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by James Howard Kunstler

            Like entropy, the diminishing returns of technology never sleep. The hubristic techno-narcissism of the day, as seen in mankind’s efforts to fake-out the universe, will eventually get our one-way ticket to Palookaville punched. Perhaps there’s such a thing as being too cool after all.

     The trick so far has been to create massive inflation, export the effects of it to other trading partners, and end up with a lot more money here in the USA, or the illusion of more money. Well, loans, for houses, cars, and college tuitions. In a word: debt. Let’s call it “Rainman Economics,” because it begins to resemble the behavior of a severely autistic human being who performs a small range of obsessive actions over and over and over, often centered on numbers. Rainman Economics is the policy of the Federal Reserve and, indirectly, the government under Mr. Obama.

     The suave and genial Mr. Obama just doesn’t know what’s going on — despite being surrounded by minions with briefing folders, sages and vizeers, quantitative augurers neck-deep in mathematical goat entrails, and (always) the lone, silent soldier toting the dire nuclear “football.” Mr. Obama doesn’t know that the universe has launched us on a journey to a place beyond techno-industrialism — and it’s not Ray Kurzweil’s infinity of orgasms. It’s a place where no ring-tones are heard and not so much as a stretch-mark of the Kardashians remains to be found.

     This is the eeriest summer. The coordinated effort to devalue gold — so as to maintain the sagging reputation of the world’s re$erve currency — has had the effect mainly of funneling it out of weak hands in the west to strong hands in the east, to countries that at one time or another we regarded as adversaries. China and Russia have been backing up their respective trucks at the gold warehouse loading dock, and before too long they will have yuan and rubles with more credibility than the US dollar.

      In these games of currency war, there are too many moving parts for comfort. Paradoxically, the American position is all about maintaining undeserved comfort, that is a standard of living that is no longer earned but borrowed from the darkest pool of magic capital: the future of declining expectations. Enjoy the flat screen TVs, water-parks, RVs, and Happy Meals while you can. There is sand in the gears of the moving parts that have made all that possible. It’s quite a trick to debase your currency for strategic advantage and at the same time maintain the world’s credibility in it. The strategic advantage is that debasement allows you to dissipate existing debt by stealth. But that trick is not working too well at the moment in the USA because too many other players are trying the same thing, and doing it badly, so people in foreign lands are dumping their currencies to take refuge in the dollar. The chief product of all this motion is not “prosperity” but instability. That is the last thing that economies need, even if the gamesters in the financial markets can arbitrage it to their advantage.

     Instability translates into uncertainty, especially about the relative value of currencies. For the moment, holders of weakening currencies are seeking refuge in seemingly “stronger” dollars in bubbling equity markets. Many more dollars have been stashed on the balance sheets of the Federal Reserve in the form of bonds purchased in galumphing bales since 2009 — only the catch is that many of these bonds are worthless, especially the mortgage-backed securities. The collateral exists in the form of mold-infused sheetrock, swimming pools with algae blooms, and strip malls left with a single tenant: the wig shop. The Fed will never be able to unload this hoard of garbage, even if it “tapers” its buying of new garbage. The dollars that the Fed creates out of nothing are trapped in this fetid backwater of rotting capital, destined to go nowhere — surely not into activity that produces real wealth, or the means to continue being civilized.

     Something’s in the air this hot, soggy summer and it smells like the loss of faith. In another month, as the nights grow cool we’ll approach the sober season of fall, when the air seems to possess powers of magnification and suddenly things can be seen clearly. The high frequency robo trading bots are good at detecting microscopic differences in digital quant pools, but they don’t have the finer sensory antennae of human brains for forces outside the rather narrow math narrative.

     For instance, I communed with my fellow citizens this Fourth of July weekend for a few hours at a little beach in a Vermont state park. It was a family kind of place. The mommies and daddies were putting on a competitive tattoo display (along with competitive eating). So many skulls, Devil heads, snakes, screaming eagles, flags, and thunderbolts. I suppose they acquire these totem images to ward off some apprehended greater harm, the metaphysically inchoate forces marshalling at the margins of what little normal life remains in this nation of rackets, swindles, and tears. All was nonetheless tranquility, there by the little lakeside, with the weenies grilling and the pop-tops popping. A three-year-old came by where I was working on my tan on a towel in the grass, supine. He asked me if I was dead. Not yet, I told him. Behind him a skull smoking a doobie loomed in blue and red ink on his daddy’s thigh. My people. My country.
__________________

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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.

312 Responses to “The Darkest Pool” Subscribe

  1. Pucker July 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    I hope that JHK recovers soon from his surgery.

    Is surgery for bone spurs serious?

    I don’t know anything about this.

    I don’t trust doctors. They seem to just order lots of expensive tests, particularly if they find out that you’ve got insurance coverage.

    I read somewhere that on average that there’s a 50% chance of getting cancer, and that the chance of dying of it is another 50%. In other words, basically you get 2 flips of the coin.

    It’s like in the movie “No Country for Old Men” when the psychopath, Anton Shagure, flips the coin before his kills his victims: “Call it. Just call it.”

  2. Pucker July 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    They’re all f..cking crazy.

    For much of my “up-bringing” I always thought that since Americans had “rule-of-law” and a government presumably based upon reason that America was somehow “exceptional”.

    NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now, I found out that the entire premise of Western Capitalist Economics is that unlimited economic growth is possible because resources are presumed to be unlimited. (I understand that there’s a branch of Economics called “ecological economics”, which accepts that resources are finite; however, this branch is a relatively recent development in Economics.)

    If you think about it, this is not that much different from the Eastern Islanders cutting down all the trees.

    “It’s o.k. to keep cutting down all the trees. There’s nothing to worry about. The Stone Heads will protect us. The Stone Heads have always protected us. The Stone Heads won’t let us down. We need to keep cutting down the trees to build more Stone Heads!”

    The crowd cheers: “More Stone Heads! More Stone Heads! Down with the Hippie Tree Huggers! More Stone Heads!”

    • janet July 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Some steady-state (no-growth) economic theorists:

      Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1971)

      K. William Kapp (1950)

      Karl Polanyi (1944)

      E.F. Schumacher (1973)

      Herman Daly’s (1977)

  3. janet July 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Pucker, your choice of Easter Island deforestation is not an example of finite resource consumption. Forests are not finite resources. Globally in the last decade the area of forest covered by a management plan – an important tool for achieving sustainable forest management – is steadily increasing. It’s not like it’s inevitable we are going to use up all the forests like on Easter Island. We are smarter than that.

    How are we smarter? If you look at the last 20 years, significant positive trends have been reported in the area of forest designated for the conservation of biological diversity and the area of forest in protected areas (particularly in the last decade), the area of planted forest and the number of students graduating in forestry. Human beings are rational animals. We educate when education is necessary. We conserve when conservation is necessary.

    We’re on it, Pucker. It’s all good.

    If you want evidence, check out the FAO reports on global forest resources assessment. Humanity is awake and acting positively.

  4. Pucker July 12, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Dmitry Orlov is a modern-day Alexis de Tocqueville.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville

  5. Pucker July 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Once when I was a kid I came across a tract of land in Alabama that had been “strip mined”. It was completely barren of vegetation and badly eroded from the rain. The soil was just a chalky rough gravel and dust as if it can been bleached with chlorine or acid. Dead…. Like the end of the world.

    Mountaintop removal mining (MTR), also known as mountaintop mining (MTM), is a form of surface mining that involves the mining of the summit or summit ridge of a mountain. Coal seams are extracted from a mountain by removing the land, or overburden, above the seams. The land may be dumped back on the ridge and compacted to reflect the approximate original contour of the mountain.[1] It is the predominant method of coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. Explosives are used to remove up to 400 vertical feet (120 m) of mountain to expose underlying coal seams. Excess rock and soil laden with toxic mining byproducts are often dumped into nearby valleys, in what are called “holler fills” or “valley fills.”[2][3][4] Less expensive to execute and requiring fewer employees, mountaintop removal mining began in Appalachia in the 1970s as an extension of conventional strip mining techniques. It is primarily occurring in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee
    Peer-reviewed studies show that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts, including loss of biodiversity and toxification of watersheds, that mitigation practices cannot successfully address.[5] There are also adverse human health impacts which result from contact with affected streams or exposure to airborne toxins and dust.[5] According to 21 scientific studies there has been major effects on the population in the Appalachia where MTM takes place including over 50% higher cancer rates, 42% higher birth defect rates, and $75 billion a year in public health costs from pollution. [6]

    • janet July 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      Yeah, coal is nasty stuff … which is why Rube-i-Con’s post on Germany is so important, showing where there is a will there is a way.

      Germany boasts more than a million solar systems, four times as many as the United States despite the fact that it has about one-fourth of the population. Last May 26, these mostly rooftop arrays produced 22 gigawatts—enough to meet half the country’s electricity demand. It’s worth noting that the “insolation,” or sunniness factor, of Germany is worse than that of everywhere in the contiguous United States except rainy Seattle.

