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The Disservice Industry

     Let’s put aside for a few moments the moral insanity of anyone – myself for instance – flying in airplanes hither, thither, and yon in order to make a living. Don’t worry, we’ll return to this. But for now, let’s just consider the exorbitant sadism of the airlines and the quality of experience in traveling with them.
     I had to get from Detroit to New Orleans via Atlanta last week on Delta. We boarded the Atlanta flight on time, a small miracle in itself these days and a sign of smooth sailing ahead. Everyone adjusted his/her personal air blower, deployed reading material, drew the window shade against the low evening sun, and waited… waited… waited for something to happen – such as, for the jetway to retract, the aircraft to push back from the gate, the flight attendants to commence the vaudeville of flight safety. None of this occurred.
     By and by, someone in the cockpit got on the PA system and said, “Uh, folks [note: the ominous salutation, folks, intended to convey a sense of solidarity, an aura of 'we're all in this together' camaraderie] folks, we’ve been instructed to put on a little extra fuel in case we have to fly around some weather en route. It’ll take a couple of minutes and we have to fill out some paperwork, and then we’ll be off. We apologize and thanks for your patience.”
     Nobody is grateful for this apology. It is very easy to sense what is going on in the seats all around me. Everybody’s brain is whirring at warp speed doing calculations to arrive at some notion as to whether they will make their connection and the conclusions all around tend to the grim side of the equation. Time ticks by and, still, nothing happens. We sit. The flight attendants pass down and up the aisle pretending to be busy, stopping to issue claims of incomplete knowledge as to what’s going on – intended to serve as reassurance (and which, you understand, only creates more anxiety). 
     More than “a couple of minutes” have gone by.  Way more. More like seventeen couples of minutes. But the temporal range in airline travel, especially among denizens of the cockpit, differs apparently from the measure of time in other realms of modern life. It’s highly impressionistic, squishy, imprecise. If you asked the co-pilot, for instance, how old he is, he might tell you he is thirteen – because to him it seems like only “a couple” of years has gone by since he sat in middle school gazing out the window at the clouds (and how, for some strange reason, they all looked like women’s breasts to him).
     The other possibility, of course, is that they lie. They lie incessantly, reflexively, remorselessly, pathologically. After all, what percentage is there in it for them to tell the truth – which is: you are all going to miss your connections and we don’t really give a shit because we get paid whether you get there on time or not, and anyway it’s not our problem. They lie also because there are always x-number of credulous schlemiels on every flight who are reassured by their lies, even if they are transparently at odds with what is actually happening.
     About 50 minutes after our scheduled departure, a miracle! We push back. It is a pretty low-grade miracle as they go, because the majority of passengers with connections in Atlanta are all suffering in their personal globes of despair. I am fully aware that I have no hope mathematically of making my connection to New Orleans and I begin to plot out how I will find a room in some airport hotel… and I picture a line about thirty persons long at the under-staffed service desk where I will have to go upon landing to arrange for a flight out the following morning, and I endure a little shudder of anguish imagining a supper of Chips Ahoy cookies and Diet Coke from the hotel vending machine, which will be my only “food service choice” at, say, 10:15 when I finally get to the hotel, which is guaranteed to be miles away from anything resembling a dispensary of  actual meal-type food, even if one happens to be open somewhere in Atlanta at that late hour….
    An announcement from the cockpit: “Well, folks, the good news is we’re taxiing out to the runway. However, we’ve got about eleven small regional jets ahead of us….”
    I am, of course, thinking, in a kind of mind-gnashing way: what the fuck does it matter if they are “small regional jets” or Airbus A380s – or Saturn rockets? They’re all still ahead of us, and they all have to take off, one-by-one. And they do. And by the time we nose up into the climb-out I figure we are an hour and seven minutes late getting out of Detroit Metro and I am resigned to my lost night in an Atlanta mystery hotel and my supper of recreational snack cuisine, and my sojourn with bedbugs. This is not so for everybody else in the vicinity of my seat, 34C, which is so far back – like, an arm’s length from the toilet – that even if we got into Atlanta on time it would take me half an hour to get off the plane. Other passengers are grumbling and grousing out loud and, once we level off, summoning the flight attendant in desperate attempts to bargain their way to connecting flight (Kubler-Ross style bargaining in the face of hopelessness). The flight attendants either pretend to know nothing or truly know nothing. A sour scent of aggression wafts around the cabin. More than one grousing passenger, I sense, wants to throttle the clueless bitch.
     We reach cruising altitude. Another message from the cockpit: “Well, folks, we did get off a little late [oh? Thanks for letting us know that] but the good news is that our flight schedules are routinely padded so we often get in early. Plus, we can probably make up a good bit of time en route, and if all goes well, we’ll get in maybe ten minutes late is all. Now sit back, relax, and….”
     Oh my Gawd. Thank you Elizabeth Kubler-Ross! Thank you baby Jesus, Allah, Quetzalcoatl, whomever dwells up here in the vapors of heaven overlooking our affairs! I pull out my flight itinerary and run the mental calculations. If, indeed, we pull into Atlanta a mere ten minutes late, I have approximately seventeen minutes to get the fuck off of this plane and sprint – very possibly to a different concourse – to get to my departing New Orleans flight (and this is even figuring in the close-out ten minutes prior to push-back). Seventeen beautiful minutes!
     I spend the rest of the flight in an exquisite state of suspense, plotting every move from cabin to jetway to airport shuttle-train to connecting gate. I even plan the last-minute draining of the bladder and decline the offer of my in-flight beverage to expedite my plan. I try desperately to read Sean Willentz’s stupendously tiresome new book, Bob Dylan in America, and Sean is going on and on – for a score of pages – about the derivation of Dylan’s vrsion of “Delia” recorded in 1993, sourced apparently from an incident in St. Louis a hundred-odd years ago involving a fourteen-year-old girl and her jealous fifteen year old boyfriend, and how the boy perhaps sassed the judge at the conclusion of his trail… and the whole time I am reading the seven or eight re-fried versions of this story, some other part of my mind is going ka-chinga-ka-chinga-ka-chinga, desperately reviewing my plan to race to the connection gate, as though I was plotting an escape from Cellblock D in Alcatraz. It occurs to me that I should have bought a miniature bottle of vodka when the service cart rolled past, but I also realize it would have just over-excited my bladder, and well… these are the kinds of desperate thoughts that race through your brain at a time like this.
     The flight, to be fair, is otherwise uneventful. Yes, truly. Until the conclusion, of course. We land, bumpety-bump! Thanks again to the
sundry gods! We taxi, and taxi, and taxi. I am sick of glancing at my watch. I would like to take it off my wrist and stomp it into a thousand fragments, but I am not supposed to get out of my seat while taxiing. We taxi halfway to whatever the fuck is next door to the state of Georgia, it seems like, Alabama or some fucking hell-hole where people live on Twinkies and fight over their step-children. We taxi some more, and then a little more, and then… we… finally… come… to… a… stop.
     Announcement from the cockpit: “Well, folks [reflex nausea], the good news is we’re here. [gulp.] However, there seems to be another aircraft at our gate. They say they’ll be pushing back in just a couple of minutes….”
     Despair sweeps through the cabin. Everybody with a connection who has been going through the Kubler-Ross bargaining-in-the-face-of-hopelessness routine, everyone whose hope was miraculously restored by the padded-flight-schedule-make-up-time-in-the-air story is now plunged into the blackest depth of wretched despondency. A “couple of minutes” extends, naturally, to many many many minutes, and we just sit there on the tarmac. Is the reincarnation of the Marquis deSade piloting this plane, I wonder? The old bugger couldn’t have done a better job at more elaborately torturing a group of hapless travelers. We watch our chances of  making connecting flights dribble away to… nothing.  Seventeen percent… thirteen percent… nine percent… four percent… gone… baby… gone….
    By now, I’m grousing and grumbling to myself, too, of course. An elderly lady in the seat beside me, who, I happen to know, is getting off here in Atlanta (because she said so two hours ago), chirpingly states, “…oh, the flights out of this airport are always delayed. Don’t worry….” Well, I’m thinking (but do not say): no offense, ma’am, but I’ve already gone through at least a year’s worth of worry so far, and I really only have the despair of my evening in the mystery hotel to get through now, and why don’t you shut the fuck up…. I just think this, you understand, I suppose that’s bad enough….
     Another announcement from the cockpit: “Well, folks, it looks like another gate has opened up over at A-12 so we’re going to taxi over….”
     A passenger shouts at the flight attendant: “Can you get us connecting flight gate information?”  A reasonable request, notwithstanding that this person is probably delusional in thinking there is any chance he can make his flight.
      “We don’t do that anymore,” the flight attendant explains.
      “Huh? Whaddaya mean you don’t do it anymore? In this age of computers and the internet you can’t tell us what gate we should go to? Twenty years ago they used to tell us before they even had computers!”
     “They change the gates so often here that we don’t do that anymore.”
     “What!?! With high-speed computers you can’t keep up up with the latest gate changes?”
     The flight attendant just shrugs and makes a Sarah Palinesque cute face. 
     Where’s Mohammad Atta and his box-cutter when you really need him?
     To make a long story short – though it’s too late for that – I debouched from the jetway, eventually, to find, on the departure board, a succinct note linked to my New Orleans flight stating, simply, “closed.” But, yet another miracle, I discovered by corralling an idle gate-agent who had just finished boarding a flight going elsewhere, and was merely shuffling a few papers and, by-the-grace-of-Gawd, gave me a moment of her attention, that there was a very late additional flight to New Orleans, and I managed to get a seat on it.
     I had forty-five minutes to get to it. I was able to find a plate of hideously over-salted tofu/vegetable and lo-mein a moment before they scraped out the steam-table at Wok-and-Roll, or whatever the establishment calls itself in that food court.
    Final note: that later plane I got on was delayed forty-five minutes taking off, too. But then I didn’t give a fuck, because N.O.L.A. was my last stop.
    Oh yes, in re: the moral insanity of flying all over the place to make a buck. Think of it this way: I’m suffering for everybody’s sins. All y’all’s, as they say in Atlanta. It’s, perhaps, a little grandiose, but that’s how I’m going to figure it. And anyway, insanity, by definition, is not subject to rational mediation. If you paid for this blog – like that fucking dipshit Paul Krugman gets paid for his vapid, specious ruminations at The New York Times — or bought my books, I wouldn’t have to do it.
    Have a nice week, however long it lasts, or however many days it may contain.
   

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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.

488 Responses to “The Disservice Industry” Subscribe

  1. Puzzler September 27, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Just to keep some moron from claiming first.

  2. dublindan September 27, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    trouble is… this is yer podcast frum last week

  3. Lynn Shwadchuck September 27, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Oh, Jim, don’t do this to me. I used to fly several times a month for work and I’d much rather hear esoteric details about Dylan’s creative process than complaints about bad customer service from the airlines.
    To go back on topic about the demise of human civilization: In Harper’s Readings this month editor Roger Hodge published an excerpt from his new book, The Mendacity of Hope. Concluding that “the perverse corporate regime that has arisen in our country is a usurpation of popular government”, he still believes in a process and a constitution that will allow Americans to “throw off these bonds and provide new guards for our future society”. Personally, I’m afraid Sarah Palin will be the next president. I watched an excellent 2006 documentary called ‘Lake of Fire’ that really does a great job of showing how the most extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalists use abortion as their emotional hook to swing America toward something that will make Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale come true if we don’t watch out. Rolling Stone has a nicely cobbled narrative of the scientists’ growing understanding of the relationship between the crumbling of the ice around Greenland and Antarctica to human-caused climate change.
    But here in the bush I’m just watching the weather forecasts to decide the latest possible moment to harvest the root veggies.
    Lynn
    http://www.10in10diet.com/
    Diet for a small footprint and a small grocery bill

  4. David September 27, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks for reminding me as to why I don’t fly.

  5. trav777 September 27, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    what an asshole…so OMFG, they inconvenienced you??? HOW DARE THEY?
    Shit happens. Flying airplanes isn’t like driving your Volvo down the freaking street.
    I’m sure you’d be much happier if they didn’t take on extra fuel and then the shit fell out of the sky; just another reason to bitch about something.
    Yeah, you’re really fucking suffering….

  6. Jack Acme September 27, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    I have purchased your books: full price for hardback _The_Long_Emergency_ and a few bucks for a remaindered paperback of _World_Made_etc_. If you set up a painless mechanism for “donations” I’ll utilize that too because you are so damn funny.
    Happy Trails,
    Jack

  7. John T Anderson September 27, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Jim: Maybe it’s because I don’t fly nearly as often as you do (I usually fly only at Christmas), but I still think that even a bad day flying is better than a good day working. My worst day flying was in the 1990s and involved President Clinton flying into Chicago-O’Hare for a political fundraiser, but I managed to get into Phoenix late that night.

  8. Puzzler September 27, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Thank you for suffering for our sins, Jim.
    Looking forward to seeing you next Sunday here in Bellingham. I hope your flights here are screwed up enough that you’re nice and testy. If you miss the appearance, perhaps some Malaysian pirates will show up to entertain us.

  9. conchscooter September 27, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    To squeeze the airlines till they bleed then expect them to provide first class service in the style of the 1950’s or 60s when flying was a pastime reserved for the very wealthy seems unrealistic.
    As though one were to expect a government bought by the corporations to care about the working classes.
    I prefer happy motorcycling to get me to my destination. I do it for you!

  10. Uncle Al September 27, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    One presumes you enjoyed a Homeland Severity ionizing radiation surface sterilization to encourage your Detroit bed bug body burden to evolve (or whatever the Hell biology does amidst Baptists). Anybody showing his internal passport in order and appearing innocent is immediately suspect. NOBODY passes security check cleanly – if they do, they must be dirty.
    http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/homesec.jpg
    http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/ss1.jpg
    http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/green3.jpg
    Did the plane burn biodiesel?

  11. lane September 27, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Welcome to my world, Jim…I go through the “countdown to making my connecting flight heart attack” scenario frequently as I travel for a living. The only advice one can give is to leave out as early as possible giving yourself later flight availability options due to airline delays and choose a connecting flights that give yourself atleast 2 hours inbetween flights. I’ve the cheapest flight is not always the best for a reason…
    Good luck,
    Lane

  12. doomster September 27, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    That’s one reason why I never travel on airplanes, among others. I’d recommend leaving some extra time and taking a bus instead, at least you won’t have far to fall in a crash.
    Here’s a new interview with Kunstler, maybe it will help sell a few more of his books so he doesn’t have to fly :) http://www.lesswaiting.com/kunstler-interview.shtml

  13. Bobby September 27, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Jim-
    You want to feel disserviced sometime? Try traveling by bus. You’ll just love the conveniences of a bus station, and the friendly proletariat you’ll meet.

  14. steponbugs September 27, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Boo-fucking hoo. Welcome to reality for those of us who have carved out an existence (formerly well-paying and secure) that requires regular air travel to distant locations. Regardless of the “moral insanity” of the activity, the bottom line is that you gotta do what you gotta do, and while it would be nice to stay home, raise llamas and ride a bike to the co-op for my tofu, for most of us mid-career drones, that ain’t happening any time soon. So, while your rant accurately captures the full spectrum of hope, frustration, despair, resignation and rage that accompanies the frequent flier these days, it’s old news. At least you got there the same day.

  15. empirestatebuilding September 27, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I don’t like to fly, but it is not the fear of crashing, it is the fear of being treated like a piece of luggage.
    I take a Xanex and chill out for the entire experience. If I don’t have anything to do post flight, I drink whiskey like it is water. I wind up not caring about much of anything after a few drinks and pills.
    Pre 9/11 I used to be able to bring my own liquor through security. It helped to get a buzz waiting o the long line. Nowadays they don’t let you do that anymore.
    These are my coping mechanisms. Your mileage may vary.
    In the future the planes will all be moth balled in the Arizona desert. Fuel tanks dry and no fill up insight. Then we will all miss delayed flight and crowded airports.
    In the meantime you could go the John Madden route if you don’t mind spending your life on the road.
    Aimlow Joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  16. nothing September 27, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Jimbo suffers for our sins! And makes us laugh in the bargain. I think I’ll buy his book, but that won’t be enough to stop him from flying. Perhaps he needs to supplement his income by teaching at Harvard. They have a new “socially relevant” degree program. He could teach Perils of American Life 101.
    It’s cheap, and the diplomas are free. Print one for yourself at http://www.thenothingstore.com

  17. Andrew September 27, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    This experience will become the norm for everything in the next few years. It started with the airlines because they elaborate technologies where the marginal costs outweigh the marginal benefits. Airlines can’t exist without massive subsidies. And all airline employees know that, and they know it likely can’t go on, so why care at all?
    Next up: health care, car makers, suburban developers, government services, education, ….

  18. Arctic Fox September 27, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Well, I’m Platinum Status on Delta… soon to be Diamond. I have 45 Delta flight segments so far this year. Do the math. Lots of inter-continentals. Lots of red-eyes. I know a few things about sitting in the back of the Delta bus.
    I’ve had a bit of frustration with Delta — getting into Pittsburgh at 5:30 am one time, about 12 hours late, comes to mind.
    But my attitude is that flying from Detroit to New Orleans beats walking, riding a horse, driving or taking a riverboat. Especially if you need to get somewhere quickly.
    As for the part about taking on more fuel? I’d rather be in an airplane with lots of fuel, versus not enough.
    Jim, sometimes Aeolius screws with your head. Just testing you, that’s all. Enjoy it. Like the sign says at the Atlanta airport… “Fly Delta Jets.”

  19. Smokyjoe September 27, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    I had to travel recently and chose the 9 hour drive in a rental car instead of enduring the humiliations of coach-class.
    Meanwhile, city-to-city bus lines in Turkey have an attendant (in a uniform) providing tea, coffee, sodas, and free snacks. My buses from Istanbul to Ankara (about $40 round trip) stop midway at nice rest areas with surprisingly good local food. The attendant hands out hot towels, too. And that was not even on their fanciest bus-line.
    Meanwhile, US airlines decline to third-world levels of service.
    I wish our airlines would go out with grace, as the permanent energy crisis comes upon us, but instead they–or the one or two still around–will degenerate into something like Aeroflot where the cabin ceiling is repaired with duct-tape and the empties roll all over the cabin (this is a true story).
    The wealthy will hop on private jets, leaving us schlubs to our fates.

  20. Barbara Celarent September 27, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Some days you’re brilliant, Jim. Other days–today, for example–you’re just a crotchety old coot.

  21. tzatza September 27, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    “I have purchased your books: full price for hardback _The_Long_Emergency_ and a few bucks for a remaindered paperback of _World_Made_etc_. ”
    Sweet hey-sus. Ever hear of a library? I felt cheated for the gas I wasted when checking WMBH out for free.

  22. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    18th!

  23. wisewebwoman September 27, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Along with the itinerary stress, there are so many other risk factors, mechanical, drugged up controllers (talk to any employee at those towers)and poorly paid unhealthy pilots.
    The more I fly, the more my mind calculates all of these and add to that the idiotic attendants and monosyllabic moronic announcements to us po’ folks and the BP soars alarmingly. I am never surprised at the periodic “Going Postal” passenger I hear about. I’ve been close to it myself.
    Having said all that, I find an airline, Porter, based in Toronto puts a lie to the other experiences. Old fashioned service, decent seats, real china, free drinks and courtesy.

  24. Qshtik September 27, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    The “brother’s article is anecdotal … and even so shows what life is like with a 21st century safety net.
    ===========
    ASOKA, I never doubted for a moment that you would find a silver lining in Herbert’s tale of woe. Tell the hordes lined up at the soup kitchens and the families sleeping in their cars that the “brother’s” article is merely anecdotal.

  25. progressorconserve September 27, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Funny stuff, JHK.
    Of course it’s a whole lot funnier to me because I hardly ever fly.
    The way we in the US are dependent on airplanes is a nice symbol of what’s wrong with our culture. I mean, what’s the hurry to get places for business anyway – when mostly we just push pieces of paper around and talk wherever we go?
    Especially when we could telecommute anywhere on the whole tortured globe in like 0.4 seconds or something – if there really was a reason to hurry.
    I will share one secret that I have learned will contribute immeasurably to making every single flight enjoyable on some level – Xanax.

  26. cato5555 September 27, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Great post by Jim today but unfortunately an all too familiar one and a continuing reminder of the general breakdown of US social and economic order. You know, I’m beginning to welcome the idea of a Tea Party takeover in November. To the extent that it really represents the final days of the Republican party, I believe that the resulting vacuum would have to have some kind of corresponding effect on the equally hideous and useless Democrats, similar to the creation of a black hole when a star collapses. The only way that the kinds of changes that are needed in this country can ever come about would be thru a social democrat type of revolt – if the American people can muster the sufficient IQ levels – and in their present somnambulism that is doubtful. There is one fact though to consider – reality is non-negotiable.
    Happy Monday

  27. Hugh Culliton September 27, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    My dad’s a retired Air Canada pilot who absolutly refuses to again set foot on an airliner. His motto was “If you’ve time to spare, go by air”. He cannot understand why anyone would willingly subject themselves to air travel. Oh well, at least the air lines will be defunct within the decade!

  28. Mark September 27, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Hell Jim, as airports go, Atlanta isn’t all that bad but I hear you about staying in some shit hole of a hotel. If you ever find yourself stuck in Atlanta, you’re welcome to stay with us. I’ll even come and fetch you and get you back in time for your outbound flight.

  29. PRD September 27, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    Yesterday I had the misfortune of having to drive on 8 Mile Rd. in Detroit, possibly one of the dreariest avenues in the lower 48 (and in cold, gloomy weather, to boot).
    As I was waiting at a light, I saw a middle-aged man, wearing worn clothing, obviously without much money. He hobbled along on the cracked sidewalk with shrunken,crippled legs that he tried to support with crutches. With his bent legs, he was no more than five feet tall. He paused to take a breath and rest for a moment.
    Disabled, poor, black, and in a city with Great Depression-level unemployment levels. I almost started to weep at the struggles some have to endure.
    I am not writing this to sound superior. I bitch about inconveniences myself, too frequently. But sometimes I see something that makes me shut up.

  30. stella September 27, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    Hilarious column. The funniest part was Kunstler calling Krugman vapid. But isn’t this what the teaparty types do to those with a working brain?
    No, funniest is wrong. Saddest. It’s really sad to see JHK reveal how little he comprehends about the economy and the policy making process, which is what it takes to dismiss Krugman in the way he has done.
    But then JHK doesn’t want good policy built from evidence based analysis, he wants a big failure. People have to suffer, chaos has to reign, then the big change can come.
    Don’t worry. It’ll all work out, by itself. Peak oil will bring small town America back. Choo choo trains will reappear in newly restored downtowns. Kunstler will be on the high school curriculum.
    Things will be simple. There will be no more need for eggheads like Krugman who actually understand financial architecture.

  31. Sol September 27, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    So much for living in the 21st century.

  32. Cash September 27, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Makes me wonder about something: airline travel is much, much more common than it used to be (ie in the 1950s/1960s), it’s much cheaper than it used to be but seemingly much more unreliable and shitty than it used to be. Everybody has stories of delays, lost luggage, being bumped from over booked flights etc. Plus levels of customer “care” and “assistance” from airlines that make Stalinist bureaucracies look positively brimming with concern for your particular problem. Delay? Don’t give a fuck. Lost luggage? Piss off. Bumped from your flight? Bite me.
    What if paying more money to fly alleviates these problems? How much more would people be willing to pay? Let’s say we tripled or quadrupled the cost of flying on average. That would make air travel too expensive for a lot of people, might eliminate a lot of flights, reduce congestion on the tarmac and in airports and, as a consequence, might make flying a more sane experience. No flying for the proles, they’d take the train or the bus or stay home. Want to vacation in the Caribbean? Sure, but it’s a once in a lifetime thing.
    I must have read a dozen times that, if you tally up all the profits made by airlines since the inception of air travel and then if you deduct all the losses incurred by airlines since the inception of air travel, that the airline industry as a whole has not made one thin dime in its entire history.
    So, as a byproduct, increasing ticket prices might make airlines financially stable. We might (might, I said, I’m not that naive) get better maintenance, better safety, better service. I’ve been hearing stories lately about pilots working for peanuts for regional air carriers, going without sleep etc. Might be better if these guys earned a living wage and got enough shut eye.

  33. Qshtik September 27, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    ASOKA, returning to old business … see excerpts below from a 9/24/10 article:
    Government seizes three wholesale credit unions
    Credit unions must pay fees to cover toxic mortgage losses

    The federal government on Friday seized three undercapitalized wholesale credit unions and unveiled a package of regulations to have the industry absorb losses on a $50 billion portfolio of toxic mortgage securities.
    Silver lining:
    At the end of June, there were 99 credit unions that faced an extreme risk of failure, Highline data showed. A year earlier, there were 138 credit unions in that situation.
    Last year, 15 credit unions failed. This year, 15 have failed so far, according to the firm’s data. In contrast, more than 100 banks have failed so far in 2010.

  34. Paul Kemp September 27, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    It’s good to hear what fun I’m missing, not flying anymore! It still makes me grin to recall their silly flight-safety lectures at the start of every flight out of MIA(Miami Int’l Airport, not Missing in Action): “In the unlikely event of a water landing, blah-blah-blah…” Euphemisms raised to the Nth degree. They couldn’t possibly just say “crashing into the ocean at 500 mph”, now could they?
    Anyway, thanks, Jim, for reminding me what I’m missing. You didn’t mention the degrading wanding and searches of briefcases, etc., that are now a part of modern air travel. Love the reference to Mohamed Atta, Jim! Maybe he and the boys were just a bunch of disgruntled frequent flyers, trying to make a point about the bad service on commercial flights.
    But, seriously, There are either of two ways to go with careers that necessitate personally appearing in distant places on a tight schedule: One is to buy a share of a corporate jet (probably out of the question on a truth-teller’s income), or just attain the posture where you are too valuable to lower yourself to wasting time in airports with the rest of the cattle, and do it all on Skype or some similar remote broadcast technology. I’m serious.
    There is another option — and that is to do a summer bicycling tour and schedule your speaking engagements around your itinerary and the slow, but dependable logistics of human-powered travel. Just think how relaxed and toned you would be when you arrived for your appearance in Grand Junction, CO, or wherever.
    Why suffer? Life’s too short to put yourself in a position where you must survive on airport food. Your lifestyle is at odds with your message, so maybe it’s time to get congruent.
    As a loyal and appreciative reader, I don’t like to see you suffering, even if it is for a good cause. Think of all the good press coverage you would get from doing the unthinkable: a leisurely bicycling book tour. Stop playing someone else’s game. Make up your own rules.
    Now, come on, readers, let’s buy some of Jim’s books! http://www.healthyplanetdiet.com

  35. Al Klein September 27, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    JHK, your tale exemplifies that which is ultimately wrong with our culture. For example: The airline server personnel not caring. The pilots freely prevaricating. So why do they not give a damn? Simple. Their leadership has set the standards. What are those standards? First, we don’t care about you even though you are customers. You are revenue that has already been captured. Anything we tell you about caring is simply corporate propaganda. You don’t actually believe that, do you, dummy? The pilots offhandedly lie because lying is now an accepted practice. The corporate executives do it all the time. Politicians do it all the the time too. Lying is OK now in our culture. (Exception: private citizens may NOT lie to federal officials, even if not under oath. That is a jailable offense. Ask Martha Stewart for verification.)
    We are on the slippery slide, JHK. As a culture we are not driven by considered principle. We are not earnest. The rule nowadays is do whatever you can get away with. Welcome to the new reality.

  36. James Howard Kunstler September 27, 2010 at 11:17 am #

    I am hugely impressed by the general deficiency in a sense of humor among all’y’all. Don’t you idiots know what comedy is?
    –Jim Kunstler
    For real

  37. walt September 27, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    I don’t find Andy Rooney-style commentary to be particularly funny. I didn’t think Erma Bombeck was funny either.
    Question: Is Paul Krugman a “dipshit” because his economic theories are really wrong? Because the ad hominem here is otherwise untethered to any evidence to that effect.
    One note of possible agreement: airline travel is a leading indicator of the growth paradigm’s eventual dysfunction. We can only build so many airports, fly so much aircraft, and containerize so many human objects before the system begins failing. Of course, this is not a new insight.

  38. jpfreemon September 27, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Having flown the equivelent miles of a trip to the moon and back while in the Air Force, I am now reduced to the status of self-loading baggage in our commercial cattle cars when I do choose to fly. Once upon a time I enjoyed the experience of flying commercial with its bevy of short skirted ‘stews’ serving hot meals with a smile. Being a handsome young man in uniform, it was no trick to get a second meal by just asking. How times have changed. The comely young ‘stews’ are now matronly ‘flight attendants’ with Colonel Klep attitudes. The in-flight meals have become a tiny bag of something unidentifiable, and barely accessible with arthritic hands. The ordeal of air transportation today is one to be born in silence to avoid the risk of arrest by our brown-shirted security keepers. We have come such a long way….

  39. vincent springer September 27, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    I am attending the ASPO conference in a few weeks. It’s a shame that one of those quasi-sleeper units on AMTRAK costs over $600 round trip for the Chicago-DC run. I could have walked from the station to the hotel……

  40. James Howard Kunstler September 27, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Having flown the equivelent miles of a trip to the moon and back while in the Air Force, I am now reduced to the status of self-loading baggage.
    Now THAT’s funny.
    At least one reader with a sense of humor.
    Thanks JP Freeman.
    Over and out….
    –Jim Kunstler

  41. Al Klein September 27, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    JHK, I am impressed you still have the capacity for humor, considering contemporary civic standards. I will be making a trip to San Diego later this week. By air. I do not look forward to it at all. It will likely be yet another miserable experience. Maybe I can dredge up some Schadenfreude for you. That’ll make it better.

  42. piltdownman September 27, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Jim –
    I wrote a long post about your long post and then I did what you should have done. I hit “delete.”

