out a couple of countries and amazingly enough, Israel still has cup in hand as recently as last year…funny how these things are viewed…

  122. miloromano May 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Ma che cazzo fai? Scrivi italiano per piacere … Your english is terrible.

  123. Neon Vincent May 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    “Wouldn’t you know it, I have to go to Europe at the end of the month. And I’m supposed to get paid in Euros — oh, snap!”
    If you were being paid in pounds sterling, I’d have assumed that you were going to Uncivilization in the UK.
    http://uncivilisation.co.uk/programme.html
    Looks like your kind of gathering. I’m somewhat surprised you won’t be there.

  124. mean dovey cooledge May 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Don’t forget the indispensable Miss Flannery O’ Connor!
    Im starting to appreciate Jim’s digs on the south: yeah, we’re crazy. So don’t ya’ll come down here.

  125. asoka May 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    yeah, we’re crazy. So don’t ya’ll come down here.

    Have to agree. Only crazy folks could give rise to Jim Crow and the KKK.
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/
    The Klan spread beyond Tennessee to every state in the South and included crazy mayors, crazy judges, and crazy sheriffs as well as crazy common criminals. Why they even had a crazy governor or two or three.

  126. mean dovey cooledge May 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    The “Migration Series” of paintings by Jacob Lawrence is instructive. In this series, which I had the good fortune to see in person, Lawrence tells the story of hopes dashed as southern blacks found themselves exploited in northern factories. Also included were scenes depicting police brutality and ghetto life. They were not integrated into the established european society.
    The fact is that man’s inhumanity knows no boundary.
    btw, Asoka, I saw that when I first came on this forum you welcomed me – I didnt see that until i went back to look at something else. Thank you.

  127. asoka May 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    You are welcome, Ms. Mean Dovey Cooledge … and I continue to welcome you… I am enjoying your posts.

  128. DeeJones May 18, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Dude, this well was started WAY before Mr O even started running for office. So, no, you can’t lay any blame on him. BTW: Isn’t Haliburton involved? Thought so.
    k-dog & goat1080: If it was that fucking simple, don’t you think BP would have tried it by now?
    Geeez… the gravel would simply disperse way before it fell 1 MILE down through the water to the well head. And the pressure coming out the wellhead is what caused the whole disaster in the first place. Pumping mud & concrete is one of the FIRST things they try if a well blows and the BO preventer fails. Not the last stupid idea by some idiot blogger.
    Was talking to a geologist, and he was saying that if the USGS starts picking up increasing earth tremors at the well, then that means the whole reservoir is going to blow out thru the seafloor like a freaking underwater oil volcano.
    So it won’t be just Florida getting new, black sand beaches, it will be the whole Gulf.
    This could end up being bigger than any one thought…

  129. richardm May 18, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Sharon Astyk quotes kunslter quite a bit in her excellent book “depletion and abundance”
    the book is in my opinion the best of the recent how to survive the end of oil books. its clear, with many suggestions and ideas for how to survive and thrive, how to change your life now,a nd how to prepare for the certain future. thats whyits not a “gloom and doom” book. I love kunstlers writings, but now its time to say -now what, what do we actually change and how do we do.
    Astyk provides a lot of suggestions and answers. I encourage all to give it a glance.

  130. franco9 May 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    I’m a fan of Kunstler and love the Long Emergency, but the 1950′s stereotypes he delights in are pretty funny. Greek bellhops… siesta-taking mexican officials… And is the billion-member muslim world community really all unshaved Islamists with a bowling-ball with burning fuse bomb in their hands? Reading his stuff could be like going back in time to an all-white US suburb during the Cold War, filled with paranoia and disdain for the 2nd/3rd worlders.

  131. Funzel May 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    So apparently we are not going to collectively mop up the oil spill by giving up our hair,which so far has been the only solution to save some of the beaches and shores.Typical action of a so called nation,that does not give a damn about anything but their own,personal selfish well being.
    This attitude will very shortly bite us in the ass big time.The era of us kicking ass is over.Once that oil quits running(hopefully)I believe there will be some very unwelcome geological consequences.I keep thinking about all the sinkholes,that are gobbling up houses here in Florida.So, folks do nothing and keep waiting for the miracle cure coming out of the brain of some expert engineer,that 20 years ago was still shitting in his diaper.

  132. suburbanempire May 19, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    After watching the executives at BP wiggle out of blame I got to wondering who is really at fault for the oil spill in the gulf…. ME!
    http://www.suburbanempire.com

  133. Vlad Krandz May 19, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    Ah Soak – wrong as wrong can be. As usual. There was almost no direct contact between China and Europe until the modern era when Russia barged in from the North and then Western Merchants from the sea. It’s true we got a few inventions from Islam – and they might have gotten them from China. Ok, but that’s not what you said. We got algebra from Islam and they got the zero from India. But no one gave us our tradition of rights – certainly not the ferocious Chinese. Old saying: the great Wall of China took over a million lives to build – one for every block. All conscripted labor. Compare that with the building of the Cathedrals – paid professionals supplemented by seasonal volunteers. As one famous Chinese Scholar said, China was never really Confucian – only outwardly. In reality, the social philosophy is Legalism – basically their form of Machiavelianism complete with police terror and torture.
    And the evidence shows that ancient Whites gave the Chinese some of their culture. Check out the mummies found in Western China – tall men and women with red and blonde hair – their technology in advance of the East Asians who lived by them at the time. For decades the Chinese forbade research on these sites trying to hide the Truth about their history.
    Meanwhile Blacks squatted in their mud huts along the Niger waiting for White Men to come and history to begin.
    You need to soak your head in a barrel of shaving cream.

  134. eightm May 19, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    There is a precise intentionality in the USA and Worldwide not to ever mention BUSES. When you mention BUSES on this blog or other blogs/forums people always say, “oh you mean that crap I rode in Detroit”, or “that horrible experience I had in that monkey of Austin Texas (less mass transit than in Bangladesh)”, etc. They can’t even imagine that BUSES can be made luxury, high quality, silent inside and out, with private compartments, with scheduling through internet, with a Rolls Royce type suspension system, etc. They can’t imagine how much can be achieved by simple BUSES.
    There is an intentionality to not mention BUSES but instead talk about subways, high speed rail, railroads, etc. because rail transit is full of conflict and politics, costs alot of money and will never be done. But since BUSES can be deployed tomorrow morning all through the USA suburbs, the solution would be too easy, we couldn’t believe that the peak oil boogeyman can disappear so easily.
    By the way, there is no such thing as Peak Oil since oil is produced in the universe through a non biological process: oil is simple carbon chemistry, hydrocarbons, can be found in the solar system and in the center of the earth in huge unknown quantities. Actually there is the real danger of exposing a small crack from the nucleus to the surface completely flooding the earth with oil. So the real term should be BEWARE OF TOO MUCH OIL under earth, it will drown us all if drillers are not careful.

  135. Giuseppe Rossi May 19, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Carissimo appena siamo all’estero ci facciamo notare eh ! Tanto per incominciare potremmo evitare di usare in ogni frase la parola caxxo, perchè vedi il mio inglese sarà anche scorretto (specialmente scrittod i fretta), ma sicuramente il tuo italiano è volgare. Io avrei commentato magari dicendo che in un pessimo inglese avevo comunque espresso una opinione condivisibile o no e sarei entrato nel merito senza offendere. Comunque il significato è chiaro caro Kateseconomy, scommetto che sei un trader o uno di quelli che ho incontrato che promettono mari e monti senza mai mantenere. Se non ti piacciono i miei commmenti evita di leggerli non sono rivolti a te. In ogni caso la volgarità delle parole che usi fa ben capire qual’è il contenuto della tua scatola cranica.
    Fai parte dei poveri cristi che fanno notare gli errori degli altri perchè sono di per se stesso poveri e non hanno qualità con cui farsi ammirare, persone piccole di cuore e cervello.

  136. Giuseppe Rossi May 19, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    http://twitter.com/kateseconomy You are this woman ?
    Then I can understand why you use so oftent that word ! I’m sure that you can read my answer in italian. Have a nice day !
    P.S.
    Also your italian is horrible but al least my english is not composed only by words of four letters.

  137. eightm May 19, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    We have a glut of oil, a glut of excess capacity in all productive endeavors, in order to redistribute some of all of this glut of wealth, 100 trillion dollars and probably much more considering derivatives, I fanthom 1,000 trillion dollars, it must simply be given away: in the form of free salaries, fake work, huge number of government jobs, etc. We must all get at least 3,000 dollars a month of free salary and McMansions with a rent of only 100 to 300 dollars a month, full of the most high quality furniture the huge excess capacity productive factories worldwide can produce.
    There is enough money, due to free energy through the huge glut of oil in the earth and universe, due to the huge automatic economy due to technology having advanced up to the point of having eliminated labor, due to resources in the solar system making everyone a billionaire that there is no choice but to give it all out for free. Otherwise it will clog up the worldwide economy and create huge instabilities and crisis.
    On a side note, beware of the GDP figures given out describing nations: these numbers are all wrong, for example the GDP of the USA is 10 trillion dollars, which would be equivalent to a billion people being paid 10,000 dollars a year salary. This is not real, the true GDP of the USA is probably not more than 2 trillion dollars, if even.
    If the wealth is not given out to everyone for free, a small social class of rich will simply hog it all up, as has been happening and continues to happen. It either goes to everyone or a small group. There will always be winners and losers, but redistributing some of the money makes everyone winners, at least somewhat.
    If you don’t agree, then you are part of the winners, and in fact in the USA 70 % of the population is part of the winners, the 30 % of poor are the losers. Maybe they “deserve to be poor”, but then who judges ? The winners judge the losers ?
    In an automatic economy – technology driven, the concepts of deserving, meritocracy and retribution are obsolete, no longer needed, are stone age ideas of violent apes.

  138. eightm May 19, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    The entire economic crisis is a mode of brainwashing, a fake idea, a concept that the ruling class is constantly talking about and trying to brainwash everyone that they have to sacrifice, because of the crisis: so now everyone believes and in fact then agrees upon, and has lower expectations, that they must make less money, no pensions, hugely expensive healthcare, etc, etc.
    We have too much “debt”, we have consumed too much, we have enjoyed too much of the fruits of free wealth through technology and now it is payback time: so no more pensions, layoffs, etc.
    But this is not true, is a punishing scam, the world no longer operates according to the agricultural past, the wealth is all there for everybody, but everyone is stuck in an old thought process when work was still relevant.
    If you don’t oppose opposition, if you are not a counterforce, the dominating forces will just completely obliviate you.
    Anyways, if these forces keep on winning as usual, the worldwide salary range will be between 100 dollars a month to 800 dollars a month, an average of 400 dollars a month. This is the future, you are not worth more than this (unless you are a doctor, then even a billion dollars a month is OK, because you can manipulate people that are in pain).
    Be ready for a worldwide salary of 400 dollars a month from Indonesia to California.