      No mining necessary. No environmental degradation necessary. No higher cancer and birth defect rates necessary. No pollution necessary. Solar is clean, emission-free, sustainable energy.

      • Being There July 13, 2013 at 6:28 am #

        Janet, In 1970 my high school had an energy symposium and the speaker for solar energy said that they could not get US govt funding and that the govt liked big utilities.

        The economic political system of monopolistic trans nationals gets government preference and presently it’s crony capitalism where govt chooses winners and losers.

        In Germany theoil companies aren’t entrenched as they are here so they can move ahead.

        Here it won’t happen unless individuals decide to do it themselves. It amazes me that the Tea party types don’t embrace it more, since they want freedom from govt. and one would think freedom from giant monopolies.

        Janet, what’s going on with South American rain forests and Asian rain forests. Are they also being replanted?
        __________

        Pucker, our economic model changed from Keynesian economics, which was a demand-side more balanced mixed economy with wage and price control and more protections for the citizenry.

        Unfortunately for us we moved into more of the Austrian School through the Chicago School of business influenced by Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman. Soon after that we adopted supply side economics, developed by Paul Craig Roberts. He still stands by the theory but admits that the global free market system doesn’t work. The supply side is the real problem for nat. resources.

        I consider PCR a conundrum. He is flawed in his economic theory yet he is somehow a man of conscience. One of the few who spoke his mind and lost his big position.

  6. Pucker July 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    What’s the deal with solar energy?

    I read somewhere that solar energy doesn’t really solve the energy problem since it isn’t relatively energy positive, i.e., as much energy goes into creating the solar panels as comes out.

    I understand that the key for continued economic expansion is finding a rich energy positive energy source, like oil in the early days, when the equivalent of one barrel of oil could literally produce 100 barrels of oil. Now, the ratio is one-to-three barrels, which puts us in the current “Energy Pickle”, right?

  7. Pucker July 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    I think that it’d be funny to invite Dmitry Orlov to give a “half-time” presentation on the topic of Collapse and societal delusion in the face of Collapse during a televised U.S. professional football game.

    Orlov reminds me of the character, Zarathustra, in Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”.

  8. Pucker July 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    At American college football games, do some drunken fans still wave those giant foam rubber hands with the index finger extended and shout: “We’re Number One!”?

  9. janet July 13, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Yeah, Pucker, what is going on? Europe can make solar work and we can’t? And they don’t have any more sun than we have. Yet their cost benefit analysis shows solar is competitive with oil. An assessment was made as to whether renewable energy use for electricity generation in the EU was beneficial throughout the cycle of high and low oil prices. Costs and benefits are calculated with the EU statistics for the period of low oil prices 1998–2002 and high oil prices 2003–2009. The share of renewable energy in electricity production was 21% of all energy resources in 2008, growing on average 5% a year during 2003–2008 compared to nil growth of the fossil fuels mix.

    Correlations show significant impacts of growing renewable energy use on changes in consumers’ electricity prices during the high and rapidly increasing fossil fuel prices in the period 2005–2008. The growing use has contributed to price decrease in most countries that use more renewable energy and price increase in many countries that use little renewable energy. Costs and benefits are assessed through comparison between the observed consumers’ electricity prices and simulated prices had they followed the costs of fossil fuel mix.

    A net benefit of 47 billion euro throughout the oil price cycle is attributable to the growing use of renewable energy, which is on average 8 billion euro a year. This net benefit is larger than the total public support for renewable energy. The net benefit would be larger had the EU anticipated high oil prices through more public support during low oil prices, as this would create productive capacity, but countries’ interests increasingly differed.

    • Elmendorf July 13, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      Wind power is the largest source of “alternative energy”. However, it stands on the huge shoulders of fossil fuel energy to be built and maintained. A windmill has an expected operating life of only 25 years. In fact, wind is another mirage. Read this:
      ********************************************************************************

      Violent Environmental Problems With Wind Turbine Operation: From Avian Mortality to Catastrophic Failure
      by James Rust
      April 3, 2013

      27 15 53

      Renewable energy wind turbines as electricity sources possess extreme environmental problems not found in their renewable energy rival–solar photovoltaic. These problems are due to rotation of 130-foot or more long, thirteen-ton turbine blades with tip speeds of 200 miles per hour.

      “An unavoidable problem of wind turbines is killing flying creatures. The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) produced a video “Eagle lawsuit ruffles wind industry feathers”. The video records a bird apparently being killed by a wind turbine. It appears the bird went back for a second look at the turbine and a blade struck the fatal blow. Possibly the bird thought the turbine was a bigger bird.”

      A companion article published March 19, 2013, by CFACT is “Wind turbines kill up to 39 million birds a year” by wildlife expert Jim Wiegand. Details of studies on bird fatalities caused by wind turbines are cited in this article.

      The source of Jim Wiegand’s statement wind turbines kills up to 39 million birds a year is found in the December 15, 2012, Townhall article by Paul Driessen “Stop Subsidizing the Slaughter”. Mr. Driessen’s estimates are based on bird fatality studies done in the United States and Europe that are referenced in the article. He used 39,000 wind turbines operating in the United States at the end of 2011 for making estimates.

      It has been long known wind turbines are devastating to bat populations. A U. S. Geological Survey report “Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines: Investigating the Causes and Consequences” mentions thousands of bats are killed annually at wind turbine sites around the world.

      Besides being minced by turbine blade rotations, bats are subject to deaths by other means as explained by the August 26, 2008 Scientific American article “On a Wing and Low Air: The Surprising Way Wind Turbines Kill Bats.” Bats are killed by pressure pulses causing burst blood vessels in their lungs. Due to these deaths being caused by remote features of wind turbine operations and bats very small body mass, bat carcasses may be located large distances from offending wind turbines and never found. As nocturnal creatures, bats are particularly vulnerable to wind turbines because their operations are frequently at night when demand for electricity is at its lowest.

      These four references provide links to other references of bird kill studies that make convincing arguments wind turbines present unacceptable threats to flying creatures.

      According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the United States had at the end of 2012 more than 60,000 Megawatts of wind turbine output supplied by 45,000 turbines. The majority of wind turbines are located in vast agriculture areas of central United States stretching from Texas to Canada.

      The 39 million annual bird fatalities estimates by Jim Wiegand and Paul Driessen may be gross underestimates due to thousands of wind turbines starting operation in 2012. Bats devour huge amounts of insects and their loss in agriculture areas may have devastating impacts on future agriculture production. These assessments are not considered or studied. Agriculture Departments of Midwest Universities, like Purdue University, should study effects of bat loss, and maybe extinction, and subsequent larger insect populations on crop production. Wind farms in corn fields are close by.

      Other problems with wind turbines are they catch on fire and explode. In 2011, an upper New York state wind turbine exploded and spread debris for one-fourth mile. Pictures of wind turbine fires in Texas and other locations are further displayed.

      Winter times present other problems for wind turbines. Spinning turbine blades have thrown refrigerator-sized pieces of ice hundreds of yards.

      Wind turbines should be subjected to the same Maximum Credible Accident (MCA) criteria imposed on nuclear power plants. The MCA for nuclear plants is a Loss-of-Coolant-Accident (LOCA) in which reactor coolants stop flowing and reactor cores are subject to melting due overheating.

      The MCA for wind turbines is 13-ton turbine blades snap-off during operation and blades hurtled possibly one-half mile. This accident could be labeled Loss-of-Blade-Accident (LOBA). A possible LOBA is a severed blade lands in a local high school football stadium during Homecoming–thousands could be killed before the 13-ton blade comes to rest. Exclusion zones surrounding wind turbines need established to protect the public from injury. Smaller scale injuries are individuals being struck by decapitated eagles or similar flying creatures.

      Wind turbines also affect humans. Exposure to low-amplitude pressure pulses unnoticed by humans may lead to future problems. In addition, sound pulses at about 20 cycles per minute match turbine’s speed of rotation. Long-term health effects from these disturbances can’t be known.

      These are a few violent environmental problems with wind turbines unknown to solar photovoltaic. Like solar energy, additional environmental assessments are wind turbines energy requirements to build and install them in comparison to energy outputs during operating lifetimes. Wind turbines require external power supplies to heat them in the winter and provide initial blade rotations.

      Environmental effects of acquiring rare earth metals for generator magnets, large quantities of fiberglass and other metals, and vast amounts of concrete for turbine bases need evaluated. Like solar energy, intermittent operation of wind turbines require fast responding fossil-fuel electricity sources to maintain continuity of electricity supply. Poor performance of backup electricity supply may reduce or even eliminate wind turbine’s savings of fossil fuel use.

      In the exuberant pursuit of wind and solar energy sources, matters of intermittent supply are ignored. Wind power is substantial in Texas and supply problems are documented in my February 11, 2011, article, “Wind Power Emergencies in Texas“ posted on The Heartland Institute website.

      Like solar photovoltaic, wind turbines are expected to have a practical operating lifetime of around 25 years. What happens to wind turbines no longer usable?