  43. jerry September 27, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Jim,
    There is always house painting and roofing. Come winter, you could shovel roof clear of the snow using the Original Roof Rake, as well as chipping out ice from overfilled and frozen gutters.
    Or, how about setting up a campground for underpaid and overworked writers and artists.
    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

  44. J Lee September 27, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    I gave up driving as a way of commuting in 1985 when I realized that I was spending about 20 hours a week in my car. (I do wonder now why it took me years to make that calculation and then make that decision.) Then in 2000 I gave up commuting by air when I realized I was spending some 20 hours a week in the air. (I do wonder now why it took me years to make that calculation and then make that decision.) Now my commute is about 20 paces from my bedroom to my office and I feel 20 years younger. And have 20 fewer bosses. (And 20 million dollars more.) But what the answer is for most “folk” – I’m fucked if I know. Because most people would love to be able to commute 20 miles to a good factory job. Or spend 20 bucks commuting to that secure job with the company. Instead the chinese peasant has your job and makes 20 bucks a month, commutes and works 20 hours a day and sees his family 20 hours a year. Welcome to our future.

  45. piltdownman September 27, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Oh, I get it NOW! It’s our fault! We’re not sophisticated enough to completely grasp this slurry as humor…. Bad readers! Stupid readers! We’re not buying enough books and Jim has to work for a living! And Paul Krugman has a fat contract and Jim doesn’t! Pout and whine. Perhaps Jim has himself reached Peak Ideas — and is headed downward…..

  46. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    My other 6 chickens were given a stay of execution last night by 6 bloody inches of pouring rain! Long overdue though, with more to come.

  47. sfnate September 27, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Don’t you idiots know what comedy is?
    Well, yes, I suppose, but I think you’ve succeeded so well in blurring the line between comedy and tragedy in these posts that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to read your cues for laughter, or angry fist shaking, or desperate shouting for relief from all the misery these modern times have heaped upon us.
    I think it’s harder to laugh at a burning building when you’re in it, than it is when you’re outside holding long sticks with marshmallows on the other end.
    Much of the irony here is quite delicious, and I think most of us probably get it and like it, but after a while some of this cleverness becomes (unintentional) provocation, especially when many people–your idiot readers I mean–are struggling with issues that are far more challenging than catching a connecting flight.
    But no problem, nobody is forced to read this stuff. And it’s free, so complaining about it is really out of order, really.
    On the other hand, I suppose that you do post these things in order to get some kind of rise out of your loyal readers, ie, the idiots who stupidly and maybe reflexively look for your blog every Monday morning, so for you to hit them over the head with their own intellectual inadequacy seems a bit harsh.
    Every performer needs an audience. Your shows apparently attract a large number of idiots. Whose fault is that?
    Anyway, back on subject, to complain about the myriad inconveniences of a world in decline while making a living from talking about a world in decline seems, to me, at least a little bit ironic. Or tragic. Or possibly even comedic, but we won’t know until the very end, will we?

  48. Gus44 September 27, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    And what’s with the airline food? Christ, complaining over poor airline service? Oh well, I guess it’s a break from the usual (interesting and entertaining) gloom and doom.

  49. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    ProgresorConserve said: “I will share one secret that I have learned will contribute immeasurably to making every single flight enjoyable on some level – Xanax.”
    The experience of airline travel is not so bad that it requires drugging yourself with whiskey or Xanax.
    Xanax (alprazolam) Side Effects: Constipation, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Light-headedness, Tiredness, Lack of Concentration, Unsteadiness, Weight changes, etc.
    In the Long Emergency we need to learn to live without depending on drugs. Meditation, yoga, the voluntary simplicity movement, etc. can help you decrease dependence on anything that can be taken away from you when TSHTF, which could be tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

  50. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    You are grasping at straws, Q. You also omit saying how many banks are not failing. In 1933 25% of the banks had a bank suspension. What’s the percentage of bank failures today?
    100 banks in 2010 have failed? Does that equal 25% of our nation’s banks? You are distorting data through omission of data.
    And you are dragging up stuff from last week. Don’t you have anything to say about airline travel?

  51. Cash September 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    NOBODY understands financial architecture, least of all economists and the regulatory bodies charged with maintaining the health of the financial system, followed closely by the architects themselves. That’s why we’re in the mess we’re in.
    I majored in economics at a pretty good university. By the end of second year what I realized was that economics as an academic pursuit was worthless, right up there with alchemy and astrology. That’s not to say that my degree didn’t open doors for me. It did but it shouldn’t have.
    Economics is a field that tries to present itself as a “science”, replete with densely reasoned theories, mathematical models, equations and all that scientific looking stuff. It is nothing of the sort. As a field it is in fact infested, encrusted and bent by political ideology, business and financial interests.
    If you want to know who an economist works for listen to what he/she says in front of the television cameras. Do they talk happy talk about housing sales and housing prices? Do they blow blue skies and sunshine up your ass about economic prospects? Do you want to bet they work in the real estate or banking industry?
    This is not a reality based, fact based field. To the extent that there exists dispassionate inquiry, the theories underpinning it are so far abstracted from the on-the-ground-world as to be useless. There are many thousands of economists working in business, universities and colleges all over the world. How many made accurate calls about the melt down? A few did and got laughed out of town. Remember? We were in the “Great Moderation”, economic volatility was a thing of the past, the Maestro, Alan Greenspan, saw to it personally. But Nouriel Roubini was Dr Doom, he was a fool. Remember?
    All horseshit, ever last stinking bit of it.
    Do you know the only thing I learned in university that was worth a damn was that there is no such thing as a free lunch. IMO that’s the greatest conribution to the collective wisdom of mankind made by the economics profession. But listen to the big thinkers, now they want you to think that yes, yes there really IS such a thing as a free lunch.
    You want to know the second greatest? The idea that if something can’t go on forever it won’t. But an economist needs guts of steel if he’s going to spout that bit of wisdom. Arrayed against her/him are the combined might of Wall Street, the military/industrial complex (or whatever remains of it after the offshoring of the industrial half) plus the US government all of which want him, the lonely economist with the balls of a lion, to shut it and they want you, poor sucker, to think it WILL go on forever, that the sky’s the limit for house prices, for stock prices, that your personal, pustulating financial situation is no problem, no problem because you have real estate wealth, mutual fund wealth to offset it. So go to the mall, blow your brains out, keep buying, get that SUV.

  52. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Stella said: “Hilarious column. The funniest part was Kunstler calling Krugman vapid. But isn’t this what the teaparty types do to those with a working brain?”
    Amen, Stella!

  53. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Al Klein said: “The airline server personnel not caring. The pilots freely prevaricating. So why do they not give a damn?”
    Another thing you can do is to fly, whenever possible, with airlines that have a sense of humor and provide good service.
    I fly Southwest Airlines whenever possible, and enjoy their jokes, songs, and delicious sense of humor. Southwest provides service with a smile. I enjoy my flights on Southwest more than on other airlines.
    Isn’t that “free market” invisible hand thingy supposed to work to reward the good service providers and punish the bad ones, forcing them into bankruptcy.
    Why, if the “free market” actually worked, there would be no bad airline service.

  54. zerotsm September 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    I quit flying two years before 9-11 because the service got so rotten. From what I heard, the service is even worse and you have to put up with TSA nonsense. The TSA nonsense wouldn’t be so bad if it were effective, but in the last drill that was run 50% of the practice bombs got through. Except I might add at SFO, where only 25% of the practice bombs escaped detection. Now I’m sure you are all wondering why San Francisco did better. It’s because security is not run by TSA. SFO already had nitrate sniffing machines installed, I remember my laptop being put through one when I flew out of SFO in 1999, so the government said that the existing security at SFO was OK.
    Anyway, I’m going to make my first flight in 11 years. An old client in Los Angeles waved a lot of money in my face, including travel expenses, to go out there and work on his gear, claiming he could not find anyone competent out there to do the job. Although taking a bus or train appeals to my environmental sensibilities, I simply do not have six extra days available in my schedule for travel. I used to drive to EWR for a direct flight to LAX, but oddly enough I’m getting the fare to fly from AVP to LAX, even though that involves changing planes. Since I’d have to pay to park a car at EWR, I’m going to try it. I am allowing 2 1/2 hrs at EWR to make the connecting flight, we’ll see how it works out.

  55. Qshtik September 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    ASOKA, your ability to miss the point, whether deliberate or not, is impressive. The point is that months ago you were on a mission to have everyone pull their money from the big banks like B of A and put it in local credit unions – those good local folks who would lend locally for sensible projects. Now we find the CUs are no different than the big banks and the $50 billion they are going to have to cough up is not chump change.

  56. zerotsm September 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Line above should read “getting the same fare from AVP to LAX as going from EWR to LAX”.

  57. Cash September 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    I’m an accountant, I’m not wired for humour.
    Besides, we’re all supposed to be blackhearts here (I know I am), depressed, despondent, desperate about the end of the world, hardly daring to breathe, storing up water, beef jerky and ammo and polishing our guns.
    Tripp, Myrtle, Mean Dovey, Wage and a few others excepted.

  58. MonkeyMuffins September 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    “Think of it this way: I’m suffering for everybody’s sins.”

    No, Mr. Kunstler, actually, those burning-and-choking in Russia and drowning-and-dispossessed in Pakistan (*) are paying for your sins.
    You’re just rationalizing them.
    As Saul Griffith has astutely and honestly observed (my emphasis added):
    “environmentalists… are bold-facedly hypocritical, and I don’t think the environmentalism movement as we’ve known it is tenable or will survive. Al Gore has done a huge amount to help this cause, but he is the No. 1 environmental hypocrite. His house alone uses more energy than an average person uses in all aspects of life, and he flies prodigiously. I don’t think we can buy the argument anymore that you get special dispensation just because what you’re doing is worthwhile.”
    – The Inventor’s Dilemma (The New Yorker, May 17, 2010)
    Mr. Kunstler’s prodigious flying has nothing to do with suffering our sins and everything to do with servicing his ego.
    Talk about disservices worth grousing about.

    (*) Not to mention thousands-upon-thousands of others near-and-far suffering the ravages of what Matthew Simmons, and others of his odious, pseudoscientific ilk, regularly implied (if not asserted) wasn’t real: Anthropogenic Climate Change.

  59. cougar_w September 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Best. Evar.
    Well at least in the OT category. Though who can say really what the topic ever is.
    RE flights, JHK can have my air carbon credits for the rest of the year; I bike, never fly and never travel. Enjoy them, dood. You deserve it.
    OK, that was harsh. Just enjoy them.
    And Paul Krugman is a douche. My wife sometimes tries to read his “stuff” to me over breakfast and I make her stop.

  60. Qshtik September 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    100 banks in 2010 have failed? Does that equal 25% of our nation’s banks? You are distorting data through omission of data.
    ============
    You have an interesting take on the bright side. What percentage of Japanese were NOT killed by the two atom bombs? A rather large percentage I’d venture. So really, what’s your beef?

  61. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    “In the Long Emergency we need to learn to live without depending on drugs.”
    I whole-heartedly agree, Asoka, but won’t TLE take care of both Xanax and air travel simultaneously?

  62. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    “Why, if the “free market” actually worked, there would be no bad airline service.”
    Oh, the Free Market works brilliantly, always has, always will. It’s capitalism that is turning into a miserable failure.

  63. Qshtik September 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    ASOKA, yesterday (last night?) you mentioned being on Social Security. Sometime in the past year you said you were 60 years old so let’s say you’re 61 now. You have to be at least 62 to start SS early. What gives?

  64. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Q said: “Now we find the CUs are no different than the big banks”
    We find no such thing… unless we are willing to no mention the number of credit unions in the country and unless we are willing to generalize from a few credit union failures that credit unions are no different from banks. You are grasping at straws, Q.

  65. Freedom Guerrilla September 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Yikes. I think either our hero has finally flamed out or somebody hacked his macbook. Complaining about airlines? Wow. If it’s humor, I don’t get it. I’m hitting the archives until the real JHK wakes up.
    Everything is amazing and nobody is happy:






  66. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    You are really grasping at straws now.

  67. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Tripp said: “I whole-heartedly agree, Asoka, but won’t TLE take care of both Xanax and air travel simultaneously?”
    In a hundred years we’ll all be dead, with or without TLE.

  68. asoka September 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Q.: “What percentage of Japanese were NOT killed by the two atom bombs? A rather large percentage I’d venture.”
    Thanks, Q. I’ll remember that the next time I want to defend intentional cold-blooded mass murder using nuclear weapons, which will be never.

  69. Shoo Rah September 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    I think the airlines should just sedate passengers and convey them in coffin-like tubes. Like those Japaneses tube hotels for the schlubs who miss the last train. Only smaller, with no TV. Tickets would be based on body weight and distance traveled.
    Imagine how many more passengers per flight could be transported by close-stacking P-tubes! And there would be no need for flight crew – just a single med tech per concourse to dispense a pill! Modified aircraft could be loaded using automated conveyor systems, and passengers would magically awaken at their destination.
    At least this was my fantasy while on an extremely cramped (and late) Delta flight from Newark to London with a surly and unattractive flight crew.

  70. lpat September 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Barbara, Mr. K. is always a “crotchety old coot.” But some days he is brilliant. And the changes he points to should inform every aspect of our thinking. Not a bad contribution as things go.

  71. Jill September 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I fly from San Francisco to LA a couple of times a year to see friends. I’ve been x-rayed and patted down at SFO the past three times I flew. Once for carrying too much sunscreen (which I use because of skin cancer), the second time for carrying mouth rinse from the dentist (having an inplant done), and the third time for no reason at all. This last time did it for me, especially by being patted down by a fat old dyke. Since the plane is always late taking off it’s usually just as fast to drive (and sometimes faster), I’ve decided to give up on the plane and drive instead.

  72. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    “I don’t think we can buy the argument anymore that you get special dispensation just because what you’re doing is worthwhile.”
    One of the big names in Permaculture is Darren Doherty, an Australian who travels the world (by plane mostly) to teach Keyline Design to groups of interested farmers and gardeners. He uses the most stringent environmental accounting methodology known to man, the late University of Florida (my alma mater!) Professor Howard Odum’s EMERGY system. And because of the work he does he is actually living a carbon NEGATIVE life. His family of four actually. He teaches farmers how to sequester atmospheric carbon in their pastoral soils, with special deep-ripping plows and cell grazing methods, and has planted (within the scope of his projects) over 2 million trees in his 40-ish (45-ish?) years. Recently he did a very large contoured polyculture plantation for the Mars candy company in Vietnam.
    Darren is one of my personal heros, (I took a Keyline class from him last Halloween), and a prime example of using available technology to genuinely improve our situation.
    Now Mr. Gore I can’t really speak for, but his message has reached a lot of people to be sure. Who can honestly account for that influence? I mean besides Rush Limbaugh.

  73. lpat September 27, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Oh. And if anybody thinks airline travel is tough, try getting to your destination with a working electric wheelchair that hasn’t been mauled.

  74. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    “In a hundred years we’ll all be dead, with or without TLE.”
    Spoken like a true boomer…

  75. Anne September 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    I, too, am surprised by all the rancor and sourness.
    I thought this was highly entertaining. I do like the idea of a bicycle tour. Or, as you are always speaking of the trains, a tour by train. That might even bring you into our neighborhood up here in the mythical state of Jefferson, which would be a delight.
    Not only do I have some of your books, I recommend The Long Emergency to everyone I know. (Can’t say I enjoyed WMBHJ, though.)

  76. Bicycle Tourist September 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Yeah, Jim, a bike trip might have been a little slower, but infinitely more relaxing and good for you. You just need to space out your engagements.

  77. buzzard September 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Well I did buy your damn books Jim. Thank you for making me come to my senses. Far as I’m concerned you can walk from now on. What an infantile whiner.

  78. lbendet September 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Service Industry = Servitude
    Gone are the days when people worked at jobs designed for one person with great benefits, overtime and various other amenities.
    That’s what our academicians and economic theorists moved away from as they tout the post industrialized economy. Isn’t it wonderful. Even galleries and publishers did more for their artists at one time. But those days are gone.
    Those conditions were a reflection of manufacturing things of value with active and healthy unions. Today, most of us have to work 2-3 people jobs and 8 hr jobs morph into 10. I’ve seen staff people work till the next morning in advertising without overtime. All this in order to make a living at something that should have been good experience.
    I have seen it all from a cushy job at a great company with lots of added value from benefits etc. to bare-bones operations with no added bonuses. It’s sad to witness the dissolution of a paradigm that worked for all fade away.
    _____
    And the Rolling Bailouts go on….
    On another fun note, I bet none of you heard about more bailouts for the TBTF that happened last week. This time its the credit unions.
    Oh, yes, they too invested in subprime mortgages and lost lots o’ bucks. The government will eat about $25 billion in losses.
    “To avoid the negative publicity of an outright money bailout, the government will guarantee $30 to $35 billion of bonds issued by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). To minimize and spread out losses, regulators will move the toxic assets to a good bank/bad bank structure and turn over management of the portfolio in the bad bank to NCUA.”

  79. ericmix September 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    You could probably still make a pretty decent speaking fee and do video conferences by SKYPE without all that airline hassle. I attended one in which the audience was able to ask questions of the presenter and interact very effectively. Of course, then you wouldn’t have the inspiring angst for the amusing rants! As usual, I enjoy your wordsmithing ; )

  80. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Turkelton, Asoka, and some of you others who are interested in real carbon farming solutions to our problems might enjoy this 2 minute clip of dairy farmer and innovator Abe Collins, and his suggestion to turn the issue into an X prize.






  81. Jay Schiavone September 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    It is disappointing to read how you direct so much bile at low-level functionaries. A stewardess is kept in the dark by her employer and that makes her a bitch? Difficult to understand why it is that three different women would want to divorce you. The hookers in New Orleans must have been delighted to see you that night. If this is how you handle minor adversity, it is unlikely that you will be able to keep yourself together during the Long Emergency.

  82. turkle September 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    If the worst thing in your life right now is bad service from the airlines, I’d say you’re doing pretty good, all things considered.

  83. turkle September 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    I didn’t find this essay all that funny, but the tour de Atlanta made me giggle.
    http://www.kunstler.com/Grunt_Atlanta%20Tour.html
    For instance, “elevated pedestrian gerbil chute” has a nice ring to it.

  84. Puzzler September 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    For those of you getting your knickers in a twist about mosques, here’s a report on Islam getting special treatment in France:
    http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnplayer.swf?aid=17933

  85. slow September 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    I live for Monday mornings.

  86. Alexandra September 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Shoo Rah you dream is shortly to be fulfilled by RyanAir…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/5753477/Ryanair-to-make-passengers-stand.html
    Air travel like much else with ‘services’ stopped being something like that back in the 1970’s…
    Most were just too distracted to notice, shareholder value is all you really need to understand now – for the collective (and ever growing greater good)…
    And lbendet, I mentioned the credit union bailouts last night actually on the end of last weeks mixed bag of ranting posts after Jim’s usual astute and barbed musings…
    Which is why we all come here… surely?
    Those cheery, procrastinating his-n-hers anchor products, smiley ‘bull’ that cascades ever downward from those ubiquitous everywhere you wander and look plasma screens – hour, after bleedin hour – via the drivel spewing CNN, FOX, MSNBC et al?
    And maybe if you just all paid a little more attention to ‘how’ Jim says stuff, (for me he’s not a doomer at all), I suspect just a wee bit patience f#cked like most of us – that thanks to good diets with a modicum of brain-power left –
    that have become lets say exasperated at the complete lack of nothing of any practical consequence (on mass) that is taking anywhere close in the direction we need to all go to guarantee a large % of folks get safe seats in those Titanic lifeboats….
    (And not just the women & children first), a world without men… no thanks!!
    I suspect deep down a lot of what he creates is because he has a European sense of irony, something it might not harm the senior echelons of the USA to start acquiring pdq!
    (They’ll certainly need something tangible soon), with Nov mid-terms knocking on the door.
    Or else the only jets in future skies will be those remote robo/predator ones, and that will give off a whole different message altogether, to the hungry faces peering upward – from a mad-max-hell-hole below
    Be seeing you…

  87. envirofrigginmental September 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    James,
    I’m a little perturbed by this week’s entry. I see from your list on the right that you have a full schedule… presumably this is constant?
    On one hand it is great that you are out there spreading “the word” about TLE and the mess our physical world has become, but at the same time, doesn’t it fly (pardon the pun) in the face of what your prognostications point towards: our society needing to lessen our impact on the planet? (Air travel is one of the worst CO2 culprits.)
    I would imagine you get paid quite handsomely for these engagements* and surely you don’t “need” the money, especially if you are putting your money where your mouth is, i.e. downsizing/ rightsizing/decoupling from the consumerist frenzy. This kind of lifestyle definitely does not require a 6 figure income.
    Why wouldn’t you take some of your own advice and reduce your engagements, take the train (or bus, for Eightm’s sake) and perhaps eliminate all the stress? I’m not liking this double standard.
    *A good friend, who is nearing 70, is a decent entertainer, has a couple books and is often a keynote speaker, but is hardly known in the overall scheme of things, needs only a couple gigs a year to live comfortably, and he has no other income or pensions.

  88. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    “In the future the planes will all be moth balled in the Arizona desert. Fuel tanks dry and no fill up insight. Then we will all miss delayed flight and crowded airports.”
    But the mule-train driving aluminum recyclers will love it! All that refined material just sitting around…

  89. turkle September 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Yeah, I was gonna say, try taking Amtrak or Greyhound from New York to New Orleans. That would likely make for some interesting, er….observations. Airlines? P’shaw.

  90. Davos September 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Effing hysterical.
    As an EX (so you don’t toss my @ss) airline captain I assure you that the mother effing morons who run the airlines have $hit for brains.
    First, here are a few ways they shot them selves in the foot.
    1.) The FedEx package hub and spoke system was copied. But since packages don’t bitch about sitting in a “bank” (what the momos call a terminal) and passengers don’t like to wait, they make EVERY EFFING departure at the same time.
    2.) What that equates to is resources. Not enough fuel trucks, tugs, ramp agents or tower personnel.
    3.) Push time is cluster fuck time. Pilots hammer each other to get a push back clearance and then trample on top of each other to get 1 mile to the effing runway.
    4.) Once they get to the runway it dawns on them the the assholes who built the schedules decided to have every effing flight arrive at the same time that they are leaving. So now ATC is slammed, the runway becomes a hot potato.
    5.) Heaven help your dumb ass if you tell the passengers the truth – those momos who eff this up don’t want to take the blame for it.
    6.) Mechanical delays are even more interesting. Krugman the moron could learn the true meaning of extend and pretend from Mechanicals.
    The only thing more fucked up than Summers and our effed up economy is the airlines. I drive.

  91. turkle September 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    They should have those oxygen masks deployed at all times. A little extra O2 will calm down the sheeple.

  92. Laura September 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I don’t like flying either. Too much pressure. I prefer to sail.
    I did buy a couple of your books. I’ll get The Witch of Hebron to help you out a bit. Let me know if you want to go for a sail sometime.

  93. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    “To squeeze the airlines till they bleed then expect them to provide first class service in the style of the 1950’s or 60s when flying was a pastime reserved for the very wealthy seems unrealistic.”
    Who is squeezing the airlines but the airlines themselves? Traveling by air used to be (comparatively) expensive, but the problem with that was not enough people could afford it, which limited the number of potential customers. So, in the interest of Almighty Growth, airlines slashed their prices to increase the number of flyers. The small catch: prices were slashed to the point of unprofitability. Whoops! Time for a bailout from the taxpayers! And why bother learning their mistakes when the taxpayers will take the real hit?

  94. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    My thoughts (almost) exactly.

  95. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    “ASOKA, I never doubted for a moment that you would find a silver lining in Herbert’s tale of woe. Tell the hordes lined up at the soup kitchens and the families sleeping in their cars that the “brother’s” article is merely anecdotal.”
    Well said (or should I use “written”?)

  96. alluvia September 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    It must be that thinking about the collapse can be monotonous
    enough that writing about an agonizing flight can in a way seem
    refreshing.
    Please don’t diss Paul Krugman too much as he spoke out strongly
    about the bush gang lawlessness at a time when few others were
    as courageous.

  97. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    “won’t TLE take care of both Xanax and air travel simultaneously?”
    You hit the proverbial nail on the head.

  98. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Correction to the last line of my reply to Conchscooter:
    And why bother learning from their mistakes when the taxpayers will take the real hit?

  99. Vengeur September 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    Jim,
    If you think THAT was bad , try leaving First Class and fly Coach with the rest of us!

  100. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Q.: “What percentage of Japanese were NOT killed by the two atom bombs? A rather large percentage I’d venture.”
    Thanks, Q. I’ll remember that the next time I want to defend intentional cold-blooded mass murder using nuclear weapons, which will be never.

  101. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    I laughed. And then clenched my jaw in anger. Then laughed some more.
    As for the passenger asking about the flight updates: I really do have to wonder about that given the capacity of modern information systems.

  102. Al Klein September 27, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    It just occurred to me that the title of this week’s JHK article is amusing, and in more ways than one. Of course, the term “Disservice Industry” is a nice play on words considering the actual service given. But it highlights another interesting point. We all know how the economists say we have morphed from an industrial economy to a service-based one. This is the usual euphemistic blather to explain how our not making things anymore is somehow both virtuous an inherently smart. What really is startling is how little service we really get since we are so service based! I think it would be reasonable to expect the norm for services to be quite high if that’s all we have going for us nowadays. But the plain fact is that service was much better back when we were an industrial economy. Take retail stores, for example. The usual finding is that no one in retail can give real product selection advice. This is the rule rather than the exception. In many cases the best you can hope for is finding someone to take your money, let alone provide product insight.
    It seems the more we become a service economy, the less real service there is.

  103. envirofrigginmental September 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Airplanes have become yesterday’s buses, simply with more uncultured boars per square foot to contend with.
    JHK’s experience reminds us that even spending the extra bucks for first/business class, still doesn’t mitigate the fact that one has to put up with the same BS, albeit with a perkier hostess and bottomless cocktail glass. :-)
    Besides, it might not be that far off in the future that we don’t have a choice about flying. Enjoy the abuse it while it lasts.

  104. JImLibra September 27, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    I wonder how the anti-train people can say that the airlines are more convenient and dependable than trains? I looks to me like the airlines are having the same problems, if not more than I remember the trains having to suffer. Being late, having to wait to get off, lost luggage, pissed off and uncontentious employees,Etc. I will give the railroads credit for having nice dining cars with good food. Can you find that on an airplane? I have never had to wait for hours for a train to get moving like an airplane does. Where else can you get a nice bed to sleep in if your trip is a long one. Pullman cars were good. So, if the advocates for the airlines can make their mode of transportation look better than the trains to justify not having them. I am bewildered. One more thing, trains used a lot less fuel per mile than jets, and if they run out of fuel, they don’t crash.

  105. envirofrigginmental September 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Al, did you not read 1984? Helloooooo!

  106. DeeJones September 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Ah, Jim, talks the talk, but don’t walk the walk, i.e. why don’t you take the train? Oh well, who cares anyway.
    And I really don’t get why the way US airlines are run the way they are. Compared to a foreign airline, where you sill get a decent meal, the drinks are free, and the service is usually on time. But as Davos said above, the corporate world in the US is now run by absolute shit-for-brains anyway, so focused on the ‘bottom line’ and thier bonuses, that they could care less about anything else.
    But I don’t have to fly anymore anyway, so I don’t have to care either.
    Carry on…..

  107. k-dog September 27, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    If Jim is suffering for our sins perhaps he is not suffering enough. Jim might be suffering a bit unnecessarily too.
    Jim could have planned on staying overnight in Atlanta to begin with and pick a good hotel with decent food. Did New Orleans come up at the last minute?
    Jim might slow down a bit and remember while he risks spending a night in a strange heated room with clean sheets and while not perfect an acceptable bed, more than a few of his

    x-number of credulous schlemiels

    will have no bed to sleep in and no good food to eat.
    And about this:

    A passenger shouts at the flight attendant: “Can you get us connecting flight gate information?”

    Shouting is rude.

    “We don’t do that anymore,” the flight attendant explains

    well since:

    This person is probably delusional in thinking there is any chance he can make his flight.

    The flight attendant might as well have confronted the rudeness since she could not have given anything but useless information anyway.
    Chopping the head off a rude person with a Japanese Katina might be uncalled for but not kissing the ass of one is perfectly fine.
    Adapting to the reality of a world made by hand will require all of us to change our ways and realize that its not all about us.

  108. tzatza September 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    “I am hugely impressed by the general deficiency in a sense of humor among all’y’all.”
    Deficiency? It wan’t fucking funny all’y’all. Period.

  109. turkle September 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    You mad dude?

  110. tzatza September 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    You retarded dude?

  111. turkle September 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    tzatza needs a cup of tea and a hug.

  112. mila59 September 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Enviro: Was this a freudian slip?:
    “Airplanes have become yesterday’s buses, simply with more uncultured boars per square foot to contend with.”
    Uncultured pigs? Perfect! :)

  113. Mr. Purple September 27, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    “They should have those oxygen masks deployed at all times. A little extra O2 will calm down the sheeple.”
    I would call this a reference to Fight Club but that would require breaking the first rule.