  139. diogen May 19, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    Welles, since you’re asking for advice, here’s what I advise you. Do NOT destroy your house, but instead, if you have to leave it, leave it in the best condition you possibly can (yes, clean those bathrooms and showers sparkling clean, and put some fresh flowers and a nice note to the next residents). This will make you a decent human being rather than a destructive mindless infantile entitled jerk. Salvage any self-respect you can from this situation. Whatever you destroy, you’ll be wasting the embedded fossil energy and human labor, and necessitate more fossil energy expenditure to undo what you did. You will be committing a crime, both literally (destruction of property and theft), and figuratively — a crime against the Earth and human decency. If you do this destruction, you will be no better than the the people you blame for your predicament, plus you’ll be petty, vindictive, stupid and unethical.
    Your choice, friend, what do you want to be?

  140. Lara's Dad May 19, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    8m, I think you need to familiarize yourself with a certain Greek term — “hubris”.

  141. eightm May 19, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    On another side note, just make the Chinese banks lend out 1,000 trillion dollars, that they can easily print, and sustain the entire worldwide economy for a few decades. They understand the fact the we live in an infinite resource society and economic system only limited by an old fashioned, stone age, profit motive mentality where people have to be unequal economically. Inequality is ok, and even good as long as it doesn’t go overboard, like in the US with bill gates having 40 billion dollars and the guy who is laid off has food stamps. Make the inequality 100 to 1, so gates has 10 million and the poor guy 100,000 dollars.
    Even if you don’t pay back the loans from Chinese banks, they will just cancel them with a mouse click, they know that money doesn’t even exist and is a make believe entity.

  142. welles May 19, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    As of current, I’m leaning towards dismantling it with loving care, & finding a good home for the saleable parts.
    What? I should let the foul Bank Creatures, who gambled in the Trillions, lost their bets, then let me & my kids pay for their lost bets instead of losing their jobs, then paid themselves a Bonus for such Exemplary Performance, take my house because I failed to perform?
    So if I get it correctly — they fail, I get to pay them a Bonus plus they get to keep their Mansions. I fail I lose my house to them plus keep paying them ad infinitum in the form of secretive bailouts?
    No, it’s time to burn things to the ground & start over.

  143. diogen May 19, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Asoka, your explanation from last week as to why you believe there’s no Maker is so lame it makes you yawn. You’re ignorant of the distinction between Physical and Metaphysical. I claim no knowledge of the Ultimate Question, but here’s an idea for you: whatever the unknown (and a Physicist friend tells me unknowable) phenomenon that caused the Big Bang is in effect the Maker, at least of this Universe. Only charlatans, of course, claim to know the nature of this Maker, but the science appears to suggest that the laws of Physics in effect for this Universe were not in effect for the pre-Big Bang reality whatever it was. Thus its nature is Metaphysical. To dispute this Maker is to dispute the current state of the art in the science of Cosmogony, what are your credentials for this? This isn’t a matter of believe, this is a matter of scientific knowledge.

  144. miloromano May 19, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Thank you Diogen, for putting into words what I would like to have said to Welles…and is it possible to sell the house before it is foreclosed on? If one sees foreclosure coming down the road, can’t some steps be taken to mitigate/minimize the damage? I’ve read some good and some bad news in that regard, but isn’t it worth contacting the mortgage holder and at least TRYING to effect a compromise or a more agreeable solution?

  145. diogen May 19, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    >take my house because I failed to perform?
    Yes, you failed to perform, whatever the circumstances were, so take responsibility for your failure as you want others to take responsibility for their failures. And if you destroy the house, you’ll also fail to be a decent human being, which may be the only thing one has which is under one’s own power and control. But I think you may be incapable of grasping this concept since you seriously contemplate the destruction of property.
    If you do that, you’ll be a contemptible loser.

  146. The Mook May 19, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Wow, People are worried about you venting? Maybe they should worry about the developer in Arizona who couldn’t sell his homes after the bubble burts. He hired dozers to come in and level them rather than putting them to “constructive” use. Maybe he will lend you his dozer. Maybe Wal-Mart could use your old land to build on and they won’t have to build on that Civil War battlefield in Virginia that they have their eyes on.

  147. The Stig May 19, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Sorry Jim, I’m bored of you. You are becoming exactly what your critics said – someone who is using random facts and assembling them in a way that “proves” your theory.
    Maybe I’ll be sorry Jim, and you’ll have the last laugh, but I have abandoned the Peak Oil doomers as I think people have a way of making things work. Maybe you should start assuming that others, not just yourself, are capable of intelligent thought because you sure don’t think the average person is all that bright.

  148. diogen May 19, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    >He hired dozers to come in and level them
    Mook, so what? Just because someone is a bigger jerk, it justifies for you to be a small jerk?
    Using your logic, it’s OK to kill one person since others killed many people. What’s WRONG with you???

  149. trippticket May 19, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Actually, I think we’re going to breed her and eat her kids. We can’t support too many goats on our little urban plot but I have a lot of sugarberry that I’d like to take down a limb at a time and feed them, then burn the wood for winter heat. She loves sugarberry! And that makes me happy, because the leaf fall is allelopathic, but goat turds, now that’s just plain old good fun for a gardener.
    Sadly, the Vinca minor that we mostly brought her in to take care of is toxic to goats. Happily, goats aren’t as stupid as humans and don’t eat things that are toxic to them! (Therefore they have no need for Big Pharma…just the occassional pumpkin seeds and wormwood.)
    She also munches the Ligustrum, pin oaks, laurel cherries, Bermuda grass, etc. All those other things I’d like to have less of. Good goat.

  150. trippticket May 19, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    I usually enjoy Diogen’s perspective, but I’m not with it this time. Sorry, Dio. There are so many more houses out there than there are people to occupy them it’s not even funny. Recycle every scrap of that place, Welles, and give the bank what they started with when they invented your “loan”.
    Zero.
    At least you’ll be moving items that are already paid for environmentally, and taking some heat off of the system, literally, as you burn the stud walls to stay warm.
    Cheers!

  151. diogen May 19, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    >I think people have a way of making things work.
    Right. Jim’s vision is one of many possible, even though he seems convinced that it’s inevitable.
    I like reading this blog and comments because Jim has an interesting angle on reality, and most of the commenters have interesting ideas (and some crazy wacky ones as well :) I especially enjoy the postings from folks who share their experiences from their locality, or about becoming more independent of the predominant culture (such as it is), more self-reliant, etc. Trip and Mean Dovey are my heroes. And even though I reject Wage’s and Asoka’s Utopian visions, they are clearly thinking people offering their unique perspectives as critical thinkers. So, consider staying on here and sharing with us the news from your corner of the universe.

  152. trippticket May 19, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    “Trip and Mean Dovey are my heroes.”
    Aw, shucks, thanks, Dio. Don’t take my disagreement with your hatin’ on Welles too hard;)

  153. diogen May 19, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    >There are so many more houses out there than
    >there are people to occupy them
    Trip, this may be true, but destroying a home isn’t the solution. It makes one a vandal and a mindless cretin. You make your little cornet of the world better by caring for the Earth and putting it to productive use. Welles intends to make his worse, by destroying something other people created and which he did not earn (apparently). It’s not his to destroy because he hasn’t paid for it. It will amount to THEFT, which will make him as morally guilty as the mortgage lenders who may have *contributed* to his plight. He will lose any moral right to judge others if he becomes a thief and a vandal.

  154. diogen May 19, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    >Don’t take my disagreement with your hatin’ on >Welles too hard;)
    No worries, the only thing I’m taking hard right now is that my son-a-newly-minted-engineer can’t find a job :(
    And I don’t *hate* Welles, you’re wrong about that.
    I simply despise the waste and destruction mentality as a way to redeem oneself…

  155. diogen May 19, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Trip, we’re battling for Welles Eternal Soul here :)
    It’s in jeopardy, and you aren’t helping him!!! He’ll end up in Heck with Bankfein, OJ and the Unabomber, so tell Welles to plant some trees instead of burn the place down if you want to help him!!! :)

  156. budizwiser May 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I saw a blurb about Haiti – its food problems and the deforestation etc….
    I got to thinking about the US and its impending shortages and how the “slide” will transpire.
    I know the single biggest factor in anyone’s life experience will be the loss of electricity. Of course I guess you could argue starving is important but somehow I’m figuring cheap cheese and bags of rice will be around longer than gasoline and reliable electricity.
    Any-who – so I’m thinking about this oily deal down in the gulf. Does it mean anything historically? It it a 911 or three-mile-island of
    the petroleum industry?
    If not for now – how about in six or seven weeks when it becomes apparent that ALL the crude leaking can not be stopped?
    Way back when – I thought real “change” would take place when Obama’s folks shined a light on the Treasury and the fed’s activities after the bushies left. Boy I was a fool then.
    So what’s the collective “Clusterfuckers’” perspective? Deep water drilling – will it keep growing to limit the effects of a “peak oil cliff?”
    Those of you familiar with the projections know that deep water drilling increases were the only thing keeping us from production decline before the big bankster rip off. Will banksters or bad blow-off valves be the reason for world economic slide?

  157. welles May 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Guys, I’m not going to wantonly destroy the place, I said earlier I’d gently dismantle it, and turn the materials into something of value, as some of you’ve notably suggested.
    As far as that being theft, that’s quite a stretch. I put in the kitchen, the heating system, lighting, bathroom etc, no mortgage on them. If I get down to hawking the timbers online I’ll agree with you.
    I’d be all happy to give up the place in pristine condition if The Game had any semblance of Fairness to it anymore.
    But what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The Banks/Gov’t sowed the wind, they’re reaping the Whirlwind.
    non sequitur — Charlton Heston in the spaceship at the beginning of Planet of the Apes: “I leave the 20th Century with? no regrets.”

