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A Christmas Orphan

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Manhattan Gothic

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Taper (Not)

     Remember, the doleful, lonesome figure of Ben Bernanke stands (or slumps) at the top of a pyramid of obfuscation so high, broad, and massive that all the debt serfs in a history of the future will not avail to reconstruct its hypothecated contours. When the world picks itself up from the smoldering ruins of the financial landscape currently being rigged to blow, nobody will be able to explain how the modern world collateralized itself out of existence.

     What a set up. Bernanke gave the financial markets five months of the heebie-jeebies punctuated by a big fake-out and so the consensus finally perceives a giant green-light for resumed asset inflation. That’s why I like standing outside the consensus. Assets can inflate all they like on their way to the biggest train wreck of organized money ever recorded. Dow 20,000 is accelerating on a parallel track with the complete loss of confidence in paper representations of wealth. Enjoy your Facebook shares, or at least the digital ghost of them on your iPhone screen, while they’re fluorescing.

     It was perfectly obvious all spring and summer that the Federal Reserve could not neck down its purchases of US Treasury debt paper and bundled mortgage swindles without causing the equivalent of the 1942 Boston Coconut Grove nightclub fire in the financial markets. But not pretending to contemplate the “taper” would have entailed an admission that the so-called economy was on artificial life support juice. That would have suited neither the politicians and their political economists, who clung to their “recovery” story, nor the 1 percenters who were the direct beneficiaries of the wealth transfer activated by the life support liquidity juice injections.

     The net result is a return to the grand theme of pretend, with an increasingly dark outlook for the consequences, which will be the repudiation of what is officially called “money.” Meanwhile, congress now convenes to debate the question of extend, which can only add a frisson to the spectacle of pretend. The problem with these best laid plans of mouse-like creatures is that shit happens.

     Those distant rumbles of thunder are the audible traces of the destruction at the margins, certainly out of earshot of those at the very center. The margins is the place where nations, towns, institutions, families, and individual lives are ground down into a fine entropic powder of broken dreams. From the standpoint of the blogger-journalist, the story has been about how the destruction travels from the margins to the center. The center has been able to protect itself so far with one swindle after another, at the expense of the poor schnooks at the margins. The swindles are so abstruse and impenetrable that the schnooks don’t have a clue what is hitting them. At least so far.

     Faced with such a quandary, the schnooks may opt for political suicide, which is apparently the program of both major parties. Out of this sort of tragic muddle, Great Men emerge to galvanize the potential energy of the swindled multitudes. Recent models of this archetype are not so reassuring: Lenin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ayatollah Khomeini. What history has in store for the USA is probably something that could only be cooked up on TV. One can hope that it turns out to be comedy, not something breaking bad.

          Of course the inverse of the idiotic American exceptionalism story lies beyond the fact that were not as special as we think. There is a whole vast world beyond the podium of Ben Bernanke and in that big world other mouse-like creatures are working sedulously to take advantage of our exceptional fecklessness. Distracted by everything from same-sex marriage to Monday Night Football, we don’t pay attention to the attrition. They’ve got our gold now, and despite the theory that gold has no more intrinsic value than $100 Federal Reserve notes, you can bet that before this is all over it will buy whatever food and fuel remains in the ground.

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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.

177 Responses to “Taper (Not)” Subscribe

  1. ubs September 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I would like to ask people here for help with locating a picture. I believe a came across this picture on this website. The picture consisted of a grid of tiles. Each tile showed one step in the gradual transformation of the North American landscape from the natural state to an urban slum.

      • Karah September 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

        I would label the first scene 1840 and the last scene 1970.

        Am I close to accurate?

        • Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

          Close. It’s the other end of the decade.

          R. Crumb’s “A Short History of America” poster.

          Arguably cartoonist Robert Crumb’s most popular and most timeless image, this poster shows the gradual metamorphosis of a single plot of land from virgin wilderness to urban decay in 12 panels. It first appeared in black & white in 1979 in the ecological magazine Co-Evolutionary Quarterly and in Snoid Comics. It was rearranged and colored by Peter Poplaski in 1981 and quickly became Kitchen Sink Press’ best-selling poster. After the popular but depressing 12-panel poster went out of print, Crumb added three panels to answer the “What next?” question posed in his original final 12th panel. In this 15-panel version Crumb depicts three possible futures:

          a.) Lower left shows the “Worst case scenario: ecological disaster;

          b.) Center: “The fun future: Techno fix on the march!”

          c.) Lower right: “The ecotopian solution.”