      Will the countryside be strewn by unsightly landscapes of tall towers with dangling turbine blades? This is a view of thousands of still wind turbines shown years ago on I-10 west of Palm Springs, California. Whether this situation exists today the author is unaware.

      ________________________________________________________

      James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering and policy adviser to The Heartland Institute. Prof. Rust currently funds three annual engineering scholarships of $2500, $6000, and $6500.

      - See more at: http://www.masterresource.org/2013/04/violent-environmental-problems-with-wind-turbine-operation-from-avian-mortality-to-operational-failure/#sthash.fjyrlFvJ.dpuf

      • Being There July 13, 2013 at 7:54 am #

        Thanks for that.

        Now that’s sad.
        That’s what I call unintended consequences! Another example of not looking at the whole picture.

      • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject July 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

        Mornin’, E.

        Thanks for the post and data as usual. What are the chances that the country by way of the government agrees/ passes legislation mandating a massive solar panel retro-fitting campaign, something that Jeremy Grantham suggested on CR a few months back?

        I wonder why it is that as a country we can’t even produce a coherent narrative and consensus on how to implement the most basic “fixes” to our energy management needs.

        Is this simply a case where the energy industry itself lobbies against such competing implementations, as these initiatives would certainly diminish their market share in a given sector? Is it also a problem where the average voter simply doesn’t require enough of the alternative energies agenda from their considered candidates platform? Or is it just ordinary NIMBYism as it relates to technologies beside solar arrays?

        -UFIA

        • Elmendorf July 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

          I think solar should have a “Manhattan Project” level of importance attached to it. Thus far, it simply does not scale well at the city/state level. However, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs or “lifters”) promise as much or more than solar. Thorium reactors CANNOT have a meltdown because the coolant instantly becomes solid at less than core temperatures. Thorium is much more abundant than uranium (about 4X) and there’s enough there for about 1,000 years and civilizations need to buy much than just a couple of decades of time.

          However you slice it, though, wind is the dominant current source of alternative energy and even countries like Germany are questioning it as I write. The avian deaths are a bad side effect but the materials it takes to make thousands of windmills are daunting and, once again, stands on the back of existing fossil fuel technologies to build and maintain.

          Wind only keeps the lights on if built on massive scales (many “kilo-mills” per unit area are necessary to generate meaningful power). They use up lots of rare earth metals. ONE windmill uses an incredible amount of resources. It’s not the answer.

          E.

          • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject July 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

            Yes, I understand the points, E. It seems too that the window for transition and implementation of these technologies and the requisite fine tuning of the viability of each of the programs has come and gone, to risk sounding defeatist. Maybe that window of opportunity was open 30 years ago? But now such development, if I understand your position, is nearly impossible due to the lack of cheap oil to bridge the gap?

            What about a conservation (dare I use the word confiscation?) of requisite materials which are typically squandered in consumer enterprise? Of course, that’s probably a pipe dream considering the political mine field proponents of such an idea would face. That to me seems the only alternative: to say enough of this wasteful consumer paradigm and to finally mandate an end to the landfill supply chain economy, if that makes sense. I know, I’m treading a thin line offensive to the free market mythology.

            Anyhow, I know I often hear of Carter’s solar panels on the White House and Reagan’s removal of the same thanks to some sort of new found oil abundance and vindication via free market solution(s) that never arrived, but I’ve never understood the symbolism behind the two acts or presidencies, and I don’t think the gestures of each ever rose beyond the level of symbolism. For how long have we accepted the promise of ’round the corner energy independence, alternative infrastructure capacity, and free market utopia?

            Interesting that the technology to truly solve these problems will probably rust and rot or stifle in infancy as we let the social engineers continue to do all the thinking.

            Meanwhile, this Summer in my region of Colorado instead of actually receiving worthwhile amounts of rain when the gray clouds roll in and the wind picks up only giant dust storms ensue and visibility drops to near zero for the duration. My little town was always known for the periodic little dust devil cyclones but it wasn’t considered a dust bowl until recently.

            -UFIA

  10. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Very few people will buy Dmitry Orlov’s books, but everyone will run out an buy Von Daniken’s books about alien astronauts.

    Erich Anton Paul von Däniken (/??r?k f?n ?d?n?k?n/; German: [?e???ç f?n ?d??n?k?n]; born 14 April 1935) is a Swiss author who has made controversial claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, in books such as Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968. Von Däniken is one of the main figures responsible for popularizing the “paleo-contact” and ancient astronauts hypotheses.
    Von Däniken’s first book, Chariots of the Gods?, was an immediate best seller in the United States and Europe. The ideas put forth in these books are largely rejected by scientists and academics, who categorize his work as pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology.[1][2][3]
    Von Däniken wrote his first book while working as manager of the Hotel Rosenhügel in Davos, Switzerland. He was convicted of several financial crimes, including fraud, shortly after publication of his first book.[4] The revenue from the sales of his book allowed him to repay his debts and leave the hotel business. Von Däniken wrote his second book, Gods from Outer Space, while in prison.
    Von Däniken later became a co-founder of the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association (AAS RA). He designed Mystery Park (now known as Jungfrau Park), a theme park located in Interlaken, Switzerland, that opened on 23 May 2003.[5]

  11. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    …and they’ll run out and buy Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope.”

    The people will buy books about aliens from outer space…and Hope.

  12. Carol Newquist July 13, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering and policy adviser to The Heartland Institute. Prof. Rust currently funds three annual engineering scholarships of $2500, $6000, and $6500.

    This is too funny!! Really, it is. The Heartland Institute? Just the name itself conjures Back To The Future visions of nuclear-powered gas chambers and crematoriums. Gee, you don’t think there’s a conflict of interest considering the good professor’s occupation, do you? Let me guess, the only option is the nuclear option, right? This guy is named appropriately; rust…..like the disintegrating hull of the Titanic sitting at the bottom of the northern Atlantic.

  13. Carol Newquist July 13, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Is surgery for bone spurs serious?

    I don’t know anything about this.

    PCR, in his book, Ketchup Is A Vegetable adulated Dmitry Orlov for his coverage of Cervical Osteophytes in his book, Vodka That Abides. DO claims the following about Cervical Osteophytes in that renowned work:

    More than half of the people over the age of 60 have osteophytes, or bone spurs, somewhere in their bodies. Osteophytes in the spine are a normal sign of aging and are not a cause for concern unless they result in pain or neurological symptoms. Cervical osteophytes are bone spurs that grow on any of the seven vertebrae in the cervical spine (neck), involving the spine from the base of the skull to the base of the neck (C1 – C7 vertebrae).

    Cervical osteophyte formation typically occurs when ligaments and tendons around the bones and joints in the cervical spine are damaged or inflamed. The inflamed or damaged tissue abnormally influences surrounding bone growth (though hard, bones are constantly renewing, like fingernails and hair). As a result, new bone cells are deposited where they would not normally grow.

    The inflamed or damaged tissue that stimulates cervical osteophyte growth is often caused by cervical osteoarthritis, a degradation in the neck joints that occurs in many older people. These joints include the disc spaces themselves (a modified joint) and the facet joints, and this condition of cervical osteophyte formation is referred to as cervical spondylosis. Other types of arthritis, traumatic injury, and poor posture can also lead to osteophyte formation.

    So, you see, it’s not too serious….but it is a pain in the neck (not ass). Thanks to DO for his coverage of this common condition, and thanks to him for suggesting therapeutic vodka baths for what ails ya. Screw the epsom salts, bring on the vodka; it’s the most effective technique for nonpathologic desquamation….and, you get a healthy buzz in the process; you’ll quite literally feel compelled to sing in Russian, and if you’re male, to beat your wife.

    • ozone July 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Nice stab in total darkness from one who knows nothing of the attendant symptoms that this condition is burdening JHK with. Self-involvement (whether for remuneration or lifestyle laughs) is its’ own reward/curse.

  14. Q. Shtik July 13, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    For the first year I was on this blog I wouldn’t reveal my gender because it’s totally irrelevant. I don’t care about personalities, I care about info.

    This is the great fallacy of liberalism — that gender, or for that matter, ANYTHING in the universe, is irrelevant. To the contrary, EVERTHING is relevant and infinitely so. Everything “matters.” NOTHING is irrelevant.

    The androgynous personalities of Janet and Carol would have you believe otherwise.

    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject July 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      “This is the great fallacy of liberalism — that gender, or for that matter, ANYTHING in the universe, is irrelevant. To the contrary, EVERTHING is relevant and infinitely so. Everything “matters.” NOTHING is irrelevant.”

      This is the great fallacy (one of many, actually) of dichotomous political thought; that relatively innocent statements such as this made by BT to which you refer in the above scold can be skewered, distorted and categorized as a derivative argument from liberals that wasn’t being made at all, as if she were flying the flag of liberalism itself rather than simply defending herself from one of yet another of Carol/Janet’s erroneous attacks. And here you stroll in and simply add to the bullshit.