  158. diogen May 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    >Guys, I’m not going to wantonly destroy the place
    Good, there’s a hope you won’t be roasting next to OJ then :) You’re certainly entitled to remove your *own* property when you move out, but to remove the studs from the walls and the wiring???? You’ll probably end up electrocuting your sorry ass, or have the roof collapse on you as you take out the load-bearing supports. As Miloromano suggested above, work out a deal with your lender, if you have any equity in the place and it serves the needs of your family, you’d be foolish to throw it away… you’ll still need to pay rent to have a roof over your head, may as well to keep your investment in your “kitchen, the heating system, lighting, bathroom etc”…
    Good luck and don’t listen to Trip :)

  159. asoka May 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    whatever the unknown (and a Physicist friend tells me unknowable) phenomenon that caused the Big Bang is in effect the Maker, at least of this Universe. … To dispute this Maker is to dispute the current state of the art in the science of Cosmogony

    I’m open to learning more.
    Please, can you cite a peer-reviewed scholarly source in which a Cosmogony scientist indicates anything at all about a “Maker”?
    I am unaware of any such “Maker”

  160. diogen May 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    The “Maker” is whatever “IT” is that caused this Universe to go from the Singularity to it’s current magnificent state of which you’re a small stubborn part :) What’s your explanation for the existence of space, time and matter? Whatever your explanation is, “THAT” is the “Maker”. And if you argue it, it would be a semantic argument :)

  161. cleitophon May 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    How about: there is no maker, the universe was always already there.
    Big Bang has more holes than a swiss cheese anyway!
    http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/BB-top-30.asp

  162. k-dog May 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    DEE,
    It probably is “that f– simple” and I’ll contend that somebody at BP probably has thought about simply burying the leaks but that BP deciders won’t pick a simple solution because all their decisions are politically motivated. It will take outside pressure to make them do the right thing. A high tech solution is great for BP because as they fail they don’t get egg on their faces. All they have to do is blame technology. If BP can’t bury the leaks then it appears (probably correctly) that management is at fault, not the solution.
    If organizations behaved like reasonably intelligent individuals space shuttles probably would not have ever blown up and you would not be reading this because we would not all be getting clusterfucked right now. If you have seen the movie Syriana perhaps the phrase “All people want to do is go home at the end of the day” would bring my point home. If you believe that people especially oil company executives allow logic morality and common sense to guide their decisions then man have I got a bridge to sell you.
    Perhaps they decide in their own selfish best interest and what makes them the most money?
    I’ll contend that only someone who contemplates their own mortality and their proper place in the universe is capable of intelligent altruistic decisions making, a small minority of people. Most people just want more stuff and oil company execs specifically, you must be kidding. Last I heard they were too busy pointing fingers at each other to do a damn thing.
    So no I don’t agree that:

    If it was that fucking simple, don’t you think BP would have tried it by now?

    If it was that fucking simple we would not currently be fighting two wars over oil.
    I wish I had some of what you must be smoking cus it must be really good shit.

  163. cleitophon May 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Not only is the concept of big bang shite to such a degree that it contravenes nearly all empirical data, it is also without any rational philosophical basis and has been in this state since Immanuel Kant wrote “The Critique of Pure Reason” in 1781
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-metaphysics/#GodRatThe

  164. diogen May 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    >it contravenes nearly all empirical data,
    Heck, what do I know. Still, according to most sources (web and otherwise), most scientists now think the BB model has fewer problems than any other model. Static Universe is the worst one, it seems, for it contradicts the apparent inflationary state of the universe and background radiation.
    >How about: there is no maker, the universe was >always already there.
    OK, then it is its own MAKER.
    The best evidence for the Big Bang was what happened when I met this girl in college years ago… the Universe is still vibrating from that encounter.

  165. Cash May 19, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Asoka, I don’t want to attribute any motivations to your saying there is no Maker. Only you would know. Maybe you’re convinced of it, maybe you’ve dwelled on the problem for a long time.
    What I’ve seen in others saying the same thing is that they wanted to appear hip and intellectually sophisticated, they wanted to impress their friends with their avant garde daring and I think some were just trying to get laid.
    It was a pose in other words, an attempt to fit in with peers, with people they like and admire. Some just appeared to want to polish up their sneering counter-cultural bona fides (and some were just trying to get laid). But they didn’t look to me as if they thought the issue through ie they’re just parroting what they’d heard others say.
    I bring this up because your saying there is no Maker brought back memories.
    But, you are not like these guys, you appear to be a well read fellow, with deeply held convictions. I can say this though I don’t share your take on things.
    I had a discussion with a co-worker not too many years ago. He said basically what you said about there not being a Maker, he affected contempt for religion whether it was organized or unorganized, he asserted the primacy of science.
    When I suggested to him that there was no necessary conflict between science and religion, that the two fields talk about completely different aspects of existence he appeared to be surprised. I suggested that Jewish and Christian religious texts tell stories to make a point, usually about how we should live our lives and how we should treat others. Sometimes they are tribal saga (ie the Old Testament) with stories about national origins that may be based on myth or partly based on actual occurence.
    But IMO these writers had little concern for historical or scientific accuracy. That’s not what the writings are about. IMO the writers of Genesis did not give the slightest damn whether the universe was made in 6 days or 6 minutes, the long, long pages of scriptural sominex that even the patriarchs must have dozed over had issues in mind other than the physical workings of the universe. I’m not a Biblical scholar, all I know is what I learned in Sunday school but that’s what I took away from it.
    Anyway, my co-worker (a very intelligent chap by the way) had never been to Sunday school, never been baptized, had never studied any religious texts. He had no idea what Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or any other religion were about. To him it was all superstitious rituals, wishful thinking and fear of death. To him it was a waste of time to think about it. Maybe in the end he’s right.
    The fact that nobody has an address for this maker or a telephone number I wouldn’t put too much stock in. Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. Some people (Diogen for example) see the fact of existence rather than non existence as evidence in itself.
    If you read the Bible there are accounts of people seeing and hearing things that they interpreted as the Maker trying to communicate with them. Whether you accept these testimonials is up to you. If someone you respect told you he had a vision or a revelation would you accept it? I take it you wouldn’t. I take it you would accept only the evidence of your own eyes. IMO, nothing wrong with that, I tend to do the same.
    Personally I am open to the suggestion that there is a Maker. But, I don’t know. I’m limited by my own senses (my wife says I’m blind as a bat, that I can’t see things that she lays out for me in plain view), my intellectual capacities and the fact that, like Trinity and Morpheus and the gang, that I am embedded in this matrix and I can’t see outside of it.

  166. messianicdruid May 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    “Whatever your explanation is, “THAT” is the “Maker”. And if you argue it, it would be a semantic argument”
    If only the Maker could learn semantics…

  167. Funzel May 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Ah,we are back on the BIG BANG again.Just to keep you up to date..I spoke with the virgin Mary today via satelite,btw she is shacking up with the BIG boy now,anyway she told me the entire universe is
    in his 3rd button from the top of his knight gown.Now that we have that problem identified,did you visit your friendly barber yet to contribute your part to the oil spill solution?

  168. The Mook May 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Boy are you gonna be gang raped when you try to logic with the angry mobs. Don’t forget there are not going to be as many police out there to rely upon when you philosophers talk yourselves into a corner. Welles is fed up, and not going to take it; so what? Shut up and mind your own business. What this country needs is quite a few good martyrs.

  169. welles May 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    What this country needs is quite a few good martyrs.
    What do you call a guy who accidentally lands his Cessna in the IRS’ face (building)? A little early to the Party.

  170. insanity shelter May 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    >I work with people in the Intelligence Community who are still talking about which mutual funds to invest in.
    That’s Rich.

  171. Funzel May 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    Don’t forget a few Unibombers,with CIA and FBI experience.

  172. diogen May 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    >Shut up and mind your own business.
    I do, actually, but Welles did ask for our input :)

  173. welles May 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    And I truly value it, nice to find some thinking peeps in Never-Neverland.
    I reserve the right to be wrong. Shalom.

  174. diogen May 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    >the entire universe is in his 3rd button
    >from the top
    Really? Well I believe it’s the 2nd one, and anyone who disagrees is a heretic, infidel, heathen and is clearly adhering to the wrong religion with all the consequences. You’re in deep trouble my friend. You now can be justifiably dispossessed of your property, your rights, your land, your concubines, goats, whatever. Repent and submit to the only true religion: 2nd button. It’s either that or the death.

  175. dale May 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    “If someone you respect told you he had a vision or a revelation would you accept it? I take it you wouldn’t. I take it you would accept only the evidence of your own eyes.”
    =================================
    Why accept that? Talk to any good attorney, almost nothing is more unreliable than “eye witness testimony”. There is nothing you can think of which is ultimately true, everything you know is only conventionally true, relative to you and the rest of the world at this moment. Your five senses are just one way of looking at it, with no more “ultimate” reality than one of your dreams.
    One thing I’m pretty sure about…..if there was a “maker” he got bored and quit paying attention a long time ago.

  176. dale May 19, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    “Don’t forget there are not going to be as many police out there to rely upon….
    ========================================
    …..and you think you can “rely” on the police now? BAHAHAHA! Listen, Bob Dylan never said anything more true than “the cops don’t need you and Man, they expect the same”.

  177. James Crow May 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    I continue to wait, patiently, as of course there are many other things to do, besides read that Mr. Kunstler’s hopeful obamageddon is now uh, magically shifting gears or a gear or a fab-gear…anyhow where is it that any of this is taking place? None of the banksters who own congress and the white house have let — or are going to let — anything of substance as far as truly meaningful reform occur. You really truly think Goldman, Sachs et al. are going to let themselves lose out on all those electronic credits representing worthless paper credits evaporate because of some “oh so scary” congressional inquiries? Inquiries where those candy-ass congressmen put on thoughtful concerned faces and pretend to interrogate their employers? Claiming that change is “just around the corner” for years on end and then very little change is allowed to occur by those that control the government make it seem like all so much wishful thinking. Do you know what kind of “non-lethal” weapons the government has waiting for you should you be so stupid as to join an “anti-government” riot? Have you not read the “Patriot” Act?

  178. Lost-in-North-Dakota May 19, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    JHK wrote:
    >I’ve maintained for a long time that the folks down Dixie way are the the most dangerously crazy people in America

  179. asoka May 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    “How about: there is no maker, the universe was always already there.”
    This is precisely my current position. There is absolutely no need to posit a hypothetical “Maker” or to assume a beginning at all… or an end. I’ll stake my Occam’s Razor on that proposition.
    If there is any IT or Maker that started space, time, etc. then that begs the question: what started IT or the “Maker”. If IT or “the Maker” is said to be without cause, then IT or the “Maker” is demonstrated to be an unnecessary hypothesis. (once you admit something can exist without a cause, then the “Causer” or “Maker” becomes both irrelevant and redundant.
    But go on believing in your imaginary, invisible IT … if it gives you comfort. Teddy bears are nice, too.