  114. Cabra1080 September 27, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    I fly occasionally, sometimes for business and sometimes for pleasure. I would take the train in many cases if it were available. The thing I find is, despite delays (weather related or equipment related or unrelated), security hassles, cramped coach sections and all the other little nuances, air travel is still pretty cool.
    Airplanes and air travel in general is still pretty reliable and few of these modern flying machines fall from the sky and kill people. They may be late or connections may be missed but people almost always get where they are going.
    You can’t really blame the airlines for bad weather or other things beyond their control and airplanes, flying through the air, are most sensitive to weather conditions. Safety is of paramount importance. Better to cancel a flight than have it crash and burn.
    A little over a hundred years we have had flight. Thousands of years before it was only dreamt of. And boy, what hassles travelers had to to through in those historic and prehistoric days – now that was something to complain about.
    The alternatives to flight – namely trains and automobiles – are much, much slower and actually are generally more subject to delays. You take a road trip, avoiding the hassles of air travel, only to be caught up in one or more traffic jams, road construction delays (i.e. only one lane open each way), flat tires, car problems, wrecks (yours or others) and so on. Planes aren’t really that bad, most of the time. And the airlines at least put you into a hotel if flights are not available rather than leave you standed on the roadside.
    Not so long ago there were horses, mule teams, boats and walking as the main modes of transportation. How long would it take to get from New York to New Orleans on a horse? Would you make it without being robbed, beaten or scalped? You know, air travel just isn’t THAT bad. I’m quite certain the early pioneers would have been quite thrilled beyond their wildest dreams to have had the opportunity to sit and travel in a modern jetliner, delays, hassles, bumped flights and security nonwithstanding. It’s all a matter of perspective.
    Talking about perspective, I am dreading the day when oil runs out and airplanes no longer fly. If we are lucky we may have another ten to twenty years of air travel before the airfare skyrockets and aviation becomes a domain of only the super rich and the military and then eventually winds down to zero. I’m not too optimistic about the viability of electric airplanes or coconut oil powered airplanes or whatever – especially when the world is thrown into chaos with the ensuing arc of peak oil and peak resources.
    So for now, I would just take the delays and hassles in stride and enjoy the ride.
    C A P R A 1 0 8 0

  115. welles September 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Smokeyjoe you’re right on about the GREAT bus service in other countries, loved the Turkey recount (Turkeystan’s high on my list of Next Country to Live In).
    Here in Brazil, I pay about $50 for an 8-hr busride from Sao Paulo to Curitiba – ca. 200 miles — and the bus seats are plush cushioned, with massive legroom, they’re really first rate & unbelievably cheap.
    Loved the Turkish bus attendant uniformed passing out tea, coffee and snacks.
    Re JHK, what the eff would he do if he couldn’t put down Southern Americans, this week’s writing is his worst I’ve ever seen [not claiming to be any better tho']. He really didn’t have time/ideas, as he’s exhausted his one-trick Doomsday meme [tho' I like to read it anyway].
    So now we know that Kunstler spends virtually ALL his time using “Precious Peak Oil” while driving in Minnesota, or flying all over creation, while BASHING EVERYONE for using………..Precious Peak Oil?
    “Don’t they know Oil’s Running Out?!! Why are these STUPID (mostly southern) folk using oil?!!”
    Typical liberal snotnose pussy who flouts his 1580 SAT score but can’t drive a Nail….
    …and now he wants us to forgive him. Punk.
    Peace to him anyway.

  116. mila59 September 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Right on. Absolutely. Well said.

  117. k-dog September 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    I am hugely impressed by the general deficiency in a sense of humor among all’y’all. Don’t you idiots know what comedy is?

    Dude, we who read your books and faithfully tune in each week to consider what you have to say are now ‘idiots’ because we call you out because your perspective is a bit warped this week.
    I thought friends were honest and open with each other.
    Funny, some people don’t even get to fly.

  118. mila59 September 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    No, Asoka, in TLE we can grow our own pot and experiment with hallucinogenic mushrooms. And opium poppies. And moonshine. There will always be alternate states for those who seek!

  119. mila59 September 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Dude, don’t take the “idiots” comment too seriously. On the other hand, it was a frivolous entry this week. Clearly not serious.

  120. k-dog September 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Don’t worry mila, I’m not taking any of this to seriously.

  121. k-dog September 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    but thanks

  122. Qshtik September 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Earlier today I said:
    ASOKA, yesterday (last night?) you mentioned being on Social Security. Sometime in the past year you said you were 60 years old so let’s say you’re 61 now. You have to be at least 62 to start SS early. What gives?
    =================
    Which was a lie … being 60/61 or being on social security?

  123. Steelman September 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Alotta complainin goin on Lusie.
    Perhaps a 3 month trip in a covered wagon would change your attitude.
    You got some splainin to do.

  124. asoka September 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Tripp, carbon farming seems to focus almost exclusively on topsoil even though it is estimated that in excess of 50% of the soil carbon stock is found in the subsoil. For purposes of this post to CFN I am defining subsoil as below 20 to 30 cm.
    Analysis of subsoil to levels of 80 to 100 cm show that mineralization per unit carbon is as important in subsoil as in topsoil (though they have different catabolic profiles).
    Controls on carbon dynamics are also different in topsoil and subsoil. Disrupting the structure of subsoil causes a 75% increase in mineralization while surface remains unaffected.
    Spatial heterogeneity in carbon content, respiration and microbial communities is greater in subsoil than in topsoil.
    I’m not sure carbon farmers pay as much attention to subsoil as they should or if they understand the role of subsoil in global C dynamics. All this argues, of course, in favor of no-till farming.

  125. Mike Moskos September 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Here’s the main problem with the airlines: people shop on the internet for the LOWEST price possible to reach their destination. They’ll switch flights for $1. So, the airlines respond by cutting staff to the barest minimum to move the bird and charging extra for everything. The lesson: be careful what you asked for.
    I can remember 30 years ago when my pa and I would fly between Fort Lauderdale and Albany to spend summers in Saratoga Springs. The fare is lower now, despite 30 years of the Fed inflating our currency (that is what $1 bought then takes $2.64 today). Of course, back then, flying coach was almost like flying first class today–it was an enthralling experience for a teenager. Now, it is just a flying bus–except that in the airport, at least you get a clean bathroom and a plenty of seating (due to the massive subsidies gov. gives the airports). Buses and especially trains have more legroom though.
    I’m disappointed that Jim didn’t try to take trains around the cuntry, sort of a “Waiting On A Train” experience.

  126. asoka September 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Q said: “Sometime in the past year you said you were 60 years old…”
    It must have been sometime two or three years ago, or perhaps I don’t know my own age. You decide.

  127. PaulM September 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Jim-
    Noisy rhetoric aside, I enjoy your style and astute observations but you went way over the top on this one. Bad day at the airlines? Not to condone poor service but any semi-regular flier has had the same issues…welcome to the real world-now, what’s to be done about it? As for calling Nobel-Prize winner Krugman a “fucking dipshit”, there are enough real problems on the planet to keep the concerned and passionate among us busy for the rest of our collective lifetimes.
    Lose the 4th grade attitude; to paraphrase Eldridge Cleaver, be part of the solution, not the problem.

  128. asoka September 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Jim, next time you have to go to Atlanta, choose Southwest Airlines. Ralph Nader and I both like it, and Soutwest just bought AirTrans.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-southwest-airtran-20100927,0,6777930.story

  129. HKThom September 27, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    I hear people gnash their teeth about flying in airplanes all the time. I fly not that much, but regularly, and I don’t seem to have the issue others do. Oh, I have been delayed and so forth before many times, but I don’t get on a plane expecting to be coddled and pampered. It is mass transit, not really a service industry. I expect to get where I am going and that is the main thing. The scheduling issues are no different from buses or trains or anything else.
    I know in previous generations plane travel was special and exclusive and you got all sorts of cushy treatment and goodies. I don’t expect that stuff or even want it. So diatribes like this just sound like whining from spoiled brats. Ironically, it is the sort of thing JHK blames other people of being.

  130. Qshtik September 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    If you want first rate equipment, service, food and pretty young stews with smiling faces, fly Emirates Airlines. I flew to/from Dubai last November on Emirates. The only hassle was having to kneel down in the aisle five times during the trip ;-)

  131. James September 27, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    I took a flight recently. San Francisco to New York. I print out a boarding pass at home, go to the airport, get in line, take off my shoes, put them back on, get on a plane, and within a few minutes I’m flying AT 500 MILES PER HOUR, SITTING IN A PADDED ARMCHAIR WITH A DRINK IN MY HAND. And all that for $179 one way.
    What exactly is anyone complaining about?? puh-leeze. Get a life. Get back to “The End of Oil” or “Fat People” or whatever it is you’ve been ranting on about this past year.
    Cheap air travel is a modern miracle and I’m gonna get as much of it as I can for as long as it lasts.

  132. asoka September 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    The only hassle was having to kneel down in the aisle five times during the trip ;-)
    ====
    This would only work if the plane was facing Mecca. There isn’t enough room cross ways between seats. But Allah understands the purity of your heart, Q.

  133. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    “If you want first rate equipment, service, food and pretty young stews with smiling faces, fly Emirates Airlines.”
    Cash and I, being the huge Arsenal fans that we are, can certainly get behind the slogan “Fly Emirates”!

  134. flying picket September 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    James. You are one vicious individual! I tried to read out your story to my wife, but she told me there was no point, because she couldn’t hear what I was saying.
    As well as facing away from her, I wasn’t very coherent, as I was crying with laughter, whereas, when I had read it to myself I’d just LdOL a few times, and maybe once RdOFL. But I knew it wasn’t worth even trying to continue. She was right.

  135. trippticket September 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    “Disrupting the structure of subsoil causes a 75% increase in mineralization while surface remains unaffected.”
    If you take a moment to check out the Yeomans Keyline plow, you’ll quickly discover that this is precisely what it does. It cuts 3 very thin gashes in the topsoil, (all but undisturbed and on keyline contour to infiltrate rainfall more effectively across the entire landscape), in order to disrupt the subsoil, promoting mineralization at increasing depth as the treatment progresses through the season. Ideally, fodder species of appropriate root structures are planted, along with some sort of liquid organic fertilizer or compost tea in the same pass to minimize compaction and fuel use. Check out Darren’s superplow rig here (there’s no sound for a bit, it’s not your system):

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

    After these fodder species are established, one would mow, or better yet, bring in grazing animals to convert that sequestered solar energy into top-notch meat. Afterwards, another round of the plow at a deeper setting with new deeper rooted fodder species. Repeat cycle to desired depth.
    We’re talking about gains of 2-5% organic matter in one lousy season, with an economically valuable by-product to boot! [To lend some perspective, a slippery black muck soil is only about 12% organic matter.]
    If we could get the government to spend the money they waste on bail-outs, or are considering wasting on a smart grid, on Keyline carbon farming instead, we would have an entire continent of agricultural soils rehabbed, and super-productive without the need for fertilizer inputs, not to mention pull massive amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, in under a decade.
    You want to talk about on-the-ground solutions that are making a difference, this is arguably the most important activity going on on Earth today. And in reference to your no-till comment, this isn’t about annual agriculture, this is pastoral improvement and carbon capture. All permies are no-till advocates for the former.
    So the only thing missing from your argument really, besides applicable substance, is a bibliography!
    ;o)Tripp out.

  136. asoka September 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Since JHK bashes Krugman today, here is what Krugman said yesterday:

    I’ve been looking at what self-proclaimed experts were saying about unemployment during the Great Depression; it was almost identical to what Very Serious People are saying now. Unemployment cannot be brought down rapidly, declared one 1935 analysis, because the work force is “unadaptable and untrained. It cannot respond to the opportunities which industry may offer.” A few years later, a large defense buildup finally provided a fiscal stimulus adequate to the economy’s needs — and suddenly industry was eager to employ those “unadaptable and untrained” workers.
    But now, as then, powerful forces are ideologically opposed to the whole idea of government action on a sufficient scale to jump-start the economy. And that, fundamentally, is why claims that we face huge structural problems have been proliferating: they offer a reason to do nothing about the mass unemployment that is crippling our economy and our society.
    So what you need to know is that there is no evidence whatsoever to back these claims. We aren’t suffering from a shortage of needed skills; we’re suffering from a lack of policy resolve. As I said, structural unemployment isn’t a real problem, it’s an excuse — a reason not to act on America’s problems at a time when action is desperately needed.

  137. Richard S September 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    I just simply won’t let airline travel delays bother me anymore. They happen. I just figure that each debacle brings a unique adventure. I’ve had some interesting conversations while dining at all-night greasy spoons at Sunday midnight on the outskirts of Nowhere. And sometimes my late night dinners have consisted of a couple bags of overpriced chips and a soft drink.
    Anytime you let things like this get under your skin, then you are allowing them to control you.

  138. bproman September 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Hurry up and slow down. Copyright pending.

  139. Bustin J September 27, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Kunstler makes the forgivable error of writing about flying.
    Writing, talking, discussing flying is a common fallacy where someone’s life includes a lot of it. Comedians, business people, media types, writers on book tours, etc. commit this error.
    The bottom line is that stories about flying are not and never will be very interesting to anyone who doesn’t fly.

  140. asoka September 27, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Tripp said: “So the only thing missing from your argument really, besides applicable substance, is a bibliography!”
    ====
    LOL!
    Here is the bibliography you requested:
    Tolmé, Paul. 2009. “FARMING” CARBON TO HELP WILDLIFE.” National Wildlife 48, no. 1: 16-18.
    Lal, R. 2007. “Farming carbon.” Soil & Tillage Research, October. 1-5.
    de Rouw, A., S. Huon, B. Soulileuth, P. Jouquet, A. Pierret, O. Ribolzi, C. Valentin, E. Bourdon, and B. Chantharath. 2010. “Possibilities of carbon and nitrogen sequestration under conventional tillage and no-till cover crop farming (Mekong valley, Laos).” Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 136, no. 1/2: 148-161.
    Manlay, Raphaël J., Alexandre Ickowicz, Dominique Masse, Christian Feller, and Didier Richard. 2004. “Spatial carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus budget in a village of the West African savanna—II. Element flows and functioning of a mixed-farming system.” Agricultural Systems 79, no. 1: 83.
    Tschakert, Petra. 2004. “The costs of soil carbon sequestration: an economic analysis for small-scale farming systems in Senegal.” Agricultural Systems 81, no. 3: 227-253.
    Blake, Andrew. 2008. “Taking steps to manage farming’s carbon footprint.” Farmers Weekly 14.
    Chapin III, F. Stuart, Jack McFarland, A. David McGuire, Eugenie S. Euskirchen, Roger W. Ruess, and Knut Kielland. 2009. “The changing global carbon cycle: linking plant–soil carbon dynamics to global consequences.” Journal of Ecology 97, no. 5: 840-850.

  141. Raindogs September 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    By WMBHJ, are you predicting a rapid decline into a barter, or reciprocal-trade type of economy?
    I can imagine roving Russ Meyer-meets-Mad Max bandits roving the causeways and byways trading remaining petrol for tugjobs, and, when the situation really starts to unravel it will devolve into the likely sequel, WMBBJ. Who says that those Atlanta housewives aren’t busily honing a vital, post-oil skillset?
    Anyway, I digress. Now back to more intellectual pursuits…

  142. RyeBeachBum September 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Having to route through Atlanta is reason enough to avoid Delta.
    The last time I flew Delta was in 2000. Flying from DC to MCO Orlando.
    The connecting flight I had to catch was at the polar opposite terminal, and even though my incoming flight was on time I still only had 15 minutes to catch my outbound flight. I ran the whole way and were it not for a delayed flight on the back end it would have been impossible for me to make the connecting flight. And this was with no delays involved in gettiong to Hartsfield, Just realy bad scheduling on Delta’s part.
    I have not flown Delta since.

  143. asoka September 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Jim, another reason to fly Southwest is the respect they have for travelers with checked bags. Southwest does not charge for the first two bags.
    Here is their customer service mission:
    “Our aim is to get you to your destination safely and comfortably with a laugh or two along the way.”
    Southwest staff often tell good jokes! The flight attendants and the pilots are full of one-liners … relaxed, enjoying their work.

  144. VirtualPlacebo September 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    You are truly part of the me, me, me generation.

  145. asoka September 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Here is the perfect CFN “we are so fucked” doomster movie:
    What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire
    “Human civilization is on a dire path toward self-destruction, according to this illuminating documentary that explains the often hidden connections between global warming, the waning supply of oil, the faltering economy and other critical trends.”
    Available from NetFlix. (2007, directed by Tim Bennett)

  146. messianicdruid September 27, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    “What if paying more money to fly alleviates these problems?”
    You don’t get what you don’t pay for {as opposed to the marketing cliche you usually are told}.

  147. endofworld September 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Delta can go to hell-Your too funny,ie,good,Jim–and i love my 300 mph Lancair,ha ha ha!

  148. CaptSpaulding September 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    I like to fly Al Qaida airlines, they don’t mind if you bring a bomb on board. In fact they encourage it.

  149. asoka September 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Cultural stories we tell ourselves that have ruined the planet:
    1) There’s never quite enough
    2) Humans are innately flawed
    3) Growth is good
    4) Hard work is good
    5) More is better
    6) The physical world is all there is
    7) We can solve any problem
    8) Stuff will make us happy
    9) Subdue the Earth and have dominion over it
    10) We can be “owners”
    11) We use “resources”
    12) Only humans have rights
    13) You can’t stop me
    We are a culture of 2-year-olds who don’t want to look at limits.

  150. neckflames September 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    “Events are always neutral. It’s how you respond that makes them positive or negative.”
    – Paramahansa Yogananda
    Grow up, Jimbo.

  151. Paula September 27, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Oh, Jim, you haven’t had the full, rich range of Delta experiences … yet. But keep flying through Atlanta and you will!
    Expect Delta to:
    1) Schedule ten flights and sell tickets for all of them. Only actually plan to fly five, lie (“equipment change” is the code phrase) when the five bogus flights are “canceled” at the last minute. Then stand behind the gate counter and watch the fun as paying customers frantically struggle for seats!
    2) Put your inescapable hub, Atlanta, in the middle of thunderstorm country. Oh, who doesn’t love the main surprise element of July in Georgia!
    3) Beat up your most responsible employees. I was once crammed onto ATL’s underground tram with what I assumed was a flight attendant. This person was glued to their cell phone trying to straighten out a fairly simple paycheck problem, leaning on a beat-up rollaboard with a sad, cracked handle. Imagine my astonishment when I looked around … and up … to see a captain. This person is only responsible for several hundred lives every few hours, so it makes sense to humble them periodically with crushing, pointless bureaucracy.
    4) Avoid at all costs teaching any employees how to open the door of an aircraft once a plane lands. This last leg of any excruciating Delta journey will be a real Zen mastery lesson as those connecting flight minutes tick away.
    It’s not just the current economy–Delta’s been
    like this for at least 20 years. As a former Delta frequent flyer who lived in several captive Delta cities, I could go on and on, but I’ll end with just one word: Southwest.

  152. Ricechex September 27, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Loved this! It is so accurate. Jim, you are the best.

  153. progressorconserve September 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Asoka quotes me:
    ProgresorConserve said: “I will share one secret that I have learned will contribute immeasurably to making every single flight enjoyable on some level – Xanax.”
    Now, A, couldn’t you see that was an attempt at humor?? It was only moments later the JHK *hisself* castigated the whole lot of us for not being funny enough. I guess I’ve just got to start using more emoticons. ;0) -)((((***)))))))
    Then you opine:
    “The experience of airline travel is not so bad that it requires drugging yourself with whiskey or Xanax.”
    ============
    On that, and for certain personalities, I must disagree. I’d much rather fly with a plane load of xanaxed out zombies – than with the stressed fellow travelers I have encountered. My only requirement is that the cockpit crew be lucid for the landing.
    ————-
    You do provide a helpful list of side effects:
    “Xanax (alprazolam) Side Effects: Constipation, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Light-headedness, Tiredness, Lack of Concentration, Unsteadiness, Weight changes, etc.”
    Man, who takes drugs for the *side* effects? I’m after the primary effects, myself.
    Then you suggest:
    “In the Long Emergency we need to learn to live without depending on drugs.”
    Well, OK, but remember it’s the LONG emergency. Surely there will be time to get the plane on the ground and for me to shake off my Xanax high before the long emergency goes into full swing.
    Now you see, folks, to me all of this is pretty funny stuff. :-)
    Best I can do for humor with this week’s topic anyway, Jimbo! :)
    And we do have another emerging consensus to go with: getting local – riding trains – thorium power – – – and NOW Southwest Airlines!
    Better buy some stock, TreeBeard!

  154. asia September 27, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    kvetch kvetch..ya ain’t seen nothin yet!
    last international flight i took was years ago..montreal to LAX…15/ hours..held up on tarmac and in Chicago…they shoulda paid me..
    but like i say sardine time is near:
    “stand-up” airline seat
    Stand-up airline seats are here, but you won’t use one soon
    Sep 10, 2010 … An Italian company, Aviointeriors, has designed and patented what it calls a “stand-up” airline seat, and representatives from the company …
    http://www.walletpop.com/…/stand-up-airline-seats-are-here-but-you-wont-use-one-soon/ – CachedSound off about standup airline seats : Chris McGinnis : City Brights
    Sep 14, 2010 … Sign up for it today!) The travel biz is abuzz this week about a new airline seat on… Sound off about standup airline seats …
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cmcginnis/detail?entry_id=72322 – CachedSaddle up! New airplane seat design is made for cowpokes, not real …
    Sep 14, 2010 … Dubbed “Skyrider,” the new seat would allow airlines to squeeze more … low-cost “stand-up” seats to cram more passengers onto a plane. …
    http://www.nydailynews.com/…/2010-09

  155. asoka September 27, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    emerging consensus to go with: getting local – riding trains – thorium power – – – and NOW Southwest Airlines!
    =====
    And BUSES.
    A book tour that involved going from town to town by bus or train would probably be less stressful than dealing with TSA in airports.
    But for those cross country or cross ocean hops, air travel is still the fastest.

  156. jim e September 27, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    JHK, I am grateful for your mention of the greatest of the states…

  157. George S. September 28, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    How about UPS for yet another useless sack of shit company. They deliver packages at asinine times of the day – like 1:43 – ignoring the fact that people who get packages delivered are usually working during the day. None of the bright lights there has figured out that scheduling delivery at night might alleviate those witless fucking ‘InfoNotices’ that tell every garbage pail in the city – ‘The guy in #5 is not home – burgle away’
    God help you if you call ‘customer service’ all they can ever say is no, we can’t do that.

  158. Ang September 28, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Jesus, Jim…take a chill pill! You’ve got to learn to let some of this shit go!
    Even though your “humor” was just as intense as any other column of yours that I’ve read, I did love this line…
    “…summoning the flight attendant in desperate attempts to bargain their way to connecting flight (Kubler-Ross style bargaining in the face of hopelessness).”

  159. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    Sorry, Stella, but I gotta go with Jim
    about Krugman. Krugman espouses the
    idea that the bailout was less than
    HALF of the actual amount of money
    Heli-Ben was supposed to have printed.
    Now, all I want you to do is give me
    ONE singular example from all of human
    economic history where a country PRINTED
    their way to prosperity … to say nothing
    about giving most of the printings to the
    worst stewards of capital in human history.
    Krugman is a classic vacuous academic.
    Otherwise, I’m disappointed in those who
    don’t seem to be able to enjoy the humorous
    panache of Jim’s writing. It really is a
    scream. Also, for those who pooh-pooh his
    boo-hoos, consider that baggage handling and
    other aspects of airline operation are
    considered to be better … in THIRD WORLD
    COUNTRIES. Sixty Minutes had a special on
    this once. It really is nutty how little
    coordination there is between airlines and
    between airline personal and up-to-date data
    about their own gates/flights/baggage. Why
    do we have computers that only help airline
    employees but NOT airline CUSTOMERS.
    Keep on parodying, Jim … it’s a gas, dude.
    E.

  160. Rojelio September 28, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    The current state of our society sucks no doubt. You’re dead on about that. But I’d like to send your ass to Ethiopia for about a month and have you squat in a mud hut. Then maybe you could come back here and sit on a plane for a couple of hours without whining like a bitch.

  161. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    PorC,
    I must chastise you about the Xanax. Clearly
    for long international flights, you must use
    Klonopin because it stays in the blood longer.
    :-)
    E.

  162. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    The oddity here, Paul, is that a lot of
    folks like you are seemingly criticizing
    Jim for a lack of joie de vivre about his
    experience yet it’s obvious to people who
    read fiction that he’s PARODYING here.
    In other words, the serious, furrow-browed
    critics have LESS of a sense of humor than
    JHK … not more humor or a better disposition.
    As a final aside, several TV specials have
    reported on the third world service of US
    airlines. I didn’t make this up. Does this
    make me a Gloomy Gus or just a guy who wants
    people to do a fucking better job??!
    E.

  163. Rojelio September 28, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    I’m tired of hearing them blab about how the stimulus worked after WWII, so let’s do it now. We had room to grow after WWII, oil in the lower 48 wouldn’t peak until the 70s, there was lots of good environment left to rape, we had the manufacturing base of the world, we weren’t so goddamn fat.

  164. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    Jill,
    You figure that if you fly from SFO to LAX
    you’ve got to get there 90 minutes ahead
    of time, taxi and takeoff for 30 minutes,
    and go through the nightmare of getting
    your bag and finding the rent-a-car place
    and doing all that shit. It’s five hours
    by flying with all the extras added up.
    You drive to LA and you’re there in SIX
    with car already in hand. I won’t fly
    anywhere that I can reach by car in 15
    hours or less. Flying is like being
    frisked four times for one crime.
    E.

  165. Rojelio September 28, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    This story sounds kind of embellished, like he’s making the trip sound worse than it actually was for effect.
    By the way though, how come the airline industry hasn’t really improved over the last 30 years or so? Isn’t technology supposed to constantly get superior from year to year, kind of like the way Ray Kurzweil describes in his singularity hypothesis?

  166. debt September 28, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    I haven’t read all of Kunstler’s weekly rants, thank God, but this week is easily the worst I have ever read. Kunstler comes across like a spoiled, petulant child.
    I now have a crucifis with a Kunstler bobble head on it. Kunstler flew for our sins…Kunslter flied for our sins??
    Everyone bow your head with great respect and
    Genuflect, genuflect, genuflect…

  167. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    Also, few people used credit and actually
    had SAVINGS to prop up the economy at some
    minimal level. The idea that hyper-printing
    money is going to work in a service economy
    is a parody of its own self.
    Comically, it might work if Heli-Ben just
    sent every man, woman, and child forty
    grand to clear up their debts (or add to
    their existing savings). Of course, even
    THAT will only work for a while.
    The problem with printing is that the printers
    themselves don’t quite know when the capital
    destruction of a debt deflation ends and their
    money then just drives up the price of goods
    to the moon.
    Future books about the Fed will document
    how, in fact, they are throwing darts in
    a dark room with a blindfold on. The idea
    that they are precocious knob-turners who
    mix just the right amount of money and
    bad accounting to produce a V-shaped
    miracle is for suckers … meaning most
    economists.
    E.

  168. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    Yeah, we shouldn’t blow the whistle on
    the growing list of incompetent industries.
    It’s like saying we shouldn’t discipline
    children because it expresses our anger
    to them.
    Dude … shit does NOT get better unless
    SOMEONE bitches, okay? These “Pepsi
    Gen” people who want to smile while every
    fucking aspect of American life worsens
    are a stone cold bummer to those of us
    who remember when service in just about
    every industry was a helluva lot better.
    E.

  169. debt September 28, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    E.
    I certainly get parody, but this isn’t parody – it’s just plain bad writing. Tired and overly labored, too.
    And besides, it’s never been proven that Mohammed Atta was even ON one of those airlines…

  170. debt September 28, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    This isn’t blowing the whistle. It’s an overly tired, jetlagged, maybe still hungover guy trying to write something intelligent, when he should have just skipped it this week. Do you honestly think this rant is going to change anything?
    James Howard Kunstler – whistleblower. What a howl!!!

  171. ChicagoLee September 28, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    Back in the 50s and 60s when I was a lad, one used to dress up for an airline flight as though it were church. That was in the days of a regulated industry, when flying was for people of means, or those who did it seldom. Deregulation and too much competition with too many flights has put air travel on what used to be the level of the Greyhound Bus, and the atmosphere and ambient behavior are similar.
    I have traveled the length of this nation on the bus, and it was a worthwhile experience, but I was young. Somewhere in the Plains, a lay minister felt the spirit, and began to preach in the aisle with an open Bible, stopping only to refresh himself from the pint bottle in his pocket. In McAllister OK, a very tough looking prison wolf with tattooed hands sat down next to me (a pink faced seventeen year old),and began reading his parole papers. I was seeing the world, but that is what flying the friendly skies has become, when I no longer need to have my horizons thus broadened. Soon however, we will wait all day for the train to come, to ride on metal seats with people holding chickens, and then, only if we are lucky.
    I flew a lot for business, but stopped a few years back when I retired, and I hope I will never have to board an airliner again. I’m convinced it is no longer safe, as witnessed by recent crashes and near misses, and what appears to be a spate of mechanical failures that must be due to short changed maintenance. What really got to me however, was the shakedown at the airport, which clearly is intended to intimidate the public away from any complaings for fear of being stripped searched and marched through the concourse, and does nothing to stop any serious malfactors. Once in Logan airport I was chosen for the random, thorough search, and the NTSA agent had me put my hands on my head and kicked my feet apart while he prodded me with the wand.
    About those air blowers, I recommend keeping the one above you closed. Some years back, as a fuel savings measure, the airlines stopped pulling in fresh air from outside. The air in the cabin is recirculated through the system, which means you are sitting in a stream of all the germs your fellow passangers are exhaling.

  172. george September 28, 2010 at 4:00 am #

    For what it’s worth, the last time I took an airplane anywhere was way back in primary school over thirty years ago. My parents’ took me down to Florida to see Mickey, Donald and thier pals down at Disney World. It was a dreadful experience, made worse by airsickness and the ear-popping roar of the 737’s twin engines. Of course, Disney World was a hell of its’ own I soon discovered. If you wanted to get a seat on any of the good rides, you had to be there very early in the morning, which we weren’t, and be prepared to wait a long time in line, because once the tourist buses started arriving the only rides available were “It’s A Small World After All’ and Disney’s “World of Tommorrow” or the Tea Cup Ride. I’m surprised to hear the experience isn’t much better in 2010 considering how far air travel supposedly advanced since the 70’s.

  173. tucsonspur September 28, 2010 at 6:05 am #

    Geez, Jim, after a couple of months of mostly enjoying your stuff, all of this flying crap really has me bummed. It isn’t that I didn’t find it particularly funny, but that just when I was about to detonate and go explosively postal after all the gloom and doom, needing just one more Monday to ignite, you fly in and drench my powder!Well, thanks for saving me anyway.

  174. Ralphiesez September 28, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    Poor baby. Man up, you pussy! Why don’t you take the direct flights? Oh yeah, you are just like the rest of your lefty ilk. Corporate America is the enemy and all those who make a living working for them are nothing but stooges, liars, and drones for their corporate masters. You want something for nothing so you take the cheapest flight with a connection time that is unrealistic, sit in the back of the plane with the rest of the great unwashed and expect to have first class service. What a bunch of cry babies we have all become. For the record though – very funny and true!