      However, the argument you may have in fact been trying to make sounded like an argument against Post Modernism, which I might have been inclined to receive, had you not fucked it up entirely. Post Modernists essentially hold that everyone is entitled to their own (t)ruths; the counter to Post Modernist tale spinning that I’ve heard and agree with is that post modernism merely seeks to spin a Grand Narrative that there are no Grand Narratives, no (T)ruths; that everyone is entitled to their own worldview, which is utter nonsense. And your snarky remark to BT signifies that you’re thoroughly trapped in that bogus Conservative VS Liberal dichotomy and thus a categorical thinker at most – a Post Modernist at best. Or have I attributed qualities to you that are way off base?

      You seem to also want to confuse the terms relevant and relative. Perhaps everything is relative but you bury your boot in your mouth as you make the claim that everything is relevant to everything else, as if there are no boundaries, no distinctions at all. You’d make a horrible scientist or diagnostician of any sort. I suppose soon you’ll return to the tiresome minutiae of spotting minor grammatical foibles and correcting nominal spelling errors while lacking any genuine, extensive diagnostic capacity beyond simple proof reading. You’ve made yourself Carol’s unpaid, autonomous sock puppet by default. Original.

      In your post above you come across as not more than a fairly comfortable old fool with a boring superiority/inferiority hang up. Fascinating.

  15. Q. Shtik July 13, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Although I am not personally into inking myself, it strikes me as an attempt ………………….. to express their individuality …………

    Something on the order of 97% of NBA players have tattoos. Something on the order of 100% of that 97% would tell you they have tattoos “to express their individuality.”

    Sheep rush around the fields in close proximity to their fellow sheep and lemmings plunge off the cliffs with their fellow lemmings “to express their individuality.”

    Does anyone here get the connection?

    • anti dod July 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Followers are individuals!!!
      On to a more important matter. Didya know the USA population has increased by 35,000,000 since 1.1.2000?
      And with am nasty may quickly increase by another 35M?

  16. alpha mail July 13, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    So will blacks riot if Zimmerman is aquitted? Having watched the trial, I can pretty much say that Judge Nelson did everything in her power to persuade the jury that they should convict him. I had to smile when she said to them, “You know, you could find him guilty of a lesser charge, like deadly assault? You did know you could do that, right?” I’m surprised she didn’t mention child abuse, or the fact that Zimmerman’s car might have been double parked. After all, he was just a little boy, lost at night, carrying a package of Skittles and an iced tea. Who knows where Zimmerman got all of those bruises and lacerations on his head. Could have been a careless job shaving?

    The broad that has all the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted is the mom, Sabrina Fulton. Apparently she has put in not only one but TWO trademarks for Trayvon’s name. According to rumours, she’s got a deal with Nike and some other sporting gear place to sell hoodies, baseball caps, sneakers, boxers, and other such apparel with slogans like “I am Trayvon” and “We are all Trayvon Martin”. Smart bitch who knows a good opportunity like this shouldn’t be wasted.

    • anti dod July 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      Do you know what the judges maiden name is?

      • Frosty the Snowden July 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

        Do you know what the judges maiden name is ?

        Good Lord ! Where in the hell is the apostle ? It should read judge’s , not judges . Get with it , Christopher .

  17. beantownbill. July 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I don’t follow the details of the Zimmerman trial, except for the headlines. I’m not that interested because I consider the whole saga another circus for the population at large. Pay attention, discuss Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence with everyone, and don’t think about real issues. The media love a great story. It’s got great themes for everyone (pick and choose):

    Racial tensions
    Racial inequality
    Fear of social unrest if Z gets off
    Blacks on welfare
    Gun control
    Redneck prejudice
    Vigilantes
    And more..

    In the meantime, the middle class is going down the tubes, our government is venal and corrupt, our environment is being destroyed, wars are ubiquitous and cheap energy is becoming a memory.

    • alpha mail July 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      Bill, the middle class has been going “down the tubes” since the Arab.Oil embargo in 1973. What we’re seeing is a continuing downward spiral which is augmented by recessions and the various bubbles which burst (out of necessity). The government is definitely corrupt and will continue to be so because it has the ability to print all of the money it wants. And if the situation with Eric Snowden showed us nothing else, it’s that all of the Western countries are just fine being America’s bitch as long as they get some gravy. There is no rule of law and our congress critters have their pockets well lined by Israel. The slaughter of Muslims will continue as long as the money spigot flows.

  18. beantownbill. July 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I’ve never been a fan of windmill energy (pun intended). Now its unintended consequences are coming into play. It seems to me that the only long-terms solutions to the energy issue are solar power of various sorts (e.g. current solar technology, plus future apps like efficient fuel cells and solar power satellites), and the ever hopeful development of nuclear fusion.

    But we gotta realize that all energy production affects the environment, thermodynamically there’s no way around that.
    That’s where overpopulation comes into play: more people, more energy needed, more affect on the environment. That’s why keeping the number of people down is so important at our current level of technology.

  19. Carol Newquist July 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    This is the great fallacy of liberalism — that gender, or for that matter, ANYTHING in the universe, is irrelevant. To the contrary, EVERTHING is relevant and infinitely so. Everything “matters.” NOTHING is irrelevant.

    The androgynous personalities of Janet and Carol would have you believe otherwise.

    Hey Q Schmuck, you’re misrepresenting. Not the universe, just cyberspace. In cyberspace, you can’t touch and/or lick someone’s penis or vagina, so why the hell define yourself by it when all the senses are not in play ? In your twisted world, you believe women should be flashing neon signs that say “FUCK ME” and men should carry around a bullhorn like Alex Jones constantly shouting “LOOK, I HAVE A PENIS.” Grow the hell up, you freak. Like so many of your generation, psychically you never matured beyond adolescence.

    Embrace the liberation of cyberspace, Q Schmuck. It’s not too late for you to move beyond adolescence even though you only have a few years left. Cyberspace can help you get in touch with your feminine side that has been unfortunately forced into dormancy. Think of how much more you could have accomplished, how high you could have soared, if you hadn’t culturally been indoctrinated to spay your femininity? It’s a sad thought.



  20. Carol Newquist July 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    That’s why keeping the number of people down is so important at our current level of technology.

    Hitler couldn’t have said it better himself. Per his suggestion, do you agree with him that “we” should start with the Jews? You have admitted you are Jewish. You really want to travel down that road again? Really? It never turns out the way you think it will. Never again can easily become again and again.

    Of course, I know you’re not serious and just a ruse and foil, but I feel compelled to address this ruse/foil that is you, nonetheless.

    • beantownbill. July 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      I’ve been mostly away from this blog, rarely posting lately. I need to shake off the rust in my writing, so I’m going to ignore my own rule not replying to you, just this once.

      I never said to eliminate living people. Natural ways exist to ultimately lower population without doing bad things to people.

      Your on-line personality is very nasty, acerbic and paranoid, quite unlikable. Your ceaseless put-downs are unpleasant. JHK having neck surgery now is good luck for you because he otherwise probably would ban you. It doesn’t matter to me whether or not you are male or female or some 3rd hybrid option. I don’t care whether or not you are a sock puppet or are really Asoka, When enough time has elapsed and I know JHK is feeling better, I will e-mail him samples of your recent posts and request you be banned. You impede the discussion here.

      Oh, by the way, comparing my comment about population to Hitler’s methodology is way over the top, considering my religion.

    • Q. Shtik July 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

      Carol,

      As Bean said “Your on-line personality is very nasty, acerbic and paranoid, quite unlikable.” Very few people enjoy being unlikable but you are obviously one of them.

      Tell us about someone who likes you……a spouse, a child, a co-worker, an acquaintance? In all honesty it is hard to imagine. What kind of relationship do (or did) you have with your mother? I will speculate you long ago parted ways with your mother. This is very common among effed up people. I offer Paulette as Exhibit A.

      You said to Bean “You have admitted you are Jewish.” See definition:

      admit

      Verb

      1.Confess to be true or to be the case, typically with reluctance.
      2.Confess to (a crime or fault, or one’s responsibility for it).

      Don’t you think stated is a more accurate and better word choice?

      • Carol Newquist July 13, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

        Don’t you think stated is a more accurate and better word choice?

        No, context means everything, and since it’s been established for some time now that this comments section’s been hijacked by racist freaks, for someone to declare they are Jewish would be, appropriately, an admission to a crowd such as this one. Not to me, but to ninety percent, or more, of those posting here…..all five of them and their various sockpuppets including you.

  21. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    I used to work for a leveraged finance partner in a US law firm. One day it dawned on me that they were pretending and they didn’t know what they were doing. They were just “doing deals” in order to get the fees; the higher the turnover of fictitious asset transactions, the higher the fees. They basically ran out of assets to sell so they invented fictitious paper assets “derived” from real assets (i.e., derivatives) and sold those backed by fictitious insurance schemes. Tits-on-Tits….. In one transaction, they did the deal with the underlying asset left blank in square brackets to be filled in later. Tits-on-Tits…..

    The entire discipline of Capitalist Economics is based upon the Mother-of-All-Fictions—that the resources of the planet are infinite, and, therefore, potential economic growth is unlimited.