  180. messianicdruid May 19, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    People were sawn asunder, crucified upside down and fed to lions for “comfort”? That’s rich.

  181. mean dovey cooledge May 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Aren’t you a stellar ambassador for your region with that astonishing display of bigotry and poor manners!

  182. DeeJones May 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    “So no I don’t agree that:
    If it was that fucking simple, don’t you think BP would have tried it by now?
    If it was that fucking simple we would not currently be fighting two wars over oil.
    I wish I had some of what you must be smoking cus it must be really good shit.”
    Geez, how did you go from a failed BOP to two wars over oil? I’ll raise you and smoke some of what YOU are smoking, dude.
    You know dude, we ALL should be smoking what ever shit 8-m is smoking….man, that must be the good shit right there. It must take him all day to do just one post, even with cut&paste.
    And its not the 2nd button, but the Easter Bunny in all his chocolatly goodness, may he melt in your mouth, and all over your fingers too.
    Bite his little ears off, nibble on his tiny toes…
    And we all now say YUM!

  183. DeeJones May 19, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Say, did you know that Florida has black sand beaches, just like Hawaii?

  184. diogen May 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    >begs the question: what started IT or the “Maker”. >If IT or “the Maker” is said to be without cause, >then IT or the “Maker” is demonstrated to be an >unnecessary hypothesis.
    “IT/MAKER” being Metaphysical by nature, means it’s outside of the physical laws of this Universe, therefore its cause is an undefined parameter. My friend the Physicist explained it much better than I can ever hope to do (his name must remained unmentioned because his tenure may be denied if he’s on record stating views not approved by the holy inquisition of the politically correct science).

  185. asoka May 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Sounds like your friend the physicist is reaching to justify beliefs acquired as an impressionable child that a Maker, a Maker which had no Maker, alphas & omega, etc. … really exists. Somehow the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus did not make it as existing entities, but the damned imaginary invisible Maker just keeps on ticking.

  186. diogen May 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Asoka, your complete certainty in the most puzzling questions is truly amazing. What you’re professing is a secular religion since you’re taking it on faith (as opposed to scientific evidence which doesn’t exist one way or another). So, you’re a deeply religious man :)

  187. asoka May 20, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    So, you’re a deeply religious man :)

    I am religious, you say, because I do not believe in something for which there is zero evidence? What would then constitute not being religious, by your definition?
    The word religion has at least nine meanings. (see chapter 5 of Ken Wilber’s book, A SOCIABLE GOD) http://bit.ly/d5KJOc
    In which way are you using the word?

  188. Gulf Old Timer May 20, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    A new currency system is in the works as we speak. So what is the next trusted currency going to be?
    Prepare to be surprised. It ain’t US dollar, nor gold…
    Google trusted currency to get the drift of where things are going.

  189. Jason May 20, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    “They fired one last bazooka of wishfulness at the enveloping monster of debt and the monster laughed at them, and now they are standing in the windows of palatial edifice of the Euro Union waiting to see who will jump first.”
    Who can forget good ole Eagle Scout Henry Paulson jumping up and exclaiming he had a Bazooka in his pocket ready to use if necessary at the beginning of this meltdown.
    I recall thinking what the hell kind of midlife hormonal crises is this crazy bastard suffering. Anyway turns out all he had was a flacid pea shooter….

  190. cleitophon May 20, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    Just like with vision, where one experiences optical illusions, there also exist cognitive illusions, which have their basis in the constitution of the mind.
    http://books.google.dk/books?id=YywIHNBn_YEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=cognitive+illusions&source=bl&ots=rijJOA-b3j&sig=_TecxrxPOB-tR9Lq-2b4HaEBFwA&hl=da&ei=zdD0S8-gF4mvOJyd5YEJ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CD4Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q&f=false
    The mind cannot help but be drawn towards the the regulative principle that there is a beginning for time, but it is merely a regulative principle that arises out of the limitations in our cognitive ability to handle concepts of infinity. In fact, it has no metaphysical correlate. Anyone with even the slightest understanding of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem with understand that the concept of a beginning in time is hopelessly flawed, not just epirically but logically. If it is true, it is certainly not proveable.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems
    The rejection of the concept of time having a beginning per se or the concept of something before time is not the same as professing a completely static universe:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070702084231.htm
    If one believs in god, fine, then keep it as a matter of faith. Just don’t spout rational reasons for the existence of god, ’cause none of them make any sense. The next thing will probably be the famed “banana proof for the existence of god” hahaha

  191. k-dog May 20, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    DEEJONES,
    You want a connection, hmmmmmmmmmm I could say human nature is the connection. but you probably want something more concrete(yes there is a pun there) so I’ll just say:
    HALIBURTON
    An oilfield services company based in the USA and in the United Arab Emirates, committed to the advancement of humanity and the human condition and maybe just a little profit along the way.
    But hey maybe I’m wrong about the profit part. Perhaps HALIBURTON doesn’t have profit as their ‘top’ priority. Perhaps they have a strong code of ethics guiding everything they do. I’m sure that if they actually knew or suspected two plugs were insufficient to prevent a blowout they would have refused the BP contract. Certainly they wound not have performed shoddy work just to save a few bucks for BP. After all whats a million dollars a day in oil platform operating cost to BP a company that made 6,947 million in the first half of 2009.
    see http://www.bp.com
    for that figure.
    But I seem to recall strong connection between Neoconservatives and the oil industry or am I deluded about that. But then there was this guy named Cheney or something like that who worked for Bush you know the last president who started the wars (or was that the other way around).
    No I’m probably wrong about that too.
    Keep passing it around my friend.

  192. bigview May 20, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    This gulf Oil spill is the worst ever because the chosen “clean up” method chosen is to use a toxic chemical to breakup the oil into droplets which end up sinking and accumulating at the bottom of the sea.
    The end result? Apparently a black underwater cloud, one with no oxygen, and one which is therefore hostile to all fish, crabs, coral or any other living thing unlucky enough to swim into it. This cloud is also mobile, meaning that should it come in contact with an ocean current, it will go for its underwater ride. To wherever…

  193. diogen May 20, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    >If one believs in god, fine, then keep it as a >matter of faith.
    True. And likewise the belief in the absence of god is also a matter of faith — this is a concept that Asoka is valiantly resisting. So the only folks who are truly rational and reject faith are those who say either possibility is possible. This week Cash gets the rationality award :)
    Your references to various philosophical theories are less relevant to me than good science, and even good science is a shifting ground… So I’m sticking with the 2nd button theory (and secretely will worship the chocolate bunny).

  194. diogen May 20, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Returning to the next most pressing issue of the day, check out
    http://www.tonic.com/article/oil-spill-skytruth-satellite/
    Apparently, the Deepwater true discharge rate is over 20,000 barrels per day, and this is a conservative estimates. Great opportunity for Mr. Obama to call on fellow Americans to support him in the Manhattan-Project-like mobilization of the nation to *really* reduce our dependence of fossil fuels… Asoka, since you have a special relationship with Mr. Obama, would you whisper this into his ear?

  195. messianicdruid May 20, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Yes, they have sacrificed the Gulf, and who knows what else, to “save” the beaches. More shortsightedness? Anymore, I cannot tell ignorance from evil.

  196. messianicdruid May 20, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    “Time is the fence around our pasture.” Victor Issac Carson

  197. asoka May 20, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    “And likewise the belief in the absence of god is also a matter of faith — this is a concept that Asoka is valiantly resisting.”
    It is not belief. Maker’s non-existence is my tentative hypothesis based upon forty years of empirical investigation.
    It is not rational to posit something exists, with zero evidence, after forty years of investigation.
    Why is the Maker such a ‘fraidy cat? All I want to do is ask a few questions, but the dude won’t show.

  198. Cash May 20, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I don’t think the most dangerously crazy people are those in Dixie, rather, I think the most dangerously crazy are those in Manhattan.
    The psychopaths on Wall St have been the creators and perpetrators of Big Lies that corrupted and destabilized capital and real estate markets, denuded people’s bank accounts and gutted US industrial capacity.
    I was reminded of one of the Big Lies the other day when I was watching a business show. A commentator remarked that from now on he will be looking for yield in his investments. Gone are the days of buying “growth” stocks which is what reminded me of one of the Big Lies.
    It’s not the biggest of the Big Lies but it still is a really whacking great lie, a fine piece of work, one that sounds plausible, that has the shine of reasonableness and one that aided in screwing investors without them necessarily having felt violated. Every time I’m reminded of it I get a chuckle, I marvel at the ingenuity of the people that dreamt it up. The Big Lie is this, that there are “growth stocks” and there are “value stocks”.
    The definitions of growth and value stocks are not rigorous (what else is new) but typically growth stocks are seen as those that pay little or no dividends, whose management prefers to “reinvest” earnings for the sake of future “growth”, whose sales and/or earnings are expected to “grow” along, of course, with the market price of the stock.
    Value stocks are typically seen as ones that pay dividends, that have a low price/earnings ratio as compared to the broader market or whose market price is at a discount as compared to “intrinsic value”.
    Personally, I don’t give a damn what other metrics are used, companies that don’t pay dividends are not making money. Moreover, they are using shareholder money for free.
    You can talk about revenue growth and earnings growth until you are blue in the face. They are growing all right. Who gives a shit? Maybe management and employees do because they are making a living off the company. But, if I am a shareholder, unless this “growth” means more dividends now or in the future, why would I care? What am I, Santa Claus, giving away my money? If you want to use my money you have to pay for it.
    To me, money talks, bullshit walks and earnings without dividends is bullshit ie just numbers on a page and not cash in my bank account. To my primitive peasant mind, a growth stock is one that pays dividends (like a value stock) but has the added juice of even more dividends coming in the future.
    To non bean counters: earnings are an accounting opinion, nothing more. By necessity, earnings figures are full of estimates and assumptions. And, people being people, add in a fistful of fuckups, plus a spoonful of fudge and fantasy. Sometimes, as we’ve seen, earnngs are outright capital F fraud.
    Audits are a ritual designed to give comfort. Like a church service. You have the priesthood (accountants, auditors) intoning their incantations and the open mouthed peasantry (everyone else) watching in stupefied silence.