  175. alex63 September 28, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Stay at home and grow a vegetable garden. That way i won’t have to listen to you carrying on like a spoilt little prick and you get to do something positive.

  176. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    “Who says that those Atlanta housewives aren’t busily honing a vital, post-oil skillset?”
    Your post had me rolling on the effin floor! That’s exactly what I took WMBHJ to mean, but didn’t have time to comment. Thanks for making it happ’n, Cap’n!!

  177. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    It is, after all, the oldest occupation on the planet. And in my hood, I can see those profits rolling (kneeling?) in!

  178. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    I almost forgot to mention something I saw yesterday, a real head-shaker.
    I was driving home from the recycling center (Macon, GA doesn’t offer ANY pickup services, if you can imagine, not in my neighborhood anyway), and I was driving through a worse ghetto than the one I live in. And right there on the corner of a fairly busy street, with cars rolling by steadily and people walking everywhere, a 30-something? black lady dropped trou and took a piss on some small bushes just off the sidewalk! I saw her bush and everything!
    All I could do was laugh and shake my head. I got to get out of this town…

  179. James Howard Kunstler September 28, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    Vengeur writes:
    If you think THAT was bad , try leaving First Class and fly Coach with the rest of us!
    Vengeur — fuck you, I was in coach.
    –JHK

  180. Pepper Spray September 28, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Thank you JHK for flying the increasingly unfriendly skies so I don’t have to.
    Just when I think it might be alright to get on a plane and go somewhere I get a nice reminder like yours of my last few trips and find a different way to get things done without traveling by plane.
    This also gives me the satisfaction of knowing that the Ass-Wipes who still have jobs because the people they abuse are flying won’t be getting my money.
    Small consolation but these days I take what I can get…

  181. Qshtik September 28, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    black lady dropped trou and took a piss on some small bushes just off the sidewalk!
    Hey, when ya gotta go ya gotta go.
    I saw her bush and everything!
    No brazilian huh?
    All I could do was laugh and shake my head. I got to get out of this town…
    Your comment should stir Vlad and Tree from their recent quietude. It’s a known fact that people with low IQs piss on bushes in public ;-)

  182. lbendet September 28, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    The Descent into Kunstler’s Inferno
    Seems like Airline travel has become hell-on-earth each time JHK flies. But more importantly, as much as I didn’t like his blog yesterday, call me an idiot, but I heard more frustration that funny. The bigger issue is the dysfunction of the Fourth Estate.
    If, in fact the last two administrations didn’t want to shut down the message of peak oil, maybe there would bigger media outlets for JHK to speak and thus sell his books more effectively.
    After all, If Palin gets big media coverage, why can’t he? She sells her ghost-written books like hot-cakes because some billionaires buy out her books and she gets way more attention than her brain power deserves.
    Why isn’t JHK on the Today Show? or even MSNBC?–Joh Stewart? One wonders. Peak Oil is verboten like mentioning the name Milton Friedman in relation to this economic nightmare we find ourselves in. (That’s why I keep mentioning him–I’m perverse that way)
    The Fourth Estate is getting worse all the time. It’s hard for journalists and photojournalists to function in an increasingly paranoid state.
    This morning I got onto facebook and participated in discussion put our by photojournalist, David Hume Kennerly, discussing the paranoid reactions to photographers taking pictures, who are told by authorities they can’t take them.
    Lots of interesting responses.
    Kennerly:”Particularly be suspicious of photographers wearing hoods and dark clothes who are taking photos at airports . . . your tax dollars at work.”
    This entry really caught my attention: Here’s an example of a country that’s fallen in disarray. Not something to hope for, my friends. The power elite don’t go gently into that good night.
    Monterey Anthony
    When living in Africa, I experienced what it was like to live with paranoia and reacting through fear. After a coup, when the government got control back, they proceeded to kill anyone who was even rumored to have helped the rebels. I woke… up to gunfire and watched as friends and co-workers were taken away with AK 47s (I believe), and taken to a jail cell where they were shot down (23 in one cell). There was so much paranoia after the coup. I was photographing outside the police station where these people were killed, when the police officer confiscated my camera and threatened me. I was so young and stupid that I grabbed the camera away and ran for it….

  183. MoneyMouth September 28, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Yeah, I agree with the “Moral Insanity” label. No quicker way to reduce one’s carbon footprint than to cut out “discretionary” flying. For me, over the past decade, my line of discretion was drawn at the(out of state)death of immediate family members. But I’m so loath to fly now, that, funeral schedule or not, I probably would insist on driving my Honda Insight to the next one. The car is 5 years old, and I can still average 60 to 70 MPG unless I’m driving in a protracted dark snowstorm.

  184. Cash September 28, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    …black lady dropped trou and took a piss on some small bushes… – Tripp
    I think people get de-sensitized to things like that. First time you see it it’s a shock, the next time less so. Things slide behaviourally 1/2 % per year and you get used to it over time. What would have freaked you out 15 years ago you don’t even notice anymore.
    A guy I worked with was sent by the company to India to train some people for a function the company was offshoring, matter of fact he was training his replacement but that’s another story. Anyway, he said that he rarely went a day when he didn’t see somebody taking a crap out in the open. Hopefully, things won’t go that far in Macon.
    In this neck of the woods you never used to see grafitti. Now you see it all the time. It’s as if the sprayers think that it’s their “right” to deface property with their “art” and it’s become socially unacceptable to complain. If you object you’re some kind of neanderthal that doesn’t appreciate this culturally rich and diverse city and you should go live in some red neck prairie town and go to church. Of course if some punk with a spraycan is seen by the folks in a house-proud Italian immigrant neighbourhood…
    Same thing with homelessness. Decades ago you’d see the odd wino in the park but now in some parts of town you can’t go 2 minutes without someone lying on the sidewalk bugging you for change.

  185. Qshtik September 28, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I’m disappointed in those who
    don’t seem to be able to enjoy the humorous
    panache of Jim’s writing.

    =============
    E, I totally agree. Jim’s account of his air travel travails is hilarious and rightly seen as such by any “normal” person who has flown in the last two decades. Yet, there are (is?) a surprising number of abnormal commenters here chiding JHK as though he were a whining child. I can only conclude these assholes think the “customer” should sit unperturbed in the lotus position while being shit on and fucked up the ass.

  186. Cash September 28, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Now, all I want you to do is give me
    ONE singular example from all of human
    economic history where a country PRINTED
    their way to prosperity – E
    I agree, this policy of quantitative easing, or whatever term you want to attach to it, combined with offshoring industrial capacity is the sure route to calamity.
    We’ve had this policy of overly loose money since the 1990s and all we got out of it was one asset bubble and bust after another and it damn near brought down the banking system. The fact that they didn’t learn from experience freaks me out. First thing to do when you’re in a hole is stop digging.

  187. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    “Things slide behaviourally 1/2 % per year and you get used to it over time.”
    I call this “landscape amnesia,” and apparently it’s the norm. Just like our ecosystems have declined by, let’s use your 1/2% a year, but we have failed to notice because year-over-year it’s hardly noticeable. When I talk about environmental decline, my boorish Fox “News”-spewing step-dad always says something to the effect of “hey, look around! Everything is still green. We still have birds and dragonflies and flowers all year long.”
    What I wouldn’t give for a time machine! I’d take people like that back a couple centuries to an America where flocks of passenger pigeons, flying 60 miles an hour, darkened the skies for days on end. Where far more than just robins, sparrows, and starlings haunted city yards. Where the Bitteroot Valley in Montana had a couple thousand feet of mountain elevation covered in snow all the way through summer. And where every creek in New England and on the west coast was packed with 5 species of salmon so thick you could walk across their backs.
    Yeah, it’s still green in Georgia, but what an impoverished sort of green comparatively! I hope I can manage to live for 60 or 70 more years (97-107) so I can be thrilled by the early stages of Gaia’s comeback.

  188. cooldog September 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    You’re losing it Jimbo – seek help.
    Maybe you thought you deserved a Nobel Prize and thus your irrational anger towards Krugman?
    Or you just can’t STAND anyone who sees things different from you. Regardless, its medication time boy.

  189. networker September 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Instead of wasting more time here, how about a nice video instead?

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

    From those same people, another interesting little story as well:
    The Width of Two Horses
    _______________________
    Railroad tracks.
    The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.
    Why was that gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England , and English expatriates designed the US railroads.
    Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
    Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
    Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England , because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.
    So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
    And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.
    Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.
    So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with this?’ You may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses.
    (Two horse’s asses.)
    Now, the twist to the story:
    When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.
    The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.
    So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important? Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything…and CURRENT Horses Asses in Washington DC are controlling everything else.
    Great story, eh? I love horses :)

  190. EDS September 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    I’ve been reading K’s comments for about a year now, but found this week’s strange and un-Kunstler like. So travel by plane is bad, so what.
    My Grandmother went by sailing ship from England to Chile and back, taking three years round trip. Twice around the Horn, losing masts, nearly sinking, running out of water, etc. Her father was the captain and she was 14 when they started. The conditions were horrible, she and her mother even helped with the pumps to stay afloat. but she lived to 92, learned Spanish, got married, had sons, and lived happily. She wrote two books about her trip, and talked about it interestingly till she died. It was an interesting adventure. Look on the bright side, every trip should be an adventure.

  191. envirofrigginmental September 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Off topic but, you said:

    Why do we have computers that only help airline employees but NOT airline CUSTOMERS.

    For the same reason we have uniformly red, pretty, perfectly formed, tasteless and pithy tomatoes. It’s got nothing to do with us customers and everything to do with increased production levels (read: profits) and marketing strategies.

  192. Tom Michaluk September 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    What a negative & whiny blog post. Was it really necessary to refer to some hapless FA (who I’m sure makes far less per year than Mr. JHK) as a “bitch”? Angry, angry, angry…

  193. The Mook September 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Speaking of airlines, I wonder if that dipshit who gives out his investment tips on the site, bought Air Tran on Friday before Southwest bought them at a seventy percent premium. You don’t think there was any insider trading activity on that one do you??????????????

  194. Hockey Fan 2 September 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Hilarious! I thoroughly enjoyed this column and definitely can relate.
    However, since air travel clearly causes Mr. K great anguish, I suggest at least considering Amtrak.
    Detroit to Chicago takes 5.5 hours and there are 3 trains a day. Business class is an extra $12 bucks. That’s not a typo…$12.
    Get some fresh air and walk around downtown Chicago. Then hop the City of New Orleans. It’s an overnight train, making a sleeping compartment desirable. Your own private space with a door you can shut to block out everyone else on the train. Plus 3 meals a day are included.
    You can read, write, eat and blog in peace. Arrive in the Big Easy around 3pm. As a writer and painter, Mr K should be able to set your own schedule. In the business world, not everyone has that luxury, myself included, though I do manage a few trips by train every year.

  195. envirofrigginmental September 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I conject that JHK’s point in his blog was the following: what is being sold versus what is being delivered in the airline industry, are at polar opposites. Much like everything else corporately supplied these days.

  196. envirofrigginmental September 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Abso-fucking-lutely. Death by a thousand cuts.

  197. BeantownBill September 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Some of you don’t seem to have a sense of humor. When I was reading Jim’s post, it was funny to me. Must everything be seriously glum? When the day comes you are huddling around the fire trying not to freeze, a little levity would go a long way towards enduring the bad times.
    On another subject, Paul Krugman is flat out incorrect. Spending more than you take in is like trying to create a perpetual motion machine that violates the law of conservation of matter and energy: It may seem to work, but it is actually drawing energy from an unobvious source.
    QE may appear to help, but it draws energy from a weak economy that can’t afford it.

  198. RanchLady September 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    My husband and I are huge fans. We bought hardback books to help keep the master writer in pens and paper.
    We used to travel and lecture as part of our work, and we gave it all up for a different life. We came to detest airline travel. The whole experience became too stressful and unhealthy. We made the choice to say no to airline travel.
    Now we love our rural life, and we live more congruently with our beliefs. We still have stress, but we aren’t asking ourselves, “Is it worth it?”
    Thanks for the very funny and sad reminder of what we left behind. The fact that people have to drug themselves to get through a flight is a a pretty telling fact.

  199. Steelman September 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    You were trying to be funny! Ogh I get it.

  200. cooldog September 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Beantown- You haven’t a clue what Krugman is actually saying nor does Jim Kunstler. Do you imagine the US Economy as a closed system with
    a fixed amount of money in its piggy bank?
    Regardless – I doubt Jim’s petty emotional gripes are the same as yours or else he’s loonier than he reads.

  201. asia September 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    airlines are nice for [and in] rich countries..
    the USA being formerly riche!
    and Eleuthero….Krug gets paid to lie, i see his writings in the dreaded LA Times.

  202. DC September 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    The irony of all this is that not twenty-four hours prior to this blog post JHK told a group of us in Manchester Center, VT, that ‘critics don’t understand when I try to be funny.’ Well, I guess they are not the only ones.
    JHK, you looked punch-drunk from all the traveling; a look I’ve seen in the mirror more than once. Thank you for taking the time to hock your wares in ways that adverts cannot (and for signing my collection).

  203. BeantownBill September 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    I guess we’re just not on the same wavelength. America is part of a global economy now, for better or worse, and that IS a closed system.
    So where does the money to QE come from? We print it. Something for nothing, in effect. Or we “borrow” it from China. That’s really good – depending on a rival to carry us.
    And China is a mess. Don’t believe all the economic figures coming out from there. They lie. Pollution is rampant, they have water shortages in various areas, many of the vast towers you see built are at least half empty, and food production is always sketchy. Actually, they are doing pretty well considering they are unbelievably over-populated. When their SHTF, and it will, you think they will prop us up like they are doing now?
    No, the only way to straighten our economy out is to get rid of our toxic debt, end “free” trade and rebuild our own manufacturing sector.
    Just QEing is bad. For a real-life example, Japan has been QEing for 20 years, and they are in tough shape.

  204. scmtneer September 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    No mention of the effect of deregulation on airlines. Regulated fares were comparable to utility rates, the more the airlines spent, the higher the fare with a certain profit rate built in. Because prices were regulated, the airlines competed on service. Fares were deregulated leading to price competition and basically every major carrier went bankrupt so now service is terrible.
    The next time you’re complaining about being stuck on a plane or in an airport, just remember it is a 1000 times better than being in a hospital.

  205. John66 September 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    I’ll buy your book, Jim…. When I get a job.
    I found a school to pay for my flight upfront. A lot of the schools in China will reimburse, but they will not pay for it upfront. You have to come up with the money yourself.
    Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, will pay for it along with a $30,000 salary, accomodations provided. The only thing I have to pay for is food and personal effects.

  206. John66 September 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    By the way, I’ll be teaching English to prep school boys (15-16). The only thing I’m waiting on is the visa in the mail.
    I could do that for about three years, save my money and then go back to Southeast Asia, buy a cafe and enjoy the rest of my life as a student loan refugee.

  207. Malleus Verum September 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Jimbo,
    In the midst of your tantrum you wrote,
    “Where’s Mohammad Atta and his box-cutter when you really need him?”
    For somebody who likes to give the impression of being a fortune teller, you royally screwed the pooch. Is your life so full of shit? Your brains are, for sure…no sane traveler would cut travel margins so tight as to worry about missing a flight due to delays, especially at a hub like Atlanta. Factor in weather and the union fucks who work and run Delta, and it’s a miracle of jesus h. christ proportions that you made it to Atlanta the same day. Count your blessings, asshole.
    So you got inconvenienced. Boo hoo. Grow some stones, little man, and learn from your mistakes. Like I did when I bought your latest book. But to wish for one of the rat bastards who helped kill thousands of innocents goes beyond even sick little fucks like you. Your little pissant problems pale in comparison to the guy choosing immolation or high speed impact — he was just up there in one of the towers, doing his job when Pigfuckers For Allah showed up driving a heavy. I hope to God you or any of the other sycophants you have hanging around you like dingleberries on Alec Baldwin’s fat ass never have to face that decision. Lord knows you don’t have the courage to run into a burning building to save strangers, so we’re cool there.
    The airline industry sucks. I get that. So do pathetic hacks like you.
    Warmest regards,
    The Hammer of Truth

  208. littleplanet September 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    Actually, I love to fly.
    Simply adore it all to hell !
    Twin Otters, Beavers, Dirigibles, Balloons,
    Icarus Wings, Gliders, hanging and otherwise…
    It’s airports I hate. Can’t stand ‘em.
    Airports remind me of suburbia / shopping malls / human-processing, zombie-fied days & nights of the living dead….
    Unless I can fly from Duluth Minnesota to Dubuque Iowa.
    (In Dubuque, the flight attendent announces the “Que” for takeoff) – then you look out the window and discover that you’re the only blessed plane in the airport (discounting the parked Cessna).
    Luvly.
    I wonder how many years it’ll be from now that we’ll all go back to traveling by riding the rails…just like Boxcar Bertha?
    Or perhaps overland via Belgian worhorses…
    Planes and automobiles both – provide the most exquisite human torture. We’ll love and hate them until they die.
    After which, I hope we get over it.
    Teleportation would be nice……………….
    (hold the flies!)
    cheers-

  209. treebeardsuncle September 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Thanks, PG. I was just talking to a lady I know who used to work for navair at China Lake when I was there who is thinking about buying stock in Southwest Airlines. I am not a fan of airline stocks. Even with oil at $70/barrel, their prospects are not great. I did buy quite a few shares of Netflix though upon seeing it referred to in an incidental manner here by Lewcan Books. It is at $161.86 now after peaking at about $165/share. I got some around $158/share.

  210. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Qshtik wrote:
    “E, I totally agree. Jim’s account of his air travel travails is hilarious and rightly seen as such by any “normal” person who has flown in the last two decades. Yet, there are (is?) a surprising number of abnormal commenters here chiding JHK as though he were a whining child. I can only conclude these assholes think the “customer” should sit unperturbed in the lotus position while being shit on and fucked up the ass.”
    The commenters claimed JHK was a hypocrite
    because he always comments about spoiled
    Americans’ losing their largesse. What
    those commenters don’t realize is that
    JHK’s complaint had NOTHING to do with a
    spoiled guy losing a “privilege” and
    everything to do with complaining about
    yet another industry in America ratcheting
    down to third world levels of competency.
    Those commenters should realize that national
    TV shows and many mag articles have said that
    there isn’t ONE airport in Europe that has the
    baggage, concourse mix-up, and mysterious delay
    problems like American airports.
    And, LBendet, though I consider you a kindred
    spirit, I’m afraid that I *did* like JHK’s
    missive because this site isn’t JUST about
    Peak Oil … it’s about Peak *America* and
    our downward descent from that Peak.
    To that end, check out finance.yahoo.com and
    their list of articles right now … because
    one of them is an economist declaring that
    our country is en route to general third
    world status.
    E.

  211. lbendet September 28, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    E,
    I couldn’t agree more with the issue of peak America. I’m not so dense I didn’t get that point. It was the “joke” at the end I didn’t care for and I’m just being honest.
    As I said earlier, if people weren’t being told to “shut up” about peak oil, JHK would have a big venue from which to broadcast his book, then he wouldn’t have to travel all over the darn place.
    In my earlier post today I was discussing another “peak” issue. That of the fourth estate. The press won’t discuss a number of issues and that always leads to bad ends.
    I offered one extreme example of an African country which was torn apart by a coup. It was part of another discussion about photo journalists being told to stop covering certain
    places or events.

  212. Eleuthero September 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Cash wrote:
    “I agree, this policy of quantitative easing, or whatever term you want to attach to it, combined with offshoring industrial capacity is the sure route to calamity.
    We’ve had this policy of overly loose money since the 1990s and all we got out of it was one asset bubble and bust after another and it damn near brought down the banking system. The fact that they didn’t learn from experience freaks me out. First thing to do when you’re in a hole is stop digging.”
    Hear, hear, Cash!!! My metaphor for this is that
    our Fed and Treasury have used about twenty
    hydrogen bombs to tweak the economy and gotten
    a firecracker of result.
    Your post explains quite precisely why I think
    Paul Krugman is “yet another economist who could
    never be a businessman”. Krugman is one of
    those guys who’s fallen for the “Potent Directors
    Fallacy” … the idea that the Fed and Treasury
    are genius-level lever-pullers who know just
    when to buy toxic assets, exactly when to print
    money and in JUST the right amounts.
    Pshaw!!!! I say that those of us alive in
    20 will read history books that will look back
    at this period and it will generally be conceded
    that no one knew what they were doing.
    E.

  213. ctemple September 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    I think Jim is a sound thinker, by and large, and by that I mean I believe he has a handle on where society is headed in the big picture. And he writes well.
    Nobody’s got a crystal ball.
    Where I disagree with him is seems to believe that anybody who believes in God is some kind of a nut, or that many people in the middle of the country tend to be overweight imbeciles.
    But what we do on here is an amazing thing, in a way, people from all over the country, the world even can get on here and talk about Long Emergency. How would this have been possible twenty five years ago? And it costs very little.
    I think some of the people who regularly post on here do a pretty good job of talking about what they think is happening, like: al klein, Laura Louzador, Cash, tripticket, beantown, sanjosemom, mesianicdruid.
    I don’t know if I spelled everybody’s handle right, and I’m sure I left people out. And they make up for the dumbasses who argue every petty point to boring detail, or give out stock reports, or brag about when they got stoned back in 1955.

  214. mika. September 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    E,
    The FED is playing a bigger game than clusterfsck amerikkka. Their chessboard is the globe, and global currency interactions. Them atom bombs are not firecrackers, they are indeed atom bombs.

  215. mika. September 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    The Hammer of Truth? Right!
    How about directing some of that venom where it really belongs? In case you’re too stupid know, I’ll spell it out for you: Saudi-America and the banking/oil/military mafia.

  216. mika. September 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    ..too stupid ^to know..

  217. jackieblue2u September 28, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    Asoka…..i completely agree with your list.
    We are like spoiled rotten 2 year olds, i added the spoiled rotten part. Great list. Sad reality.
    I like JHK’s writings about the Non sensical layout of our cities and the architectural nightmares we see everywhere. And how he views ‘our’ ‘culture.’ He puts into words the way I have Always felt, and still feel.
    I read once in a book of his HOME FROM NOWHERE i think it was. Kids need to be able to get around on their own in the places they live. Hell we all do.
    Besides being a waste of time driving everywhere, it is a total waste of energy. and Dis Stressful.
    I think I am one of a few ‘Americans’ who have Never Ate a hamburger from Mcd’s. or any other fast food restaurant. I think the whole fast food thing is SICK. and it makes us sick. And for far too many it is a Way of Life.
    Fast food places are great for Pit Stops for other reasons ! When on road trips.
    I think it’s Cool that he has this Site for us to post on, and that he once in a while tells it like it is to someone who has it coming. (long as it’s not me !)
    I don’t Fly enough to comment on the Story today.
    Oh but when I did last 2 times and in the future it will be on SOUTHWEST, I agree that they are the best. and they are funny also.
    jb

  218. Headless September 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Jim,
    You entirely misunderstand the true value of careful planning and having expectations; that being, that the plan will go utterly awry and you will experience something you could have ever expected… Otherwise, what’s the point? You might as well put the life video on fast forward and get it over with.
    Oh the stories of great “misfortune” I could tell…

  219. JD Moore September 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Smokyjoe, thanks for the update on bus service in Turkey. I’ve always heard it is good. Turks have told me the roads are in good shape. What’s so different is the parade of cars is missing.

  220. asoka September 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    ctemple said: “But what we do on here is an amazing thing, in a way, people from all over the country, the world even can get on here and talk about Long Emergency. How would this have been possible twenty five years ago? And it costs very little.”
    This internet thingy we are all enjoying is an amazing thing; an amazing this that runs on blinky blinky powered by fossil fuels.
    This internet will come crashing down with the peak-oil collapse of society… as soon as TSHTF, which could be tomorrow afternoon, or one Friedman unit away… or two… or three.
    But the end is coming, for it has been prophesied by CFN and all the CFN believers in the classical laws of physics. Their motto is “Things work… until they don’t… we are so fucked!”
    I, however, doubt the CFN faith. I have been to the mountaintop. I am a heretic who says the end is not coming and the supposed limits of Newtonian laws are only a bump in the road.
    We will one day go far beyond in our understanding and leave the Standard Model behind. I may not live to see that day. I may not get there with you. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now.
    I have been to the mountaintop. I’ve seen the Promised Land of Alternative Energy. I want you to know that CFN, as a people, will get to the promised land!
    Wind Energy http://bit.ly/9Qsrwi
    Employment http://huff.to/as5MSD
    Military http://www.cnas.org/node/5023
    Nuclear Energy http://huff.to/9L85Gd
    Thorium Reactors http://bit.ly/9zVw6l

  221. JD Moore September 28, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Ashoka, Notice that LUV always made money, even during the “air travel crisis” after 9-11, when Chapter 11 was the order of the day. I hear Alaska Airlines is another good carrier.

  222. asoka September 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    JD, yes, I have also flown Alaska Airlines and it is also a good airline.
    Back in the day my best experience flying was with Luftansa. They were five minutes late departing and they were so embarrassed they gave everyone on board gifts. Then they broke out the good silverware, crystal, china plates, etc. and served us a real meal. I guess for Germans to be five minutes late is a really bad thing that requires compensation and profuse apologies. That was the best long flight I’ve ever had.

  223. Qshtik September 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Hey, anyone who’s traveled frequently by air on business is bound to have a repertoire of tales like Kunstler’s … though, granted, few can tell them half as well. But let me take a different tack and tell you of an experience that I’ll bet no one else here has had. And I swear it’s true.
    It was a Friday in the mid to late ’80s. I had just spent the better part of a week in LA doing a proposal audit at “XYZ Corp” and was looking forward to getting back to Jersey for the weekend. I was booked in the shitty seats in the far depths of coach where swarthy people with body odor and squalling kids, if not chickens, tend to wind up.
    Due to a series of mishaps I barely had time to make it to LAX, turn in my rental car and sprint the distance to the appropriate gate. With sweat dripping off my nose and chin I learned my seat had been sold to someone else and the plane’s door was closed.
    The lady at the gate made a call then hung up her phone and said to me “Boy are you lucky, there’s one seat left and the captain says they’ll reopen the door to let you on.” I had one suitcase but it was too large to carry onboard so they had to open the luggage compartment below decks and cram it in. I entered the craft sheepishly with a couple hundred people staring to see who the asshole was who’d caused the delay. The last empty seat on the plane was in First Class, row one on the aisle. Whoa baby!!
    In short order I was provided a Wall St Journal and a whiskey on the rocks by an attractive flight attendant with exceptional legs who I had sex with (mentally) before we had even taxied to the end of the runway for takeoff. Before long I was beginning to feel I actually deserved the expansive seat and leg room and began to acquaint myself with the wine list in anticipation of dinner. Hot moist towels were dispensed with tongs for freshening up. Our meal place-settings included cloth napkins, silverware and an excellent imitation of fine china. My entree was a NY Strip Steak with baked Idaho potato, string beans, green salad, rolls and butter and a nice red wine in crystal stemware. There was cheesecake and coffee for dessert and finally a square chocolate covered mint patty.
    Scheduled arrival time at EWR (Newark) was 10:10PM but everyone had long since accepted that we’d be significantly late. As the flight proceeded the captain announced on the PA that the prevailing west to east winds were more favorable than usual and we would not be as late as they originally thought. As the lights of the NY metro area rose up under the plane I glanced at my watch and the tires screeched on the runway at 10:10PM on the nose.
    Our terminal and our gate were the nearest possible ones of the entire airport complex so we were there and hooked up to the jetway within minutes. The door was opened and I was the first person off the plane. I strode resolutely through the terminal and on to the down escalator to the baggage claim area. There were only a handful of people there and when I was about ten feet from ground level the warning light on the closest luggage carousel visible at my immediate right began to blink and then the carousel started its counterclockwise motion. I reached floor level and walked off toward the carousel just as the first bag came up the conveyor belt and slid downward.
    You guessed it … it was my bag and I snatched it up without breaking stride. I exited the building where vehicles come to pick up arrivals. I turned to my left and saw rolling toward me some 40 ft away a bus marked “Long Term Lot D,” my Lot. I hopped on. The bus was empty and we were at Terminal C, the last of three terminals served by the bus. As a result we were able to proceed directly to Lot D with no further stops. There were no other people to be dropped off at the various stopping points in Lot D nor was anyone waiting to be picked up. The bus rolled up to my stop where I had been lucky enough on the way in to find a close by parking space. I walked a few paces to my car tossed the suitcase in the trunk, and headed off quickly to the airport exit toll booth. As I waited for the toll receipt I checked my watch. It was 10:29PM, nineteen minutes from wheels down to airport exit.

  224. latchkeykid September 28, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Jesus gawd I’m glad I didn’t scroll down to the comments only to find the lonely word “first” wasting away in the spotlight. You people are getting a little better.
    It seems as though the airlines have all the customers they need that are willing to pay the price asked for the lack of service they offer. 1st Solution: Don’t fly. Avoid paying to be treated like shit. 2nd Solution: Demand some sort of consumer protections to be put into place. Again, avoid paying to be treated like shit.

  225. networker September 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    I see Asoka is still wincing from having lost that argument about electrical grids last week :)

  226. JD Moore September 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Jim, it was nice to see you. I found out about your appearance only three days before. This from a person who I met for the first time, lives locally but whose family comes from Warren County, New York, had to go back there recently because of a death in the family. There was the old (very marginal) farm to dispose of. I got some answers to some questions I had about the area. Turns out I’ve been on the right track as to how the Capital District came to be.
    Thanks, for telling me what the “Section 8 ghetto” was in your part of the world. We have one here, too, though my brother calls such “Boston’s Designated Slum.” It’s Lynn. Much can be said about the cluelessness of government and real estate developers. A four-track platform separated from the street, a million square feet of space within walking distance of the train yet the city languishes: another Nowhere to go with the one you described so many years ago.
    But for the topic, my dad said way before airline deregulation: “An airline–A bus with wings.”
    I just got a new connection on LinkedIn because I had said something insightful about the deplorable state of customer service in the high tech world (computers, cell phones, and allied industries). It goes well with what you say about the airlines.
    I really don’t like driving but sometime, with its dangers, I find it easier to get to Albany that way. Forget about flying. The bus is expensive, the train is cheaper most of the time but is so slow because it runs on track TRULY made back in a “world made by hand.” It was all pick and shovel, blasting was generations in the future.
    Just wait until oil gets expensive. Look at all those nice new rail rights of way where people used to drive their cars. I’ve envisioned this for many years, long before I heard of you.