  2. sevenmmm September 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    DOW(n)or Gold at 20,000? 20,000 what? I do know that the DOW(n) is represented by Points. Then what are the value of the points?

  3. Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    “What history has in store for the USA is probably something that could only be cooked up on TV. One can hope that it turns out to be comedy, not something breaking bad.”

    Since our host made a pop culture reference that I don’t recall any of the rest of us referring to in comments, I’ll go ahead and do so.

    I looked at the list of Emmy nominees up for awards on Sunday’s broadcast and found very few with any recognition of reality other than the crime shows, such as “Breaking Bad” and the political shows, such as “The Newsroom” and “House of Cards.” On the other hand, I found lots of political shows in all categories, drama, comedy, miniseries, and variety shows. I was amazed.

    The nominated political shows overwhelmed the genres that might examine a dystopian future–fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Even the nominated representatives of those genres didn’t examine the future, just the present and past. This isn’t like the movies, where dystopia is big business. I guess “Walking Dead,” “Revolution,” and “Falling Skies” need more advocates. I couldn’t even see sustainability-related documentaries or reality shows other than “Deadliest Catch,” again unlike the movies where sustainability themes show up in documentary nominees. Looks like the movies are more in touch with the possibility of collapse and what could cause it than TV. If so, any future for the US cooked up on TV (and thought worthy of recognition) will be much more escapist than one devised for the big screen. Don’t we have an escapist enough society and politics as it is?


    • ozone September 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      But… but, isn’t teevee our bestest friend and steerer to right-thinkin’?
      Just look at all the fine products we’ve been introduced to because of it! (White tornadoes, stronger than dirt, scrubbing bubbles, everyday low prices, built ford tough, ask your doctor about Disney vacations and Huggies… heck, we could go on all day.)


      ” Don’t we have an escapist enough society and politics as it is?” -N.V.

      Absolutely not. I think there should be spots (perhaps 3/hr.) for shots, to be pounded on cue, so we could all enjoy mass intoxication and feel we were part of a truly american collective experience. A loud 3 second beep would indicate the pour and pound interval with an enticing picture of a favorite intoxicant shown on-screen. “Spots for Shots”. I like it, it’s cute and efficacious in obliterating any faded remnants of critical thought.
      –’tis a consummation, devoutly to be wished.

      • BleatToTheBeat September 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

        See, they only think that they will not miss polyester, gore-tex, honey bees, or D’Addario guitar strings.

        I’m gonna seriously miss the Dairy Quees on Parnell Avenue.

        You can’t get MILK at the Dairy Queen.

        I SWEAR! I already asked them.

        So WHAT exactly is your ice cream made of?

        Lilly Pads.

        Lotsa froggies.

        • Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

          “I’m gonna seriously miss the Dairy Quees on Parnell Avenue.”

          That looks familiar. Now, where have I read that before? Oh, yes.

          “I miss the honky tonks,
          Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
          you got it, you got it

          And as things fell apart
          Nobody paid much attention
          you got it, you got it

          I dream of cherry pies,
          Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
          you got it, you got it

          We used to microwave
          Now we just eat nuts and berries
          you got it, you got it

          This was a discount store,
          Now it’s turned into a cornfield
          you got it, you got it

          Don’t leave me stranded here
          I can’t get used to this lifestyle”


      • Neon Vincent September 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

        “I think there should be spots (perhaps 3/hr.) for shots, to be pounded on cue, so we could all enjoy mass intoxication and feel we were part of a truly american collective experience.”

        Spots for shots on television to get people drunk as part of a collective national experience? You’re describing something that already exists, the beer commercials during the Super Bowl. It’s one of the few things that doesn’t need sex to sell it, although it helps.


        • ozone September 26, 2013 at 8:39 am #

          Not having watched the ‘Bowl in years, I had forgotten that omnipresent aspect! Now we just need more of same and we’ll all feel better about ‘how things are going’. Slainte! ;)

  4. Panic September 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Jim Kunstler, I prefer the format of yr site pre redesign.

  5. Deblonay September 26, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    If the American people have been able to stop the warmmongers in the USA from an attack on Syria they have done themselves and the world a favour
    No more US interventions in the Middle East would be a good start
    …..and the less money spent on the miltary and the US Empire the better

  6. Arn Varnold September 26, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    Just listened to a very interesting podcast at the fromalpha2omega;

    It’s an interview with Nicole Foss from the Automatic Earth; well worth a listen. In fact a must listen, IMO. Cheers

    • ozone September 26, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      Thanks, Arn, Will do.
      Cheers backatcha!