  199. levvnet May 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Has anyone discussing the spill passed basic math? The NYT article states there is a plume 10 miles x 3 mile x ~300 feet thick. So far, even it we assume the ridiculous flow rate of 100,000 bbl/day, the spill still has not filled a cube 100 yards on each side.

  200. asoka May 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    “Asoka, since you have a special relationship with Mr. Obama, would you whisper this into his ear?”
    Mr. Obama don’t listen to me. Problem with Mr. Obama is he ain’t Black enough. He givin’ his attention to White banker folk, ignorin’ the world of pain Black folk in.

  201. Cash May 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Dude won’t show? Maybe. Maybe like you say there ain’t no dude. But, maybe, he is right under your nose, has been all this time. But, like me and Dio, you are cognitively blind to him.
    An example: I’ve had budgies as pets for much of my life. They are social animals so we put a small mirror in their cage to provide companionship when we’re not around. The budgie looks in the mirror and sees another budgie. He will coo at it, play with it, feed it, fight with it and interact as if it were really another budgie. The budgie sees the image of a budgie, just like we do, but cannot understand the nature of what he’s seeing.
    Maybe that’s the problem with us. Like the budgie we don’t understand the nature of what we’re seeing. A lot of us have the sense that what we perceive is not the full story, that we are not fully understanding the nature of our own existence or alternatively we sense the presence of someone else. But like the budgie we are cognitively blind.
    Maybe people like Moses or the Buddha or Jesus have a leg up on us. Maybe people like them are not cognitively blind like the rest of us. They have the cognitive ability to understand what they are seeing in a way the rest of us cannot. The problem lies in communication. How can we convey to the budgie what he is really seeing? How can Jesus convey to us things that we cannot perceive or comprehend and have no language for.
    Imagine trying to explain to someone that is totally colour blind the colour red or orange or yellow. Very difficult. The words “red” or “orange” mean nothing to the colour blind person who only sees in black, white, grey. Maybe you can explain these colours to the colour blind person in terms of senses that you do share ie taste or smell. But it’s a highly imperfect conveyance at best.
    Imagine that Jesus understands what he sees in ways that we cannot. Consequently, like the colour blind person we have no common language with Jesus on these things. But Jesus wants to convey what he understands and so talks to us in parables or in language he thinks we can grasp ie mustard seeds, kingdom of heaven etc. But the relationship between the language he has to use and the nature of what he understands is distant ie like talking about colour in terms of a sense like taste. Of necessity it’s a highly imperfect communication.

  202. trippticket May 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Just a quick thought on the “southerners are crazier” idea:
    Has to do with cultural origins. About 75% of the population in the southeast descended from British highlanders and outliers – Scots, Welsh, Irish. A lot of them were sent to the southeastern US as prisoners and indentured servants. By contrast, notherners are about 75% descended from lowland Brits. You know, stiff upper lip, fish and chips, cup o’ tea.
    So in essence what we have here in the south is a majority culture of loyal, hot-headed, religious people not afraid to tangle with the law if the situation calls for it. And Yankee-land is by contrast populated by pale, milk toast, liberal society folk interested in maintaining the status quo.
    Not that “liberal” and “society” are bad things necessarily. I’ve been called both upon occassion. But when it comes time to take on sweeping cultural reform, when the envelope needs be pushed in new directions, I have no doubt which culture will be more successful at making those changes. Colonel-clogged NASCAR junkies aside, which, suprise surprise, isn’t everyone.
    Welcome back, O’line-crossers and McNe’er-do-wells. The future might just require some brewed chicory and mashed potatoes. (Let’s just keep some diversity in the fields this time ’round. K?)

  203. MINDfool May 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Pardon for you thinking of me as even more foolish. But like many I wanted to meet IT. Just randomly meditating on July 4, 1976,
    I asked myself the question, “So, where is the soul?” It seemed like the question went down a long tube, and a focussed beam of intense light??? came from above onto my left chest and opened to me a vision of the Universe???, benevolent and somewhat detached and for want of a better word extremely “good.” As part of this
    UNIQUE experience, I saw a vision of my life for the next 20 or so years revealed. As a result of that, as things came to pass according
    to that vision, I often felt that I would have preferred to have more discovery in my life rather than pre-destination. I would like to add
    that after this vision passed, I walked a few steps and there lying on a counter was an article, which I had not previouly seen, in a newspaper relating an extract of a (somewhat) similar experience by someone else.
    One can get jealous and perhaps sanctimonious about asking the Maker??? a question and not getting an answer, but after 30+ years I feel glad
    for the experience and perhaps disappointed about not getting more of a dialogue.

  204. trippticket May 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    O3!
    Got your package yesterday. Thanks very much. You’re forcing my hand to get the CD player in my computer fixed. Needed to do that anyway though. Can’t wait to listen to it. (And you look different than I would have guessed too!)

  205. Cash May 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    That was interesting but I’m confused. So you’re saying that Yankee society, because it’s interested more in maintaining the status quo, will be less successful at making changes?
    Your comment about tangling with the law was interesting. Fights in New York City generally start with “Do you have a problem” or “what are you lookin’ at” and it goes on and on before punches are actually thrown. If they are thrown. But I understand those southern boys get down to it pretty quick.
    Also, what are “O’line crossers and McNe’er do wells” And what did you mean by welcome back? Where did they go?
    When you say let’s keep some diversity in the fields did you mean genetic diversity in food crops like tomato varieties as opposed to the bland one size fits all veggies we see in grocery stores?

  206. asoka May 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    One can get jealous and perhaps sanctimonious about asking the Maker??? a question and not getting an answer, but after 30+ years I feel glad for the experience and perhaps disappointed about not getting more of a dialogue.

    Damn right I am jealous of your experience. If Maker loves us all, how come you got the experience (albeit short on dialog) and I have been denied? Could the Maker be racist?

  207. trippticket May 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Since we’re telling intense stories here, I might relate my own real quick:
    On January 21st, 2009, I was watching an interview with permaculture co-originator David Holmgren, and something he said struck me in a very profound way. It occurred to me that what we humans have done to date is completely natural, not monstrous, but that Nature will deal with us as she deals with any other biological population that has made hay while the sun shines. Our population will ultimately collapse.
    But, in the same instance, I realized that changing energetics realities for our species will also create novel behavioral patterns as we move from an expansionary to a contractionary paradigm. Biodiversity will begin to increase again. Cooperation and emergent synergies will become the new norm. Nature’s example on this matter is very clear.
    I suppose all this is based on the idea that we are NOT blessed by an omnipotent creator, that we cannot break the laws of physics and then be rewarded for that oversight. It is predicated upon the idea that we are just biology, and that we must play by the rules.
    I got busy after that. Real busy. There was a lot to learn about nature, and how to be part of it again. A lot of that “busy” might be misconstrued as “idle” by the previous paradigm, since quiet observation and participation in natural rhythms are paramount in this new education. And who knows if I’m making the right decisions for me and my family based on that education. Vlad would certainly say I’m not.
    But here’s the thing. Since that day in January last year, I believe that I am making decisions based not on cultural norms but on Nature’s guidance. If I listen closely enough. And Nature is remarkably abundant and generous in her teachings. I’m not afraid of “running out” of resources anymore. I see peak oil and peak economy as enormous blessings. I’m not scared of rainy days or not having a job. All I feel is fertility and procreative connectivity all around me. Producer, consumer, decomposer. Ad infinitum.
    It’s very empowering, very humbling, and lets me live life with a kind of robust fitness that I never dreamed of before. Sure I worry about the details, and my own chapter of the story. Everyone does. But in the long view Nature will grow and bloom, and humans will persist or they will go extinct.
    The only concern I have now, with my short-ass tenure on planet Earth, is getting on with the persisting option.

  208. trippticket May 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    “So you’re saying that Yankee society, because it’s interested more in maintaining the status quo, will be less successful at making changes?”
    I estimate that will be the case.
    “But I understand those southern boys get down to it pretty quick.”
    Not as much puffing and posturing in the south. Pecking order gets established pretty quickly.
    “Also, what are “O’line crossers and McNe’er do wells” And what did you mean by welcome back? Where did they go?”
    I’m insinuating that they (the rowdy people of Scots and Irish descent, hence the O’line crossers and McNe’er-do-wells) have been shrinking violets in a long-stable society, but that they will come back to their senses when they realize what has to be done.
    “When you say let’s keep some diversity in the fields did you mean genetic diversity in food crops like tomato varieties as opposed to the bland one size fits all veggies we see in grocery stores?”
    The 19th-century potato famine, again of Irish background, was caused by reliance on the Creamer potato variety alone. Increases in biodiversity and cultivar richness will be key to growing crops that help humans persist on Earth. It was a veiled jab at GMOs and #2 field corn.
    I suppose there was a lot of reading between the lines to be done in that post, and perhaps the seemingly minor differences between Americans and Canadians show up better in the space between the notes. Later, Cash.

  209. eightm May 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    So your performance was too poor ? you didn’t meet your sales target ? you didn’t innovate enough, or fix that bug in that program, you went home too early, etc. etc. So now you feel guilty, it is your fault, you deserve to be laid off. But this is exactly what the ruling class – capitalists and all those small business owners and even workers that are brainwashed, completely and totally brainwashed with all of this capitalist – competitiveness and meritocracy crap and BS want.
    They want you to direct your guilt and feeling of inadequacy against yourself and not against those that are stealing your right to live. They all want you to fight against yourself, to direct all the guilt and anger against yourself and not against the ruling class. It is always the workers that are at fault, always, they didn’t innovate enough, they are not competitve enough, they want too much money, they even want health care, can you imagine ? they want free health care, how insane can these workers be ? they don’t want to sell their house if they stay a week in the hospital, how completely egotistical all those workers are, how dare they actually ask to be cured for free if they get sick. WOW!
    There is a precise intentionality, and all of the economists worldwide have been brainwshed by all of this economic growth and economic competitiveness crap, to insist on economies and therefore workers having to be “competitive”, having to innovate and create “new businesses”, start ups, etc. The workers must always train themselves in new technologies, in new fields, everything constantly changes and the workers have to constantly upgrade their skills, etc. But this is a bunch of BS, this is just a system that serves to beat the workers up as much as possible, get them in guilt complexes about their skills, so you can constantly decrease their pay, lay them off, take away all benefits, etc. Blame the victim and the victims are readily willing to take all the blame, and make new debts to follow new training courses that will update their skills for the next big thing.
    South Korea had a huge economic growth from 1955 to 2000, but the workers were paid only 300 to 400 dollars a month, the ruling class would never give them what they deserved even after all the mega profits and growth the country had. They finally had to fight for any improvement, they had to strike and strike hard. The capitalists and ruling class love to se the weak suffer, love to not pay them and pay them the least possible. If you don’t create a counterforce, nothing absolutely nothing will stop them from creating a slave class.
    And talking about JAPAN, they did compete very hard with tecnology, but they ended having the “Lost Decades of JAPAN”, nonetheless. But that was always the workers fault, they didn’t innovate enough, they didn’t do enough research, they aren’t good enough. God only knows how many engineers were laid off in Silicon Valley the last 10 years, after the DOT COM bom and bust.