  227. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    “I was booked in the shitty seats in the far depths of coach where swarthy people with body odor and squalling kids, if not chickens, tend to wind up.”
    Are we not supposed to travel with our chickens? God I’m embarrassed…

  228. Ang September 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    Vengeur writes:
    If you think THAT was bad , try leaving First Class and fly Coach with the rest of us!
    Vengeur — fuck you, I was in coach.
    –JHK
    *********************
    Now *that* was funny, Vengeur. Guess Jim doesn’t share our sense of humor.

  229. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Ask Mean Dovey Cooledge who occupies the back seat of her old BMW most of the time.

  230. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    By the way, I had my goat out front mowing what little bit of lawn I have today. Maybe when she has her kids next summer I’ll start a novelty lawn service. Low overhead for sure! But we’ll try to refrain from coach air travel for the benefit of those who still think of the US as a first-world nation.

  231. trippticket September 28, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Like Asoka and his magic pan-flute.

  232. LewisLucanBooks September 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    National Geographic ran a program on Sunday night called “Collapse” from the book by Jerad Diamond. I think they’re running it again,tonight. What’s interesting is, it’s already hit NetFlix. And, if you’re a member, you can watch it over the Net. I watched it this afternoon.
    Our very own JHK made a few cameo appearances as a talking head.
    :D .
    Re: Air Travel. I had flown a few times in my miss-spent youth. After a few miss-spent years in Southern California, I promised the Baby Jesus if he got me back alive to the Pacific Northwest, I’d never get on a plane, again. Never did.
    I decided a long time ago, if I ever right a book and they want to send me on an author tour, it will be in the contract that it’s either got to be trains, the bus, or pay my gas.
    Jim, if your driving between Seattle and Portland on your tour, stop into Centralia, WA., and say hello. It’s halfway in between and a perfect pitstop. :D

  233. Qshtik September 28, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    if I ever right a book
    ============
    The past tense of right is rote. Write?

  234. BeantownBill September 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Lynn, Lynn the city of sin….I once took dancing lessons there when I was a teenager, lo these many years ago. And Albany, the Lynn of New York. I could tell you stories about Albany, but not as good as the ones about Buffalo.

  235. treebeardsuncle September 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    Thanks, Q, I had written a beautiful response to Trip’s post and my computer went down. Then I didn’t feel inclined to rewrite it. Now, I feel duty bound to remember as best I can what I said earlier.
    Trip, Trip, Trip, you are such a good little liberal who has just now appeared to find out with a sense of great shock what I and most enlightened and aware folks have long well known. Black people don’t discriminate between the public and private spheres. They are out hooting and hollering, jibbering and jabbering, all the while making the most outrageous gesticulations. They treat the middle of the street as if it were their living room. You can see them out there shooting up, and dealing their dope. This complete lack of sense of the concepts of privacy, probity, and propriety combined with their overt sexuality and tendencies toward aggressive violence begins to explain the pyschopathologies that are so characteristic of ghetto life, as well as why they are so easily caught.

  236. treebeardsuncle September 28, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    Ibendent, if you can do that, you have balls. Why don’t you tell me your name. My name is Geoffrey Harris and I live in Sacramento and the kind of event you describe with folks being shot in their cell is not about to happen here in the US right now.
    g

  237. asoka September 28, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    Tripp said: “black lady dropped trou and took a piss on some small bushes just off the sidewalk!”
    Why you be hatin’, Tripp? Black lady gotta pee, she gotta pee. Nothin’ more natural than that.
    Did you know that you can urinate on a bale of hay for about a month and then put it on your garden in the winter for a big boost of nitrogen.
    The Black lady’s urine might be helpin’ somethin’
    Tripp said: “Like Asoka and his magic pan-flute.”
    Tripp, it’s better when you respond to substance, like you did with that excellent Doherty video. One man’s magic is another man’s laws of physics.

  238. networker September 29, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    TBU, TBU, TBU, you are so easily caught. Now, how about you discriminate between the public and private spheres and keep quiet. This is the public Internet, where your displays of verbal diarrhea are inappropriate. As is characteristic of the psychopathology of a racist life, you are treating this website as your living room, jibbering and jabbering on, dealing your “dope” with a complete lack of propriety.

  239. networker September 29, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    Or in this case, Asoka’s magick is another (wo)man’s laws of physics.

  240. asoka September 29, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    Networker, you are correct. It is magick.

  241. trippticket September 29, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    I got nothing against magic, old friend. I expect the faerie folk to show up in my garden any day now! First the swifts came, then the dragonflies, then the bats, next will be the owls, so why not the forgotten kindred??
    Like that plow, did you? Darren’s the man! I love that he has so much fun trying to stack functions in an effort to avoid extraneous energy use. He really is saving the world with that magic plow of his.

  242. trippticket September 29, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    lmao

  243. LewisLucanBooks September 29, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    Gasp! I have been waiting for this day in trembling anticipation! To be finally noticed, to be singled out by Q. I have arrived.
    Now that the levity is out of the way, has anyone else noticed how much Q’s personality matches that of a certain fictional character? That of Q from the Star Trek Next Generation series. The same arrogance. The same lofty disdain.
    Well, our Q is about as loved as that Q. Not much. And the fictional Q always comes to such a bad end. We don’t shed a tear and even cheer a bit.

  244. georgec7 September 29, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Mr. Kunstler:
    I doubt you read these comments. I wouldn’t bother if I were you. That said:
    I guess we are all entitled to a rant every so often. I have purchased two of your books; and I am sorry that wasn’t enough in royalties for a private plane; although the use of one would seem to fly in the face of your ideology, or a A-320 for that matter.
    I guess I found this portion of the rant
    ..”Where’s Mohammad Atta and his box-cutter when you really need him?”..to be a bit offensive and/or in bad taste if an attempt at humor.
    I will seriously consider the discontinuation of reading this blog in the future or purchasing your books.

  245. skookumwawa September 29, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    Dude, seriously, you are a better writer than this. I’ve read several of your books and I deeply respect your opinions, but your invective is reaching ugly levels. Am I supposed to laugh when you call an innocent flight attendant (who has no more control over the situation than you or anyone else) a bitch and later imply slitting her throat with a box cutter? Fucked up.
    Time for an attitude check. Giving yourself a stroke over stupid shit like flight delays won’t serve you or anyone else. I know you’re not the least bit woo, but seriously there’s a lot of good research these days on the non-pharma benefits of plain old meditative practice. You might look into it, or something similiar. Or keep being miserable and hating everyone who doesn’t rise to your standards. Your choice.

  246. asoka September 29, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    Tripp said: “I expect the faerie folk to show up in my garden any day now!”
    Tripp, fairies have a definite place in permaculture. The book, Sensitive Permaculture focuses on an energetic, loving approach to sustainable land planning. The author, Alanna Moore, has three permaculture diplomas, says: “When we connect to the sacred dimensions of life our activities become positively life-affirming and joyful.”
    The Irish believed that fairy beings help to care for their crops and livestock and that the ‘Good People’ must always be thanked, and their homes and pathways respected.
    Sensitive Permaculture: Cultivating the Way of the Sacred Earth
    http://amzn.to/dhYcJ7
    Here are some chapter contents. Chapters 7, 10, and 15 deal with fairies.
    Chapter 7: Geobiology and geomancy
    ‘Hungry grass’ Geomancy & Earth dragons
    Planning with the fairies
    Feng shui
    Confirming the best home site
    Chapter 10: Co-operating with the land
    Loving the land
    Deva gardeners
    Dowsing in the garden
    Problems with metals
    Curvy gardens
    Keeping dragons happy
    Zone Five fairy land
    DIY sacred sites
    Chapter 15: My Irish summer with the fairies
    Discovering the land’s magic
    Fairy warning
    Preparation for earthworks
    Magic flower crop
    Crone deva

  247. asoka September 29, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    The first world leader has been indicted re: the global financial crisis.
    Who will be next?
    REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Iceland’s former Prime Minister Geir Haarde has been referred to a special court in a move that could make him the first world leader to be charged in connection with the global financial crisis.

  248. asoka September 29, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    There is a way to calculate carbon footprint for airline flights vs. car vs. train vs. car pooling.
    Just for fun I imagined JHK was traveling round trip from Albany, New York to Albany/Corvallis, Oregon and back to Albany, New York.
    Here is the comparison:
    2,352 lbs. CO2 … Airplane (per passenger basis)
    3,803 lbs. CO2 … Driving alone (25 mpg)
    1,902 lbs. CO2 … Carpooling (2 people, 25 mpg)
    2,048 lbs. CO2 … Train
    SOURCE: Carbon Footprint Calculator
    http://www.terrapass.com/carbon-footprint-calculator/

  249. debt September 29, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    James –
    I am hugely impressed by the considerable lack of a sense of humor here in your post. Spin it any way you like but you really sucked this time. And of course we’re idiots because we see your writing clearer than you do. Your response to the guy who said you were flying first class was priceless though. I’m still laughing over that one. You’ll get your mojo back, my friend. Next week is my guess.
    D.

  250. Laura Louzader September 29, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    Asoka, if there were anything resembling a Free Market in this country, we wouldn’t have a quarter as many planes in the sky as we do now, and passenger railroad would be the preferred mode of travel… because we would not be throwing about $14 Billion a year at subsidies for the massively wasteful air travel industry.
    We don’t have a Free Market and almost never have had, except for about 5 minutes in the 19th Century, in between end of slavery (the ultimate anti-free market system) and the rise of Crony Capitalism complete with subsidies and special legislation to skew markets in favor of selected businesses and industries… which is how we murdered, by policy and regulatory strangulation, the same railroads we overbuilt with subsidies in the early 20th. Our leaders decided around WW2 that the best path to “growth” was extreme auto dependency, and thus created policies that grossly favored airlines and auto travel, and living arrangements that made them necessary. The passenger railroads didn’t die a natural death anymore than our cities and major towns did.. they were deliberately murdered.
    Now we can see that all the government subsidies and market manipulation in the world aren’t going to enable us to support mass market air travel, just as we will soon see that we can no longer support mass car ownership, no matter how much money we shovel into highway construction and oil wars. We simply don’t have the resources to prop this all up, as evidenced by the massive auto infrastructure that is crumbling rapidly, and the increasing inconvenience and stress of air and auto travel.
    In a truly free market, we would never have become so dependent on auto and air travel, nor would we have driven 90% of the lower-middle class population out to outer suburbs where you cannot live without 3 autos per family, because in conditions of economic freedom, you must pay for what you get and earn your rewards, and be allowed to fail. We’ve been subsidizing the unaffordable for too long to enrich industries that are based on wasteful consumption.

  251. wagelaborer September 29, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    Years ago, my boss came up to me. She was writing a memo, and asked my opinion about a line she was considering.
    “Do you think they’ll take it wrong?” she asked.
    “Oh, no, that’s funny!” I said. “No one will take that wrong”.
    Then, when she wasn’t around, and people were bitching and moaning about the horrible thing she had written, and I was like “Oh, no. That’s funny!” And they were like “Stupid bitch. That isn’t funny”.
    That’s when I realized that some people are pretty hateful.

  252. JJ Jamesson September 29, 2010 at 2:46 am #

    Not that you’ll care, but what the hell.
    I found a link to your site sitting in a place in my browser where I store links to things that interested me along the way. So I came here and read a few entries.
    You might be right that the U.S. is going to hell. I can’t say that I’m real optimistic myself. But, wow, you’re about as bloated and self-righteous as any wingnut preacher I’ve ever heard of.
    As for this one about your flight on Delta, what makes you think anyone gives a rat’s ass?

  253. tucsonspur September 29, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    For the breakfast crowd:
    Along the lines of the “lady” taking a pee in the bushes, a few decades or so ago, while walking down 42nd street in the middle of the day, not far from eighth avenue, a woman gathered herself up, squatted, and took a dump rivalling that of the triceratops in Jurassic Park, right on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, I had the posterior view, and the yelps and groans, including mine, quickly rose above the traffic noise. New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town! Love it or hate it, I don’t give a….
    What, you want profound this early? Enjoy the danish and coffee.

  254. welles September 29, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    we’ve since leared that jhk was going for the jocular

  255. lbendet September 29, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    treebeardsuncle,
    I wasn’t implying it could happen now. But the potential is always there. When people have said on this post that they think things will reset in the positive when the system goes down, think again.
    Everyone says it can’t happen here until it does.
    Point is that if you look at history, few revolutions or collapses go without reactionary backlash and with the misinformation and revanchism (revenge politics) which characterizes the some in the right wing (A conservative said that on Bill Moyers) when the s–hits the fan, there’s no telling what can happen. It can always happen anywhere when the social and politcal fabric falls away.
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09182009/transcript4.html
    Check it out.

  256. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Absolutely no doubt about it, Wage:
    “…and I was like “Oh, no. That’s funny!” And they were like “Stupid bitch. That isn’t funny”.
    That’s when I realized that some people are pretty hateful.”
    ==============
    And some people, Wage, are just HUMOR IMPAIRED.
    We talk a lot on this thread about left vs. right – which would be an important dichotomy – if the Country still had a viable left.
    But this week we’ve discovered some new dichotomies. One is the *humored* vs the *humor impaired.* We’ve got people arguing about whether JHK’s piece this week was funny or not.
    But some of the people who argue “not funny” are pretty nasty about it. Which leads others to *defend* JHK, or humor, or something?
    They are saying:
    “Damn it, it is TOO funny – what the hell’s wrong with you and the horse you rode in on? That jackass must not have a sense of humor!!”
    ============
    And we’ve got another surprising dichotomy between those who love and defend commercial aviation in the US and those who hate and attack it. I can understand both views.
    But seeing that posters have naturally divided themselves into these two extreme lover vs hater groups is, to me – – humorous – even funny!
    And it explains some of our political questions, too.

  257. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    we’ve since leared that jhk was going for the jocular
    ===========
    Welles, you left off a word from the end of your sentence: vein ;-)

  258. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    True tales from the ATL:
    2006, I’m flying out of Atlanta with my adult son. We’re going through security and the metal detector alerts on him. They pull him out and start wanding him down. For some reason this turns adversarial – and I’m thinking they are about to lead my kid away for a strip search or something. Then they find something on his person – belt buckle?, plate in his head?, who knows?. But they let him board the plane without any more trouble.
    Then we get to our destination and he unpacks his carry on. “Holy Crap!” He’s accidentally flown with a FF/EMT extrication tool. The thing is a combination knife, pliers, glass breaker. It is an ugly looking weapon and he carried it right onto the plane.
    Naturally, it flew home in his checked bag.
    ===============
    To clarify, it’s not flying that makes me want to have a shot of ethanol and a Xanax. Rather, it is the cattle car aspect of the way it’s managed. And the things done in public for *security* seem to me to be mostly a useless, showy, farce.
    But once the plane is moving – even on the ground – I’m staring out the window and I’m happy. There’s no further need for medication, no matter how rough the flight.
    On a rough flight, however, my wife might just be popping the Xanax. She’ll quote some old comedians for me, too.
    “No, I’m not afraid of flying. I’m only afraid of crashing. Does that wing look loose to you?”
    LOL?

  259. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    while walking down 42nd street in the middle of the day, not far from eighth avenue, a woman gathered herself up, squatted, and took a dump rivalling that of the triceratops in Jurassic Park, right on the sidewalk.
    ================
    Talk about yer utter disregard!!
    Your description is hilarious 2-son. Now I expect we’ll hear from Asoka that “Hey, the lady had to poop. What’s more natural than pooping?”

  260. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    As for this one about your flight on Delta, what makes you think anyone gives a rat’s ass?
    ================
    JJ, he concludes that people do give a rat’s ass when he sees that his essay drew 255 comments in 48 hours.
    The expression about “not giving a rat’s ass” is as false as you will find in the english language. When someone uses it you can be certain they care deeply.

  261. asoka September 29, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    How appropriate, Laura, that your post on free markets happened to follow my post on fairies.
    Both free markets and fairies have about equal ontological reality. (I dispute your claim that free markets have existed for five minutes), the difference being that belief in invisible free markets is not benign.

  262. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    There is a way to calculate carbon footprint
    ============
    I am disappointed that your analysis left out 8M’s SIMPLE BUSES.

  263. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Giving yourself a stroke over stupid shit like flight delays won’t serve you or anyone else.
    ============
    I think you’re wrong on this Skookum. You’ve got it exactly backwards. Rather than giving himself a stroke he has prevented a stroke (metaphorically speaking).
    Writing about things that bug you, I would venture, is more effective than drugs or meditation at alleviating the stresses caused by being shat upon. Speaking from personal experience, I was able to endure the last eight years of my working career under a maniac boss by writing about it. And I continue to maintain my sanity by writing here at CFN on all manner of annoyances beginning with, but not limited to, virtually every word published by Asoka.

  264. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Asoka, if there were anything resembling a Free Market in this country … etc etc.
    ================
    Laura, I sat here awhile mulling your comment, and a subsequent reply to you from Asoka, with the idea of composing a dissertation on why you both have it all wrong. And then I asked myself, even if I could craft some gem of logic what are the odds either of you would respond saying “Q, you make a good point”? Zero.
    So … let me just say that your error is in believing that if markets were truly “free” resulting outcomes for people would always be benign.
    A tangential issue is one that I discussed many moons ago: that people always act in what they perceive to be their own best interest. This is true ever and always and it is impossible to be otherwise. Sort of like it’s impossible to make a square circle.

  265. Cavepainter September 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Sorry Jim, but isn’t it another chicken/egg question? Which came first, lowered standard of public behavior within the populous (that is, civility and protocol for decent appearance and courteous behavior) or decline in service on transit systems?
    I’m asking as a seventy-three year old who remembers bussing between cities traveling back in the 1950s, on occasions of holiday school breaks. One experience illustrates: On a trip from Kansas City headed south on a Greyhound, a cowboy traveling to Texas had a small rip in his jeans at the knee, showing the typical frayed strands of bleach colored cotton at the edges of the rip. As was practice in the day all the passengers were spiffy clean, obviously having made best effort to be “presentable” in public , whether dressed (like our cowboy) in weather worn jeans or the nice old ladies, lip-sticked, rouged and wearing their “black dressed best” outfit accessorized with white gloves. I’ll make the point too that the seats and aisles of the Greyhound bus were as clean and well kept as the passengers.
    The most salient illustration of my point though is how the cowboy, self conscious about the rip in his jeans, made obvious effort to keep one knee crossed over the other to hide the rip. (He could have taken his ten-gallon down from the rack above to rest over the knee, covering the rip, but that too might have been considered disrespectful of the other passengers). On slumbering back in the seat momentarily, unmindful of exposing the rip, he’d uncross his legs, and then waking to his gaff he’d quickly re-cross his legs while pivoting his head about like he was attempting to catch a disapproving gaze from the other nearby passengers.
    Have you ridden a Greyhound lately? They are as filthy as cattle cars and looking at the passengers one might have fleeting impression of having boarded a sheriff’s department prisoner transport vehicle.
    So, are we seeing a cascading effect of decline in over-all societal decorum and civility, and if so which societal force is leading and which is being pulled along? Whichever, ….we see today “styles” among the young that are deliberately offensive; the death-head emblems and trousers slouched down to expose butt-crack or underwear, crotch to the knees, or just calculated filthiness in hygiene or language
    Personally, I miss the “good ol’ days”.

  266. old guy September 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    As many of these comments demonstrate, there’s no authority, no matter how incompetent or ugly, that Americans won’t suck up to. So stop your complaining, JHK! We’ll end up in a police state because that’s what nice white people want.

  267. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Well, our Q is about as loved as that Q. Not much.
    ===============
    Sorry, but the correction I issued on “right a book” was about as tepid as I am capable of. I will have to note my records for future corrections that Lewis is VERY sensitive.
    As to the Star Trek SG character, Q, I am totally unfamiliar but now that you’ve brought it/him to my attention I’ll keep an eye out for it. Is the show currently in reruns?
    There is no doubt an element of truth in your description of my on-line personality – arrogance and lofty disdain – but I prefer Wagelaborer’s “lovable curmudgeon.”

  268. LewisLucanBooks September 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    Keep ‘em flying? There’s been some science work done that suggests that jet contrails may contribute to global dimming. And that global dimming is masking the effects or keeping a lid on climate change. So as jet travel (and contrails) become rarer, climate change will really begin to roll.
    Nova did a program on this. “Dimming the Sun.” I found it at my local library. Netflix doesn’t seem to have it. See also these two Wikipedia entries.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

  269. messianicdruid September 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    “…if the Country still had a viable left.”
    or a viable right {conservative}. The Tea Party has been infiltrated by neocons {teocons!!} who want the government to do more to blah, blah, blah… The few that want the government to follow the Constitution will be “talked over”, marginalized, impersonated and ignored, by all socialists.
    “The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people.” Sockdolager
    http://www.personalliberty.com/conservative-politics/liberty/sockdolager-a-tale-of-davy-crockett-charity-and-congress/

  270. trippticket September 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    “Sorry, but the correction I issued on “right a book” was about as tepid as I am capable of.”
    Yeah, that post was a proverbial meatball of Q ticks. I thought your admonition was more of a “Lewis, you’re on warning” kind of entry! Downright friendly. Made me wonder if you were still basking in the glow of a little afternoon delight…

  271. messianicdruid September 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    “Writing about things that bug you, I would venture, is more effective than drugs or meditation at alleviating the stresses caused by being shat upon.”
    I can verify this.

  272. willow September 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    dear Mr. Kunstler (or as I prefer to call you, the Kunstlermeister), you are the best! better than Tom Wolfe or even Hunter S. Thompson. Right up there with H.L. Mencken. And I should know because I majored in English Lit (or English, Lit)–I mention this to indicate that I’m not some yahoo whose opinion means nothing–
    In any event, I would gladly pay to read your blog, esp. if your demands were not too irksome. And perhaps if you were to feature my comments in a position of specialness–say, highlighted as an “editor’s choice” — I would pay even more, probably.
    Keep on. In these shriveling times, when even Moyers flakes off and blows away, stay Quixotic.

  273. asoka September 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Free-market believers bug me, so here goes:
    It was naive faith in free markets, free trade, deregulation, and the supposed self-correcting nature of markets that caused our recent economic recession under Bush.
    All that free market philosophy taught by Hayek, Mises, and the neo-classical economists failed. There was never a trickle down prosperity when Reagan deregulated and Bush cut taxes on the rich. The rich just got richer.
    We need more regulation, not less. We need more taxes on the rich, not less.
    Ayn Randian dupes like Alan Greenspan, had their run for 30 years and we are suffering for it now. Greenspan, upon learning about “rip-your-face-off” business practices, refused to believe fraud and looting was happening. Greenspan believed that people would act in their on self-interest, and a when a customer realizes he had been treated badly (like JHK on Delta) he would find a new bank, or a new airline. Self-regulating, right? Wrong.
    Businesses not only don’t act with enlightened self-interest, not only do they not care about ripping off their customers, they are willing to destroy their own institutions by gambling and looting. Turning a quick profit is corporate self-interested behavior, but it led to disaster.
    All the rules that previously restrained the financial industry were torn down by decades of Reagan/Bush I/Bush II. Millions are paying the price.
    There. I feel better. Thanks, Q. You are right. My stress has been alleviated. And please continue reading and responding to my posts.

  274. asoka September 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Free-market believers bug me, so here goes:
    It was naive faith in free markets, free trade, deregulation, and the supposed self-correcting nature of markets that caused our recent economic recession under Bush.
    All that free market philosophy taught by Hayek, Mises, and the neo-classical economists failed. There was never a trickle down prosperity when Reagan deregulated and Bush cut taxes on the rich. The rich just got richer.
    We need more regulation, not less. We need more taxes on the rich, not less.
    Ayn Randian dupes like Alan Greenspan, had their run for 30 years and we are suffering for it now. Greenspan, upon learning about “rip-your-face-off” business practices, refused to believe fraud and looting was happening. Greenspan believed that people would act in their on self-interest, and a when a customer realizes he had been treated badly (like JHK on Delta) he would find a new bank, or a new airline. Self-regulating, right? Wrong.
    Businesses not only don’t act with enlightened self-interest, not only do they not care about ripping off their customers, they are willing to destroy their own institutions by gambling and looting. Turning a quick profit is corporate self-interested behavior, but it led to disaster.
    All the rules that previously restrained the financial industry were torn down by decades of Reagan/Bush I/Bush II. Millions are paying the price.
    There. I feel better. Thanks, Q. You are right. My stress has been alleviated. And please continue reading and responding to my posts.

  275. asoka September 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Note to CFN:
    Accidentally posting twice does not make you feel twice as good. It is not enlightened self-interested behavior.

  276. asoka September 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Lovable curmudgeon, yes.
    Definitely, and with a strong faith in the intelligence of human beings because, to quote the curmudgeon: “people always act in what they perceive to be their own best interest. This is true ever and always and it is impossible to be otherwise.”
    Such faith that individuals “act in what they perceive to be their own best interest” ( we just need to ignore drug addicts, unwed mothers, suicides, firefighters running into burning buildings, soldiers throwing themselves on grenades, poor folk who vote Republican, people who fly to Atlanta on Delta Airlines, alcoholics and meat-eaters and cheese-doodle-eaters, and a thousand and one other examples)
    Not to mention the end result of rational egoistic, self-interested behaviors writ large: the tragedy of the commons.

  277. treebeardsuncle September 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    LOL LOL!!!!!!
    That was funny and well-written (largely because you used my own words though against me). Touche.
    I have been swatted but I will come back.
    Good one, NW.
    TBU, TBU, TBU, you are so easily caught. Now, how about you discriminate between the public and private spheres and keep quiet. This is the public Internet, where your displays of verbal diarrhea are inappropriate. As is characteristic of the psychopathology of a racist life, you are treating this website as your living room, jibbering and jabbering on, dealing your “dope” with a complete lack of propriety.

  278. treebeardsuncle September 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Asoka, that was beautiful. You are probably aware that there were sacred groves and other areas in Scotland and Ireland and earlier other places that were not to be plowed or sometimes in anyway disturbed because they were associated with the faeries etc. Did you know that the faeries are a dimunitive version of the Celtic gods and goddess. The leprechaun is derived from the god Lug for example.

  279. Cash September 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Your travel story was one of the funniest I’ve read. No, seriously. A big part of humour is getting something you least expect, an improbable twist… like a tale about a plane ride that went really well with no untoward incidents. I stifled a laugh when I finished (I’m in a library).
    I kept expecting something wacky like a small herbivore smuggled onboard and bursting out of somebody’s pant leg or some bearded, fierce looking tribesmen that tried to light a fire onboard to brew some tea or at least some kid barfing in your soup. A stand up comedian could get a lot of mileage with this story. The part about elapsed time from arrival at the airport was a gas.
    BTW, about the mental sex with the stewardess, I take it your wife doesn’t read your posts. My wife doesn’t read mine. Too much togetherness is a terrible thing.
    Anyway, Kunstler thought his yarn was funny. YOUR story was funny.

  280. ctemple September 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    I would make the argument that if tax cuts for the wealthy are going to solve our economic problems, they certainly would have by now.
    Reagan lowered taxes on the wealthy a lot, Bush Sr kept them, they were raised a little under Clinton, but not much, Bush Jr passed some more tax breaks for the rich in 2001.
    If all this worked then why have I heard about a severe recession the last two, three years?

  281. Cash September 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    Tripp:
    Champions League:
    Gunners 3 – Partizan 1
    Go Gunners!!
    BTW looks like Rooney’s being kept out of circulation for a while. Allegedly an ankle injury. Bah! Ankle’s fine, I’d put money on it. It’s the other parts of his anatomy that have been misbehaving.

  282. Cash September 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Today I just went to a bank I’ve been dealing with for about 25 years. Two minutes after my arrival an older chap offered his assistance (prompt, I’ll give them that much).
    So we sat in his office and I explained that I have $x that I want to move from another bank because his bank has better interest rates. He then asked if I would consider a mutual fund.
    So I said no I don’t want a mutual fund, I want ALL my money CDIC insured as I cannot afford to lose any, I’m a retiree so losing money is not an option.
    Whereupon he spent the next 15 minutes trying to sell me on mutual funds. The usual yak, all the b.s. about superior gains etc etc …
    So I said I do not want fucking mutual funds, I am financially literate, I spent my life in finance, I want to put my money into a CD (GIC in Canadian terminology).
    The man stuck to the script given him by the bank. He went into the spiel again. If I don’t need my money for a while blah blah blah then a mutual fund blah blah blah…
    So they are there to con me into buying mutual funds. I left and I’m bringing my money to another bank.
    Banks suck. They blacken my day. They are a blight. I hate them. I fucking hate them. The only way I’d hate them worse is if I owed them money. Jesus H Christ, I don’t know how people with mortgages deal with those cockroaches. They’d take ten years off my life.

  283. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    OK, TreeBeard,
    Why are you so happy and complimentary today?
    “Asoka, that was beautiful”
    “Good one, NW.” (Networker)
    So I checked Apple and it’s only up 0.18%, not possibly enough to make you this mellow, is it??
    I’m not complaining, by any means, just making an observation.
    You haven’t been taking any of that Xanax, have you?? That stuff is just for when you are a passenger on commercial aviation, dude. Other than that it will kill you. Just ask A. ;-)

  284. networker September 29, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    “I have been swatted but I will come back.”
    Must you? Must you? I already have plenty enough mosquito bites from working outside this evening.