  7. Deblonay September 26, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    he NY website “Mondoweiss” which might be described as a leftist NY Jewish site,has an excellent coverage of the efforts of a mixed bag of rightists…including such lunatics as Bolton … to oppose any talks between the Iranian President Rouhnani now at the UN and the US Government
    There will be a meeting between the F>Ministers off bpth countries later this week

    The anti-Iranians who have the backing of the zionist Lobby and many Republicans make no bones about their wish for a war with Iran…which accords with Netanyahu’s usual policies in the region


  8. ozone September 26, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Off the cuff:
    Someone had asked for other sites of the Cassandrian types; neglected to add this one:


    This has a HUGE variety of content and opinion is more pessimistic in tone than JHK (in general). More on the “doomer porn” side of things, and they include JHK’s weekly essays, so you can see that all Cassandra’s are welcome and appreciated.

    • ozone September 26, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      Oops! Well, you can parse the meaning anyhoo. Sorry.

    • Arn Varnold September 26, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      The doom and gloom club is easy to join for those lazy souls who have no ability at analysis, from information taken in.
      I prefer to look at the day-to-day reality; trends, general reaction and most importantly; my own assessment of said information and an accurate view of what is.
      Do not, for one minute, underestimate the power of the government to control outcomes.
      The trick, IMO, is having an idea about when that control will fail.
      And fail it will; eventually.
      It’s going to take a while, because everything is still working pretty well and not too difficult to control.
      I think it will be obvious when things actually start to go shit…
      At least for those paying attention…

      • ozone September 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

        I concur, entirely.
        (I was once severely castigated for suggesting that someone sift through some provided/linked info to find what corroborated their personal experience, as though that poor, muddled dear could not possibly do that for themselves. It was both comical and outrageous!)

  9. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I agree with panic – the old format was better. Although the absence of Troll is wonderful.

    And this is a test – last night I had a post ready to go, but when I hit “submit comment” I got back a message, “you must be logged in to submit a comment.”

    And naturally, the comment was lost.

    BTW, panic, are you asia/anti-dod?

    OK – remember to “copy” the comment, first.

  10. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Good reading lists, guys. Don’t forget to glance @ http://www.fredoneverything.net/ , once a week or so.

    He’s an ex-Marine, ex-DC crime reporter, and US ex-pat, living in Mexico with a (young) Mexican wife and child. One thing he offers is a view of life from “outside the matrix” of a US-centric system. I think a lot of us fall into the trap of forgetting how dominant American culture is, even (especially) though we live inside of it.

    • BleatToTheBeat September 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      I hope that Monsieur “Fred” is having a good time living in the environmental “HELL” that is Mexico.

      Like with many posters here, doncha wonder what they’re leaving out?

      Don’t like comments about the environment?

      Let’s see how long you can live without it.

      If you think that the American EPA is a waste of time, go ahead, move to Mexico.

      This was once a “Peak Oil” blog.

      Now it’s about money, money, money, money, money, money….


  11. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I also like John Mauldin for economic analysis. This week his contributor for “Outside the Box” takes a hard look at the “taper caper,” which also attracted JHK’s attention.

    “….and just plain sad … is the culmination of the bureaucratic capture of the Federal Reserve, not by the banking
    industry which it regulates, but by academic economists and acolytes of government paternalism. These are
    true believers in too clever by half academic theories such as management of forward expectations and in the
    soft authoritarianism of Mandarin rule. They are certain that they have both a duty and an ability to regulate
    the global economy in the best interests of the rest of us poor benighted souls.”
    http://www.mauldineconomics.com/images/uploads/pdf/2013_09_24_OTB.pdf Some of Mauldin’s stuff is behind a paywall, though his bi-weekly letters are not.

  12. Superfishal September 26, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Interested on those opining here…Please define “American Exceptionalism”….as you interpret it….

    • Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Americans viewed themselves as a new creation, free from the wars and intrigues of Europe. From a European perspective, Americans threw away their heritage boldly and with two hands. So when the wilderness was tamed – there goes that whole identity. When the West was won, so long to the gunfighter and cowboy. And so on, the only thing remaining were caricatures and cartoon versions of the previous identities. Now we are businessmen and gangsters. Even the late identities of entrepreneur and worker are being phased out.The polis and its citizens – these are beyond us since we threw them away to be “innocent” in the Wilderness. But the Serpent of our own lower nature was waiting for us.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

        I forgot to conclude: we were and are exceptionally foolish. As Burke said to the French on their Revolution: You have thrown away everything you ever were, so now with what will you carry forward?