  210. Cupid Stunt May 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Yes, for quite a few months now I have had the growing conviction that the western world has simply run out of money, whatever that is.
    The crisis started with the scrapping of the Glass–Steagall Act and its UK equivalent, whereby real money, that was rooted in a lifetime of hard work and thrift, was allowed to be diluted with fantasy money dreamed up by the casino banks. Once the Ponzi scheme began to collapse the masterstroke was to persuade the sovereign state(s) to buy it, converting toxic waste, one more time, into something temporarily valuable, at least in outward appearance.
    Even as they play the role of financial savior, the German banks, the only “solvent” part of Europe have a ticking time bomb in their vaults, slowly going critical like the reactor at Chernobyl, due to their massive previous appetite for south European debt. Now that the phony money has infected state wealth, it is now only a matter of time before the dominoes begin to fall. Germany probably won’t save its self for reasons of historical guilt. It is ghastly to watch the wheels falling off the train. At the same time here in the UK there appears to be the biggest infrastructure investment that has happened since Victorian times. We are inhabiting parallel universes, one with a howling shit storm of collapse, the other with tehno-triumphalist normality.
    The next drop of the shoe will be the first of massive and progressive devaluations of all western currencies, including the Swiss Franc, end ending with the US Dollar, which will be the last to fall due to its position as the worlds reserve currency. Wages are likely to have to meet the Chinese half way if we are going to pretend to be anything like competitive in terms of normal trade. This will be good for neither China (decreased exports) nor the West (complete inability to pay off debt).
    As the Long Emergency ramps up another gear it is difficult not to look back and see what we achieved in the Oil Age, in terms of intellectual Endeavour with the time and resources at our disposal. Taking as a crude index of the potential, the number of lives lived can be used as a guide to the intellectual might that was available.
    The Neolithic population of Britain is believed to have been about 10,000 or the size of a very small town. They had much the same brains as us and were genetically our brothers and sisters. The era lasted for about 2,700 years and during that time about half a million people lived and contributed to the intellectual achievements of the time. They made extraordinary advances such as the domestication of cattle, the beginning of farming and the conquest of extreme environments, complex tool making and boat building.
    The population of Britain during the enlightenment rose from about 4 million in 1600 to about 16.5 million in 1850. Making reasonable assumptions about mean life expectancy the number of minds that lived and contributed was around 41 Million, including Shakespeare, Newton, Boyle, Faraday, Davey, Maxwell, Darwin, Joule, Dalton, Kelvin, Wren and Watt, to name but a few. They produced all the foundations of modern science and left things of elegance and lasting beauty. Much of the work they did was by the dim light of a candle and the food they ate was from the work of human hand and oxen.
    The oil age, thus far, lets say 1930 to 2010, will be looked back upon as the age of vulgarity and waste, probably with considerable anger by the generations that follow who will marvel at what we did. There have so far been 61 million potential geniuses, about 15 times more minds than in Newton’s time. The opportunities and education have been unimaginably better (he was the son of an illiterate farmer) but very little has been achieved. (We do have computers and have walked on the moon but most of the science was worked out for us. There really have been strikingly few advances to come out of the oil age given the opportunities that we had.
    The things that were achieved before the oil age give me hope for what will be left after the great convulsion has run its course. The great cathedral cities of England such as York and Ely were built from stable agricultural wealth by an ordered and God fearing society. Those times will one day return again.

  211. eightm May 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    “Maybe they should worry about the developer in Arizona who couldn’t sell his homes after the bubble burts. He hired dozers to come in and level them rather than putting them to “constructive” use.”
    This is called EXCESS CAPACITY; a system that is too rich, that can even build and destroy on the go, since it has so much money and wealth in it.
    Actually to achieve economic growth I fanthom most of the world will tear down millions of homes and buildings and build them back up again, like skyscrapers that must last only 5 years. I saw some google street views of Spain, wow did they build alot of houses, they got a problem of excess capacity, too much wealth on their hands, maybe it is time to raze all those buildings down, but the difference with the states is that they are all concrete sturdy brick buildings, not wood and cardboard like in the USA, where tearing down houses is easy.
    One of the major problems of this economy is the huge amount of money in the banks that have been accumulated worldwide and put all together in one giant bag. This money is profits from companies, government money, robbed money, etc, even your small bank account of 2,000 dollars. This 100 trillion dollars (maybe 1,000 trillion with derivatives, whatever they are) and counting is looking “for profit”, for “yield”, for return. And in the process is wreaking havoc all across the world. Actually the more the rich get richer, the more money in banks the more the poor majority get poorer even though the amount of money in banks is trillions upon trillions.
    What a clusterfucked economic system…

  212. eightm May 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    “There have so far been 61 million potential geniuses, about 15 times more minds than in Newton’s time. The opportunities and education have been unimaginably better (he was the son of an illiterate farmer) but very little has been achieved. ”
    Well, the low hanging fruits have all been taken, there is only so much that can be discovered and only so much that can be invented. Electricity can be discovered only once, calculus can be invented – discovered only once, etc. Actually you will find a ton of posts on these issues under http://www.ilovephilosophy.com, look for the posts of old6598 and nameta9, just to name a few.
    We hace achieved almost all that is possible, but now we will start manipulating the brain, its neural circuits, the technological singularity….
    Newly designed brains, with new circuits and drugs inside it and who knows what happens next …

  213. eightm May 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    “Maybe they should worry about the developer in Arizona who couldn’t sell his homes after the bubble burts. He hired dozers to come in and level them rather than putting them to “constructive” use.”
    This is called EXCESS CAPACITY; a system that is too rich, that can even build and destroy on the go, since it has so much money and wealth in it.
    Actually to achieve economic growth I fanthom most of the world will tear down millions of homes and buildings and build them back up again, like skyscrapers that must last only 5 years. I saw some google street views of Spain, wow did they build alot of houses, they got a problem of excess capacity, too much wealth on their hands, maybe it is time to raze all those buildings down, but the difference with the states is that they are all concrete sturdy brick buildings, not wood and cardboard like in the USA, where tearing down houses is easy.
    One of the major problems of this economy is the huge amount of money in the banks that have been accumulated worldwide and put all together in one giant bag. This money is profits from companies, government money, robbed money, etc, even your small bank account of 2,000 dollars. This 100 trillion dollars (maybe 1,000 trillion with derivatives, whatever they are) and counting is looking “for profit”, for “yield”, for return. And in the process is wreaking havoc all across the world. Actually the more the rich get richer, the more money in banks the more the poor majority get poorer even though the amount of money in banks is trillions upon trillions.
    What a clusterfucked economic system…

  214. ak May 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    There are ~6.515 barrels in a cubic yard,
    so a 100 yd. cube would contain 6.5M barrels.
    For comparison, ULCCs, the largest tankers, can carry up to 4M barrels (seems there are only 6 of those). The most common tankers, Aframax, carry up to 3/4M bbl.
    Exxon Valdez: 1/4M bbl (or more) spilled.
    World Tanker Fleet

  215. ak May 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Links become inconspicuous…
    (the Tanker Fleet above is a link)
    To continue with the cube analogy, the Exxon V only filled it up some 4 yds high…

  216. asoka May 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    “But here’s the thing. Since that day in January last year, I believe that I am making decisions based not on cultural norms but on Nature’s guidance.”
    Beautiful, Tripp. Thanks for sharing your story. Existence, the Universe, Nature, the Maker, IT, THAT, etc. All the same damn thing. All sacred, all precious. You can’t go wrong with that kind of guidance.
    Jain cosmology considers the loka, or universe, as an uncreated entity, existing since infinity, having no beginning or an end.
    And Jains are the most nonviolent people you could want to meet, sweeping their path to avoid stepping on insects. Precious life.

  217. Workingman1 May 20, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Did anyone here besides Kunstler watch Lloyd B.from Goldman Sachs going before congress?
    No such thing as a yes or no answer in this modern world. Flim flam man is all I could think. The same congressmen should be questioned on the financial crap they are responsible for. So it goes….
    On another note.
    My healthcare plan:
    Eat the worlds top ten healthiest foods
    Turkey–free range
    Tomatoes
    Berries
    Broccoli
    Salmon
    Spinach
    Oats
    Nuts
    Garlic
    Citrus
    Add a teaspoon of cod liver oil chased with blackstrap molassas.
    Get about 30 min. of excerise and you will get healthier…
    Prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    And don’t get all worked up about the sky falling.

  218. asoka May 20, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Earthquake 6.1 in Costa Rica.
    I am reconsidering whether or not to move there after all.
    Did you feel it DeeJones? It’s a small country, so I imagine you did.

  219. Vlad Krandz May 21, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    My Father used to grow Tommatoes. I knew that I had come to an evil world when I saw the wasps laying eggs into the living tommato catapillars – who would eat the catapillars alive from the inside. Life feeds on life and it can very ugly. Thus the Sages are correct: the Earth is no place for a good man ultimately. We have to make the best use of a bad bargain by spending our time getting ready for eternity. The last moment is key – it sums up your whole life and sets the direction of your afterlife. And to have a good last moment you have to live a good life.
    Part of living a good life – for a house holder, is defending your home and family. This is not just a spiritual thing or human thing, but something all species do in some way. If you are squeamish then you have to start toughening up. Here’s a start: buy a snake and start feeding it mice. And you have to watch. Hey it’s better than plucking the eyes out of kittens.
    Your point about Southerners sounds a positive note. If you are related to any of these O’s, Mc’s or Mac’s, then your chances are much better. Let them be the warriors with you as the Farmer – an ancient division of labor.
    The Jains can’t farm since it kills insects. So they became merchants and BANKERS.
    Gotcha again Soak! The Truth is hard like the pavement or my fist. Life comes from life. The Jains are pacifists so they are anti-life.