    Blind faith in Technology—Fukashima….Building nuclear power plants without even considering how to dispose of the nuclear waste.

    It seems clear to me now that the ruling class does not really know what it is doing and that it is just being driven along by economic forces. They’ve lost control but they are pretending that they’ve got it under control.

    • beantownbill. July 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Pucker, I agree with you about the economy. Unlike stock options and commodity futures, derivatives on not traded in an open market, and thus the derivative creators have no daily accountability. It also doesn’t hurt these people that government and quasi-governmental agencies are staffed with the very people that made their fortunes in derivatives.

      Greed probably will be our undoing, if a day of reckoning does occur.

  22. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    What was the name of the incoherent female witness in the Zimmerman trial who said that she “…heard the grass”?

    What would have happened if on cross examination the lawyer started talk’n dirty with her?

    • anti dod July 13, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      Ms Jeantel? Theres a rumor that the voice on the cellphone is NOT
      Jeantels, that Jeantel is a fraud.

  23. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    [Ms. Jeantel takes the stand.]



  24. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    {Unknown Unknowns….Shooby Shooby Doo…..We’re gonna have a really great shoo tonight….]



  25. janet July 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Pucker said: Building nuclear power plants without even considering how to dispose of the nuclear waste.

    To quote Ronald Reagan, there you go again.

    This time you are painting with a broad nuclear power brush, as if all nuclear power plants are the same, as if all nuclear fuels are the same, as if all have “nuclear waste” issues. But you are capable of discovering that on your own.

  26. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Dmitry Orlov is in the wrong business. There’s no money in the Collapse business. The big money is in new age religion and HOPE.



  27. janet July 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Pucker, you want to go from working derivatives as a leveraged finance partner in a US law firm to new age religion? To make money?

    Bad timing. A recent Gallup poll shows about 77 percent of Americans said religion is “losing its influence” on American life. There is no more future market for new age religion than there is for derivatives.

    By the way, life is so much more than just making and spending money. Stick around, Pucker. You have a lot to learn from CFN.

  28. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    In a recent interview, Dmitry Orlov said that talking to the average American about Collapse is like “…trying to get through to the average person in a mental hospital.”

    The interviewer chuckled in response.

    Unfortunately, that’s no joke!

    That’s exactly what it is!

    They’re all MAD!!!!!!

    Once you realize this, then the gravity of the situation and the downward spiral of delusion in response to Collapse becomes apparent.

  29. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject July 13, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Ozone, how goes it, man? You must be cheating on CFN and posting more frequently on other blogs; maybe this means that you’ve finally had your fill of Carol? Don’t let chicks with dicks pin ya down, signorino!

    Anyhow, sat down to a fresh saute of al dente cooked colorful beets and and wilted red kale sprinkled with feta cheese plated next to a sinful 16 oz T-bone steak this evenin’ – the veggies fresh picked from my garden; well, the kale was store bought, but we’re just now starting to early harvest some of the vegetables we’re producing. What a blast the project has been – this being our third-year try at raised bed gardening.

    But on an entirely befitting CFN Doomer note, I came across this article from a lead you turned me on to and thought I’d share it, case you haven’t caught it. It’s from the Guardian and speaks to the recurrent meme of a climate tipping point soon to come?. Here’s a snippet:

    “The new paper by James Hansen is just the latest confirming that we are on the verge of crossing a tipping point into catastrophic climate change. Other recent scientific studies show that the current global emissions trajectory could within three years guarantee a 2C rise in global temperatures, in turn triggering irreversible and dangerous amplifying feedbacks.

    According to a scientific paper given at the Geological Society of London last month, climate records from Siberian caves show that temperatures of just 1.5C generate “a tipping point for continuous permafrost to start thawing”, according to lead author Prof Anton Vaks from Oxford University’s Department of Earth Sciences. Conventional climate models suggest that 1.5C is just 10-30 years away.” – see link below

    And that last bit is what Mcpherson also emphasizes: that CONVENTIONAL models project threshold breach up to 30 years out, whereas according to Hansen’s latest digestion and interpretation of data where he calls for 2C rises in a mere 36 months. Mcpherson, too, has recently upped the ante on his non-linear feedback loops to total now 16 irreversible driving factors, up from, what, 10 originally? And still apparently none of the current accepted peer-reviewed climate models account for non-linear feedbacks? That’s hard to reconcile for some reason.

    I’ve been reading other climate scholars who are less certain of the end of the Northern Hemisphere in fewer than 5 years claim, but hey, these NTE characters sure do capture the imagination easily. And there’s some pretty decent writers over at NBL too. Oddly, one is almost tempted to root for GM’s end of empire prediction, but his dose of redemption comes at the expense of my opportunity to squander the most productive years of my life as a cog in the wheel of empire. How is that fair? Just kiddin’. Life is tragic, says JHK.

    Funny thing that me and E were talking about energy solutions earlier and I just remembered something I heard from C. Martensen awhile back:

    Problems have solutions; predicaments have outcomes.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/10/james-hansen-fossil-fuels-runaway-global-warming

    -UFIA

    • ozone July 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      UFIA,
      Thanks for the yell. I just been running in place and can’t even ketchup HERE (where it’s 50% scroll territory)!

      Thanks for your thoughtful links and comments.

      “Problems have solutions; predicaments have outcomes.”

      Both JHK and D.O. have echoed this as a strict warning, but (as usual) it’s never taken in the tightest, proper interpretation. Too bad fer the chir’rens…
      “Sorry us perpetrators and servants of predicaments are now so very dead; I guess you could shout at the grave sites?”

  30. alpha mail July 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    A hat tip in order for the fine ladies in Sanford, Florida, who had the good sense to render Zimmerman a free man. It was simply amazing to me to see an upstanding citizen being railroaded into being same racist killer by the liberal, lying, mainsteam media. And I’m not saying that it’s a good thing that a young 17 year old was murdered, because clearly it’s not.

    • janet July 13, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Had a gun-toting Trayvon Martin stalked an unarmed George Zimmerman, and then shot him to death… DO I EVEN NEED TO COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE?

      • alpha mail July 14, 2013 at 12:48 am #

        “Janet” doing that “hate” thing again…at least your bud, “Carol” admitted to being wrong aout this case. Maybe you should take out a notebook and jot down some facts about the case before you go off and scatter your judicial judgements about things which clearly you have no abiltiy to make. What are you, twelve? Or is that just your reasoning ability? At least “Carol” has some degree of intelligence in her discourse. You??? I’d measure you about one step BELOW…Miss Rachel Jeantele.

        Ummmmmm, yeah, ……i did JUST SAY THAT!!!!!

    • Carol Newquist July 13, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

      Agreed. The jurors did the proper thing and proved me wrong. I’m glad to be proven wrong in this case. They applied the evidence to the law and decided correctly, imo. As I mentioned earlier, this case never should have gone to trial.

      • janet July 14, 2013 at 12:05 am #

        Meanwhile in Tampa, Florida Marissa Alexander, who had never been arrested in her life, fired a warning shot in self-defense. Nobody got hurt, but this month a northeast Florida judge was bound by state law to sentence her to 20 years in prison.

        Oh, she was Black, a Black woman.

        So she gets 20 years for firing a warning shot?

        In Florida.

        In self-defense.

        This month.

      • alpha mail July 14, 2013 at 12:37 am #

        “I’m glad to be proven wrong in this case.” “carol” ….yeah, right!!!

  31. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    This tune goes out to Dmitry Orlov….



  32. Pucker July 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    They’ve confirmed the names of the pilots on the Korean Asiana airlines flight that crashed.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/asiana-pilots-fake-names-racist_n_3588569.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    • Carol Newquist July 13, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

      This is the mentality of the person bill decides to respond to so diplomatically; someone who engages in adolescent jokes about race. You’re a fraud, bill. I don’t believe you for one second. Never did.

  33. alpha mail July 14, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Carol, getting all defensive and such! Nice one, Q! Thanks for keeping it real, bud!

  34. Pucker July 14, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Some bored, poorly-paid, student loan-indebted college intern probably couldn’t take it anymore so he makes a joke in poor taste about the names of the pilots of the Asiana plane that crashed. It gets into the information processing pipeline at the news bureau, but none of the zombified employees catch it including the news person who just mindlessly reads the teleprompter. Incredible!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/asiana-pilots-fake-names-racist_n_3588569.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

  35. janet July 14, 2013 at 3:14 am #

    One day, we will arrive at the top of the mountain realizing that every young person, regardless of race, class, color or creed, has the right to walk safely home with a nothing but a bag of skittles and a can of ice tea in their hands. Until then, our work is not done.

    Read more: http://globalgrind.com/news/rest-peace-trayvon-benjamin-martin-michael-skolnik

    • Being There July 14, 2013 at 6:37 am #

      Anyone who has ever served as a juror knows that cases and their outcomes are based on the way a case is framed.

      As a juror, you must follow suit with the parameters you’ve been given by the judge. The rest is the game played between prosecutors and defenders.

      The jury is put in a position to work with what they are given. If the witnesses aren’t reliable –even when they aren’t wrong, the prosecution and/or the defence are stuck with the material they have to work with.