  13. Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    John Adams said, Posterity, guard what we have bequeathed to you. You will never know what it cost my generation.

    Here are some of the costs. Freedom isn’t Free. Free Men aren’t equal. Equal Men aren’t Free.


    Senator Cruz read some of this during his filibuster.

  14. Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Rush: Nixon is hated to this day by the Left for exposing Alger Hiss, a Communist high up in the State Department.

  15. rube-i-con September 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    You think it is any different in Europe or South America? There’s no drug addicts, no alcoholics, no gambling and no prostitution in these places? Why single out America? A little holier-than-thou, Welles?

    i did not say anything about south america and didn’t mean to imply anything. don’t go seeing ghosts where there aren’t any. brazil sux in many ways, which i’ve repeatedly said. it’s ok in some ways, and it’s good to great in some ways.

    hell, i’m tyred of saying this over and over. let this sink in please.

    the casinos in the US are the pits and dregs of society there, literally and figuratively.

    peace peaceniks

  16. Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm #


    Matt was a drug user and small time dealer. One of his killers was also one of his lovers. So the whole thing is something far more mundane than presented: a lover’s spat and/or a drug deal gone bad. But because it was Wyoming, the New Elite, the Dan Savage’s of the world, got to slander all of Wyoming and by extension, all of Conservative, White America.

  17. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Here’s what the ArchDruid has to say this week concerning American Exceptionalism:

    “….implosion of the civil religion of Americanism is taking place right now as a consequence of the collision between what America thinks it stands for and what it’s all too plainly become; and the implosion of the civil religion of progress is arguably not too far off, as the gaudy dream of infinite knowledge and power through technology slams face first into the hard limits of a finite planet and a solar system uninterested in fueling human fantasies.” http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2013/09/which-way-to-heaven.html

    Sadly, I believe he is probably correct about this.
    Wow – what might have been.

    • Arn Varnold September 27, 2013 at 12:38 am #

      Wow – what might have been.
      Brings tears to my eyes when I consider all that could have been…

    • Janos Skorenzy September 27, 2013 at 3:55 am #

      It feels almost as bad as when Jody has to kill his fawn Flag in The Yearling.

  18. progress4what September 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    “Popular Science closes down its comments section. Too much conversation destroys manufactured consensus. Things like Global Warming and Darwinian Evolution must be accepted as holy writ evidently. ” ,..vlad/janos…

    Yeah, I actually caught that announcement on the day it was made.

    I’m concerned. I think LOTS of publishers and writers do not like their comment sections – for a variety of reasons. Fox News got rid of theirs over a year ago. My local paper put theirs behind a paywall, which killed it.

    And I really believe comment sections could be a driver of a better future. I’ve learned a whole lot from this one on CFN. It’s possible that comment sections are uniting intelligent voting citizens in a way that may redirect The Powers That Be. Certainly – first on immigration “reform” and then on Syria – there was more opposition than TPTB expected, or were willing to countenance.

    That said – the comment threads of Pop. Science aren’t an appropriate place to rehash evolution, for example. That’s settled science. To go against that a few times is OK, perhaps. To roil a thread with it repeatedly – is counterproductive Trolling.

    As most always, I didn’t have to look long at the comment thread you posted, Vlad, to find a poster to express my exact feelings:

    “The heckling trolls have a victory. Maybe the comment section gurus could give us a “report troll” button, and if a couple dozen people press it in a short period, the troll and his comments go away. Typically there are two trolls at a time, feeding off of one another, mucking the place up with bile and irrelevancies.”
    ….commenter to Vlad’s Yahoo link……

    • Janos Skorenzy September 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

      Evolution may be settled but not its modus operandi. Darwinism cannot explain the half of it. And random mutations? Not enough time for the progress that has been made. There is a guiding hand, Prog to put it in theistic terms.

  19. BackRowHeckler September 27, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I found out where some of this $85 Billion per month QE Swag is ending up. It seems our state treasurer has this guy who drives her around, a state employee, who is paid $90,000 Gs a year for this important and demanding job. In fact all the top state officials travel around regally, in Limos with tinted windows, surrounded with companies of state troopers, some with more medals pinned on their chest than a general in Idi Amin’s Air Force. When they show up for an event you’d think Caesar Augustus himself was arriving. Then the best course of action then, when you see their grand and royal calvacade headed your way, is to get the hell out of there.