  220. asoka May 21, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    “Life comes from life. The Jains are pacifists so they are anti-life.”
    This makes no sense at all. You seem to live in a 1984 world where war is peace, lies are truth, and pacifism is anti-life.

  221. asoka May 21, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    As a child I was told man could not create life… only God could create life. Ummmm… wrong.
    Life has now been created synthetically by scientists, with great implications for health care and energy production.
    http://bit.ly/bN2p3J

  222. Workingman1 May 21, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    The USA is bankrupt-Europe is bankrupt.
    More outflow than inflow doesn’t equal prosperity no matter how they spin it.
    House of cards is starting to tumble.

  223. eightm May 21, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    This puts the final nails in the coffin of the PEAK OIL theory.
    In fact these new designed bacteria will be able to clean up the environment, so we can consume as much as possible, absorb all the excess CO2, so no more global warming, and create as much artificial oil and gasoline as we want.
    This implies :
    1) THE DEATH OF PEAK OIL
    2) THE DEATH OF GLOBAL WARMING
    The future will be a billion years of trillions of new car models, giant cars, V 24 cylinders, mega designs like the 1967 Chrysler Imperial all across this puny planet. And bridges, space exploration, etc. Billions of supersonic airlines, all across the universe. As I said, the
    THE INFINITE RESOURCE SOCIETY, THANKS TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Now put that in your pipe and smoke it.
    On another note, the fact that the amount of money accumulating in banks, by all of the huge profits of banks themselves, oil companies, technology companies, slave labor companies (they build skyscrapers in Dubai and pay the workers 200 dollars a month, if even) will have to eventually be discharged to something concrete, and physical, some big ticket items, not paper money and bits on computer screens.
    And these items can only be more skyscrapers, McMansions, Cars, Jets and a never ending array of consumer goods. This will make the earth end up in cancer mode, way too many goods for the earth to absorb, therefore, humanity must extend its reach and infinite – excess capacity to the solar system, and then the entire universe.
    You guys don’t know anything about modern corporations, have no idea of the amount of profit they are constantly making, the amount of money they are hogging up like PIGS (not those puny southern european countries that together have a GDP of not even 300 billion dollars).
    And more than 90 % of their profits are off the books, invisible, and everyone is still hammering the working class and their unions in Detroit: totally clueless.

  224. femme May 21, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Australian Dollar hits lowest level in 10 months , now 83 US cents.

  225. Jim from Watkins Glen May 21, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    Tuning in to Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday was a enlightening. Rush explained that the oil in the gulf wasn’t coming ashore because it is evaporating fast, just like gasoline does when you spill it. He also pointed out that oil contains nitrogen fertilizers and lots of carbon, both of which will be good for the wetlands. He also asserted that the federal government is intentionally letting the situation deteriorate so that they can nationalize all the land and industry the gulf coast. I’d brush the idiot off but for the fact that millions of Americans follow his words like gospel. A person I once respected just told me he’s a tea partier. He wants to “take his country back.” I assume he wants to go back to an America that tortures prisoners, illegally wiretaps its own citizenry, allows only white males to vote, and doesn’t interrupt the clergy while they’re busy molesting alter boys. Ah, the good old days!

  226. Cactus Land May 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Things are completely out of control, from Greece to Thailand, the Gulf to the Fed, the final debt bubble is about to burst, and it will get very ugly. Check out this article that describes the bubble that Bernanke created http://www.thecactusland.com

  227. eightm May 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    There is a thin hariline of difference, a nanometer of space, maybe just one bit out of various terabytes that distinguishes this pseudo-depression from explosive economic growth: once the positive feedback loop kicks in, once that 1,000 trillion dollars of pent up money starts to discharge through the system, we will end up having huge worldwide labor shortages, worldwide economy will grow 100 % a year, even though Robots will be doing all our work and Computers will be doing all our thinking, it still won’t be enough, there will be full occupation worldwide, there will be an explosion of economic activity, that will last a 10 year run.
    As soon as all those other “developing” countries such as Latin America, Indonesia, China and India go online and start increasing their demands of goods and cars and travel, etc. the system will undergo a phase transition: from depression to explosive economic growth.
    Turbocommunism plus turbocapitalism plus technology advancing at breathtaking pace will create an explosion of growth and labor. We are rich enough to use all kinds of economic configurations and systems, from communism to brute capitalism, it doesn’t matter, what matters is the huge increase in productivity that technology can furnish: actually I think the depression is a kind of lid on this pent up demand and production, something that must be controlled in order to avoid the economy from exploding from too much technology creating an infinite resource society.

  228. eightm May 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    The worlwdie economy is a chaotic system, a non linear system, even the smallest change can be amplified and create a huge change in all of the parameters, from depression to mega growth.

  229. asoka May 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    “The future will be a billion years of trillions of new car models, giant cars, V 24 cylinders, mega designs like the 1967 Chrysler Imperial all across this puny planet.”
    And buses. We will have oil for buses. Buses are the key to the future.

  230. asia May 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    according to public radio:
    2010 jan-april hottest 4 months on record!

  231. k-dog May 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Back to my bury the pipe to stop the leak idea:
    At the risk of disclosing my location I know where 20,000 giant sandbags are filled and ready to go.
    Check it out.
    Giant Sandbag Link
    There is a dam that could burst but we are safe till next winter and have all summer to replace them.
    The bags are all within walking distance of rail lines so getting them to Louisiana is a slam dunk. Dropping them on the wellhead to bury the leak would also be a slam dunk, literally.
    Using the bags would:

    1. top the leak.
    2. Employ our local illegal aliens who are currently having much trouble finding work.
    3. Clear the river bicycle trail so I can get a bit of exercise in before new bags arrive.

    Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades and when you have 20000 giant sandbags to drop on an oil leak. Actually the total number of bags is closer to 40000, Kent is not the only city down by the river.
    This is too good to be true.

  232. mthomas May 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    excellent article, thanks for posting. and I think we should not expect things to get any better in the US anytime soon. as for Europe, I thought this piece did a good job explaining why the new financial regulations won’t help fix the problems with the euro currency:
    http://www.goldalert.com/stories/The-End-of-the-Euro

  233. k-dog May 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Another thought,
    Since the sandbags would have to be replaced before winter could we get them filled with some of the black sand that is about to line Florida beaches. We have plenty of sand but the black Florida beach sand could support a small tar sand refinery in the Kent valley when our dam is finally fixed. Gasoline produced from the refinery could easily run our police, fire and ambulance fleets for an entire year. Being that our cities are going broke from reduced tax revenues and cutting having to cut essential services this would be a windfall.

  234. piltdownman May 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    I found this interesting…
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10141/1059817-455.stm
    I can imagine the argument…
    “The damn guvment should stay out of this.”
    “No, honey, I think the President is trying to help…..”
    [rummaging for meat cleaver in drawer...]
    “Here’s what I think of The President….!”

  235. k-dog May 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    piltdown,
    That’s priceless, Kudos to you.

  236. asoka May 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Running-Away Paul canceled his appearance on “Meet the Press” this Sunday. Scared to show his face. And with good reason given his untenable libertarian views.
    But he is a coward. The fact that Paul won’t answer questions about issues is a serious problem. After all, he’s not saying he’ll recuse himself from voting on any issues, so it’s not appropriate for him to refuse to answer straightforward questions on the issues.
    Rand Paul believes that the federal government blurred the lines between public and private property when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and made it illegal for private businesses to discriminate on the basis of race. Everyone needs to know that.
    Paul’s opposition to ADA has him proposing that the disabled work on the first floor and have no access to other floors of a building.
    His continued protests that he is not a racist and does not believe in racial discrimination are at odds with his libertarian philosophy opposing government intervention to promote racial equality. He is perfectly comfortable with racism. What he is upset about is government action to prevent racists from discriminating if they want to do so. Rand Paul is a coward and a hypocrite.

  237. asoka May 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
    You didn’t get mad when the president ignored the clear and timely warning that terrorists were going to hijack planes and fly them into the WTC.
    You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy in secret meetings.
    You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
    You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.
    You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
    You didn’t get mad when the weapons inspectors, who said there were no WMDs, were ignored.
    You didn’t get mad when we spent over 900 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.
    You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.
    You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
    You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
    You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
    You didn’t get mad when hundreds of thousands of people died in Iraq.
    You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
    You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.
    You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.
    You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.
    You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.
    Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans…oh hell no.

  238. k-dog May 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Asoka,
    Your post reminds me of the famous
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote.

    First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, … And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.

    So it goes, another turn of the wheel.

  239. asia May 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    asoka,
    new orleans was built below sea level.
    so ‘they’ went and rebuilt it. much like the world trade towers [make the same mistake twice if theres $ to be made].
    meanwhile in texas some folks are taking on ‘ history’ [ the lies told to the young about internationalism]:
    texas school board ….
    Though they lost on the president’s name, conservatives scored a string of victories late Thursday, including a requirement that public school students in Texas evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.
    McLeroy, one of the board’s most outspoken conservatives, offered the amendment requiring students to evaluate efforts by global organizations including the U.N. to undermine U.S. sovereignty, saying they threatened individual liberty and freedom.
    NOTICE HOW MANY TIMES THE MEDIA CAN USE CONSERVATIVE OR SIMILAR IN A FEW SENTENCES!

  240. k-dog May 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    And if I may respectfully borrow your theme for a moment while I ride my own hobbyhorse.
    You did not find it alarming that having to go through an entire mile of ocean to fill ones gas tank might mean something.
    You did not get mad when BP’s efforts to stop the oil leak seemed to be more concerned about trying to preserve a hundred million dollar hole in the ground than in actually stopping a leak which could be easily buried but if buried could never be used again.
    Ships floating above the leak might remind a sea creature of those alien spacecraft in the movie “Independence Day” if they watched cable (and had big brains).
    Does anybody think a puny seafloor wellhead could continue leaking after being covered with a pile of sandbags a hundred feet thick.
    But hey, whats an Exon Valdez every three days in the greater scheme of things. BP has a right to preserve their investment.
    Or did they forfeit that right when through negligence caused the accident to happen in the first place?
    J’accuse

  241. k-dog May 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Should have been reply to Asoka not to myself.