  285. Cash September 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    This will sound perverse but sooner or later we will get an ice age. I keep reading that the best theory about what brings about these prolonged periods of glaciation and recession such as the one we’re in now are the so called milankovich cycles.
    So my question is and has been for a long time because nobody seems to have an answer: is that the milankovish cycles should be as predictable as can be because they’re based on orbital cycles and as such someone should have a pretty good idea when our next ice age is due. So when is it due?
    Thing is this: these cycles push Earth’s average temperature up and down 7 or 8 degrees according to what I’ve read which far, far exceeds anything that carbon emissions will do to warm the planet.
    So if I’m right and glaciers make their inexorable way south from the poles and from mountain ranges all our concerns about our effect on the environment will be rendered out of date maybe permanently.
    What we will have in a the span of a few thousand years is drastic cooling, ferocious winters, increasing aridity, piss poor harvests, depopulation of northern latitudes because of mass starvation and mass migration, people like Asoka happy as hell to see the stinking white man get it finally, and most importantly de industrialization.
    I think in such a scenario Earth will have time to repair itself from our predations because 1) there will be so few of us left 2) the process of industrialization requires an abundance of resources jumping out of the soil and these resources are gone.
    So for the hundred thousand years that Earth is an arid, cold place, when glaciers and grasslands cover large areas like the days of past ice ages, when herbivores take over the steppes, when large predators come back and we go back to hunting with bows and arrows, I think that we will still be around ie in our tens of millions in more equatorial areas and as a few fringe popluations in more polar areas. As such I think that our life support system will reconfigure itself to new conditions and repair itself.
    Eventually warm climate will return and we go back to times like the interglacial we’re in now. But I doubt that we have another industrial revolution. Maybe another agricultural expansion but nothing that supports humans by the billions. A much healthier Earth in other words.

  286. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Networker,
    One thing we left hanging from last week was the issue of distributed vs centrally located PV panels.
    It was you or UtilityT (who I hope returns to the thread) who said that it would take – something like – 16 square mile of PV panels to produce the equivalent output of a nuclear plant.
    And I will suggest that with a *smarter* grid distributed generation is the way to go. This is ESPECIALLY true for peak power.
    In other words, 16 square miles of PV panels on residential and commercial roofs, public and utility rights-of-way, etc – will be far better in every way – than would a MEGA 16 square mile PV installation all in ONE location.
    Ideas and comments?

  287. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    Cash,
    Interesting ideas about the milankovich cycles and ice ages.
    My counterargument would involve the idea that even 100 years seems far too long for the human mind to grasp. We have almost ZERO planning beyond 2050 – even for as *infinite* a country as the US down here.
    And also – technology and fossil fuels enable those of us in the “white boy” civilizations to live and extract resources in very extreme environments NOW.
    An extra (minus) 10 degrees won’t be a problem – if the energy keeps coming from somewhere.

  288. treebeardsuncle September 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Have noticed that for the past 10 to 20 years it has been open season on pedestrians and bicyclists. According to California law, pedestrians have the right of way ahead of cars. Despite the law, routinely drivers continue down streets and the lanes of parking lots or make turns into them when pedestrians are crossing them. Still, generally it is common practice to drive through a lane or make a turn into one that the pedestrians have already passed through or have not yet reached.
    However, this morning, a driver entered the lane which was being traversed by a pedestian. This event occured while I was making the crossing on an uncontrolled intersection (with no light or stop sign) of the narrow (undivided, barely arguably 2-lane road), named Kincaid where it intersects Cottage Way. The driver of the large dark (green?) SUV with license plate starting in 5PBU(and possibly ending in O52 or 512?), saw fit to make a lefthand turn southbound onto Kincaid while I was in the middle of the intersection and heading east on foot. Note that I was already there and about halfway through the intersection. She was about to head into the area that I was going to walk into. A stand-off ensued as she did stop at the last moment when I paused there in the intersection.
    Have noticed that this sort of behavior–failure to yield to pedestrians — along with aggressive tailgating, failure to signal, excessive speeding on the approach to red lights, and failure to yield to folks who are entering streets or making lane changes has grown typical as well, largely during the 90’s. This pattern of behavior is correlated in time with the bay area drivers bringing their habits here as well as the growing predominance of folks buying and using suvs. SUV drivers in particular are almost invariably aggressive, inconsiderate, and antisocial in the way they handle their vehicles. In addtion many pick-up, jeep, and sedan drivers demonstrate similar behaviors.
    There have been many fatal hit and run collisions with pedestrians and bicylists here in Sacramento during the last 10 years. Due to the continued likelihood of inflicting severe bodily injury or fatalities as a result of their routine driving behavior, particularly failure to yield to pedestrians, I am going to be logging the license plates of those who drive into the lanes that are occupied by pedestrians or about to be occupied by pedestrians as would be predicted by the relative velocities, and relevant distances associated with the movements, of the pedestrians and the cars. Though generally I disapprove of finking and tattling, the consistent demonstrations of a sense of entitlement, reckless endangerment, and sense of impunity demonstrated by many drivers — especially and most generally suv drivers — in Ca reach the level that their actions should at least be reported.

  289. asoka September 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    ProCon said:

    16 square miles of PV panels on residential and commercial roofs, public and utility rights-of-way, etc – will be far better in every way – than would a MEGA 16 square mile PV installation all in ONE location.

    Yes, you are correct that in terms of terrestrial solar collectors, decentralized is better. That is the way it is being done in Germany, with great success. Germany has installed 9 GW of PV capacity with government targets for 66 GW by 2030. The industry has a turnover of some €1.7 billion per annum, employs 20,000 people and analysts predict that solar energy can provide 25% of the nation’s electricity by 2050
    However, you neglected to offer another possibility: space-based solar.
    http://blog.nss.org/?p=2064
    Terrestrial solar has a big limitation: it gets dark at night. Space-based solar has 24 hours a day, 365 days a year uninterrupted solar.

  290. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    A,
    I just do not see space based solar as being viable. Just maintaining 5 +/- men and women on the international space station has taken billions and billions.
    If we can’t get solar PV, thorium power, or something working – – or if we can’t reduce, reuse, and recycle our way into a future – –
    then future human generations will likely be living in mud huts and hide lean-tos – IF they live anywhere at all.

  291. asoka September 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    Qshtik said: “You have to be at least 62 to start SS early. What gives?”
    =====
    Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said: “My proposed budget plan includes cutting Social Security benefits for anyone under the age of 55.”
    ====
    WTF?
    Who is lying here?
    Can you, or can you not, receive Social Security benefits under age 55, Qshtik?

  292. asoka September 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    ProCon, I don’t think there will be any “future generations” … we’ll all be dead in 100 years, including our grandchildren and any great-grandchildren, because we have passed the tipping point, our population is out of control (see Malthus), and we have destroyed the very ecosystem necessary to sustain life.
    The feedback loops will only accelerate the process until David Matthews has his wish come true and Planet Earth will be freed from the scourge called (mis-called) homo sapiens.
    I don’t see this as a problem or a reason for despair. It simply is what it is. Life will go on… without us human beings.
    I only hope all the dolphins and whales are not destroyed along with us, because they were not responsible for the cataclysmic changes Earth is undergoing and their habitat is being destroyed by us.
    Have a nice day… enjoy each day to its fullest… to the extent possible because, as Tripp pointed out, even our experience of Earth now is relatively barren compared to the plentiful supply of flora and fauna our ancestors enjoyed.
    In my belief system it is a natural, normal process called Kali Yuga… nothing to get bent out of shape or depressed about… just part of a larger scheme of things in an infinite universe with no beginning, no end, and no inherent meaning… yet incredibly beautiful!

  293. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Well, OK then – you write:
    ============
    I don’t think there will be any “future generations” … we’ll all be dead in 100 years, including our grandchildren and any great-grandchildren, because we have passed the tipping point, our population is out of control (see Malthus)
    =============
    But why are you posting about space based power, I this is what you believe??

  294. asoka September 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Kali Yuga
    http://www.mother-god.com/kali-yuga.html
    The Patriarchal Dark Age

  295. asoka September 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    ProCon said: “But why are you posting about space based power, I this is what you believe??”
    Because you mentioned distributed and centralized terrestrial solar, but did not mention space-based solar. Anyone who wants to take the ball and run with it is welcome. More power to them (no pun intended).
    But I doubt we as a species have a future. I doubt any techno miracle is on the horizon.
    But I could be wrong! Mentioning all the alternatives is one way (albeit remote, IMHO) one might catch and I might be proven wrong.
    But like I said, the end of human life is not a cause for despair or depression. I just want to face reality and enjoy each moment, here and now; this birth, on this Earth, in this Universe, is much more of a gift than I ever expected and I am so grateful to have been born. I rejoice.
    http://www.mother-god.com/kali-yuga.html

  296. mika. September 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    All that free market philosophy taught by Hayek, Mises, and the neo-classical economists failed.
    ==
    No. In a free market, failures would not be propped by the gov mafia. Nor would the gov mafia subsidize and regulate against competition. In a free market, the central bank and the corporate mafia would be extinct. As it is, the corporate mafia shields itself against failure and tort action, by way of the gov mafia.
    Most of the US economy is a failure. What you have in the US is the Soviet system with a smile. And soon even the smile and the pretense will be done with. In a free market the failure that is the US economy (corporatism/fascism/socialism/communism) would not exist, and neither would the failure that is the US gov and the US political system.

  297. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Maybe you should think about having that vasectomy reversed and having a child or two.
    It will give you a different perspective on the extinction of the human species.
    I’ll guarantee it.
    (I’ll guarantee the perspective change – NOT the reversal of the vasectomy! ;-) )

  298. networker September 29, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    progressorconserve, it was UtilityT who was talking with you about PV. He’s the electrical guy – I am the computer network (broadband) geek. I don’t know shit about electrical generation, and I know even less about PV :) All I know about distributed generation is that it saves money and energy by generating closer to the end user, reducing long distance line loss. I still think that any savings would be more than offset by tacking on an expensive (and they are expensive) routing network though.
    The fact that a remote smart grid would still need to be able to independently function too, (if say a backbone goes down to the region) means a (real big) outlay of network routing equipment, deployed *everywhere.* Even though I don’t think it wouldn’t be an especially large amount of data being hauled around, they still can’t just put one big router in the middle. And I personally wouldn’t like to see this grid network piggybacked onto the existing Internet either, mostly for security reasons.
    If someone (not the government, obviously they’re broke and won’t agree on anything anyway) coughs up the dough, it would be neatsy keen to see it all working to help people lower their electric bills, but I would be careful of saying it will actually *save energy* for the country, or even for the utility company. My prediction is that the second they deploy all that fancy equipment, rates will go up to compensate. Also, people who want to be able to program in their toasters will likely have financial outlays for equipment too.
    I don’t have anything against smart grids per se – I just don’t agree that they will save energy or money – not if you take into account the entire real Energy In and Energy Ongoing in order to keep it running. Hell, I’m not even optimistic we can keep running the electrical grid we already have.
    TBU, I wish you luck with that.
    Asoka, YOU are space-based.

  299. treebeardsuncle September 29, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Q, that is usually true that people act in what they think is their best interest. Sometimes they do things just because they feel like it or because they are motivated by idealogy or they have attachements. You leave out love, passion, petulance, revenge, alienation etc. Not everyone is a calculating machine looking for advantage.

  300. Qshtik September 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Can you, or can you not, receive Social Security benefits under age 55, Qshtik?
    =============
    I don’t know but based on your quote from Ryan it is merely a proposal.
    You’re Mr Download … you tell me.

  301. treebeardsuncle September 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    You are seeing effects of television, the civil rights act leading to increased non-white immigration, and poor parenting. Note that people were pretty lousy in past centuries too.

  302. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    OK, NetWorker – now we’re getting somewhere.
    Well, maybe?
    I agree with your entire post, except this part:
    ———–
    but I would be careful of saying it will actually *save energy* for the country, or even for the utility company. My prediction is that the second they deploy all that fancy equipment, rates will go up to compensate
    ———-
    Because I think you are mixing up the definitions of “*saving energy*” and saving *resources,* with resources being coal, uranium – or anything nonrenewable – and you are mixing both these ideas up with the idea of “rates,” also known as costs – in today’s dollars.
    If power is renewable – thorium, PV, whatever – great, let’s go for it. Cost should be damned, because it will pay off for future generations.
    Otherwise we’re consuming resources that belong to our grandchildren and degrading the “Commons” – just to keep our present lifestyles in business for a few more years/decades.

  303. asoka September 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Q said: “I don’t know but based on your quote from Ryan it is merely a proposal.”
    Q, I don’t know if you are unable to read, or if you are acting like you don’t understand.
    Ryan wants to “cut Social Security benefits for anyone under the age of 55″
    Before you can cut benefits, they have to already exist. Otherwise, what would you cut?
    The confusion comes because you said benefits could only start at age 62, at the earliest, yet people under 55 are receiving benefits… which Ryan wants to cut.

  304. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Q & A,
    Social Security eligibility ages:
    ============
    Would one of y’all look the goddamn things up – before we spend the next two days discussing this.
    ========
    Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said: “My proposed budget plan 1includes cutting Social Security benefits for anyone under the age of 55.”
    ============
    and
    ===========
    The confusion comes because you said benefits could only start at age 62, at the earliest, yet people under 55 are receiving benefits… which Ryan wants to cut.
    =========
    =========
    =========
    Boys, nobody – NOBODY will ever receive FICA benefits in the US until they reach age 62. That age is gradually being raised, based on year of birth.
    What is confusing you two is that Congressman Ryan is referring to persons born in 1955 – who are now 55 years old – who will turn age 65 in 2020.
    It’s math – simple math. No calculus or advanced mathematics is necessary to understand any of this.

  305. networker September 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    ProCon, I don’t believe I am mixing it up; my point from the beginning was to ask people to look at the big picture, to take into account ALL of it: resources, energy, time, and money. I talked about rates because the cheerleaders for smart grids always focus on the end user cost. I was saying that when the rates go up, the end user’s bottom line is affected anyway – even if they are “saving” by “managing” their usage.
    What I am trying to say in general is, building out any network is a monumentally expensive thing to do – expensive in resources, expensive in money, expensive in time, you name it. When you hear people sing the praises of smart grids, they almost always focus, with lots of cool-sounding terms, on only part of the equation, usually just the end user’s point of view. Sometimes they just say things like “it reduces cost” without specifying whose cost it was, and what it paid for exactly. (Did it include the cost to manufacture the equipment and the rare earth elements required? Did it include the ongoing expenses of paying network engineers to troubleshoot/fix/maintain it and for technicians to drive around to all the remote locations every day? Did it include the cost of retrofitting the customer’s house with “efficiency upgrades” even?) Advertisements and pretty websites are just not enough to convince me. And most of the PR I see assumes that there will already be an infrastructure of “green energy” out there for that smart grid to plug into. I’m sure Cisco will be happy to supply everyone with lots of expensive gear though!
    TBU, if you suddenly start seeing smart grids break out everywhere (but remember how many states are broke,) buy CSCO!

  306. asoka September 29, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Many conservatives and Tea Party candidates, including Michelle Bachman and Joe Miller, are hoping to reform Social Security “entitlements,” beginning with those recipients who are under the age of 55. This would effectively cut Social Security benefits for people who are either disabled or a survivor of deceased parents.

    ProCon, thanks for clearing that up and for being very specific about FICA, because some folks now under age 55 are receiving benefits for other reasons.
    In my Federal Building the SSA rep told me long ago that you can apply five months before age 62, then you can turn 62, but the first check comes at 62 and 1 month. And so it was. Best damn country in the world!

  307. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Nice response, NetWorker
    We’re on the same side here. My emphasis is on consumption of finite resources. Your emphasis is on cost of building and maintaining a power generation and distribution network.
    I think both of us are looking at something that may be one of the best last chances for what we generally call *civilization* in the US.
    Unless that thorium thing can be made to work.?.
    This is a good dialog. And we need UtilityT to sign in and contribute. Heeelllllloooooo – UtilityT –

  308. asoka September 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    Networker said: “Sometimes they just say things like “it reduces cost” without specifying whose cost it was, and what it paid for exactly. ”
    And the same is true for those who compare fossil fuel energy costs with alternative energy costs. They are comparing current maintenance costs from a mature fossil fuel system to nascent start up and maintenance costs of an alternative energy system.
    The oil production infrastructure start up and development costs (over a period of decades) are never included when comparing price per kilowatt.
    Of course, the development of space-based solar would be enormously expensive, but then the maintenance costs would be minimal with no pollution. And when fossil fuel prices go up, the alternative sources will be more than price competitive.
    The current costs of fossil fuel energy also does not factor in health and environmental costs involved in mountaintop mining or deep ocean drilling… those costs are ignored making the comparison with alternative energy apples and oranges. Unfair and misleading.

  309. progressorconserve September 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    Asoka,
    You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure to try to help clear up the FICA debate. We’re a math-impaired country. It is amazing how any national debate involving even the simplest mathematics will edge over into la la land and stay there.
    And speaking of math, maybe you missed it when I said:
    ===========
    Maybe you should think about having that vasectomy reversed and having a child or two.
    It will give you a different perspective on the extinction of the human species.
    I’ll guarantee it.
    (I’ll guarantee the perspective change – NOT the reversal of the vasectomy! ;-) )
    ===========
    I’ve been thinking about it, A. I might even be willing to post a performance bond on the surgeon to guarantee the success of the actual surgical procedure.
    I’d really like to see you have a kid or two – and then talk to you about the future and see if it looks any different to you. :-)
    No joking, no sarcasm – just a friendly overture.

  310. networker September 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    Ok last post, time for sleep.
    ProCon, yes of course, I think we are on the same side too, although I am not only focusing on cost. I don’t regard smart grids as anything other than an interesting use of technology, really. A sort of mental exercise… hmm let’s see, IF we had lots of time, and IF we had lots and lots of money, and IF we had unlimited resources, we COULD roll this really cool toy out to the citizens. But it’s just not as great as people think, and the law of unintended consequences will reign supreme. (Remember how computers were going to make us a “paperless society”? Same sort of thinking.)
    Which is why I quit the corporate rat race to focus on building the soil in my gardens :)
    Asoka, I am not comparing anything. I am only saying, “this option is unworkable and here is why.” And you are a space cadet already, for this sentence alone:
    “the development of space-based solar would be enormously expensive, but then the maintenance costs would be minimal”
    ProCon is 100% correct about the kid thing, too.

  311. treebeardsuncle September 29, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Aoska I agree with you here. Notice that I said in another post that Q overlooks the influence of love, passion, people doing what they feel like, people following ideologies, etc.
    g

  312. treebeardsuncle September 29, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    Those are good points. I have noticed that Americans can’t even sell these days. All they do is recite scripts like dumb parrots. I like WFB because I can trade individual stocks freely, and quickly, with little in the way of fees. The first 100 trades in each of 3 accounts I have are free.
    Sure, do what is safe. Do what works for you. To each his own. One of the guys I knew who used to work at WFB objected to the way they tried to get little old ladies to buy reverse convertible securities and crap like that.
    g

  313. treebeardsuncle September 30, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    Well, apple’s stock has not appreciated much in the last week (It was $283.77 a week ago.) but Baidu is up to about $103/share and I have a lot of shares in it that I bought in the low $90s. More significantly, netflix is up to about $170/share now and I just sold 20 shares that I bought at $158.06 a share or so about a week ago. It may open about $171/share tomorrow based upon the after hour price, bids, and asks. That would net me at least $220 or show after $12.00 in commissions for the buying and selling.
    G

  314. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    soldiers throwing themselves on grenades,
    ============
    Whenever I have made the statement that “people always act in what they perceive to be their own best interest” the retort invariably contains “what about soldiers throwing themselves on grenades” as though this (and all the rest of your “gotchas”) hadn’t been considered.
    Asoka, it suddenly occurs to me the direction this little debate is headed. You don’t trust the individual’s perception of his own best interests. You think individuals are natural born fuck-ups at the mercy of others and you think the collective mind of Big Govt is needed to set things right. I think you, Wage and Krugman should get together over a nice cup of herbal tea and decide what’s best for the rest of us individual schlubs.

  315. asoka September 30, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    ProCon said: I’d really like to see you have a kid or two – and then talk to you about the future and see if it looks any different to you. :-)
    ========
    Thanks for the offer, but it would be a violation of my conscience. My decision to not have children was a principled decision based on my perception of the relationship between things like global population, environmental degradation, and Earth’s carrying capacity.
    When I made the decision, more than 40 years ago, I intended it to be permanent. I specifically asked the urologist to cut out a section of the vas deferens, cauterize each end, then tie the ends back on themselves. The urologist reassured me there was no way I would ever have an accident, and I would never need to use condoms, but I would also never be able to reverse the operation. I agreed to those conditions and have had no regrets at all.

  316. treebeardsuncle September 30, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    You are a girl, aren’t you? More specifically you sound like a white American girl, living in California, probably in the east bay near Mountainview. I bet you are about 32 to 35.

  317. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    The confusion comes because you said benefits could only start at age 62, at the earliest, yet people under 55 are receiving benefits… which Ryan wants to cut.
    ============
    Read these:
    http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/agereduction.htm
    http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/page7-8.html
    Why am I looking up shit for you? You’re the Google wizard.

  318. asoka September 30, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    Networker said: “ProCon is 100% correct about the kid thing, too.”
    So, all of a sudden having kids is the way to insure caring about survival of the species? What’s going on here?
    We are on a beautiful speck of dust called Earth in one of millions of solar systems. The Earth moves and spins and the giant galactic milky nest hums with the continual excitement of birthing stars, planets, dust, life-forms, and you and me, here … on only one of untold numbers of galaxies.
    And Asoka, sitting on the third speck of dust revolving about a minor star in the outskirts of an average spiral galaxy, should have a child… to change his perspective?
    I have seen people go crazy over grand-kids… but those kids are going to consume as much of the earth’s resources and produce as much waste as more than 100 Bangladeshi children.
    What happened to the idea of “finite resources” and “eco-system collapse” due to overpopulation?
    Is it really responsible to have a child given the state of the world, in the face of the Long Emergency?

  319. asoka September 30, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    Qshtik said: “Why am I looking up shit for you? You’re the Google wizard.”
    You do it because you must do it. You do it because you despise every word I type and want to respond to my bullshit.
    We are all Google wizards now… it’s how we make it look like we know shit.

  320. D R Lunsford September 30, 2010 at 1:30 am #

    First: Blanket condemnations of everyone in the south are getting tiresome. There are plenty of yahoos everywhere, as I’m sure you know.
    Second: That you blame flying as such is simple ignorance. These travel disasters happen because airlines use the outmoded hub-and-spoke system of travel, a relic from the days of small fleets of large jets and regulated air traffic. Yet another thing destroyed by Republicans (remember that Lincoln guy? How about Rockefeller?).
    Southwest Airlines is almost always on time because their entire schedule cannot be disrupted by a persistent storm over a hub airport. Flying with them has always been a pleasure. If you buy a ticket from a soulless corporate juggernaut when there are alternatives, it’s your own damn fault if you suffer.
    -drl

  321. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    We are all Google wizards now… it’s how we make it look like we know shit.
    =============
    Truer words were never spoken.
    Actually I’m pissed at myself for bothering to locate those two links because I know damn well you had already determined that the “normal” rule for getting benfits “early” (i.e receiving checks) is attaining age 62 …. BUT, the govt being the govt, there is disability, which I gather could start at pretty much any age, and other exceptions. I wouldn’t be surprised if the govt sent SS checks to infants born with 12 fingers or 3 eyes.

  322. Mr. Purple September 30, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    I know you were addressing Networker, but I would like to interject and ask if you had considered thermal solar (a.k.a. solar steam) for electrical power generation? Thermal solar does require a massive physical plant, but the technology to keep it running is fairly simple to maintain (perhaps not in its most efficient form, but running none the less).

  323. Greg September 30, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    Oh my, this is hilarious and so dead-on too.

  324. progressorconserve September 30, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    MP,
    No problem, interject away!
    =========
    “but I would like to interject and ask if you had considered thermal solar (a.k.a. solar steam) for electrical power generation?”
    ==========
    Short answer is that I think we should be shoveling all the money we can (borrow from China??) at renewable-type energy issues. This IS the future, if we get it right everything else might fall into place.
    If we get it wrong – we’re FUBAR’ed – as a country, and maybe as a species.
    ==========
    And the longer answer is that I think the type of large installations you are describing will work in certain climates, like the desert SW. I don’t think mega-solar is the way to go where I am – Georgia. Climate in the SE has many cloudy days, but generally the clouds are not region wide. So lots of small distributed installations have a greater chance of strong sunlight on SOME part of the region – on any one day.
    And distributed installations avoid the large expensive acquisitions of property AND should mitigate most of the environmental risks associated with large PV arrays.
    I am looking into solar thermal for domestic hot water heating. It will work just fine almost anywhere. But, man, those large solar collectors are expensive to purchase, ship, and move around.

  325. progressorconserve September 30, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    A, having children is the most personal of decisions. Even as a brand new parent in the ’80’s, I never made the mistake of urging my peers to have a kid or two – some couples can’t – and some people just DON’T WANT TO HAVE KIDS. I understand.
    However, on this forum, we can “air it out” anonymously. So here goes – no offense intended to any childless reader:
    ============
    You ask:
    So, all of a sudden having kids is the way to insure caring about survival of the species? What’s going on here?
    =============
    YES, I think there is a subset of people who think – BELIEVE – that the planet would be better off without people. If I log enough hours watching “Earth After People” on the History/Discovery channel I can find myself starting to feel that same way.
    But I think having a kid or two makes that a hard position to maintain. There are things that humans can do, and learn, and experience – in the future – that are GOOD. And I mean GOOD as in good for the Universe, or God (god), or the Universal PTB, or whatever. And I honestly believe that if civilization survives the next 50-100 years that *it* will make it the rest of the way – whatever that means.
    =============
    And you ask:
    “What happened to the idea of “finite resources” and “eco-system collapse” due to overpopulation?”
    ============
    It’s still there. It leads me to push my politicians to keep US and Georgia populations as low as possible, for example.
    A, you mention that 100 Bangaledeshi citizens have a low impact on resources.
    But that’s changing fast, worldwide – like in China. And it probably won’t end well – worldwide.
    It’s time for those of us who see reality in the US to (metaphorically) tie a knot and hang on – so we can survive and help humans on the other side of the “keyhole.”
    And YEAH, physical survival is important. 6,000,000,000 humans all mostly want to physically survive from day to day. Mansour’s are a rarity. And even Mansour and Jesus Christ had to survive physically long enough to reach their conclusions and – spread their Word.

  326. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    You are a girl, aren’t you?
    =================
    Girl? a GIRL? Right … and you’re a boy
    Tree, anyone with a vagina capable of posting coherent, experience-based information about networks has earned the right to be called a woman. Geesh.

  327. San Jose Mom 51 September 30, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    I just flew back to San Jose after spending the better part of a week in Utah helping my mom to recover from surgery. I flew Delta because they are the only carrier offering non-stop service between SJC and SLC. Both flights were on schedule. The plane was small, probably 80 passengers, which is just the way I like it–easy on, easy off. One of the passengers was an older woman who was confused and didn’t speak English. I noticed several other passengers assisting her.
    The airline I love to hate is UNITED. I actively avoid them because the last time our family went on a trip with them, they lost our luggage twice and were 12 hours late landing in New York. We sat on the tarmac at O’Hare for 4 hours…then back to the terminal because the flight was cancelled.
    On a different note, I’m deeply saddened by today’s headlines about the Rutgers student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roomate filmed him having sex and broadcast it on the internet.
    Did the perpetrators lose their moral compass, or did they ever have one?
    SJmom

  328. envirofrigginmental September 30, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    There are a plethora of power generating means available. This is one area of the devolving industrial society where “local” is going to have real traction.
    What is often forgoten in the discussion about power generation, is power use reduction. This should be our primary talking point as a society/culture. Power waste is collosal. Further, there are no controls on how many electrically operated gadgets and modern conveniences can be produced. As a result, our power demands have sky-rocketed since the 50’s, despite whopping efficiencies in electric motors and equipment that use electricity.
    The other talking point needs to be cost. Power reduction targets without intrinsic cost increases won’t work: the status quo is proof of that. People simply add more stuff, as equipment becomes more efficient. Let’s face it, if it ain’t hitting you hard in the pocket book, it’s going to be BAU.
    It all comes back the American Dream… the belief that grips the entire country to its very core: that there WILL be better days ahead; that this IS what America is all about.
    But perhaps the US has already reached it’s zenith: that the current conditions are as good as it gets. So then we’re left with dealing with the equivalent consequences of having to tell 360 million children that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
    It ain’t going to be pretty.
    What are the 5 stages of grief again?
    1. Shock and Denial.
    2. Anger.
    3. Bargaining.
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance.

  329. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Cash, re the mental sex with the hot flight attendant … my wife is OK with my “impure thoughts.”

  330. envirofrigginmental September 30, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    On a different note, I’m deeply saddened by today’s headlines about the Rutgers student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roomate filmed him having sex and broadcast it on the internet.

    Saddened is an understatement SJM.
    It’s examples like this that remind me that, despite all the “advancements” of gay rights and purported “acceptance” within society, that our burden is still a very heavy one and the road is very, very long.
    My being ‘out’ and staying ‘out’ is the one way I can lead by example, (btw, I don’t lisp, wave my hands in the air at a pin drop, arrange flowers for a living, or like to go shopping with my fag hag friends) and I encourage everyone else to follow suit.
    Anyone who says that we’ve reached “equality” needs to walk in my shoes. Maybe we never will reach true equality, but I’ll never give up trying.

    Did the perpetrators lose their moral compass, or did they ever have one?

    I assume this is a rhetorical question, but I’ll go for the latter. Then again, they might have been brought up in a “good Christian” home and taught to hate.

  331. myrtlemay September 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Such a sick, twisted, tragedy. ‘ “…good Christian “home..’indeed! What an incredible waste! I’ve marched in gay parades, big and small. I really detest this despicabe behavior. I’m really ill over this!

  332. sisyphus September 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Maybe to add to the personal irony of me having just listened to Louis C.K.’s “Hilarious” with his take on those who complain about airlines, thinking the whole time of the parallels of his “everything’s amazing” theme with that of the World Made By Hand books, you will be doubly-tortured to have to read through all these comments during yet another flight delay and be afforded to watch this:






  333. envirofrigginmental September 30, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    It’s a known fact within “my” world that many of the suicides of young people are precipitated from issues surrounding sexuality: more specifically, emergence of homosexual tendencies.
    What that tells me is that the messages young people receive today about being LGBT are still negative enough to enable a person at their age, with fairly advanced reasoning and information gathering skills, to choose death as opposed to life, fearing the consequences of being gay.
    I thought (hoped) my generation were the last sufferers of those demons. Unfortunately I’m wrong. Had he been with a woman, this story would propbably not make it to news; in fact he might have been lauded. The only reason it was (likely) humiliating for him was that the message in society is still this: homo = bad. homo = rejection. homo = terrible life. Hell. It might have been his first time. He might not even had been sure about his orientation.
    That’s why religions can go fuck themselves as a far as I’m concerned, as they are (more than less) the crucibles for intolerance.
    What will the perpetrators get in penance? Squat! What “law” have they violated? Invasion of privacy? What’s that, like, 6 months community service!?
    Plus ca change, plus c’est le meme choses.