    In 1992 State U built a new arena for the basketball team. That was 21 years ago. But now, already, it is obsolete, and a new one is planned. Price tag: $500 million. Meantime, ground has been broken for a practice basketball court — just for practice — and that’s going to cost a trifling $50 million.

    Did anybody see Charlie Rose’s interview of Bill Clinton and Al Gore on PBS? He really went to the mat with them, asking tough and challenging questions. Gore went on about global warming of course, but Rose failed to ask him about his $500 million bank account, his private Jet Stream Aircraft, his yachts on the Tennessee and Potomac Rivers, and his stately mansion. It was one big Love Fest.

    Hey BTBill, how about JHK this week mentioning the 1944 Coconut Grove fire in Boston. My father in law, who is passed away now, was there and managed to get out. I’m surprised that event is still remembered and referenced.


    So you can see we are wrecking

    • Arn Varnold September 27, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Charlie Rose plays powder puff ball; not worth the listen or my very valuable time…

    • beantownbill. September 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      The Coconut Grove fire has been permanently introduced into Boston’s folklore. I’ve read several accounts, and it was a truly horrendous event, more than the awful Boston molasses tidal wave that killed around 16 people in the 1910′s.

      In a related story, my grandparents were in the great Chelsea fire of 1908.

      • beantownbill. September 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

        This was supposed to be a. Reply to Marlin.

    • stelmosfire September 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

      Marlin, my wife grew up next to a fellow who worked the big top this day this day.
      Needless to say he did not talk about it much.

  20. Reagan September 27, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    America was exceptional, until the democratic-liberalism of the 2th century set the stage for our downfall. The Federal Reserve Act, signed by a Democrat, gave away our money, so that instead of real money such as gold and silver as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, we have fake notes and countless trillions of digital dollars moving around computers. The democrats gave us the IRS, social security, medicare, medicaid, and now obamacare. All are elephants sitting on a mule and will break us. The “great society” of the democrats has shown up to be an immoral, degenerate, selfish, hate and violence filled society — nothing great there. I will add that the republicans have gone along with all of it and only a few have fought it. To put it simply, the democrats have bankrupted the country morally and spiritually, while the republicans have bankrupted the country financially, each assisting the other. It’s good to see people like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul stand up for something, and I wish some of the democrats would join them. Reagan out.

  21. beantownbill. September 27, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    To Procon and Arn Varnold:

    Any idiot with a thinking brain ought to know that you can’t have unlimited growth with finite resources. To me, this is as plain as the nose on your face (including the Chinese man who had an extra nose grown on his forehead).

    The sane course of action is strict moderation in consumption of said existing resources while extensively exploring new sources. For instance, we have thorium, we have a vast supply of hydrogen in water, and a near inexhaustible amount of energy from the sun. The asteroid belt contains a huge supply of organic material which could be utilized for fuel, fertilizers and plastics.

    Yes, to many this seems like pie-in-the-sky, an adolescent fantasy. But this attitude is only the result of the meager efforts the world has made to develop these resources. If the past few generations had undertaken the extreme effort required to make alternate resources available, then the idea of such would not seem so childish.

    I, too, cry for what might have been (but could yet be). I realized we blew it way, way back in the 1950′s, when I was a boy and wondered why we didn’t take over the world right after WW2 and enforced a Pax Americana. Take our space program. NASA’s annual budget is what, $21 or $23 billion? That’s barely over one week’s worth of the Fed’s monthly QE purchasing, which is used to help out failed TBTF banks. That is sick!

    • ozone September 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      I highly recommend another perspective. Place your attitudes in neutral and read this all the way through without taking any personal umbrage and your perception may be enhanced, maybe not. Give it a try anyway:


      • Janos Skorenzy September 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

        And he’s for open borders too. He said he wished he could live to see the Hispanic/Asian culture that will evolve on the West Coast. Did you know that he actually considers himself a Druid? That’s it’s not just a handle? The real Druids fought the Romans for their people. He finds our conquest thrilling. I asked him why he didn’t stick with the Golden Dawn type magick instead of falsely becoming a Druid, or truly becoming a pseudo-Druid. Guess he calculated the pay off from the Green Movement and made a bottom line type decision.

  22. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Well, HELL! I just posted up some thoughts about PopSci and it freakin’ disappeared!

    I’m running out of patience with this place.

    Bill, I’ll read your reply to me later. Right now, color me pissed OFF and leaving the office.