      It’s a wonder any justice is done at all in this country and in many cases as we know, it’s not and innocent people go to jail and the guilty do get off.

      The problem with this case, is that a basic fact was not part of what Zimmerman was tried for.

      Mr. Zimmerman was driven by his own predilection to pursue a young black man in a hoodie that he determined didn’t belong in a given community and was up to no good. This time he was going to stop this kid from acting.

      The reality is that Travon’s father lived there and he was going out to get a snack and that he had no weapon and had no plan of breaking the law.

      When Zimmerman contacted the police he was told to stand down and didn’t follow that order. He took it upon himself to act as vigilante and created a scenario that put his own life in jeopardy and resulted in the death of a scared teen who had no idea what Zimmerman was doing.

      There was no discussion here. There was no attempt at identifying himself. Travon’s friend said on the phone to him that this strange man could be a rapist. Imagine how Travon felt when this guy was on his trail and what his frame of mind might have been.

      I believe that had the prosecutors come up with a few other counts against the actions Zimmerman took, he would have been found guilty of a lesser crime than murder. He was surly out of line.

      As I’ve pointed out before, this blog is like a Rorschach test when it comes to perception. Those who think this is about whites standing up to racial pressures are happy at the verdict and others who feel something very wrong happened and Zimmerman should not go scot free that this is a travesty of justice.

      Whatever your Rorschach test results are is how you look at this image. I believe something went horribly wrong and hopefully we’ll see some changes in how stand your ground laws are fashioned.

      • Elmendorf July 14, 2013 at 8:29 am #

        Oh, BT, if O.J. Simpson was innocent then so was Hitler. Actually, Simpson’s guilt was a LOT clearer than Zimmerman’s going strictly from the evidence. That’s why Simpson lost the civil trial and then proved what a vindictive, pompous ass he was by holding up guys at gunpoint in Vegas for which he’s still in the can.

        Then how about the Duke Lacrosse Scandal. A couple of black girls pretended to be Snow White and accused the lacrosse team of raping them. Turns out that not only were these girls HOOKERS but the prosecuting attorney was DISBARRED for prosecutorial abuse of power. They just HAD to put those preppies in prison by God … whatever it took!! Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were on the steps of the University convicting the lacrosse team but neither of these assholes apologized when the embarrassing facts rolled in.

        Here’s what I mean by reverse racism: Black people like Simpson are “innocent” and black hookers are Snow White. Finally, we know FUCK ALL about the precise circumstances of Zimmerman’s approach to Martin or what Martin’s attitude and behavior consisted of and the jury found it sufficiently murky to acquit Zimmerman unanimously!!

        For you to write your piece about this is a “Rorschach Test” is very disappointing. You just watch. The black indignation will be far, far greater about Martin than the white indignation after the Duke Lacrosse team was tried in the court of public opinion by every black leader from NYC to Oakland, CA. I’m disappointed in your insistence that this is a test of our humanity. Most white people I know, a couple months after the Lacrosse scandal were like “What Duke lacrosse scandal?”.

        Minorities have proven to be FABULOUS at public indignation and when proven wrong they NEVER recant like Jackson and Sharpton did not recant when proven grossly wrong. You’re implying that whitey is constantly indignant. Do you get to say that because it’s true or because you just like the sound of it?

        E.

        • Being There July 14, 2013 at 9:05 am #

          E.

          This is more a case of vigilantism and should not have been tried simply as a murder. In that case it does come down to self-defense.

          When Zimmerman called the police he was told to back down and he didn’t.

          This is not about every other black and white case ever tried in this country and it will never right the wrongs of the racial and cultural divide. We have a deep schism and no one case will cure us of that.

          In court cases as in our analysis this is a matter of perception and how a case is presented. The poison tree is the dynamic set in motion by a man who was not trained to handle a would-be criminal.

          He failed to state what he was doing and failed to find out what TM was doing there. That’s because he had no training and was in over his head before he disobeyed the order the police gave him.

          He called it in and should have waited for the police to confront this kid. It really ends up being that simple.

          The rest of what happened never would have happened if Zimmerman let the police follow up. Too bad he gets to walk scot free without taking responsibility for his actions that led to an unnecessary murder. If the prosecution framed this case differently there would be some accountability.

          Sorry, E., but I’m not blaming whitey and I’m not siding with the showcasing by Sharpton, only pointing out that we are all seeing the same story with different perceptions and coming out with different takes on it.

          Everyone always thinks they’re right and few can look upon these cases objectively.

          I sure hope I’m never at the wrong place at the wrong time with an armed individual guessing at what I’m doing.

          • beantownbill. July 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

            “As a juror, you must follow suit with the parameters you’ve been given by the judge. The rest is the game played between prosecutors and defenders.”

            BT, so very true; you’ve succinctly summed up the whole issue in 2 sentences.

            I’ve been a juror in several trials over the years, some of them criminal. It seems that jurors in my neck of the woods are pretty scarce because the system always calls me as soon as the minimum time period calling for jury duty elapses.

            In my last trial I had to decide an assault case. Both sides called their witnesses, and their testimonies each defended their own side. The decision ultimately rested on a security camera tape that was supposed to show the incident. Unfortunately, the picture was so grainy that none of the jurors could say whether or not the defendant was the perpetrator.

            When the trial began, the judge instructed us that the standard for conviction had to be guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This was not the case. I believed the defendant was guilty, but I couldn’t vote for a conviction because of the doubt. The point of my comment here is that although it killed me to do so, I voted innocent because I felt I had to follow the principles set forth centuries ago by men much wiser than me..

            Until someone has had the experience of helping decide a person’s fate, that they ought not comment on whether justice was served.

            American jurisprudence states that citizens must decide a person’s fate if a jury trial is requested. For any thinking person, this requirement can be a great burden forever. I wish the public didn’t have this responsibility, but like most everything in life, nothing is perfect.

        • anti dod July 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

          Crystal Magnum, arrested for murda. It was one gal, not 2. Sharpton and Jesse, da good reverunds rushed to the po gals defense.

        • anti dod July 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

          Actually it went WAY F–KIN beyond the elected officials. There was a group of 80? leftist profs at Duke that did a ‘lynching’ of those innocent men. There may have been civil lawsuits against the feminazis. There is info. online.

  36. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject July 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    “When the trial began, the judge instructed us that the standard for conviction had to be guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This was not the case. I believed the defendant was guilty, but I couldn’t vote for a conviction because of the doubt. The point of my comment here is that although it killed me to do so, I voted innocent because I felt I had to follow the principles set forth centuries ago by men much wiser than me.” -BTB

    ****************************************************************************

    BTB, you shouldn’t be so quick to kowtow to the intellects of mere men from centuries past. Humans have never been as smart as they’ve believed themselves to be.

    The reasonable doubt standard is part and parcel to criminal trials whereas the preponderance of evidence standard is the rubric in civil proceedings. Neither of these are particularly rigorous evidential standards, and in both cases the wrong verdict can be delivered despite the merit (and lack thereof) of the evidence, as you suggested. Case decisions in criminal trials often only boil down to which way the wind blows through a particular jury’s collective mind.

    Nonetheless, I didn’t quite understand E’s mention of the O.J. Simpson trial, as it has zero similarity to the Zimmerman spectacle; anyhow, here’s how the evidence stacked against O.J. in the Criminal trial: the defense team counted up and presented as many pieces of evidence suggesting O.J.’s guilt as they could, yet O.J.’s slick defense team was able to project reasonable doubt onto the evidence and into the weak minds of jurors. He went free but was later convicted of wrongful death in the Civil trial using the preponderance of evidence standard and the exact same counted up pieces of evidence from the criminal trial. The jury’s intellect in the civil case played less a role, for all they had to do was some simple addition to deliver the verdict in the civil case.

    Now if there is a similarity to be found among the Simpson and Zimmerman cases it is likely to be seen in whether there is next a civil suit for wrongful death filed against Zimmerman. The only similarity to be mentioned would be if Zimmerman gets off criminally but loses civilly. Even if he is found guilty he’s now only looking at a monetary penalty. But all the race debating is completely silly and shows that the msm’s ability to captivate simple minds has been perfected to the level of high art.

    In every case, Justice will be swerved…

    -UFIA

    • Being There July 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Touche

    • janet July 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      Very well stated.

      Jurors are almost never informed of their nullification rights. Thanks to the Quaker, William Penn, jurors do have that right. Juries have the right to judge both the law and the facts and to nullify the law if they so chose. No need to kowtow to the “principles set forth centuries ago.” Jurisprudence is a dynamic process. Jurors have rights.

    • beantownbill. July 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      UFIA,

      The reasonable doubt standard has been in effect for centuries. Even if – and I’m not admitting this – those men were not as bright as we’d like, extremely wise legal theorists have upheld this standard for at least 800 years, yet to my knowledge, the reason doubt principle has never been overthrown in the English court system (I think).