  334. networker September 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    TBU, I am indeed not a girl, I am a woman (hat tip to Qshtik.) I am 49 years old and I live on a small farm in the Northeast. I did visit California a couple of times.
    Asoka, believe me nobody is asking YOU specifically to procreate. We were just making the point that a person’s perspective radically changes once they have a child. It just does something to a person, I believe usually making them the better for it.
    And you are the Googliest wizard ever – in fact you seem to regularly confuse the contents of publicity blurbs with material knowledge.
    Envirofrigginmental – thanks for bringin up conservation again. I think it’s the first direction we should be heading.
    Incidentally, it is pouring rain here and they are predicting high winds and power outages. Yay.

  335. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I grieve when people die before their time and moreso when the cause is suicide. I still dwell on the death of David Foster Wallace, the great writer, who hung himself two years ago this month. He was in his mid-forties and had fought depression most of his life.
    But this current incident, of course, has the added elements of gay sex and “perpetrators” of questionable motivation and moral sense. (The story also touches close to home for me since I live next door to the heart of the Rutgers campus.)
    I grieve for the deceased young man and for his family and friends. I even grieve for the perpetrators. Though I have no firsthand knowledge I can imagine the possibility they are not the homophobic ogres we might think. They may have thought they’d just pulled off a cool elaborate prank without it ever crossing their minds it might all end in the tragedy it has. While the rest of us will eventually forget, it will be a crushing mental burden for them till their dying day.

  336. asia September 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    I read ydays news:
    CHINA MOVES AHEAD WITH 60 BILLION 3 RIVERS PROJECT [YIKES]
    and WALMART TARGETS AFRICA WITH 300 STORES
    well said ‘targets’ africas in its gunsights!

  337. ctemple September 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Somebody does something terrible to someone else and it’s Christianity’s fault? Christianity is supposed to teach compassion, because assholes don’t get it, is not Christ’s fault.
    There’s nothing wrong with the belief itself.
    And I don’t recall the left ever showing so much Goddamn compassion.

  338. deboldt September 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Why I support the Tea Bag Republican Party—even though I won’t be voting for them.
    Critics of the Obama Administration are asking him to (in no particular order):
    Stop the torture and rape rooms.
    Close Guantanamo Prison.
    Give us real single payer health care.
    Get rid of the thieves and con men who are guiding our economic policy.
    Properly fund AIDS research.
    End the Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy in the military.
    Give us an energy policy with some teeth in it.
    Give us an economic policy with some teeth in it.
    Prosecute key members of the Bush Administration for high crimes and misdemeanors.
    Instigate investigations as to the causes and cover-up by BP of their murder of a whole ecosystem and regional economy and punish the corporate officers responsible with personal fines and jail sentences for offenses, if found guilty.
    Instigate investigations as to the causes and cover-up by Massey energy in the coal mine disaster and subject their corporate officers to criminal sanctions and jail sentences for offenses, if found guilty.
    Begin criminal prosecutions against the legion of other serial violators of consumer and employee health and safety regulations like salmonella king, Hillandale Farms’ CEO, Farms Orland Bethel.
    Grant a full pardon for Private Bradley Manning and award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    End our policy of supporting Israel right or wrong.
    Threaten sanctions against Israel for their continued illegal settlement construction.
    Recognize Hamas as the duly elected representative of Palestine.
    Complete our total withdrawal from Iraq and stop playing the shell game of substituting mercenaries for combat troops in that ravaged country.
    Begin paying reparations to Iraq for our criminal war that has devastated the country and displaced over a million Iraqis.
    Withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.
    End drone attacks in Pakistan.
    End sanctions against Iran and issue a formal apologize for our history of meddling and mistreatment of that country.
    Withdraw all covet operatives from Iran.
    Stop threatening a nuclear holocaust against Iran.
    Fully restore Habeas Corpus and stop trying to illegally kill your fellow American citizens.
    So many high crimes and indecent decisions—the list goes on and on….
    All these cries have for the most part fallen on deaf ears both in the White House and in the Democratically controlled Congress. When Obama does respond, this is what he says:
    “I hear your points. I know we may not be moving forward with the speed some people expect. But let me assure you we are moving forward. As I said before, if you want to have a conversation later about how we can address your concerns, it’s a conversation I’m happy to have. But what I want to do is talk about what’s coming up. I want us to talk about what’s at stake in this election, because the people that potentially will take over, if we don’t focus on this election, I promise you, they will ignore your concerns even more than we have, and they’ll cut every priority that you care about.”*
    *This is pretty close to a verbatim quote compiled from a number of recent speeches. The only departure is the line “they will ignore your concerns even more than we have.” I’m sure such uncharacteristic honesty on Obamah’s part would be greeted with great shock.
    So where do we go from here?
    First of all, we are not moving forward. This is a lie told by a chronic liar. We are still on Bush’s course more now than ever. The classically evil military/industrial complex is still very much in control and the Devil take the hindmost. We have taken no steps to end American fascism—which is simply defined as government and the corporations in the same bed. Even Obama’s programs that have been touted as steps forward in the area of fiscal reform, health care and the environment have been frauds that will be ultimately proven to be beneficial only to the M/I complex.
    And second of all, hearing that tired old fear card once again played, urging the faithful to remain with the thieves, villains and liars we have rather than fly to thieves, villains and liars who are the greater of two evils, is something I will no longer abide. Even hearing this broken record dusted off and played again drives me nearly insane. I devoutly wish now I had voted for crazy John and silly Sarah in the last election—if for no other reason than to reject this line of “lesser of two evils” BS we have been handed by the Democrats for over half a century now. (more on this later)
    If that doesn’t make you want to tar and feather the man and run him out of Washington on a rail (along with every other Democrat) I don’t know what will.
    I have exhausted my patience with all of them.
    I think it is finally time to tear it all down. This need not be a cry to storm the Bastille with flame and pitchforks. We already have a means that can accomplish the destruction of American “democracy” without a shot being fired. I say, let’s turn the country over to the Tea Party and the Republicans. In their stupid, greedy and above all, incompetent hands we will have a complete collapse of the country and the economy within four years. Hell, we might just have an economic collapse anyway—regardless of who’s in charge. The Great American Dream, the way it has been promised, and rarely if ever practiced, is over. As George Carlin said, “It’s called The American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe in it.” I say we call it off and pull the shroud over the corpse. I know that the warmongering Repugs will initially do little to abate the existing bilateral foreign policy carnage rampant in the world. Hopefully a total fiscal collapse of this country will soon enough cause the tanks in Iraq, the APCs in Afghanistan and the drones in Pakistan to run out of gas. One of the greatest terrorist states in world history will collapse from within. Thank the gods! This is not without a total, mortal danger to every man, woman and child in America. Thousands, perhaps millions will die—me included. Yet, considering the impact of this irredeemable culture and our deadly society is having on the lives and future of the people of the world and the very survival of life on the planet, it becomes essential to advocate the total destruction of this country as we know it. When the situation comes down to the distasteful choice between my life and the survival of the world, I would gladly give up my life. Knowing all the ramifications, only someone morally anesthetized would argue any other course. Of course, to the vast majority of consumers of the blue pill in this country, this argument is madness.
    Here is the plan, initial critical details of which can be found, analized in an Op-Ed by George Lakoff:
    Why the Democrats’ Response to the Pledge Has Been Inadequate
    Monday 27 September 2010
    by: George Lakoff, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
    The Democratic response to the Republican Pledge to America has been factual about its economics. The September 26, 2010, Sunday New York Times’ editorial goes through the economic details, and Democrats have been citing the economic facts from the Congressional Budget Office. As Dan Pfeiffer reports on the White House blog, the Republicans are proposing:
    * Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires by borrowing $700 billion we can’t afford;
    * Tax hikes for 110 million middle-class families and millions of small businesses;
    * Cutting rules and oversight for special interests like big oil, big insurance, credit card and mortgage companies and Wall Street banks;
    * Doing nothing to stop the outsourcing of American jobs or to end tax breaks that are given to companies that ship jobs overseas;
    * All while adding trillions to our nation’s deficit.
    Their plan is also notable for what it doesn’t talk about: protecting Social Security and Medicare from privatization schemes, investing in high-quality education for our nation’s children, growing key industries like clean energy and manufacturing and rebuilding our crumbling roads, rails and runways.
    Poor George Lakoff! He remains ever the loyal Democrat strategist, still doing sums on the deck of the Titanic. In the rest of the article he pretty carefully articulates why the Republicans will win in November and continue winning. Hint: it has nothing to do with them being right or the rigor of their fiscal analysis. As outlined in this Op-Ed, we find, in the Pledge, one of the most effective programs and strategies for revolution ever devised to bring down the United States. And I am supporting it. Let me tell you why, how this can be accomplished and how you can participate.
    A little history is in order here. During the infamous Barry Goldwater Presidential campaign, a splinter group of left-wing radicals once seriously suggested that revolutionaries should join the Republican Party and support his program because, if adopted, it would be the surest, fastest way to bring the country to its knees and facilitate step one in an anarchist plot to overthrow the Capitalist system.
    I think this is a perfect occasion to revive this obscure footnote on radical politics. The time is ripe for it to work. First of all, this country is weaker and more vulnerable than it ever has been in the past. I believe we are circling the drain and in all likelihood, America will rapidly collapse into a third world country. Oh yes, we will still have our cars—pulled by oxen.
    “The most striking feature of the current scene is the absence of a coherent vision of our multiple related predicaments and how they add up to a valid picture of reality. To be precise, I mean our predicaments of 1.) energy resources, 2.) vanishing capital, and 3.) ecocide. This inability to decode the clear and present dangers to civilized life is a failure of leadership and authority without precedent in the American story.”
    James Howard Kunstler
    Many things are contributing to and accelerating this collapse. We have a rapid and increasing migration from the middle class to the lower economic classes. Several of the platforms of the Pledge have been beautifully designed to dramatically facilitate this migration.
    “The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, also reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression…the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/29/business/29tax.html
    (Note: The only trickle down your going to get from this small top group will be in the form of blood draining from the slashed throats of members of the new rich class. As soon as things get so dangerous that it will not be safe to drive a Mercedes on the mean streets of America, these high end rats will dessert the ship for safer compounds in sunnier climes.)
    Unemployment across the board is on the rise and will continue as the electorate goes to the polls in a month. This bodes well for the defeat of all Democrat candidates, incumbents and contenders alike. The Republicans regaining the Congress this November (an important first step in the anarchist revolution) has already been acknowledged by many Democrat strategists. I have always laughed at the concept of averaging unemployment figures without taking into account the worst, deepest unemployment percentages among certain groups, say the residents of Detroit or young black men. It is a little like telling the victim of a sulfuric acid attack that the average damage is around twenty percent because most of her body received minor injury but she has lost the use of her eyes and hands.
    Thirdly, our wars, which no one seems even slightly interested in curtailing, will continue to progress and increase faster than the presses at the US mint can turn out fiat money. This will continue to gravitate the US faster and faster into the black hole of total collapse. Survivalists will be better advised to trade their shotguns for chopsticks. I hear “Obama’s Wars,” Woodward’s profile of President Obama (in which he details this despined President standing up to top Pentagon brass) has already been moved to the fiction section of the booksellers’ shelves—next to Tony Blair’s “A Journey—My Political Lie.”
    Now is the time Democrats are putting aside the harsh truth of the Party’s record of total failure and their divorce from reality and nearly every principle of small “d” democracy that once made them the hope of working class, poor, disadvantaged and minority people all over the world. Up and down the land, the cry goes forth,
    “Fear the Tea Baggers, fear the Republicans, fear the Iranians, (even) fear the Progressives. If you are unhappy with Obama, give him time. He will work it out—but for God’s sake vote Democrat in November.”
    I don’t think that all the grass roots Democrat organizers are cynical manipulators like Obama, Emanuel and Gibbs, who privately and (sometimes publically) laugh at the rank and file for the fools they are. Most are truly good-hearted people who really think they can save this country. I don’t think (blue pill metaphors notwithstanding) they are capable of seeing that Obama is just a more palatable and polished form of George W. Bush—and he is, as a result, far, far more dangerous.
    So then let me tell you my plan to overthrow the government, get the blood flowing in the streets, fight American terrorism and finally flush this defrauded American Wet Dream down the toilet.
    I plan on doing nothing at all. I will not lift a finger to support our latest failed President or any Democrat candidate. For the first time in my life, I will not be voting. I will never vote again. Letting the Republicans have their Plan for America succeed will do the rest. I hope you all will do the same. It couldn’t happen to a greater country!
    Bob Boldt

  339. asia September 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    ISLAM EURARABIA:
    On and On it goes …. tons of stuff….

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


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    this is put out by a christian group …. but the stats are well done












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  340. envirofrigginmental September 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Well said.
    And I’d like to believe that it was simply a prank and not malicious. This particular story has already peaked. I suspect we will never know the truth.

  341. envirofrigginmental September 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    I don’t think I blamed Christianity, nor did I suggest the perpetrators get a sentence similar to that which Matthew Sheppard was subjected to.
    But to clarify, I’d say it’s the perversion of Christianity that is at fault.

  342. messianicdruid September 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    “Free-market believers bug me, so here goes…”
    I wasn’t discussing the “free-market” but rather left/right: ProCon was lamenting the loss of a “viable left” while I responded with a lament for a viable right. I was hoping this would prompt a discussion of imitators of both stripes which would lead to some enlightenment on the real issue.
    “Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.
    What difference did the Left/Right dynamic make? Almost none whatsoever.
    How about government spending? The past two presidents are regarded as representative of the Left Right paradigm – yet they each spent excessively, sponsored unfunded tax cuts, plowed money into military adventures and ran enormous deficits. Does Left Right really make a difference when it comes to deficits and fiscal responsibility? (Apparently not).
    What does it mean when we can no longer distinguish between the actions of the left and the right? If that dynamic no longer accurately distinguishes what occurs, why are so many of our policy debates framed in Left/Right terms?”
    Answer: To keep us fighting with ourselves!
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/you-vs-corporations/
    Next Question: What is the opposite of a “free-market believer”?

  343. asoka September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    deboldt said: “For the first time in my life, I will not be voting. I will never vote again. Letting the Republicans have their Plan for America succeed will do the rest. I hope you all will do the same. It couldn’t happen to a greater country! Bob Boldt”
    This is a nation of rugged individualists who don’t like to be told what to do. They hear somebody telling them they should stay home and not vote… well, now… they are likely to put down the cheese-doodles, get up off the couch, and go vote. Just for spite.

  344. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    BEWARE OF SNEAKY BANKING AND BROKERAGE CHANGES
    This comment is directed to TreeBeard in particular and to all others in general:
    While reconciling my wife’s Wachovia business checking account statement this week I noticed an innocuous $2.00 charge labeled as “Service Fee.” I thought “now what the hell’s this?” The next page broke it down finer as a “check image statement.” Nearly all the payments my wife makes are done on line but occasionally she writes a hard copy check. When those checks clear a small image of the check is printed on the last page. Just about nobody gets back the actual check with their statement anymore.
    I think what is happening is that the banks are sneaking in lots of changes – like increased fees for bounced checks – before some deadline that is fast approaching and this check image charge is one of the new changes. It used to be free. Further, I believe it’s $2.00 for each check image.
    I called Wachovia, threw a bitch, and had them make changes so there would be no images in the future. They’re not necessary anyway since you can view and print the check image online if necessary. I also got them to waive the $2 charge.
    Next, I opened my BofA statement and found with it a brochure titled “Pricing changes for personal checking and savings accounts.” This is the sort of brochure I would normally shit can immediately but I opened it and read it carefully. Four new fees were described which will be beginning in Nov, Dec and Jan. One of the changes was a check image fee of $3.00 each. To overcome this charge I called up and enrolled in “Check Safekeeping.” Same story as Wachovia – they stop printing the images in your statement and if you ever need them you get them yourself online.
    While I had BofA on the phone I had them make the same changes to both my wife’s and mother-in-law’s BofA checking accounts.
    Then – and I’ve been saving the best for last – I had made a stock trade on Tuesday in my Wells Fargo IRA Brokerage Acct (Tree, I believe you and I have the same deal going with WF … 100 free trades/yr, etc) but as I checked more carefully I had been charged a commission of $19.95. Then I looked again and saw eight other trades made in the past two weeks all had $19.95 comm charges. This stock trading account is linked with a checking account which I’ve never used but I keep a small balance in it because the linking of various type accounts allows you to get the 100 free trades and certain other perks. Now I noticed a $2.00 fee which, when I discussed all this with the WF people, I learned was an inactivity fee which also caused the revocation of the linking privileges and thus no more free trades. Long story short, I threw a bitch, re-established my linking privileges and had them reverse $179.55 (9x$19.95) worth of comm and the $2.00 fee.
    ADVICE TO ALL Read all your bank and brokerage statements carefully. You may be getting fucked and not even enjoying it.
    Finally, Tree, you say you have 3 separate accts with WF that each give you 100 free trades. I have only one acct. How did you get three?

  345. asoka September 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    A free market is a shibboleth. Most who espouse a free market are middle and upper class privileged white folk who do not even realize that a completely free market is unrealistic, in an age of industrialization, overpopulation, and exhaustible resources, but the free market believers continue to talk about it as if it were possible and, worse, should guide policy decisions.
    Most free-market advocates were either born into well-off families, or inherited money, or own rental property, or invest other people’s money for a living. Most don’t do manual labor, and they all defend the idea of private property.
    Believers in free-market see the individual as a “rational economic agent” driven by competitions and “egoistic self-interest” resulting in a perfectly efficient “free market.”
    In a world in which rational self-interest and perfectly efficient markets exist, unemployment would have to be said to be voluntary (code for lazy, entitlement-dependent bums).
    For believers in free markets “invisible hands” are creating “spontaneous order” in the “free market” … it reminds me of voodooism.
    What is the opposite of voodooism?

  346. San Jose Mom 51 September 30, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Enviro……
    I can only hope that in the future it won’t be a burden to be “out.” The two perps have their senior picture mugshots on the cover of the New York Times. Hopefully they’ll be kicked out of Rutgers and learn how it feels to be ostrasized…they’ve got some heavy karma to burn off.
    SJmom

  347. BeantownBill September 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    You said:
    “ProCon, I don’t think there will be any “future generations” … we’ll all be dead in 100 years, including our grandchildren and any great-grandchildren, because we have passed the tipping point, our population is out of control (see Malthus), and we have destroyed the very ecosystem necessary to sustain life.
    The feedback loops will only accelerate the process until David Matthews has his wish come true and Planet Earth will be freed from the scourge called (mis-called) homo sapiens.”
    How is it that when I began posting here about our society’s ability to overcome our problems, you agreed with me, warned me that many posters here are quite negative, and with the quality of our present government, we WILL prevail?
    What happened?

  348. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Enviro, here’s the article that SJM mentioned in today’s NYT.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/nyregion/30suicide.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

  349. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    How is it that ….. etc etc
    ===============
    Bean,
    Obviously you’re new around here. Asoka does not believe a word of what he typed. It’s similar to a couple of months ago when he told several people that they had essentially convinced him that it was a bad idea to let illegal aliens (Mexicans) stream in to the southwest of the US unimpeded. Within a day or two he did a complete 180 and these three fools – so proud to have brought a convert into the fold – were crushed. When you read Asoka’s posts long enough you can see through his bullshit like clear glass. He enjoys stirring up CFN’s hoi polloi.

  350. asoka September 30, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    Optimism is relative and some days are down days.
    Some here believe TSHTF soon, as in SOON!
    Others believe it may be a year or two or three.
    My optimism relative to many CFN doomers is that I put the number at 47, based on an average from many peak oil sources I have consulted.
    Even so, I see little evidence that voluntary efforts toward population reduction is happening. I see little evidence of voluntary efforts toward reducing energy consumption, living in tiny housing, voluntary simplicity, vegan diet, etc.
    My guess is that as things continue to deteriorate, we can survive for 47 years, but we may only have 100 years left as a species if the Planet equilibrium is changed so much that homo sapiens cannot be sustained. Maybe the short answer is the pessimism of scientists of the caliber of James Lovelock and James Hansen.
    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    http://amzn.to/cYF0fI
    The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity
    http://amzn.to/bBh8Kr
    I may be registering effects from those books and from learning the reason Thorium, which was successfully functioning, was scrapped in the 60’s: Thorium did not produce nuclear weapons grade material. We have a military dictatorship which has bankrupted and damaged this nation in so many ways.
    To counter, and try to recover my optimism, I am now going to read this book:
    Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There from Here)
    http://amzn.to/cCmlV6
    Are you still optimistic, beantownbill, about a technofix to our situation?

  351. BeantownBill September 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    You wrote:
    “Somebody does something terrible to someone else and it’s Christianity’s fault? Christianity is supposed to teach compassion, because assholes don’t get it, is not Christ’s fault.
    There’s nothing wrong with the belief itself.”
    Belief is what you think is true, and that is a matter of opinion when there is no way to verify that belief.
    Since I am an atheist, I don’t imbue Christ with any supernatural powers. Rather, I see him as a charming, ’60’s hippie-type, assuming he existed at all.
    It is true that many people do pervert the tenets of a particular religion.
    For me, personally, there’s no evidence of God’s existence beyond what is written in old texts written by neo-bronze or iron-age persons. (It surprised me when I first learned that currently accepted New Testament scripture was chosen by a politically-directed council several centuries after Christ; and those scriptures were chosen because they were deemed PC, while those that weren’t were omitted from the Bible and labeled the apocrypha).
    On the contrary, I see more evidence for no god: A supposedly loving deity allowing the death and suffering of untold millions, maybe billions over the last 3,000 years, allowing innocent children to suffer and die of horrible diseases, etc.
    My intention is not to disrespect you, but to point out there are alternative viewpoints.
    I, admittedly sometimes rail against organized religion. I get angry when I see stupid interpretations made by influential religious persons that lessen our chances of survival.

  352. BeantownBill September 30, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    It’s not so much that I’m an optimist, it’s just that I’m not a pessimist. I have a running argument with my wife going back the 28 years since we’ve known each other. She says I’m a pessimist, and I say I’m a realist.
    I truly don’t know if our species will survive or not. Since I’ve been a teenager, I’ve felt our world is at a crossroads. One road leads to destruction and one to a fabulous future. Humans have capacity for self-destruction as well as possessing great technological knowledge that can advance us. It is beyond my intellectual ability to know the outcome. As that great American mystic, Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
    To my regret, I chose to just sit back and wait to see what happens. But it’s not too late for me to be more active in trying to help with our survival. I choose to not let fear rule my life, so yes, there is an element of hope and optimism in my attitude.

  353. latchkeykid September 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Our species? Will it survive or not? WTF cares? I thought the point of the article was the author paying hard earned money only to be treated like shit. He committed to an agreement and paid cash credits to the airline to leave point A at a certain time and arrive at point B by a certain time only to be told that “shit happens man”. These unfortunate delays have happened to me the last 5 times I’ve flown and I don’t fly that much. Now I fly even less, well, not at all really. I find it to be insulting. We pay good money to risk our lives all in the spirit of American convienence and then we get treated like shit. Why doesn’t the damn Tea Party step up to the plate and fix something simple like this? This is a simple concept that all citizens can wrap thier arms around no matter what party they favor. Demand to be treated proper and fair where your dollars are concerned or they will evaporate along with the middle class jobs that are disappearing.

  354. wagelaborer September 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    I hate to see you down, Asoka.
    I always feel as you do now, in your depressed state, that humanity is doomed.
    And let me tell you, having kids does NOT make it better. I worry about my kids. I want them to have a decent life.
    I don’t want grandkids to worry about.
    Will there be one damn generation that has it good for their entire life?
    My parents both starved as teenagers in the Great Depression, but then did alright after WW11.
    I have had a life without too much problems. I was briefly homeless and hungry for about a month, but other than that, I have always had enough to eat and a place to live.
    So my generation, so far, has had it good. If you disregard the fact that our good life was made possible by the suffering of other people, and the destruction of the environment, you could say, “So far, so good”.
    But even if we manage to stumble awhile longer without mass starvation in this country, can my kids look forward to a long and well-fed life?
    I think not.
    So your decision to have a vasectomy was a good one. I salute you.

  355. wagelaborer September 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Oh, and if you think the thorium decision was bad, a commission in the 50’s looked at the coming energy shortage and recommended to Eisenhower that the US turn to solar energy.
    That recommendation was ignored.

  356. mika. September 30, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    A little something to cheer you, asoka:
    A sinister government spider waits in its web,
    Papal silken lies, it spins to entwine,
    Its prey in snarls of fear and illusion,
    Cocooning each within a cell of terror,
    Paralysing them for its cruel pleasure,
    Its passion, the slow rape of reason.
    The fangs dispense a subtle poison,
    Into all open eyes, minds and ears,
    That seek to see, to think and hear,
    Until its victims become new spiders,
    And slowly transformed by the toxins,
    That each lost soul has ever absorbed.
    Then each starts to spin thin threads,
    To form fresh webs around themselves,
    Where they hang in mental torment,
    Suspended from the fragile filaments,
    Entombed in a womb of the material,
    So far from any hope of redemption,
    Each feeding upon their own cold fears,
    In a silent black void, wet with tears,
    Until at last comes that saviour death,
    To eke each soul from its imprisoning flesh.

  357. jim e September 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    Hell-hole? Anyone agree? How about you Tza? Jerry?






  358. jim e September 30, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    In cycling we have the Elite National Champion and the Masters 50-54 National Champion.

  359. San Jose Mom 51 September 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Mika,
    I think I’ll play Gordon Lightfoot’s, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” at my next dinner party. :)
    SJmom

  360. Qshtik September 30, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    Asia, I watched all the links you provided and what is going on in Europe with “the religion of peace” is truly frightening. Asoka will be sooo pleased.

  361. mika. October 1, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Overhead the albatross
    hangs motionless upon the air
    And deep beneath the rolling waves
    In labyrinths of coral caves
    The echo of a distant tide
    Comes willowing across the sand
    And everything
    is green and submarine.
    http://goo.gl/KFYa
    :)

  362. asia October 1, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    Sir Divine Q…countries with lowest b’rates..
    korea,japan[both of which guard their borders and dont want muslims]
    + italy and france…italian has albanian illegals and in france muslims with 7 kids are the norm ……france [if things go on like this] will be a muslim country…eurabia….
    any christians? jews? green out there ????
    CHECK THE LINK…LEMME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
    anyone have the cohones to burn a koran live on the web???? [not i].
    WHY WONT THE MEDIA WORLDWIDE REPORT WHAT I JUST DID?

  363. asia October 1, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    forget asssuka….wher are you? usa? europe?

  364. asia October 1, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    ‘how the islamics are taking over the world without bombs or bullets’…
    remember in this world demographics = destiny..
    USA..1960…zero ‘latinos’ / muslims [or close to that]..
    now 60? million ‘latinos’..many of whom broke the law to get here…5? million muslims

  365. mika. October 1, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    Asia,
    I’m the racist zionist kuffar occupying Judea, stolen zionist imperialist loot belonging to the Religion Of Peace™, remember? (Jerusalem to the Dead Sea being about the distance of Manhattan Island from one end to the other).

  366. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 12:32 am #

    You miss the point. While the article was an example of how our society is heading downhill, it was done in a spirit of levity. Kind of like an ironic chuckle.
    Stop being so serious.

  367. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    Also, nobody’s making anyone fly. I don’t like air travel now, either. But it is what it is. Live with it. Or find alternate travel modes.

  368. ctemple October 1, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    I don’t feel disrespected, most of the time when I say something on here, nobody says nothing. Anyway, vaya con Dios, no let me rephrase that. Go without God. De todos modos take it easy.

  369. RAW October 1, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    What a twit. At least you didn’t have to breathe in second-hand smoke for the duration of the ordeal, as I’ve had to many times in the past. This is nothing new. I can recount the same experiences numerous times back in the 70’s and 80’s.
    I once asked the lady behind the counter why she was lying. In no uncertain terms she made it perfectly clear. “I’m behind this counter every day and you’re here once. If I told the truth, everyone would be up here yelling at me just like you are now. I’m a human being too. You think I like this anymore than you?”
    And you, JHK, do you think the crew of that airplane liked those delays anymore than you did? They are human too and they have families waiting for them too and they are going to miss connections too. So give them a little more consideration next time you fly and write. Give thanks that they aren’t like you.

  370. lbendet October 1, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    The other day, I wanted to bring up our hero of 2009, “Sully”(but had gotten sidetracked). Chesley Sullenberger, airline pilot extraordinaire, who actually knew how to fly a plane and avert disaster, was celebrated for weeks after landing a plane in the Hudson River safely.
    Sully stated in a hearing that the wages of the airline pilots had been lowered to dangerous levels and that the airlines would not be able to attract good pilots. Doesn’t that make you feel safe and warm? By the way I saw much of the incident from my window.
    _______________________
    The general mood in this country regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, is that things are sliding downhill and there is a recognition that our standard of living is going down. Airline industry et al.
    As a 20- something said to me at work a few years ago. “This country’s done, you can stick a fork in it.”
    Whether people realize it or not, the way things are stacked-up in the global arena, it’s not getting better and there are no effective moves to turn this around. Once you make a decision that you’re running a country to benefit a handful of people, you know it has to be over. And, as I’ve said before, these people have grown bigger than the nation state–They are beyond containment.
    In this paradigm, the ways to get out of this mess may not be the same as the last depression.
    So our leadership is left to just stick a Keynesian band-aid on it and see if it covers the problem up-or make us believe we are no longer in a recession. But the issues haven’t been addressed and the toxic assets around the world have not been absorbed—On to the next bubble. What a one-trick pony we’ve become.
    Anyway, the other day, I was going through a Chinese calligraphy book and came across a piece that goes back to Tu Fu, (712-760) it said: “The nation my topple, But the mountains and rivers remain.”
    I’m afraid with our insatiable need for fossil fuels, we may not be able to say the same. By the time this ship goes down, the earth may look more like swiss cheese.