  23. nsa September 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    We here in Langley know everything about you and it is all perfectly legal……and you know absolutely nothing about us. This was all too easy…….no resistance at all. Of course, if you do not like it…..there is nothing to stop you from buying some good healthy GMO seed and attempting to feed yourself……..maybe supplement your diet by poaching off a deer or feral cat…..

  24. rube-i-con September 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    as the gaudy dream of infinite knowledge and power through technology slams face first into the hard limits of a finite planet and a solar system uninterested in fueling human fantasies.

    i love how these armchair philosophes, profiting from the sweat and ingenuity of millennia of thought and action, living a life of unfathomable comfort, communicating effortlessly & instantaneously across time and space, free from disease, war, starvation, free to engage in dialogue without repercussion, living longer than their forebears dared dream and in wonderful health, and on the cusp of lifespans averaging 100 years, with access to a variety of foods never before available, with the ability to use technology (the internet) to indulge any mental fantasy or earn a living without breaking a sweat online, avail themselves of virtually unlimited scientific and othe knowledge at the touch of a few buttons, free to travel to outer space or any corner of the earth at a moment’s notice, conclude that infinite knowledge is a dream, and that technology does not confer power upon us.

    it obviously doesn’t, concluded the archdruid, as he instructed his computer to “Press” by merely thinking the command, and broadcast his message to 124,000,000 subscribers living on Earth, the Moon and the orbiting Gaia Habitable Space Station.

    peace peaceniks

  25. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Yeah, Ozone, I like the ArchDruid too, in the main – and this week’s post is one of his best.

    He does have a definitely non-Atheistic take on the human condition though. You overlooking that, O3? :-)

    And with a nod to Janos – the only time JMG and I crossed up was over out-of-control US immigration. He seems to think it is inevitable, and (maybe) even deserved. He seems to look with some glee at the prospect of Spanish (culture?) replacing English as the US descends, for example. I, of course, think this should be opposed while it can be opposed. He told me I couldn’t use his webspace to recruit for that opposition, as was/is his right.

    • ozone September 28, 2013 at 10:10 am #

      He treats “atheism” as just another religious construct and doesn’t beat his commenters over the head with it.
      (BTW, our overhead is nothing; why would that be? ;))

      Regarding the resource/climate wars (exacerbated/caused by over-population), they’re just getting started and the resulting migration of untold millions will overwhelm any of the current ‘policies’.
      Desperate measures will become a very unpleasant norm when this all gears up

  26. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Bill, I agree with you.

    But I don’t think the lost opportunities can be redeemed. Not unless there is some master plan for a marvelous techno-future that can accommodate 7+ billion humans on Earth with nearly 1/2 BILLION of them INSIDE the US by 2050.

    If that plan exists, somebody might want to let some goddam’ hints of it start slipping out. Crickets and decay are all I’m seeing right now.

  27. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Speaking of the ArchDruid, I see Trippticket posting over there occasionally.

    Speaking of CFN, Trippticket used to be one of our better posters. He tells me that he cannot get logged in to post on the new CFN format. ???

    I have spoken to Tripp by email, by landline, and in person; by the way. They are doing well, and are making a move out of the tent, to a farmhouse on some acreage. You can check up on him at

  28. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    So, either this weird comment software, the NSA, or something – is keeping me from making a post about Popular Science.


  29. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Because I think they’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater, blocking comments without trying ANY of the methods to fix their comment threads – like Spam blocking software, or up/down votes by other commenters.

  30. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    This is the FIRST comment to the link I referenced, made by an obvious Troll:

    ” GPotts
    09/26/2013 at 5:42 pm

    Popsci better not start reporting that wheat is poison. Wheat being poison is proven science.”

    Certainly has nothing to do with the article, does it?

  31. progress4what September 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    And here is a comment by a SpamBot. If this is what JHK’s software is catching – it’s pretty damn sophisticated.

    “my classmate’s mother makes $85/hr on the laptop. She has been fired for 10 months but last month her check was $19987 just working on the laptop for a few hours. hop over to here …………. (and then it gives a SpamBot web address, which I just deleted for the first time.)

    Amazing. If this goes through. Sorry for chewing up all that bandwidth. But I was on a mission. And CFN seems to have bandwidth to spare right now. ;0(

  32. Janos Skorenzy September 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Exceptionally good but brief article.


  33. Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I find it very, erm, interesting, that since the trolls, socks, and dickheads have been purged from the ranks, the conversations seems to stall.
    Why is that?
    Is it the lack of call to battle? The lack of advocacy? The titillation of abuse of posts past? Meted out willy-nilly against the foe?
    The need for an enemy, no longer extant; as opposed to a foe? An advocate?
    It seems the time is pregnant with possibilities for a great discourse and debate of pro and con on the feast presented by JHK.
    But rather, the opportunity, is squandered on mere piffle’s…

    • ozone September 28, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      For me, there’s not much to say after providing some links that [hopefully] relate to the week’s topic and give me a deeper understanding of the subject at hand. I did not and do not enjoy nasty exchanges with nasty people.