      So, my young friend, at the risk of sounding like those old men who say in their quivering, elderly voices (not my intention), “You young whippersnappers haven’t been around enough to know what’s really going on – why, when I was your age, things were different…”, I say unless you’ve shouldered the responsibility of holding a man’s future in your hands – and I’ll make the assumption you haven’t – you might not want to so easily disregard the weight of history. And if you have, then maybe the whippersnapper description is apt.
      One thing the judge tries to impress on the jury is to view the facts as presented, objectively. Unfortunately, many people can’t seem to do that. Is anyone 100% objective, anyway? Hence the imperfection of the system.

      I do mostly admire your comments. Keep them coming, I look forward to them.

      Live long and prosper,

      BTB

      • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject July 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

        BTB,

        I wasn’t disputing the historical relevance or weightiness of the judicial protocols per se but rather pointing out that RD and PofE are equally weak evidential standards, at least as compared to the rigorous standards for evidence required in the practice of the scientific method, and we use these weaker measures of evidence to decide the fate of many truly profound legal questions in our culture. And you can see the result all around you.

        The reasonable doubt and preponderance of evidence standards have in fact been in place for some time, and I loosely but adequately explained how they’re used in the different types of legal proceedings to (miss?)handle and process the exact same samples of evidence in a given scenario. Moreover, examples do abound in the history books of ridiculous legal decisions arrived at using these oddly contrived evidential rules, but we’ve come to elevate legal practice and the framers of such as Gospel from Gods because we can also point to other seemingly favorable productive outcomes. They’re indeed tried and true legal methodologies which by no means are perfect, but they’re the best the non-scientific thinkers could think of, hundreds and thousands of years ago. And hey, ya win some ya lose some, right?

        In that sense, these msm hyped criminal trials that in no way deserve national attention do serve a purpose – they turn the ordinary idiot at home with a half-cocked hunch about a case and a closet full of painful grudges into the latest Johny Cochrane, Ken Starr, or fuckin’ Nancy Grace. They’ve also become sporting events, not serious life and death discussions of genuine concern for affected parties, and you get to pick your team and place your bets and then bitch, piss and moan if the ref doesn’t throw the flag or call the foul when you think he should. It’s like a Springer show but the freakshow is the audience, not the trailer trash and ghetto fabulousness seated on stage. People with deep opinions on these stupid media diversions want a ticket to the freak-show? Well look in the mirror to find it.

        Separately, the evidential standards for legal proceedings also demonstrate exactly how “evidence” can be stacked or twisted to define money as speech, but I’m beginning to drag the conversation into a separate realm entirely, so I’ll just let it go.

        It wasn’t a personal jab, Bill. Look forward to your posts also.

        -UFIA

  37. janet July 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    CFNers like to think they have “critical thinking” abilities. Jury duty is a good example of an opportunity to put critical thinking to work. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution or in any Supreme Court decision requires jurors to take an oath to follow the law as the judge explains it or, for that matter, authorizes the judge to “instruct” the jury at all. Judges provide their interpretation of the law, but you may also do your own thinking. Keep in mind that no juror’s oath is enforceable, and that you may regard all “instructions” as advice.

    When they believe justice requires it, jurors can refuse to apply the law. Jurors have the power to consider whether the law itself is wrong (including whether it is “unconstitutional”), or is being applied for political reasons. Is the defendant being singled out as “an example” in order to demonstrate government muscle? Were the defendant’s constitutional rights violated during the arrest? Much of today’s “crime wave” consists of victimless crimes–crimes against the state, or “political crimes”, so if you feel that a verdict of guilty would give the government too much power, or help keep a bad law alive, just remember that you can refuse to apply any law that violates your conscience.

    • Being There July 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      UFIA,

      I think the discussion about Bernard Goetz and George Zimmerman might be a more apt comparison than O.J.Simpson.

      Goetz was prosecuted for vigilantism even though he was approached by 4 muggers. He too was waiting for a fight to even the score from a former run-in.

      It goes to frame of mind and I think Zimmerman was looking to even a score from bad actors from the past.

      btw I did say at the time that OJ was found not guillty that he would be put away for something else….something in the air.

      • janet July 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

        Let’s also remember that Zimmerman may not be off the hook just yet. Federal prosecutors can still file criminal civil rights charges now that Zimmerman has been acquitted in the Florida state case.

        The Feds opened an investigation into Martin’s death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed. The Feds have additional evidence, evidence generated during the federal probe, in addition to the evidence and testimony from the state trial, and they can still determine that the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation.

        • Being There July 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

          Janet,
          i can just hear the response to that. The racists will scream that the communist-fascist tyrant Obama is re-trying the case—

          You just can’t win…..

      • beantownbill. July 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

        It was obvious from the testimony in the Goetz case, that Bernie had a chip on his shoulder from a previous mugging, in which he was made to feel powerless and humiliated. He then went looking for trouble by riding the subways. The 4 muggers were probably going to, at the minimum, push him around, if not physically assault him.

        There was no convincing testimony that showed Zimmerman was actively looking for trouble. But I do believe he was angry about burglaries in the neighborhood, supposedly committed by Blacks, and profiled TM.

        He should not have confronted TM in the first place, but TM shouldn’t have fought Zimmerman. At the point Treyvon was on top of Z, Z did not have an option to get away, and probably was justified in shooting him. That’s just my opinion. Who knows what really happened?

    • beantownbill. July 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Nullification applies when the juror(s) believe the specific law behind a trial is unconstitutional or unfair, or generally, wrong, and votes to acquit for that reason. In the case in which I served, I believed the reasonable doubt principle was correct, and I stood by it.

      Many times jury nullification is taken out of the equation before the trial even starts. The judge interviews the jurors individually, beforehand, and asks the juror if they have any problem with the law or anything that pertains to the case. For example, in a first degree murder trial in a death penalty state, the judge will ask if the juror has any objections in principle to the death penalty. If the juror says yes, there’s a good chance that juror will not be empaneled. Then the juror would have to lie about his beliefs in order to be chosen.

      This is why both prosecutors and defense attorneys spend so much time and effort in choosing jurors.

  38. janet July 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assumed to be criminal, violent, malignant.” — W.E.B. Du Bois

    • Elmendorf July 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

      It’s a horrible thing for DECENT black and Hispanic people to be profiled, followed, and suspected for everything for they comprise the majority of their ethnic groups.

      However, anybody with any respect for data must acknowledge that on a per capita basis these ethnicities are responsible for anywhere from 3X to 10X more crime than the Caucasian culture that surrounds them. Equally tragic is the fact that these ethnicities are also small minorities at universities and colleges largely because succeeding in this way is looked at as “giving in to the man” or doing it the white man’s way.

      Finally, another horrible tragedy consists of things like the reelection of politicos like Marion Barry like it’s a thumb in the eyes of whitey. Indeed, it’s like a robber holding up someone while pointing the gun at his feet saying: “Hands up or I’ll shoot!!”.

      We can philosophize until we are blue in the face but the reason people are afraid of black people in neighborhoods is entirely due to their enormous increment of crime above white people. Palo Alto where I live is a very white town. There have been two armed robberies on side streets this year, both by black men. Steve Jobs house where he lived was robbed by black guys from Oakland who were among the dumbest criminals in recent memory.

      In nearby East Palo Alto, essentially a ghetto/barrio, there was a recent spate of six murders in little more than two weeks. Neighboring Palo Alto hasn’t had a TOTAL of six murders in the last combined THIRTY YEARS. The decent people in towns like East Palo Alto have to appoint stronger leadership to DEMAND that their young people act like civilized beings and put mentors and leaders in place who will enforce this.

      E.

  39. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject July 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    UFIA,

    Thanks for the yell. I just been running in place and can’t even ketchup HERE (where it’s 50% scroll territory)!

    Thanks for your thoughtful links and comments.

    “Problems have solutions; predicaments have outcomes.”

    Both JHK and D.O. have echoed this as a strict warning, but (as usual) it’s never taken in the tightest, proper interpretation. Too bad fer the chir’rens…
    “Sorry us perpetrators and servants of predicaments are now so very dead; I guess you could shout at the grave sites?”

    **********************************************************

    Haha, probably better than 50%, my man.

    But if you happen by any follow up affirmative or rebuttal responses to the latest Hansen piece, please throw a dog a bone. I have my doubts about this 2C change in as few as 3 years thing but it all comes down to the quality of the peer reviewed data, right?

    The debate aside, however, I have to confess that it just plain feels like the climate is shifting. I have a hard time discounting what I sense as I stand in my own damn front yard these days as anything else but bad news.

    -UFIA

    • Elmendorf July 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      Is global warming a fact? Well, of course it is!! Is it predominantly manmade? Well, even politically correct climatologists will show graphs that only go back a few thousand years. Earth’s climate cycles can be on the order of a MILLION years. Greenland was once green and being farmed long before man had the ability to create so much CO2.

      Whether manmade or totally cyclical, nature has a way of telling humans that “shit happens”. CO2, however, has a small fraction of METHANE’s ability to warm the globe. Humans don’t release much methane into the atmosphere.