  371. messianicdruid October 1, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    “When you read Asoka’s posts long enough you can see through his bullshit like clear glass, Q
    “For believers in free markets “invisible hands” are creating “spontaneous order” in the “free market” … it reminds me of voodooism.” A
    For you to try to attribute the frigging train wreck we see happening to a “free-market” instead of voodoo {so-called} capitalism is about as ridiculous as it gets.
    You responded to the excellent rant of dbolt {which I am going to print out and handout!} with some more ridiculous bullshit about Americans not liking being told what to do. Hell, they love to be given easy choices, and the mattoids have become expert at giving them easy choices that require no thought. Read the link, it has over 180 responses too:
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/you-vs-corporations/
    It is us against the corporations {and their owned office holders = both D&R} not some fictional “free-market”.

  372. ozone October 1, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    “But perhaps the US has already reached it’s zenith: that the current conditions are as good as it gets. So then we’re left with dealing with the equivalent consequences of having to tell 360 million children that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
    It ain’t going to be pretty.
    What are the 5 stages of grief again?
    1. Shock and Denial.
    2. Anger.
    3. Bargaining.
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance.” -EFM
    Perhaps this is what leads to KAE’s (Kunstlerian Airline Experiential)?
    In the NE, we generally use the acronym as a dripping-with-bile sarcastic expression. You’ve heard it before, I’m sure. (Ohhhhhh-Kaeeeeee [with an upward lilt toward the ending].)
    The sheer mean-as-a-snake-ery (tm MM) on display these days seems to be in direct correlation the decline and crumbling of damn near everything. Yep, “the folks” are mighty pissed about SOMETHING, but they know not what that something might be. I guess most are in stages 1. or 2. (or perhaps a mixture of both). Asoka appears to be [most "health-ily"] ensconced in stage 5. :o)

  373. San Jose Mom 51 October 1, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    It’s shocking how little they pay new pilots.
    Just as bad is the cruise industry. My nephew’s friend graduated from maritime school and is now third mate on a Norweigen Cruise ship that runs between NYC and the Bahamas. During his 8-hour shift he is responsible for the entire ship and all its operations, and the lives of thousands of passengers and crew. Heavy responsibility for a 28-year-old. He contracts to stay on the ship for 6-8 months, I can’t remember. Wanna guess how much he makes in that time? $21K At this rate, he’ll pay off his student loans when he dies.
    They treat the room stewards even worse….they don’t pay them at all. They are entirely reliant on tips from the passengers.
    SJmom

  374. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    most of the time when I say something on here, nobody says nothing
    ================
    groan….
    nobody says anything

  375. ozone October 1, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    DB,
    Whoa! Great screed. Looks like you’ve “withdrawn your consent”, eh?
    I’ve done the same, regarding national elections. I will still vote for state-wide office-holders (or, more accurately, “independents” who HAVEN’T held office). I think things may hold together (somewhat) locally, and that’s where the shoe-leather is going to meet the gravel in the long run.
    Let the evil assholes have their fondest wish and ride this sucker straight down to the nihilistic hell that awaits them (and perhaps a lot of the rest of us).

  376. asoka October 1, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Thanks to all of you (Ozone, Mika, Q., Wage, beantownbill, ProCon, networker, and all the others who have been so gracious) for your kind words of support. I appreciate CFN all the more.

  377. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    for your kind words of support
    ================
    OK, I’ll play along … support for what?

  378. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    I mostly haven’t voted in a presidential election since 1972. I say “mostly” because I naively voted Libertarian a few times, which, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have done. I don’t support any political movements because no political movement I’ve seen so far can work.
    I believe most people can’t discern the reality around them. It’s a human trait. America isn’t a democracy, it’s a republic. The difference has great implications. Me, personally, I don’t believe in freedom. I do believe, however, in liberty. This difference also has great implications.
    I’d rather see an attempt to repair our government than to automatically tear it down. Does one tear down their house because their kitchen and bathroom are outdated, and then build a brand new home? No, most everyone would just remodel the kitchen and bath. Or maybe I should just say don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.
    In this way, our constitution ought to be updated to reflect the changes in our world since 1789.
    Realistically, this is not going to occur unless there is very great unrest. My fear is that letting everything go to hell instead will result in a new, more oppressive government. We are truly between a rock and a hard place.
    You quoted:
    “End our policy of supporting Israel right or wrong.
    Threaten sanctions against Israel for their continued illegal settlement construction.
    Recognize Hamas as the duly elected representative of Palestine.”
    Britain partitioned off the whole area shortly after WWI. They arbitrarily drew boundary lines between the countries there. Some groups of people found themselves under another government with no regard to historical divisions. Israel didn’t exist at this time and there were some internecine conflicts.
    In 1948, when Israel was created, the arab nations around it attacked the new country. Israel repelled them. Palestinians were not automatically displaced, but were given an option to remain in the new state. Palestinians mostly settled in the West Bank.
    In 1967, the surrounding arab countries attacked Israel again, with the intent to destroy it. This time, when Israel won, they also kept the land they won. Remember, Israel did not start that war, they were attacked.
    Does this sound familiar? It should, because Americans seized land chartered by the British Crown. Then, over the next hundred years or so, the Americans seized swaths of Indian land, and purposely relocated the original human inhabitants of the continent away from their homelands and into resettlement camps (reservations).
    Fifty six years after the creation of the American constitution, Americans started a war with Mexico and seized about 786,000 square miles of their land. Fifty three years after that, America started a war with Spain, and seized some of their island colonies.
    Should any of us judge Israel? “Let ye who have not sinned cast the first stone.”

  379. ctemple October 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Wow, I got corrected by the man for the first time!
    This reminds me a little of seventh and eight grade English class. We used to stand up there diagramming sentences on an overhead projector, and if you made a mistake, people would snap their fingers.

  380. Cash October 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    That’s another reason to hate banks.
    Besides the fact that their front line people do not know shit they are always looking for ways to drain your bank account.
    One guy I talked to a few years ago at a local bank branch could tell me the percentage of income earned by TD Canada Trust outside of Canada which was not even the bank he was working for. So obviously this guy wanted to be a master strategist, a dazzling conceptualist, a big picture guy. But this same guy thought that it took the bank’s mainframe computer to figure out the amount of interest earned at 4% over 1 year on a deposit for something like $10,055.00. Maybe he can’t do it in his head but a few seconds with a hand calculator gives the answer.
    Maybe Mr Master Strategist thinks that big talk will bamboozle his bosses into thinking he’s cut out to be a big swinging dick in the bank’s mutual fund business or that he should be flying on jets to foreign climes to investigate M&A opportunities. And maybe he can fool his bosses. But the donkey does not even understand the most basic of the bank’s products.
    I wish I could say that bank employees like him are atypical in this country. But they are not. I’ve run into way too many that are brutally innumerate, untrained in their employers’ products and systems. They make mistake after mistake. They are frustrating beyond belief.
    I originally went to Mr Master Strategist to fix a problem with a CD. If memory serves, the balance on the annual statement was arithmetically incorrect. Mr Master Strategist whined that nobody else ever complained about errors on statements. So I asked how many people ever even bother to check them for accuracy. I eventually got my problem solved but not without shortening my life expectancy.
    Q, I think you’re one of the few that look at the stuff that banks send. Most people don’t look and if they do look they just let pass stuff like you found. Maybe for the sake of their sanity it’s better that way.

  381. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    America isn’t a democracy, it’s a republic. The difference has great implications. Me, personally, I don’t believe in freedom. I do believe, however, in liberty. This difference also has great implications.
    ============
    I looked up democracy, republic, freedom and liberty in the dictionary and the differences are subtle. Please explain from your perspective how the differences have great implications.

  382. mika. October 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    republic = imperialist swine
    democracy = imperialist swine in check
    freedom = lying imperialist swine
    liberty = lying imperialist swine in check

  383. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    This reminds me a little of seventh and eight grade
    ===============
    Snap! Snap!
    It’s eighth ;-)

  384. mika. October 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    We don’t want you yankee imperialists in the ME. We don’t want your fscking dollars. We don’t want your fscking weapons. We don’t want your fscking sympathies. And we don’t your fscking “help”. We don’t want your fscking MSM upside down divide and conquer propaganda. We want you yankee imperialists out! Get the fsck out! And your “british commonwealth” bitches with you.

  385. mika. October 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    And rake your “british commonwealth” bitches with you.

  386. lbendet October 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    As I recall from my American history classes, they referred to it as a Democratic Republic. A republic with representational democracy.
    Me, I like freedom and liberty–is that so wrong?

  387. mika. October 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    And ^take your “british commonwealth” bitches with you

  388. mika. October 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Grrr!

  389. Cash October 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    A lot of people in Canada think it’s hip to be outraged over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
    And maybe Palestinians have a legitimate beef. But I urge people in Canada to shut the fuck up about Israel. Mostly because if Israelis ripped off some land it is a very small bit of land (8,000 sq miles give or take?). It is nothing like the 4 million sq miles that comprise Canada that were ripped out from under Aboriginals here.
    So if there’s outrage over what’s going on in Israel over the takeover of some bit of land in the middle east might there not be an even bigger case against us?
    Also, Israelis can rightfully say that Jews have historical roots in that neck of the woods. What historical roots do white folks have in Canada? We’ve been here 400-500 years. Aboriginals first got here 15 thousand odd years ago. So who’s claim is strongest?

  390. Cash October 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Mika, when you say “we” don’t want weapons, sympathy, money etc in the middle east who do you mean by “we”.
    I think you brought this up before but what country do you live in? I seem to remember that you live in Israel but I also seem to remember that you mentioned living in Toronto. I’m maybe mixing you up with someone else who posts here. Also are you Jewish/Christian/Muslim/Arab/none of the above? Just trying to figure out why you say what you say. People’s ethnic/religious/national affiliations tend to colour their stance on things.

  391. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Mika, your reply was of no help. I’ll have to wait for Bean’s reply.

  392. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    So who’s claim is strongest?
    ============
    Possession is nine tenths of the law.

  393. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    In a democracy, the citizens directly make political decisions. In a republic, the citizens elect representatives to make those decisions.
    It is far easier to corrupt 535+ individuals than to corrupt a hundred million voters.
    The great implication is that a republic just doesn’t work, whereas a democracy theoretically does (unwieldy as it may be). I brought up the term “democracy” in my post because many people mistakenly think America is a democracy, and therefore have a moral responibility to vote in an election.
    For me, freedom is the state of being able to do anything one wants. One is free or one is not. There is no middle ground; that would be like being half-pregnant. I took liberty to be the state of having choices. The distinction, to me, has great implications because under liberty there are some things one cannot do, whereas under freedom, there are no limits. I mentioned this in my post because many Americans believe they are free, and they are not.

  394. mika. October 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    Mika, when you say “we” don’t want weapons, sympathy, money etc in the middle east who do you mean by “we”.
    ==
    We Israelis. I speak as an Israeli national.

  395. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    But this same guy thought that it took the bank’s mainframe computer to figure out the amount of interest earned at 4% over 1 year on a deposit for something like $10,055.00.
    ===================
    In defense of “the big swinging dick” maybe compounding other than annual was involved (quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, continuously) …
    But I get your point about making simple calculations in your head. Back in the day I was on some task with a young lady about 23 years old who had some sort of financial education and was in one or another of our finance depts a couple of months. I said “OK, take 10% off the $1,300.” She had a note pad and pencil on the table in front of her. She began to scramble nervously and in vain in her handbag for something. I asked “what are you doing, what’s up?” She said “I’m looking for my calculator.” I said “your kidding me, right?” It was probably very cruel of me but I blurted out “Mary, I think you’re in the wrong line of work.” A month or so later she left the company and became a massage therapist.
    In nearly identical circumstances I had a woman say to me “we’re not all mathematicians ya know.” I said “this isn’t math, this is barely arithmetic.”
    Thinking back on my career I must have been considered quite a prick.

  396. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your posts. All I was saying was that Americans shouldn’t judge another country for its supposed bad conduct, when they have demonstrated the same conduct. Your replies seem kind of garbled to me. Is English your second language? If so, I’m sure people here would be glad to help you with it.
    BTW, the word is “fucked”, not fscked. Fuck’s primary meaning is to engage in sexual intercourse, but it’s also used in a vulgar sense for most anything. I promise you that God will not strike you dead for spelling it out, nor will the principal place you in detention after school.

  397. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    “Me, I like freedom and liberty–is that so wrong?”
    Absolutely not. I like them, too. I just don’t believe in having freedom – by my own definition. See my post above to Q. I love liberty, though.

  398. mika. October 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    LOL. No, I’m not afraid of god, nor of detention after school. “Fsck” is just my personal preferred spelling. I hope it’ll catch on. English, actually, is my 4th or 5th language. Though I think my command of the english language is probably above that of the average joe. But I’ll grant you that my post was garbled and unintelligible. My typing is atrocious, plus I was in a hurry.
    As for America and Americans, I really hope you learn and understand who you really are. You are not the “shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere”. Rather, you are the source of much, if not all, of the darkness and evil everywhere. Obviously, the Israeli government cannot say this, but I can.
    I think you’re knowledgeable enough to know and understand the Machiavellian tactics of the anglo-american imperialists, their propagada lies, their divide and conquer tactics, and I just wanted to make clear, that no we don’t want their fscking help, because we see right through them, the callous thieving scum that they are.

  399. mika. October 1, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    propagada -> propaganda

  400. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    I may be an American, but I never bought into the bullshit about my country being so upstanding. See my earlier post about some of the sins America perpetrated. See also my comments about freedom. But I know us Americans are not evil. Deluded, maybe, but not evil.

  401. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    I appreciate your reasonable thinking about the matter of Israel. I have one correction, though. Israel, as constituted in 1948, was 8,000 square miles. The Israeli’s didn’t rip off this land; they petitioned the U.N. for statehood, and it was granted. Just after the 1967 war, I remember reading the new Israel was now 47,000 square miles. The extra 39,000 square miles is what should have been contended, if anything was to be (I don’t think any Israeli land should be questioned). Now, Israel’s area is less because of territory ceded back.

  402. messianicdruid October 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    “Should any of us judge Israel? “Let ye who have not sinned cast the first stone.”
    When you say “us” are you refering to Americans or to all men who have sinned?

  403. mika. October 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I may be an American, but I never bought into the bullshit about my country being so upstanding.
    ==
    That’s exactly as I perceived it.
    The US is the source of much of the conflict in the ME. The US (and Britain) deliberately instigate conflict through the use of propaganda, weapons sales, and economic aid. It is a malicious duplicitous game, for which Israelis/Jews have had to pay dearly with their blood.
    You say Americans are not evil. Deluded, maybe, but not evil. I’m here to shatter that perception. You know exactly what is going on. You know that you are being lied to. But it is convenient for you to do nothing about it, because you enjoy the spoils of empire. In effect, you’ve decided to passively conspire with those that you know are committing great acts of evil and depredation. You want to claim that you are not part of this. I’m here to tell you that you are. You are just as morally bankrupt as those that comprise your corrupt government. There will be no redemption for you personally, until you personally actively work to put an end to this. There will be no redemption for the American people, until they organize and actively work to put an end to this. Put an end to the lying media and school system. Put an end to the banking mafia. Put an end to the military mafia. Put an end to the corporate mafia. Put an end to the legal/judicial mafia. Put an end to the Morgan/Rockefeller shadow government. Put an end to the red/blue one party system. Put an end to the American Empire.

  404. messianicdruid October 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Mika, if are you willing to be held to the same standard, perhaps you could assist us in getting the influence of your government out of our government.

  405. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Sorry, bubelah, but I don’t fall for that claptrap. You’re applying your own moral standards onto others (me, in this case). I don’t want or need redemption from others. The only redemption I could ever seek is from myself, and I’m pretty happy with whom I am. I get this picture of you as an Old Testament prophet with the long robe and beard, shouting, “repent, repent or you will incur the wrath of God”.
    Let me tell you something: Life and death just happen; the universe doesn’t care if you’ve been good or bad. You’re born, you live, you die, then there’s nothingness, baby, nothingness. The universe is 13,700 million years old, more or less, and for almost all of that time, you and I didn’t exist. And it may last forever, and after we die, you and I won’t exist for the rest of eternity.
    So the only rational code of behavior, for me, is to follow the golden rule and live my life. Any other way is irrational. I do wish others would live like me, but it ain’t gonna happen, at least in my lifetime. Please don’t tell me what I have to do. You just do what YOU have to do.

  406. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Israel is always fighting for its survival. It is rational behavior for them to try to influence us.

  407. mika. October 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    That would be like asking Jesus to assist the Romans in getting the influence of Herod out of the Roman senate. It is utterly preposterous and absurd. The Israeli government is nothing but a CIA installed US puppet. Get a fscking clue!

  408. mika. October 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    the universe doesn’t care
    ==
    Yes it does. The old sages understood this, and Einstein later proved it.

  409. Qshtik October 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Put an end to the American Empire.
    ===========
    What I wish is that you would put an end to any further sentences that begin with “Put an end to.” We’ve all heard the “I have a dream” speech and we know about the rhetorical device of repetition but frankly it gets tiresome. We know MLK and you’re no MLK so cut us a break huh?

  410. mika. October 1, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    cut us a break huh?
    ==
    Good. I’ve touched a nerve. It’s a beginning.

  411. BeantownBill October 1, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    Yes it does. The old sages understood this, and Einstein later proved it.
    Please explain.

  412. Billy Two Gun October 1, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Being in the transportation industry I can understand the challenges faced with logistical objectives. But when I fly I cannot understand the attitudes, behaviors, meaness, lack of empathy and down and out rudeness of airline employees. Southwest is the only one that maintains a culture of customer service. I flew AA to New York and not on employee, in the air, on the ground, ever smiled. Then they want governement bail outs because they can’t make money. They can’t make money because they are idiots without a single morsel of original thought on how to change their model to make it efficient, profitable and customer friendly. Just for fun check this out:






  413. mika. October 1, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    The universe as we perceive it, is an illusion of our understanding. That understanding is a choice. Whether active or passive, it is a choice. That’s the essence of Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

  414. mika. October 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    There was a TV series titled “The Day the Universe Changed”, narrated by James Burke. The series posits that when one’s view of the universe changes, the universe itself effectively changes. Einstein postulated the equation E=MC^2, where C^2 is a constant. If you analyze this equation philosophically, you can see that the constant is God. And it is we that change the universe.

  415. mika. October 2, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    Bubbaleh: Term of endearment (like dear, pet, honey). Yiddish, derived from the Hebrew word bubbah, meaning doll.

  416. BeantownBill October 2, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    You said:
    There was a TV series titled “The Day the Universe Changed”, narrated by James Burke. The series posits that when one’s view of the universe changes, the universe itself effectively changes. Einstein postulated the equation E=MC^2, where C^2 is a constant. If you analyze this equation philosophically, you can see that the constant is God. And it is we that change the universe.
    You are confused about this subject. I guess you’re not a scientist. May I recommend kind of a pop book on physics? It’s called “The Fabric of the Cosmos” by Brian Greene. It’s really about string theory, but the 1st part of the book gives an excellent explanation of relativity.
    I think you are mixing up Einsteinian relativity with quantum mechanics. QM is mind blowing. It states, among other things, that an observer to an experiment effects its outcome. The Schroedinger’s cat thought experiment is a good example.
    E=mc~2 is Einstein’s realization that matter and energy are equivalent. c is the speed of light, 300,000 km/sec. The equation shows that the amount of energy released when matter is converted to energy is proportional to its mass, and the proportionality constant is the square of the speed of light. The equation is a mathematical representation of a proven scientific
    fact. It is not philosophical, and it doesn’t refer to God in any way. Sorry.

  417. mika. October 2, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    You are confused about this subject. I guess you’re not a scientist.
    ==
    Read my posts again. I’m not confused in the least, and would suggest that it is you who needs to brush up on the subject. But that’s neither here nor there, because you’ve completely missed the point I was trying to make. Your “erudite” response is dry, superficial, and one dimensional. I’m trying to convey to you that we exist in an ever changing hyper-dimensional universe. You talk of mathematics, but mathematics is just another representation of a representation in our mind. A derivative of a fractal within a fractal within a fractal, ad infinitum.

  418. messianicdruid October 2, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    “That would be like asking Jesus to assist the Romans in getting the influence of Herod out of the Roman senate.”
    It seems absurd, because Herod was an Idumean, and he died when Jesus was only a few months old. Many of us {not enough?} are asking Jesus to end
    the influence of those that hate us and despitefully use us. When Americans {this is for you Bill} start repenting [change-mind] and praying and humbling themselves things will start happening. Saying that “the Israeli government is nothing but a CIA installed US puppet” changes nothing. They’re all puppets.

  419. eightm October 2, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    Another AX: WORK
    Take a look at all of those skyscrapers in New York City, Tokyo, Seoul, etc. What do you think all of those office workers actually “do” ? Do you really think they are actually producing anything ? Are they needed for anything except being a place holder – a figment of imaginary labor – work, to justify billions of dollars of money transfers amongst the already and only ever going to be rich ? The truth is work in general is no longer needed, is destined to become obsolete no matter what anyone says or thinks or desires.
    The calculation is easy to do: there are 200 million office workers worldwide, information workers, “knowledge” workers, research workers, “innovation”, and research and development and all of the other mega Bull Shit terms and expressions the modern economist love to talk about. So exactly what are they discovering – improving – creating ? Absolutely nothing except billions of dollars being robbed from the poor. But let’s look at it for what it really is: out of 200 million workers I would fanthom that only 1 out of 1,000 are creating anything, are really producing anything of lasting value, any real optimization, any real improvement, any real result, any real serialization of work as something that accumulates. But this is ok, the other 199 million are just running around in circles, they are essentially spinning their wheels, they are mostly just killing time and creating and solving imaginary problems, and playing the status game, office politics game, and creating useless meetings and every conceivable way to pretend to actually be working and doing something.
    But those 200,000 that are actually optimizing, that are improving the little work processes that are left to do, those guys there are setting the stage to eliminate at least each 100 jobs as a minimum. For what is all of this research, optimization, innovation worth if it doesn’t cut costs, which in the end really means cut jobs ? And cut costs they will, no matter how inefficient they are becasue it is only natural that processes can slowly be improved and optimized. So 200,000 workers (the only ones that are actually serializing work, accumulating lasting results) will eventually each cut 100 jobs, so another 200 million unemployed workers will appear in the near future.
    So the future of work is actually no work, hundreds of millions of unemployed, mass poverty, eventually starvation, thanks to the capitalists, success model of rich robbing everything from the poor. We need free salaries, and cheap rents since there will no longer be any possible work in the future. We need to get rid of the competition mentality, the me better than you idea, the idea of “earning” what you need, we need equality and everything must be furnished for free since automation and technology have essentially killed all possible work and will kill all work in the future.

  420. progressorconserve October 2, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    OK, MMMMMMMM,
    You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT that most of what passes for useful “work” in the US involves no production of real things OR original-type intangibles of lasting value.
    BUT:
    ====================
    From where should the free salaries come?
    They must come from the only entity that has pockets deep enough to do this – the government, correct, as in US government.
    Now, let’s agree that the government gets money from *the citizens,* correct.
    So immediately your argument for “free salaries” becomes an argument for *zero tax rates* as well.
    I am just asking questions – hoping you and others will supply LOGICAL answers.
    ================
    And then let’s ask what entity should *own* and maintain the properties on which the “free rents” are provided.

  421. Cash October 2, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Q, my deepest wish is that Mr Master Strategist had a reasonable defence for his ignorance and it is big hearted of you to suggest that he might have had. But he didn’t. This guy is in the business of selling financial services (his busness card says Financial Services Officer on one side and on the flip side says Mutual Funds Representative).
    The CD in question was a plain vanilla CD. Annual compounding. Nothing complicated. Their CD product line is almost all that mickey mouse. There are a few CD products that are more complicated where the yield is based on stock market performance and which have wrinkles like maximum yields. This was not one of them.
    And then there’s the thing, like you said, about doing simple arithmetic. I’ve seen the same things as you. So much simple basic shit is a deep mystery to so many former inmates of our crap school system. A while back I had one accounting clerk with several years experience that actually had the nerve to ask me how do you calculate percentages. She was a high school and community college grad. And this was not out of the ordinary.

  422. Cash October 2, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Mika, you get to call things as you see them. I have no clue as to your life experiences, your line of work, your associates etc.
    Some of what you say I agree with. Like this business about the banking/corporate mafia.
    But when you say “Rather, you (Americans) are the source of much, if not all, of the darkness and evil everywhere.” IMO you go too far.
    An example, Canada has everything that a rapacious, evil, imperialist power like the US could want: we have arguably the richest landmass on the planet with giant energy and mineral wealth, oodles of fresh water, wide open spaces, fertile land. Plus we are militarily defenceless. We don’t do IEDs or suicide vests. There would be no easier conquest anywhere for the US.
    So why do Americans buy from us, why don’t they just conquer us and steal everything in sight? There are 400 billion dollars per year in trade between the US and Canada ie they buy from us about 400 bil in goods and we buy from the US about 400 bil in goods. Every year.
    We make a very, very good living dealing with Americans. Ontario’s greatest resource is more than 100 million American consumers living within a one day truck drive from our manufacturers.
    The fact is that most of us here live within a couple hundred miles of the US border, we live unmolested, we have a very high standard of living, Americans invest massively here, both me and my father spent much of our lives working for American companies and making a good living as do multitudes of other Canucks. For such a horrible, evil people they are really good neighbours. And good employers.
    There are no American troops swaggering around anywhere on our streets. In fact, in many decades of living here I have not seen one American soldier on our soil ever.
    I know and have worked with many Americans, a lot of our relatives are proud, cheeseburger eating, Budweiser swilling NASCAR southerners. Plus I have travelled through large areas of the US. When I travelled to company HQ in the US my American bosses and compadres treated me like a king. I’m now retired and I have to say I miss working with my American buds.
    So you have to call things the way you see them but I have to say I see things differently.

  423. BeantownBill October 2, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I’ll tell you what. This discussion is very philosophical,very pseudo-scientific, and getting pretty complicated, and well beyond the scope of this site. Let’s just agree to disagree and move on. OK?

  424. BeantownBill October 2, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    To Americans.

  425. Cash October 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    So now a whole bunch of US banks have halted foreclosures either of their own accord or because, as in the case of Connecticut, because a state government has forced them to. Apparently there’s a question of “faulty” procedures and documentation.
    So here’s another reason to hold banks in contempt. They don’t know how to lend or they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in, but not only that, they fucked up their foreclosures also.
    It seems like a dense cloud of idiocy has engulfed the entire banking industry, from financial services officers who do not have clue one about simple deposits to the whole lending function ie you need to do some legwork to verify credit worthiness etc. Brutal.

  426. eightm October 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    You don’t understand: you won’t be choosing “capitalism” or whatever, the forces at play are going all in the same direction no matter what you or anyone wants. Optimization, automation, chinese or south korean scientists – engineers automating factories, creating production shortcuts, etc. etc. This will trickle through and translate into less costs which means somewhere and somehow less money to workers or less work. No matter what, this world is going towards the end of work, work is no longer needed, I know many people for one reason or another have no work, have nothing to do, even if they wanted to, because the modern production process is all geared towards the elimination of work. We better get this straight and not buy all the BS justifications of the economists that say more productivity, more research etc. will create new jobs. And in fact these are exactly the items that are eliminating work. More productivity and more research will kill jobs, not create new jobs, unless you consider dog walking a new “kind of job”, a new “service job”…

  427. San Jose Mom 51 October 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Schwarzenegger signed a law that reduces possession of pot of less than an ounce to an “infraction” rather than a misdemeanor — making pot no more serious than driving faster than the speed limit.
    Go Arnold!
    SJmom

  428. insufferable October 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Jim, What you speak about pales when you think about the airline security garbage that goes on in every airport. Lines, after lines, after lines, after lines, around the airport. Possibly missing your original flight, being asked to take off shoes, coats, (one man had to take his artifical leg off), sweaters, etc. etc.Then if there is a moran at that point, who is carried away with the POWER he now can exert over people he doesn’t know, then….you can searched, questioned about ANYTHING….and made to feel like a terrorist who is going to cause Armageddon, if you get on that plane. I refuse to fly like I used to, precisely because of the so called, Airport Security homeland security department who promises to keep us safe. What a load of crock,,,,,and some idiots actually believe it. I am kind of shocked your only disturbance came when you were still on the ground. What if you had to turn back to the airport or divert to another because of some unforseen circumstance? The friendly skies have turned into an episode of the Twilight Zone, that never ends and we are starring as the victims of profoundly bizaar masters of the universe, whose ultimate goal is drive us all nuts! (and don’t forget…bill us for the experience.)

  429. insufferable October 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    Excellent thought. Its time for a major change. Not the OBAMAnation type either. Between Bush and Obama, I have quite frankly thrown in the towel and feel as though America is doomed. Even if there was an honest and sincere politican who came along, I WOULDN’T BELIEVE IT. The tea party people who seem to be sincerely trying to give us another choice is being demonized by both sides. The entire globe thinks they are made up of old white people, who want to bring back the KKK and Nazis. What a mess!! I would move to another country but WHERE? Its worse everwhere else> Time to start praying.

  430. San Jose Mom 51 October 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Cash,
    Canada is the best neighbor! Years ago I read a book called, “When the World came to Town,” which recounted the hospitality of the Newfies when all the jumbo jets from Europe were diverted on 9/11 to that province. People opened their homes and provided every comfort possible to all the stranded travelers.
    Grateful,
    SJmom

  431. progressorconserve October 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    2MX4,
    I do understand 8M.
    Productive original work is being eliminated. We need free salaries and cheap rents.
    I am asking you where the *money?* for the free salaries will be produced.
    I am asking who or what will own and maintain the residences that will be offered to the populace for “cheap rent.”