      From there, I mostly just follow what conversation there may be and read/view provided links.

      Perhaps we’re just loath to start shit with each other, having had to wade through FAR too much of that in the past.

      Hey, I think I just posted piffle! ;)

      • Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 11:49 am #

        LOL, yeah, I think you did.
        Shoot, if we’re all in agreement then how boring is that?

        • Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 11:50 am #

          Oh shit, so did I (post a piffle).
          OMG, what are we coming too…

  34. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    “Piffle,” you say?

    OK, what do you want to talk about?

    And I believe properly managed comment sections to news articles could save the world! Unless they break it into 100′s of pieces.

  35. Deblonay September 28, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Re Iran and the USA
    Is the meeting with the Iran leader a sign that Obama will NOT allow the US to be dragged into another war in the Middle East..now or in the future?

    The endless push by Netanyahu and his AIPAC supporters in the US is for war aided and abbeted by McCain and the rest of the warmongering Neo-Cons…that way lies ruin ..and financial disaster for an already embattled US economy..the mioney for war is no longer there
    As the US Empire comsumes much national; capital…an end to war as a policy option is the only way
    Obama deserves praise for this
    Let Netanyahu fume and bluster…if he wants a war with Iran…and !he does..let him and his pay for it …and do the fighting and dying too

  36. nsa September 28, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    Having achieved Full Spectrum Dominance and Total Information Awareness so easily, our goal here in Langley is now occult: to turn our most fervent supporters into virulent enemies……to turn our most virulent enemies into our most fervent supporters…..just as poisonous precipitate goes in and out of solution depending on the heat applied to the warlock’s cauldron…..

  37. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Yeah, ‘zone – except JMG (and his allowed and/or unchallenged commenters, which is the same thing) draw some sharp distinctions between Atheism as a religion of progress, and (lower case) atheism.
    That’s a battle Turkleton and I fought to something like a draw. ;-)

    And as regards, “Regarding the resource/climate wars (exacerbated/caused by over-population), they’re just getting started and the resulting migration of untold millions will overwhelm any of the current ‘policies’. Desperate measures will become a very unpleasant norm when this all gears up.”

    You are 100% correct about this. Which is why I tirelessly advocate for controlling population growth inside the US right NOW, while we can still do something about it.

    It makes more sense to face the future you predict with 315 million souls on the US landmass, rather than with 500 million++.

    Which raises a “timeline to collapse question,” as we have addressed before.

  38. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    And what NSA keeps “hinting at,” certainly sounds plausible.

    Thanks for keeping us informed, but please don’t begin to troll.

  39. progress4what September 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I wish JHK would post something about the negatives and positives of comment sections.

    What you want to discuss, arn? Just a little sparring to get warmed up? We don’t have to draw blood, you know?

    • Arn Varnold September 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

      What you want to discuss, arn? Just a little sparring to get warmed up? We don’t have to draw blood, you know?
      No, no blood. That’s no fun at all.

      I wish JHK would post something about the negatives and positives of comment sections.
      Now that’s a splendid idea. I’m somewhat convinced commenting on blogs is of no intrinsic value in solving the massive problems facing the U.S.; but may have some value for the individual posters and their POV. The exchange of ideas is the best way to discovery and the antithesis of provincialism.

  40. Pucker September 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Below are Doomsday blogs suggested by others. No one recommends Dmitri Orlov’s blog? Or Guy McPherson? Any others? Nicole Foss seems to “Have-Her-Shit-Together”. Thanks.


    Some I frequent are Zero Hedge, the Automatic Earth, Cryptogon, TSHTF plan, the Market Ticker, Peak Prosperity, Mish’s Global Market Trend Analysis, Vivek Wadhwa, Some Assembly Required. There are others I won’t mention as I don’t have the time.

    Four more more I’d recommend are The Hipcrime Vocab, The Archdruid Report, Ran Prieur, and Resilient Communities. I would recommend Neal Rauhauser’s WordPress blog, but he has a disturbing proclivity to delete his best entries and unpublish and republish his blog. The man is brilliant, but too paranoid for his own good.