      Climate change is simply a geological fact. The New York Snow Belt no longer reaches Ithaca which only gets about 30% of the snow it got just 30 years ago. New Mexico’s “exceptional drought” might actually be far more representative of its very long term average climate than what happened in the 20th century.

      My wish is that the climate debate made SOME attempt to untangle the web of complexity by figuring out just how much of the change is manmade and how much is cyclical. I am unaware of any such research.

      E.

    • Being There July 15, 2013 at 7:15 am #

      UFIA,

      Anecdotally speaking, the temperate climate of of NYC and the metropolitan area is getting more like my experience in Bangkok and Mexico in the summer.

      It looks more like the a tropical rain forest profile. Often hot humid breaking into downpours in the afternoon, marked by unstable air masses with lots of localized rain.

      My sister lives in the burbs and she gets caught in downpours while it’s sunny here and her yard and garden is growing out of control. She can barely keep up with the growth. We remember when we had to water our lawns every day.

      Dry grass is no longer an issue.

  40. debt July 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Jim -

    Not sure what the point of changing your website was about. Change I see but no improvement and in fact, like much so-called technological improvement around us it is a diminishment instead.

    Debt

  41. Q. Shtik July 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    By the way, life is so much more than just making and spending money. – janet

    Typical Asoka…tells the well-off “money won’t make you happy” while supporting every government scheme of wealth transfer to the poor. Why doesn’t s(he) tell the poor “money won’t make you happy?” Rhetorical question, no answer required.

    • Being There July 15, 2013 at 7:22 am #

      Q.

      You don’t have to be Asoka to read studies that show that money doesn’t fulfill emotional needs. After you’ve made a certain amount, it doesn’t translate to happiness.

      I for one would much rather have surplus money and feel secure, but after that, it matters more that I have strong relationships and can participate in things I value.

      I believe that having a sense of control of your life and choices is what makes people happy, although money does make those options easier to achieve.

      As far as redistribution of wealth? Well what’s happened in the last few years is that it has been redistributed from the bottom to the top with no balance. This is not the economy of your youth, Q.–Wake up!

  42. Elmendorf July 15, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    It’s entirely possible that Zimmerman, like security guards everywhere, are “wannabe cops”. However, lost in the description of the event was the fact that Zimmerman’s neighborhood had a large number of home invasions, PRIMARILY BY YOUNG BLACK MEN.

    Also, Martin is described as TEMPORARILY STAYING in the neighborhood but not a full-time resident. Therefore, with these facts in mind, if you’re a neighborhood watchman you’d be a little negligent NOT to approach Martin to see what he was doing.

    Finally, when I was Martin’s age, teenagers generally reacted with deference and fear when questioned by an older person. They don’t punch them, knock them down, or anything else. Therefore, to all the protestors and their goddamned righteous indignation today I say … DON’T LET THE FACTS STAND IN THE WAY OF YOUR MINDSET.

    Think about it … if you lived somewhere where vandalism was getting tiresome AND about 80% of the perps were black and you saw a young black kid on the street wearing a black hoodie with no obvious destination AND he didn’t live in the neighborhood, what would YOU do in Zimmerman’s position? Fuck reverse racism. Fuck the protestors. Congratulations to the jurors who saw that reasonable doubt permeated this case from top to bottom.

    Whites have NEVER gone public like Sharpton and Jackson to express indignation en masse even in horrific cases like the Simpson case. Blacks don’t ever apologize either when they have wronged people like the Duke Lacrosse team. Or how about the old Tawana Brawley case of false rape accusation? I could go on and on and on.

    Our society is “racist” all right but when blacks or Hispanics are racists it’s “The Just Indignation of the Oppressed”. Whites apparently have no right to indignation.

    E.

    • Being There July 15, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      Indignation is one thing and taking the law into your hands instead of waiting for the police as GZ was told to do would have averted the misunderstanding.

      TM shouldn’t have died because of others and becuse GZ thought he fit into a catagory.

      Facts are facts, E. and I think the Rorshach test I refer to is what facts you focus on.

      As for the hoodie, it was raining and I gotta tell you I wear the hood on my sweat shirts when it rains—I just don’t scare anyone—maybe when I’m more wrinkled I will.

  43. janet July 15, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Eleuthero, regarding manmade versus cyclical, don’t fall into the assumption that manmade is or recent origin. Our tampering with Earth’s climate didn’t begin just a few decades or centuries ago, but 8000 years before, with the birth of agriculture.

    William Ruddiman, a climate scientist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, started to suspect that ancient human activities have affected the climate when he noticed a telltale discrepancy in levels of greenhouse gases revealed by ice cores.

    During the previous three periods between ice ages, levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the air fell in lockstep with decreases in summer sunshine caused by cyclical changes in Earth’s orbit. But after the most recent ice age, which peaked about 12,000 years ago, the two gases broke the pattern.

    Levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide began to increase 8000 years ago, followed by methane 5000 years ago, even though summer sunshine has been decreasing. “Both gases followed the expected trend for a while but then went up instead of down,” says Ruddiman. “It didn’t quite fit.”

    After ruling out possible natural causes for the greenhouse gas increases, Ruddiman now thinks that early farmers clearing forests in Europe, India and China account for the surge of carbon dioxide, while rice paddies and burgeoning herds of livestock produced the extra methane. He estimates that over time this activity laced the atmosphere with about 40 parts per million of carbon dioxide and 250 parts per billion of methane, enough to produce nearly 0.8°C of warming before 1700, around the dawn of industrialisation. If he is right, that just about equals the warming humans are thought to have caused since then.

    Intriguingly, Ruddiman thinks the anomalous cooling of the “little ice age” that gripped the world for several centuries from around 1300 was caused by a specific setback to agriculture — plague. He notes that pandemics of bubonic plague depopulated Eurasia during those same centuries. Fields and villages were abandoned and reclaimed by fast-growing forests that sucked carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, resulting in the cooler temperatures felt worldwide. This completely reverses the widely held idea that it was the little ice age that caused the famine, depopulation and disease.

    Another surprising implication of Ruddiman’s theory is that the warming before 1700 0.8°C globally, but nearly 2°C in far northern latitudes — may have saved Canada from renewed glaciation. If levels of greenhouse gases had continued to fall after the most recent ice age, as they did after the three preceding ice ages, glaciers would once again have spread across north-eastern Canada about 4000 years ago.

    Just sayin’

    • Elmendorf July 15, 2013 at 4:48 am #

      I actually agree that agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, I aver that that point is incontestable. However, a possible influence of much greater magnitude is the effect of climate on the Gulf Conveyor Current. Even the Pentagon, since Daddy Bush’s administration, has been very concerned with this phenomenon.

      The paradox is that global warming has slowed the current so much that Europe is having its most brutal winters in decades. However, it’s the trend that matters and if this current slows to a crawl, Europe will soon be a most inhospitable place to live since Rome is one degree farther NORTH than New York City!! Thus, global warming may still occur as a global AVERAGE but some places, especially Europe may experience the opposite: Brutal cold.

      E.

  44. janet July 15, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    The correlation between income and happiness is considerably weaker than people expect and recent research supports that contention.

    Cone, J., & Gilovich, T. (2010). Understanding money’s limits: People’s beliefs about the income – happiness correlation. Journal Of Positive Psychology, 5(4), 294-301. doi:10.1080/17439760.2010.498620

    Gleibs, I. H., Morton, T. A., Rabinovich, A., Haslam, S., & Helliwell, J. F. (2013). Unpacking the hedonic paradox: A dynamic analysis of the relationships between financial capital, social capital and life satisfaction. British Journal Of Social Psychology, 52(1), 25-43. doi:10.1111/j.2044-Aknin, L. B., Norton, M. I., & Dunn, E. W. (2009). From wealth to well-being? Money matters, but less than people think. Journal Of Positive Psychology, 4(6), 523-527. doi:10.1080/17439760903271421

    Becchetti, L., Corrado, L., & Rossetti, F. (2011). The Heterogeneous Effects of Income Changes on Happiness. Social Indicators Research, 104(3), 387-406. doi:10.1007/s11205-010-9750-0

    Those are just a few studies out of many that show a person’s day-to-day emotional wellbeing is only influenced by money up to a certain point.

    Comparing people’s happiness against income, researchers have found day-to-day emotional state rose with average annual income only until about $75,000. After that more money made no difference (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011492107).

    People’s emotional state may stabilise above $75,000 because they no longer worry about meeting basic needs This allows them to settle into whatever level of moment-to-moment happiness their personality permits. I don’t know if that is what Asoka said when he posted here, but this is what current scientific research studies have found.

    • Elmendorf July 15, 2013 at 4:50 am #

      There have actually been studies showing that if you make only a few kilodollars more than average, you’re as happy as a billionaire. Money buys happiness up to a very small point. I won’t quibble about any dollar figure under $100K but your point has actually been studied and verified.

      E.

  45. Malthus July 16, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    I am anxious. I am really anxious to see the huge pile of dung we have created finally collapse and then to see what humans that are left will be like. How they adapt to it. that is if I make it.

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