  242. asia May 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    and more on government and taxes..hows this?
    George Russell
    - FOXNews.com
    A controversial United Nations plan to impose consumer taxes on such things as Internet activity and paying bills online in order to drastically restructure the world drug industry hit a wall of disagreement on Friday, and is likely dead — for now
    A controversial United Nations plan to impose consumer taxes on such things as Internet activity and paying bills online in order to drastically restructure the world drug industry hit a wall of disagreement on Friday, and is likely dead — for now.
    Delegates to the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly could not reach agreement on the plan — first reported by Fox News — to marry “innovative financing” for global public health with a radically reorganized research, development, production and distribution of medicines around the world, putting greater emphasis on drugs for communicable diseases in poor countries.

  243. asoka May 22, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    DETROIT — Chrysler Group LLC gave a big boost to the battered Michigan economy Friday when it announced plans to add about 1,100 workers to help build the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    The company made the announcement at a Detroit factory as it celebrated the start of Grand Cherokee production. Chrysler said it expects strong sales of the new sport utility vehicle, which is due in showrooms next month. Almost all the workers will be new hires.

  244. diogen May 22, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    Good compendium of factoids from our political un-reality, Asoka. Are these times we’re living in bizarre or what?

  245. diogen May 22, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Asoka, this may be good in the short term for a few thousand folks in Michigan, but another nail in the coffin of American auto industry and American energy policy in the long term. Instead of Jeep Grand Cherokee they should be building Fiat Cinquecento by the millions, or similar American-designed, small, high-quality, highly energy efficient cars. They haven’t learned the lessons of a near-death experience…

  246. world awry May 22, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.
    The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.
    The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

  247. eightm May 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    The infinitely programmable machine. That is what society is, that is what Man is: programmable in any way immaginable. Not only is his mind – brain totally and absolutely artificial, an invention, the most arbitrary connection of circuits the universe has, but it can be organized, progammed and connected in any of millions of possible ways: emotions to memories, to fake cultural items, to any kind of cause and effect that mind wants to invent. Even memory and the patterns it discenrs as laws of reality, or laws of physics are imaginary, an invention, a quirk of nothing.
    So this matter that self organizes on the surface of the earth, this matter made up of “free willonium”, the free will of individuals, each individual as an atom in an arbitrarily programmed and organized system, can evolve and interact in any possible way: it is without laws, aside from the laws temporarily imposed on the minds of the atoms. The idea that only a society with this particular economic model with “profits” and “investments” is something fixed, something taken for granted as the laws of physics and not some arbitrary cultural artifact, is insane.
    In fact the present economic system is greatly blocking all the potential the system has to create what we think is “wealth” for everyone: just to follow these stone age – idiotic laws of money and profit the system is blocking all its potential and excess capacity from expressing itself.
    We are atoms in a mass – energy configuration on the earth that self organizes according to unkown and unknowable laws.
    This particular kind of matter made up of people or society items (wherever the distinct items start and end), is actually matter – energy that is trying to escape the laws of physics and seems to have been doing a good job at it.

  248. Funzel May 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Read Schopenhauer.

  249. Pepper Spray May 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Now might be a good time for people to start arming themselves. There are options to carring a gun; pepper spray for instance or a mini stun gun.
    What ever you decide however, it is better to be prepaired than to be caught defenseless when people start behaving badly.
    http://www.stungunstopepperspray.com/

  250. DeeJones May 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Yeah we felt it from 50 miles away, but it was more like a 3+ here. Read in the CR papers that even though it lasted for almost a minute, there was actually very little damage. Some groceries thrown off the shelves near the epic.
    So, don’t you worry your little head Mr A. Felt worse in So Cal, and they are due for the Big One.
    Say, did you know that Florida has black sand beaches, just like Hawaii? And no volcanos!

  251. DeeJones May 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    BTW: “Put that in your pipe & smoke it” 8-mile out
    OKEY-DOKEY…. But you gotta tell us just where you are getting that super, mind-bending shit you are smoking. Its GOTTA be the best.
    I still think that you are sitting up ina grow room in Humbolts somewhere, surrounded by hydroponic buds, just sitting and a-smoking….
    I mean, shit, if you can smoke that stuff, AND belive in perpetual motion too, you just gotta share man.
    Don’t Bogart!

  252. CaptSpaulding May 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Being neither a Republican nor a Democrat, I have no ideological flag to wave. It seems to me that Bush & the Republicans fucked things up to a fare- thee-well and people voted for Obama just out of a sense of relief in having a president wasn’t a moron. I voted for Bush his first term without knowing that much about him. I realized about three years in, that I had made a serious mistake. I believe that the events of those 8 years proved me right. Neither Obama or Jesus Christ could come in and save the country after the mess that Bush left it in. That being said, I’m no particular fan of hardcore Liberals either. There has to be a middle ground to operate from. It makes no more sense to let Wall street run amuck, than it makes to allow millions of Illegal immigrants into the country. Someone (I forget who) said “Moderation in everything but the pursuit of liberty”.

  253. Laura Louzader May 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Would McCain have been one bit better? I mean, please.
    Most votes for Obama were not votes FOR him so much as against the McCain and the party of Bible-thumping, pro-waste, pro-metastatic suburban growth, pro-fake money ignoramuses he represented.
    What we now know is that there is no substantive difference between our major political parties, or their candidates. We now know that there is no political solution for our problems and that political posturing will not help us get through the shift that is upon us.

  254. asoka May 23, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Laura said: “We now know that there is no political solution for our problems…”
    So, you are saying problems created by humans are not solvable by humans?
    Our current national politicians (Representatives & President) are capable of coming up with solutions.
    Case in point, the financial crisis is being addressed by the financial reform legislation just passed by Congress (soon to be signed by Obama). It addresses several problems that caused the recent financial crisis.
    Specifically, the financial reform bill contains
    Sen. Al Franken’s amendment regulating ratings agencies. Called the “Restore Integrity To Credit Ratings,” Franken’s amendment would establish a regulatory board to select the credit rating firm that issues a security’s first credit rating.
    Sen. Susan Collins’ capital requirements amendment
    passed unanimously and would require regulators to take into account a financial institution’s risk when assessing capital requirements. Collins’ amendment would also set capital requirements for bank holding companies that would be as strict as those for insured banks (reported by Reuters).
    Rep. Ron Paul’s partial “Audit the Fed” bill
    became part of the House financial reform bill and calls for an audit of the Federal Reserve Board’s actions during the financial crisis.
    Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s ban on derivatives trading
    would force banks to spin-off their derivatives trading desks because of the role the financial products played in the financial crisis.
    These provisions addressing ratings agencies, capital requirements, auditing the Fed, and derivatives trading will soon become the law of the land (in addition to consumer credit protections to prevent bank ripoffs)… and these actions are evidence that political solutions are possible, Laura.

  255. observer May 23, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    From the May 17 New Yorker, p. 47:
    Google is interested in energy mainly because the company’s server farms, along with the rest of the Internet, use a huge and rapidly growing amount of power. Searching, accessing, and storing an ever increasing volume of Web pages . . . and everything else that can be found online requires electricity, and most of that electricity is currently generated by burning coal. The Internet’s energy and carbon footprints now probably exceed those of air travel . . . perhaps by as much as a factor of two, and they are growing faster than those of almost all other human activities. In February, the federal government made the decision to allow a Google subsidiary to participate directly in energy markets, on an equal footing with utilities.

  256. asoka May 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    From the Washington Post:
    “The Obama administration’s campaign to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan’s second-largest city is a go-for-broke move that even its authors are unsure will succeed.”
    Duh. Of course it will not succeed. How much chance of success would an invading army have to drive the Baptists out of Atlanta?
    The USA is in Afghanistan illegally. The bombing, invading, and occupying of Afghanistan (for how many years now?) with all the civilians we have murdered is both illegal and immoral.
    But maybe that won’t become clear until around 2020 when we are being driven out of Afghanistan.
    My nephew is scheduled to be shipped out to Afghanistan. My nephew will become a war criminal the moment he steps foot on Afghan soil to prop up a corrupt drug-ridden government there.

  257. asia May 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Yes, to me the big laugh is the ‘pro immigration, sustainablity crowd’..hows that 4 oxymoron.
    the so cal govt vehicles that say ‘ zero emissions’, ‘green’ cars.
    my plumber groused about fridays ‘ world citizenship awards’ at santa monica college.
    said he ‘ at the 2 year school that got rid of its auto mechanics department they have money for global citizenship awards’.

  258. Workingman1 May 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Bush certainly f— up everything with two cowboy wars. Obama is just giving the addict(bloated unsustainable government)the phony paper money(the drug) more until the day of reckoning. He has no clue either, just can put two sentences together unlike Bush.
    Governor of NJ–has balls–actually trying to cut the government down to size–people hate him for it, but it really the only medicine and realistic way to continue. Lets see if they riot in the streets on Newark or Camden–At least he is not a liar….

  259. diogen May 23, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    >The USA is in Afghanistan illegally
    Asoka, I’m so glad to have something I can agree with you on, if not in substance then in spirit.
    What’s your insight into the possible reasons Obama may have for his (incomprehensible) adherence to this incomprehensible war?

  260. ak May 24, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    58 Comments total as of 2010-05-23 17:46 (Pacific)
    More than 1 comment by:

    21 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asoka
    20 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp diogen
    12 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asia
    12 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp eightm
    11 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Vlad Krandz
    9 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp k-dog
    9 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp trippticket
    8 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp DeeJones
    7 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Funzel
    7 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp welles
    5 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Cash
    5 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp The Mook
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp cleitophon
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Goat1080
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp messianicdruid
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp miloromano
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp dale
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp den111
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Giuseppe Rossi
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp mean dovey cooledge
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Workingman1
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp ak
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp budizwiser
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp CaptSpaulding
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Jersey New
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Jim from Watkins Glen
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp MINDfool
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Mr. Purple
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp ozone
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp piltdownman
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Prelapsarian Press
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp shecky
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Slacktivism
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Smokyjoe

  261. ak May 24, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    that’s 258 comments, btw

  262. k-dog May 24, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    ak
    Your postscript about that being 258 comments puts YOU on the list and this reply bumps me up one.
    your point? If you don’t have one how bout this:


    The rivers are full of crocodile nasties
    and He who made kittens put snakes in the grass.
    He’s a lover of life but a player of pawns —
    yes, the King on His sunset lies waiting for dawn
    to light up His Jungle
    as play is resumed.
    The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune.

    Jethro Tull

    emphasis mine

  263. tomus June 2, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    Um, I’m a newbie here. Very unimpressed with “What Happened?” High School clever with lots of innuendo, hyperbole, etc., way short on specifics and suggestions. Hope it gets better. . . .

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