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/ , “

  41. Being There September 29, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Note to those who miss the “conversations”. The trolls, etc. threw much of the conversation off-topic and distorted the conversation. Sure there were many more posts to go through, but I just skipped over much of it.

    We had some great bloggers here in the past but they either got purged or other things have gotten in the way. I’ve been working far too much to blog these days, otherwise I would be adding new info every day.

    Today I will be meeting someone we all know as Wagelaborer who will be passing through NYC briefly. I will be working on site, but will take an hr. or so to meet her.

    P4P, The population increase is adding to our demise but we have a political party who is obsessed with controlling the ladies and can’t stop trying to pass bills that will limit access to birth control, let alone abortions.

    Pucker—don’t forget Resilience.com Max Keiser and Paul Craig Roberts, Michael Ruppert, Asia Times online and Matt Taibbi on Rolling Stone site. and Webster Tapley, an interesting historian who writes and speaks about today’s issues in historical context.

    Our economy is becoming moribund and the corporate mindset is to keep cutting costs(human resources) even when making more money than ever. It’s the philosophical context and growth paradigm that is so destructive and will end up screwing them over too. It’s a recipe for disaster—One can only wonder what happens next…so far I think were all glad to see us not getting into yet another war that feeds the “private” contractors with tax-payer money.

    Don’t forget the fast-track TPP trade bill Obama’s going to sign in the coming month—that too will constrict our ability as a nation-state to protect ourselves against the future BPs.

    Remember No regulations, means no laws for the powerful.

  42. Deblonay September 29, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I think Obam’s cpntact with the Iran Pres Rouhami is one of the great moments in present day American affairs

    It will silence those who want America to make war on Iran(notably Netanyahu and his gang)and open the door to a new time of negotiations
    What a blow to the Israeli Lobby who want war at American expense

  43. progress4what September 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    “I’m somewhat convinced commenting on blogs is of no intrinsic value in solving the massive problems facing the U.S.; but may have some value for the individual posters and their POV.”
    ….arn v….

    Well, I’d make the counterargument that changing enough individual POV’s would enable-.even force – US society to change direction.

    For example – if enough people understood that most of the Repub/Demo national politics is no more than symbolic bullshit designed to favor the interests of multi-national corporations.

    Then things might change for the better. A man can dream, right?

  44. progress4what September 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    “P4P, The population increase is adding to our demise but we have a political party who is obsessed with controlling the ladies and can’t stop trying to pass bills that will limit access to birth control, let alone abortions.” …bt…

    Political theater, bt. Granted, it’s been effective in keeping the Demo/Repub bases energized and distracted for 30+ years – but it’s political theater, nevertheless.

    I hope you and Wage found each other in the big city. It’s interesting that that’s at least 4 real world meetings of somewhat kindred souls – with those meetings prompted solely due to “meeting” on this CFN webspace.

    I suspect that’s better than average – which points to the unique qualities of JHK and some of his readership.

    • Being There September 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm #


      Really great to meet Wage and husband and enjoyed a meal together. It is indeed amazing that we should have started commenting on a blog and although we live far apart, there is a common thread.

      will check out the url you posted.

  45. progress4what September 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    You should like this BT. It’s written by a Brit, and some of the comments have so much British slang and idiom that they were hard for me to decipher. But he suggests the global neo-lib agenda will fail in the end. Which gives reason for some optimism.

    “Globalism, which itself originated largely from the US as an extension of unification, is just an even larger form of Supranationalism: both are based on warped multinational business-efficiency ideas, and (especially in the EU) driven by the politician’s infinite quest for power – not any realistic study of social anthropology. The more that these internally flawed concepts are tried, the more their failure merely shows how the smaller tribe works better.

    This is not a new process in human history. The Roman Empire was based largely on military conquest and pillage, but that too failed to quell the desire of the conquered to be free. Once the expansion became too extensive to administer and too expensive to defend, it failed….and returned to localism for over a thousand years.”

  46. JB September 30, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    The end is coming. At least for those who think that virtual investments and e-banking are things that brought us to modernity. True modernity lies on the exact opposite – localization, off the grid. It won´t be like in the Middle Ages – we have internet, science, and other dangerous stuff that makes us less vulnerable to the manifestations of any power. I still believe humans are born to be free. Ben Bernake is a stupid guy who thought he would be able to cheat on us forever. But bad things come to an end. Now let him see, in his multi-million dollar residence, sitting and thinking about the financial problems of the future.


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